It may seem like one for the hardcore, but the Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster Collection is for old and new fans alike. Quality of life improvements make it more accessible, whilst retaining the original challenge for the more “old school” fan. Either as a bundle or individual title, there’s a classic for everyone.
Throwing out the dour and the drab, Dead Island 2 is all about killing in style. From the beautifully rendered wastelands of HELL-A, to the equally visceral limb destruction system, there’s endless fun to be had here. With enough to do solo or with friends/strangers, not to mention the upcoming expansions, Dambuster Studios have rewritten how to enjoy oneself in the face of Armageddon.
After taking a year off to refine the formula, WWE 2K23 is back with a bang. Graphically impressive, filled to bursting with wrestlers and content, it’s a fitting continuation for long-time fans. It’s just that little bit too overwhelming for lapsed fans that are coming in fresh, but it does at least try to accommodate.
More than just another port or lazy remake, this version of Resident Evil 4 is everything you could ask for. It looks beautiful, but keeps its original feel. It has improvements that modernise yet don’t detract and, most importantly, is just as much fun now as it was back in 2005. A must-have for both series fan and latecomers.
A beautiful take on the ancient Chinese story, Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja have joined forces to create something magical. Wo Long is a tour de force, with its only issue being that it tries too many new things that will largely be ignored. At its core, it’s a solid Souls take and gorgeous game to add to an action fan’s library.
A beautifully dark throwback to the classics, Aeterna Noctis revels in its classic charm. The difficulty also apes that of its forebears, which for some they might enjoy, others it might be too much. For those impartial, it’s another in a massive catalogue of Metroidvania titles.
Whilst it may be pleasing to the visual and audio senses, Lone Ruin balances out that pleasant feeling with fair challenge. A roguelike in the traditional sense, it offers that “one more run” gameplay for anyone that feels like they can do it better next time.
A welcome update, The Witcher 3 is just as magnificent and engrossing as it was seven years ago. It looks beautiful, but still retains that rusty charm that sometimes creeps into a game so massive. Given that it’s a free upgrade, there’s no better time to get back into the world of Geralt and the Wild Hunt.
What could have been an interesting premise about religion, murder and cults, soon devolves into a bland and uninspired point-and-click. Saint Kotar has some originality with its faith-testing plot, but ultimately will only really appeal to die-hard fans of the genre.
Negatives aside, Gungrave G.O.R.E is a blast when it gets going. The cutscenes are over the top, as are the bosses and the main baddies of the piece. If you can put up with the archaic rust that comes with old-fashioned games, there is fun to be had in here.
A perfect swansong of a DLC, Finding the Flowzone is a beautiful little finale to OlliOlli World. New locales, more eccentric friends and a gusty mechanic, it only enhances the formula already established. Have fun, get frustrated, go back for more in this high-flying adventure.
A vibrant and violent affair, Warhammer 40,000: Shootas, Blood & Teef is a slice of arcade fun. It’s not aimed at Warhammer veterans, and rightfully so, more for those who like their run-and-gun to be over-the-top. A bit lacking in extra content and polish, but still enjoyable nonetheless. Highly recommend it with friends though.
A strong third main entry in this insane series of brawlers, No More Heroes 3 is both accessible to new fans and daunting at the same time. A lot of it will make sense to fans, naturally, but may put off those just treading water. That being said, the main story is practically standalone, with some of the most colourful and creative bosses outside of a Souls game.
Another drop in the vast ocean of action RPG’s, The Last Oricru brings nothing new to the much-treaded waters. Worse still, it lacks the refinement and polish to make it a barely passable romp, feeling as rough around the edges as Alpha Protocol did back in the day.
What starts off a fun runner, Aerial_Knight’s Never Yield quickly devolves into a bland and repetitive experience. Whilst the colours are bright and the music loud, the lack of replayability or extra modes doesn’t leave it a leg to stand on.
A top-down adventure title that pays homage to the likes of Zelda and Illusion of Time, There Is No Light is an illuminating game that fits alongside them. A little rough around some edges, it nonetheless scratches that itch for retro enthusiasts and newcomers alike.
A fantasy adventure with tough-but-fair combat, a well crafted story and a punchy pixel art aesthetic, No Place For Bravery is the next ‘must play’ game in the 2D/dungeon-crawler renaissance. While it’s still not perfect, the game is much more stable now that it has received a patch and despite a few spotty frame rates, this is an easy title to recommend.
An absolute blast of a rhythm-based shooter, Metal: Hellsinger is a love letter to all those that throw their horns to the sky. Packed with challenge, chugging tunes and a cavalcade of the genre’s finest vocalists, there’s a lot to enjoy. Riff and tear.