For what it is, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD knocks it out of the park. From the simplicity, approachability, and variability of the gameplay to the fun aesthetics and music, Banana Blitz HD has a level of quality and self-awareness that many games (especially those for younger audiences) lack nowadays. At the end of it all, this game is a complete joy to play, full stop.
Mighty Polygon unabashedly stands on the shoulders of giants with Relicta. The wheel is not reinvented but rather pleasantly spun around and flipped on its head. While further investment into the artistic aspects of this game may have helped clarify some of the issues with sameness and emptiness, the gameplay and narrative overpower these concerns. Puzzles pose just enough of a challenge to keep the player fascinated while the narrative, strong character, and world give the player incentive to progress. Throw in collectibles to round out the details, and you've got quite the adventure for the curious. With a $20 price tag, Relicta may have its shortcomings, but it's challenging, narratively compelling, and - dare I say it? - magnetic. If you enjoy the likes of Portal, get this game.
This review began before with a parallel to early man, so why stop now? Narcosis, in its own way, brings humanity's drive for survival to the forefront of the player's mind, showing that the will to live is truly a harrowing war of attrition. The game is unrelenting in its goal of putting you into the shoes of someone haunted by the depths of the sea, both figuratively and literally. The story is simple but well-written, with even the flavor text of the fallen co-workers showing humanity in a couple of sentences each. The visuals are good, the controls are formidable, and the audio is stunning. Sure, the gameplay and story can be a little slow, and the narration is somewhat gauche and not well mixed, but these are minor issues in an otherwise intriguing, original game that shows the potential of human helplessness in a visceral and highly informative way. Narcosis is a mystery that plays on how little we know about our own world, as the game aggressively reminds us with elements of supernatural terror.
Death's Gambit saw the opportunity to take two genres and tweak them enough to make a new game out of it — and it worked. The core mechanics, while markedly unoriginal, are genuinely fun to play, and the stunning sound and visuals make it a treat to experience. This game is far from perfect, though, with a lacking story and unfortunately glitchy points, but is still worth the time and money to check out. While I wouldn't say that Death's Gambit is an improvement upon either Metroidvania or Souls-like games, it's a great addition to both genres.
Overall, Farming Simulator 19 plays well and effectively puts you in the shoes of a farmer. Many use games as sort of escapism, to become something fantastical, powerful, to overcome evil, etc. Farming Simulator serves the same general purpose, only in a more realistic and tangible way by sating our curiosity about a profession that many of us will never know.
Overall, Ace Attorney Trilogy wholeheartedly proves its worth as a remaster. The story still stands up today and balances goofiness and sincerity in a fun and enchanting way. The gameplay is slow but wins over its audience. The graphics are heavily improved from its myriad predecessors, and the music is brought to life in just the right way. Sure, there are some slight slip-ups here and there, but this game is a gem that's worth playing from the pantheon of games, especially those in the visual novel genre. At this time, the defense rests.
Throughout Mugsters, Reinkout has created a game that solidifies how well interactivity and fun work together. The addition of a simple goal and no instructions makes this game an absolute blast to play. While the controls can sometimes be wonky, Mugsters still works well. In general, even the game's side missions (collecting people to save from the levels, destroying certain weapons, etc.) are fun, intriguing, and feel like they're worth the time. Coupled with the vibrant aesthetics and minimal tone and sound, this makes Mugsters a fascinating puzzle game that feeds the player's curiosity like few other games have.
At the end of the day, Dungeon of the Endless attempts to scratch a lot of itches by meshing together a lot of different genres, and it manages to do so in a satisfying way. The collection and allocation of resources aren't the most intriguing aspects of the game, but the gameplay is still pretty solid. Meanwhile, the character selection and roguelite elements provide plenty of replayability. The visuals and music are predominantly well developed, but the UI could use some extra attention. For enthusiasts of pixel art, 16-bit music, and games that utilize light strategy elements, Dungeon of the Endless is for you.