Final Fantasy VII Rebirth is, for all intents and purposes, a phenomenal second act in the Remake series. Though it's open world design isn't perfect, the game is finely honed in every other area and provides as luxurious of an experience as FF VII Remake did.
I really wanted to like Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora more than I did, but the game’s various shortcomings make it difficult to love entirely. The exceptional graphics and brief moments of greatness make it worthwhile for Avatar fans, but most anyone else is likely to be frustrated by how close it comes to doing something special only to fall shy of its potential.
While it might not be among the best entries in the series, there’s still enough to Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name that makes it worth playing. Those willing to work around some bare bones design and frustrating quality of life issues will find a compact but necessary entry in the saga of Kazuma Kiryu, and will be that much more excited for the next true entry in the franchise.
When all is said and done, Blasphemous 2 is exactly what it sets out to be. It meets and surpasses the benchmark set by the original ever so slightly, all while offering some new innovations to keep the formula fresh. Fans won’t be disappointed, and while it might not be a triumphant reinvention of the genre, it’s still a solid offering that newcomers can find the beauty of Metroidvanias through.
I could go on, but the fact remains that Baldur’s Gate 3 is a new benchmark for what RPGs can be. Its wealth of variety in how its story can unfold, and the insane amount of options for how players can approach different combat and exploration scenarios, make it a must play for just about anyone. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say this is the kind of game we’ll still be talking about 10 years from now, and it more than earns this feat.
When all is said and done, the HD remaster of Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective is an ideal way to check out this fantastic title. Though it might still suffer from some awkward puzzle logic, those that give it a chance will find a game bursting with creativity and originality they won’t soon forget.
Harmony: The Fall of Reverie brings some fascinating ideas to the table and manages to make the most of them despite a somewhat intimidating start. Fans of other Don't Nod games will be rewarded with yet another striking narrative experience, while everyone else will be treated to one of the more accessible and streamlined visual novel titles in recent memory. (Review Policy)
Darkest Dungeon II isn’t an easy experience to dive into, but it is a worthwhile one. Those willing to muscle through its punishing design and RNG elements will find one of the best roguelike titles around, and can expect to be drawn back into its world for months or years to come.
Though it has its flaws, Tchia is one of the best open world games I've played in a long time. The variety of things to do in its gorgeous world will keep most any player occupied for the duration of their playthrough, and will almost certainly leave them glad they gave the title a chance.
There’s not much else that can be said of Like a Dragon: Ishin! other than that it’s an exemplary Ryu Ga Gotoku title. Fans of the older Yakuza games and Judgement will feel right at home amidst its familiar gameplay mechanics and story beats, and the polish applied to these facets will ensure they’re well rewarded for the time they invest in the game. It’s a welcome return to the series’ past, and a good sign of how well the series will hold up moving forward.
Even with its unfortunate first impression, I’d hardly recommend Forspoken. Its exceptional gameplay is more than enough to make it worth playing and is all the more noteworthy, given it’s a fresh new IP. If nothing else, it lays the groundwork for a new series that has plenty to build from and could go on to be remembered for far more than some rough dialogue.
Fans of One Piece and turn-based RPG lovers alike will be more than pleased with what One Piece Odyssey has to offer. Its combat offers a great new spin on the genre’s trademark battle systems, and is far deeper than one would expect from an anime-inspired title. Even if it isn’t perfect, the game takes chances in the best way possible and could very well lay the groundwork for much more promising One Piece games in the future.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is exactly what fans could have wanted from a remaster. Though not all of its changes improve the experience, the majority are welcome improvements that help elevate the experience to a new level. This is a must-play for fans of the original, and easily the best possible point of entry for newcomers who want to get into the series.
When all is said and done, Wayward Strand is a great narrative experience but not a game for everybody. The lack of clear direction and rewards can make its simple gameplay loop feel overwhelming, and the grounded themes it tackles aren’t always easy to get through. For those willing to give it a look, though, it’s a game that offers characters who players won’t be able to keep from falling in love with, and the experience it offers will stick with whoever plays it long after the credits roll.
When all is said and done, Temtem is far more than its inspirations. Though it stumbles occasionally, the game offers an experience that even the most grizzled Pokémon fan will enjoy while also building up a new world for fresh players to marvel at. It’s a must-play and a strong showing of what could be a major series moving forward.
To be clear, Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling Into Darkness is not an irredeemable game. It has its high points, and the core experience is one that even non-anime fans could find enjoyable and worthwhile. It’s held back by needing to adapt material from the anime, though, and as a result, the full product is so much less enjoyable than it otherwise could have been.