At this point, decrying the necessity of a star rating is basically a cliche, but the fact is that a rating will not help invite or warn off potential players of Decay of Logos. The game is not quite distinctive enough to reach a wider audience, but neither is it as clunky and edgelordy as the also-divisive Darksiders III, so the game gets a hearty Credit from me. Bump the score up to a Distinction for any Souls fans willing to take a punt on a beautiful indie.
The most impressive aspect of the game goes beyond its effective console port. The game is “small” in the indie sense, not made by hundreds but by a core team of four developers. Nevertheless, the game's graphical presentation, attention to detail, and handcrafted design are all so instantly appealing that plenty of AAA gamers who give it a go will surely find themselves hooked. Also, definitely tell that friend who likes BioShock that another kick of spooky, clanking, clockwork mystery is available to jump into.
I do not think I have ever played a game available for retail that was as unfinished as Grimshade. Unfinished games on Steam are a dime-a-dozen, but I cannot be certain I have the strength to trudge through to see the rest of a game that, doubtless, bit off more than it could chew. Besides, if this really is as large a world and extensive a narrative as promised, one should never feel obligated to push through hours of also-ran adventure hoping for an uncertain and potentially imaginary catharsis.
Gamers also cannot necessarily be that disappointed with the game, which might never have happened thanks to the original THQ’s implosion. Players anxiously awaiting From Software’s Sekiro or even Metroid Prime 4 might get a decent kick out of another one of these sorts of action adventure games. On the other hand, its technical bugs and lack of depth keep it from being a highly recommended title, and a mixed start to THQ Nordic’s budget-game gambit.
Yakuza 6 is another standout entry in the most fascinating series of this renaissance of Japanese video games. The game is better than the already great Yakuza Kiwami that released late last year and is possessed of a profound, yet silly, tone that fans of the Metal Gear and Final Fantasy games of old will love. Adherents of previous games might be blindsided by the game's sole focus on Kazuma Kiryu, but the long-striving Dragon of Dojima is deserving of some sort of conclusion. The series has seen more sprawling and fully-featured entries—including the upcoming remake of Yakuza 2, which will see a greater focus on Majima's ongoing story—but that cannot detract from the enjoyment to be had saying goodbye to one of Japanese games' best ambassadors.
The game is lifeless, with anime stereotypes coming and going without any impact. The effete princess. The stoic soldier. The spunky one. A conflicted villain whose arc doubly disappoints by taking the entire course of the game to play out a single face turn. After all, if he had left the axis of evil sooner, the game could not recycle his boss fight three times. Honestly, criticising Revolution for resorting to overused cliches is an insult to better JRPGs that use anime stereotypes wonderfully. So much is worth commenting on as a lesson of what-not-to-do, but the above critique is more than enough. Valkyria Revolution is a dull action game, a wafer-thin war story, and a mishandling of the franchise: disappointing whether one played the previous games or not. Gamers know that Sega has so much more to offer, even if the series might now be buried for good thanks to this spin-off. Instead of revitalising a beloved property, Revolution is a snafu.