- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- Final Fantasy X
- Persona 3
Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online is a perfectly serviceable action RPG. That might not sound like a ringing endorsement, but for folks who are looking for a bit of mindless, distracting entertainment (and who couldn't use that with all the things going on in the world today?), Tamsoft's latest foray into this goofy game industry parody should fit the bill nicely. It's certainly not the mark of a masterpiece when the most you can say about a game is that it's fun and mostly inoffensive, but this series has never really been aiming for that high mark in the first place, and that's just fine by me.
Overall, Hidden Dragon Legend is a middle-of-the-road effort: there are certainly a number of people out there who will be able to work through its less-than-polished mechanics long enough to enjoy the silly story, which is reminiscent of classic Chinese action cinema in the best possible ways.
In the end, whether you prefer to whittle your hours away building the city of your dreams with unlimited resources, or chase down trophies as you build your way toward things more deliberately, I don't think you'll find a superior sim anywhere on PS4.
I wasn't sure what to expect going into Collar x Malice, but I was admittedly a little afraid its darker tone would result in a nastier, more sadistic streak across the board. I couldn't be happier to have been proven wrong: while the writing leaves a lot to be desired in some regards, the story told is a compelling one, and earning the trust of the icy suitors was a more nuanced and sweet process than I expected. If you're of a mind to enjoy this silliness like I am, forget the New York Times bestseller list – your over-the-top romantic beach read is just a Vita download away.
Ultimately, though, my complaints are relatively small given the appeal of the whole package. As a casual pick-up-and-play experience, Zen Studios' latest obviously isn't going to set your world on fire, but it does what it does very well. The core mechanics are solid and contain just enough variation to keep things exciting, and the progression system provides just enough incentive to keep you busy across all the different modes. A little polish and pizazz on the visual front would have gone a long way here, but again, it's good for what it is. If you're looking for a fun take on the pastime, Infinite Minigolf is a pleasant, surprisingly addictive little game.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's improved Battle Mode is bound to bring out some people's inner child in the best way (this author very much included). As for the rest of the racing action, the tight and polished multiplayer action is as good as it's ever been - and the ability to take it on-the-go is like a dream come true.
Outside of a few interesting ideas and some cool demonstrations of the Joy-Con controllers' HD rumble capabilities, 1-2 Switch's shallow collection of minigames has little to offer. The bizarre actors of the cringe-inducing live-action video demonstrations looked like they were having fun, but I certainly wasn't.
Horizon Zero Dawn is a stunningly gorgeous game, an awesome open world action-RPG that overcomes the gameplay conventions of the genre by giving you so many options on how to tackle combat. It does stumble a bit trying to tell a cohesive story, but I was too caught up in exploring all the little details of the world to let that bother me.
The best parts of this new Kingdom Hearts collection — the remaster of Dream Drop Distance and Aqua's miniature adventure — offer plenty of fun and a tantalizing taste of what Kingdom Hearts III will be like. The series' narrative absurdity is ever-present, but so is the addictive fun of its hack-and-slash gameplay.
Batman's final Telltale outing — well, for this season, anyway — is a mostly-satisfying conclusion to a fascinating, dark and unusual take on Gotham. It doesn't quite fulfill all the narrative promise of its intriguing themes, but it does wrap things up in an effective enough way.