The Yomawari: Long Night Collection represents great value with its two-games-in-one package. Despite both games being quite short they represent the horror genre like no other. The tension is often palpable, and feeling of fear while out on the streets is almost constant. The audio may appear to be basic, but it does a stellar job of immersion with small sounds helping to heighten the paranoia that something could be lurking around the corner. The visuals will appeal to fans of a chibi-anime style and really do help lend to gorgeous backdrops and animations. Yomawari: Long Night Collection is well worth a purchase for horror fans.
It is rare to see such a strongly varied game, based on a beloved license such as Spiderman, hit all of the right notes and deliver in such a satisfying fashion. The simplicity yet sheer variety in combat is unapparelled, traversal is mind-blowingly fun and cathartic, and the soundtrack is epic, not only the musical score but the voice acting as well. Visually, Marvel's Spiderman Remastered looks outstanding, with raytracing and 60fps, which is exactly the type of quality that New York's favourite superhero deserves. PlayStation owners and Spiderman fans who do not own this are doing themselves an absolute injustice as it is quite simply one of the best games available on the system.
Wave Break has so many redeemable qualities, but for every positive there is a negative. Large diverse levels are hampered by the fact there are only six of them, fun fluid game play marred by jarring camera angles and frequent clipping, a rocking soundtrack only to be let down by performance issues such as frame drops. Underneath these issues is a fun homage to the Tony Hawks series, and fans will most certainly look past them while others would expect better.
Thankfully, a few of the early bugs were ironed out of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and subsequent season passes have patched up modes and maps that were lacking. The campaign is genuinely intriguing but may not appeal to those who just want to run and gun. Zombies and Multiplayer modes are plentiful and there should be something for everyone to thoroughly enjoy. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War should be used as the poster child for PlayStation 5's DualSense controller which has been put to full use for an immersive experience. Casual players will be somewhat put off by the sheer storage space required to fully experience everything that is on offer, especially given that SSD capacity is this generation's gold dust, but Call of Duty die-hards will most likely overlook this.
Pacer successfully fills a gap in the market for high speed, anti-gravity racers. Those who are wishing for an experience reminiscent of the Wipeout series will be pleased on how this project has turned out. Tight and precise controls, matched up with a large assortment of maps and customised crafts makes for a very fulfilling experience. Issues such as those posed by hard-to-reach weapons can be overcome by practising and improving knowledge of each turn in every track - alas the lacklustre sound effects from the crafts is seemingly all that is available. These tiny issues aside Pacer makes good on its promise, even if it took a long time to get there.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is hamstrung by its past, a Master System cult game that perhaps hasn't aged as well as people would like to think. Merge Games have done a delightful job at putting together brand-new visuals for the title, and have also put together some very appealing physical editions to purchase. Unfortunately, once the story mode has been completed, there is very little replay value, outside of unlocking a boss rush and 'classic mode'. There is definitely a hardcore challenge there for those who play without the helping hand of infinite lives, but those who don't should be able to get through the story mode in under an hour or so. Certainly, a great trip down memory lane for those old enough to remember the original, but newer players may find it somewhat frustratingly difficult and lacking compared to more modern 2D platformers.
Neon Chrome is a fun twin-stick shooter that has a rewarding upgrade feature and a good visual aesthetic. The controls feel tight, even if they do take some getting used to, and the procedural environments, enemy placements, and character selection, all ensure that each playthrough feels fresh. The visual setting from level to level could do with a bit more distinction as each level is based in the same type of office floor, but this is a minor gripe. Overall, there is a lot of game-time to be had within Neon Chrome, and those looking for a twin-stick shooter on the Nintendo Switch should certainly take note.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a mixed bag. On one hand, its simplicity in its pick up and play race-to-race gameplay style can suit those who enjoy "back to basics" game modes. Anyone seeking an experience that can be fun to play with limited options will find Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered a joy to play, especially given its relatively budget price. Petrol heads and those looking for a bit of nostalgia will be satisfied with the car selection and arcade gameplay. However, Hot Pursuit Remastered's game modes both inside and outside of career mode are fairly scant, and fall short of standards set by other racing games in the modern landscape - even those upheld historically within the Need for Speed franchise itself.
Tight frantic gameplay, accompanied by a thrilling score and an awesome campaign with a ton of upgrades and collectibles. There is plenty to be positive about with this port, as having DOOM Eternal portable and with gyro controls will please many. It is hard to not notice the downgraded textures and lower performance which set it aside from the sublime PC, Xbox and PlayStation versions, but Panic Button must be commended for putting together such an ambitious project for the Switch, one that runs incredibly competently for downgraded hardware. The price is somewhat of a sticking point given that a superior version can be purchased for much less and is also available physically, whereas the Switch is digital only. These minor issues aside DOOM Eternal is well worth the investment of both time and money and should be a welcome addition to any Nintendo Switch library.
Tetris Effect Connected is one big psychedelic trip that Xbox owners were previously missing out on. There is such a variety in themes, music, and game modes that it is unbelievable that developers still find a way to innovate, iterate and make, ostensibly, a puzzle game from the 1980's feel new and desirable to play. There is enough depth here in the multiplayer modes to retain the attention of Tetris players beyond the relatively short Journey and Effects modes, albeit many will chase their own tail to better their rankings and high scores. At the time of writing Tetris Effect Connected is available on Game Pass Ultimate so there is no real excuse to give this a chance.
Codemasters truly are the experts of their craft. DIRT 5 is a step in a different direction that will be met with some fans not enjoying the rather arcade-style gameplay, but it is absolute joy for those do like this type of fast-fluid party action. There is enough variation in track diversity thanks to the dynamic weather and track terrain conditions to help keep DIRT 5 fresh.
Undeniably, this is a free upgrade worth downloading for new Xbox Series X owners, as it brings over some of the technical performance boosts from the PC version as well as 60fps cutscenes. Owners of both the Series S and Series X experience a number of upgrades including the sublime 120fps in multiplayer, alongside a huge toolbox of customisable options for the main story campaign. Although at the same time, as mentioned in the Cubed3 Xbox One review, the campaign mode still suffers from a weird mesh of linearity in some chapters followed by some bland tedious back-and-forth sandbox exploration. Any Gears of War fan should definitely take Gears 5 for a spin if they really want to test the power of their new hardware but may feel somewhat let down by the campaign mode if they are huge fans of the initial trilogy.
The Touryst is a great mini-adventure that has a diverse set of puzzles to complete, packed in with charm and style. The minimalistic approach ensures the player doesn't get too distracted by anything else and the fetch quest style of missions ensures that full exploration of the small environments is put to full use. There are moments where some background music would be welcome, even if the design choice was to make it more 'atmospheric' to not have it. Visually, The Touryst looks crisp and bright, and those with HDMI 2.1 Televisions and an Xbox Series X will enjoy a buttery smooth 4K at 120fps. Those looking for a relaxing and fun 5 hour puzzle-adventure should look no further.
The lack of changes in FIFA 21 overall, particularly compared to FIFA 20 is telling. The iconic pairing of Martin Tyler and Alan Smith have been removed from commentary, and for what it's worth they may as well have taken the goalkeepers with them. Modes have had tiny incremental touches added to them which amount to very little more than quality of life enhancements. However, it cannot be argued that FIFA 21 is still a fun arcade experience bursting with a plethora of different modes whether it be FUT, Career Mode, VOLTA or House Rules.FIFA 21 hasn't re-written the wheel but it is fun, fast attacking football and hopefully EA have big plans to shake up the franchise next year for its true next-gen console experience.
Don't go into eFootball PES 2021 Season Update thinking that it is different game from the previous iteration, it's not. However, if PES 2020 is not already in your game library then PES 2021 is a sublime football game that benefits from all of the tailored updates that PES 2020 received. Konami perhaps missed a beat and could have been a tad bit more generous by making this an even more budget-priced game than what it is being sold for to capture any FIFA players who are on the fence, but it is still worth the price of admission. If fluid, tactical and sublime football is what you are looking for then look no further than eFootball PES 2021 Season Update.
F1 2020 has taken key fundamentals from previous iterations and built upon a strong foundation to include a stellar, engaging and fantastic My Team career mode. The authenticity of the product has also continued to live up to the high standards set by the predecessors and the inclusion of split screen multiplayer as well as the options for more casual modes of play has made F1 2020 not only incredibly accessible for newcomers but also new and varied for veterans of the franchise. This is easily the best F1 game to date and contender for one of the best simulation racers of the generation.
Excitingly fresh, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of Champions captures a fun arcade and anime-style, and prioritises a zany, wacky experience. There are a couple of performance issues that could have been improved before release, but nonetheless, these can be overlooked since the core-gameplay mechanics are fun and rewarding to master. If there was ever a time to try out a new football game, then this is it.
If Naruto has a nostalgic place in your heart, then Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 Road to Boruto is a must-own.
At a cheaper price this could be recommended for a quick Sunday afternoon stroll, especially for anyone nostalgic of the original title. A nifty touch would have been to include the original game as an unlockable, which would at least help sweeten the fact that this can be completed within an hour or two. Despite its abundant and underwhelming flaws, Panzer Dragoon: Remake is still a piece of gaming history that deserves to be played, and shooting down waves of enemies does still prove to be satisfying.