The danger of playing with nostalgia and doing it injustice means that the high bar that was set before it is the bare minimum that needs to be achieved to be even deemed worthwhile. There are a lot of call backs to Crazy Taxi in this review and that is due to the derivative nature that Taxi Chaos borrows its concept from. The sub-par graphics, generic map, bland soundtrack and lack of new ideas or the ability to even replicate what came before it has destined Taxi Chaos to the copycats of shame bin. If, even after reading this review there is still some urge to play Taxi Chaos then it is highly recommended to go and track down a copy of Crazy Taxi and Crazy Taxi 2 and play these instead.
WWE 2K22 certainly hits different, go check the score again, it certainly has not come out a perfect ten. The redeemable qualities, thankfully, are the wrestling mechanics themselves, which ironically might not be everyone's cup of tea, and MyRISE mode which offers a good amount of content to keep the average WWE gamer going. It has taken over 2 years for the game to finally release and while it is an improvement on WWE 2K20 it still serves up disappointment in other ways, such as an outdated roster, a pathetic attempt at recreating General Manager mode, and a disgusting ethical issue of microtransactions in MyFACTION mode, albeit optional. MyFACTION mode is enjoyable, and can be played without using real-world money to progress, but the fact of the matter is that this mechanic should not exist in a full priced game. If you came to play then there is certainly a price to pay.
Cruis'n Blast for Nintendo Switch has been developed by a very small team, and for what it has achieved it is very admirable. It is an incredibly fun title for the first couple of hours, but it is lacking in any real depth to make it anything more than a fun weekend. Grabbing friends locally for a few races can be an absolutely blast, but lacking any online modes whatsoever somewhat dampens the mood. The lack of modes is one thing, but the course variety is also another issue with most tracks being direct derivatives of the original five arcade ones. However, if a simple, easy to handle racer that has some astounding set pieces and outlandish vehicle choices is your type of thing, then Cruis'n Blast will definitely satisfy the urge.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fire Emblem: Three Houses Expansion Pass currently retails at practically 50% of the base game price, and considering the sheer amount of content in the core title, it has to brought into question how much Cindered Shadows segregates itself from the core experience.
Perhaps not as strong of a track selection as Wave 1, Wave 2 of the Booster Course Pass is still very good, headlined by a completely brand-new track in Sky High Sundae and complemented well by Sydney Sprint and New York Minute. It is a bit of a wonder why the retro tracks haven't been given the anti-gravity love, especially as the retro tracks in the base game have it. Waluigi Pinball and Mushroom Gorge are all certainly fan favourites, but it is a shame that they weren't given a bit of reimagining in the same vein that Kalimari Desert received. Nonetheless, Mario Kart fans are grateful that new tracks are coming out for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and it is doubtful that many will have a bad thing to say about getting these courses added in.
On one hand there are 4 great games in Sonic Origins, all are well cherished by Sonic fans, and are games that are considered some of the best in the Sonic franchise. Players might not even notice some of the glitches if they have never played Sonic, some long-time veterans might not even encounter them, but then on the other hand, these games, which have been out on the market for 25 years or more, cost a premium price with so many bugs and glitches present. Anniversary mode, Story mode and Mission mode will certainly be a refreshing change of pace for those that have completed these games dozens of times and it's fun while it lasts, but the package falls short by not including more than previous collections.
There is no doubt that the Booster Course Pass is going to heralded as "must-have", but so far Wave 1 hasn't set the track on fire. The runaway winners of Wave 1 are the three courses featured from Mario Kart Tour, but that is not to say the other courses are bad, but are lacking in imagination compared to other retro-courses featured in the base game of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The lack of anti-grav and some questionable graphical decisions also mount up to disappointment and it is interesting to see if Nintendo are going to address this with the remaining 40 courses. However, in the grand scheme of things it is great to have new courses to race on and is certainly thoroughly recommended for all Mario Kart fans.
Luckily, the original Sonic Colours stands tall, featuring fun, exploratory gameplay and it is rewarding replaying levels to attain higher ranks. The 3D sections are far and few between, but the ones that are there are fun. The 2D gameplay is vastly improved from Sonic Generations with tighter controls and added variety in the form of Wisp abilities. Ultimate adds a lick of new paint to bring this to the Xbox platform, of which it is recommended to play on either Xbox Series X|S to get the standard performance that players have come to expect. Rival Rush is a fun mode, but there are only six acts and some of these levels are incredibly short. The other additions that Ultimate has added are superfluous, but don't do anything to really damage the core game either. If Sonic Colours doesn't exist in your library and you are a fan of the Blue Blur then there is no excuse to not pick this up.
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.
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.
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 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.