Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII Reunion is essential gaming for Final Fantasy fans - not only because it brings a much beloved game into the modern day, but also because Zack was heavily teased ahead of the next instalment of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake trilogy.
A Plague Tale: Requiem gave me the chills. The graphics, sound design and writing are all phenomenal, and the gameplay is fantastic. There are a few issues with sneaking sections feeling samey, the puzzles being a little too easy, but these are forgivable for just how excellent Amicia and Hugo are as characters. If you enjoyed the first game, or you're just looking for something narratively compelling, Requiem is the game for you.
I really wanted to like Bear and Breakfast more than I did. It isn't a bad game, it's just lacking the polish that could make it exemplary. With some simple quality of life improvements like faster movement, and cooking and crafting from the box, we could have a much smoother game on our hands. As it stands, it's a little too jarring - much like waking up at one of the rooms I built for my visitors...
I really can't give enough praise to the team at Massive Monster for creating something unique and memorable, and also one of the best indie games I've played in a long time. Sure, there's a few rough edges, but this charmingly bloodthirsty lamb that's hell-bent on slaying the unbaalievers has earned a special place in my heart.
The rerelease of Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is a welcome one - it's always good to see these games brought back for a new generation. The fighting feels as good as ever, and looks better than ever thanks to modern hardware, but the storyline and pacing almost feel antithetical in a franchise that was built on just that. Is it a solid fighting game that fans will love? Absolutely. Is it a must-buy for Persona fans? No, probably not.
If I could grade Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duels in Magic Terms, I’d give it a Sideboard B. If you love Yu-Gi-Oh, this is probably the pinnacle of the game’s experience, with modern flourishes and easy access to a huge repository of cards. However, if you’re not a hardcore fan and just fancy dipping your toes in the water, this game is probably not for you — by all means give it a chance, but don’t be surprised if you find its complexities impossible to overcome.
Pokémon Legends Arceus is a must-play game for fans of the franchise. Not only is it the very best Pokémon game yet, but it elegantly takes the formula and flips it on its head, creating a unique new challenge that fans will love. With the nods to the anime and Pokémon games abound, Arceus feels very much like a love letter from Game Freak.
Rush Duelling is a great idea, but Yu-Gi-Oh! Rush Duel: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! is a poorly executed waste of time. While it could be a fun entry point to the franchise for 5–7-year-olds, the frustrating pace of play, coupled with the issues where things just don't work as they are supposed to, makes it far more trouble than it's worth. Do yourself a favour and let this one pass you by.
Toem might be short, but with the number of challenges, and you can finish it an afternoon if you're looking for something fun and relaxing to throw yourself at, or dip in and out to complete every little side mission. With the winter evenings drawing in, Toem is the kind of game I can see myself coming back to with a hot chocolate and a blanket, as I settle in to bring a little joy to the denizens of the world of Toem.
I have really enjoyed Shadowverse, and I will no doubt keep this on my Switch as my go-to game when I'm stuck on the Tube. The problem is that if anyone looks over my shoulder to see what I'm playing, they're probably going to make a snap judgement about me and what I'm into.
Black Book feels in some ways like a D&D campaign through rural Russia that inadvertently teaches you history and folklore along the way, which I absolutely love, that comes down to card-game battles rather than dice rolling which, again, I love. The pacing is off, the addition of Durak is a bit pointless and there are quality-of-life issues that could do with a bit of polish, but I'd still strongly recommend this game to anyone who thinks they might be interested.
You should absolutely get Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade. It's easy to be critical and nitpick, but it's worth remembering we're looking at the DLC for one of the best and most-loved games of the PS4. The PS5 upgrade for Intergrade looks and feels incredible, and the chance to play as Yuffie is warmly received, especially when she completely changes the tone to something more light-hearted. However, the DLC isn't quite perfect and, despite the filler, it feels very short for its price, especially if you're not interested in the side missions.
Rise of the Slime ticks all the boxes of a bad game. Not only is it a roguelike that crashes regularly to ruin your run, but the game has little explanation of basic mechanics, too much variety in the deckbuilding for consistency, little meaningful longevity, and a poorly considered port to Switch. If you're desperate to play it, get the PC release, but do yourself a favour and save your cash for your next run at a deckbuilder.
New Pokémon Snap has a lot going for it. It's a genuinely endearing game that shutterbugs and Pokémon fans alike will enjoy, and anyone in the middle of that Venn diagram will absolutely love. That love will not be blind to the game's stark limitations, though. As it stands, it's a perfectly serviceable game, but some minor tweaks and quality of life improvements such as auto-completing requests you've finished, could drastically improve this game's flow and make it a far more enjoyable experience for everyone.
Oddworld: Soulstorm clearly comes from a very passionate, dedicated group of developers. Although it is very rough in places, there are parts of it that really do stick out as excellent examples of both gameplay and storytelling. With more refinement this could have been a shining example of what ground-up remakes could be, but it just falls a little short of the high standards set elsewhere. It's still charming and funny, just like the Mudokens you're trying to save, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating.
I cannot, in good faith, recommend a game that I could not finish thanks to game-breaking bugs. Looking past that, on the grounds that said bug can be squashed in time, you have a great concept that is just poorly executed. For all its atmosphere, for all its potential, the game feels totally hollow. Perhaps the point of the game was that you feel closer to the squirrels than your boss, who you hold in such contempt you refuse to speak to her. Perhaps the game is just dull.
Persona 5 Strikers is an excellent welcome back party for the franchise. It takes a formula that is proven to work and takes it to a new place by adding a whole new combat system that allows you to play as the whole team, rather than the main character we're all used to. This said, and although Persona 5 Strikers is excellent in its own right, there's enough that's been stripped back to make this game work that it can't reach the lofty heights of the original.
Sam and Max Save the World Remastered is pretty much what you'd expect - a modern update to a much-loved classic. As much as I love stepping back into the chaotic shoes of Sam and Max, I'm left a little disappointed by the fuzziness in handheld mode and the slightly confused script revisions. That said, the game is still one of the funniest point-and-click adventures I've had the pleasure of playing.