...a thrilling, quite pleasurable experience that, while the answers may not always be satisfying, will leave you guessing until its conclusion. I can only hope this remaster is the start of a new turn for the series. Flaws and all, the Project Zero franchise is more than worthy of another shot in the spooky spotlight.
Actraiser Renaissance certainly is a SNES remake for better or worse. The 2D parts of this game have been remade poorly in regards to mechanics and visual fidelity. The gameplay loop of varying between action platformer and city-building sim did get its hooks in me but will be a harder sell for others. While it proves difficult to remain a strong recommendation, there are nuggets of character dialogue gold in there that are worth seeing through. On top of that, the visuals and music that come with these moments are special and remain evident why this is such a cult classic. If all else, I’m glad I got to check out a deeper cut in the Square Enix catalogue. Flaws and all, it’s at the very least got some heart.
With plenty of playtime, cute characters to play around with, minigames to battle your friends in and challenging missions to overcome, Banana Mania can be everything you’ve ever needed in an arcade game on the Switch. It’s worth going ape over, folks.
Lost Judgment is a hell of a game, mess and all. Passing its predecessor in some regards and lagging behind in others, it at least has solid bang for your buck and brings the franchise goods that have been built upon over recent years. However, I’m disappointed by some of the shortfalls. Female character treatment remains a problem in-game and the mystery or detective gameplay don’t feel as solid as the one prior. Still, if you’re after a living breathing world with plenty to do and some of the best combat the series has seen yet, then this is a mystery adventure that still manages to hit hard.
While the original game remains a touchstone for me, Life is Strange: True Colors is the best iteration the series has seen yet. The narrative adventure also betters the diversity the franchise is already beloved for, providing an exceptional hero in an authentic, badass Asian-American woman that can be LGBTQ+ (should they so choose it). Filled to the brim with narrative and character twists at every turn, this is a game that made me laugh, cry and fall in love. With moments that hit like a bullet train, Life is Strange: True Colors is a must-play. Jump on in and feel all the feelings, friends. You’ll be glad you did.
Boyfriend Dungeon is a good dating sim held back to being something truly great by its curious choices and lite dungeon-crawler elements. While you may not get the deepest rogue-like experience in-game, you will be satisfied by some of the intense, hot (and maybe even cute) relationships on offer. Just tread careful ground if you’re sensitive to some of the themes that the game is exploring. Regardless, some good and disposable fun can be had smashing some monsters and pashing some cuties. Delve on.
Even though Button City is the feel-good game I absolutely needed right now, it’s not at the level of polish it should be. I love the atmosphere and the magic captured in the game’s writing and setting, but performance issues and weak minigames hold the title back. Despite some cute and cozy moments experienced in saving a closing arcade, a lot more refining is needed to make this wholesome adventure all the more worth it.
I’m absolutely taken by Arcsmith. It may lose some players with its abstract puzzle solutions and fiddly nature, but that same challenge will also reel plenty more in. With an enthralling sci-fi world and heaps of atmosphere and personality, this VR title stands out amongst the crowd. Serving as an Oculus Quest exclusive, it’ll hardly be a blip on many a gamer’s radars. However, if you’re into VR and you’re looking for a new puzzle game, Arcsmith is your best bet.