When the title credits roll, you’ll be hard pressed not to feel bittersweet to know this is the end of Kiryu’s long tale. Where the series goes next is anyone’s guess, but it’s hard to imaging it without our scarlet-shirted protagonist. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life is not only a great game, but a fitting closure for the long and turbulent story of Kiryu Kazuma.
If, like me, you missed out in 2011 when LA Noire first launched, I highly recommend trying it now on Switch (or on PC, PS4, and XB1 where it was recently released. The Switch version feels right at home and has me clamoring that somehow Rockstar will bring more of its catalog to the console.
The new Angel Island Zone is just icing on the cake. If you've already played through Sonic Mania before, there's ample reason to pick Sonic Mania Plus up too, especially if you're a fan of the Blue Blazer. There's enough new content to digest, and the art book is pretty great, even if it's just a little trinket. Now... how long do we have to wait for a proper sequel?
Forsaken is by far the best expansion Bungie has released to date. It offers some great storytelling, fun new subclasses, and weapons, reworks some existing systems to make content more accessible and has even progressed in making the whole experience fun. Despite still trying to find the sweet spot with endgame grinding, Destiny 2 Forsaken is worth the purchase price and offers fans of the series a satisfying experience from start to finish.
Guacamelee! 2 is a great sequel that manages to carry over everything that worked in the first game while offering a fun, zany new story for players to discover. The Nintendo Switch port brings the added bonus of portability and makes short play sessions possible for on the go players. Local co-op can be a bit rough if only using the Joy-cons but this is hardly a deal breaker. If you haven't picked up Guacamelee! 2 yet I highly recommend picking it us on the Switch as it offers everything the other consoles do with the perks of mobility.
If there's any real "downside" to The Messenger, it's that its music and effects can be repetitive, but well... that's nitpicking. At its core, this game is damn-near perfection of the 2D action-platforming genre. Humorous writing, great boss fights, well-thought-out level design, and challenging but not painful execution make The Messenger a must-have for any Switch owner.
Kingdom Two Crowns is an ideal sequel, and the perfect console strategy game. There's nothing here that anyone can't pick up and understand, and yet the rabbit hole goes deep and the mystery slowly unfolds as you progress into the game's many lands. It's a great game for the solo player, and even better with a friend. Do yourself a favor, and pick it up and love it as I have.
As I said, there's plenty of game here, and it's all been a joy. Far Cry 5 was one of the best games in the series, and yet New Dawn may have just eclipsed it with some fine-tuning and a brave new world to explore. I can hardly wait to see what's next from the series, and I hope it follows in the footsteps of The Father.
Wargroove is the best turn-based strategy RPG that's come out in ages. With a near limitless content pool, a solid single-player campaign, and addictive multiplayer options, it should be around and entertaining its fans for years. Here's hoping it's the start of a new franchise, because I already want more.
Slay the Spire is a nearly endlessly replayable Indie delight from Mega Crit. It came out on the PC and PS4 already, but Switch owners owe it to themselves to pick this one up as it's nice to have a such a stellar and casually playable game on the go. Some of the best strategic RPG fights in the industry, with a steep difficulty curve, means you'll be trying to best this game for weeks or months before you tire of it.
Cadence of Hyrule is every bit a classic Zelda adventure with the added wrinkle of a rhythm puzzle game. It's not overly long, but Cadence of Hyrule is the kind of game that will kill you over and over again, and you'll still keep begging for more. It's a classic top-down Hyrule adventure, with a playable Link, Zelda, and guest-appearing Cadence from Crypt of the Necrodancer. It's a cross-over you never would have expected, and one that quickly becomes an absolute treasure.
I've put over 30 hours into Fallout 4 already, and I'm nowhere near finished with all the game has to offer. I plan on taking my time and working my way through all of the wasteland beyond the final main story mission, because the game allows that to happen seamlessly. DLC and future content updates are bound to come, and I can't wait to see what the mod community does to this game either. There are bound to be two camps this year. One who loves the Witcher 3 with all of its heart, and one whose love belongs to Fallout 4. For my part, I'm torn between the two. But for what it's worth Fallout 4 has certainly topped its predecessors as my favorite game in the series and sets a new bar for what to expect from a Bethesda RPG in the future.
Dark Souls 3 is the great game everyone expected it to be. There's no denying that. Two late game bosses are absolutely off-the-wall fantastic. But in hindsight having played it, I can't help feeling that there's not much room for the series to go if From Software insists on such a breakneck pace with sequels. Much like Bloodborne just felt like Souls in a different place, Dark Souls 3 feels like "more of the same" a little too often. Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing, and I worry that another quick turnaround on a Souls game will make the series feel stale. Here's hoping whatever comes next shows us that the From Software still has more tricks up its sleeve.
My biggest wish is for more of this game, a sequel or some DLC, because I want to see this world continued, and I want to play the combat until my thumbs bleed. I'm disappointed in its short play-length, but it can't be said enough that Transistor is a beautiful and unique RPG that every gamer should play. I can hardly wait to see what Supergiant will come up with next.
Shadow of War may not be perfect. Its camera can still get lost, Talion’s free-running can often be a hindrance rather than a help, and the UI can sometimes bug out for no apparent reason in menus and the main game. But these are little issues in a very large game, and even with the Loot Boxes as optional purchases (they truly are optional), I can’t help but recommend this game to any and all fans of open world adventures. With or without the DLC there are dozens of hours of playtime to be had, and it’s mostly of the highest quality. Recommended.
Listen, I've rambled on for about 1500 words here, and several thousand more in preceding weeks. You don't need me to tell you any more about this game than what you can learn by simply picking it up. I will say this though: so many of us here clamor for something new and unique to hit the market. It's here now. Black Desert Online is one of the freshest takes on the MMO in years, and it deserves to be played.