Returning to this pivotal Atlus JRPG well over a decade after its original release, Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster has never been more accessible. Nocturne is unabashedly old-school, in both good ways and not-so-great ways. The gameplay adjustments and options allow for decent customization of the experience, but some of the omissions in this re-release are pretty glaring. It's not perfect, but so long as players can adjust to its rustic edges, there is a fantastic old-school JRPG in Nocturne's remaster full of quality of life changes that make it worth playing in 2021.
JRPG fans who've been patient enough to wait will be rewarded in playing through Dragon Quest 11 S, which is easily the superior version.
From a studio that's never really ventured into the genre of traditional JRPGs, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is an impressive inaugural effort. It's not perfect by any means, as the turn-based combat still has some growing pains in its current iteration. Coupled with repetitive dungeon design and an unfair endgame grinding requirement, these downsides cast an unfortunate sting on an otherwise very solid JRPG.
Modern Warfare truly is an awesome attempt at revitalizing the Call of Duty franchise, especially just ahead of the next console generation. The game is a solid foundation for the future of the franchise, and if you've been burnt out on the franchise until now, it's worth it to hop back in for 2019. Just don't bother with Spec Ops and you'll have a great time with the rest of the game.
Sea of Solitude is an emotional journey with the bones of a truly gripping story of self-reflection and relativley satisfying climax, marred by its often ham-fisted writing and lack of subtlety. Even with gameplay variety as a sacrifice, the story itself does lack some nuance but tackles heavy topics headstrong in ways few games have done before.
My Friend Pedro is a wonderfully short-but-sweet, shoot em' up action romp that relishes over the top gunplay and comical absurdity. Despite being functionally quirky at times, the arcade-shooter gameplay experience rewards skillful movement and weapon management whilst feeling incredibly satisfying to play well.