Octopath Traveler II is simply a better version of the original. It expands upon what made the first game great while shoring up its weaknesses. That being said, if you didn’t like Octopath Traveler then the formula is similar enough that you probably won’t like the sequel either. This is an excellent take on the classic 2D JRPG and fans of the genre won’t be let down.
Overall, Warlander just doesn’t do enough to make it feel special or justify its predatory monetization scheme. The first few matches are fun, but once you run into enemies who are objectively more powerful again and again, the fun begins to fade and there isn’t enough variety to keep things fresh.
When A Plague Tale: Innocence was released in 2019, it quickly became my favorite game of the year. It was dark and emotional while combining puzzles and combat in a way that separated it from other games released at the time. Therefore, it should be no surprise that I found A Plague Tale: Requiem to be absolutely brilliant. It expands on and surpasses everything that the original did well. The only difference is the competition is a bit stiffer and it has to settle for my second favorite game of the year.
Triangle Strategy focuses on delivering a deep story with an emphasis on player choices and dealing with the consequences of those choices. The amount of narrative between battles might be too much for some players, however, it’s also what makes the game stand out. The combat and class systems are relatively straightforward but rewarding in their own right. Finally, with four different endings and multiple different paths throughout, Triangle Strategy will make you keep coming back for more.
While it’s clear that Lost Ark isn’t necessarily an ARPG, but rather a traditional Korean MMORPG with an isometric view, Smilegate is very clearly looking to cater to a specific audience. Lost Ark finds itself focused on a never-ending gear treadmill, and it does an extremely good job at it. Unfortunately, casual players who want to explore an interesting world or want diverse or more dynamic content will likely be let down. And while Lost Ark is fun, the arduous leveling process and repetitive endgame will likely lead to polarizing opinions about it, with most players either loving or hating their experience in the end.
With that being said, the Prince’s Edition is not the best version of Ni no Kuni II, but it is the most portable. If mobility is key then consider picking it up on the Switch, but if visuals and performance are more important than a significantly better version of the game can be found cheaper elsewhere.
Code Vein isn't the anime Dark Souls that many people were expecting, and I'm all the more happy for it. Instead, we get something that borrows from the Souls-like genre but still ends up being its own unique beast. There's nothing quite like Code Vein on the market, and few games are as satisfying from beginning to end.
Anyone who really enjoys 4X or tactical strategy games set in a sci-fi universe with overgrown bugs, androids, and dinosaurs with laser beams should definitely consider picking up Age of Wonders: Planetfall. However, this one likely doesn't break away enough from the mold to bring in players who haven't been previous interested in the genre, and if you're on the fence then possible wait for a sale before giving it a try.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is an enjoyable experience that could really use a bit more polish and fleshed out level design. It's a fairly good game at its core but it's hard to miss the problem areas as well. Pick it up if you're a big Warhammer fan or really enjoy ARPGs, but it might be better to wait for a sale if you're on the fence.
It's been more than six years since the last Soulcalibur game released, and it's clear that Bandai Namco took its time to make sure a stellar product was delivered. It's apparent that a huge amount of detail went into creating Soulcalibur VI and it's bursting at the seams with content. If you're looking for a different take on the 3D fighting genre then I heavily recommend this one.
While playing through SNK Heroines I had a difficult time figuring out its true target audience. The combat system isn't complex, or interesting, enough to attract hardcore fighter fans while the steep price and lackluster visuals make it difficult to recommend for fan service alone. Unfortunately, it seems like SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy falls into an awkward middle zone and doesn't excel where it needs to.
While I enjoy the slower, peaceful tracks for grinding, there is quite a bit of similarity between many of them, which can make the overall soundtrack feel repetitive. Additionally, the constant 'thud' sound effect from striking enemies is enough to drive anyone mad. I recommend turning the music up and the SFX down, unless you happen to be streaming your own music in the background.
While Crush Online attempts to do a lot of things, it doesn’t do any of them particularly well. Combat overall is rather clunky, unresponsive and feels outdated. The PvE zones are bland looking and the PvP combat is repetitive. Given the choice, I’d rather play an actual MMORPG when it comes to PvE or a true MOBA for PvP.
Duelsyt is a digital strategy game perfect for players who are looking for a little more depth and a lot less RNG. Besides the drawing mechanic, there are few aspects of Duelyst that rely on randomness. That, combined with a visible grid, finally grants players the control they've been looking for in a digital strategy CCG.
It combines high-quality textures, voice acting (albeit not that great), action combat, an expansive world and open-ended leveling with a major focus on player interaction. Instead of trying to reinvent the MMO, Black Desert Online has focused on things that work for other games and it puts a fresh spin on them.