AI: The Somnium Files is the standout game for me this year, and it was ultimately everything I wanted and more. I was afraid I was setting my expectations too high. However, this game took my expectations, loaded them into the cylinder of a gun, and shot them away into the heavens.
Ultimately, my gripes with the game are limited. I have mixed opinions on specific endings and found the game a bit too short at 5 hours for the first full playthrough. The good far outweighs the bad with fantastic visual design, sound design, environment design taking center stage.
Ultimately, I think Pokémon Sword and Shield are some of the best games in the franchise. With fun multiplayer features, the ease of setting up a competitive squad for me to play online with fantastic visuals, solid music, and an acceptable story, I think grabbing Sword or Shield is an excellent idea for most Pokémon fans.
To The Moon is an incredible game that explores morality, death, and regrets in an easy to understand way. The Switch version offers players the chance to play the best version possible and gives modern gamers a chance to play a title they may have missed out on.
It took me a while to pick up the game’s battle system due to my being a foreigner to this franchise, but once I figured out how to play the game, I got very, very tired, very very quickly. & seems to be a game made for fans who can get behind this battle system, but with no real characters or a reason to really play, I had no incentive to care once I’d cleared out the story battles.
Crimson Shadows is the extra add on to Fire Emblem: Three Houses I didn’t know I needed. It’s a perfect blend of additional tasty gameplay (with some challenges for those who want it), a fun story, and great characters. To top it all off, it gives you some tools to replay the original game in a new way.
Code Shifter is a game that had me extremely excited when I saw it but managed to not only dash my expectations but bury them six feet underground. Inconsistent hitbox placement, a lack of movement options, and a lackluster story made for a game with a whole lot of missed potential.
Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late|cl-r| is a fantastic fighting game that’s easy to pick up and understand with its simplistic yet deep tutorials that will set you up for slicing and dicing your foes in no time. It’s a title that has so much to offer in terms of style and presentation that its tough to not be having a great time while playing.
Persona 5 Royal is everything I could want out of a re-release. The game’s style and charm shine brightest in this version as it made an already great game even better. The balances and new additions were based on long-time fan criticisms, and it’s evident that the developers used it as a foundation to update this adventure while still throwing in some quality-of-life changes that I didn’t know the game needed, but ended up loving anyway.
Final Fantasy VII Remake pulls no punches. The story feels complete as the entire story builds up to a fantastical ending sequence that has me running out of compliments. This game is something of a marvel to experience, which has me eagerly awaiting the next installment. It’s easy to see how much respect the developers have for this story and these characters during every minute of this adventure, which made it difficult to put down, even for a minute.