Black Desert is a beautiful looking game with plenty to offer, it just has a bit of a learning curve and some rather annoying design choices. In a lot of ways, I could see it being a fun game you casually play and enjoy with a friend or your guild, but it doesn't seem to have the same inviting feeling Final Fantasy XIV or ESO have. This is a shame, though a lot of things can be fixed with patches. Plus, the core concept is at least fun enough to make it worth the initial investment.
Astral Chain is weird, thrilling, unique, different and crazy, it's just held back by bad choices. Some of the design elements take a lot of getting use to and make sense in the long run, but can be frustrating to beginners. Combine this with entirely too many things going on at once and some of the most boring scenes between action packed combat sequences and you have an experience that loses a bit too much between scenes. This isn't enough to take away from Astral Chain, it just turns a title that could've been among the best games this year to something that is still among the best on the Switch.
It doesn't matter if Crystar is a bit on the simpler side or that the story has some familiar plot beats, it tells a tale that is insightful. It won't take much to want to reunite the sisters and it's an adventure that rings true for some. Toss in gameplay that might not change the world but is a blast to experience and it's a solid adventure that is easy to see the value of experiencing.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne isn't perfect but it adds a lot to the franchise. The new monsters, gear and difficulty is the kick in the pants players need to start hunting again. Between new monsters, gear and skills it's hard to say no and you get a great deal of value for the price of the expansion. Even if it could do a bit more, by giving less skilled players a bit more to look forward to, this is an absolute must for anyone who loves Monster Hunter or just wants a harder experience.
Honestly, there isn't a whole lot to say about Daemon X Machina. With an average story, enjoyment hinges on how you feel about piloting a mech. It does this fairly well, though it could be more intuitive, making the whole experience okay, rather than amazing. I could easily see an Armored Core fan loving it or even a Gundam fan, it just doesn't have the universal appeal other games manage to have.
I could probably explain The Surge 2's shortcomings for another 10 paragraphs, but it doesn't change the fact that it's a fun game that makes a lot of mistakes. Considering there are over 80 weapons, though I only felt the need to use one, is disappointing, just like armor sets skills that are inferior to what you'd gain from using different pieces. Toss in a fairly random story about a cult, lackluster graphics, probably one of the hardest games to navigate I've ever played and it's easy to say The Surge 2 manages to build on the original but it isn't to the point where you should be rushing out to play it.
The Alliance Alive HD Remastered might not be perfect or even be one of the most stand out titles on the 3DS, it still has enough to justify checking it out. Between a good number of characters, strong interactions and an overwhelming sense of cute, it's the type of adventure anyone can get into, provided they love character-driven stories. The only downside is, for all it does right, is that it's a 3DS title it shows its age, regardless of how good it is compared to other 3DS titles.
The struggle with explaining the finer points of Call of Cthulhu is that it hinges on you getting hooked. Without that moment where you're clamoring for more and willing to overlook some shortcomings, a quality that has benefited a number of titles over the years, it's just a rather dated looking exploration game with a neat story if you're willing to invest in it. For some, that is enough, though it isn't the type of experience that is easy to recommend. Not because it lacks anything worthwhile, you just need a certain mindset and there are other titles that do a much better job with far less.
Graphics aside, The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III is a story-driven experience that delivers that in spades. It's more than enough to make up for some of the shortcomings and is a more intricate story than you'd probably expect. That being said, if story isn't your thing, gameplay and graphics are nothing special. Nothing about them ruins the experience, they're just not on the same level as the story. So if you want to get sucked into a fascinating world, it's hard to say no, though if you're just in it for the gameplay, you might want to look elsewhere.