If approached with an open mind, Catherine can be a thorough lens on the consequences of actions, both in games and in life. That quality doesn’t play much of a part in whether it’s “good” or “bad”, but it (as well as damn near everything else in the game) certainly pushes it firmly into one of a kind, and I would argue that and the other elements described in this review makes it absolutely worth experiencing.
It’s streets ahead of the existing post-game, and thanks to the better realization of the Wild Area concept, I feel comfortable calling it an improvement on Sword and Shield’s biggest feature. It may not be a game changer, but the Isle of Armor still manages to be both an enjoyable slice of Pokémon and a satisfying taste of more to come.
How much you get out of Cindered Shadows will depend largely on what you enjoyed about Three Houses. If you want further exploration of Garreg Mach and Fodlan’s histories, a few new playable characters and classes, new facilities for your main save, and a concentrated dose of Fire Emblem; it does its part and then some. However if you were taken in by the multi-faceted narrative and freer customization of Three Houses, or expecting more on its cast, then you may walk away from Abyss disappointed.
Thankfully, the spirit of Pokémon (of catching and collecting these monsters while aiming to be the very best) is alive and well — perhaps more than it’s ever been in a single pair of games. It just comes at the expense of pushing the franchise forward in other areas.
From start to finish, Link’s Awakening was a delight. Its setting, cast, and quest stand apart from the rest of The Legend of Zelda series; and with its gorgeous visuals and added conveniences, it marks the perfect way to revisit this Game Boy classic.