Need for Speed Unbound is exactly what the iconic racing series needed. The expected customization options and street races that were shaped by Need for Speed Underground are here, but all of it is presented in a fresh manner and has been carefully adapted to fit the modern era.
While there might not be any bad students, there are definitely bad games, and Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising is a clear-cut example of that. There is potential, but it’ll take more than some Mr. Miyagi quotes to get a sequel that lives up to the charms and isn’t as bad as The Karate Kid Part III.
New Tales from the Borderlands would be easier to swallow if it wasn’t trying to follow up one of the best cinematic adventure games ever made. Instead, we get a forced episodic structure to a game that isn’t episodic, a cast of characters that are more interesting on paper than they are in execution, and a story that ultimately lacks stakes since there’s no personal investment in what happens to three bad people that aren’t all that likable.
Dragon Ball: The Breakers is a fantastic idea that is currently let down by a real need for extra polish and content. The core loop is interesting but with little variation, unsightly landscapes, and some terrible technical problems, the game’s potential is firmly capped.
It’s a fair complaint to make that EA Sports’ NHL series has rested on its laurels and has little reason to innovate with no competition. However, EA Vancouver has made a number of small tweaks that make NHL 23 an improvement, even if fans are still waiting for a larger overhaul that takes advantage of the greater horsepower on modern systems.
While it doesn’t have jokes like a typical Ghostbusters film or offer scares like many other asymmetrical multiplayer games, Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed is a very welcome addition to the genre that manages to deliver a lot of offbeat fun and makes up for its sparse number of stages with a large amount of gameplay customization.
Nickelodeon Kart Racers 3: Slime Speedway is the best kart racer in years. Not since 2019’s Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled has the genre felt so fresh, and you have to go way back to 2012’s Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed to find another non-Mario Kart that exceeds it.
NBA 2K23 is certainly a game of highs and lows, although nearly none of the bummers have to do with the actual gameplay on the court. The advertisements for partners and pushes toward microtransactions are obnoxious at best and scuzzy at worst, but the actual basketball is stellar.
Once the Lego charm expires, you’re left with a console game that requires a lot more of a financial investment than free-to-play titles that have significantly more content. And as such, Lego Brawls is stuck in a strange space where it can’t quite reach its intended audience.