If there is any love for the original, pick this up immediately. A fine job has been done creating a really playable title for 2021, without losing any of the charm of the original. The camera change is a stroke of genius and makes life so much easier leading to a more enjoyable experience all round. The issue isn't with the remaster, but the source material. Zool Redimensioned is sadly a bit of a product of its time, and isn't going to draw any new fans with its difficulty and confusing design choices. Sadly, for most this Ninja isn't going to resonate with younger players looking for the next plumber killer. For the rest, though, you have a greater remaster than you could ever have hoped for, let alone what the star of the Amiga may deserve.
Personally, rarely does a Metroidvania game capture the imagination, often being lost to the backlog due to their constant trial and error navigation and repetitive backtracking. With that thought at the forefront, it's a credit to developers TiGAMES that F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow Torch still hasn't been put out to pasture in the backlog farm. Everything about this title is a joy and great, engaging gameplay is complimented by a beautiful world that springs to life on the PS5 both visually in its setting as well as its characters and stories. Top this off with a great protagonist and you have a game of the year contender in every respect. Metroid Dread? Who needs it.
Never has a game felt so divisive when scoring. For many The Longing is going to feel like one of the most ill-conceived video game notions in history. For others what is delivered is one of the most intriguing and addictive pursuits ever created for home media. With plenty to do, or not as the case may be, the freedom of choice is intoxicating. With so much time to kill also, every decision never feels like the wrong one. If things don't go exactly as hoped on day 1, there's still 399 days to set things right. Relax into that cosy armchair, grab a book, and watch that sand in that hourglass slip away.
With such a well-respected and well-known title such as Cuphead, there really isn't a lot that can be said for the PS4 port that hasn't already been stated since its original release in 2017. A fiendishly difficult platformer with a great soundtrack and beautiful level design and aesthetics awaits any gamer that loves a challenge, and is happy to put the hours in. Sit in a darkened room, avoid any and all of those pesky real-world interruptions, and take on a telepathic giant carrot. Ace.
As one of many Ken 'Masters' (very pleased with that one), the initial reaction to Samurai Shodown is a jarring one. Expecting to mow down hordes of AI controlled characters easily and instead getting beaten to pulp in a matter of seconds can be off-putting, to say the least. What quickly becomes apparent however is that gameplay treads the fine and brilliant line of 'easy to play, difficult to perfect'. Once a bit of caution is implemented, not a lot in the genre is as satisfying as a graceful dodge, parry and complete destruction. This is great for forgetting the old ways and embracing the way of the Samurai.
For a PS5 owner desperate for a 2D fighter to add to their collection, this is a no brainer. With a long history of 2D fighters in this reviewer's back catalogue Guilty Gear Strive has gained a place in the top tier pantheon of the genre. Fantastic graphics, excellent gameplay that has the perfect balance of easy to pick up, difficult to master and some real thought put into the obligatory online mode mean it is likely to remain unbeaten for a long time to come. Maybe until the next entry in the series is released. Brilliant Brawling.
A great addition to anyone's Switch catalogue, Battle Axe provides some neat pick-up-and-play value with an Infinite mode accompanying the standard story fare. In tandem, these modes are perfect for coping with the daily commute with some bashing and slashing and are backed by a fantastic soundtrack and gorgeous retro art style. Although it has a savagely brutal difficulty curve for the young'uns (as well as older folk who don't have the reaction times they once did), Battle Axe is a decent conversion full of nostalgic fun.
With its short playtime, Iris.Fall doesn't overstay its welcome and presents an interesting distraction that never bores. Variety is the spice of life in this instance, so it's unfortunate that new elements are sometimes introduced that are so baffling that players may be discouraged from seeing the story through to the end credits. For those that do, however, a beautiful and unsettling adventure awaits with some great mechanics laid over some even greater visual design and cues.
Overall, Observer: System Redux is a great pickup for those looking to see just exactly how well their shiny new consoles can perform, as well as having an interesting experience to boot (you know, like a computer). Environments are beautiful in a truly depressing, atmospheric manner, and lead Rutger Hauer really makes the effort to portray a downtrodden detective tired of the new cybernetic world order. This is a clear pick up for fans of psychological horror drama, looking for a few jump scares and… uncomfortable-ness over a few hours. For the rest, however, it's an interesting experiment that perhaps could benefitted from less of the shocks and more of the Detective chops.
For any newcomers to the Neo Geo resurgence occurring on the Nintendo Switch right now, it can seem a bit daunting deciding exactly where to set up your stall and enter the fray. Rest assured, the decision is made here with SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium being a choice that does not disappoint. Back during its release in 1999, the collaboration between these two giants was monumental and even now in 2021, its clear to see how much love was put into its creation. With a diverse, full roster, great sound and graphics as well as a variety of modes to keep players returning, it's never been a better time to begin your Neo Geo library.