The visuals and 80s soundtrack are amazing and look great whether playing on a TV or on the Switch in mobile mode. Too often did I feel I was on the back foot when it came to weapons, upgrades, and dealing with random enemies. There's definitely a balance issue when it comes to the procedurally generated mechanics.
With all its puzzling adventures, out-of-the-box thinking, and stunning hand drawn visuals, it's a memorable game in its genre. Solving the puzzles offers such gratification that one looks forward to continuing climbing the tower and solving the next. But with a lack of a meaningful story, it lacks complete immersion from the player.
Hot Garbage is an expansion that delivers gameplay that I hope to expect in future DLC, where the gameplay is centered around putting the player in situations where combat and skills are essential to progression. Though on a new planet, Hot Garbage falls short of creating an all-encompassing experience that makes one believe they're on an all-new world.
Pangeon is simply a bad attempt at trying to capture the nostalgic feel of a classic dungeon crawler. With its lack of attention to detail, gameplay continuity to give confidence to the player, and a design that feels incomplete and uninspired, it struggled to keep my attention.
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 introduces some great fighting mechanics, overhauled systems from previous iterations, and smoother and more rewarding gameplay to the franchise. While it doesn't do anything new to uplift the Musou genre of games, it's a good game to pick up and beat the crap out of pirates as Luffy tries to become the king of the pirates.
Moons of Madness plays more like a cinematic experience than an actual game. Its immersion visually is sublime, and though objects are intuitively interactive, the story lacks the emotional pull needed to match the tone and mood set forth. You will undoubtedly feel as if you are on an alien planet, but that's it. The imbalance of story, gameplay, and interactivity with the enemy becomes apparent the more you play. And with much of the story being told through accessing terminals and listening to banter dialogue, I often felt as if I was no longer interested in what was occurring around me.
Saints Row: IV Re-elected on the Switch is a much-welcomed game as it runs amazing in handheld and docked mode, brings a beloved franchise to millions of gamers, and almost feels a bit naughty to have next to my Mario games. With its smooth gunplay, game mechanics that mesh well with the control scheme of the Switch, and ability to cram all of its explosive, expansive, and destructive gameplay into your hand, you cannot pass this game up.
With all the different battle royale games on the market, all seeming to offer the same experiences, Warzone might give the most realistic, precise, and investing performance of them all, but it will need to stay innovative. Sounds of ricocheting bullets, footsteps of the enemy, and a highly detailed world keep it a cut above its competition. I easily found this to be one of my favorite battle royale games to date.
MLB The Show 20 is clearly the culmination of all the hard work that went into the previous iterations, and then some. The updated and added game mechanics such as First Step and Perfect-Perfect batting add a sense of realism to a game where instincts and being quick on your feet is important. With a plethora of game modes, it's almost overwhelming at times because you don't know where to start. But once you begin, this game is hard to put down.
Likening this game to the movie Up, Arise: A Simple Story is much more than what its title lets on. It forces us to take a step back and analyze life. With its time control mechanics that manipulate the world in so many ways, platforming style of play, and its ability to tell a narrative story without dialogue, Arise is one of those games that makes you question whether small titles like this are becoming the status quo.