I can’t recommend the game to everyone, and maybe not even to most people. But I think it’s commendable in what it’s trying to do. And if you, like me, have fond memories of picking up games you knew nothing about based on weird art and a love of cyborg ninjas on motorcycles for no reason… this is the modern descendant of those, and it’s having a good go at it.
But then, that perhaps is the worst thing about it. The game isn’t terrible, but it’s a bit forgettable. It comes out on the right side wherein you can have some fun with it, especially if you really like strategy games, but it doesn’t really feel like it works very hard to do more than just be good enough. If you’re in the mood for a strategy game but don’t want quite so much strategy, it’ll fill you up, but it’s not going to delight you in the process.
Fans of exploration and shooters are strongly encouraged to try out The Knight Witch, because it’s a little indie title that’s going to charm you with both its story and its gameplay. What do you know? Mashing concepts together worked out pretty well here after all.
But I think that on balance, the whole thing works out to the game’s favor. This is definitely a title made with a lot of love and attention to detail, and while it’s hardly a flawless production, I think it’s worth checking out for people who sit on either side of the fence. If you’ve always wanted to love a Soulslike title but never quite got there, this might help get you over the hump; if you love them but don’t mind something being a bit more Souls-lite, this will delight you. It’s not going to make it on to my short list of worthy Game of the Year contenders, but it’s a solid outing all around, and that’s not nothing.
Seriously, this is one of those reviews where I want to keep writing because I want to convey how much fun this game is overall. I had a blast with this game. In moments where I was stuck, I didn’t have the urge to throw the game away and never pick it up again; I wanted to figure it out, convinced that there was a path through. I felt happy at each success, rejoiced each time I made a nice sale, felt comfort as I slowly started making money and turning the tides against the forces arrayed against me.
If you’re desperate for another farming life sim and have nothing else to play, or you really like the art style so much that you’re willing to overlook a relatively lackluster play experience, then you’ll get something worthwhile out of the game. I sure hope you do. But for the average player, I just can’t find much to recommend it over a lot of other games. Re: Legend falls far short of being a legendary experience.
Lest that feel like a sharp criticism, though, I want to make it clear that this is not a bad game by any means. I enjoy it. I have fun with it. I think it’s a crisp, responsive, and neat hack-and-slash title wherein my biggest criticism is that the strategic depth it has is enough that I want more. And considering that I expected the game to have less depth than its predecessor, I am comfortable and happy to report that it instead highlights and manages its depth, keeping itself a sprightly and engaging title while also giving players a lot of chances to take more tactical control. So in summary, Three Hopes is really good. Really, really good. If you’ve already loved Three Houses, this is beyond a worthwhile purchase. If you haven’t, then here’s another point of entry to a world I love. And considering how different this game is from its predecessor, it makes me happy to see that the game’s setting and characters can hold up even in a very different context.
The glory of The Stanley Parable was always that it was a game supremely confident in itself, giving you branching choices that were not choices, inviting you to push up against the boundaries of its world and see how far you could go. The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe expands those boundaries and gives you new things to explore, and in the process it managed to surprise me even as someone who had picked over the original game quite extensively. While it may not be as truly groundbreaking as the original, The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe is a must-play for fans of the original – and if you’ve never experienced the game, it’s the perfect place to learn what made the original so brilliant while finding a number of new twists.
The problem is that not only are those few missteps there, the goals it's aiming for are already far lesser than I would expect from the game as a whole. It promises something that is nice, fun, comfy, and cozy. While the game is certainly light and avoids getting bogged down in unnecessary detail, it also fails to really capitalize on its ideas and winds up being a bit unbalanced, a bit undercooked, and a lot underserved compared to a lot of other entries in the field.
In many ways, I keep going back and forth on Triangle Strategy. On the one hand, it’s not exactly the game I was hoping it would be when it was first announced. On the other hand, it’s also not fair to hold that against the game; it’s not whether the game is what I dreamed of but what it is actually trying to be and how well it succeeds at that goal. On the third hand, there are some actual issues there with what the game is trying to be, some places where it winds up falling short of the marks it sets for itself.
That doesn’t mean the game is truly dire or a disaster. Indeed, if you’re a fan of the franchise or you want something that feels a bit like a good old-school hack-and-slash platformer, you’ll get some enjoyment out of the game. But it ultimately feels like a very pretty and well-intentioned game that made itself too easy and ultimately lost out on its main appeal.
In no uncertain terms? Unsighted is awesome. More people should know about it and play it, especially considering that the game goes out of its way to be accessible even to people who usually find Souls-like titles too hard, or people who dislike the timer mechanic but still want to experience the game, or even people looking for a harder ride. This is a good game and you should go play it. It’s not quite for everyone… but it’s as close as any title I’ve reviewed comes to being a must-play.
Well… maybe. There’s definitely a strong sense of the Norse in the cultural zeitgeist in the moment, and I can see someone being curious enough to take what amounts to a walking tour of these locations and places to understand a little bit more. And what the game actually wants to deliver it does. While I have some minor quibbles here and there, by and large this is very good at being an educational tour of a historical period with a few fanciful elements to support beliefs.
See, again, that’s part of what makes this either work for people or not. This is a game that brushes up against a lot of different genres without diving too deeply into any of them, and some players are going to either clock out from that or find that they like one or two parts but not all three. It is kind of a weird game and it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But if the idea of the game sounds interesting to you? Hey, this is a classic remastered and improved, and it’s well worth the asking price.
It feels like a throwback to the PlayStation era in the best way, when there were always new JRPGs showing up in the hopes of getting the same sort of cult reception as Final Fantasy VII, always new titles to try out and new stories to experience, some of them winding up a bit generic but others turning into unexpected little gems along the way. Astria Ascending feels like one of those gems, except it’s a new game right now and benefits from all the hindsight that implies.
At the same time, I do think there’s an appealing and fun game there just the same. The core gameplay loop is well-defined and unique, and the game has a unique charm to it. I might not be the target audience for this particular title, but I can tell that the people who are the target audience are going to get a real kick out of how harsh it manages to be while always feeling just shy of being unfair. It’s never easy, but it’s always unwelcoming in that peculiar balanced way. Just… be prepared for some interface weirdness and losing before you get into it, and you’ll probably get more out of it in the long run.
But if you loved these games before, these remasters are perfect for what they’re trying to do. They’re charming. They feel like a sudden rush of nostalgia not because they’re exactly the games you remember, but the rare form of remaster that does add some stuff on top while still preserving all of the spirit and intent perfectly. And if you’ve never played these games but want to understand why people loved them so much, these are the perfect way to try them out.
This is a slower, more painful, and in many ways more failure-prone sort of game. But for players who enjoy the option of a slower ludonarrative and want to experience a build through this difficult situation, stalking the wreckage of the exclusion zone is going to be a lot of fun. If you’re willing to be patient and survival-minded, you’ll find a lot to enjoy here in Chernobylite.
It’s not an instant classic, but I think fans of the original are going to really find stuff to like here. And if you’re like me and never played the original, you still owe it to yourself to give this one a solid look. The weirdness of its controls and some of its quirks mean that it might not be for everyone… but give it a fair shot, and I have a feeling you’re going to get a lot more out of it than you might initially expect.
I loved the original. I love this remake. And if you’ve never played the original or you did, you owe it to yourself to give this one a check. It’s a game that was always good made that much better, and it’s going to stick with you a long time after the credits roll on the final ending.