Super Mario RPG was never a deep RPG and it still isn’t, but it is a very entertaining one that manages to have some striking imagery and plenty of funny moments. The gameplay and scenarios are varied to never have a dull moment. Despite what the 3D graphics suggest, this is still an SNES RPG.
Despite all the limitations of 2000s-era specs, Max Payne is still a righteous action game that is enjoyable for its pacing and entertaining scenarios. Some parts late in the game are a bit cheap with how enemies are placed around corners, but retrying is painless. At worst, the lack of nuance in the movement may turn off some modern gamers.
Prison City is a very solid retro throwback action platformer. It lacks originality and the main character is boring because he barely says anything more complex than one-word sentences. The challenge is hearty and gamers will find the references endearing… if they can survive long enough to see them.
Air Twister is a very engrossing rail shooter that keeps luring gamers back for more. The steady stream of bonus content is a satisfying beckoning mechanism that makes replays rewarding. On top of the intrinsic rewards, it is gratifying to improve and master the levels with Valensia’s soaring music as the backdrop.
The best and most notable Jurassic Park games tend to be management sims since they lean heavily on the core ideas of films and novels. Adapting the movie as generic action platformers was limiting since there was no shortage of them in the 90s. Gamers who are interested in more enjoyable dinosaur-themed retro action games would be better off with Dino Crisis or the Turok titles.
This game has the potential to become an enjoyable video game for kids, with substantial updates such as adding offline modes for a more casual experience and dropping the battle pass scam, like how Chocobo Racing GP did less than a year after it came out. As it stands now, it is merely streamer bait.
There is no shortage of metroidvania games with cute anime girl protagonists. Inti Creates has made a few good ones, but Yohane the Parhelion: BLAZE in the DEEPBLUE is not among them. It is a joyless and mediocre effort on their part.
With a bit more time, perhaps a better translation will get patched in and maybe a port for the more powerful consoles will iron out its technical shortcomings. Anyone who desires a demanding and complex strategy mecha game with political intrigue and a plot that predicts the dangers of globalism will get their money’s worth with Front Mission 2: Remake.
Compounded with its impeccable craftsmanship, The Talos Principle 2 puts AAA games to shame with its value. This is an enormous and long puzzle game that is lengthier than most RPGs and can easily breach the 50-hour range. All of this for a paltry $29.99. Engrossing, epic, and vast intelligently written video games apparently don’t have to cost $69.99.
RoboCop: Rogue City is a methodical FPS with some lite roleplaying and adventure game elements. It’s sardonic with a satirical scenario and has very obscure fan service that only die-hard RoboCop fans would catch. Gamers who can accept this are going to have an enormously fun time.
Detective Pikachu Returns‘ biggest failure isn’t its basic gameplay or sterile presentation; its most heinous blunder is how agonizingly boring it is. Playing this game with children (the target audience) only alienated them. The lack of grit or edge didn’t lure them in and the sorry writing didn’t keep them hooked either.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is bursting at the seams with personality and details. Small touches like the facial expressions of enemies are gratuitous and don’t enhance the gameplay, but they enhance the experience. It’s because of these details that make Super Mario Bros. Wonder more meaningful and enjoyable than any of the last 2D Super Mario games since Yoshi’s Island on Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
It doesn’t quite reach the highs of F.E.A.R., but the gunplay and fetishized gore manage to outclass the violence that Alma was capable of. Don’t expect to get emotionally invested or scared much. Trepang2‘s effort at horror feels more obligatory than anything else. At the very least, expect to have a fun time dancing in the blood.
El Paso, Elsewhere is undeniably rough around the edges, but with some additional development time, it has the potential for greatness. In its current state, it feels like a preliminary draft—an approximation of the developer’s vision. Given more time for polish and refinement, El Paso, Elsewhere could indeed evolve into a worthy successor to Max Payne.
Long Gone Days has a lot of heart to it, but it is sorely lacking in its mechanics. This is not much of an RPG but is more akin to a visual novel with some tense sequences that are expressed in the style of retro RPG battles. The simplistic sniping sequences make more sense and are executed much more effectively at conveying the themes of the story and fit the gameplay better.
Players are left to decipher the path to these endings with little to no guidance from the game itself. This lack of direction will lead players to seek guides to uncover these elusive alternate endings. Even when armed with the knowledge of what actions to take, the solutions often lack coherence and may fail to provide players with a satisfying understanding of the game’s narrative twists and turns.
The simplistic JRPG gameplay was charming, even when it was first released, but it’s clear that this was designed for 90s gamers who simply wanted to experience a wholesome anime on their PlayStations. It’s unfortunate that the otherwise solid localization didn’t include English singing because the musical segments are a highlight in both games.