All in all, The Forgotten City has surprised us with how engaging it is. The time loop mechanic is used to great effect and works much more than a simple gimmick, and the standout is the writing, which keeps you invested line after line. It's not a home run, with some overall clunkiness to the game and certain segments that could easily have been stripped out, but it's definitely a 10-12 hour adventure worth taking, with many paths and possibilities to uncover.
While Death's Door borrows a lot of elements from many other games, it mashes them all together and refines them into its own thing. Not one single element feels undercooked and the result is a mysterious world you'll instantly be lost within. Outside of the odd frame dip in certain situations, we absolutely loved Death's Door. It's a game filled with surprises, nods, humour, and moves at such a pace we could barely put the controller down. Games this well-crafted don't come along very often, but when they do, they're something to celebrate. Death's Door deserves all the attention it will most likely get, and is a contender for one of 2021's best games.
While its story falls short, Scarlet Nexus is expertly elevated with stunning combat. The consistent evolution, polished control scheme, and powerful feedback make each fight more satisfying than the last. If only the game had managed to incorporate a stronger story, more depth to its character bonds, and more things to do outside of combat, Scarlet Nexus could have been something special. As it stands, it feels like a solid first step for a new IP, and one where a sequel could really steal the show.
Much like the character you create, Biomutant feels like a Frankenstein creation of various ideas. Some are good, some are bad, but the end result is a misshapen product which feels messy and buried in its own ideas. Areas of the game that should have received more attention - like it's quest design - feel relatively barebones, while others feel overly complex. The repetitive nature of looting, levelling up, and looting some more never truly evolve and make the beautiful world often feel lifeless. We really wish we loved Biomutant, but unfortunately, it's a game with many ambitious ideas, but lacks the conviction to fully utilise them.
Don't get us wrong, if this was cheaper, we'd be recommending this in a heart beat, despite our reservations. It's a great trip down memory lane, with some addictive combat that still holds up today. But when you can pick up more modernised and arguably better games for the same price, it makes the trip to Baldur's Gate one that's not worth breaking the piggy bank until a sale.
If you've never played Judgment before, what are you waiting for? The remaster is one of the best next-gen exclusives to play right now and has never looked better. If you've already played it, it may be hard to justify the price tag at this point, but the substantial upgrades ensure it's the best the game has ever been. There's nothing in the way of new content outside of all previously released DLC, but Yagami's adventure is just as compelling and original as it once was.
With a price point of $60, it's hard to recommend Balan Wonderworld, especially when other platformers (and even collections such as Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which contain multiple games) are a lot cheaper and are much better. The ingredients are all there for a great game, but everything has gone off and rotten. What's been cooked up is a bland, uninspired trip into a world that should have been anything but. Balan Wonderworld feels like bargain bin material that should be avoided at all costs... at any discount.
Little Nightmares II is bigger and bolder, which builds upon the foundations from the first game. The game is host to a disgusting, decaying world that opens up as you progress through each chapter. Its inhabitants will haunt your dreams for days and the emotional connection it draws between Mono and Six with absolutely no dialogue is powerful. It is worth noting that certain combat encounters and high stakes moments can become troublesome and do provide occasional road blocks which prevent the game from reaching its full potential. As it stands though, Little Nightmares II is a thrill ride filled with visually striking moments of pure nightmare fuel, which may invite you to leave your lamp on for the foreseeable future.
While its early difficulty may deter some people, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World: The Game's complexity and how it opens up makes for a highly enjoyable experience. It's felt like an eternity since we've seen this title on our Xbox systems, and having a Complete Edition with touched up visuals and all previously released content is an absolute treat. Whether you're a fan of the series or a newcomer to the genre, there's something here to enjoy, and it's a reminder of why so many fell in love with the original game all those years ago.
At three hours long, it passes by at a breeze, and is packed with some truly spectacular set-pieces. One particularly notable scene takes place halfway through, and fans of the recent Hobbit trilogy will see a striking resemblance between the two. It all feels as though its building to a dramatic, explosive conclusion, but ends with one of the most anticlimactic boss fights in the series' history. It pales in comparison to intense encounters with General Raam and Queen Myrrah, and blends in with the majority of the expansions' combat encounters.