On the whole, F1 2020 is the ultimate Formula 1 racing simulator. Fully licensed, extremely deep, and very detailed, Codemasters have done a wonderful job of bringing the brutality and unpredictability of the F1 season to gaming platforms across the board. The introduction of My Team is a breath of fresh air and will keep me coming back to F1 2020 for the foreseeable future. It really is an excellent game!
Overall, Monster Crown is a simple and fun RPG adventure with heaps of content and a very deep breeding system to keep you playing for many hours on end. What it lacks in certain departments, such as the story, it more than makes up for in actual gameplay and the love of the craft from the developers is always evident. When all is said and done, I can heartily recommend Monster Crown as a solid entry into the world of monster taming games.
On the whole, Mortal Shell is an amazing game. True, it’s not without its issues, but the things it gets right, Mortal Shell gets right in abundance and I want to close by stating that this title stands out, on its own, as a quality title in a deluge mediocrity. Definitely recommended!
My time with Crusader Kings III has been a blast. Sure, it’s had its challenges, but on the whole, this game had me hooked very quickly. “Just one more move!” I kept telling myself. It was never just one more move because before I knew it, I was embroiled in a new conflict, plot, or scheme. Crusader Kings III is endless. It comes with a steep learning curve, but never overstays its welcome. A terrific example of how a strategy game can transcend the tropes of the genre and become its own beast entirely.
On the whole, Beyond a Steel Sky is a wonderful example of how that old-school puzzle adventure game can translate into the modern gaming landscape. It’s thought-provoking, good-looking, and fleshed out, all whilst retaining the spirit of the puzzler. Sure, it isn’t the most polished experience but it’s a well-crafted game with bags to offer for anyone who wants a story to engage with and some puzzles to stroke their chin at.
These gripes I have do not hinder the sheer quality of this game. Tormented Souls wears its influences on its sleeve in the very best way. It drags true Survival Horror out of the 90’s and into the modern age, all without sacrificing what makes that old formula so brilliant: the fear!
Salt and Sacrifice does have room for improvement. That said, the things I disliked about the game are far outweighed by the swaths of things this game gets right. I was hooked from the word “Go!” and even though I’ve finished the game, I’m still hooked. There’s so much to experiment with, so many more hunts to carry out and that doesn’t even factor in the multiplayer! After every sitting with this game, I found myself wanting more. Surely that’s the best endorsement a game could receive? When you stop playing, but you don’t really want to. When the credits roll, but you really wish they weren’t. Salt and Sacrifice is a fantastic title with an infectious gameplay loop that makes it hard to put down, but easy to recommend.
Chenso Club comes with the highest of recommendations! Seriously, if you like retro games with a modern flare, get this game! The overwhelming sense of youthful glee that Chenso Club filled me with from the moment things kicked off is something I can’t see being surpassed any time soon. From start to finish, this game was a joy to have experienced.
The simple things here are just okay, though they’re fairly standard. On the whole, and whilst I can’t quite put my finger on it, something feels stale with Aeterna Noctis — “Limp” even. What makes metroidvania’s so fun is not merely the challenge but the pace, reward, and sense of impact your upgrades give you. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way, Aeterna Noctis tipped the scales heavily in favor of repetitive challenge that rarely feels rewarding to overcome.
Nine Noir Lives is a wholly original take on a genre that doesn’t get much love any more. The things that are great about this game make it worth playing for sure. The story is properly fleshed out, the characters are unique and well written and the puzzles themselves really do make you feel like you’re occupying a world of complex cats and critters. That said, there are aspects here that could do to be improved and as such, I’m inclined to award Nine Noir Lives seven slow blinks out of ten.
Minor blemishes aside, I had a thoroughly great time with Moonscars. When all is said and done, Moonscars is an example of what makes indie developers so brilliant. Risks have been taken here, in terms of artstyle and approach, but a masterful understanding of what makes such games engaging makes Moonscars one of the more stand-out titles in this genre.
From the story to the enemy design and combat, The Callisto Protocol is copy-paste “horror”. I used the quotes around horror because the use of common tropes means that the title fails to provide the most important ingredient in a horror game – fear.
Scars Above is one of the most immersive and enjoyable titles I’ve played in some time. The world, characters, gameplay loop, and challenge make Scars Above a game worth revisiting and re-experiencing. The problem is one would need to get through a truly abysmal opening to feel the investment Mad House Games aimed for here. Overall, an authentically fun game, held back by a poor opening.
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty deserves praise as an ambitious title — one which tries to expand upon a formula that many thought could not be improved and a title that wants to pull in new players. You needn’t be intimidated. Wo Long can be played by anyone and it truly is the cleanest title Team Ninja have produced. Technical issues aside, Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is challenging, tight, and focused. It’s a fantastic game, which will hopefully provide Team Ninja a foundation on which to develop even slicker games in the future.