DOA6 is a fun game, but it's not really a huge leap from part 5, and it still needs more functions & fan-favourite modes to stand out from other fighting games even from last year. As much fun as it is to kick ass as either Hitomi or that schoolgirl with the multiple moves, the absurd Story Mode isn't enough to pique my interest for more than a few weeks.
Is Devil May Cry 5 better than Bayonetta & Bayonetta 2? Of course not, but nothing is. What we have here instead is a pretty damn good action hack-and-slash title featuring three awesome-to -play-as power fantasies that oozes style and substance; something that’s rare in this day and age.
Samurai Shodown is a great return to form for SNK’s swordfighting series. While it seems to be going for the Street Fighter V style of release and comes with the bare minimum, at least this game includes a standard arcade mode with endings and a fun (?) final boss called Shizuka to fight against. If you don’t mind paying triple-A price to train up for this game for future fighting game tournaments -and there will be if the Neo Geo World Tour is of any indication- then go nuts and play this 2D weapons-based masterclass.
Part RPG, part open-world quest-a-thon, but mostly an action game with a pretty neat tag-team mechanic that takes a while to master, Astral Chain is anything but a slog. In essence, Takahisa is clearly taking the diversity and open-ended nature of his past game and putting it all here in this Nintendo Switch title. Next to Splatoon, this is definitely one of Nintendo's best new IPs in a long, long while.
If you miss the good old days when Technos wasn’t bankrupt and you had an inkling over what the Double Dragon/Kunio-kun series are, you owe it to yourself to try out River City Girls. It’s fun to play, it’s best with a friend, and it’s just gorgeous to look at in motion. If you hate brawlers and simple beat-em-ups with a slight grind, this won’t change your mind.
Even when its exploration and shooting works, you'll only get some small sense of satisfaction. The only reason you're continuing is because of that "one more assault" Skinner box mentality that's in these loot-and-shoot ideas combined with open-world checklist obligations.
It’s no surprise that this sci-fi tale of corporation culture gone horribly wrong and overblown to planet-sized proportions (figuratively AND literally) would end up being relevant in this day and age thanks to the team’s witticisms in their script-writing and world-building. But to be told in an engrossing manner with so many charming players and a fun RPG setting, while also showing other Western RPG companies how it’s really done? That’s just as rare as a supernova going off. Thank goodness Obsidian took to the challenge and delivered us a masterpiece that rivals their past works.
For veterans of Luigi’s “horror” escapade, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a huge breath of fresh air thanks to its Gooigi mechanic and hotel level layout filled with innovative surprises and secrets. For newbies, you’re in for one heckuva G-rated spooky adventure that’s basically a Ghostbusters game you’ve always craved for since that one game from Activision back in 2009.
Airship Syndicate did a great job taking the best aspects of action RPGs and isometric action titles and put their fun and entertaining spin on it, topped off with a decent Gareth Coke-composed soundtrack that wades between tranquil acoustics to battle anthems with foreboding chants. That's more than enough to earn it a reputation for being this year's dark horse.
For those who played these games to death, you’ll still want to get this, provided you have no other means of revisiting them in their original GBA and DS forms. Long story short, I do hope this spells a resurgence for X’s BFF Zero and the future of the Mega Man series because this is one legacy worth preserving.
I am impressed with 2020’s first fighting game offering. Not only will veterans enjoy the best of both a Street Fighter and an anime fighter title, but newbies will have fun getting into an accessible fighting game that gets deeper over time.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a triumph in 2D platforming this year; arguably for this generation of gaming. It supersedes everything its prequel does and then some, it challenges you and even kicks you to the curb at times without coming off as mean-spirited, and it’s an absolute joy to watch and hear. A powerful trifecta combination indeed to complement 2020’s early game offerings.