While it only has largely one trick, that trick is a lot of fun. In Da Hoop isn't going to wow you with insane graphics or revolutionize the VR scene, but Realcast has built something that is very enjoyable. The tracking that's been designed works very well with controllers, and is quite competent with hands tracking, even if it isn't the best way to experience the game. With a few upcoming updates this is bound to continue to be a great experience for anyone wanting to shoot a few hoops.
Buy it. Play it. Enjoy it. It's as simple as the game feels, even if it challenges you more than you'd ever think it would. The more I've played it, the more I see every one of it's accomplishments, with fantastic gameplay and a great choice of art style and soundtrack jewels in its crown. Death's Door does nearly everything right for what it is, and even the shortcomings of the narrative is barely a blemish on a spectacular résumé.
The return to Teer Fradee largely disappoints in the De Vespe Conspiracy, although the PlayStation 5 upgrade works well. I wanted so much more in something called an expansion, even if the cost said I should temper my expectations. The De Vespe Conspiracy still tells an enjoyable tale, but the surrounding new enemies, empty location, and anticlimactic ending make for something akin to getting a dinner mint as a dessert rather than the chocolate melting cake.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is one of the best games I've played this year. It's fun, it's endearing, and I just want to play it again. The gameplay isn't much different, but it's refined and has aged like a fine wine, with the technical prowess on display we've come to expect from Insomniac Games. If you're looking for a great narrative, the story is arguably the best in the series, with the grandeur of a Marvel movie in tow. One could imply the game isn't long enough, but that's only because they put down the controller, and that's just not what you're going to do if you have a copy of Rift Apart.
Days Gone is the perfect PlayStation game to make its way to PC. It was already a beautiful game, but held back by the PS4 and PS4 Pro. On PC, Days Gone gets it's chance to flourish, running at uncapped frame rates, high resolutions, and touting an FOV slider. While it is missing some cool next-gen upgrades like ray tracing and DLSS, Days Gone runs nearly flawlessly on PC, and serves as a testament to Bend's tradecraft. Even if you've already played the game on PS4 or PS4 Pro, it's worth jumping back into the shoes of Deacon St John on PC to massacre a freaker horde at the highest level of performance possible.
Firsts don't come around very often, but this is one of PlayStation's first PS5 exclusives and Housemarque's first triple A releases, and the combination is a triumphant success. I'm not sure how they've managed everything in play, taking the bullet-hell stylings of old and meshing them with the trappings of a third-person roguelike, but it works to a fantastic degree. On top of that, the action-packed gameplay is some of the best around, additionally being one of the most immersive and next-gen experiences available thanks to an incredible understanding of the DualSense controller. Yes, the story may take a backseat, but that's the nature of the roguelike genre, and doesn't hinder Returnal in the slightest. I may not be much for roguelikes, but I can see myself "returning" to play this one again and again.
Despite all of the ways that Outriders is stuck in the past, the moment to moment gameplay is so compelling that it's impossible to say it's not a blast -- especially with friends. It's also remarkably expansive in its crafting and skill trees, with plenty of ways to customize your playstyle. I may not be that invested in the story, and this certainly isn't that different from most first person shooters, but Outriders is well worth the time and effort. Even if there may be extra effort put in because of crappy server connections.
In the end, What The Dub?! has only one trick. While that trick can be and is a lot of fun to mess around with, it wears out its welcome a bit too quickly. Although text-to-speech is a great idea and sound effects are a worthy addition, the b-movie clips feel like they're on repeat after a while, and the pacing can leave you in the lurch. I hope that the game can get some additional support, and with some additional footage maybe over time it can improve, but as of now it feels a bit hollow.
It Takes Two is one of the most unique games I've played in a long time. The heartfelt story can be really dark at times, but does it's job to reinforce the narrative. There aren't many co-op games on the market, and none of them do what It Takes Two does, with each bit of the platforming gameplay being tons of fun and adding enjoyable new techniques as you make your way through each level. It may be tough to lock someone down for fifteen hours to play it, and even then I feel like I'm reaching for this as a con, but if you find someone that wants to play It Takes Two with, you probably won't want to put down the controller.
The Blizzard Arcade Collection is a great little compilation of some lesser known Blizzard games. The additional features such as rewind and save states, when available at least, are delightful improvements, and the definitive editions work amazingly well. I'm also impressed with such a great behind the scenes section with a lot of interesting content. But most of this smorgasbord is par for the course, and I expect a little more out of Blizzard. It falls under the competent category, rather than revolutionary.