SNK has finally delivered another King Of Fighters worthy of the modern era. Not only have they rectified past errors, they have refined the experience to be the most functional and accessible that King Of Fighters has been for years. With a polished graphical presentation, generous amount of content, and online play that works at the standard required, fans of the series can be very happy with this offering. In many ways, King Of Fighters XV is merely a tidier version of its predecessor, and whilst there's nothing wrong with that, you could still argue the series still has some ground to make up in the fighting scene. However, it is certainly a big step in the right direction, and a great Fighter for fans to sink their teeth into.
The Longest Road On Earth is no doubt a stirring yet minimalist aesthetic experience with a superb original soundtrack to accompany. Those who are artistically sensitive will certainly find the short play-through to be a meaningful one. Better yet, you will be awarded a platinum trophy just for completing the story. Unfortunately the very few actual interactive parts of The Longest Road On Earth don't arise any enjoyment. Comprised almost entirely of very slow and unchallenged walking, it's difficult to classify this title as a real video game.
Don't be fooled by the unassuming presentation of this indie title; Dysmantle is a monster that will have you in its grasp in no time. With an addictive destroy and craft loop, and a big open world full of intrigue and challenge, you'll be bargaining with yourself for just one last scavenger run every time. Elements such as combat, camera and graphics have obvious room for improvement, but there's no shortcoming that detract from just how involved you become with this game. Anyone looking to scratch that RPG itch with a new time sink seriously needs to consider purchasing Dysmantle soon.
What Mythic Ocean lacks in almost every department, it does go a long way to compensate you with one of the most serene experiences you can get on a PS4. The core action is far from adrenaline pumping, but you might just come away feeling a small but cathartic amount of personal growth. With multiple endings that depend on your choices, Mythic Ocean will temp you back into its tranquil blue waters again and again before you're too horizontal to function in real life. Aside from a tedious library mini game and a few graphical blemishes, Mythic Ocean is probably just a little too small to be considered great, but it's certainly a worthwhile experience that will be swimming in your memory for some time after playing.
There's no doubt that White Shadows has something to offer in raw artistic spectacle, but there's far too many issues with the game to be celebrated. It comes across as a game that has its priorities completely upside down. While it's commendably brave that a brand new studio would explore delicate themes on their debut game, this preoccupation has apparently left no mind toward the fundamentals of what makes a gaming experience rewarding. Furthermore, these themes have not been handled in a very sophisticated manner. Social commentary aside, unoriginal level design, a forgettable narrative and poor frame performance sadly render White Shadows as one you can miss.
Death's Door is everything you hope to get get out of an indie game. An addictive challenge, an intriguing little tale and enough content to keep you going back. Unhindered by budgetary restrictions, Death's Door delivers on all fronts. The gameplay feedback from combat is implemented so well that you forget just how simple it is. Better still, it's made all the more excellent by the DualSense controller. Fans of Action RPG's will not want to miss this indy treasure on PS5.
Nickelodeon All-Stars is an obvious yet forgivable clone the manages to squeeze tiny sprinkles of originality in to its mix. However, the chasm left by what is missing from the game at the moment is almost irredeemable. Whilst the actual fighting mechanics of the core gameplay are well worked for competitive play, the lack of voice acting, game modes and general party utility leaves much to be desired. The general zaniness of Nickelodeon carries reasonably in the game, but certainly not enough to warrant purchase by casual players who are fans of the franchise.
Certianly it's great to see an all time classic enshrined and restored for modern day use. Additionally it opens up the game to exclusively console players that never played the original Diablo 2 on PC. There's no denying its significance in gaming history, and looks wonderfully sharp in 4k, but the age of the source code is evident. Diablo faithfuls will get a great nostalgic kick on the clunky ever-grind that is Diablo 2: Resurrected, but it would be a difficult recommendation for any series newcomers.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is stunning spectacle full of heart and unbelievable charm. If you aren't carefully selecting hats for your Rot companions by the end, then you're probably made of stone. In the event that your soul is inhospitably frosty, Kena can be deceivingly challenging, throwing boss fights at you that will make those on Demon Souls look like a cake walk. A few minor issues stop Kena from being a showstopper, but there is no doubt that this a great game, and an amazing debut for a 15-person strong team.
While Rustler manages to live up to everything it says on the tin, namely Grand Theft Auto with horses, there's not much in its delivery that leaves any sort of memorable experience. Relying almost entirely on its humour, Rustler tries to steal your fancy with crass jokes and pop culture references. However, it never quite manages to stand out as anything more than a basic sandbox romp, with all the repetitive fetch quests in tow. Couple that with some lacklustre mechanics, and what you've got is a fairly disappointing GTA clone.
As a metroidvania, Recompile succeeds in bringing the genre typical hallmarks into a marvellous minimalistic world, full of curiosity and poignancy. Where it fails is in its core gameplay. Between a lacklustre implementation of core mechanics, and some glaring oversights, Recompile feels it is not all that it could be. Flaws aside, there are moments in this game, both visually, audibly and narratively, that you won't soon forget. Beyond doubt, this is a stunning game in a few respects that needs to be seen. It is just a shame that the artistic vision had to be delivered at the cost of getting some of the basics right.
Simply one of the most enchanting art-styles you'll experience on an indie game. The hand-drawn characters and backgrounds are magical in motion, and contribute to a potently heart-warming playthrough. Whereas the game's simultaneous character control, puzzles, and individual character skills can be highly enjoyable at the right moments, those moments sadly don't come enough to completely satisfy. Nevertheless, Greak: Azur is worth a go for the aesthetic charm alone, and has some great puzzles for fans of that inclination.
With new characters, items, game modes and customisation options, the Mr. X Nightmare has made Streets Of Rage 4 feel like a brand new game again. Survival mode is one hell of a random trip that you'll be going another round at again and again. The new characters are exactly what you would want them to be, but the options for customising move sets and aesthetics mean that you can tailor your fighting preferences even further. The randomness in survival mode can be hard to take at times, but it's never swallowed without a smile. The Mr.X Nightmare is outstanding fun all the way, and the best sidescrolling brawler in town just got even better.
Janken Team deserve a lot of credit for the incredible facelift they have given Alex Kidd In Miracle World. Whilst nostalgic players will certainly get a kick out of Alex Kidd In Miracle World DX, there's no getting away from the fact that the core gameplay hasn't aged well at all. Slippery controls and excessively punishing courses, as well as random death ghosts and chance rock, paper, scissors, victories make Alex Kidd In Miracle World a tedious endeavour that's far overshadowed by other contemporary and classic platformers. A charming inclusion for retro collectors, but otherwise not recommendable.
Guilty Gear Strive is a simply stunning anime fighter with an astonishing depth of competitive gameplay. It does all it can to welcome newcomers with an extensive training mode and streamlined fighting mechanics, but it is still very much the beloved Guilty Gear niche experience, and rightly so. You can't have too much of a good thing, and Guilty Gear is certainly a good thing, so it's a slight shame that there isn't more content to sink our teeth into. Nevertheless, as a competitive fighting experience, it is still a fantastic entry that fans of the series will adore.
While Subnautica remains a brilliantly immersive and addictive survival adventure, the PS5 upgrade delivers less than we expected. Technically, the game is very similar to its successor, Subnautica: Below Zero, and yet falls short on both performance and visual quality in comparison. A free upgrade is always welcome, but perhaps Subnautica PS5 has automatically been made redundant by its superior sequel. Existing Subnautica players with a PS5 get a nice facelift, but there's little to justify this edition for newcomers.
Subnautica: Below Zero is a sublimely addictive timesink and an exemplary survival adventure game that transcends the genre. The improvements to the formula of the original game are minimal but impactful. Fans of the franchise will certainly have plenty to get into, and the appeal is broad enough to welcome many more newcomers to the experience. Whilst there is little ground broken in terms of visuals, Subnautica: Below Zero more than compensates with an all-round stellar experience that rivals that of bigger budget productions.
While charming in places, and with some fun gravity bending mechanics to stroke your novelty seeking, Gravity Heroes isn't all it could be. With a single player campaign that's barely playable, and too many tedious levels, this retro shooter leaves a lot to be desired. In the finer moments of Gravity Heroes, it can be a fun co-op experience, but without online play it is difficult to recommend this game for any single gamer.
Oddworld: Soulstorm in many ways is the peak of the Oddworld franchise. Oddworld Inhabitants have taken the hallmarked difficulty and dark humour and revamped it with innovative, new gameplay features and some really cool physics. It's only slightly held back by its overall presentation at launch, but despite this, it largely remains a stellar experience with lots of replayability and challenge for those who are Glukkon for punishment.
A collection of two of the finest co-operative games on Playstation, and it's almost as fine on PS4 as it is on PS5. Overcooked! All You Can Eat adds very little in regards to new content, but now with online cross-play, you've got everything you need to form a party of manic chefs and enjoy Overcooked! at its absolute best.