I’d like to give a tip of the hat to publisher Playstack and Cold Symmetry for making the Enhanced Edition a free update to owners of the PS4 version, and, for newcomers, making the MSRP of the game only $30, less than half of the going rate for some other next-gen games. Certainly at that price point you can’t hardly find a PS5 tailored experience that’s as good as Mortal Shell. In sum, if you’re like me and like the Souls games for their lore and gameplay, but don’t want to spend hours in frustration with asinine difficulty, give Mortal Shell a sincere chance. Like any game in this genre, it can take several hours to get really comfortable with and in the groove, but when you do, it will hold on tight and you won’t want to put it down.
What is fortunate though is that The Sinking City is available again, and this freshly enhanced version for the PS5 is by far the best way to play the game. The changes that Frogwares made are impactful and make this a significantly better experience than it was at original release. It still has its quirks, but the positives far outweigh the negatives and it’s easy to recommend this game to anyone who has yet to check it out.
Issues aside, though, Call of the Sea is pretty good. It was nice to play through a new story with new characters, even if the story design was somewhat familiar and the outcome (essentially the same despite which ending you choose) was fairly predictable. Solid voice-acting, good writing, and pretty graphics (nothing show-stopping, but they’re good) make for a nice presentation package on top of an alright game. If you’re looking for a more casual, story and character driven game to play this holiday, Call of the Sea is worth considering.
Though the characters, locales, and general lore of Warhammer were lost on me not having ever played any Warhammer before (tabletop or otherwise), this didn’t stop me from getting into the game and enjoying it. The story, characters, quest and dungeon design, and general gameplay are all pretty straight-forward and familiar, and I don’t mean that in a disparaging way. This is a good case of ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’ If you’re looking for an expansive and fun co-op loot-gathering, combat-heavy dungeon crawler, this is a good choice, and your only choice right now for the new consoles.
This is in spite of how great the game looks, runs, and also how it sounds. The presentation package of The Falconeer is quite good, especially on XSX, but that alone couldn’t overcome the struggles I was having with the experience otherwise. I appreciate the effort that went into making this, especially seeing as it was practically done by a one-man studio — but neither the lore or the gameplay really grabbed me and held my interest for long. I could see where more adept and/or forgiving players in this genre would have a better time than I did, though, so if the game sounds interesting to you, it’s worth keeping an eye on, especially given it costs less than half of some of the other launch games.
Overall, a ticket to Plant Coaster: Console Edition is a great buy if you’re at all into theme park management. Frontier did a superb job bringing their excellent 2016 PC game to next-gen with console-friendly UI, controls, and everything you could need to get a big jump on your theme park building and management gameplay.
So there’s any awful lot going on in Bright Memory in a very short period. I can say that I had fun and I am looking forward to the complete game, but with some caution: I do hope and anticipate that FYQD will do a lot more to tighten up the experience on console as the cursor-driven menus are no fun, and this feels like a rushed port from its original platform (PC). Gameplay has got get more focused as well; I’m all for such an unusual mixture of enemies and cross-genre gameplay blends and inspirations, but it’s got to tie together somehow to make some sense and matter to the player. I don’t need a grand story, but I am hoping that the full game makes a lot more sense than this current offering which seems like someone brainstorming out loud, so to speak. All that to say, for $8, and with very limited new game+ options, you could do worse — but it might be just as well to wait until Bright Memory: Infinite launches in full next year.
In sum, Cyber Shadow does a great job of doing what it set out to do. It’s a modern take on genre elders Ninja Gaiden and Shinobi, and it provides all the ninja lore, atmosphere, challenge, and aura that those games do. Furthermore, it gives players plenty of reason to keep playing thanks to evolving gameplay elements that keeps things fresh, interesting, and challenging. For anyone who enjoys the genre or ninja games in general, Cyber Shadow is a must-have.