A Gummy's Life is a simple game with a hook that fails to reel in the player base it needs. Still, the element of cross-play shouldn't be overlooked. Gummy diversity is lacking in terms of stats for each and the physics systems support that fact. The variety of stages is decent, but the vibrancy is overblown. However, with a group of friends either online or at home, there might be a quick laugh to be had from this silly little title.
Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp brings back two classic tactics games with mixed results. While the various COs and their animations are exceptional, accompanied with welcomed voice acting, the 3D artwork for the environments, troops and vehicles clashes with the 2D drawings. The missions themselves hold up incredibly well twenty years later with vast unit variety and choice for most battles. Bare bones online modes don't offer quite enough opportunity for replayability, but the package still stands tall with a map editor and missions with additional maps.
All told, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is more of the same core experience, complete with the best gameplay the series has ever seen. While it cuts out one of the base game's unique modes and features, follower quests are a fantastic addition for offline play. The story could use some better pacing, but the mission structure continues to be spread out very well with new and returning monsters becoming available at a relatively decent pace - aside from the post-game grind to the final monster. Regardless, Sunbreak is an astounding expansion and a must-have for any hunter for both Offline and Online play.
All told, AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES: nirvanA Initiative is a worthy sequel to the 2019 original. While some elements of the story don't always fit with the cast of characters, the core of the narrative keeps players invested throughout. The new somniums are very well designed in both pace and aesthetic, making them each feel unique. The additional hints and difficulty options are welcome, too, for those who want them. Virtual Reality sequences do well to add to the gameplay outside of somniums themselves, providing some great variety. This science fiction mystery thriller is certainly worth a look for fans of Zero Escape and visual novels in general.
When it comes down to it, Triangle Strategy really impresses with its deep battle and party system, storytelling and clean visual presentation aside from some performance issues. While some of the voice acting is somewhat weak, the cast is up to the task to deliver on the well written and engaging tale. However, oftentimes the scales weigh too heavily in favor of the story over the major battling moments, removing quite a bit of player engagement. Even though time spent between gameplay and story is unbalanced, the overall experience is well worth a look for tactics fans.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania is a surefire sign that the series was and still is great to play. The change in game engine adds a vibrant coat of paint while tweaking the physics to a slightly faster alternative. However, this does not change the fact that some levels are too stuck in the past. Topped off with some very welcome accessibility options, this package is well worth playing even if the mini games and customization have some notable downsides.
Tetris Effect: Connected is a beautiful game and a great multiplayer-focused refresh of the initial PlayStation 4 game. The visuals are gorgeous and deserve to be experienced in VR. Depending on the display, HDR or SDR colour ranges might not look right until some tweaking is done outside of the game. However, once it clicks this is one of the best puzzle games and definitely a fantastic way to play Tetris in its modern format solo or with others.
Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker caps off the Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga in a near perfect fashion. The storytelling on display vastly outshines the hit or miss quest design. The English voice acting deserve praise for consistent performances of both old and new characters backed by great directing. The dungeons and trials are some of the best in the game that continue to offer escalating challenges while keeping to consistent visual language. Each zone has a unique visual style and tale to tell in this final chapter, despite one or two having a rather slow introduction. All rounded out by a masterwork soundtrack, this MMORPG continues to prove that it shouldn't be missed.
Life is Strange: True Colors is a complete title that will take around nine to ten hours to finish. This might prove a bit steep for the price, but the pacing and character work do well to make this story worth the time. The colourful visuals compliment Alex's power, but there are a few rough patches along the way. Despite the soundtrack of original and licensed songs blending into the world, the Live Stream mode is half baked and should be revisited in the future because as a shared experience; this game shines with complexion.
The aesthetic of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is very eye-catching and can make it fun to watch being played by speedrunners or those familiar with the series. For those looking to have a more classic experience, the swappable color palette available in the main mode and the unlockable port are worth a look. The release is rounded out with a boss rush mode to serve up a challenging 2D platformer that's worth a try before the game shows itself as a product of its time.
The roster variety is hindered by the progression system which discourages changing party members before each mission. The color palette and art is very vibrant and colorful, but the game looks more blurred and choppy as more and more enemies are thrown at the player in the pursuit of a challenge which is the World Brothers' downfall. For EDF fans and newcomers alike, this call to action isn't worth answering.
Unbound: Worlds Apart is a game that looks and sounds wonderful, with a central gameplay hook, and it keeps players on their toes. Plus, with a lenient checkpoint system even the most difficult parts feel less daunting. Aside from some performance hiccups on Nintendo Switch and a passable story, this is definitely worth a look or two.
Chivalry 2 offers up some exciting, large-scale battles, and a variety of melee weapons at the ready. The balance is almost there, with archers perhaps being too powerful due to their generous aiming. The automatic team balancing system does remove some of the pressure of winning or losing, which can be a net positive. So, unleash a battle cry and join the fray!
Guilty Gear -Strive- is a superb entry in the 2D Fighter genre, and has the looks, sounds, and stability to back the claim. While smaller compared to other titles, the initial roster of fifteen fighters feels distinct, and most picks have a fitting theme to complement their personality and playstyle. The Story Mode does a great job showcasing who these characters are, while providing a good narrative to boot - and while the act of getting matched with other players can be a pain, the online play experience is incredibly solid. Let's rock!