The beautiful thing about beat-’em-up games is that the genre’s appeal is immediate: Walk right, punch everyone along the way and feel great about it. The beauty of “Mr. X Nightmare” for “Streets of Rage 4” is less apparent, because the original game was already packed with value. But at $8, this trio of indie studios somehow made a far more robust and replayable package. There’s little else to say besides “Streets of Rage 4,” as a now-complete package, has my highest possible recommendation.
In a time when sneering, ironic detachment remains in fashion, Insomniac Games has created the rare modern masterpiece with no convoluted agenda, no subtext — just so many reasons to smile and laugh. This purity is felt through every pixel, every line reading and every planet.
This year is looking pretty dry for big title releases as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, and huge titles are seeing delays. The Nintendo Switch in particular has had a bit of a dry spell, but “Rise” comes in like a kaiju out of the tide. This is probably the best “Monster Hunter” game to date, and an easy, early contender for 2021′s best game.
Now that it’s over, I can confidently call IO Interactive’s “Hitman” trilogy one of the most consistently great series of games ever created. No other trilogy has expressed this much confidence and consistency in its execution. Agent 47′s story may be over for now, but these three games offer countless ways for you to tell your own stories.
The game itself is an all-time classic. The settings FromSoftware created in 2009 have the complexity of real places, which is why the game played so vividly to fans of role-playing games. And now Bluepoint has given “Demon’s Souls” all the details and polish needed to fully realize this game’s idealized concept of “role playing immersion.” It was a game of boundless creativity, and to have it reimagined so vividly by Bluepoint Games is nothing short of a minor miracle.