I haven't much negative to say about Paleo Pines. I don't love it, but I do like it a lot. The retail price of $29.99 is more than fair considering what you get – you get a lot of bang for your buck. I was able to overlook the basic visuals to see the magic behind them. While the farming elements feel basic, the dinos make this game stand out from the crowd. Collecting and taking care of them is worthwhile and feels rewarding in the long run.
If you want the best experience possible with MythForce, play with friends. If you don't have friends, then play by yourself. If you hate yourself, then try playing with strangers. Visually, style-wise, I love MythForce. While there isn't enough dialogue what is there can be amusing the first couple of times. Combat takes some getting used to, but once you have the hang of that the game gets better. I love roguelike elements, I just need more randomness. With the exception of MythForce's style everything falls flat after a few hours. Buy this on sale and convince a few buddies to do the same and you won't be upset you did it.
I have played a lot of farm sims in my day. Fae Farm is one of the better options available, especially if you have three other friends that you can play along with. Fae Farm falls under the cozy game genre, giving off a relaxed and pressure-free atmosphere more so than hurry up and plant those seeds. It provides diverse customization options, including skin tones and pronoun choices; it also streamlines farming tasks and simplifies tool selection. Crafting and decorating are also present, as well as dungeon exploration. But like a lot of cozy farm-style games, this can feel repetitive after a while. Can Fae Farm hold your attention long enough to see it through? Probably, especially if you can do it with a friend or three.
Hammerwatch II gets into the meat of its gameplay right away. I loved looking for better gear and never felt like I wasn't progressing toward something the entire time I played. I also loved the freedom to do side-quests when I wanted, no longer beholden to the linear story of the first Hammerwatch. Is it hard? You better believe it, but with multiple difficulty settings to choose from, anyone who is interested in Hammerwatch II won't have a problem getting into the game. With so many new RPG games this year, it's easy to see how Hammerwatch II could go unnoticed. While it might not look different, I challange anyone who is into the genre to spend two hours playing and not want to play more. If the developer can fix a couple of minor issues, like group loot in multiplayer games, this will hopefully find some legs to go the distance I feel it can.
The gameplay loop to UFO: Unidentified Falling Objects is simple enough, but addicting, at least for a while. You can watch a trailer for this game, and you can even play for a little bit and think you know what you are doing, but you would be wrong. The further I dig into UFO the further it gets away from just being a casual puzzler. The online multiplayer would probably help drive that thought if I could find a match. This is a smaller title; its price reflects that, but in a good way. The gameplay is sharp, pixels even sharper, and just a fun time overall, just don't rely on playing online.
In an unexpected twist, I find myself immersed in a JRPG set in Shakespeare's realm, complete with nods to all kinds of other pop culture mainstays, like Sailor Moon. The writing is so good it's like a Shakespearean comedy; the twist of adding modern translation is just hilarious at times. Having to switch between the two styles of dialogue is like deciding between quill and keyboard - annoying at first, but it grows on you. The game's structure is more repetitive than I would like at times; exploration leaves a little bit to be desired too. Still, it's reminiscent of classic JRPG styles, making you feel like you're back in your nostalgic gaming heyday. Recommended for any RPG fan.
If you are unsure where to begin with this series Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist Of Salburg is a great starting place. It's the first in the series, and the facelift it has been given is very welcoming to newcomers, like me. I'm glad I gave this one a shot before trying something else in the series; trying this one out after might have felt like a downgrade. Combat and gathering, two of Atelier Marie's main elements, can be done automatically, making them feel unimportant when I know that is not true. Focusing on learning about the world's characters is where you'll find most of the enjoyment. Atelier Marie Remake has sold me on the idea of playing another game in the series, I hope they feel more modern, and require more work on my part.
There is a lot I enjoyed with Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes. When I'm winning, I like the gameplay loop. The art is fantastic, and looks great when I play in hand held mode. Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes starts out as a welcoming game. After a few battles, I begin to see the cracks. Enemy heroes I play against are two, sometimes three, levels ahead of me, something that is not easy to overcome. The random drops of units on my side don't feel equal to the ones my AI enemy gets. I feel like I'm always on the defensive during the campaign. But the multiplier is excellent, pass-and-play is exactly what I want in a game like this.
For only being a four-hour-long game Oxenfree II: Lost Signals has a lot to say. A narrative that is more intricate than its predecessor, while still holding onto the framework that made Oxenfree stand out. Lost Signals makes you care about these people. The voice acting goes above and beyond to help drive that home. Like the first title, Lost Signals feels unique in the video game space. With a few minor hiccups, and one upsetting one, Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is, without hesitation, worth a second and third playthrough.
Final Fantasy XVI decided it wanted to be different. Gone is any element of turn-based combat. But not all typical Final Fantasy elements have been left by the curb. An excellent musical score, great cast of characters, and a story that will be hard to top are all here. There are a few hiccups with this new style. I missed a minimap more than I thought I would, cutscenes back to back after taking ten steps was a common annoyance, and side-quests feel like an afterthought. But those are small potato issues. This is a Final Fantasy game for both newcomers and those who loved the old-school fantasy settings of previous entries. Final Fantasy XVI isn't perfect, but it's close.
Farm sims are a dime a dozen. For every great one, there's a bad one. The problem isn't that Everdream Valley is bad. It's just that there just isn't much fun with the farm life. All the staples are here, and they're fine. What's worst than hatred? Indifference. I feel indifferent about Everdream Valley. Is there a lot to see and do in Everdream Valley? Yes. Do I want to work my way through to see it all? No.
As the fourth entry to a series, I am beyond impressed with Diablo IV. The developers have managed to find a way to make the ARPG genre feel new and refreshing. I was worried about a lot of common tropes I see in the genre, but that was not an issue. My biggest gripe is the world is so big that having to walk around it instead of using a mount for so long was the worst part. How will the seasons play out? Will I want to play every season, or just the first couple? That's not something I can predict right now, but my guess is Diablo 4 will have me sticking around and jumping into a new season every so often for the next couple of years.
It comes down to this. Graveyard Keeper: Last Journey does not have enough, "play just one more day" moments to get me to stick with it long-term. Instead of a dark, horror-filled farm sim spin off, I'm left with a dark humor management system. Building anything feels like a chore. Nothing feels explained to you, even the days of the week are needlessly confusing. I was able to have fun with Graveyard Keeper, but it took more time and patience than I wanted.
Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection is a fun trip down memory lane; playing in handheld mode on my Switch further pushes that nostalgic feeling. The weakest part of this collection is the lack of innovation made throughout the series, something I wouldn't have noticed if I was playing a different game once every few years. But none of the negatives drag down the overall fun of this collection. The best part of the Battle Network series is the combat, which still feels unrivaled. Added features make it a great collection to add if you're into either Mega Man or RPGs in general. A collection of six games, with ten different versions to play, the Mega Man Battle Network Legacy Collection is a worthwhile investment.
Characters that are fun, interesting, and have a purpose. I had a lot of fun seeing where Cal Kestis' story went, and I'm interested in seeing where these characters go from here. Combat is near perfect; no matter your style, the puzzles are challenging enough to keep me entertained when I'm not clearing out Stormtroopers. Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is the good Star Wars. The kind you hope for every time you start a new video game or begin a new Star Wars tv series. A story so good I don't want to share any of it; go play it for yourself.
Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is what I look for when playing a remastered title. A nice graphical update, plenty of quality-of-life changes, and new content that is not in the original but still adds to the enjoyment without feeling forced in. I love how easy it was to get into the game, and I liked the challenging aspect of Rewind. The new rewind feature is interesting and doesn't break the already solid game experience. If you've never played a roguelike then Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is a great jumping on point to the genre. If you've been a fan of them for a while, this one should be added to your collection.
Sanctuary Saga strives for greatness, but just doesn't quite get there. While there are a lot of good elements to Sanctuary Saga, they don't feel like great or amazing ones. It feels like a SNES game from the early nineties in a lot of great ways, but also feels like it is trapped in that style, which is holding it back. I needed more variation in enemies, dungeons, and a bit more focus on story progression to fall in love with Sanctuary Saga. As it stands, I only have slight flirtatious feeling for the game.
The bottom line is that Hogwarts Legacy is fun. Exploring the school, Hogsmeade and the surrounding hamlets is rewarding. The spells feel like they've come alive from the pages of the books. Combat is exciting and very challenging on the higher settings. But it's not without some faults. Glitches are encountered frequently, and some parts of the game can be frustrating. On PS5, Hogwarts Legacy looks and runs great. If you're really into the world of Harry Potter, or open world games in general, you are going to love Hogwarts Legacy.
The game's lack of depth and lack of goals to work towards leaves much to be desired. Tumbleweed Destiny is a simple game where players control a tumbleweed in a desert setting and collect TP to upgrade their tumbleweed. The game's slow start and limited activities, like knocking over cacti and taking down a repeating enemy, make it unengaging and uninteresting. The game also lacks proper communication options, making the online play feel like a solo experience. The end goal of reaching the moon, or going to the second location once you've earned enough TP was underwhelming to say the least. The grind was long and tedious; the juice is not worth the squeeze for Tumbleweed Destiny.