Astria Ascending is not a great JRPG. I would hesitate to label it a good one. In a year of winners, it's not a complete outlier but it's no contemporary classic. Despite a few flirtations with intrigue, the story is generally vacant of anything compelling enough to stick around until the credits. Poor writing compounds the problem and unlikable characters can't overcome it. Gameplay ranges from strong to stale, with just enough gumption and innovation to keep things lively. Pound for pound and for all its pedigree, this is a disappointing experience I'm not inclined to recommend.
For my part, Steins;Gate 0 probably will not be joining that list of all-time greats. But I am glad to have played it. I’ll speak fondly about many parts in the years to come, even if the completed puzzle isn’t the picture I was hoping it would be. Maybe check it out sometime.
Gaming enthusiasts whose time is too limited to sample every hot Nintendo classic might want to move along. However, those among us who can still devote ample hours to our favorite franchises (and can tolerate a few terribly repetitive angles) will find a lot to love here. That’s the most I could hope for from Skyward Sword HD, and indeed, it has delivered.
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is just about everything I had hoped it would be. It carries the torch from past into future, dutifully imbuing Shepard’s fantastical voyages with a sense of modernity that will help the series continue to attract new fans as we inch boldly closer to whatever comes next. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel because that’s not what it sets out to do, but it does improve the first game to a considerable degree. It takes care to transfer the largely-unchanged sequels into a new decade of gaming.