Swords of Gargantua is a short thrill ride of an experience that tries to stretch it out to a length it simply doesn’t have the legs for. Between momentary bouts of motion sickness, dull and uninspiring enemy variety, and a flawed form of gameplay that strays far from the supposed “hyper-realistic swordsmanship” that was slapped on its trailer, I became entirely deflated from my time with the game and simultaneously disappointed that I kept playing at all. Those early hours reminded me of why I love VR so much, and just how well those short burst experiences work for the format. Alas, Swords of Gargantua is like a once-great TV show that simply will not end.
Twin Mirror is Dontnods first collaboration with Bandai Namco and was developed by a separate team of senior developers. It may seem unreasonable to cast blame on this diversion from its previous team, but Twin Mirror stands as a far cry from other Dontnod titles, failing in almost every degree by its unwillingness to fully commit to anything. It wants to be a classic mystery but never offers up any questions that truly need answering. Twin Mirror wants you to care about its characters but never gives you any reason to even like them. It wants so much to be about its setting but fails to even conjure up a fraction of the sense of place that Arcadia Bay achieved. Ultimately, Twin Mirror is an amalgamation of lots of half-baked ideas that become bruised and battered as they fall from the promising heights of Basswood’s nature trail. Maybe from up there, I can spot a better mystery to play through.
Lonely Mountains Downhill is a game of two identities. One part sets you at ease as your cycle your way through beautifully designed bike routes, accompanied by the soothing sounds of churning tyres, chirping birds, and flowing streams. The other will leave your blood boiling as your crashes tick over into the hundreds. Yet it is that second part to Lonely Mountains‘ identity that meant I kept coming back, eager to trim down my run times and find every one of its hidden-in-plain-sight shortcuts. It is a deceptively full experience that will easily allow you rack up hours of playtime and leave you gripping onto your Switch as tightly as a pair of handlebars.