Cotton Reboot is one of my favorite horizontal shoot ‘em ups of all time, alongside Keio Flying Squadron, Harmful Park, Cho Aniki, and Zombie Nation. What those all have in common is that they’re weird and unique in their presentation. They all have solid gameplay but don’t re-invent the wheel with anything other than style. Casual shooter fans can’t go wrong with Cotton Reboot!. It has an interesting presentation, tight controls, and scale-able difficulty. It won’t challenge hardcore bullet hell enthusiasts, but they probably want their shmups to be vertical anyways.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a fantastic value. It contains two Ace Attorney games, each with five stories. Considering the most recent great visual novel compilation, Famicom Detective Club, was a full-priced collection, containing two games less than half the length of the two found in The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, this collection at 2/3 the cost is a steal for visual novel fans. If you’re a fan of the original Ace Attorney games, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is an excellent return to form.
Although Risk System might not appeal to bullet hell enthusiasts, it still provides an excellent challenge. And really, Risk System isn’t trying to appeal to them anyway; it’s made to be much more accessible and innovative. In that sense, it exceeds in shining colors. I just wish there was more game to play. But for the low price tag, anyone interested in the shoot ‘em up genre can’t go wrong with a Risk System purchase.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is the kind of game that provides experiences unique to the video game medium. It is also the kind of game that pushes the visual novel genre’s boundaries, and serves as an excellent example of what non-video game players might not know they’re missing, if they’re not willing to try different kinds of games. This is a game you will tell everyone about when you’re finished playing it, and at the same time, just like this humble reviewer, you won’t want to share why. For less than $20, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is a highly recommended and very unique gaming experience.
Whether you’re a fan of the originals, or a curious party looking to get into skateboarding games, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a must play. All the original content, a smooth framerate, portability, loads of in-game customization, and a pinch of new content are a recipe for skateboarding success. Only a lack of create-a-skater options and lack of Spider-Man mar this fun flashback. This is what it’s like when worlds collide.
The three games found in the Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection are great, especially the original (the other two are more of the same). They all look, sound, and play as well or better than any other versions that have been released. If you enjoy third-person action games, the Ninja Gaiden Sigma Trilogy still holds up today. And the original should be required playing, as it is one of the original Xbox’s finest exclusives. However, buyers beware that these are only the Sigma versions of the modern Ninja Gaiden Trilogy. I don’t want to judge this collection for what I wish it contained (it already has three great games with tons of content), but by calling it a “Master Collection,” the game loses a couple of points due to false advertising.
While Earth Defense Force: World Brothers innovates nothing, it is incredibly fun. It more than makes up for its lack of originality with a clever, family-friendly graphical style, and boatloads of content. Anyone looking for some mindless shooter action can’t go wrong with World Brothers. I highly recommend it over other games mainly because of the size of its enemy swarms, the scope of its destructible buildings, and its endless amount of content.
The most important aspect of a visual novel is that it has a compelling story, and in that aspect, Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest delivers in spades. I just don’t feel like the mechanics in Heart of the Forest justify it being a videogame over a straight up novel. If you’re a fan of the Werewolf: The Apocalypse franchise, then Heart of the Forest should serve as an excellent love letter. Newcomers to the franchise who are visual novel fans will find a driving narrative, but those who like a lot of play in their game best stay away.
Professor Lupo: Ocean will be a treat for fans of the original. It continues the story, sets up a compelling mystery, and it looks and sounds fantastic. The puzzles are of one kind, however, and the game is short. Luckily the price tag is small, and it really is a continuation of the ideas/ story of Professor Lupo and his Horrible Pets. Puzzle fans should enjoy the length and variety in that game, and come back for more of a very specific-kind of puzzle in this sequel.
No, Dragon Quest XI S is not technically perfect. It has Switch graphics, is a little on the easy side, and isn’t going to convert any non-JRPG fans. But it is a game that shines so brightly! The story, visuals, music, and gameplay come together to create an unforgettable experience. This is one of the games I will always have a physical copy of and will revisit every few years for the rest of my life.