- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Metal Gear Solid 2
- XCOM 2
The Medium shines when it's letting you soak in its beautifully crafted dual worlds and melancholic soundtrack, but early promise of a quietly effective ghost story unravels as the story staggers clumsily to a point where it becomes almost unbearable in its attempt to tackle a tough subject.
When comparing it to other 3D Sonic titles, Sonic Colours is easily one of the better entries in the storied annals of the spiny speedster. It's an audiovisual delight, and more often than not, calls upon the spirit of speed that made this a household name. Unfortunately, it still carries plenty of the baggage from older 3D Sonic games in terms of unnecessary difficulty spikes, and inconsistent switching between 3D and 2.5D.
Variable State follows up the wordless weirdness of Virginia with a far more talkative, and more grounded, supernatural drama with Last Stop. The focus on its three protagonists' everyday problems over the underlying odd phenomena helps to make each tale more engaging, and in turn, makes the stranger things that occur feel more captivatingly mysterious in their initially limited use. It's a little light in terms of traditional player control, but Last Stop tells a hell of a good story that you still very much feel like you're in the director's chair for.
A deliberately slow, and sometimes frustratingly patient, start aside, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles revamps the Ace Attorney formula by injecting it with a take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Great Detective stories that is recognizable, and yet oh-so-perfect for this series in how it changes it. If the Phoenix Wright games have lost a little of their luster for you, then this double header Victorian-era spinoff may well be worth investigating.
Blackwood brings an intriguing new story full of conspiracy and demonic dangers to The Elder Scrolls Online, and while that's good, it's the addition of Oblivion Portals and A.I. Companions that really make the latest expansion a winner.
Rust is an unflinching multiplayer survival game that requires endurance and patience in order to really unlock its potential. The dynamics it creates in terms of player interaction are endlessly fascinating and prove to be a real boon for organic narrative flashpoints between players. Its pure multiplayer focus does mean it doesn't have what you'd call a traditional endgame, but it more than makes up for that with the unpredictability its social design brings.
While Mass Effect Legendary Edition isn't a spectacular remastering of a frankly superb trilogy, it does enough right to make it an essential collection. The original Mass Effect benefits most from the overhaul whilst retaining most of its scrappy charm, while Mass Effect 2 and 3 are generally better-looking versions of already great games. At the very least, it's a great excuse to visit or revisit one of gaming's greatest sagas.
Hood: Outlaws and Legends is a genuinely refreshing multiplayer idea that's well-executed for the most part. It's a little light on variety and doesn't offer all that much in terms of reward beyond winning matches, but there's a consistent joy to be found in its often intense back and forth tug of war for gold and glory.
Not so much a true next-gen leap for MLB, but a cautious set of baby steps towards it. The presentation and gameplay remain strong, and the ability to be a two-way player in Road to the Show has freshened that mode up and made it more enjoyable than ever. MLB The Show 21 is another reliable entry in a strong sporting franchise, but it definitely needs a bit of a shakeup next time out.
Speed Limit is a heady mixture of tough as old boots nostalgia that requires patience and/or stubbornness to crack its punishing action set-pieces. The joy comes from trying to perfect your run on Speed Limit rather than simply beating it, and there's varying mileage in this. At the very least, it's a fun nostalgic showcase of several classic game types mushed together in a surprisingly cohesive fashion.