- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Metal Gear Solid 2
- XCOM 2
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.
In many ways, Ride 4 gets its racing simulation so right. The intricate detail of the bikes themselves and the tinkering you can do with them is a testament to that. Unfortunately, the attempt to make its A.I. riders more realistic results in an unwanted level of unpredictability that makes an already challenging experience tougher than it should be.
Hitman 3 closes out the World of Assassination Trilogy with developer IO Interactive in confident mood. Lessons learned from the past five or six years have worked their way into this splendid epitaph for a series that looked dead and buried more than once along the way. As with its predecessor's, there are some lows to go with the highs, but those highs? They are truly something special and make the future of IO Interactive an exciting prospect.
The landscape of the beat 'em up genre may have altered in the ten years since Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game first released, but it's return is wholly welcome. A wonderful compliment to the graphic novel series, and a stylish throwback to the delightfully gaudy brawlers that boomed and bloomed loudly in 90s arcades. Add friends for maximum impact.
While Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 doesn't quite fix the original game's difficulty spikes, and rarely steps outside its comfort zone, it does make enough improvements to its formula to make it a successful sequel. It may not be the fresh and inventive breakout puzzle hit its predecessor was, but it's still undoubtedly a cracking blend of two fantastic puzzle games.
With Immortals: Fenyx Rising, Ubisoft has created a refreshingly compact throwback open-world adventure that can be forgiven for its aggressive repurposing of other games best bits because it shapes them to fits its own style. The exploration is brisk and eventful, the puzzles are varied, with the right level of challenge and simplicity, and the approach to storytelling ultimately pays off. The DualSense features are a bit hit and miss, and it's not exactly the best advert for the power of PS5, but much like the game it cribs from, Immortals' qualities outshine any need for major technical showcases.
Even after 16 years, there's nothing quite as absurdly wonderful as Katamari Damacy, and this remastered Reroll edition brings it to a whole new audience. Chock full of fun and silliness, blessed with a hypnotically soothing gameplay loop, and a soundtrack so joyously daffy it leaves you beaming ear-to-ear, Katamari Damacy deserves a successful PS4 Reroll.
Watch Dogs: Legion is a far more palatable experience on PS5 thanks to its vastly-improved load times and splendid visual upgrades. The only real technical gripes are that there's little in the way of DualSense implementation, and the framerate, while steady, hasn't been upped. Its base problems of open-world fatigue and messy storytelling are still problems that can't be so easily fixed and still remain a significant barrier to enjoyment. It'll give you a dazzling trip to London, but you wouldn't want to stay there.
Planet Coaster rides the line between warm and friendly accessibility and in-depth theme park management surprisingly well, even if it does occasionally wobble nervously with the switch to console controls. It's a largely serene experience with an utterly engrossing roller coaster creation tool that just makes the overall package that much better.