Madden NFL 22 definitely tries to get things right, but the lack of competition turns it into its own worst enemy. The rush to release a new game every year during a period in which game development takes more time than ever results in an incomplete and bug-filled launch. EA Vancouver skipped a next-gen version of NHL 20 to try to knock things out of the park with NHL 21 — maybe EA Tiburon should have done the same with Madden. If they do not learn from their mistakes, they might stumble into the same fate they have with their own NBA Live series.
Its puzzles are nowhere near challenging and the exploration is limited to small areas, but they are still enjoyable thanks to the heartwarming story that unfolds after each section. When combining it all with the vivid visuals and remarkable voice work, you cannot help but feel right at home.
Dodgeball and RPG is an odd combination that works surprisingly well in Dodgeball Academia — all thanks to its fast-paced combat and entertaining writing. You will find yourself giggling at times right before sweating your way through a chaotic match, while the games’ accessibility settings let you play it exactly the way you want to. To top things off, Dodgeball Academia offers a rare local versus mode, becoming a good candidate for those good old LAN parties.
Eldest Souls incorporates two of the best traits from a Souls game: challenging boss-fights and a minimalist storytelling approach. You will die a lot, but at the same time you will never feel cheated by the game — au contraire, you will find yourself on that “one more try” loop, unable to put the controller down until you find out a nice build combination to defeat a boss. And when you do, the satisfaction is near-instant.
Cris Tales sets a high bar when describing itself as a love letter to some of the best JRPGs of all time, but indie studio Dreams Uncorporated manages to exceed expectations by delivering a charming game with unique and challenging combat mechanics and a gorgeous artstyle. The characters are interesting, and the ability to peer into their past and future makes you care even more for them – especially the protagonist and its allies, which will travel alongside you during the game’s 20-30 hours of gameplay.