There aren't many games that can carry charm and charisma on its back throughout its entire duration, but Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan managed to keep my interest from start to finish. Its charm is undeniable, and developer ManaVoid Entertainment managed to create an experience that held a smile on my face from start to finish. The game can get repetitive quickly, but the delightful exploration and innovative combat kept me intrigued long enough to see the credits roll.
I had plenty of fun with Xuan Yuan Sword 7. Though I wish the story would have been a little more engaging, the fun yet straightforward combat and exploration kept me going until the end, that said the game does suffer from some lousy difficulty spikes and forgotten mechanics that are introduced early on. It's the seventh core title in the franchise, and I'm hoping it's not the last one to make it to western shores.
The Lonely Assassins is the best Doctor Who game to date. It's terrifying at points and leverages the franchise to the best of its abilities. The writing is top-notch and rivals the show on many levels. The exclusion of the actual Doctor may upset some fans but I found the story worked better and felt a little more personal without the Doctor's direct involvement.
The Warriors franchise has always had a strong following and Samurai Warriors 5 keeps that following going. With an entertaining story, strong characterizations and a gorgeous cell-shaded art style, Samurai Warrior's 5 is the best entry in the franchise in a long time. If you've never had an interest in jumping into a Warriors title before, Samurai Warriors 5 is the best time to jump in and see what makes these games so addictive and fun.
The Eternal Castle Remastered delivers a faithful MS-DOS inspired title. That means it comes with all the issues those games carried with them. If it was simply a visual representation with modern game mechanics, The Eternal Castle Remastered could have been an amazing title, but alas, the broken platforming, melee combat that sees you button mashing until you win an encounter and gunplay that leaves you running for your life more often then holding your ground all conspire to make The Eternal Castle Remastered feel desperately dated. The unique art design is visually appealing, and when the electronic music plays, it sounds incredible. Unfortunately though, it's not enough to save The Eternal Castle from being a below-average title.
Dark Alliance is the type of game for people looking to blow off steam with their friends. It's such an exploration ride that I just wanted to keep playing it all day long. The fun combat and loot system kept me coming back even if it is a shame the story set in the D&D universe written by a prolific writer fails to live up to its potential. It's also baffling that almost no love was given to the game on the PS5 to utilize its power or even the DualSense controller. At $40 though almost all of its flaws can be overlooked for just plain old fun.
Fast-paced action and combat is the heart of Necromunda: Hired Gun. A great variety of skills allow you to string moves together while taken on dozens of foes at once. The world of Necromunda is a horrible dystopian underbelly of the 40K universe and it shows in Hired Gun. It's just a shame that the story, and characters are so barebones that the 40K license almost feels wasted.
Biomutant is a fun title with some amazing visuals and a huge open world to explore. Experiment 101 have gone out of their way to make you feel like you're a first-time visitor to an unknown landscape. Though its morality system leaves a lot to be desired there is plenty here to enjoy. Despite suffering from some technical issues, none of it hindered me from pouring hours and hours into the game. If you're looking for something fresh, unique, and exciting, Biomutant is a brand new IP that you should play.
Call of the Sea puts all its eggs into its puzzles. They're fun to solve and feel as rewarding as slaying a boss in some of the most difficult games. The mysterious island Norah explores is gorgeous and full of mysteries that even Nathan Drake would appreciate. It's just a shame that its narrative is such a letdown. Norah may be the main character but I think Harry's adventure would have made a more compelling narrative.
The NieR franchise has easily become one of my favorites. After NieR Automata, my need to replay the original NieR grew and grew, and thankfully, Square Enix has answered my prayers for an updated version of the original title. NieR: Replicant tells a fantastic story that's carried by great writing and a soundtrack that stops you in your tracks to listen to its incredible melodies. The only thing that holds Replicant back from true greatness is its old-school take on fetch quests and the horribly constant backtracking.