Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a fine collection of games that surely merits a purchase for any gamer who wants to be challenged in terms of their analytical skills and enjoy some exciting courtroom drama, which the Ace Attorney series offers in spades. For that, we have no objections! Newcomers don’t need to worry too much about starting their attorney journey with Apollo Justice, as the collection is strong enough to be an ideal entry point for a new protagonist in the series. You won’t need to know Phoenix Wright’s long history as an attorney, as the games present just enough information to let you know who he is, and it could serve as a reason to revisit the past titles, which are also available in compilations.
If there's one thing that can sum up our adoration for Granblue Fantasy: Relink, it's that Cygames has made the long wait absolutely worth it. The game feels like a product that was delivered with love and care for the franchise, highly evident in its stunningly gorgeous visuals and equally mesmerizing audio. Combat is a highlight, offering fast-paced and slick battles that get the blood pumping, accented by visual effects that may be a bit too much at times. Still, there's a lot of fun to be had, and the gameplay loop feels addictive and rewarding.
Naruto X Boruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections is another serviceable entry in the series, and while it doesn't break or tread new ground, players can expect a fun but shallow outing with some of their favorite ninjas in the Naruto series. Even with over 130 characters, the game is bogged down by a lack of modes, lackluster English voices, and a new story that felt predictable. While it did have some high points and some emotional moments, it doesn't stand out too much, which might be a disappointment.
This was a very tough call. Considering this is a collection of some amazing games in an iconic videogame franchise, we would want you to rush and get them right away. That is, if, and only if, you’re a complete newcomer to the series. For longtime fans who have likely bought and already lived through these games during their release, we can only recommend them if you have a really bad Metal Gear itch that you want to scratch. These are practically unchanged from the originals, so if you have the previous iterations, then you're not really missing out.
Despite some nitpicks, Fate/Samurai Remnant is still a worthy new entry in the long-running Fate series as well as the Musou genre. The elements like Masters and Noble Phantasms the Fate series are well incorporated with the Musou-style gameplay. Not to mention you’re treated to a memorable story with enough twists and turns that it may stay with you for a while, or until the next Fate entry.
The Resident Evil 4 Remake is a prime example of how a proper remake is done. It retains almost every aspect of the original’s DNA and expands on it, making for a very nostalgic but also very refreshing and fun experience. The original Resident Evil 4 back in 2005 was a milestone that could still be enjoyed even today, so for a remake to be able to be just as good as the original is an amazing achievement. The Resident Evil 4 Remake is a must-own title that deserves a spot in any survival horror fan’s library and is easily one of the best games of the year.
WWE 2K22 was a step in the right direction, and WWE 2K23 is certainly a continuation of that. The various modes this year have been made more replayable, which should be a welcome sight for hardcore fans. Despite the frustration of having to deal with controller settings, I still had a blast playing as my favorite WWE wrestler and duking it out in the ring. The numerous tweaks to make the other modes more fun are also appreciated, and there’s really enough here that makes it more than just a lazy yearly installment.
I can see why Tales of Symphonia is considered a favorite in the series. Like other entries, it’s a solid experience with fun combat and a compelling story, but it shows its age in the modern gaming landscape. It doesn’t help that the remaster is quite a lackluster effort that could have made this outing much more worth it. Don’t get us wrong. Tales of Symphonia Remastered is not a terrible game by any stretch, and it does tick all the boxes of a fun and solid experience, but we’re saddened by the feeling that it does deserve much more than the remastering effort that we got. With so many games out on the market today, check this one out if you’re hankering for an old-school experience.
Despite some of my personal gripes, One Piece Odyssey is a solid JRPG experience starring the beloved characters of the series. Its decision to retread familiar arcs despite having an original story can be tolerated and may even be a reason for newcomers to try out the anime/manga. By shifting to a JRPG, One Piece Odyssey provides players with a new way to interact with the Straw Hats, and even employs some nice strategic elements during battles that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each character.
Persona 3 Portable is still a title worth playing, despite the missing content from the FES version. The game is already complete in and of itself, featuring hours and hours of gameplay and tons of replayability. It’s a solid title in terms of the fun turn-based mechanic, the nearly addictive dungeon exploration of Tartarus, and meeting a cast of colorful characters that you will surely be attached to by the end of your campaign.
It’s really hard to find any fault with Persona 4 Golden. It’s so fun to play that the only reason you won’t be buying this title is if you still have your PS Vita or have already bought the PC port of it. In other words, replaying the game wherever you choose will still provide the same fantastic experience as before. Persona 4 Golden is still the timeless classic that it has been since it was first released. We’ve gotten to the bottom of it, and the bottom line is that Persona 4 Golden is solid gold goodness you must own.
As a fan of the series, I really looked forward to Gungrave G.O.R.E but was left disappointed by the experience. While the DNA of Gungrave was present, it really lacked some of the crucial aspects that made the previous games fun and entertaining. Gungrave G.O.R.E isn’t exactly a bad game, but there are some decisions here that make it feel frustrating and stuck in the past, which is sad because there’s much that could have been done here thanks to the advancements in technology over the years.
Sonic Frontiers is a great new adventure for the blue blur. While it suffers from the overly-used open-world gameplay mechanics, it is certainly a fresh experience to see Sonic run around in vast expanses of land while interacting with classic Sonic elements. Despite its hitches, Sonic Frontiers is the jolt that the franchise needs and is a step in the right direction, despite this step being marred by generic open-world tropes that can get tedious as players progress through the game. It’s serviceable enough for both newcomers and fans and will certainly dictate how the franchise progresses moving forward.
Valkyrie Elysium is a very rough time, which is a shame considering its pedigree. Despite a few bright moments like its fast-paced combat, the game is bogged down by questionable design decisions and repetitive gameplay that sour the whole experience. The fun combat system can only do so much to carry the weight, but alas, everything else feels average and fails to live up to its storied past. A deep sale is recommended before even trying it out.
TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection certainly deserves its title as a collection that’s as awesome as the franchise itself. From classic games to nostalgic side content, this is a dream come true for longtime fans. Konami has gone above and beyond to make this package worth it, filling up the Turtle’s Lair virtual museum with enough material to justify calling itself a museum. Concept art, advertisements, guides, and even retail boxes are here for players to enjoy. A collection like this will mostly appeal to fans such as myself, but objectively speaking, the value in the collection is immense. While newcomers may find the games dated, TMNT: The Cowabunga Collection can easily offer hours of mindless fun for everyone.
Soul Hackers 2 is a solid JRPG that manages to be fun, challenging, but also overly familiar. It’s easy to dismiss it as a Persona clone because of a lot of borrowed elements, but it doesn't take away from it being a fun game despite its lack of originality. The game shines because of its story and characters, both of which are interesting enough to give it a life of its own. You’ll find them endearing during the more lighthearted moments, but at the same time, root for them at their darkest, which will really compel you to see the story through.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is a fantastic installment and a great update to the classic fighting game from almost 10 years ago. It’s made even better thanks to changes that should appeal to both fans of the source material and those looking for competition. Newcomers looking the use All-Star Battle R to get acquainted with the series will be out of luck, as the closest thing to a story mode in the game will expect players to already be familiar with the characters and their stories. That being the case, this shouldn’t stop newcomers from enjoying a fun and solid fighting game.
Digimon Survive is the latest entry in the series that takes a surprising twist with its setting and visual novel/strategy RPG hybrid. The result is a fresh take that’s fun, challenging, and a familiar treat for those who like monster collecting. Longtime fans should definitely give this a shot, and newcomers who haven’t played any of the previous Digimon games shouldn’t have a problem following the story or any of its proceedings. Despite the unfortunate delays that the game has experienced over the years, Digimon Survive is another worthwhile entry in the long-running series that won’t disappoint.
Klonoa was an iconic character for a reason. This fun platformer combined with catchy tunes and lovable characters made for some memorable experiences, and the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series lovingly brings all of it back to life for current systems. Including both of Klonoa’s classic titles, the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is the best way to experience the classic and is a triumphant return for the character. The game is very simple to pick up and play, but also offers enough variety and challenge to those looking for a test. Despite some minor complaints, you could even consider them as nitpicks, the Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series is a treat for fans and is the closest thing we have (for now, maybe) to a modern Klonoa experience.
Sonic Origins is a fun romp and a trip back in time to when things were simpler. Getting some of the best Sonic games out there in one package is a sweet deal, and that alone should be worth the purchase. You’re also getting an Anniversary Mode to go with it, which adds some nifty features that shake up the gameplay experience. If anything, Sonic Origins is a good compilation of Sonic games but is a bit pricey for what you get. Adding insult to injury is the fact that the Deluxe Edition locks players out of some bonus items that really should have just belonged to the base game. Still, Sonic Origins is a great time for fans and newcomers alike and is a worthwhile way to experience the adventures of the terrific trio.