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.
Despite its rather straightforward platforming mechanics and forgiving gameplay, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga succeeds in recreating the mainline films in a package that is enjoyable for even the general audience that isn't a fan of LEGO or Star Wars. Fans, on the other hand, will get a kick out of the game, taking them on a wild ride across the galaxy in a comedic retelling that's oftentimes funny and mostly entertaining. Iconic characters and locations make an appearance here and most, if not all, of the classic scenes from the movies are faithfully recreated brick by brick.
Putting things simply, WWE 2K22 is an improvement in almost every way, surpassing 2K20 in aspects that matter to merit a definite return to form. Some things like MyFaction and MyGM could be fleshed out a bit more, but it does mean that Visual Concepts has finally steered the ship back on track and could build bigger and better experiences based on this outing.
Elden Ring is the logical evolution in the trademark souls formula, borrowing the best features from previous titles and blending them into a finely-tuned mix of intense combat and high-pressure precision. While veterans will surely enjoy the punishment that comes with it, newcomers are treated to what could arguably be one of FromSoftware's more approachable titles to get into. The Lands Between is vast and full of danger at every turn but heavily encourages exploration, offering handsome rewards for those who choose to face the dangers head-on. Capped off by a beautiful open-world brimming with mind-blowing monster and level design, Elden Ring easily rises to the hype and exceeds expectations.
Eidos Montreal has managed to take the appeal of the MCU's Guardians and crafted an alternate universe that is just as interesting, and easily worth expanding on for future installments. For their latest adventure, this dysfunctional team of superheroes has definitely made a splash and we're definitely all in for more adventures with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.
Demon Slayer The Hinokami Chronicles is a case of a game that will certainly appeal to fans of the anime but may not pull in a wider audience. The overall content of the game feels sort of shallow, considering the anime is still only in its second season, opening the game up to the possibility of adding more fighters via DLC. That said, if you’re in the market for a simple game that’s based on one of the most popular animes in recent memory with fantastic characters and an interesting storyline, Demon Slayer The Hinokami Chronicles is certainly one title to consider.
Ubisoft has tweaked the formula to a reasonable degree, but Far Cry 6 remains a familiar game. Newcomers will surely find a lot to see and do, but veterans know full well what to expect. This is not a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, since it mostly means a polished, playable, and relatively fun game where the one question that looms over their head is how long into the game before it gets tiresome and repetitive.
Just like the original from over two decades ago, Diablo II: Resurrected proves to be another great outing from the folks at Vicarious Visions. Not only were they able to keep the charm and feel of the original game intact, but they also introduced very sensible upgrades that fully realize the vision of Diablo II.
Sonic Colors: Ultimate may not offer anything groundbreaking and may feel average by current gaming standards, but to longtime fans, it’s definitely a return to form for a beloved fast running, ring snatching, wise-cracking, and robot smashing video game icon.