- Final Fantasy VI
I commend Neil Jones for his passion project and providing us with a unique experience with this free-running game, and I fully support his vision. While the game is a bit light on gameplay, the soundtrack to it is the icing on the cake and I would most definitely recommend buying it and supporting his composer Daniel Wilkins as well. As for the game, it’s an accessible experience that could be easily picked up and once you complete it, harder difficulties could be unlocked for some speedrunning options.
These three games are a generation-defining series that have shaped many players’ lives, that I actually envy some people who are able to experience this for the first time. To some, this may even be the best trilogy of games ever created, with Mass Effect 2 possibly being up there in the “greatest of all time” conversation. This shared experience causes many of them to bond over their distinct adventures, cry over lost squadmates, and share their common frustration with driving the Mako or the divisive conclusion. Either way, it was a fantastic journey, and while not all of our collective emotions could be bottled up and re-lived, it feels so nice to be back in the shoes of Commander Shepard once again.
I really liked this game from the get-go, but I slowly became confused with the puzzle-solving aspect and hoped that there was more to it than what was presented. The soundtrack is great and having a fully visual story that could tug at the heartstrings really made the game shine. Sadly, some backstory and some context could’ve been provided with some text and would not completely take away from the emotional experience.
Well deserved commendations are in order for Insomniac Games and Ratchet & Clank Rift Apart, as they’ve preserved the integrity and charm of the franchise while introducing fantastic quality of life improvements to make the game feel like a massive improvement from its predecessor. In a way, it’s definitely the same Ratchet & Clank flavor but wrapped in a shiny and technically masterful package. The addition of new characters like Rivet and the multiple dimensions dynamic is icing on the cake for such a must-play, next-gen feel-good experience.
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown keeps the legacy of the past by maintaining its core values and keeping the game as intact as possible. The game is easy enough to get into for newcomers, but the updates and polish make it also something that long-time fans will enjoy. However, I feel that if you’re not a competitive online player, it’s best to grab it on your PS Plus or PS Now (if applicable) subscription.
Playing this game in its “Intergrade” form is such a privilege that is truly magnified when you get to experience 60fps and almost no loading times. Anyone who owns a PS5, whether replaying the game or a first-timer, would surely enjoy this release in its most polished state, the way it was meant to be played, fixed doors and all. As a whole, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is a complete experience. They’ve improved on the visual fidelity that corrected a lot of the hiccups from the PS4 version while adding the INTERmission side content enables the story to open up to a much larger world away from the Midgar-centric stage.
It is clear that Legend of Mana Remaster has been released for fans of retro JRPGs that would not mind what condition it came out in. The good news is that the game is preserved as best as it is, sprites and all, however everything that also was frustrating about this type of game also carried over including some control delay, dated gameplay, and unengaging story.
The Falconeer suffers from a lopsided tug of war between creative elements and frustrating game mechanics. While I enjoyed the nuanced politics between the settlements especially as the game gets more difficult, the tedious side missions and radiant quests rob it of its sparkle. For every combat instance that you engage in, so many of them involve really frustrating delivery quests that can be easily failed and you have to repeat to progress.
The Ascent is not perfect, but it is fun as hell. The frenetic gunplay is only supported by its engaging aesthetic. If you don’t mind not having a fully immersive experience that has a shallow narrative, what you will get is a massive arcology to explore, along with taking on hordes of foes with your hard-earned loot. Its deceptively simplistic gameplay only allows for better exploration and engagement with its many sidequests.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a great way for potential fans to hop on and check out the Ace Attorney series. For those who can appreciate the visual novel storytelling and its light-hearted wonder, you get two games for the price of one, and it really doesn’t get better than that.