- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Final Fantasy IX
Sheepo shows a ton of potential and executes rather well. The two brothers who worked on this game should be proud of what they created. While the map and controls need a little more streamlining, Sheepo offers up a cool, passive option to the Metroidvania formula.
Chernobylite combines some cool ideas and implements them in a way that complements the story it wants to tell. Several issues stand in its way, with potential save corruption acting as the biggest road block. Once that issue gets patched out, the core experience will offer up something unique, even if many of its gameplay elements lack depth.
In Sound Mind attempts dark humor to great effect, but quickly falls back into basic first-person shooter gameplay tropes, leaving its original intentions behind. The game still plays well, and makes for an engaging puzzler and exploration game; it just doesn't maintain its horror vibe for very long.
NBA 2K22 does many things well, most of which has already been done well in the past. Exceptional, challenging gameplay keeps the strength of the game close to its chest, and NBA 2K22 offers an impressive spread of modes to complement that gameplay. Apart from a few misguided choices, the biggest crippling factor this year comes from how The City takes a good idea and stretches it way too thin. NBA 2K22 is great for hardcore fans of the franchise, but it doesn't leave the door open for many others.
Bandai Namco created something special here. Fast-paced, accessible combat meets a well-constructed narrative told with beautiful visuals, wonderful voice work, and an impeccable soundtrack. Even with its odd issue here and there, nothing stands in the way of Tales of Arise succeeding on all levels.
Tormented Souls creates an environment that's a blast to explore, and the puzzles it provides help to enhance the engagement the locations provide. However, too many shortcomings get in the way of what could be a solid nod to classics horror games. A handful of bad things can be ignored, but having voice work, enemy integrity, and an underdeveloped main character are too much to overlook. There's an appeal here, but it lacks refinement.
Yuoni takes the hide-and-seek formula and adds a few new concepts to it. Not everything works as well as the others, particularly the design of some of the common enemies and their movements. However, it makes some thoughtful creative choices and takes chances with them to make something that at least horror fans should try out. Yuoni is far from perfect, but it still holds its own merit.
Neo: The World Ends With You offers up something all its own while still keeping its roots in view. Some slow pacing and long-in-tooth writing doesn't keep Neo from being a delightful RPG. If the art style and music don't take you, then the combat and its mechanics will.
Improving on excellence, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade takes the few shortcomings from the PS4 release and improves them. While Activity Card support is missing, alongside deep DualSense support, Intergrade cements itself as the best way to play the Final Fantasy VII Remake, bar none. If you missed out on the original release, now is the time to jump in.
Song of Horror is not the perfect return to old school horror, but it makes one hell of an impression. An adaptive adversary combined with fantastic ambience more than outweigh last gen character models, iffy voice work, and lengthy chapters. Protocol Games is onto something here, and horror fans must give it a go.