- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Final Fantasy IX
Chronos: Before The Ashes brings to the Souls formula some interesting ideas that, if further explored, could expand on a beloved formula quite nicely. However, in its present form, these ideas contradict themselves, creating more of a red herring than a legitimate risk-reward system. Regardless, the game is fun to play, but the narrative and initially appealing age mechanic don't reach the end of the game with the same intensity.
NBA 2K21 nails the 3 when it comes to gameplay and performance, all but sending the PS4 version to the annals of history. However, game mode choices and lack of MyPlayer transfer keep the PS4 version relevant when it comes to time investment and previous playtime. With The City being more spread out and barriers put up between modes, NBA 2K21 on PS5 feels disconnected. Consider what your needs and wants are with this game before choosing which version to buy.
Foregone is a mix of ideas that don't mesh well. The name of the game is simplicity, but Foregone contradicts itself with randomized loot, an immense difficulty spike, and a hard turn away from "play as you like" after committing to that formula. Foregone is a copycat title through and through with a couple good ideas that are encrusted with careless execution.
Within Doraemon Story of Seasons beats the heart of what makes the farm sim genre engaging. Unfortunately, the controls don't offer many favors, progression takes a great deal of time, and the early game demands far too much organization to feel productive. Doraemon is not for the farming sim feign of heart, which contradicts its family-themed aesthetic and narrative. Consider Doraemon Story of Seasons a recommendation only for fans who love both franchises.
The Suicide of Rachel Foster offers up some wonderful environmental storytelling, creating palpable tension. Once everything starts to come together however, the game itself starts to fall apart. What could have been good ideas fall into thoughtless choices, and the strengths of the game as a whole are wasted on the finale. Outside of the gimmicky triggering ending, this game had the potential for something interesting.
Minoria offers up an interesting story all its own that is contributed to with both dialogue and world-building. The lack of significant difficulty and limited AI make this an especially simple game. At the same time, the simplicity allows for an accessible narrative with little in the way. Minoria has the potential to be a good Metroidvania, but its simplicity makes it more of a filler game than a must-own.
NBA 2K21 executes the fundamentals of basketball to perfection. Add to that a wonderful narrative in Long Shadow, and the package becomes even more appealing - even if MyCareer is linked to an online mode. These modes have a lot of potential, especially My Neighborhood, but some of the ideas still need a year or two of percolation before they're at their true potential.
Madden NFL 21 makes a good attempt at adding variety into a tried and true formula. However, Face of The Franchise has awkward and dry storytelling and cannot match up to the excellence that Longshot offered the franchise. The Yard has some ambitious ideas and offers up a nice change of pace, but it needs some control tweaks to feel like the mode it's trying to be. The fundamentals are getting better and better, with gameplay getting long-awaited touches of realism.