- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Shadow of the Colossus
- Final Fantasy IX
Potion Permit offers up quite the accessible life sim experience, making growth progress more quickly than most games in the genre. A bit of the luster is lost in this change of focus, but the product itself is a fun, engaging, light-hearted, and accessible time.
NBA 2K23 makes some worthy adjustments to gameplay, making this more entertaining without losing the game's fundamental presentation and feel. At the same time, even the map shrink in The City isn't enough of an addition to make 2K23 worth a must-buy status. Not enough of the game changes to merit a purchase this year, unless you maxed out everything in last year's release and want a fresh start. NBA 2K23 is more for die-hard fans than every before.
While far from perfect, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R brings an enhanced version of the 2014 release to modern consoles. Network choices, lack of any narrative flow, and almost zero jumping-off point for newcomers makes this a title almost strictly for the JoBros. Thankfully, that doesn't keep it from being an intriguing fighter in its own right.
Steelrising puts together a solid, accessible Soulsborne title complete with fun combat and simplistic RPG elements. However, the dated aesthetic combined with the overstretched narrative and the foibles that come with it make this feel like a Spider Entertainment game and more of a basic third party title. The heart of the development team shows from time to time, especially near the end of the game. But, the way the team executes this formula knocks the fundamentals out of balance, creating an uneven experience with too much of its weight on the back end.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : The Cowabunga Collection compiles the best TMNT games from the 80s and 90s into one convenient package. The included enhancement options help to alleviate some of the inherent issues from past hardware, but it could have given the Green Team a little more love to really push this over the edge. Either way, this collection carries nostalgia in spades and gives newcomers and fans alike another chance to don their bandanas and take it to the Foot Clan.
Cursed to Golf puts a unique twist on the golf formula. Combine that with a charming aesthetic, and the combination makes for a good time for the right audience. Unfortunately, it doesn't go enough into that twist and relies heavily on the game of golf to carry the day. Then making the game of golf into a rogue-like further specifies the fanbase. While a fun spin on a beloved sport, it still requires a lot of love of the sport to stick with it.
Despite its potential, Sword and Fairy: Together Forever gets bogged down by a slow start, odd writing, repetitious fetch quests, and unpolished boss mechanics. Occasional variety in gameplay and well put together segments can carry the day for some, but too many lulls and too much tedium get in the way of what could have been a solid experience.
Madison does so much well that it makes genre tropes succeed. From atmosphere to execution, this short horror romp takes you and doesn't let go. It's not without issues, with one progression point halfway through the game lacking the kind of intention and care that the rest of the game receives. Then there's the save corrupting error. However, once that error gets patched out, Madison will have the complete package worthy of anyone up for a good scare.
Even though Disgaea 6 Complete brings in accessibility options, the game itself reacts negatively to some of them. A simplistic AI can't contend with automation, while the hefty price tag alone for a year old game makes this a hard pass. There are hints of fun here for a new player, but in making this game easier to play, Disgaea 6 Complete makes the franchise formula look antiquated.
Dolmen attempts to add some potentially good ideas into the Soulsborne formula. Unfortunately, it misses the mark far too many times in important areas to make it worth the effort you need to play it. Great level aesthetic and enemy design are wasted on far-too-flawed combat. With so many other Soulsborne clones available, Dolmen can easily be passed up.
I cannot overstate how much fun I had with Soundfall. It has a few shortcomings along the way, but absolutely nothing stopped me from jamming out while I shot up baddies. Drastic Games combined two different genres into one engaging and entertaining package. Soundfall is a 2022 sleeper hit!
Chernobylite gets new life with its release on the PS5, harboring enough improvements to make its fundamental shortcomings easy to overlook. Frame rate, graphics, and performance all get enhanced to the next level, making this the best way to play Chernobylite.
Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition brings a beloved classic to the PlayStation 4, complete with its old pros and cons. Some of the limitations of the first game get washed away with the enhancements and features that come with this release, but they also create a couple of their own. Like a true classic, this edition is not without its issues, but classics have a way of outlasting their criticisms through the eyes of those who experience them.
Like most art, A Memoir Blue has its fair share of flaws. However, like art, it has you thinking about its strengths and intentions instead of its mechanics. A Memoir Blue succeeds more than it falters, and everyone needs to give this game their time.
Shinju Mikami does it again, this time in a new genre. Ghostwire: Tokyo brings inspirations from the horror genre into the open world, finding great success with this combination. Despite its hiccups, Ghostwire: Tokyo is another compelling experience from the mastermind behind Resident Evil.
Persona 4 Arena Ultimax is one of those re-releases that's accessible to everyone. It has challenge, accessibility, a fun story, and Persona flair. Not everything ages well in terms of visuals, but nothing gets in the way of this game succeeding a decade after its initial launch.
Gunborg: Dark Matters excels with engaging gameplay, approachable difficulty buildup, and a wonderful visual style. The game is unfortunately all too brief and doesn't get the kind of time it deserves to truly bloom. Equally so, Gunborg places itself well high in the chaff of the side-scrolling genre, even though it doesn't quite reach the same full excellence as the greats.
Elex 2 asks a lot of you and only gives so much in return. The game provides several special concepts and attempts, but the team's resources limit their potential the entire way. As long as you know what Elex 2 has in store, you might find something there for you.