As Luminous Productions’ first project after being formed from the developers of Final Fantasy XV, Forspoken is a remarkable yet flawed experience. There’s so much potential here, with an outstanding magic parkour system and a beautiful open world. However, it’s clear that the ambition was a little too high for this studio, as there are just too many incomplete (but great) ideas at work here that just don’t come to fruition.
If you can find some time out of your busy everyday life to step into the world of SEASON: A letter to the future, then I highly beckon you to do so. Scavengers Studio has created a beautiful work of art that captures powerful motifs of humanity and themes of preservation. After all, it's the memories we choose to remember that really matter in the end.
I came into Monster Hunter Rise with a little bit of hesitation, as I was never really into this series of games. The learning curve is high, and the controls felt unintuitive when I tried out World back in the day. Fortunately, Capcom has made Rise the most accessible entry to date, with in-depth tutorials and a well-paced ramp up of mechanics. All the while, it retains an extensive experience for veteran players to dive deep into and enjoy for countless hours. With fast loading times, an impressive 120 fps mode, and added immersive features, Monster Hunter Rise on PlayStation 5 is a must-play for any fans of the franchise and newcomers looking to get into the hobby of hunting monsters.
I'll never forget my first playthrough of Crisis Core back in 2007 and I'll also never forget my Reunion with it in 2022. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is a triumphant example from both Square Enix and Tose of how an excellent remaster should look. If you can look past some outdated game design choices and see this as a faithful recreation instead, then you can truly appreciate what this game has to offer. This is a must-play for any fan of the Final Fantasy VII universe.
It's truly a blessing that Thunderful Games has brought Wavetale over to all modern platforms after Google put Stadia in the tomb. Wavetale tells a heartfelt narrative filled with beautiful visuals and a soothing soundtrack in an open world experience that's short and sweet.
While it may not have a lengthy playtime or genre-defining mechanics, Choo-Choo Charles is nonetheless an impressive project created by a single person. If you're craving some dumb spooky fun centered around upgrading your own train whilst trying to derail a demon spider locomotive (a very specific craving, indeed), then look no further.
If you enjoyed Fatshark’s previous projects on Vermintide and its sequel, or you’re just an overall Warhammer 40K fan, then you will feel right at home with Darktide. As long as you can dig past the rough state the game is in right now with unfinished content and performance issues, then there’s truly an addictive and satisfying cooperative horde shooter lying underneath all those corpses.
The Callisto Protocol is a gorgeous and gory science fiction horror experience that lives up to its big brother Dead Space in many ways, but fails to do so in others. The high production value, stellar cast of characters, top notch audio and visual design, and an excellent mix of adrenaline pumping action and terrifying horror are all overshadowed by a frustratingly designed dodge mechanic.
Simply put, Chained Echoes is a heartfelt love letter to the SNES JRPG classics from the 90s that boasts an incredible cast of characters, amazing pixel artwork, a brilliant soundtrack, impeccable attention to detail, and a complex narrative.
Square Enix and Tose have done a phenomenal job bringing Zack’s origin story to life again after being buried away for so long. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is everything fans want and expect it to be, with rehauled graphics, improved gameplay mechanics, a new arranged soundtrack, and fully voiced dialogue. If you somehow missed your chance to play this back on the PlayStation Portable back in 2007, then this is the definitive way to experience one of the best prequel stories. It feels like a nostalgic dream to be able to step into the shoes of Zack Fair once again, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth.
It’s without a doubt that Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered comes with very little hand-holding and a steep learning curve that may be off putting in today’s limelight. However, its unique approach to non-linear gameplay and storytelling, in addition to its impeccable art direction and soundtrack, combine to create an exceptional adventure. Akitoshi Kawazu has truly created an unforgettable experience that only the most dedicated and patient players can fully appreciate. Set at a more than reasonable price point and filled to the brim with original and new content, Minstrel Song Remastered is welcoming you with open arms to explore the world of Mardias.
I played Gungrave G.O.R.E with zero knowledge of the franchise, and I reckon that is for the better. I would be infinitely more disappointed going into this game as a diehard fan of the series and seeing what a disservice G.O.R.E does to the Gungrave name. It’s astonishing to see Iggymob charging $50 for a low-budget, niche game riddled with unoriginal gameplay, multiple soft-locks, atrocious level design, and laughable voice acting.
Valkyrie Elysium could have been something great, with its excellent narrative backdrop built on the basis of Norse mythology. As per usual with Square Enix titles, the art direction and soundtrack are outstanding and leave me wanting more. The fast, fluid, and satisfying combat system is what carries an otherwise mediocre title bogged down by washed out visuals and uninspired level design.
Supermassive Games successfully concludes the first season of The Dark Pictures Anthology on a thundering note. Powerful performances from a diverse cast of characters and an extremely interesting premise based off of real-life serial killer H.H. Holmes allows The Devil In Me to outshine its predecessors in just about every way. Sure it’s got nothing to do with the supernatural, but a Saw-inspired murder house with a twisted mastermind behind it does more than enough to induce fear and tension.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is a fantastic action role-playing game that features an endearing narrative, an addictive yet sleek combat system, and a colorful cast of characters. Just because it doesn’t look as visually advanced as some games might nowadays doesn’t mean you should overlook this gem of a title. There’s little incentive for fans that already have a copy of another version to purchase the PlayStation 5 port again. But this is an absolute must-play for anyone seeking an adventure. It’s wonderful to see so many players across different platforms being able to enjoy Nihon Falcom’s magnum opus.
rose-engine has created a heartfelt love letter to retro classic survival horror titles with their debut project Signalis. Despite some frustrations, it conjures up a tense experience from start to finish with its compelling narrative, immaculate atmosphere, and beautiful pixel art.
Atlus has undoubtedly created a definitive experience that takes the crown jewel JRPG of the generation. Persona 5 Royal improves on everything the vanilla version was lacking, with new content, gameplay adjustments, and quality of life improvements, whilst telling a compelling narrative with colorful characters. This PlayStation 5 native port may be off-putting to previous owners on PlayStation 4 with no upgrade paths, but the faster load times, silky smooth 60 frames per second, 4K native resolution, and all included DLC make this title a must-play for any JRPG fan.
Sony Santa Monica Studio has created another masterful work of art, going above and beyond with world-class storytelling, in-depth combat mechanics, exquisite visuals, unparalleled performance, and a slew of modern accessibility features. God of War Ragnarök continues the endearing journey of father and son in a grand spectacular finale of the Norse Saga. This is the game of the generation.
It’s hard to recommend this de-mastered port of Alan Wake on the Nintendo Switch due to how inconsistent the frame rates are and how downgraded and blurry the graphics are. Considering this title is readily available and cheaper on so many different platforms, you are far better off enjoying this classic third-person horror shooter on a PC, PlayStation, or Xbox. If the Switch is your only option or you value portability, then I guess this version is somewhat viable, but just keep your expectations in line. At least it’s not a Cloud port, right?
I would have laughed in disbelief if you told me NieR: Automata was being ported to the Nintendo Switch in 2017, considering how disastrous this game's launch was on the PlayStation 4. The team at Virtuos did an outstanding job with NieR: Automata - The End of YoRHa Edition, a native port of the original game on the Switch that is undeniably the definitive way to enjoy Yoko Taro's masterpiece. Sure, the graphics and frame rates take a dip, but that's the price of portability.