Moonscars is a deep, dark tale about what makes us human in our darkest times and how we persevere. When it works, it really works and was some of the most fun I had playing 2-D souls-like in recent memory. But it is riddled with balancing issues and loses touch on what makes Souls-likes fun in the name of difficulty.
Destroy All Humans! 2 – Reprobed shows this cult classic did not age well. Beyond dialogue, updates to gameplay and graphics feel hollow when game-breaking bugs are still prevalent…That isn’t to say you won’t find fun here. But that fun may just be restricted to a 10-12 hour jaunt through memory lane.
Tinykin encapsulates all that is great and not-so-great about classic platformer collecathons. It’s charming, it’s witty, and it’s full of adorable creatures. Plus, the level design is superb, with each of the 6 areas feeling unique not in just design but in storytelling and exploitability. There is a lot offered here in such a small, low-stress package.
Digimon Survive feels like it was made with every kid who wanted to be a DigiDestined. It’s a darker twist on a fan favorite story. While the story is amazing, it is brought down by okay combat. 10 percent of the gameplay weighs down the other 90 percent.
Powerwash Simulator is a very zen game. I lost hours of my life just spraying away doing something that felt menial but scratched an itch I didn’t even know I had. This game isn’t for everyone, though. If you don’t find cleaning relaxing, or have issues with finer details, don’t play this. But if you give it a shot, you’ll find a game that is the perfect wind-down game after a long, stressful day.
Outriders Worldslayer, while introducing some fun new additions, just ended up being more Outriders for better or worse…There is no revolutionary overhaul of systems. They built on what was already there or just retooled to fit in theming-wise (looking at you, Apocalypse levels). One thing is for sure—People Can Fly can make a fun game even more fun, regardless of whether it ends up being good.
Neon White nails the “one more try” mentality. With complex and fast levels, great enemy variety, and easy readability, it feels like a fantastic intro to speedrunning. My biggest gripe? I want more! Not that there isn’t enough, but I just can’t get enough of the Neons and the gripping nature of this game.
Island 4 and all that comes with it make an amazing game even better. This DLC is perfect for those who want to see Cuphead at its best. There is no fat; there is no fluff. There are only the best parts of Cuphead but much, much more refined.
The Quarry is a fantastic return to form for Supermassive Games. Every character stands out well on their own thanks to the fun and excellent writing. The monsters and villains, while not terrifying, are a very cool take on the Summer Camp Horror stories that we’ve seen time and again up until now. With just a little more refinement on the rough edges, there’s no doubt this game would’ve been a top 10 horror game. Even then, The Quarry is memorable, and I highly suggest you check it out, especially with a group of friends.
Hardspace Shipbreaker has cemented itself as one of my top three games of the year. It’s not without faults, like its superfluous room you’re forced to visit. However, the complete package is marvelous in the way it tells a powerful story mixed with chill, yet stressful gameplay.
Card Shark is a truly unique experience that shouldn’t be slept on. This is the game for those who don’t like card games. The developers have made a very fun experience that builds on itself fluidly in a way that many other games don’t seem to get right.
Trek to Yomi raises the bar high for historical accuracy. It’s clear how hard the developers worked to make this game feel like an act of love and admiration for the Edo period of Japan. However, the well-written story, great voice acting, and beautiful setpieces are held back by the combat. For a substantial part of the game, swordfights feel stale. Especially with little use for combos which are given a big emphasis via unlocks. If the combat was given the attention that every other facet of this game got, Trek to Yomi would have been a big contender for my Game of the Year.
While not being memorable for its story, The Last Friend shines brightly with its mix of level variety, beat-em-up combat, and dogs. There are no stale moments, which is hard to pull off for a Tower Defense-style game. Even after thinking you have a handle on how to conquer a level, a new curveball is thrown your way. Overall, Every dog lover at The Stonebot just showed how great man’s best friend truly is. There is love and care in almost every aspect of this game that will make The Last Friend stick with me for a long, long time.
LEGO Star Wars The Skywalker Saga is a massive achievement for a beloved anthology franchise that needed to change. There are so many new welcome additions that I hope become staples for the future. But there are just as equal parts that felt unnecessary. These 3 years since the LEGO games last release and recent revelations were hopefully taken in as a learning experience
Weird West is like a love-hate relationship. It can be extremely frustrating one minute, and you want nothing to do with it. Then, the next minute, you want nothing more than to keep playing…However, all of it comes together to create an impressive world that WolfEye Studio should be proud of.
Ghostwire: Tokyo offers a lot of good but it’s hidden behind even more tedium. I'm left wishing that the team had more time to polish their ideas. It's hard for me to recommend Ghostwire: Tokyo. That isn’t to say I didn’t have fun with what's made well. What doesn’t, though, feels like it patches and ultimately bogged down my experience.
Tunic was definitely worth the wait. I honestly can’t remember when a game has gripped me the way Tunic has. For the past two weeks, I haven’t stopped looking into certain puzzles, finding new secrets, and thinking about what I could’ve missed. It’s just amazing that the small team behind Tunic has created a game with this much depth.
Ghostrunner Project Hel is a fun DLC that is simply more Ghostrunner. It scratches that itch while we wait for its sequel, but it just didn’t feel like enough. There are some aggravating issues and lackluster bosses, but the excuse to play more content may be enough to get some back into this game. Just, be ready for an experience that doesn’t quite live up to the original’s vision.
Music Racer Ultimate is all flash and no fun. For a music game, the music is okay, but the game itself is not satisfying to play. The rewards aren’t rewarding, the levels are aggravating, and the menus and layout are confusing. This port needed way more time in the oven to ensure that its trip to Xbox would actually feel right at home, not a mobile game that feels like it’s just on a bigger screen.