Soleil is an up-and-coming studio that has been showing real promise in the mid-tier games space. A space that has gotten less and less attention this past decade. I think that they succeeded here more than they didn’t. I found myself continuing to come back and fight against the frame rate issues and the technical flaws. I like these characters, even if they are more shallow than they could be. I like the tone. Referencing Supa Hot Fire in 2023 and then having your war criminal antiheroes do karaoke or see who can eat the most ramen right before they lay waste to a government building or comfort a child who doesn’t seem to care that his parents just died in the next room is a crazy, weird, off-kilter, fun time. I even liked the combat: as cheap as it may be to get insta-killed by a random merc with a rocket launcher or a ninja flying out of nowhere. I liked the weird pace of it. I liked the puzzle of deciding how to get to the next checkpoint. I just really, really did not like having to fight through a non-stop onslaught of glitchy jittery frame rate issues or other small and large performance issues. I want to give this game at least a 7.5, and if it is ever patched further we might be able to reexamine it, but I can’t overlook something so glaring as countable frames and frequent crashes. I hope that Soleil Ltd. is able to bounce back and stick the landing on the next one because I like everything else I’ve played from them. And I know they’re capable of more.
Tango Gameworks made something special here. I think it is my favorite looking game of all time. And while there were a couple of things that I can critique, the whole package of this product is so compelling that I can’t help but recommend everyone at least try it. I don’t imagine that everybody will get into the combat, and some might find it too difficult given the rhythm mechanics, but you should at least see the opening and play through the initial tutorial. If Microsoft was hoping to make a statement by dropping this game out of nowhere, they did a bang up job. Ironically I’m not a huge fan of the name, but Hi-Fi Rush is a shoo-in for my personal top five titles of the year. You should play it.
When I beat Evil West’s last fight and watched the final cutscene, I went to the main menu, took some notes, and immediately launched the New Game +. I then replayed the first two levels and part of the third. I just wanted more. It might be the fact that it feels like the games I grew up playing. It is an imperfect game. But I loved it and I think it is exactly what I’ve been wanting without realizing it. The up close and personal brutality of a third-person brawler, with the pattern analyzing of a Soulslike and the frenetic action of DOOM. Not to mention the western setting which I am on the record as loving. I have not had a game where I so wanted to immediately play a sequel in a long time. I so hope that we get one as I think this is a world worth exploring and characters worth revisiting -- especially if Flying Wild Hogs is given a bigger budget of which I very much think this franchise is deserving.
Open world Sonic should have happened a long time ago. One can only hope that they decide to give it another shot. Should that ever happen, we can just hope that they learn their lessons making this one. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a new Sonic game or are interested in a light single player experience, you could do worse than Sonic Frontiers. You could probably do better, but you could definitely do worse too.
It’s unfortunate that the hype train got so carried away during the years long lead up to Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt RED definitely didn’t help with their marketing that leaned into the hyperbolic expectations. It made the backlash more powerful and more negative than this game probably deserved. This Next-Gen version isn’t hot trash or unplayable but it definitely has benefited from having another year and a half in the oven. One can only hope that the industry and its community members learn how to manage expectations and avoid this mistake in the future, but if human history has taught us anything, that’s not likely.
I have been itching for a game just like this and I didn’t even realize it. The story is intriguing and the setting is realized in a lovely way. The moment to moment gameplay is fun if not occasionally simple or buggy. Even still, I would not say that those things detract from the experience enough for me to not recommend it. Weird West isn’t likely going to spark a genre boom, but I hope it gets a sequel because I would love to spend more time in this strange and wonderful world, and I would love to see what the developers would be able to make with another outing given how successful this first one was. Here’s hoping that WolfEye gets the recognition they deserve and that somehow enough people peel off of Elden Ring to give Weird West its fair shot.
I have had a harder time deciding on a review rating for Elex 2 than I have had for any game I have reviewed so far. It had probably the poorest start to a game I’ve seen in a while, but if you can get past it, I think RPG fans will really enjoy what’s there. But truth be told, I don’t know how much it will convince anyone who isn’t a fan of the genre. I am disappointed that this game is coming out in such a crowded time because I think it deserves some of the attention that is going elsewhere right now. Hopefully people to whom the game will appeal don’t miss out, and I really hope that THQ Nordic authorizes another sequel because I can tell you that I would love to dive back in Jax’s shoes.