For anyone even remotely interested in puzzles, mystery, and an engrossing deck-building card game, Inscyption is a must-have title for the Nintendo Switch. The very nature that rouge-like games offer re-playability in itself, and it made my last few days with this game hard to put down. I took my Switch with me everywhere I went for a few quick hits before I could immerse myself fully when I got home.
The unique touch this time around came in the form of character-specific items that related to their job, some of which were more creative but very short-lived. Mark was able to take photos as evidence and his light source was the flash of the camera. Jamie was able to use her electrical equipment to work the circuit breakers for environmental puzzles. Erin had a fantastic addition of using a powerful microphone to source out sound sources behind walls, which was criminally underutilised, and instead, the focus was on her need for an inhaler as the main item she would or would not interact with. Charlie was able to use a card to jimmy open a locked drawer, which was mainly used for collectables, and this left Kate with nothing more than a small touch, and it felt strange to have one character be arguably less useful than the rest.
The Chant may very well because a cult classic as the intensity starts and doesn’t stop. The overall experience could realistically be completed in one sitting. A long one at that, but with three endings to chase, a repeated playthrough is tantalisingly present, and I am getting set to go in for a pacifist run. The pitfalls may be there, but they look shallow in the rear vision mirror, and for a first-time entry from a brand-new studio, The Chant is a solid entry into the horror genre.
The Ascent: Cyber Heist offered an exciting reason to step back into the Arcology, and even more reason to bring a few friends. With new ways to paint the walls red through melee options and challenging fights to be had, this short but sweet add-on extends what made The Ascent so satisfying to begin with.
The main draw that will keep players invested and are most likely the reason most even picked up the game – collectible lewd images. Keeping with the modern pixel art style, there will be collectible images that progress the story as Sofiya discovers herself and offers herself in increasingly more provocative poses. It was innocent enough for the most part and offered tongue-in-cheek humour at the same time. The overall play time meant that you could burn through the game quickly, and if you put in a bit of exploration, you would be able to fill the galley for your viewing pleasure with ease.
Rollerdrome is the love child of chaos and style, fast-paced action with a bright and vibrant comic book art style that never felt so good. Depending on how fast you adapt to the madness, you could be in the endgame building montage-worthy gameplay and competing for ultimate bragging rights within the first day. If you wanted to take it a bit slower, the list of challenges to revisit and the assist menu let you tackle the game at your own pace. Either way, Rollerdrome is an incredibly exciting experience and a fine addition to the PlayStation library.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 explodes onto the scene with its engrossing war-torn world. This one will keep you coming back for more in the pursuit of absolute perfection and domination on the battlefield. It will rope you in with its huge array of characters that each face their own triumphs and revelations in the pursuit of a greater purpose. With a road map of expansions already lined up, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is set to be the most immersive entry into the long-running franchise.
Live A Live for Nintendo Switch is a testimony of game design that can withstand the test of time. Even though it may have taken 28 years to make the leap overseas in an official capacity, the game feels brand new and with so much to experience and the hidden gems that connects the dots to find, you will be won over time and time again.
Fall Guys Season 1 is a great place to unite the expanded player base, and with the light-hearted nature of the game, it is still nice to reap some rewards even when you aren’t collecting crowns. For some silly nights that can turn sweaty at any moment, I have had plenty of laughs and find it easy to pick up and play even after a few days off.
Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes delivers on the promise of an all-out war with the added bonus of making you care about those around you. With options to make the game as streamlined, easy, or as punishing as you like, multiple House storylines to go back and revisit, and even potential romance options to explore, I could find myself coming back week after week to see what else I could discover.
There were no spoken words to explain the story, yet they were still able to convey emotions through body language. Small cutscene moments would play out as you found statues that revealed the character’s life journey to the player. To bolster the impact of these moments, the orchestral melodies became a major contributor to emotional impact. It was amazing to be led down the garden path as the atmosphere would shift from mysterious yet hopeful to immediately hitting me with a pang of sadness. Even when things seemed to be at their lowest, they still managed to circle back the feeling of happiness with the addition of collectable hand-drawn memories of his happiest moments with his partner.
To tell such a cohesive and well-thought-out tale across several perspectives in just four chapters was impressive. With the enhanced edition, two more chapters have been added, but not necessarily to end the narrative. It was more of an additional segment to further iterate the story that was already told. The entire game including the extra chapters can be knocked out in sitting of fewer than 4 hours, which makes repeat sittings to explore alternate choices much more manageable. It was a game that did not overstay its welcome while still delivering an immersive experience that didn’t feel too short either.
Having a team of six Sentinels rain down clusters of missiles, bust out special finishers, and slink in and out of combat to repair was like watching a neon rave party on screen. Building a diverse team pays dividends and perfecting your strategy to time your cooldowns or minimise damage to the city, and with the addition of a bit of party management, all lead towards a ranking system per engagement.
When I think of a good old fashion stealth game, I think of a hooded figure with a blade as sharp as his skill set. Throw them into a Victorian-esque world with a classic revenge tale with nothing left to lose and you will have painted the picture for Sky Machine Studios’ latest accomplishment. ‘Winter Ember’, an isometric stealth action title with a flair for vengeance, is a carefully crafted modern take on an age-old game style. Thanks to Blowfish Studios, we got to check out the Xbox series X version of Winter Ember, and for a bit of added lore, I would recommend looking into the Graphic Novel of the same name.
Kirby’s new adventure is a home run of epic proportions! It is more than just a successful entry into the long-running franchise, it is also a fantastic addition to the Nintendo Switch gaming catalogue in general. Kirby and the Forgotten Land is yet another reminder that Nintendo can continue to be a consistent powerhouse, despite the limitations of the Switch console. The dream is built on the powerful exclusives and Kirby is officially back in business!
An absolute master class in game design, storytelling, and world-building come together to make Elden Ring the game to beat in 2022. It can be daunting knowing the history of From Software producing difficult games, but if you have the patience to learn the rules of engagement in this tough but fair experience, you will achieve some of the most exhilarating achievements a video game can offer.