Mahokenshi is a fun deck-building tactics game that prioritises smart gameplay. Coming up with winning strategies and experimenting on the battlefield is enjoyable, and finding card synergies gives you a real feeling of accomplishment. Great care was taken with the visuals and audio to deliver an experience that really immerses you in the welfare of the Celestial Islands. Unfortunately, the characters aren't properly balanced and there's a clear favourite in terms of strategy, with not enough in-built incentives to explore the other characters. But if you are alright with a short adventure and are willing to complete every objective you see, you will have a good time with Mahokenshi while it lasts.
Somerville relies on its fantastic animations and settings to tell a story of a father trying to reunite with his family. But without important story fundamentals such as exposition, you have no idea what is going on. Coupled with the fact that the adventure consists of simply solving puzzles while walking around, it is hard to immerse yourself in the story or even care about what will happen. Solving puzzles can also be difficult because you are expected to fumble around and discover what can be interacted with. There's no guidance or assistance, which leads to frustration when you have no idea what to do next. There's a good attempt at telling a story here, but it's difficult to find yourself wanting to reach the end.
The Last Oricru is a fun storytelling experience told through the eyes of the Souls-like genre. It's great to see everyone working for their own ends, and not being able to identify who is good and bad from the start. Focusing purely on what you think is most advantageous creates a story that fits your own personality well. But everything else is a regular Souls-like experience from top to bottom. There are attempts to stand out, but other than the story, they don't have the impact that really leaves a positive impression in a player's mind. The Last Oricru takes some risks, some of which pay off and some that don't. It's perfect for those who like their Souls-like games to have a good story, but if you're not a fan of the genre, you're better off staying away.
SIGNALIS never stops feeding you a truly terrifying experience. Something could scare you around every corner, and there's nothing you can do to push that feeling away permanently. Enemies are constantly on the prowl for you and will show up when you least expect it. Loud sounds are rare but pierce through the normally quiet setting. There's a non-stop source of terror and it creates a fantastic horror experience. SIGNALIS' story isn't the strongest, and it could have benefited from investigating characters more often. Although despite the narrative shortcomings, SIGNALIS presents a horror experience you won't soon forget.
Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed succeeds when it suits you up as a Ghostbuster for the first time. You relish the thrill of capturing your first ghost and learning how to hunt them down. Playing as a ghost is equally fun, learning how to haunt and scare everyone out of the building. Unfortunately, playing this game by yourself will quickly become boring, as the single-player experience grows dull quickly. With friends or other players, the true fun of the game comes out. But even that will be short-lived if played too often, as a lack of variety and objectives to achieve will dull the fun.
The DioField Chronicle is an enjoyable experience for players who are interested in games with political drama and intrigue. It thrives on being vague and secretive, which fits the themes encountered in the game. Combat can also be fun to play around with, and it forces you to think differently when enemies can move around. Unfortunately, the game can take complexity too far, and it isn't a game for casual players. The battle system can feel repetitive with a lack of variety, and the only thing propelling you forward is your desire to know how it all ends. But if you are willing to put some time into the game and understand it, you will walk away with a decent experience that is enjoyable in its own right.
Beacon Pines effectively creates an uneasy atmosphere through contrast. The branching story helps build the exposition as you peer into the lives of the other townspeople. It's a simple game that is on the shorter side with a few seemingly unnecessary features, but all loose ends are wrapped up by the end, leaving an enjoyable story that doesn't overstay its welcome.
Two Point Campus takes its time to teach you the fundamentals of running a successful university, with free reign on how you complete your objectives. The depth of the resources given to you and the amount of customisation for each of your campuses shows great attention to detail. The game is filled with wacky, silly, and sometimes dry humour that you can't help but laugh at. While there are annoying inconveniences, success is still in your hands. It can be hectic, but you won't find a better university management sim than this.
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES – nirvanA Initiative can throw a lot of information at you, and it will take some time to digest the tutorials and the events of the game. But once you manage to find your footing, you will be investigating an intriguing mystery that crosses different timelines with powerful tools. It’s a story that requires patience, understanding, and some outside-the-box thinking, but it pays off with a fantastic resolution when you reach the real conclusion.
Birushana: Rising Flower of Genpei has great world-building and complex characters that helps to deliver a powerful story. Being able to shape the personality of the main character and feel invested in their adventure immerses you into the story, and you are tempted to see how everything ties together. The visual novel helps to break up the story and makes it easier to follow along. Replaying for different routes can be difficult since it’s not always clear what your choices affect, and the intensity of the action scenes isn’t helped by the visual novel medium. Despite its flaws, the story remains excellent, and you will be interested in seeing how the characters determine their future.
Kao the Kangaroo is a nice 3D platformer for getting your feet wet. The gameplay from previous entries is the same and it is easy for beginners to pick up. The graphics look good and keeping it simple fits with the game’s theme. Unfortunately, the game feels too short, ending just as it picks up momentum. Collectibles feel like unnecessary game padding, the story feels like an excuse plot, and the voice acting leaves a lot to be desired. This may satisfy fans who were looking forward to Kao the Kangaroo’s return, but there isn’t much for players who were hoping for a great, modern 3D platformer.
Teardown does a great job in delivering on its premise, offering players the ability to pull off professional heists any way they want by manipulating the environment to their advantage. You will always have something to do if you get bored of the campaign, such as the sandbox mode where you can experiment and play to your liking, or the challenge mode where you put your skills to the test. Unfortunately, the game’s freedom is tied to your progression in the campaign, forcing you to work within certain constraints. Unless you are a big fan of creating your own experiences, you can quickly become bored of the game if you don’t give yourself time to take a break. Despite this, Teardown is still a solid sandbox experience that can provide hours of entertainment and goals to work towards. For players looking for a good sandbox experience that makes you think and promotes your creativity, you can’t go wrong with Teardown.
Weird West’s combination of the Wild West mythos with dark fantasy elements brings together an enjoyable RPG experience. Being able to forge your own path through the world with your actions and combat is a fun and enjoyable experience. While there are some noticeable flaws, Weird West does a great job of giving you the tools you make to create your own legend in the West.