Super Mario Maker 2 overall is entirely worth your time if you enjoyed the first game or if you've ever had a favorite Mario game that stood out to you, especially since the game encompasses worlds that come from the original Super Mario Bros. experience to more modern versions. Other games in the past have attempted and failed to make enjoyable experiences out of player-driven content while placing the onus on the community, Super Mario Maker 2 is a prime example of what that strategy looks like when it works. Considering the thriving community the Nintendo Switch boasts, this feels like a game that's in no risk of running out of content for the foreseeable future.
Despite its occasional frustrations, Ancestors is an invigorating and engaging survival game that'll hopefully be followed by more of the same. Each playthrough has the potential to be a bit different as you focus on different skills and spend more time in one biome compared to another, and thanks to the excitingly unsettling freedom it offers and its rewarding highs and lows, Ancestors is well worth the time investment.
For a movie tie-in that looked like it'd be hit or miss from the start, Under Pressure was surprising. It's an easy introduction to virtual reality where the tech is more than just a gimmick, and the incorporation of the cinematics from The Angry Birds Movie 2 is blending of mediums that works well here. Under Pressure is probably a pass for any VR enthusiast who's playing solo, but if you want a game that's easy to pick up for when people are over, Under Pressure belongs in your collection.
Whatever the future might hold for Borderlands 3 regarding DLC, events, and optimizations, what we have right now is an absolutely stellar chapter in one of the most iconic series seen during this generation and the last. If you liked Borderlands and Borderlands 2, you're going to absolutely adore Borderlands 3. Its shortcomings do little to diminish what it has to offer, and I'll reload the game over and over and sit through a million Claptrap jokes if it means I get to keep looting.
Code Vein falls short of being a must have, but that doesn't at all mean it's a game you should pass on. It's simplified enough to attract those who felt like Dark Souls and its ilk were too punishing and has enough style to show that not every game like this has to be so grungy and bleak even if the stories have to be serious. Code Vein has its rough patches, but it absolutely accomplishes its mission.
That's essentially what Disney Classic Games boils down to: nostalgia over the features. The same is true for the multiple versions of the game which, while appreciated, are almost overkill. It'd be a hard sell to have someone play the black-and-white Game Boy version right after they beat a console edition. The bells and whistles are attractive for anyone who's already planning on picking up the game, but if you didn't relish the originals, don't expect to suddenly become hooked on retro Aladdin or The Lion King.
It's easy to pick apart these components when isolated, but where does Modern Warfare stand among other Call of Duty games as a whole? It's certainly the best Call of Duty game we've received in years, but exactly where it falls will depend on how favorably you view the older games and how influenced you are by nostalgia. Its campaign is exemplary, and even if people have inevitable complaints and suggestions about the multiplayer mode, it feels like the culmination of what people have been asking for since the days of wall-running and questionable gadgets. One thing is clear though: Modern Warfare definitely has the potential to be people's favorite Call of Duty game, but the games-as-a-service model will mean its up to Infinity Ward and Activision to make sure that potential is realized in the coming months.
With the skillful, dynamic gameplay and the lukewarm story in the Star Wars timeline taken into consideration, the question of how this game holds up becomes a two-part query: is it a good game, and is it a good Star Wars game? The answer to the first question is an easy one. Heavy on adventure and cinematic style, Fallen Order is absolutely a game worth anyone's time if you've got even an inkling of interest in Star Wars. You won't feel left behind, thanks to the new characters, if you're less familiar with Star Wars, and those who know the fandom inside and out will pick up on clever nods and filled-in blanks. You could remove the Star Wars wrappings and it'd still be a fantastic experience which could be construed as both a positive and a negative. So many Star Wars experiences are based off prior exposure now that it'd be nearly impossible for one person to have the same experience with this story as another, but even if you knock the story, everything else about the game is solid and worth your time.
Does that mean Kakarot is worth playing all the way through if you already know Dragon Ball Z? It's impossible personally to speak from the perspective of someone who's new to the material, but as someone who holds the series in high regard, Kakarot is worth the experience, even if it's tedious at times. It's best broken up into multiple play sessions, just as the game provides intermissions as opposed to barreling through the story to avoid getting burnt out. Even if it doesn't get everything right, it's a tremendous effort and will hopefully pave the way for more innovative Dragon Ball Z experiences.
Dreams seems like a niche game from a first glance, but it's impossible to truly appreciate what it has to offer until you see what it has to offer yourself. It feels like an arcade with unlimited plays for everyone and a museum encompassing every interest all wrapped into one game. Whether you're there to build or just to look around, Dreams isn't a game to miss.
Multiplayer experiments aside, Resident Evil 3 itself should delight anyone who's playing it for the first time or those who already know its story inside and out. It's easier than ever to become immersed in Raccoon City and Resident Evil mechanics have never felt as fluid as they do in this game. Resident Evil 3 proves that Resident Evil 2 wasn't just a one-off success of a remake and shows that Capcom has a winning formula on its hands.
Minecraft Dungeons may not fully satisfy the hardcore looters coming from other games where they grind for gear and min-max their builds, but if you approach it with its purpose in mind, you'll likely get a lot out of it. The unlikely direction for the Minecraft formula works well in the first major departure for the franchise, and with how vast the source material is in terms of biomes and content to explore, there's a lot of room for this sort of thing to grow. It's a success from the start, and it feels like it'll only get better with age.
Even though The Last of Us Part II relishes in making players uncomfortable and reminding them characters can lose everything at a moment's notice, those bleak traits are part of the game's appeal even if the charm's a morbid one. It's a monumental effort in storytelling and a model for tales of vengeance and repercussions pushed forward by gratifying gameplay, and while not everything you do will sit right with you, the game never leads players to believe the result would be anything different.
But that solution is an easy one given the depth of exploration and combat mastery offered. Whether you want to just fight to grow your legend, see your companions' tales through to their emotional conclusions, or just see what's over the next hill, there's no wrong answer when you're asking yourself what you should be doing in Ghost of Tsushima.
Carrion is not a particularly long game, but it does a lot with the time you'll spend with it. It's more involved than it initially appears, and its blank slate approach coupled with the confidence to begin and end as abruptly as it does is something others can learn from. A succinct and sometimes challenging diversion from the norm, it's worth the experience to live it up as an amorphous, crafty monster.
Simplicity and challenges are key components of the game, and they're executed almost perfectly here in an accessible and skillful way. Spelunky 2 certainly won't be for everyone, but for those who stick with it to see what it has to offer, the payoff is worth the investment.
It's hard to say if the DLC wouldn't have been as satisfying if it'd come out later than it did, but releasing a few months after the base game isn't a bad timeframe at all. There's no telling when Part Two will release, but The Ancient Gods – Part One has shown that the conclusion of this chapter is one worth looking forward to.
You did your best, and now it’s time to see what else you can do. Make the worst decisions possible to condemn everyone to an eternity in Little Hope, try and game the system so only your favorites live, or go for a perfect score to see your protagonists peak. Little Hope offers what feels like a dizzying number of choices and storylines, and the brief nature of the game frees you up to pursue those grim and gratifying outcomes as often as you’d like.
Regardless of how satisfying the combat may be, it's only somewhat of a redeeming component to prevent the game from being a total letdown. Godfall has looting and it has slashing, to be sure, but you end up wading through so much to enjoy those parts. Perhaps loot fiends will get hooked on the endgame loop enough to stick around for a while, but what waits at the end is hardly worth the time it takes to get there.
But clunky actions and broken quests aside, it's still nearly impossible to not get hooked on Cyberpunk 2077 and, more specifically, on Night City. I've completed quests that made me physically uncomfortable and yearn for justice or vengeance alongside the affected characters, and I've crafted my version of V into exactly the kind of character I'd want with the reassuring knowledge that there will always be an option that fits my preferences. The plentiful possibilities and outcomes beg for multiple playthroughs, and I'm happy to oblige later after a break from Night City and after things have been cleaned up a bit.