Granblue Fantasy: Relink was unfortunately a rather disappointing experience for me, which is a shame to say considering how excited I was for it all those years. It does offer excellent combat that achieves genuine variation between its vast cast of characters, and many spectacle-filled boss fights - but remains largely unengaging due to a bland narrative that barriers off much of its character development behind tedious text segments. There is likely to be plenty of life found within its extensive post-game segments, as players can team up to take down countless missions across numerous forms, but that grind might not be for everyone in the long run, especially if you're playing solo.
Cities Skylines 2 is more of the same in the best possible way, giving players an abundance of quality-of-life improvements and new adjustments to keep the city-building fun going for years to come. While it doesn't quite have that one new blockbuster feature, nor does it revolutionise the genre in the same way that the original did back in 2015, it is still a brilliant game that you should not miss out on. Unfortunately, it does come with a barrage of performance issues that dampen the experience in a number of ways and only get worse the bigger your city grows.
There still remain many of the progression problems with Ultimate Team that are likely to never leave though, and while we are all used to them now, it doesn't make it any less frustrating to deal with as a 'free-to-play' player. Menus are also a big sticking point that I hope improves soon, and fans of Career Mode and Clubs will once again likely feel left out in favour of the bigger brother that is Ultimate Team.
Armored Core 6 is an exceptional game that merges the classic mech combat of the series' roots with the new-age battles that FromSoftware has become well known for. Challenging boss battles are emboldened by a world left to waste, where your independence is challenged as a mercenary just looking to survive. Furthermore, the game endlessly encourages you to experiment with its many parts, leaving things feeling consistently fresh and malleable no matter what you want your approach to be. While it doesn't reach the astronomical heights of FromSoft's best efforts, it is still an outstanding game that is a worthy revival for the series.
Overall, if you're a Final Fantasy fan who has never had the chance to play most or all of the titles in this collection then you should jump at Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster, as it provides the best way to play all six entries to this day. My own gripes about the font aside, there has been remarkable care taken in restoring these six titles, giving them a proper chance to shine on modern consoles. However, for those who aren't quite die-hards it might be a better choice to select certain games individually as opposed to the whole collection, as some titles have stood the test of time far greater than others.
Overall, Live A Live emerges as a must-play title, feeling both wonderfully part of the golden era of Square RPGs, and as modern as other similar titles released today. There were some chapters that weren't quite as impactful as others, and the lack of a strong and continuous narrative might turn some players away, but Live A Live is a fantastic overall package that leaves you hungry for more at each turn. For both seasoned JRPG fans and players new to the genre alike, you won't want to miss Live A Live, as its comparatively short 20-hour playtime is always giving you something new, having you wishing that you had the chance to play it when it first came out.
It didn't take me long to realise how special Octopath Traveler 2 is. It is a game that has so much to do and explore, but never feels overwhelming or watered down in any way. Featuring one of the best turn-based combat systems I've ever encountered, alongside an emotional and deeply connecting narrative on all fronts, Octopath Traveler 2 is truly a monumental achievement that confidently stands among some of the genre's finest entries.
Overall, Theatrhythm Final Bar Line is simply essential if you're a Final Fantasy fan, as it serves as the perfect celebration of the hundreds of tracks that we hold so close to our hearts. It hits that wonderful balance between challenge and relaxation that can be shifted further either way if you so wish. It is a game that I can see myself always returning to whenever I have some downtime, and with the arrival of the additional DLC tracks my love for the game will only grow.
Every system in Season seems to just be encapsulated by highs and lows. There will be something I'm really enjoying like the act of cycling, but then simultaneously an annoyance or disruption will creep in and spoil it. That is not to say there is nothing to enjoy within Season - quite the contrary, with the form of a great game clearly here. Aspects like the haptic feedback and active preservation excel within the game, but there is far too much clasping on the brakes to get the rhythm going, even in such a short game.
If you're wanting something that is easy and quick to play, and you're a big fan of sci-fi-oriented narratives, then Somerville's short two and a half hour runtime could work for you. However, frustrating puzzles, clunky controls, and an all-round unstable performance unfortunately left a sour taste in the mouth - even for such a short game.