A Hat in Time excels with an overwhelming charm in its writing and art direction that overcomes any missteps in these areas. Its core, smooth mechanics also benefit from promising ideas, but none of them prevent the game from being pulled into a wormhole of mediocre level design and objectives. The potential for phenomenal platforming and exploration is here, but for every positive, there seems to be a negative in A Hat in Time.
Touching base with your origins is necessary to not lose touch with your audience, and that's exactly what Call of Duty: WWII does without simply regressing. It gets to the core of its key modes and seizes on their intrinsic appeal with some neat, little twists thrown in. However, its campaign and zombies modes (while solid) feel unusually safe, whereas the multiplayer suffers from lacklustre map design and technical issues. You could say this Call of Duty is a sign of hopeful action to ground the series once more, but doesn't go beyond its iconic namesake to deliver something truly special.
The Evil Within 2 has fine-tuned its solid mechanical base and visuals, and even crafted some big improvements to areas such as exploration and character direction. Yet it lacks creativity and diversity with its level design and bosses. The game may be more presentable and refined than its predecessor, but it's also lost some substance in the process.
Metroid: Samus Returns isn't just a simple reimagining that improves on the original game's limitations and notable issues. It's a phenomenal blueprint of the 2D Metroid formula that captures the series' best elements while adding in gameplay refinements and mechanics that feel just right. Some repetition lingers, but that's hardly enough to hold the game back from returning Metroid to the top tier of platforming.
Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash can be a romp in more ways than one. It's a decent third-person shooter with fast-paced, vertical gameplay, and there are some quirks here and there that make it stand out in its market. However, its single-player content can get noticeably repetitive and one-note amid a lot of the fluff that you'll unlock. If there's one thing the game owns with style and confidence, it's the overall presentation. We're pretty sure it's the most important part anyways.
Absolver's fighting system and weird blend of ideas make it a genre-defying gut punch of innovation. You'll be in amazement with how much you can customize the fluid combat, but its complexity and intentional design to be constantly altered might be off-putting for some. The same goes for those looking for more to do besides competitive play in an open world begging to be absolved of limited scope and content.
LawBreakers' world and characters don't carve deep impressions, but the experience itself exerts a strong pull with its diverse, balanced classes, solid selection of modes, and stellar gunplay. It's more than a nice distraction from its looming competitors, and while the map design and implementation of gravity leave more to be desired, the game has the potential to further defy gravity and our expectations if it keeps shooting for the moon.
While some may find Tacoma's length and lack of gameplay depth off-putting, it still manages to feel full in itself. A grounded, futuristic setting serves as Fullbright's most creative stage yet for thorough environmental storytelling that shines with an ordinary yet endearingly authentic cast of characters.
The game's inspirations are obvious, and in terms of its safe puzzles and platforming, they don't offer much that's new or memorable. However, the opposite is true for the cleverly conveyed story, magnificent Mediterranean setting, and a strong score that will pull you into a whimsical, emotional journey in RiME that's well worth your time.
The visual upgrades for this DLC defy the bar set for most remasters. The majority of these classic Zombies maps offer the same addictive appeal of building strategies and loadouts through cohesive teamwork against the undead hordes, and with new life breathed into them with near-future weapons and features, we can attest that Zombies Chronicles is one killer collection you'll want to sink your teeth into – even if you only buy Black Ops III for it alone.
This game feels like it should've come out over a decade ago, and even then, it still wouldn't have been ready for release. Some sprawling mechanical puzzles, an intriguing world, and a solid soundtrack can't save Syberia 3 from its disappointing delivery. Poor writing and even worse voice acting make its humdrum story a chore to chew through. With major technical issues in tow along with too much errand-like gameplay, the series should've waved a final goodbye like its protagonist in her last outing.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is a monster of a remake. It gives a fairly forgotten gem a profound buff to let its inherent charm shine through even brighter with gorgeous artwork and music. Its animal-altering mechanic and hoards of enemies guarantee that you're in for a good, fun challenge, and while its platforming and boss fights may not have the same impact, it's no wonder why the developer saw Wonder Boy fit to return.
Banned Footage Vol. 2 is a mixed assortment of intriguing ideas that don't pan out or leave lasting impressions. With less depth and replay value to boot, it's harder to recommend in light of its puzzling price of entry.
Some titles have the fortune of making their mark with a refreshing concept in spite of multiple problems, and Typoman: Revised is one such example. Its puzzles can be aimless and time-consuming. A lack of length and platforming quibbles are notable issues to point out, too, but its equally clever concept and atmosphere are worth a read despite some obvious misspellings along the way.
By individually ramping up areas where Resident Evil 7's gameplay could’ve done more, Banned Footage Vol. 1 serves a light yet savory plate of pickings, which pile up the puzzles on one side and bring the heat with testing trials on the other.
Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue is a strong but unnecessarily pricey collection for die-hard fans, especially for those who don't intend to play Dream Drop Distance. For those who do, it most certainly is a wonderful game that has undergone an admirable transition between platforms. With a fair film and enticing episode in tow, there's only so much more our hearts can bear in anticipating Kingdom Hearts III.
Final Fantasy XV is a last-ditch effort to keep one of the world's longest video game franchises chugging along. You can smell the fumes and hear troubling sounds with its bumpy story and out-of-place objectives on the road. The open world and gameplay also pose challenges to keeping you in for the ride, but after being behind the wheel for some time, there's something nostalgic and one-of-a-kind about this game that can't be shaken. It doesn't necessarily do anything new or different, but the manners in which it forges its own blend of ideas makes for novelties that gain your appreciation and surprise. Unexpectedly engrossing quests and combat scenarios, meticulous animation, grand characters, and a messy yet fascinating lore are some of those things. Notwithstanding rough patches, there's enough here to keep your interest fueled until you run on empty.