Bubsy: Paws on Fire is a combination of elements that range from merely adequate to frustrating beyond belief. In fact, the best part of the game is often being able to break the rules and cheese your way to victory. With almost zero redeeming qualities to speak of, the only way this game could possibly offer anything of benefit is to Trophy hunters, as there are a fair number of easily unlocked gold trinkets. If that's not something you care about, then steer well clear - it's just not worth it. Despite the shockingly long legacy as a series, surely this time must be the last, right?
A charming visual novel about tending a cyberpunk bar, VA-11 HALL-A is a genuinely fantastic title. A focused, neon-drenched art direction, paired with incredible music and razor-sharp writing, the game is great if you're new to, or curious about, visual novels. The writing's deft handling of darker or more taboo subjects makes for a compelling title with a varied cast of characters that each bring something unique.
FAR: Lone Sails is a lovely title. Remarkable environments and a strong art direction anchor a brief but compelling title. While the puzzles and amount of resources never really hit a point to make anything truly challenging, the resource management loop is more satisfying here than it usually is in more survival-focused titles.
Clementine and AJ's - and by extension, the player's - story comes to a fitting end here, as the creative efforts of Skybound and Telltale bring the story of the beloved series to its satisfying, largely open-ended conclusion. A plethora of emotional punches, varied and surprisingly engaging gameplay - even if the frame rate chugs - accompany wonderful music and impressive cinematography. Despite a couple of narrative hiccups, with one or two scenes that would have benefitted from some retooling, the conclusion to Telltale's most beloved series is not just good, it's satisfying.
Who or what the titular Déraciné may be is unclear, but don't let that dissuade you from walking through this wonderful title. A charming cast of characters pair with an incredible environment to explore, while the stirring soundtrack helps to elevate an already good title. Throw in the great narrative, in and of itself a rarity in VR at this point, and you have one of the best titles available thus far for Sony's headset.
CREED: Rise to Glory can be entertaining, but the PS Move's inability to track things properly makes it hard to call this a good game. A thin narrative and smattering of other shortcomings detract from the overall experience, but it's not a disaster by any stretch – just not worth its full $24.99 price point.
Don't let NHL 19's slick menus and new skating animations fool you: the same NHL game you've been playing for five years is still here. If you already know the series well, this is unquestionably the best iteration of the title, but it comes with the added caveat that it's hindered by many of the same problems from years past. The reduced significance of poke check, and smaller changes like new skating animations, definitely help elevate the general presentation of the title – but it could and should be so much better than it is.
Blind is a wildly uneven, generally disappointing trip into virtual reality. Its main sticking point, echolocation, shines when used to its fullest, but more often than not, it doesn't get put to any real use. In between each of the game's good puzzles, you'll encounter large stretches of walking, and probably a smattering of technical problems as well. But hey, at least it won't take too much of your time. The ending impression with Blind that we were left with was largely one of disappointment. We hoped for, and expected, more.
We Happy Few isn't bad per se, but it's a very near miss, as the game comes right up to the brink of collapsing in upon itself from its many missteps. The game offers such an intriguing backdrop for its world, and really grand art, that whenever it's more focused and non-procedural, it's a grand old time. These spikes of enjoyment are however far too infrequent given the scale and running time of the title, often times leaving you floundering amid strong art direction and music without a real desire to actually play what's on offer.
While most of the VR titles that are slim on content feel like incomplete titles, Detached manages to subvert this expectation, delivering a fun filled zero-gravity romp through its limited runtime. If a community for the title manifests, a really interesting and unique multiplayer mode is part of the equation as well. Some truly stunning setpieces and the opportunity to float through space to a haunting cosmic score make for a grand ol' time. The game's steep price to content ratio might scare off some, but that's not exactly a new thing in the VR realm, and ultimately the price of entry still feels worth it.
Saying that Milestone need to take a step back with its dirt bike games and rework everything is becoming as tired a statement as saying Telltale needs to use a new engine. But it remains true yet again with MXGP Pro. A very slight improvement over MXGP 3, but a noticeable step back from Monster Energy Supercross, MXGP Pro is largely a spectacular disaster. It gets a couple things right, and offers a new slate of tracks to race on, but you'll be too busy slamming your head into a wall to really notice.
Lumines Remastered is a loving, wonderfully polished return of one of the best rhythm games of these past years. A couple irritating technical issues and a slightly archaic song unlock system aren't enough to stand in the way of the wildly entertaining, timeless gameplay.
Late in the game, one of the characters has a line where he says “I am a miserable, unfortunate man.” We can't think of a more perfect way to describe playing this title. From a team capable of making a game as exceptional as Fated: The Silent Oath, the quality of work, or lack thereof, on display here stings.
Gorogoa is an immaculate puzzle game. Gorgeous art, beautiful but ominous ambient music, and mind-blowingly clever design combine for something special. It's a game like nothing we've ever played before, and with a modest run-time and low price-point to boot, you have no reason not to snag this outstanding experience.
A lot of Monster Energy Supercross' issues on their own really aren't too bad, but when taken all at once, the game is disappointing. Many of the problems – like load times – are more quality of life issues than game problems, so if Milestone could tidy this stuff up then it'd go a long distance. But it's the inconsistent physics that are the real kicker, and detract from the generally acceptable presentation and decent selection of modes. It's better than nothing, and North American supercross fans will surely appreciate the fact that the title exists at all, but it could be so much better.
Crossing Souls is an interesting title. Absolutely in love with the pop culture of the 1980s, the title wears this love on its sleeve, and the charm of that is undeniable. Unfortunately, while the writing, art, music, and references are great, the gameplay peters out rather quickly. After a strong first couple of hours, full of interesting and layered puzzles, the last half of the title quickly devolves into no more than a collection of platforming and melee combat scenarios with little else to keep you going. The end result is game that's fun and entertaining despite its gameplay, not because of it.
Far From Noise is not a game for everyone. If you go in expecting traditional gameplay, you will be highly disappointed, but if you approach it with the understanding of it being almost like a picture book, then you will be in for a magnificently written reflection of yourself as well as musings on some of the heaviest topics about life. We went into this expecting a short title with a bizarre premise, and walked away having consumed a beautiful, occasionally melancholic story that helped us understand ourselves a little better along the way.
Expand is a great puzzle game. Navigating your square through monochromatic mazes offers a wonderfully relaxing experience that somehow manages to be calming and wrought with tension throughout. While it's a relatively short title, its low price point and high fun factor make it a worthwhile venture. Sure, it may not have been a runaway success on its initial release, but we can only hope this title finds its audience this time around.
In a year crowded with incredible titles, Ruiner manages to be a standout anyways. The red neon-plastered world presented by Reikon Games is beautiful, brutal, and terrifying. With some impressive art direction, great music, and a wealth of immensely satisfying combat systems, Ruiner offers essential top-down gameplay, and comes highly recommended.