Trolls: Remix Rescue fails at almost every hurdle. The awful camera and brutal bugs make it borderline unplayable at times, but equally it’s underwhelming and generally boring as you traverse its unfinished looking environments and repetitive, simplistic gameplay. Even its rhythm based action, local co-op and soundtrack can’t really save this one from being a washout, whether you love Trolls or not.
Dr Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine shows great respect to what SEGA and Sonic Team achieved all those years ago, bringing Puyo Puyo into more homes while adding their own unique spin on an established genre. But the lesson it didn’t take from it is how to balance its ideas, develop them to the full and show more respect to the player as opposed to reveling in their misery.
Taito Milestones 2 is an interesting collection that doesn’t have the best of presentations. On the one hand, there’s some true gems in here like The New Zealand Story, Darius 2, and Kiki Kai-Kai, as well as some unknowns like Liquid Kids and Ben Bero Beh, but the collection is ultimately a really mixed bag of quality. Some of these games are super frustrating and utterly bizarre, others are a bit dull, so it’s a real deep dive into the Taito vault. That said, if you’re a die-hard enthusiast, don’t own any of the Arcade Archives, and want to complete a collection, this is probably your best bet.
Smurfs Kart is a perfectly fine kart racer with some nice tracks, beautiful art and lovely interpretations of the world through its environments. It’s just unfortunately limited in its content, variety, and creativity when trying to stand apart or alone from anything else in the genre. And a lack of online multiplayer doesn’t help prolong that.
Kao and the Five Pirates of Mara is a stunning looking, decent platformer with heart, charm and fun to be had. Unfortunately it all feels quite simplistic, stutters and stammers, controls awkwardly, and frankly, other games have just done it all so much better.
Rise of the Triad Ludicrous Edition is brutal and a stark reminder of the challenges of shooters from the 90s. It’s also a very full and fulfilling package with four episodes, full 4K support, controller rebinding and even some online multiplayer. At an attractive price point, this is fantastic value for money, but it definitely won’t be a game for everyone. Regardless, Night Dive Studios have yet again proven their understanding, care and attention to detail for the classics and making sure everyone has the opportunity to experience them at their absolute best.
Red Dead Redemption impresses thirteen years on by still offering great storytelling, fun missions and a gripping, cinematic adventure from start to finish. Double Eleven have worked magic and provided a practically perfect port on Nintendo Switch that’s, for the most part, a like-for-like recreation, and in some cases better than ever. Stripped out multiplayer, a lack of Switch specific features and a higher than expected price point may deter some players, but with a stable frame rate and stunning, vivid visuals, the opportunity to play as John Marston anywhere and everywhere makes for a very tempting proposition.
Sonic Origins Plus really fills out and completes this package, adding much more variety to the catalogue and giving you some clever, different ways to play titles you already know and love. Most of the titles haven’t aged that well with brutal difficulty, hit and miss control inputs and some lag. To be honest, they probably also look, feel and play better on handheld with the majority of the screen taken up by borders, but there’s some real gems in here Sonic Collectors shouldn’t be without.
Dreamworks All Star Kart Racing is the best alternative racer in the genre for a long time. There’s a great roster to choose from, kart variety and garage customisation lets you tweak your vehicle how you see fit, and it all looks really well presented and polished. Track variety is a little bit limited and repetitive with only one or two memorable standouts, multiplayer modes could be a bit more varied and the voice acting grates after a while, but this is a really promising start for, what we hope will be, an ongoing franchise with more games to come.
Everspace 2 does have some repetitive content and the story is a tad underwhelming, but the content loop is about as enjoyable as you’ll find anywhere with satisfying combat, thrilling exploration and discovery, and some intriguing puzzles to solve. It looks incredible, sounds wonderful and there are few space exploration games that are as approachable and engaging as this one, with even fewer able to cross genres so successfully.
Chants of Sennaar is a beautifully refreshing game. While it borrows ideas from some of the best games of the last decade, it molds them into something quite special while also conveying a deeper, underlying message and staying interesting across its entire length. Some glyph placement does end up being trial and error, and the game’s run time is swift with the final chapter feeling very short handed, but this is a wonderful, cleverly crafted experience puzzle enthusiasts will adore and everyone else should give a chance.
Rogue Legacy 2 is everything you loved about the first game and thensome. It’s the most satisfying roguelite since Dead Cells and a game you’ll just keep coming back to again and again. Even if the original wasn’t your cup of tea, Rogue Legacy 2 does enough different to be worth a second look, though you will need patience to contend with its early stages. Stick with it and you’ll be heavily rewarded with refreshing content, a great challenge and some truly wonderful moments