Deliver Us Mars explores what it means to struggle against extinction, and the hope of fixing a dying planet. It's a story of fear, and how it manifests into hope within some, and wrath within others. It's a short but certainly sweet narrative adventure into the stars with some casual yet amusing puzzles to help break up the flow of gameplay.
SpongeBob Squarepants: The Cosmic Shake doesn't live up to its predecessor, but is still an enjoyable enough romp through the sea. There are a ton of delightful callbacks that can spice up the safe level design and it's fun to see alternate versions of beloved characters. If you're a fan it's worth playing through, but if not you may want to skip this one.
Fire Emblem: Engage is a return to the more linear Fire Emblem style of storytelling while continuing the path that Fire Emblem: Three Houses began with the graphics and combat upgrades. The game feels fresh and new while also paying homage to Fire Emblem's storied past with the inclusion of iconic characters in the Emblem Rings such as Marth, Roy, Lyn, and more. With a collection of adorable characters you're sure to cry when you lose them and a story that has its fair share of twists and turns; new and old Fire Emblem fans can find something to enjoy about this game. It's a story of friendship, family, and doing whatever you can to save the ones you love; Fire Emblem.
The Dead Space remake is exactly what a remake should be. Quality-of-life improvements help the game flow better and meet modern standards, while the updated graphics bring the terror to life in vivid detail, providing a grotesque beauty to the nearly non-stop carnage. Despite the years which have passed since the game's initial release in 2008, Isaac's trek through the USG Ishimura remains as enthralling and terrifying as ever.
One Piece Odyssey excels in every aspect of an RPG, while also being true to its source. The combat is fun and accessible which serves as the foundation of the game. I’d recommend it to anyone who has never played a turn-based RPG and is interested in exploring one. The islands you explore each feel unique while not overwhelming in size. The story represents what makes One Piece special and memorable. To answer the question asked earlier, One Piece Odyssey is both a good RPG and an exemplary One Piece game.
Forspoken is an incredible title. Although the story suffers from being a bit too generic, the gameplay is inventive, magical, and an absolute blast. This is a game I'll come back to again and again just to move around and exist in the fascinating fantasy world. Forspoken is an exciting leap forward for action games, and I can't get enough of it.
The Simtimates Collection and the Bathroom Clutter Kit both add a decent amount of options to the game in categories that were previously lacking. The collaboration with MeUndies brings cute and vibrant prints into your undergarment wardrobe. The Bathroom Clutter Kit lets you customize your bathroom spaces to make it feel more like a home. At only $4.99 each, these two new additions are absolutely worth picking up.
In terms of gameplay, Rise has been a refreshing reintroduction to the series for me. After Monster Hunter: World I turned away from the series, skipping over Stories 2 entirely as the Stories games hadn’t really piqued my interest. It is a little daunting to restart the grind for gear and to ascend the Hunter Ranks again, which is why I don’t play MMOs anymore. Unlike with World, I don’t have a co-op partner for Rise, which can make some fights a little more difficult if you don’t want to queue up with randoms online. However, after diving back in for this review, and discovering the dual blades are so much better than the bow in Rise, I can see myself sinking a lot of time into this one.
Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA is a wonderful game, but this PS5 upgrade doesn't do much to justify its existence. You get the DLC and an obtuse 120 fps mode, sure, but you're basically still getting the exact same experience as if you played the PS4 version on a PS5 or Pro. The game itself is highly recommended, but console upgrades should have more features and this feels like less than the bare minimum.
Colossal Cave is a fascinating game, and this modern remake brings the wonder of a text adventure to life in full 3D. It's streamlined with a few updates, while still keeping the spirit of the original. The game has more than a few issues, but is well worth playing for a magical adventure.
Rather than being a game for people who miss the old school ninja platformers of yesteryear, Moonrider feels more like a game made for the people who miss the idea of them, rather than the games themselves. The game borrows liberally from its inspirations and combines them into a game that looks and plays the part just fine. It just doesn't push itself or the player on a level that will fully satisfy people who still regularly enjoy the games it takes from.
This remaster may be closer to a simple upscale, but Persona 3 Portable is still an incredible game that set the standard for modern Persona. The game looks and runs great no matter what you play it on, with a few caveats. While this probably won't settle the debate about P3's definitive version, it's great to have it easily available.
If there’s anything that Mortal Shell has done for me, it’s that I am now slightly more interested in trying Souls-like games again. While much of the experience has been the type of frustration you would expect from a player new(er) to the genre, I’ve become kind of addicted to the vicious cycle of getting stomped for a couple hours, finally emerging victorious, and then getting stomped again. Games like this require patience and one of the biggest tips I’ve heard from Souls fans is that learning attack patterns is key.
Chained Echoes is an incredibly uneven RPG heavily inspired by the likes of Chrono Trigger and Xenogears. With bad writing, poorly thought out mechanics, and an overly complex… everything it can be hard to get through. Even so, there is a little fun to be found here, mostly near the beginning.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky concludes the story and character arcs which began in the first chapter in an incredibly satisfying way. While it reuses a bit too much to my liking, the combat is much more engaging, with mechanics being polished and enemies being tougher. It can be a bit too tough in some regards, with ranged characters being almost useless, but it reaches higher highs than the first chapter overall while feeling like a more uneven experience.
Children of Silentown delivers a compelling story told through stunning hand-drawn graphics and spearheaded by a hauntingly beautiful score that perfectly encapsulates the feelings of melancholy and dread that pervade Lucy's thoughts. Silentown's unique focus on discovering notes to uncover songs which can then be used to unlock puzzles provides a new dynamic to the point-and-click genre, and despite having gripes with one of the puzzle types, I still enjoyed my time unraveling the mystery of Silentown and the monsters that haunt it.
From a gameplay perspective, Amnesia Memories and Amnesia Later x Crowd have translated well to the new platform, with this being the first time Later x Crowd is available to fans outside Japan. Unfortunately, as a newcomer to the series, an incredible story about a girl’s journey to recovering her memories and discovering the truth is grossly overshadowed by the love interest side of the story where she is often subjected to very poor and sometimes disturbing treatment.