Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr's Journey is a one-two punch of fun, casual and amusing gameplay, complete with all the expected charm, humor, and challenge expected of a game in the Mario Universe. Bowser's Inside Story is one of the more odd and varied titles I've ever played, but it is a little too easy. The overall product combines several of the best game styles into one, yet the final product feels incredibly cohesive and is a must play modern Mario experience.
Salt and Sanctuary isn't the most original game in the world, but Ska Studio's take on a 2D Souls game has enough going for it to stand on its own two legs. It's held back somewhat by occasionally cheap difficulty spikes, but that shouldn't deter you from picking the game up if you're looking for a game that will kick your ass.
Crackdown 3 makes no sense on paper. Its story is nonsense, you spend way too much time searching for hidden orbs and leveling up, and the presentation isn't anything spectacular. And yet, the over-the-top madness and hilarious, memorable moments it brought me made it impossible to put down. While the PvP multiplayer mode falls short of what it's trying to achieve, there's a lot to love about Crackdown's long overdue return.
Far Cry New Dawn is an awesome addition to the series, especially since it's the first sequel for another game. The combat makes you feel like a badass, but that doesn't mean you can go in without gearing up. On the lighter side, there's plenty of quirky characters to make you laugh during these hard times.
Wargroove has the confidence to stick to simple, familiar gameplay with a few twists, rather than try to wow you with its novelty. While its charming graphics might make it look cute, it offers a vicious challenge that gets a bit uneven at times. If you get into its slower pace and high difficulty, it also offers plenty of alternate game modes and custom campaign creation tools to extend the fun.
Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a fast-paced dirt bike racing game that provides a tough yet enjoyable challenge. The controls take some getting used to, but after you get time in with the game, you'll be racing like a pro. The graphics and soundtrack keep the blood pumping and the eyes pleased.
LongStory is a charming and innocent LGBTQ+ dating sim focused on conversations and relationships rather than just getting lucky. It's a little over the top, a little dramatic, and a little silly, just like middle school itself, and allows you to date almost every character in the game, or go the asexual route. It's a little heavy-handed at times, but otherwise a great way to pass time.
8 Bit Hordes is a nice addition to the 8 Bit series, especially with the fantasy centered theme. The gameplay is essentially the same, which is great for fans of the previous game. For RTS fans, you'll appreciate the ability to control three different groups while managing your resources.
Utopia 9 is a short but sweet twin stick shooter. The plot of the game is shallow but a fun reason to be fighting. The variety of weapons and tools are cool, and I was excited to see what I'd find next. Offers a fair challenge, but nothing that difficult.
At times, Candleman: The Complete Journey can feel like a chore with its slightly erratic pacing and inconsistent tone. However, those that stick with it will find a surprisingly heartwarming story mixed with an innovative mechanic and some great environments.
Katamari Damacy Reroll is as simple, silly, and superbly entertaining as it was more than a decade ago. The main experience stays intact, but the remaster does enough to make anyone interested in this game smile. Here's hoping that Bandai Namco takes this reimagining and invests in the original sequel next.
Legrand Legacy is a pretty but otherwise generic RPG. It's beautifully hand-drawn world gets lost beneath mountains of dialogue and a plot so weighed down by tropes that it barely stays afloat. It's a passable to good title, but none of its elements come together to create anything new, exciting, inspiring, or terribly memorable.
Senran Kagura Burst Re: Newal is an interesting remake of a 3DS game from 2013. The combat and visuals have been overhauled to fit the times, but there's nothing ground-breaking. The cute yet tough girls are a treat to play as, even though combat can get repetitive.
Resident Evil 2 is a survival horror masterpiece, and sets an unbelievably high standard for video game remakes. The unrivaled realism, terror, and difficulty creates a tremendous, immersive experience that, honestly, makes other horror games look bad. I can see this game living on forever in speedruns, let's plays, and even discussions for the greatest horror games ever made.
Catherine Classic is a port to PC of one of the more unique and surreal gaming experiences around. Scary, thought provoking, and beautiful to behold, Catherine combines horror, romance, puzzles and platforming into a must play experience for anyone. Highly repeatable and challenging gameplay defines this true classic cult hit that begs to be discovered and rediscovered despite outwardly obscuring its true nature behind the standard expectations of a game in this style.
My Time at Portia is not just a simulator, it's an adventure game loaded with things to do, people to talk to (and potentially romance), ruins to explore, and things to create. It's an addicting romp that keeps you playing the next day in hopes of finally completing that one goal only to create another one in the process.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a game that would have benefited from being released in a vacuum. As it stands, this package is one that can neither live up to Nintendo's own suite of contemporary 2D platformers or the Deluxe moniker it is tagged with. Even beyond this point, the game is little more than a window into a bygone era of Nintendo. Offering simple, polished platforming action, this title is suited only for those who have exhausted the genre's other options on Nintendo's hybrid system.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is outrageous. The game is uncompromisingly zany: full of smart design, fluid combat, and laugh out loud personality front to back. While some may be turned off by its low budget feel and disjointed design, those who can look past these rough edges will find a hack-and-slash so quirky that it'll be tough not to fall in love. This title stands as a shining beacon of bold creativity and anyone who values risk-taking in games owes it to themself to give Travis Strikes Again a shot.