This really feels like the end of Etrian Odyssey. The series has felt indelibly linked to the 3DS (and Nintendo DS before it) by way of the dual screen mechanics. That, combined with the wonderful send-off of a game here that revisits so many aspects and elements of previous entries in the series, feels like Etrian Odyssey Nexus really is a farewell. Atlus has already hinted at a future for the series, and if it can reach anything close to what has come before, it will be something truly special. While this entry is clearly made for long-time fans, and they will get the most out of it, this is also completely viable for people to enter right here and find a new series to get obsessed over. This is wonderfully old-school, in all the right ways, insanely addictive, and a perfect swan song.
The prospect of Disney parks and reality are two very different things. No-one thinks about the crowded places, the huge bills, or the huge waiting times. They think about the Disney magic. Kingdom Hearts is very much the same. There are some negative elements, paramount of which is the utterly incomprehensible story and the repetitive gameplay. However, like the parks, all those negative elements are soon forgotten when experiencing the game. Each of the Disney worlds completely captures the magic of the movies, plucking the heartstrings and embracing the nostalgia. This is exactly what fans of the series wanted and, best of all, somehow, someway, all the crazy plot threads are dragged together, kicking and screaming, into an utterly satisfying conclusion. The prospect of Kingdom Hearts III being the end of the road is a sad one. Sora's tale may be over, but there are so many other Disney worlds left to explore. The world needs a Moana level with Mau'i helping to take on a huge Tamatoa boss. Wreck it Ralph deserved its own levels, as did The Incredibles, and so many more. Here's hoping, one day, Kingdom Hearts will return.
DiRT Rally 2.0 does nothing but improve the reputation of the purest, modern rally series out there. Codemasters' flagship sequel retains the same uncompromising sense of difficulty and challenge as seen in the original, but achieves it with a new-found sense of finesse and variety. The expanded and evolved Rallycross experience offers something equally visceral, but in a more quick-fire format and with exciting contact-based racing. This is an excellent counter-weight to the more gruelling and linear experience found in Rally events, and it may serve as the better jumping-in point for lesser skilled players. Overall, Codemasters have outdone themselves with one of the greatest rally packages ever made. Whether it quite out-manoeuvres Richard Burns Rally where it counts, the physics and handling through the wheel, is a matter of opinion, but it certainty hits that mark. One thing is for sure, rally fans everywhere must play DiRT Rally 2.0!
Unless an avid fan of all things tied to the Neptunia series, there's little reason to try the borefest known as Megadimension Neptunia VIIR. Repetitive, with not much humour, and with a profound unwillingness to add something new, or at least fix past flaws, one can easily find a better JRPG fix.
Meshing together the repeat play appeal of the Roguelike game category with a fun light-hearted take on airborne dogfight warfare, Rogue Aces is a joy to play and comes packed with a great deal of content. Newcomers to the genre will find some turbulence in adapting, and the multiplayer potential of the game's setup both online and off isn't realised at all. But for pure arcade fighter jet action on Switch, few games are more enjoyable.
As it is, this The Walking Dead Final Season Episode 2 - Save the Children is just as good as the first episode. It introduces more plot twists, which fans of the previous seasons are bound to appreciate. The previous instalment, understandably, spent more time setting the scene and theme for the rest of season. This time, things move forward a bit more, as expected. In and of itself, Episode 2 is good, though the performance adjustments on Switch are questionable. Unfortunately, the changes seem to be here to stay. The series is getting an ending though, and it is coming soon. Let's hope it's worth the long wait!
While the combative elements leave much to be desired, Mage's Initiation to pay tribute to the old Sierra titles of yore without failing to craft an identity of its own alongside the homage. D'arc's initiation is almost too simple for its own good, serving as a prologue of sorts to a grander adventure, yet so much focus placed solely on a single story beat is exactly what allows the narrative to lend impact to any given moment. The plot itself may never get too exciting, but active world building, endearing visuals, and focused puzzles ensure that in Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements there is seldom a dull moment in D'arc's journey.
Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight is a fine example of the metroidvania sub-genre. Depth-wise, it does not quite reach the heights of Hollow Knight, but it far surpasses the likes of Xeodrifter. It's strengths lie in the action, and its charm. This is a fairly bite-sized affair, when compared to the competition, but it is a bite worth trying. With all the basics set in place for such a polished and well crafted entry, hopefully this will get a successor that expands on such a strong foundation.
PSVR has expanded its catalogue year on year, going a long way in proving that the technology is here to stay, and not the gimmick many had thought. While Downward Spiral Horus Station isn't a groundbreaking VR title, thanks to the combat and lack of variety in the "puzzles" letting it down. It still delivers on crafting an immersive and atmospheric experience. Letting its audience step into the void of space. It's another to add to the catalogue of games to introduce non-VR gamers and non-gamers in general into the wonders of virtual reality.
The excitement of being able to play what is effectively a WarioWare game on the PC, quickly dissipates after realising that, despite being a recent release, Game Soup is actually inferior compared to its inspiration, with a severe lack of variety, and a couple of - easily fixable - rough edges here and there. A free addition of more mini-games, plus a little bit of fine-tuning, would certainly help this become much better.
Both Hitman: Blood Money and Hitman: Absolution are a stealth gamer's delight, and a decent addition to the PS4's growing catalogue of classics. Veterans and newcomers alike will find something to enjoy in this diverse pairing, but the over-the-top price tag is likely to discourage many who are on the fence. Nevertheless, the remastering is good, and both titles play well on the system, even though there are no major graphical changes over the originals, beyond a resolution bump and some minor interface tweaks.
Episode 2: Suffer the Children gets off to fiery and heart-pounding start in the aftermath of the previous episode, as the various characters begin to draw their battle lines regarding their own morality of the situation.
Catherine Classic may not be the definitive way to experience Vincent's journey of self discovery, mainly due to some pesky technical issues, but it is a solid port nonetheless, with a few improvements of its own. Faster loading times, crisper visuals, and dual audio support, elevate the title from beyond just another bog standard PC port. It is unfortunate that English audio clips in when playing in Japanese, but Catherine is so thoughtfully designed, and so well-written that it's easy enough to endure the port's more disappointing qualities in favour of the incredible experience underneath. Catherine Classic is a great alternative to the PS3 original, if flawed.
Seeing as how Versus STGs are incredibly uncommon, Rival Megagun could easily get some recognition just for being part of such a rare niche. Thankfully, Spacewave Software went above and beyond to create a fantastic shooter. It has gotten the basics down pat, and delivers an exceptionally realized meta. Players are rewarded for thinking three moves ahead, reading their opponents, and finding the right opportunity to strike. For competitive gamers looking for something new, this is highly recommended.
Monster Energy Supercross 2 is a mostly fluid and enjoyable two-wheeler experience, which hasn't been reinvented, but has been polished just enough to be a decent follow-up. The standard cynicism of incessant iterative cycles still applies here, because if Milestone gave themselves two years for this follow-up, it would be drastically better, rather than the usual half-step. However, at least the studio's commitment to the Unreal Engine 4, and their policy of providing an accessible driving experiences for all skill-levels, ensures Monster Energy Supercross 2 is still fun and engrossing for fans of Supercross, as well as those of the genre at large. Improvements to air-control reduces some occasional handling frustration, but doesn't erase it. Likewise, whilst throttle and front/rear brake application appears to me a little more tactile, the general handling and physics still leave a little to be desired. Good acrobatic fun, but with ample room for improvement.