Splatoon 3: Side Order is a refreshing yet familiar take on the Splatoon setup and well suited for short play sessions and runs to try and take on the lengthy tower. It's longevity, though, is very much grounded in whether rogue-like games and skill-trees appeal. As someone who didn't quite gel with the previous Splatoon single player modes, Splatoon 3: Side Order does tick a lot more boxes - mainly due to the compact, focused approach and that desire to keep pushing further.
F-Zero 99 scratches a very specific itch where gamers can get an intense and thrilling rush for a bit before moving on to something else. It will be very disappointing when Nintendo inevitably terminates the service for it because it is some of the best F-Zero content since F-Zero GX.
The asking price does feel disproportionate to what is on offer in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, even despite the host of additional levels that bring it past 130 in total, and its wonderful new presentation and cutscenes. Alongside 1994's Donkey Kong, though, this is the superior gameplay format for this series, which adopted more of a Lemmings approach in subsequent games, so interested folk should seek this one out at a more affordable price in the future.
An enjoyable Klondike Solitaire experience, with some nice anime cutes that make the view better. While there's nothing wrong with that concept, but Pretty Girls Klondike Solitaire PLUS manages to ruin the fun by being way to short on content, be it the time to do everything that needs to be done here, or simply unlocking more girls and/or outfits. Nothing PLUS about this, sorry.
A gift to fans of Lara Croft's retro beginnings, Tomb Raider: I-III Remastered Starring Lara Croft is a masterfully beautified collection of the first three games, plus their extra chapters. It does what all remasters of super old-school classics should do, providing the whole experience, practically unchanged, but in a brand new coat of paint that offers quite the sight, without ruining the magic of the original. Whether most will like the titles included is a different matter altogether, because, while pretty good, they are far from flawless, but as far as upgrades go, this is one of the best of the bunch.
Despite its outward appearance as a cheerful and friendly-looking game, Tiny Thor harbours a formidable array of challenges that can prove to be surprisingly daunting. It provides an unrelenting challenge for even the most experienced players, and yet feels endearingly satisfying and rewarding. Tiny Thor unveils itself as a remarkably intense, gratifying - and also highly accessible - action platformer, standing as one of the most demanding and rewarding experiences within its genre.
Dungeonoid 2 Awakening is a good idea done wrong. Fusing the arcade gameplay of Arkanoid with D&D style, fantasy elements had lots of potential, but the way the whole thing has been executed offers a repetitive experience with not much meat on its bones, and can even get annoying when it comes to "reading" the screen, which can lead to lots of unfair deaths.
Apart from those who find it hard to go back to the past, and simply can't understand "why would anyone play something that looks so old," the rest are highly advised to brave the creepy Doll House of Alisa: Developer's Cut by Casper Croes. Apart from recreating that special vibe of the early survival horror classics, this has a unique magic of its own. There are a few flaws, especially with how annoying combat can be, but as a whole, this is a must have, especially for fans of indie retraux titles.
With its predecessor hitting the dizzy heights of a 9/10, Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth was going one of two ways, either resting on its laurels and delivering another great experience, or going above and beyond to provide new and innovative opportunities for mayhem. With a solid story and fantastic cast of characters supplemented by hours of side content, this is again, not only a game of the year contender, but one that is contending for best RPG ever made (Yes I said it, I mean it too).
There are many times that it is fun to just stop and look around, and the story and characters are a fairly tight package, which is appreciated. Battles are fast, if a bit consistent of spongy enemies. Its mobile roots are obvious, in relation to how equipment, upgrades and other characters work. Overall, there is not a huge sweeping story that will stay with you, but it's a coherent, high quality RPG that is solid across the board.
It's a lonely, cold planet over here. Mileage on Outer Wilds will depend largely on how much one enjoys exploration, discovery and extrinsic reward versus repetitive backtracking and restrictive (but also far too long and frequently-occurring-to-be-as-restrictive-as-it-is) time limits. It may certainly be a monkey brain desire for feedback and a more robust signposting of progress, but even knowing that the lack of it here is exactly the point, one can't help think there are examples within interactive media that have done lateral think puzzles better. Ones that would waste less time in between solving puzzles, too. Clearly, there's a majority disagreement for this view, so take it with a pinch of salt, but also go into it aware that it's not going to be for everyone. It is an experience that introduces a lot of mind-bending sci-fi concepts and a surprisingly emotional, if conflicting, conclusion. One just wonders if we like the scaffolding more than we like the building itself. Perhaps, though, it's just that some people really don't like time loop mechanics.
Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is a largely satisfying portable interpretation of the classic assassination simulator. While technical constraints result in visual compromises and the save system oversight undermines intended difficulty, the core gameplay loop remains engaging and the intuitive controls facilitate smooth execution. The convenience and versatility of playing Blood Money on the go outweighs some of the port's limitations, making it a worthwhile proposition for fans and newcomers alike.
Another Code: Recollection recontextualises two of gaming's most obscure and heartfelt stories into a single cohesive whole, improving upon them in almost every way and providing a much wider audience with a chance to enjoy the adventure of Ashley Robbins. There are some rough edges here and there but the games are overwhelmingly a slow yet excellent journey that really ought to be experienced by everyone who can stomach the pacing. Melancholic, nostalgic adventures that come highly recommended!
Alina of the Arena offers a neat blend of the typical deck-building fun, with the more complex battlefield of a grid-based strategy title. That said, it's a little underwhelming in terms of content, and even presentation (although the arena feel it provides is quite good). Plus it is in need of some rebalancing. Oh, and more cards that enable movement. Ah, yes, and the console-unfriendly control scheme leaves a lot to be desired on the Switch.
Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio has done it again, Like a Dragon: Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name is another notch in their award adorned catalogue. The emotional journey of series favourite Kiryu and the important bridging of the gap between Yakuza 6 and 7 is a joy to behold and experience. This entry presents the best version of the now deprecated action combat design and is one of the most consistently great experiences to be had on the PlayStation 5 console.
Tekken 8 delivers a fantastically fun package worthy of the price tag. Stylish, narrative driven and not bogged down by the fluff of other recent games in the fighting genre. Offline modes have not been forgotten and time has been taken to ensure that this is not only the best in the series to date, but currently the only real option for any players looking to experience fighting games emphasising fun over funding.
Way too little rhythm gameplay in this rhythm game, as Witch's Rhythm Puzzle leans more towards a puzzler, with the beat acting only as the "opening" during which you can hit a button and play the darn thing. The actual puzzle aspect is nothing to write home about. As for the anime lasses, aren't something special either.
Unfortunately, you can only work with what the era of Pogs and Blockbusters gave you and the Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection is a collection of titles mostly for novelty and nostalgia value. There is fun to be had if you are the type of person with a hankering for some raptor spankering, but likely, this will leave most newcomers feeling a little lost and underwhelmed by the difficulty and lack of features to make all on offer here more accessible.
The Wonderful One: After School Hero is a very fun diversion and was worth the wait. It is noticeably low budget, but PlatinumGames' ingenuity shines through in this lean, mean, but clean mini adventure. For its price, it largely delivers the thrills and is packed with enough variety to make replays enjoyable.
Prince of Persia is back, Baybee! The Lost Crown is not only a fantastic new entry to the series but one of the best Ubisoft titles in a long time (sorry FarCry and Assassin's Creed!). It's exciting to see the Prince return in such a polished title and it easily stands shoulder to shoulder with The Sands of Time. The adventure of Sargon is one to remember. A heartily recommended title to all who want a fun 2D action adventure!