In short, Lost Judgement takes everything that was great about the original and makes it that much better. It’s got a magnificent story, great characters, an enormous amount of side characters, and great combat all in one package. It’s just one of those games that you won’t want to put down for bed while also being the reason you get up early for work in order to play just a little bit more. Lost Judgment is simply a perfect sequel.
Before I knew it, my initial skepticism and complaints had begun to evaporate. Even as a silent protagonist, John manages to exude so much personality from his non-committal shrugs and sighs, and he and Sam play off each other so well it’s hard not to feel endeared to them. Everything about Eastward just feels immediately magical and nostalgic, and while my gripes with the combat and stretched out dungeon designs never really went away entirely, Sam’s journey is still one I’m glad I went on in the end.
Also, again, it’s just so damn fun to play. And I think for a developer whose games have always been so clever and innovative to behold but not necessarily entertaining without a fair dose of punishment along the way, that’s hugely important. Deathloop is still signature Arkane in terms of exemplary immersive-sim design, reminiscent of BioShock and Dishonored, but it also puts a giant smile on your face each and every time you play. Quite whether that’s enough to see it succeed at a mainstream level remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt it’s another stellar title on the resume of an esteemed studio. It might even be its best.
For those new to the series, keep in mind that these games aren’t about the number of levels or length of time it takes to complete the story. There is fun in replaying each of the levels to get the highest score possible and unlock all of the microgames. For returning fans, well, you basically know what to expect. It’s just more of the WarioWare we love.
Life Is Strange: True Colors is right up there as one of the best games in the series, if not the outright best. Its characters are interestingly complex and believable, the writing is strong — albeit a bit clichéd in true Life Is Strange fashion — and its more sinister narrative has plenty of twists and turns that’ll keep you hooked. It’s all punctuated by heartwarming, lighthearted sections reminiscent of Before the Storm’s beloved ‘play’ scene, and its decisions will have you second-guessing yourself for hours. The whole experience is wrapped up in the strongest presentation values and a soundtrack that never skips a beat. This is a must-play for fans of the series, and a serious contender for my Game of the Year.
All in all, this feels like a safe yet enjoyable follow-up to Berseria. Longtime fans will be satisfied with this entry after the five-year wait since the last mainline game even though Tales of Arise doesn’t feel like it strays too far away from the standard series formula.
All in all, F.I.S.T: Forged in Shadow Torch is an excellent offering that is surprisingly getting very little marketing at launch. With a great aesthetic, an engaging enough narrative, together with challenging combat and rewarding Metroidvania exploration, this is one resistance movement everyone should be signing on for.
Mecha Knights: Nightmare isn’t perfect, and it likely isn’t for everyone. Yet, considering its nature and the limited resources with which it was developed, not only it’s impressively polished and content-rich, but it certainly blew my expectations out of the water in terms of gameplay fluidity and pure fun.
Fortunately, the fantastic gameplay, music, story, writing, and character design are all ways that No More Heroes 3 more than makes up for the game’s shortcomings. It has been well worth the wait for diehard fans and is easily recommendable to anyone who enjoys action games.
When all is said and done, I was pretty satisfied with my overall experience with Boyfriend Dungeon when the end of the summer rolled. The writing was solid, and I ended up caring about a lot of the relationships that were formed. It is just a shame that the somewhat lacking combat and issues with a couple of the characters and situations arise that end up bogging the game down a bit.