Even if a better selection of modes would be welcome, Fuser is often a joy to play and potentially the future of rhythm games. Tapping your feet along to a great mix was always going to be great, but Harmonix has developed the Dropmix idea into a game that’s deeper, more engaging, and a lot of fun.
Overall though, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory is exactly what it needs to be: A quality rhythm game experience that lets fans of the series look back on it fondly. Its flaws are minor, and its strengths lay the groundwork for a promising future of bigger and better spin-off titles in the genre.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a lot to take in. There are so many systems in play here, but somehow they all come together to form a solid, cohesive experience that makes this game so damn hard to put down. Throw in a cast of extremely likeable characters, and set it in the rich world of Breath of the Wild, and you get one of the best musou-style games that Koei Tecmo and Omega Force have ever put out.
Change can be scary, but Yakuza: Like a Dragon proves it’s usually for the best. Though it has a few flaws, it’s still a standout title in the series and a strong indicator that the franchise has more than a few great stories to tell. It’s an experience that shouldn’t be missed, and that fans new and old will want to check out as soon as possible.
For the time being, then, Valhalla is a superb but familiar open-world experience. It’s sure to excite fans of the series with another impressively content-rich and beautiful sandbox to explore, and it might just interest newcomers and lapsed Assassin’s Creed players with the intrigue of its setting and more streamlined overall design. Ultimately, though, it falls just shy of true excellence — a high benchmark to meet, but one Assassin’s Creed should be held to after so many years of trying to get it right.
Bugsnax is an odd and wacky experience that’ll be remembered as the black swan of the PS5 launch lineup, in the best way possible. It highlights PlayStation’s commitment to having a diverse catalog of games at the PS5 launch, and with Bugsnax being free on PS Plus for PS5 players at launch, there’s no reason not to try it if you’re a subscriber.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a wonderful mix of the two ideas. As a platformer, the game wouldn’t have enough driving force, and would wear out quickly. For farming, while it’s truly lovely, there’s too much downtime with not enough to do. Each of these things in a game of their own would be draining, but together it creates a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup of a game that deserves recognition and continues to feel fresh and enjoyable even after 20 hours in.
Ultimately, Watch Dogs: Legion’s main mechanic feels like an incredibly ambitious move that almost pays off for Ubisoft, but not quite. In favor of cramming as many playable NPCs into the game as possible, Legion ends up sacrificing story and character investment. Ubisoft’s vision of near-future London is a beautifully realized sandbox world that I loved spending time in, but it’s also forgettable and not one that I see myself returning to anytime soon.