Push Square's Reviews
Marvel's Midnight Suns is a hero on the battlefield, where its card-based combat is a hit. The release's more adventurous social aspects are conceptually interesting, allowing you to candidly interact with a spectrum of personalities, but the writing and cutscene direction simply isn't up to scratch. It means that you'll spend long stretches of gameplay itching to get back to the action, but the lure of the tactical battles with pull you through. It's an unusual, unfocused title at times, but one with character and ambition that's easy to appreciate.
The core arcade fighting, with its persistent clothing damage and blend of vivid 2D and 3D visuals, makes it a compelling curio for fighting game faithfuls. But the package as a whole falls short of expectations, and will either need major updates or a chunky price drop moving forwards.
Every time you use your partners’ skills, your relationship with them rises. They're pleasantly designed in a way that means you don't have ton rely on them, acting more as stun mechanics. In addition, these attacks help mask the game's numerous frame rate dips. Sadly, these drops, alongside your main character's stiff attacks, make Samurai Maiden's encounters much more frustrating than they should be.
Paper Cut Mansion offers some interesting dimension-hopping gameplay, enjoyable puzzles, and unique cardboard visuals that make it standout from similar titles in the genre. However, it's ultimately let down by its slow pacing and repetition of content.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII Reunion is a top tier remaster of a flawed and often comically awkward spinoff. But for all of its angsty melodrama, the story of Zack Fair is an endearingly daft tale that only adds to the world of Final Fantasy VII.
Despite one or two small complaints, Need for Speed Unbound is a great arcade racer, finally getting the series back on track. The versatile handling feels fantastic, and the single-player offers a highly engaging campaign, pitting you against the cops and other racers in equal measure. The much talked-about cartoon effects succeed in bringing some flair to the experience, and it all runs wonderfully at 4K and 60 frames-per-second. If you can forgive a slightly underwhelming backdrop and a barebones online mode, the minute-to-minute action make this more than worth taking for a spin.
Sadly, some of the joy of exploration is dampened by the stuttering framerate which frequently gets a bit choppy, especially when wandering through busier areas. You’re also likely to encounter bugs with things like merchants not having any stock for sale or your hoverbike disappearing. Reloading the game does seem to fix many issues, but these little niggles do begin to get irritating over time. It’s a shame as, apart from these issues, exploring Sable’s strange and mysterious land is an absolute delight.
But ultimately, this game misses the target. If you’re itching for some footie amid the World Cup, and you absolutely can’t stand sims like FIFA 23, we suppose you might eke some mileage out of it. Otherwise, leave this one on the bench where it belongs.
In fact, the only area where it lets itself down is the UI. Games that use a cursor on console are starting on the back foot to begin with, but navigating what you can interact with is a particular nuisance in Norco. The cursor is fond of resetting, so you have to drag it all the way across the screen often, it's very easy to accidentally repeat dialogue choices, and sometimes it takes a few tries to hover over something before the interaction prompt actually shows up. Apart from this, the game offers a rich, fulfilling experience that you should try to experience as soon as you possibly can.
As a result, the experience as a whole can come off as a bit shallow, but at least it's pretty. The game's gorgeous cel-shaded cars and atmospheric environments do a lot of heavy lifting when the actual racing starts to drag. If you can work yourself into the zone and you're prepared for an often stiff challenge, Twilight Rivals is simply more of what Inertial Drift does well.
If you're someone who heard "a new Gungrave" and got excited, this is a game for you. For what it's worth, it nails that. It genuinely feels like a lost PS2 game, and that's the kind of thing we love. Although, the original game had the benefit of only being around two hours long, while G.O.R.E. clocks in at about 12. However, we can't in good faith recommend someone to spend £45 on this, outside of those with an affinity for the series.
Evil West is one of those really enjoyable 7/10s. It's never going to win any awards and it's probably not going to stick long in the memory, but give it a few years and someone, somewhere, will swear to you that it's actually an underappreciated classic. It's a chunky action game that knows how to have fun, both in and out of combat.
Outside of the online – which adopts a seasonal format and sees you unlocking new cosmetics as you work through the ranks – there’s a modernised version of single player Arkanoid which includes new power-ups and a combo system, as well as the 1986 original, both with online leaderboards. There’s also a rounds-based versus mode for four-person local multiplayer play. As a whole, the package is well executed, but with an asking price of £24.99/$29.99, it feels a little too light overall to overcome the sticker shock.
Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord combines RPG mechanics with grand strategy and features battles so epic they can be overwhelming at times. It has some rough edges, and the interface can be unwieldy, but at its core lies a roleplaying experience that is virtually unrivalled in scope - especially on console.
The Devil in Me is another competent and enjoyable enough entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology, but it fails to reach the heights of House of Ashes or even Little Hope. With a lot of potential squandered, it's left to the familiar gameplay loop of past instalments to deliver a robust title. With some new features, the season one finale offers just enough to make the deadly trip worthwhile for fans.
For what it is, Goat Simulator 3 excels. It's a bigger, crazier sequel to the viral hit, built expressly to satiate anyone's appetite for chaos. It's the epitome of dumb fun; if you want to switch your brain off and just mess around for an hour or so, this is about as lowbrow as it gets, and we mean that as a compliment. There are some serious performance hiccups, and it's certainly not to everyone's tastes. Even if you love it, the novelty will eventually run dry, but if you're able to go along for the ride and lean into its madness, you'll have lots of fun while it lasts.
While many of the included games may border on unplayable from a modern perspective, the painstaking attention to detail in Atari 50: The Anniversary Celebration is extremely easy to appreciate. The museum-like carousel of content, from interviews through to original artwork, is presented so handsomely that you can't not get swept up in Atari's dramatic story. And the fact that there over 100 of the company's most famous titles, emulated excellently with their original instruction manuals available to pore over, adds playable context to a lot of the content. This is just an impressive overall experience that will appeal to those who lived through the rise (and fall) of Atari, as well as younger players eager to learn a little more about one of the industry's true pioneers.
The strategy RPG genre owes a lot to the Tactics Ogre franchise, which is filled with lesser titles trying to recreate even a fraction of its winning formula. The experience that lies at the heart of Tactics Ogre: Reborn has stood the test of time admirably and, thanks to the swathe of intelligent tweaks and quality-of-life improvements introduced, will likely remain at the head of the pack for years to come.