Gamigo managed to fix a few things for ArcheAge Unchained but broke a few others in the process. The troubled launch didn't do it any favors, with exasperating queues, but the added drama of the ArchePass exploit was something that could and should have been entirely avoided.
Code Vein isn't the anime Dark Souls that many people were expecting, and I'm all the more happy for it. Instead, we get something that borrows from the Souls-like genre but still ends up being its own unique beast. There's nothing quite like Code Vein on the market, and few games are as satisfying from beginning to end.
Second Galaxy is a surprisingly robust and sprawling galactic MMO, despite first impressions misleadingly pointing to some sort of elaborated clicker game. This is one of the best games of the genre that you can find on mobile, but the Steam version is also interesting to play despite being a straight-up port. Persevere and you will find yourself living an enjoyable journey across a vast universe, with a gameplay loop that will take you through dozens of cool ships and tactical space battles.
Children of Morta is an outstanding action-adventure that benefits from the added concept of family ties. Without the Bergsons, it would be an above average but unremarkable little hack and slash game. With a family for you to relate to, this is a journey where every character has significance, where every family member feels real and valuable to the whole.
There's a great game trying to show its face in Pagan Online. Some questionable design choices stop it from realizing its full potential. There is no conceivable reason to have the classes gated off; the crafting system could be entirely removed and no one would even notice.
Remnant turned out to be an amazing achievement and a game that can proudly stand as a great Souls-like, despite having its own identity and focus. Everything about it works almost flawlessly, from its combat mechanics to the way that the procedurally generated world offers fresh trials without feeling hastily stitched together. If there is one challenge that you need this year, that challenge is fighting the Root in Remnant: From the Ashes.
Anyone who really enjoys 4X or tactical strategy games set in a sci-fi universe with overgrown bugs, androids, and dinosaurs with laser beams should definitely consider picking up Age of Wonders: Planetfall. However, this one likely doesn't break away enough from the mold to bring in players who haven't been previous interested in the genre, and if you're on the fence then possible wait for a sale before giving it a try.
While some folks will still prefer to tread AAA territory when it comes to their fighting games, Sirlin and his team have done a pretty good job with their debut effort. Fantasy Strike has a decent offering of characters, a gameplay system that offers value for those that get into it, adaptable controls for newcomers and pros alike, fun local multiplayer options, a decent smattering of single player content, and a nostalgic presentation to back it all up. It's good stuff, even if can't quite live up to Fantasylevel. That's okay, sometimes you need something good to settle down and have fun with.
The Blackout Club strives for originality while working with a familiar template. It's Stranger Things meets Scooby-Doo which come together nicely, along with a few added ideas that make it different. Not everything works as expected and content is a bit slim overall, but it truly shines when you're playing with a full party. If you like the uniqueness of the concept and the gloomy theme, you'll find equal doses of horror and fun in the mysterious town of Redacre.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is an enjoyable experience that could really use a bit more polish and fleshed out level design. It's a fairly good game at its core but it's hard to miss the problem areas as well. Pick it up if you're a big Warhammer fan or really enjoy ARPGs, but it might be better to wait for a sale if you're on the fence.
Earth Defense Force 5 is the sheer definition of a cult classic, but it doesn't break new ground. It's more of the same, just bigger and better. It's a brash, dumb, guilty pleasure that is best enjoyed with friends. It will never be the game of the year, but it could turn out to be YOUR game of the year. When all is said and done, that is what really matters.
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is without question the best Final Fantasy XIV expansion yet. The gripping story gave me quite a few gut punches. Shadowbringers is fun, fast, and fluid, largely due to the latest changes made to the battle system. If you're looking for a brand new MMO or just want to get back into Final Fantasy XIV after a long hiatus, now's the time to do so as this edition is wonderfully done.
While there are some things I wish could be fixed (again, where is Gen-an?!), Samurai Shodown gets a whole lot right. The gameplay feels just about perfect, and takes some time to master; the modes have a lot to offer, though story and online mode could use a slight bit of tweaking. The presentation can’t be beat when it comes to authenticity and it nails the old-school vibe of the original series.
Although I could recommend other games by Arc System Works to get your fighting fix, Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R is well worth the investment. You get two great fighting games from the past for your Nintendo Switch library, and both pack great gameplay and options for you and a friend. Sure, the online in Plus R could be way better, but the adaptable systems, fun presentation, and smoking gameplay will keep you highly entertained.