Disco Elysium doesn't shy away from its problems, but each one just cements how interesting those flaws are. Minor technical issues can be fixed, but what the game does, how it does it, and how the player responds is something that no other medium, no other game has achieved.
SaGa Frontier Remastered shows the two-decades old JRPG such great reverence by restoring lost content along with modern conveniences. With a high learning curve and an explorer's mindset necessary to truly enjoy, SaGa Frontier does require more experimentation and desire for less-traditional storytelling to get the most out of it.
Demon Skin is a game that tries; it shows potential but fails due to missed opportunities and a lack of refinement. The combat is decent – though it can suffer from movement issues and unfair AI - and the game features good environments, but everything else proves to be a letdown. The story is incomprehensible, with no buildup, engagement or payoff, and the level design features far too many annoying, inexplicable, and often cheap instakill traps. It's not impossible to find some good aspects, but they're fighting a tidal wave of nitpicks and negatives.
With an excellent stage and puzzle design, an engaging story that takes some unexpectedly dark turns, and a great presentation, Oddworld: Soulstorm is as good as the first entries in the series if not even better thanks to some new gameplay mechanics. The high challenge level and some other issues here and there may put off some players, but don't let them stop you, even if you just have a passing interest in the series, or the genre as a whole: a game like Oddworld: Soulstorm hasn't been released in a very long time.
Evil Genius 2: World Domination has a certain nostalgic charm, and not just because of its retro 007 stylings. It feels like something you might have found on your dad or friend's computer back in the Windows 3.1 era and sunk a few diverting hours into. Unfortunately, a lack of depth, challenge, and modern features makes the game hard to fully recommend in 2021. Some fun can be had if you keep your expectations in check, but don't count on Evil Genius 2 taking over your world.
Spacebase Startopia is a decently comical management simulation that looks back at and expands on the original Startopia. With a wide number of buildings and areas to develop, aliens to satisfy and even hire, there's a fair amount to do. Spacebase Startopia isn't without its issues, such as too much forced 'comedy' and a campaign that drags like a marathon, but you're still likely to have a good time if you like management sims.
It Takes Two is one of the most varied, inventive games ever made, serving up dozens upon dozens of different styles of gameplay in a remarkably polished, approachable package. An inconsistent level of challenge and lack of editing may strain your relationship with the game at times, but It Takes Two is good enough to justify working through the rough patches.
With its ancient China setting, Immortals Fenyx Rising: Myths of the Eastern Realm could have expanded the main game's experience in a lot of meaningful ways, but Ubisoft Chengdu preferred to play it extremely safe, presenting an expansion that, in reality, expands very little. Lacking the good writing and the hilarious characters of the main campaign, and any major gameplay change, this DLC expansion is a worthwhile purchase only for those who haven't had enough of the puzzle-solving seen in Fenyx's adventure. Everyone else will find this adventure in the Eastern Realm a little stale.
Murder on Eridanos provides an intriguing story to follow thanks to its murder investigation premise, even though the DLC otherwise maintains all of the pros and cons of The Outer Worlds and its previous DLC, Peril on Gorgon.
Stronghold Warlords is a decent strategy game. While the city-building and sieging truly let the game shine, the slow and sluggish pace between these can truly drag it down. The new diplomacy and warlords system adds something to the series and makes for a welcome change, but it's impossible not to think of this as a game that feels and plays like a strategy game from 20 years ago, for better and for worse.