Featuring new content that expands the game in some interesting ways and new trials that push the limit of the game's mechanics, the Kena: Bridge of Spirits Anniversary Update has a lot to offer to returning and new players alike. The new additions aren't particularly game-changing, so those who did not like the original release won't change their opinion with the new content. Those who loved Kena: Bridge of Spirits, however, will find a lot to like in the Anniversary Update.
Return to Monkey Island ably delivers the charm, humor, and sharp puzzles the series is known for, while offering a few tweaks to make things less intimidating for new crew members. A reluctance to try anything too daring in terms of design or storytelling dampens the proceedings a bit, but longtime Monkey Island fans ought to enjoy the voyage even if the series’ sails are getting a bit well-worn.
Combining a well-realized dark fantasy setting inspired by Claymore and Berserk and an engaging story with solid action gameplay inspired by some of the best character action games, Soulstice is a competent action title. Unfortunately, issues like the horrible camera and the mediocre handling of color-coded enemies and mechanics impact the experience, preventing it from being the great character action game it had the potential to be.
That would be my verdict of The DioField Chronicle. It has some good elements, but they are often covered by the average, meaning little gets the chance to stand out. Were it a little tighter, a little faster and not requiring you to do so much busy work, I could see this being a more enjoyable experience.
NBA 2K23 builds on last year’s rock-solid entry with some well-considered on-court changes, a deeper, more satisfying career mode, and an array of accessible nostalgia-tweaking content. Most refreshingly, almost none of these additions are designed to push extra spending. If Visual Concepts stays hungry, NBA 2K23 could be the beginning of a new dynasty that would do its cover star proud.
Metal: Hellsinger offers a great variety of metal songs that will make your journey through hell a very pleasant one. Combined with the relentless enemies and dynamic gameplay, this game is sure to give you hours of entertainment so long as you know how to stay on the beat.
Splatoon 3 may be the series’ best entry yet, featuring some nice gameplay tweaks and new weaponry, an expanded and polished story mode, and more launch content than its predecessors. That said, it’s very much an evolutionary sequel, every bit as iterative as many of the shooter franchises it’s meant to be an alternative to. After a five-year absence, that may not be enough for some. Splatoon 3 is still fun and funky, but Nintendo’s squid shooter series can’t get by on freshness alone forever.
With its setting and story, Steelrising could have been the Bloodborne-inspired Soulslike that many have been waiting for since the release of From Software's masterpiece. Unfortunately, the game developed by Spiders doesn't manage to be anything more than a middling game, with its gameplay issues making it hard to recommend to those who are not die-hard fans of the genre.
Worthy of being hailed as a potential Game of the Generation when it was first released, The Last of Us Part I is fully remade for a new generation of PlayStation consoles. With some of Naughty Dog's best graphical tech to date, this is one you'll have to see to believe.
I Was a Teenage Exocolonist is an engrossing social sim that offers up deep roleplaying and a wonderfully-realized universe, with fun collectible card game mechanics as a bonus. Perhaps more importantly, it’s one of the best distillations of growing up I’ve ever encountered in a video game. It doesn’t matter if you’ve left the era long behind, don’t miss out on getting these teenage kicks.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has its flaws like any other game. However, its qualities more than make up for them, bringing a beautiful JRPG experience like none other before seen in the series. The Class system is varied and fun to experiment with, the story is one of the best in the series history, and the aesthetic and production values are incredibly high. This game offers tons of content that will keep you glued to your Nintendo Switch and last a long time.
Rumbleverse occasionally delivers the type of bruising highlights that look good on livestreams, but is held back by a lack of content and unbalanced mechanics that actually discourage the brawling that’s supposed to be the game’s bread and butter. You may want to go a few rounds with Rumbleverse given its nonexistent entry fee, but don’t expect it to go the distance.
Rollerdrome produces some badass moments with its combination of X Games action and bullet-time violence, but it doesn’t replicate what made the OlliOlli games such Zenlike fun. Those looking for a challenge will find it here, but given Rollerdrome’s bland presentation, imperfect controls, and grueling approach to level design, many players will quickly skate on to something else.
Two Point Campus follows the track laid by Two Point Hospital, keeping the same comedic look and tone, the same humour in its courses and curses. Like their first title, this combines strong simulation and management mechanics with accessibility that works well with the aforementioned tone and aesthetic. Two Point Studios know their work, and they're no doubt leading the class in more ways than one.
With its interesting setting that combines the Old West with supernatural and occult elements and solid tactical turn-based combat with excellent pacing, Hard West 2 is a worthy purchase for fans of the genre. However, balancing issues, limited character customization, which force players to play in specific ways, and a general streamlining of the tactical combat experience make the game more shallow than expected, inevitably turning off some veterans of the genre.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origins - Trials of the Dragon King is a DLC aimed at those who have played the base game beyond its ending, providing new customization options, a new difficulty setting, new difficulty modifiers and more. Beyond this, the expansion doesn't provide a lot of new story and gameplay content, making it a worthy purchase only for those who have found Chaos mode too tame, and are ready to get challenged again by the base game's foes and a few new ones.