Paste Magazine's Reviews
Often, the game feels more like an advertisement for its characters, which occasionally feel more like idols or gacha units than soldiers (which is only reinforced by an actual, though disconnected, gacha system within the game). It feels disrespectful to deploy some of Fire Emblem's shining protagonists from weightier games in an entry this light and confused, one whose main character is an empty vessel. While Engage is perfectly serviceable and even an improvement on Three Houses in some ways, I want more for a series with such a storied history-and, I imagine, so will most of its fans.
Level after level, Hi-Fi Rush introduces something new, whether it be a mechanic, scenario, character, or implementation of a song, that deepens my appreciation for it. It's relentless in its pursuit of being a phenomenal game and unendingly proves itself time and time again. At the end of every mission, I couldn't help but think of how games this expressive and big and bright seem a growing rarity, but if Hi-Fi Rush is any indication, they've got a bright and bold future ahead.
All these fragments of Forspoken collide in messy ways that reveal the lack of depth or even synergy across the whole thing. Forspoken is, if anything, a compelling enough first draft at something that I think can be greater. Maybe next time around the puzzle pieces will actually fit and I'll be able to see the game it could've been. But as it stands right now, a more explicit direction could've prevented the thorough roasting everyone seems keen to deliver.
In fact, in some ways, it could actually stand to hew more closely to them, especially when it comes to exploration and difficulty. Taken as it is though, Vengeful Guardian is an approachable, stylish retro platformer that I can see many falling for once they give it a chance, and I encourage anyone curious enough to do so. I think much like myself, you'll find a surprising amount to appreciate here, even if you'll be left wanting more.
Overall, I enjoyed Crisis Core Reunion's 10-ish-hour story well enough, and I'm grateful to know more about Zack before his anticipated reappearance in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Unfortunately, the game's age shows, with the random encounters and constricted corridors designed for a handheld released in 2004 not holding up as well on modern platforms in 2022.
There's no split-screen competitive mode, there's no just sitting and customizing cars outside of career mode, and there's only the one career mode file. Accessibility options don't include button mapping, though that can be done from the Xbox itself. It's a step in the right direction, narratively and visually more interesting than Need for Speed has often been in the past, and a satisfactory if not mind-blowing driving experience.
Nonetheless, High On Life is a rock-solid shooter and a great way to idly spend a weekend's worth of time blasting aliens. More than anything, I see the mold of a game that could really break the surface if Squanch Games and company decided they want to revisit this world and series. Just please, less holes next time, y'all.
From visual shortcomings to a smattering of bugs, these games shouldn't be as good as they are. Whether I was on the road or at a family gathering over a holiday weekend, I couldn't put them down once I started playing thanks to Scarlet and Violet's charming storylines, incredible monster designs, sonically rich soundtrack and enthralling battles. I haven't had as much fun with a new Pokémon game in years, possibly even a decade, even if its launch sets a concerning precedent for the series going forward.
The world only has life when parts of it are dying, when Rayne sets them afire with her spells. The Knight Witch wants you to be invested in its world, in the possibility of its death, in the ability of a community to live freely without exploitation. However, its only poetry is in virtual violence, in the simple thrill of outwitting a computer and watching its shrapnel fade from view.
undefined.While Reborn might seem by-the-numbers by today's standards, the game's simple presentation belies a lot of depth and oddities that take loving experimentation to come across. While Final Fantasy Tactics might remain the darling of the genre, Reborn proves there's still plenty of reasons to care about Matsuno's original vision, the game that inspired the much-beloved world of Ivalice. The game's original quirks mesh beautifully with the cavalcade of additions it has received in its many rereleases, making Reborn the most flexible iteration of Let Us Cling Together-one of the most flexible SRPGs period, really-and the best way to play the game today, despite how you might feel about the game's revamped look.
Though getting through it was occasionally bumpy, I only wish I'd been able to get more of it once it really got going. And had Somerville maintained its human element front and center, I think I would've loved the way the story ended more than I ultimately did. As it stands though, Somerville is a notable debut by Patti's new studio, it just has some of the wrinkles of one too.
undefined.Taken as a whole, what you get out of this experience will vary dramatically based on how much its melancholy tone and setting make up for its sometimes unforgiving design elements. Although its boss fights are an annoyance, the haunting atmosphere, contemplative character writing, and well-realized space leave a far greater impression than its gameplay gaffes, repeatedly pulling me back into this world. There have been many cracks at this genre since Metroid's chiptune synths first accentuated its foreboding alien backdrop, but few emulate and transcend its ambiance as well as Ghost Song.
Bloated world design doesn't take away from the thrilling high of zooming through a landscape at mach speeds, nailing a good time on a platforming challenge or catching a comically large fish in Big's fishing minigame. There's just not much else to hang onto here. Sorry, Sonic fans: your malaise continues.
These human texts open up genuinely insightful questions about authenticity in art and what it will come to mean centuries later, as well as what to do when your history has been lost to you. It is a beautiful portrait of history that doesn't limit itself from commenting on labor inequity, parental loss, or artistic hopelessness, all things the medieval and early modern art it draws from portrays so vividly. In bringing some of those stories to us today, Pentiment accomplishes the remarkable goal of being both clear-eyed about the period's faults, and sincere about its masterpieces.
It manages to shake up tried-and-true elements from the last game and the strategy genre as a whole and even rewrite the rules dictating what it means to be a tactics game. Where the last game set out to make tactics gameplay approachable for a wider audience, Sparks of Hope seeks to inject its own clever spin on the turn-based strategy genre, and in doing so delivers a fantastic experience. Complete with one of the best scores in any Nintendo game, fun puzzle-solving and solid exploration, Mario Rabbids Sparks of Hope isn't just a follow-up to a game derisively categorized as "baby's first tactics game" by hardcore fans of the genre; it's a tactics game for everyone that everyone should play.
I can't stress enough how God of War Ragnarök is a fantastic game with tremendous heights. It caps off the Norse mythology duology beautifully, and I absolutely cannot wait to see where the series goes from here. It's just a bit of a shame that it can't quite live up to the game that came before it.
With a little love and attention to current bugs and a roadmap for future content (I will absolutely shell out the bucks for a Vigo the Carpathian or Samhain DLC, should that happen), Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed could be a crowd-pleaser for a long time. As it stands right now, it's got enough Halloween spirit to carry you through the spooky season.
Resident Evil has existed in many forms, a shifting organism that's frequently morphed into unique renditions of horror. While Shadows of Rose had an uphill battle attempting to recreate any of these styles in such a shortened runtime, even judged by these adjusted standards, it largely fails at drawing on the series' history or charting a new path. It has one particularly terrifying stretch and a couple of nice additions for die-hard Village fans, but it is largely a disappointment.
Lego Bricktales' sumptuous environments and largely clever puzzles shine despite its occasionally safe, repetitive design and difficult controls, though. This isn't just the ideal game for anyone looking to get their Lego fix, but for anyone who loves a good puzzle game. Its mind-tickling puzzles and cute writing serve as icing on the cake for what's already one of the most memorable and creative uses for Legos in a video game period. I only hope ClockStone has the opportunity to make more games like Bricktales.