Jump Force features a nice mix of characters from Shonen Jump's storied history of franchises for manga fans. The visuals feel a bit off for manga crossover and elements of the game feel quite rough around the edges. Gameplay is also a bit too simple but does make for some fast-paced action. Manga fans intrigued by dream matches between their favorite characters might still want to give this one a shot as this type of game doesn't come around often. Unlike many of the protagonists that show up in this game, however, Jump Force doesn't quite break its limits to realize its full potential.
Yo-Kai Watch 3 is the best iteration of a series that's admittedly starting to show its age on the 3DS. It also serves as a swan song for the franchise on Nintendo's dual-screen workhorse as it moves to the Switch. While it has its issues, the game remains a hoot with tons of content for fans of the series. And if you're a newcomer, this definitive game of the series ain't really a bad place to start. It's spooky fun for all ages.
The latest God Eater swoops in with a re-tuned Burst system and increased emphasis on literally fighting for your boosts and buffs on the field. I wish it showed more risks and attempted to evolve the franchise instead of just polishing it as the series is starting to show its age a bit. At the same time, it boasts its own unique mechanics and fun, fast-paced gameplay, making it more than just a mere Monster Hunter clone.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is no small world after all, featuring a ton of Disney characters and areas for you to connect with. Figuring out the story can be like wrapping your arms around a giant boulder festooned with tons of zippers. The floaty combat also can be a bit slippery to get an adequate handle on at times. It's stunning visuals, wonderful sound and epic grand scale, however, make this a magic carpet ride you'll want to get on board with, whether you're young or young at heart.
As a fitness app, Fitness Boxing is actually quite solid. As a “game,” however, the title is admittedly lacking, especially for the price. As such, the mileage and enjoyment you will get from this game depends on your expectations. Personally, I wanted to have my cake as a gamer and eat it too, so Fitness Boxing didn’t quite meet my expectations. If you’re primarily interested in it as an exercise tool that you can easily load up and work out to each day, however, then this fits the bill nicely.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince doesn't have the best puzzle and platforming mechanics nor the longest adventure. What it does have, however, are unique, charming visuals and a story filled with so much heart, everything else fades into the background. Throughout my short journey I smiled, laughed and cried — sometimes with joy. Maybe I'm just a sentimental sap. But this game is a wonderful reminder why I fell in love with video games.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus brings a lot of what fans love from the previous series, both literally and figuratively. Admittedly, some parts of the game are starting to show their age and feel repetitive in some parts. Its class and subclass combinations in addition to party lineup possibilities, however, remain an incredibly fun part of the game. I mean, a farming team that includes an actual farmer? And a suicidal team that thrives on inflicting damage on themselves? Those are just a fraction of the crazy lineups that you can dream up in this crazy game that make it enjoyable. Now onward to Etrian Odyssey on the Switch!
There was a time when I thought I was done with Resident Evil games. Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2, however, showed me that the franchise not only has enough left in the tank but possesses even more possibilities that have yet to be tapped. Resident Evil 6 felt like a lost zombie searching for its soul and grasping at anything it could hold onto. The Resident Evil 2 remake, on the other hand feels like, well, a Resident Evil game. As someone who loved the earlier entries in the franchise, that’s the highest compliment I can give it.
Wait, we’re getting a new Top Gun movie and Ace Combat is also back? Suddenly, all seems right in the world again. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown marks a welcome return of the hybrid sim-and-arcade dogfighting that the series is known for. The story can be far fetched and the dialogue grating at times. When it comes to its air combat, however, Ace Combat 7’s gameplay definitely hits the mark.
Don't let Mario and Luigi's top billing fool you. This game is as much about Bowser and his spunky son as it is about Nintendo's popular plumbers. Bowser's Inside Story is a great remake of the DS classic, boasting JRPG gameplay that still feels fresh and fun a decade later. The addition of Bowser Jr.'s Adventure, meanwhile, gives the young Koopa prince a much-deserved turn in the spotlight along with the Koopalings. Battles in the main game can be a bit too long while Bowser Jr.'s skirmishes could be a bit more fleshed out. Overall, however, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey is a must-have for your 3DS library.
Just Cause 4 introduces some new interesting features like strike missions and an immersive frontline but does so at the cost of doing away with the familiar liberation system that fans of the series know and love. The result is a Just Cause game that doesn't quite feel like a Just Cause game, which might not sit well with some folks. Hopefully, the next game in the series finds a way to merge both as the game's base mechanics continue to be a hoot for players with creative minds.
Part shmup with a light sprinkling of Puyo Puyo hijinks on the side, Rival Megagun is a competitive shoot-em-up that has two players battling on opposite sides to make life miserable for each other. The story and stage design could be improved and the lack of a large online community makes it tough to find folks to play with. Nice shooting mechanics combined with an interesting and unique take on the shmup genre, however, make Rival Megagun worth pulling the trigger on for shmup fans looking for something different.
Masahiro Sakurai certainly deserves a well-earned break after this one. With a roster spanning every character in the series plus some new additions as well as the return of a new adventure mode, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is easily the most comprehensive and feature-packed entry in the series to date. Online is, sadly, an uneven experience and could use its fair share of improvements. Overall, though, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is arguably the new standard-bearer of the franchise.
Like its predecessor, Darksiders III shakes up the series' formula once again by doing something totally different — this time by dropping the familiar hack-and-slash combat of the first two games and switching to something less forgiving a la Dark Souls. Some fans of the classic gameplay might be turned off by the difficulty and stingy checkpoints. It also doesn't feel as grand as Darksiders II. If you like the story of the previous games, however, and don't mind the higher challenge, this is one horse you'll want to get onto.
Persona 5 fans get a last surprise as their favorite characters return to hit the dance floor in “Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight.” It could use more content and it also doesn’t have a full-fledged story mode like “Persona 4: Dancing All Night.” At the same time, the mechanics are solid and the soundtrack sounds great as ever. Even if you saw this one coming, it’s still a fun romp for Persona fans who enjoy rhythm games and want to see their favorite Phantom Thieves hanging out with each other again.
Pokemon: Lets Go! Pikachu and Lets Go! Eevee represents a yummy appetizer for one of the Nintendo Switch's reasons for existing — a full-fledged Pokemon game with console quality graphics that can be played on the go to boot. It's not quite the mainline game fans have been waiting for and is lacking features that hardcore purists expect from a Pokemon game. Its newcomer-friendly features, however, potentially expand the Pokemon audience while also adds some quality-of-life changes to boot. All in all, Pokemon: Lets Go! kicks off the franchise on the Switch in style while making you hungry for the next full-fledged installment.
Lego DC Super-Villains oozes with the trademark charm and zaniness of past games in the franchise with a fresh twist that lets you indulge your inner Legion of Doom. The gameplay still largely hews to the traditional Lego gaming formula, which can feel repetitive for folks who have grown tired of the franchise's mechanics. A delightfully villainous cast, however, adds some much-needed freshness to a series that has started to feel a bit stale outside of Lego City Undercover.
Part No Man's Sky with a heavy helping of toys to life, Starlink: Battle for Atlas is an interesting addition to the planetary and space exploration genre. Admittedly, it can get repetitive and the implementation of toy functionality between digital and physical copies is a bit imbalanced. At the same time, it does a good job of layering in some fun combat and diverse weapon customization on top of its exploration, resulting in a more well-rounded game. It's basically what No Man's Sky should have been at launch — a complete gaming experience.
SoulCalibur VI revisits the early years of the franchise with a wholly new re-imagining of the original SoulCalibur game for current-gen systems. The result is an excellent 3D fighter with a nice mix of modern gameplay as well as a good dose of nostalgia for longtime fans of the fighting series. Smarter AI and more offline modes would have been nice. Fluid gameplay and rock-solid mechanics, however, make this a great addition to the fighting game genre.