Red Dead Redemption 2 is going to stand for a long time, I think, as the height of achievement in building huge virtual spaces for gamers to explore. The level of detail at this scale is staggering, even as I find myself unable to ignore how much required overtime went into making things happen, and how many of these details – like horse testicles ascending in colder weather – took real human work hours while actually doing little to flesh out the game world. But it’s impossible to deny what a beautiful, sad, huge, and remarkable thing Rockstar and its many employees, past and present, have put together.
Despite essentially being the same game four times running, Forza Horizon has life left in it, and it leaves me looking forward to wherever the next game takes it. In the meantime, I'll probably be playing this into 2020 just like I've played Forza Horizon 3 in the months running up to this one. It has that much life in it.
Like most Mega Man games (the ones not called Mega Man 2 or Mega Man 9), Mega Man 11 is not perfect by any means and has plenty of flaws to nitpick. But, considering how extinct the franchise was and how Capcom took a huge leap of faith on the fans greenlight this in the first place, I'm grateful that it exists and that it feels like a fresh, natural fit for a whole new generation.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey is worth checking out just for the vistas, but maybe set it to easy. Turn off "Exploration" mode. Skip the procedurally-generated quests. Don't play for too long at once. And if you try to dive deep, expect to hit bottom real fast.
Consider this a huge thumbs up for Velocity 2X. For a simple arcade game, it packs a ton of replayability and depth, and it never fails to deliver that arcade rush you're looking for. Whether you play it casually to beat the stages or play it to 100 percent, you're going to find a rewarding experience inside.
Hollow Knight is a testament to the everlasting enjoyment of the Metroidvania genre. Its spot on controls, exciting boss fights, and sense of progression pull those willing into a surreal, dark world loaded with secrets. Addiction and obsession start to settle in until every last one is found, a sign of the best that the genre has to offer.
I can't honestly say it's the best Monster Hunter, as I haven't played the others, but it's the best way to get into Monster Hunter, for sure, and it stands on its own as one of the best games so far this year and likely one of my favorites going forward.
Ubisoft nailed its first outing with Mario, hitting all the beats with its humor, story, music, and graphics. To say that it does Super Mario justice would undersell what the publisher accomplished. This is a Mario game through and through, and fans will love it.
Sonic Mania is for everyone, and everyone should buy it. It succeeds at being a love letter to SEGA's classic days just as much as it succeeds at being a smartly designed video game with all of the reasons in the world to return to it over and over again. Older fans will love it, newer fans will love it, parents can play it with their kids.