All in all, Paperbound is a fun game. It's got a lot of potential to be a staple for anyone who has friends that come over and play games on a regular basis. But if you're not willing or able to play the game as intended — four-player couch versus only — then you're going to be equal measures bored and frustrated, and painfully so, at that.
All in all, I think that Chroma Squad is a lot — and I mean a LOT — of fun when it works right. And to its credit, it works right almost all of the time. I never ran into a game-breaking bug, for starters. That’s high praise considering that this is an indie production made with tender loving care and Kickstarter money. There’s multiple endings and story branches, and I’m most definitely going to give it another spin in the future to see how much juice I can get from this thing. But the only thing holding me back from diving right back in is the thing I should have had the most fun with. I’m hoping that can get fixed, possibly even expanded on. As it stands, I can’t recommend Chroma Squad to anyone but the most devoted of Sentai fans and those who already like Strategy RPGs. Even for as fun as the main bulk of the game is, the insular nature of the jokes / story and the sheer mind-numbing-ness of the mecha pieces keep me from telling everyone to buy it without reservation.
If you're curious enough to pick up this title, and for some reason you have the inexplicable urge to treat it like the simulator that it is, I say give it a whirl. For everyone else in the gaming scene though, just stay the heck away and don't give it a second glance. If I could, I would appear across space and time to smack that copy right out of your hands.
Yes, the Batmobile really wears out its welcome, the side-content isn't as fun as it could (should) be, and the true ending requirement feels like unnecessary padding. There were also some frustrating bits here and there, but I can't deny that I enjoyed most of my time with Batman: Arkham Knight, because it does a lot more right than it does wrong. Overall, if you enjoyed the other Arkham entries, you should definitely play this one.
Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 3 is a solid game, and people who have been keeping up with the Re;Birth retellings of the series will want to see this installment. But, if someone has already played Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, he or she could take a pass this time. There are new story and gameplay elements, sure, but not enough this time around to really set this entry apart.
So overall, if you're interested in Onechanbara Z2: Chaos, I'd say give it a go. It has some tedious level design such as the repetitive task of clearing multiple rooms, and it doesn't have the most interesting of stories, but the combat mechanics are definitely solid enough to have kept me entertained. It's fun enough that anyone who likes to slice up hordes of enemies and go for high scores will definitely have a good time with it, but anyone expecting a little more out of their package might not feel as satisfied.
Tembo the Elephant starts strong. It seems peppy and fun, with a protagonist you can't help liking. Then, it shifts gears. That change in tactics takes something that stands out and feels unique and makes it feel more like others in its ilk. It's the last thing it needed, since so many of Tembo's moves are shared with other heroes. It's entertaining enough, but doesn't quite define itself as one of the greats.
Submerged is not a broken game. It functions and provides an intriguing little story over its three hour timespan. However, there's no sense of joy to actually playing. Why isn't there even a feeling of awe when exploring this flooded cityscape? It's incredibly strange how this game managed to flounder so badly but it seems the key factor is uncompelling (and sometimes aggravating) gameplay. Even the most diehard collectible hunters will find it tough to slog through the slow ascent up samey buildings multiple times to grab a new drawing. Submerged had a fabulous idea but its execution simply couldn't stand up to the concept.
Personally, I was happy to have finished the game because I was so worn out by the monotony that I just wanted to stop. If I didn't feel compelled to finish every single level in the campaign for review purposes, I probably wouldn't have bothered seeing the ending. Yet despite everything I've just said, I will say that Gauntlet: Slayer Edition does suffice as a multiplayer experience. It's serviceable enough that, if you and a couple of friends want to get together to play games over some drinks, you're not going to have too bad of a time with this title. It's still a such mindless button masher that I actually preferred playing as the Elf because it's a lot less taxing on the fingers. It's also really not all that fulfilling, especially with the particularly lackluster boss battles, but that doesn't mean that it's an awful title. If all you're looking for is an arcade-styled experience, then Gauntlet: Slayer Edition will fill that void. There's even an Endless mode that you can run through for a mostly uninterrupted experience, and you can head online if you don't mind matchmaking. However, only the most die-hard fans will probably keep playing long after the credits roll, and it's a really short game.
Online aside, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is exactly what Gears fans could ever want from a remake of the original game: enhanced controls, powerful new visuals and a complete transferring of the full Gears of War experience — PC exclusive missions included — from the previous console generation to the current one.
Overall, Back to Bed is a puzzle game that has a lot of potential to be something memorable because of its surreal art style and interesting premise, but it doesn't really stride to do anything more with them. While I'd have a hard time recommending this to someone — I know it's the first to go if I need to delete something on my hard drive — it's not like it was a very sour experience that had me cursing every second I was playing. It's not a very engaging title, but it's not a very offensive one either.
For fans of physics-based platformers, Airscape: The Fall of Gravity is a must-play. The unique way it blends traditional platforming with swimming segments and gravity makes for some truly creative ideas, and you'll find plenty of mind-bending puzzles and frantic yet compelling gameplay to keep you entertained until the very end.
Until Dawn contains almost everything I want from a story-driven horror game. A thoroughly captivating narrative, a believable dynamic between characters, choices that have a direct and meaningful impact on the storyline, and most essentially: a constant state of tense fear created through the environment and narrative. If you're looking for the next great horror game, look no further. Just wait for the sun to go down, turn off the lights, and try and survive Until Dawn.
It's tough for an annual sports franchise like Madden to spice things up from year to year, but Madden NFL 16 brings just the right amount of change to make things interesting. Nearly everything it adds works incredibly well, most noticeably in the passing game, while a few other things still need a bit of work. Ultimate Team continues to grow, Draft Champions is the coolest mode ever, and even just a quick game against a friend is still as fun and footbally as Madden has ever been. There's a lot to like on the gridiron this year, and I can only hope that this upward trend continues to grow.
The game's "whodunnit" caper isn't the only mystery that needs solving in Calvino Noir. Some other design choices will leave folks scratching their heads. The greatest complaint I have here is movement -- characters move dreadfully, painfully slow. They're trying to be sneaky, and that's all very well and good, as it's a genuine way to stick to the stealth theme. However, when you die as much as you do in this game, playing through an area for the 3rd or 4th time at a slothlike pace becomes a bore, and a player will likely begin to question why they're putting themselves through this. When trying to move characters into hiding, they will sometimes move past the spot and shuffle around a bit before moving into place. Such side steps can be deadly. The game's "collectibles" present another puzzle. From time to time you will happen across money or other abandoned treasures while sneaking through gloomy hallways. This is fun at first, until you realize that said findings bear no discernible use. It's a strange loose end that makes the game feel a bit half-baked.