Interconnected stories between games are always going to be fun to me. Anyone who enjoyed Backbone will most assuredly love the world being explored in Tails. I hope they continue this trend because Eggnut has created a very interesting world to explore.
Fire Emblem Engage isn’t the Fire Emblem I expected, but I’ve had an absolute blast with it. The scaling down of support and the somewhat predictable main character aside, the enticing gameplay, Engage mechanic, and depth of customization makes for a more than satisfying next entry in Nintendo’s premiere tactics franchise.
Warhammer 40k: Darktide is hard to recommend, even a month after release. There’s a good game here, but it’s burdened by issues I’m sure will be fixed after a few major updates; the only question is whether or not you’re willing to deal with it until then.
Dragon Quest Treasures makes up for its straightforward and uninspired combat with a plethora of compelling content and a gameplay loop that will keep you playing for just a bit longer every time. Here’s hoping Square Enix makes a sequel to Treasures that improves upon combat, because that’s all it would take to make it a top-tier spin-off.
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII: Reunion is, for the most part, an excellent remake of a prequel that deserves more attention all these years later. Though the voice acting is uneven, the campy and exciting story, smooth but suitably complex gameplay, and breadth of content make this a Final Fantasy game that everyone should try.
The Callisto Protocol has potential, but its strange melee combat, average story, and average gunplay keep it from standing out in any way. It looks great and has fun moments, but the majority of my time with The Callisto Protocol wasn’t especially memorable.
Kukoos: Lost Pets is the sort of game I would have jumped on back when the genre was in decline. It might not have the staying power of the icons in its genre, but it has some fun ideas. Fans of 3D platformers should consider it, although its short length and rougher aspects might turn some players away.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are so, so close to reinventing the Pokémon series in a brilliant way. They’re just held back by unacceptable bugs and performance issues that simply shouldn’t be happening this frequently in such a monolithic and profitable franchise. I hope Game Freak is able to implement some much-needed patches, as there’s a remarkable diamond in this copious rough.
Save Room is a straightforward, compact, and delightfully satisfying game that will make anyone who played Resident Evil 4 especially happy. Given the price and bite-sized nature of the title, there’s no one I wouldn’t recommend Save Room to, as it’s a delightfully compact experience all around.
Sonic Frontiers could serve as the exciting basis for future Sonic titles. It has some definite issues, but Frontiers does a lot more right than it does wrong. I’m very excited to see the future of Sonic the Hedgehog, as Frontiers could be the first step towards a new era of the blue blur.
Bayonetta 3 is a strange mix of some of the series’ best moments together with some of its worst. At its high points, Bayonetta 3 easily stands with or even surpasses its predecessors, but its glory is marred by questionable decisions and missed opportunities. How much importance you place on the story will likely determine how you feel about this entry. If the story is an afterthought for you, you’ll enjoy the high-quality combat and intense action, but if the story matters, prepare yourself for tonal differences and storytelling that raises more questions than answers.
I think the real appeal of Victoria 3 and the series overall is it’s very self-directed. Picking one game can result in a completely different experience. Managing the diplomacy and economy of the British Empire at its peak is absolutely insane, then during the next run, you are trying to do things like “figure out how to even have diplomatic relations” and “wtf how do i economy???” in some backwater nation you are gracing with your benevolent rulership.
Star Ocean: The Divine Force might not set the world on fire, but it’s well-made and thoroughly enjoyable. Everything from running around to fighting is a blast, and though it looks a bit odd and can feel a little repetitive at times, the unique premise, snazzy soundtrack, and voice acting make The Divine Force worth any JRPG fan’s time.