Neon Giant has some minor performance issues to iron out with RTX and DX12. The developers have made a game that’s as complex as you want, but doesn’t overcomplicate anything. Every system has a purpose, and is a weapon of opportunity for you to overcome obstacles. I love when the game isn’t having me fight everything in sight, and allowing me to take in the world. No game has made me want DLC or more content than The Ascent has. Simply put, The Ascent is a brilliant game, that absolutely lives up to the hype.
I was hoping for more, but I can’t say I’m disappointed with what I got. SkyDrift Infinity doesn’t try to do anything more than it claims to be. It’s a fun-for-all ages game that will take several hours to see all the content, and many more hours in order to do everything that there is to offer. SkyDrift Infinity is wonderfully engaging and enjoyable spectacle, just not an essential purchase.
I enjoyed what Tate Multimedia did with Steel Rats in a motorcycle platformer, but the Urban Trials series has really landed for me in Urban Trial Tricky Deluxe Edition. From pursuing every challenge, to the high score hunting, and besting every time, there’s something for everyone and a means to achieve it. Whether you’ve got fifteen minutes or a couple of hours, the game fits in either direction to satisfy and make progress. Urban Trial Tricky Deluxe Edition is great for any age, and a casual experience to get started with expert nuance in the later levels that really defines the experience.
I want to love Stonefly. It has all of the right pieces to make something great. When those pieces come together, though, the fit isn’t quite right, and the resulting whole has its share of holes. This is a game that’s big on concept and playfulness, but translating those qualities into something that you interact with as a player fails to cleanly make the jump. Most specifically, the game play isn’t quite there; the mechanics are all fine, but the balance is off in some crucial ways that disrupt the experience and cause the game to get in the way of itself. Stonefly is at its best when its showing off its beautiful artwork and telling its story, and the parts in between where you fight lots of bugs and gather too many resources feel in opposition to that side of the experience rather than in service of it. I still enjoyed a lot of my time with Stonefly, but this feels like an experience that would have benefited from being shorter, and more focused on exploration and its narrative.
For an annual release, Codemasters manages to top themselves year over year, and this time is no different. After being bought by EA, I can only see positives by this relationship, and shows a promising future for the F1 series. The story of Braking Point is an absolute highlight, the return of fan-favorite Two Player Career mode is a delight, career mode is as fun as ever, and makes for a wonderful package. With raytracing, DLSS, and other next-generation features, F1 2021 feels truly fresh and exciting, like it hasn’t been before.
Boomerang X is wonderfully executed and offers a great ramp up with each successive level, it’s a shame then that it’s over all too soon. New Game + acts like a totally optional but rewarding victory lap, adding another layer of difficulty which helps satisfy the desire to play more of it. The combat offers a very specific toolset to dispatch your foes with, and the movement demands you to always be on the move, in the air or on the ground in order avoid early deaths. This is a game about split-second decisions involving tactics just as much as skill. Boomerang X is a ballet of bustle as you slay the ancient beasts, sending them into oblivion.
Other than the noted changes, Mass Effect is exactly how I remember it, great story beats, incredible voice acting, fun and engaging combat scenarios, and characters that you just want to hang out with. The Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is absolutely fantastic and overall an absurd amount of content for one bundle to contain. All three games have aged well, save for a few cringy lines of dialogue and player decisions. For new players, this is the way to experience ME. For old ME Vets, it’s an incredible look back. If there were one thing I would have liked to have seen included in this collection, it would have been some history extras. Behind the scenes, a documentary, VO outtakes, etc… Something, anything, Bioware would have had leftover to give us fans a little treat to celebrate the Mass Effect legacy. The Legendary Edition is worth every penny they ask for and you can’t go wrong with this purchase.
When you swing with that weapon with purpose, and it connects, it’s a joy so few games can give. Every fight is a nail biter and you’re having so much fun that you don’t care whether you win or lose. Not only do those on console get to enjoy what Chivalry 2 is all about this time, but there’s crossplay so that everyone on PC and console can play together. Everything about the game is cinematic and grand, and never disappoints. Chivalry 2 is a sequel that exceeds expectations and has been worth the wait.
FEZ is the perfect confluence of beautiful visuals, deeply satisfying gameplay, a richly designed world, tightly interconnected systems, an astounding soundtrack, and fantastic pacing. Seldom are games this well composed, and it feels mostly as fresh today as it did the day it came out. This is the definition of a classic; it endures time and shows the mastery of its work as it ages. It will always be one of my favorites, and I can think of no more fitting a place to experience FEZ, be it for the first time or the tenth.
While I lauded the original Contracts for its promise and revitalization for the series, turned out to be short-lived. This is a good game, marred by outdated stealth design, a continued lack of manual saving, and frustrations solved by other games many times over. This is a game that’s meant to be replayed, and should despite some drawbacks and flaws CI Games has yet to address. It’s true that Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 is a better game than its predecessor in every way, still providing thrills through a deep and rewarding sniping system enhanced by some impressive gore and ranges only real snipers have experienced, until now.