Saving Content's Reviews
Even with the time constraints, I enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Garden In!, and the “Gotta Plant them All” goal of getting all the seeds. Unfortunately, I would be giving the real-time growing a pass if it were on mobile versus my PC, where it’s more of a detriment. I want to spend a few hours playing a game on my PC, not a few minutes. When I boot up a game through Steam, I want to sit down and be engrossed. Relaxing or not, I’ve dedicated time to play, so let’s play; Garden In! doesn’t do that for me. With all that said, I absolutely do recommend giving this one a go if you want something calm and relaxing to entertain your fingers and stimulate the mind for a few minutes.
LONE RUIN is good fun for however long you’re able to give it. It’s a shame that it’s rather shallow offerings across two modes can’t be more than a couple of hours. Coming off Hell is Other Demons, I was hoping for more with Cuddle Monster Games, and the reality is that we got less. LONE RUIN is visually stunning, has a variety of spells and character builds to make, but doesn’t have the longevity to keep you coming back for more.
Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is a short, replayable, and satisfying 16-bit side-scrolling platformer. JoyMasher and The Arcade Crew nail it yet again, this time with a Mega Man meets space Shinobi that really excels at feeling like a game that released 30 years ago and was lost to time. From the look, the sound, to the controls, Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider is a slice of heaven.
If you distill this game down into two equal parts of combat and non-combat, then I love the combat. What I don’t love is the custodial relationship aspect, but I understand why it becomes so crucial over time, as it provides the backbone to combat effectiveness over time. And it’s nice to have a respite from the combat, level up, customize my room, pet a demon dog, and have superheroes open up to me. It’s still weird, but it’s something we don’t see or have the time to explore in most games, let alone a Marvel one. Firaxis is in top-form here, having slightly pivoted, and Marvel’s Midnight Suns sits in the upper echelon of Marvel games that you have to play.
If you played and enjoyed Monster Hunter Rise, Sunbreak is an easy recommendation that further expands upon and deepens the base game in meaningful ways. There’s loads of content on offer here that will keep you busy for at least 30 hours (and well beyond that if you’re the type of player who wants to pursue weapon and gear upgrades). Sunbreak delivers in every way and is an absolute delight to play, and it’s a must-own for fans of Monster Hunter Rise who are looking for the next chapter in their journey.
Overall, Need for Speed Unbound is a fantastic racing game that is hindered by a few flaws and terrible dialogue. Even with that, it’s still a bang-up good game, one with a lot of fun! With Unbound, some have been proclaiming that Need for Speed is back when in reality, Need for Speed has always been this good. As a lifelong fan, I should know! I recommend you try NFS Unbound if just for the art alone. But is this latest Need for Speed a must-play? Maybe not at the full $70 pricetag. I would wait for a sale or play it through EA Play. In fact, if the graffiti art flourishes aren’t doing it for you, go pick up NFS Heat; that’s basically the same game and is just as fun.
On the whole, I had a really great time with Return to Monkey Island. I think it hits a lot of the right notes fairly consistently, and while it does feel very familiar, there are enough surprises to keep things interesting and rewarding as you stick through the game and see it to completion. What it doesn’t do (and I don’t think it’s trying to), is recapture that feeling of playing the original games for the first time. It’s a great vehicle for getting yourself back into the headspace of those games and immersing yourself in the lore again, but for everything that’s familiar, there is a lot that’s different, for better or worse. And, it’s also still an adventure game, which these days is something you need to be in the mood to play. Having grown up playing them, I’m nearly always up for this, but it’s just a different pace and feel from so much of what else we play nowadays. You can feel Return to Monkey Island trying to find its place in the current landscape, and in many ways I think the game is a success. It’s true what they say, you can’t go home again. Return to Monkey Island knows that, and it’s there to help you embrace that fact.
The best way I could describe this game in a concise way that this is Chex Quest meets Halo with the writing of Rick and Morty. Now, if Justin Roiland’s voice and comedy doesn’t normally do anything for you, what you’ll find in High On Life isn’t going to change that. While the number of bugs and crashes weren’t that many or that big of a deal, it did impact my overall enjoyment. I was immersed in the world built here by Squanch Games, completing it in just a few sittings. High On Life is a great adventure with quality shooting and a filthy mouth to be one of the best and funniest games I’ve played all year.
The Callisto Protocol is a ride worth taking, but I’m flummoxed at some of the decisions made here. The melee combat is on autopilot, the weapon selection is limited, and there’s no New Game+ to return for another orbit. The brutal, gory, visceral kills that you perform on monsters is returned in equal measure to you, always bringing a smile and recoil to my face. Compromises had to be made to enjoy parts of this game, but when you can turn your brain off, it’s good fun. The Callisto Protocol doesn’t quite live up to expectations of its spiritual predecessor, but I can’t say I didn’t find it to be mostly satisfying, pustules and all.
With so much to do in the game, you could spend all day fishing or maybe planting crops to harvest. Maybe you would like to collect every magic spell, or learn more about all the people in Fairhaven. Whatever you want to do in Wylde Flowers, the game has a lot of it for you to do, and I love it; it is so much fun!
Fatshark has ruled the co-op horde game for years, but I find aspects of the game lacking or not as enjoyable as it should be. Darktide has a strong core to build upon, and so thankfully Fatshark has earned enough goodwill over the years that I trust this’ll only get better over time. Knowing Warhammer is not a requisite to enjoy what’s here, anyone will be able to play this and embrace the chaos. As it stands today, Warhammer 40,000: Darktide has more than enough content in classes, weapons, and mission to enjoy, and it’s clear that the best is yet to come.
Two Point Campus is a good game, only made better through the Space Academy DLC, a substantial addition. Space is generally pretty serious, but the folks at Two Point Studios infused their wackiness into it that elevates it to new heights. The new levels here make it feel like this is a different game at times, offering a degree of cohesion not seen in the game before now. Two Point Campus: Space Academy is out of this world good, an essential add-on for all would-be school administrators who “keep their eyes on the stars, but their feet on the ground.”
Playing Evil West feels like a PlayStation 2 game, in a good way, in that it’s a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of game. I do wish the story didn’t feel like I was watching a made-for-TV movie on Syfy, as it was predictable and not giving me a character I actually care about. I was just there for the gore, monsters, and visual effects in all their spectacle. The gauntlet is easily the coolest thing about the combat, so Flying Wild Hog was right to make that the centerpiece. All of the other tools you’re given only enhance the experience, but combat tends to get stale from encounter to encounter as the game goes on. Evil West is a fun vampire-slaying romp while it lasts, and has an honest single-player experience with online co-op that can’t go unappreciated.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is thankfully not an origin story, as that was handled expertly in the previous game. So what we get here is a fun and exciting game that just jumps right in without the painfully slow ramp-up that other games fall victim to. Once again Insomniac offers a refreshing take on the open-world game that’s never dull to engage with any and all of its systems. Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a massive achievement, showing that lightning can strike twice.
Ten years is far too long to go without a new McPixel game, but it has been so worth the wait to get something so unabashedly silly. It’s a joyous adventure from start to finish, retaining all of its charm along the way. McPixel’s greatest skill is that of self-preservation, and uncovering all the ways is endlessly amusing. McPixel 3 has a true sense of progression from its open-world to the scenarios, it feels more like a proper game this time around. McPixel 3 combines the ineptitude of MacGruber with the last-minute saves of MacGuyver in totality, and does so with great unpredictability.
With the WRC license heading to EA for 2023, this is a beautiful swansong from KT Games. WRC Generations has the most cars and the most locations for the comprehensive rally simulation experience. The developers went all-out on this one, and it shows with such attention to detail to get everything right. For a series synonymous with this studio, they’ll be missed in the years to come, but have left an indellable impression. WRC Generations is an epic collection and celebration of all things rally, this is essentially a greatest hits and goodbye letter from KT Games.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II enters a new age of tactical, punchy shooting. The Modern Warfare II campaign is another tour de force, co-op is limited but worthwhile, and the multiplayer may be missing some core features and longevity unlocks, it still gets its hooks in you. With the rumored DMZ and Warzone 2 modes on the horizon, it feels like the best is yet to come for the game as a whole. As it stands, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II is a solid spectacle that’s less groundbreaking than its predecessor, but is Infinity Ward shooting with pinpoint accuracy.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is not revolutionary or iterative for the genre, but it’s just a solid and casual platformer. Sackboy is a Sony mascot I’m the least familiar with, though is one of my favorites next to Astrobot. While it is very much a stylized game, the way the colors, material, and textures all come together make it so pretty to see in motion. Sackboy: A Big Adventure is simply a wonderful 3D platformer that will delight everyone of all ages for dozens of hours.
Whether its revisiting the game again or experiencing it again, Shatter Remastered Deluxe is just as revolutionary as when Shatter debuted in 2009. It’s a visual delight with sublime controls and the best pulse-poudning electronic soundtracks to-date. I love being able to revisit this game and experience it all over again, and the price is right to facilitate such a return. Shatter Remastered Deluxe is must-own, must-play, must-have on all platforms.
Without the understanding of the first three games not being on PC, a lot is lost for newcomers. That said, having the two most recent UNCHARTED games on PC is worth any trade-offs, due to being so gorgeous and refined. The $50 pricetag is a bit steep for five to six year old games that doesn’t include the multiplayer component. All-in-all this is a fantastic collection, a duology of Sony’s best action-adventure games from the PlayStation 4 era that don’t look or act like their age. UNCHARTED: Legacy of Thieves Collection is nearly thirty hours of cinematic action and you’ll wish it wasn’t over so soon.