Overall, I had a blast with Gas Station Simulator. You get that feeling of running a gas station, especially early on when it’s just you rushing between the pumps and register. The mini-games peppered throughout the game don’t make running the place feel like work. Well, except for picking up the trash and cleaning. I maybe forgot to mention that part. I assigned my employee to do that anyway, so no skin off my back. That aside, the game hits its mark; it says what it is in the title. I feel this one is up there in the pantheon of its genre and if you were to ask me what good simulator games should you try? I’ll tell you: Car Mechanic, House Flipper, Power Washer, and now, Gas Station.
All told, No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle is a worthy successor to the original game, and the PC release feels well put together and worth the price of admission, perhaps even more so than the first. It’s not without its blemishes, but I’ve found the improved pacing and enhancements to the first game’s design to be meaningful enough gains to justify recommending the PC release as a great way to play and experience No More Heroes 2 for the first or fiftieth time.
I look forward to seeing the further potential of growth and future sequels that Circuit Superstars has. The “By racing fans, for racing fans” mantra works to great effect as it looks, plays, and feels great at every turn. This is one of those games that’s great for all ages. Circuit Superstars is great template for what makes top-down racers so good, and everything from the visuals to the controls are so dialed in.
Delivering mail and driving around familiar streets helped set that relaxing tone. The unique interactions between Meredith and the other characters in Providence Oaks gave me the right motivation to play through and invest me in her tale. Lake isn't just a game about delivering mail; Lake is about reconnecting, and it was quite enjoyable to guide Meredith to a life she will enjoy.
There’s simply more to do and see with Back 4 Blood. It recaptures the magic of Left 4 Dead with near-infinite replayability at greater depths. The lengthy roster and varied personalities of the cleaners are entertaining. The deck building system allows you to create a devastating hand, and the weapon modding lets you grow with the increasing challenge. As you progress through the game, the AI director keeps you on the edge as you barely survive each encounter. Turtle Rock does it again, Back 4 Blood feels like an evolution on the coop zombie shooter we haven’t seen in over a decade.
Far Cry 6 is a much longer game than its predecessors, where you’re looking at an upwards of 40 hours just to see the end of the campaign. It does feel like an amalgamation of the Far Cry games up to this point, and doesn’t do a lot new to set itself apart. So Far Cry 6 retreads a lot of familiar ground that the series is known for, but with a bold new backdrop that helps keep it exciting. Far Cry 6 adds some RPG-lite elements to its systems that thankfully don’t get in the way of the gameplay. Dani is awesome as a fully voiced protagonist. She brings so much personality as she sings along to the songs in the car, speaks her mind, and is just a total badass in everything she does. Far Cry 6 is a next-generation adventure, hindered only by a few last-generation ideas.
Blizzard had to strike a careful balance of changing just enough, but not too much, which is no easy feat. Though in a lot of ways it feels like unearthing a relic like that in which you find during your dungeon-crawling exploits. Its dated design is solved by its sequel or other games within the action RPG genre. Diablo II: Resurrected has the same deep customization it’s known for. In addition, the new visuals modernize it for both PC and consoles. No matter where you play, this is the best version of the classic dungeon crawler. This remaster made in such a way to ensure that Diablo II: Resurrected is played for the next 20 plus years.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania was a great dive into a franchise I haven’t touched since the GameCube. The gameplay felt tight, the challenges were challenging, and only a few times did the game ever give me controller smashing frustration. That said, there’s enough content here to keep a party of friends satiated, and a good onboarding system with the helper mode lets new players stick around for longer.
HOT WHEELS UNLEASHED evokes the feeling you had as a kid playing with Hot Wheels, and cranks it up to eleven. This is the best Hot Wheels game ever made. It doesn’t matter who you are, kid or adult, you’ll be enamored seeing your favorites in motion. There’s so much to love here. HOT WHEELS UNLEASHED is such a joy to play, and hard to put down.
DEATHLOOP succeeds at the artistry of repetition with tight gameplay and the interplay between its systems. While the structure strays from what they’re known for, this is undeniably Arkane. In a lot of ways, this feels like a ‘Greatest Hits of Arkane’, offering a little something from all of their games. It’s a next-generation experience I won’t soon forget. I never tired of having to do the same kinds of things again and again. The loops are done are on your terms, giving you full agency. DEATHLOOP is the paragon of immersive sims, and standard bearer for the time loop sub-genre.