Game Informer's Reviews
Tinykin feels comforting in an old-school sense. Its challenges never become convoluted, nor does its design reinvent the wheel, and that’s okay. Tinykin executes its handful of ideas exceptionally well, making it a thoroughly enjoyable and laid-back journey that only requires six to eight hours of your time. Don’t let this delightful adventure sneak under your radar.
Temtem may look like a copycat on its surface, but its deviations from the Pokémon formula pay off considerably. With unique battling elements and an engaging MMO structure, Temtem evolves as its own experience and offers a vast, challenging adventure that even those without a Nintendo console can enjoy.
Overall, NBA 2K23 is a fitting tribute to the historical legends and iconic moments that made this sport what it is today. Though the game has its fair share of issues with its poor narrative choices and omnipresent microtransactions, it’s still a solid improvement over the previous game. This year’s release isn’t quite the flashy free-throw line dunk that lands a perfect score, but it is a worthy, all-around effort that would earn M.J.’s shrug of approval.
I likely won’t remember my minute frustrations with the game a few months from now, but I will remember “Dissolution,” a Two Feathers track with cathartic vocals from Bjorn “Speed” Strid of Soilwork, the realm of Hell known as Nihil, and the way my shotgun obliterated waves of enemies there. I’m so glad Metal: Hellsinger ends with the promise of more to come because I already want more from this series.
Ooblets offers solid fun, and I enjoy its cheerful tone. I only wish playing it didn’t feel so much like work. Despite the pride I had in my farm, clearing checklists eventually felt more laborious than satisfying. There’s fun to be had as long as you’re willing to work for it.
Splatoon 3 doesn’t reinvent the wheel, nor does it need to. Instead, it improves nearly every franchise element in sometimes small but meaningful ways. With an already-robust set of content available at launch and at least two years of free and premium content on the horizon, Splatoon 3 is simultaneously the series’ best entry to date and its most promising.
Blossom Tales II does little to hide its Zelda inspiration from the player. While it doesn’t reach the heights of Nintendo’s legendary franchise, it does smooth over many of the early-‘90s design conventions present in games like A Link to the Past to deliver an adventure able to be enjoyed by players of all ages and experience levels. Blossom Tales II is a better game than its predecessor, and I hope we continue to get more adventures from Lily, Chrys, and their grandpa in the future.
The Madden NFL series has long had a solid gameplay foundation, maintained by small improvements year over year. Madden NFL 23 is the first iteration in a long time that rebuilds that foundation, and that’s where this year's greatest success lies. Some slippery collisions aside, the more physics-based action is a good change, and the control over ball placement from Skill-Based passing is a welcome addition. This comes at the cost of only minor updates to the core gameplay modes, but it was ultimately the right call to make, and Madden is a better game for it.
Throughout the 30 hours it took to hit credits, I kept trying to latch onto the elements that work. Soul Hackers 2’s saving grace lies in its main characters, each with a distinct personality that often clashes with the rest. Witnessing the group’s growth by putting their differences aside and opening themselves up to camaraderie was a joy.
I applaud Digimon Survive for being a dark, harrowing, and wonderful visual novel, and subverting what I thought a Digimon story could be. While I wish the combat evolved as much as the surrounding story presentation, it’s not enough to deter someone from seeing the narrative through. Don’t expect a tactical masterpiece, but rather a well-made melancholy tale depicting Digimon in a light they haven’t been in before.
Whether you’re playing the goal-based scenarios or the open-ended sandbox mode, I still can’t stop thinking of ways to design a perfect dining hall. Though the frustration of failure sometimes got the better of me, I often couldn’t wait to get back in front of Recipe for Disaster to play through several more days of this enthralling restaurant simulation.
We’ll never know how Live A Live would have fared in the U.S. back in the day. Flash forward nearly three decades, and I can’t recommend this revitalized relic enough. It’s that good. This is another must-play Switch RPG that entertains in ways I didn’t expect and kept me glued to the screen for well over 20 hours.
As Dusk Falls hides many secrets down the winding paths of its story web, and by its nature, you won’t get the full picture in any single playthrough, encouraging replayability. But you may also be tempted to play through one take on the story and then step away, content that you’ve seen “your” version play out. Either way, this is a weighty and gratifying excursion into interactive drama, confident enough in its writing to not rely on superpowers or fantasy. For players interested in the progress of interactive narrative frameworks, it’s a laudable success. But even for someone who never plays games, it works. That’s because good characters and storytelling make for a universal experience, and this is a project that has both.