Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice will try your patience. As you might expect given its developer, it's a devastatingly difficult game that will require your skill and concentration. It's beautifully designed, with a clever new combat system and some of the most cinematic action ever in a From game, and it will kill you over and over again. All told, it's the best game I've ever hated, and I never want to play it again.
The strong gameplay design from Kirby's Epic Yarn still shines a decade later, and the carefully-crafted additions in Extra make the original feel threadbare in comparison. While some of the new features may feel a bit "extra," that is the name of the game. A couple of addicting new minigames and added higher-difficulty game modes for more advanced players make Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn a game anyone could enjoy.
Dead or Alive 6 is a solid new chapter in Team Ninja's long-running fighting game series that has rarely been satisfied with just being "solid." All of the groundwork that needed to be built here was built, but upon it was placed a mostly by-the-numbers experience that is too often just as frustrating as it is fun. While a reworking of the game could leave it in a much better place in the future (and on newer consoles), for now it's a good release for people wanting more Dead or Alive as long as they don't mind its value is limited.
Anthem is a beautiful car that is an absolute joy to drive, but so far, it only has enough gas to get you a couple miles. Also, the wheels will periodically fall off. Sold as a live-service game, fans of Anthem's exhilarating gameplay have to hold out hope that things will improve, but there's no denying the initial expedition was rough.
ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove is a literal return-to-form for the series, and longtime fans should be happy about that. While it might not be a hardcore roguelike or fully integrate its more modern design choices, it does exactly what it sets out to do: give players a true sequel to the original Genesis classic. It's hard to say how far this formula could have come in 28 years if the series hadn't taken detours into other genres, but for now I'm just happy that it's gone back to its roots.
Jump Force is the kind of game that would usually just come and go due to how unimpressive and flawed of an effort it is, and it's more than likely that that's exactly what it is going to do. And yet, buried beneath all of the bad is some honest amount of good. It's almost a shame that Jump Force wasn't more of a mess in everything other than its 3-vs-3 fights, because the game would be a whole lot more enjoyable if we were able to laugh at its terribleness more often.
Crackdown 3 is just more Crackdown. For some players, that will be enough. But compared to what Crackdown 3 initially promised, what we ended up with seems lacking in depth and destruction. When it's good, like with its boss fights, there's nothing like it. Unfortunately, there's just too much filler, and with its most exciting feature demoted to a fairly minor multiplayer mode, Crackdown 3 just isn't the step forward that it could have been.
Fire may have rained from the skies and wiped out entire nations, but the action in Far Cry New Dawn is pretty much the same as it ever was, only less so. A few interesting new tweaks to the series' formula are overshadowed by a cut-rate campaign, a story that gets colossally dumb in the third act, and a resource system that feels both unbalanced and pointless.
The journey of Metro Exodus is more rollercoaster than train ride, with peaks and troughs rather than a steady level of quality throughout. Its technical issues make the product feel rushed, but these are worth suffering for a series that's ultimately heading down the right track.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince continues Nippon Ichi Software's tradition of visually compelling games that sadly feel a little lacking in the gameplay department. This adventure of a wolf in human form leading a delicate prince through a dangerous forest could have benefitted from a deep level of puzzles and polish—and yet, in the end, it may still win you over due to its style and sentiment.
Can any game live up to a decade of hype? Kingdom Hearts III tries, and its meticulously-recreated Disney worlds, jam-packed combat system, and wealth of minigames offer a ton for players to explore. However, the game's bizarre pacing, an abundance of cutscenes, and an unrewarding story may leave players more bewildered than satisfied by the end.
Wargroove might be the least original game I've played in a long time, but it offers fans of the Advance Wars series something we've been lacking for a while. Thankfully, Wargroove does add enough subtle variations on Advance Wars' formula to create its own niche, and multiplayer is much easier than convincing your other friend with a Game Boy Advance to buy their own copy. Even if you're playing alone, there's plenty to see and do, as long as you're willing to learn some hard lessons along the way.
A continuation of Bandai Namco's long-running flight simulation series, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown offers fans an invigorating, polished and beautifully-rendered action game that sometimes becomes obscured by a silly story, vague objectives and a steep learning curve. Those familiar with the series will likely be able to see past the muck and enjoy the fast-paced action for what it is, as excellent controls and gorgeous graphics certainly help. Those, looking for more, however, may be disappointed. Still, this type of game is fairly rare these days, and if you're looking for one, just know what you're in for going in, and have fun.
More than just a simple remake of a cherished classic, Resident Evil 2 is a reinvigoration of the entire franchise, showing just how much life it still has left without the need to make drastic gameplay or stylistic changes. From start to end, this is a phenomenal showcase of old mixed with new, both giving players the chance to relive an important chapter in the life of the series under fantastic new conditions, while also potentially paving the way for Resident Evil for years to come.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes might not exactly be the game that fans of the series were hoping for, but if you're want to catch up with your favorite assassin and are willing to accept changes made to the gameplay, you should find plenty to like here. This is a surprisingly complex game and seriously goofy sequel-ish thing, made with obvious passion and an undying love for the gaming experience.
Everything is a philosophy lecture turned into a game, and if you're looking for some new insight on life and a sandbox to play in while you listen, it'll provide. While the game offers up hundreds of choices of objects to become, it comes at the sacrifice of everything feeling the same.
New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is a must-have for Switch owners who skipped the Wii U. Packaged with two complete games and a plethora of challenges to complete, the Deluxe version will give you plenty of bang for your buck. Even if you already owned the game, it's worth trying on the Switch, if only to have a mobile, 2D Mario game at the ready. It might not be as difficult as past Mario games, but it's never not fun.
Spider-Man's three-part DLC, The City That Never Sleeps, feels a bit like it's trying to have it both ways by telling a story set after the main game without changing up too much for the sake of anyone who might not play it. It might not be entirely fair to complain that an add-on doesn't feel like a true next chapter, and the gameplay certainly remains satisfying and tacks on some welcome challenge, but the full package is an unquestionable letdown after the soaring heights of the original campaign.
Katamari Damacy Reroll brings the original Katamari Damacy back for a new generation, and all of its fantastic gameplay and heart is now combined with beautiful high-definition visuals. There's almost nothing new here save for mediocre motion controls, but then again, nothing needed to be added to make this quirky classic worth playing again (or for the first time).