I don’t think I’m being unfair at all to Microsoft Flight Simulator to say that suggesting a purchase for those outside of the flight sim fanatic crowd is complicated. If you’re an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, however, this is one of the easiest recommendations I can make, even if I’m still a ways out from being able to formulate any sort of final opinion. This is an exciting and enthralling video game experience the likes of which rarely come around, and if you’re already paying Microsoft a subscription fee, there should be nothing stopping you from giving it a try.
Players coming in fresh to Neo: The World Ends with You might have a 14-year history to contend with, but that won't stop them from falling in love with Shibuya. Whether it's the complex and likable characters, the wickedly twisting storyline, or the frenetic yet strategic combat system, the long-awaited sequel has a lot to offer fans of action RPGs and the cult-classic series alike. Whether it was worth the wait depends on how long you've been waiting, but newcomers shouldn't shy away from this fantastic game.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD improves on the original in every conceivable way. The visual and performance upgrades make it feel like a new game, and the motion controls feel much more responsive, thanks to the Switch's Joy-Cons. But the new button controls are the biggest improvement; instead of fighting against the motion controls, players can now savor the satisfying combat and genius level design. What was once the outcast of the 3D Zelda games now stands tall as one of the best in the series.
For the first home console game in the series in nearly two decades, Mario Golf: Super Rush is a bit underwhelming, at least in terms of what it has to offer. Speed Golf and Battle Golf are both great ideas, but they aren't fleshed out enough to feel like main modes. Golf Adventure is a great way to add depth to what basically amounts to an extended tutorial, but it too suffers from pacing problems. Thankfully, the bulk of the game-the actual golfing-feels better than ever by being both technically challenging and more accessible.
Chivalry II is great fun when it works. Its combat is simple to learn and less simple to master, but incredibly rewarding no matter your skill level. The new 64-player matches and objective-based modes ensure intense, prolonged battles, and the variety in the classes will keep you motivated to grind for that next weapon. But the lack of variety in the maps and subclass abilities, and the overwhelming connection issues, make the game more frustrating than it should be.
I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving Game Builder Garage a score or full evaluation until I’ve made a game of my own that I consider to be complete and finished, but I’m still far from having any clue what that actually means. One of my personal goals is to make a multiplayer party game that my friends will legitimately enjoy, but I still need to come up with a concept and plan out its design, let alone start building it to see if it’ll all come together. How do I put a timeframe on that, when the very first step is reliant on creativity and inspiration? And then, how much time will I need for coding, testing, bug fixing, focus testing, and so on?
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is the first game I've played since the ninth-generation consoles launched that feels like a true next-gen title. Insomniac Games has done everything that it needed to do in making both a sequel to its longest-running franchise and a true next-gen exclusive. While it might not technically be a PlayStation 5 launch title, it feels like one-a real preview of the console's capabilities. But beyond that, Rift Apart is just an absolute blast to play.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster brings back one of the most celebrated and beloved entries from the Megami Tensei franchise nearly 20 years after its original debut. The original Nocturne was a heck of a JRPG in its time, and Atlus has now upgraded it with higher-resolution widescreen visuals, richer vocal tracks, and some much-appreciated quality of life upgrades. Unfortunately, it also misses some areas of the game that equally needed touching up (such as the controls and camera), and it's hard not to feel like the game deserved a full remake rather than just a remaster.
Biomutant is trying to be too many things. It can be fun when you're comboing supernatural abilities and homemade weaponry to take down a group of bad guys as a furry little post-apocalyptic ronin. But its RPG mechanics are so clunky and uneven, and its various story threads are so underdeveloped, that you'll end up feeling like nothing you do actually matters. If you just want to explore yet another open-world and beat up some bad guys, then Biomutant will keep you busy for a few hours. Just be ready to encounter a slew of baffling and questionably executed design choices.
Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir is a captivating window not only into Nintendo's past, but also into the past of adventure games as a whole. While it retains some of the gameplay frustrations that plagued the genre back in its earlier days, The Missing Heir offers a gripping murder mystery at its core, wrapped in video and audio upgrades that freshen up the experience for a whole new generation of would-be detectives.