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Concrete Genie is not everybody’s game, especially those who don’t already have a deep appreciation of visual art. The story is catered mostly for a younger audience, as a single adult doesn’t appear in the game outside of hasty flashbacks. The gameplay remains mostly static throughout its admittedly short six- to nine-hour playtime, outside of the aforementioned combat sequences that, although properly functioning, don’t really provide any new experiences or challenges that any gamer wouldn’t already be familiar with. The trailers for Concrete Genie do thankfully provide an accurate representation of the game, so if those trailers intrigue you, I think the $29.99 pricetag may justify this creative endeavor.
After 26 years, returning to Koholint Island was a pleasant escape that provided a thoroughly realized game world that I had forgotten how much I loved. Most players will finish Link’s Awakening in under 10 hours, though collecting every seashell and piece of heart, or journeying through Hero mode after finishing a normal playthrough, will extend that game time dramatically. To some gamers’ dismay, this game is priced at $59.99 retail and in the US eShop. Complaints range from the relatively short campaign and cartoonish graphics to the fact of it not being a new game at all, but I would be challenged to find a more polished and charming game in 2019. For me, the weird, wonderful world of Koholint Island, with all of its funny characters, clever dungeons, and inspired background music, made the price tag worth every penny.
I think Code Vein is a special release for anyone that appreciates the FROMSoftware formula and is a big fan of their work like myself that is really also an anime fan at heart. Bandai Namco put a lot of work into making this feel epic and grand on a scale they’ve not yet done before, and it paid off for the most part. The combat is fast and fluid while maintaining the difficulty fans want of this genre. The storytelling is top notch with characters you’ll want to bleed and die for. The small annoyances that existed throughout were a bit of a shame and definitely took us out of the experience a few times, but for the most part.. this is a game worthy of playing in a Fall lineup that is absolutely packed.
Cat Quest II inhabits the same world as its predecessor, though stars different characters and locations, and those familiar with Cat Quest will discover the experience has not substantially differed in its sequel. The same action-RPG gameplay abounds in the new entry, with plenty of dungeons, collectibles, and pet-related puns to keep you busy with light-hearted fun for a few hours. Unfortunately, if you’ve already play Cat Quest or are not a fan of action-RPGs, there may not be a lot of substance in this feline frenzy to feast upon.
Does Gears 5 revolutionize the series and take third person shooters into a new stratosphere? Absolutely not. But it continues to build upon everything Epic Games did right in the original trilogy, and what The Coalition has been expertly refining since taking the helm with Gears of War 4. Anyone that’s been invested in the lives and personal stories of these characters since the beginning owes it to themselves to play through this latest entry. But even if you’re jumping in to the franchise for the very first time, there’s an amazing game to be experienced here that will most likely compel you to go back and play through everything that came before it when you’re done.
I’m always delighted by segments of video games that allow me to control an animal, and even more glad to relax and laugh while playing games in my spare time. Rarely do these two all-too-rare genres cross in gaming, but when they do, and with enough clever direction and a pleasing original soundtrack, you get the beautiful gem that is Untitled Goose Game. Purchasing this game on sale would make for a perfect diversion to relax and waste a few hours of clean, simple fun, enjoyable by gamers (and non-gamers) of nearly any age.
In the modern video game industry, so many games have released that have done the formula attempted to be tackled by Devil’s Hunt in a much better way. Look at Devil May Cry. Look at Bayonetta. Look at Prototype. Hell, look at Dante’s Inferno. So many games have released and been really fun to play through while keeping gamers engaged and having strong gameplay mechanics and loops. None of that is found here with Devil’s Hunt. While there are small, very small, amounts of fun to be had, it quickly fades away within the first hour, leaving the remaining four hours to be a bore.
I was thoroughly impressed with what The Sojourn had to offer and so happy that the game was moved from 2020 to a September 20, 2019 release. The world needed you Sojourn, and through the darkness shone your light. I truly hope anyone and everyone out there who loves puzzle games picks this game up and tells a friend.
Anyone looking for the biggest roguelike of 2019 should probably look no further than Children of Morta. This is an excellent release that just works on so many different levels, with very few minor annoyances in the end. There’s practically something for everyone to enjoy with the many different gameplay styles and ways you can tackle a problem in the dungeons. I didn’t want the game to end when it did, and I’m truly holding out hope that Dead Mage will expand upon the story with some DLC releases in the future, as I feel like my time with the Bergson family just hasn’t fully concluded yet.
Utawarerumono ZAN is a great example of a way to turn a tactical strategy RPG into a much more action-oriented gameplay experience. I had way more fun this time around than I did a few years ago playing through the original release. I do hope that the developers are able to do with the other games in the series what they did with this one, because the stories have all been so excellent. If you’ve not played the original release, it’s still recommended to go back and do so to see where it all began, especially because the character development is a lot more in-depth with deeper RPG elements.