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If you are getting the idea that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a great Star Wars game, then you’re on the right track, and I believe that Respawn (and EA) is too. There is so much great about this game that it can be easy to overlook its obvious flaws: graphical errors and glitches, a static and sometimes flawed combat system, unrewarding collectibles, and lacking RPG elements being chief amongst those complaints. A full play through of the campaign took me just over 12 hours – a span that told a cohesive story with impressive components, but in the end nearly overstayed its welcome and resulted in a game that felt to me rather one-note. Jedi: Fallen Order feels like a great base game that Respawn can build upon to make deeper, richer, and more stable sequels that fully explore the powers of a Jedi while polishing the individual elements borrowed from each different genre.
The Outer Worlds did a great job reminding us of a gameplay loop and style that we have many fond memories with. Obsidian Entertainment excels when it comes to this genre and style of game, and with them joining the ranks of Microsoft, I can only hope Phil Spencer and the minds at Xbox will allow them to flourish making the kind of games they do best. If this was anything to go by, the future is looking bright for Obsidian.
If you can overcome (or somehow master) the imperfect controls of Luigi’s Mansion 3, you will be presented with the best Luigi’s Mansion experience available. The entire game is brimming with charisma, through the soundtrack, set pieces, and cinematic moments of grandeur. I have felt comfortable combing through each floor at a leisurely pace, my four-year-old excitedly watching over my shoulder every step of the way. Fans of the series shouldn’t be dismayed by the sixty dollar price tag, either. This game is both lengthier and meatier than either of its counterparts, and there is plenty to do and see for casual players and completionists alike.
Overall, I really have enjoyed my time with this game. The campaign was very enjoyable and definitely worth a playthrough. The voice acting was spot on and the visuals were amazing. Obviously, the multiplayer is the bread and butter of this franchise, and I have really lost track of time during my gaming sessions playing this. While it does have its flaws, I find the positives outweighing the negatives and with all the updates that Activision has been pumping out, the negatives will soon be an afterthought.
If there’s one thing to take away from all of this, it’s the fact that the beat-em-up is hopefully back for good and not going anywhere. Whatever your cup of tea is in the genre, whomever has their fists flying and legs kicking, there’s sure to be a new game in the modern era to please fans of this style of game. The Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors is not only a return for this series, but it’s a return for all games that fall into this same category. It feels right at home with everything else releasing, but it’s time to take the ninjas into a new setting now.
There are certainly juggernauts in this genre, such as Stardew Valley, Story of Seasons, and even to an extent, Harvest Moon (though the last true good game in that franchise was before the teams split and we ended up with Story of Seasons here in the West). Doraemon Story of Seasons does a well enough job holding its own while delivering on a beautiful word that consistently calls out for you to explore it, even when you’re not physically sitting there playing it.
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.