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After seeing the criticism, some of it even being our own, on how lazily put together the Super Mario 3D All-Stars collection was last fall, I’m stoked that Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury ended up delivering me as much fun as it did. I went ahead and pre-ordered the day before release to be able to pre-download and start immediately at midnight, and I think I sat there and made it to world six by 5am, collecting a good chunk of the stars and stamps along the way. I was hooked for a solid 3 days straight, finishing it before the weekend ended, but that’s okay because I spent 20 hours total and loved every minute of it. Whether you played through the original release or not, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is worth the price of admission and deserves a spot in your Switch library, offering up a nice trip back to a great Wii U release that most didn’t get to enjoy, and a stellar side addition that could have been so much more had it released alongside Odyssey as some DLC or an Expansion Pass.
I enjoyed every minute I spent on this game. Completing it in just over 17 hours, my only complaint is I’m left wanting more. It was a nice, simple game that added a nice touch with roguelike dungeons. I didn’t run into any bugs or game crashes or anything like that as well, so that’s definitely a positive. Being a fan of the top-down style, this game was right in my wheelhouse. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos checked every box I look for in these types of games and even added some elements that make this style better. If only for a brief time, it was nice to play a game that brought me back to my younger days, those much simpler times. The times where we just enjoyed things for what they were.
I enjoyed my time with Blue Fire. After raging on some dungeon bosses and raising my blood pressure trying to navigate the way through crazy puzzles and platforming voids, I was able to beat this game right around the 20-hour mark. The game crashing bugs were annoying and will need to be addressed sooner rather than later. With all the Zelda and Hollow Knight influences, it was hard not to love this game. Blue Fire’s skills weren’t hard to learn, but mastering is a whole other topic that involves a ton of patience, a steady hand, a pillow to scream into, and taking a deep breath or two….or three…..or four.
I’d like to see Ender Lilies thrive during its Early Access period, and I hope that a lot of these problems and balance issues can be worked out quickly because I do think there’s a promising game to be had here. At this stage of Early Access though and with so many other options available on the market that feel almost identical to this game, it struggles a bit to keep its head above the water. The graphical style and unique presentation will certainly set it apart from the more realistic looking offerings out there, but for now, I think the early consensus can be to wait for some updated and additional content before jumping in.
There's a good base of a game in Skul: The Hero Slayer, and fans of the genre will definitely find a few hours of rewarding gameplay offered. The game does work, and well, with only the occasional small graphical glitch that ultimately affected nothing. Running through the game endlessly will grow tiresome quickly for many that play, but for the persistent that find the rare powerful skull, you'll be treated with a very fun time. At $19.99 on Steam, it won't break the bank to pick up Skul: The Hero Slayer, but for all but the hardcore rogue-lite crowd, waiting for a sale or inclusion in some online bundle may be a worthwhile exercise in patience.
Super Meat Boy Forever has for many years been one of my most anticipated indie releases, and to say I didn't enjoy it would be disingenuous. Nevertheless, I feel there's an expectation from Team Meat to make an impressively difficult and worthy sequel to their 2010 smash hit. The problems present aren't the type that can be patched out - they're fundamental to the design of the game and, unfortunately, we may be waiting another ten years should they ever decide to travel the road of Meat Boy ever again. If you like Super Meat Boy, then you'll probably enjoy much of what Forever offers, but a patient gamer will likely find this as a free offering from Epic Game Store before long.
While Godfall did a great job of showing off how well games will look on the PS5, the lack of a lengthy campaign paired with repetitive endgame content really hurt a game and left me asking “what could have been”. With games now expecting us to shell out 70 USD for new games, we need to start holding these game studios to higher standards. Especially in this current economic environment with Covid-19 and not having a lot of extra income, I would have much rather spent my money else where to get the value of content I deserved.
Overall, the experience of playing Dirt 5 delivers on what racing fans might expect. The price point for the game is right where it should be at $59.99 even though it is a next-gen title. I recommend playing the game on the PlayStation 5 so you can experience the potential of the DualSense with haptic feedback and the HD rumble. I found myself enjoying Dirt 5 for short bursts of play before wishing I could go back to other blockbuster titles that satiated my hunger for story content and progression. I look forward to seeing how Codemasters improves upon this experience with their next installment in the Dirt franchise.
While this game took me back to a time I really enjoyed as a child, the frustration of blindly trying to find out what to do was aggravating. My patience was tested very early on because I felt so lost in what I was doing. Sometimes I was starting over from scratch, other times I had found a level that had a portal that was used as almost a saving point on that planet. Do I save my coins for when I die, or do I save up and spend them on upgrades to make me stronger. I struggled with that decision way too much and it took me away from really enjoying the game. If a game doesn’t start clicking somewhat right away and instead leaves you confused and frustrated, it hasn’t done its job to entertain. It is very unfortunate as this game was right in my wheelhouse of ones I love.
Even though it may sound as if the game is avoidable after reading through this review, there’s still some fun to be had, especially for the hardcore Watch Dogs fans if that is such a thing. Going into this, I was craving another Ubisoft style, check-box frenzy of a game, and this just didn’t do it for me in the slightest. It didn’t help that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla released just a handful of days after this and is exactly the style of game we were looking for. So should you jump in? That largely depends on you. If you played the first two games, I can certainly recommend a go at this one just to stay fresh on story elements and be prepared for the hopeful revitalization of the franchise when we get Watch Dogs: Black Flag. For everyone else, you can probably look away this time, especially with so many things releasing right now in the new generation of console gaming.
All of that being said, Spider-Man: Miles Morales doesn’t wield the weighty price tag of $69.99 that other first party titles do and will. The $49.99 price seems to be of accurate value, and since I’m not a fan of Souls-like games and the universally-acclaimed Demon’s Souls does not appeal to me, this is so far, and will likely remain, my favorite of the PS5 launch titles. Like Miles stepping into the heroic role once occupied by Peter, Spider-Man: Miles Morales had the huge shoes of Marvel’s Spider-Man to fill, with all of the expectations that comes along with the title. It’s a little less than what you once got, and isn’t quite the masterpiece of its predecessor, but is still more than worthy of your time and attention. Hopefully, the universe continues onwards with a larger adventure, because Insomniac has created one of my favorite currently-running video game franchises.
Luckily for PS5 owners, Bugsnax was added as the first free game for PS+ users, so there was little risk in jumping in to it for any players that enjoy playing online. The end of Bugsnax hit around the 10-hour mark, and I enjoyed most of my time spent on Snaktooth Island. The actual decisions made in the plot, as well as the overall absurd premise, often left me scratching my head more than the mystery of Lizbert’s disappearance, but the bright oddities of this bizarre planet, with its hilariously-combined food creatures and its animated residents, were enough to keep me playing all the way through. My own children enjoyed the silly antics of the bugs as well, and though they didn’t catch to the more adult-themed nuances, were interested in Snaktooth’s tale. If you have a PS5, are subscribed to PS+, and aren’t expecting a masterpiece, then Bugsnax is worth your time as a silly, absurdist escape.
If you enjoy darker stories, crime, Mafia, police, and more I definitely recommend this game. Even if you did the bad endings it gets even more gory. Plus after finishing everything you also get a surprise romance so that was nice! I think if you want a change of pace with a good crime heavy story this is the visual novel for you!
If you’re new to Level Down Games, you should know that we reserve perfect scores for the very rare event that a game should be considered a true masterpiece of its genre and that, for the life of the reviewer, we wouldn’t change a thing about the game. In 2019, we didn’t award a single perfect score to any game. I hope that our miserly use of tens leads you to take it very seriously when we finally hand one out. When I say that the music, story, combat, and flow of Hades is very near perfect, I don’t mean that I would change something, only that there is something that might have room for improvement that I have not been able to identify after many hours of playtime. Hades is priced at an affordable $24.99, and since its release has already had a few sales. It is worth much more than the asking price, and I genuinely can not recommend it enough.
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays, and I’ve long adored games that embody the cheery hilarity of the season, including Costume Quest, themed events in Animal Crossing, and the costumes characters might acquire in World of Warcraft. Pumpkin Jack easily enters this pantheon of all-hallowed gaming for me, and I enjoyed nearly every moment I spent with it. Pumpkin Jack is a game that will have little difficulty being enjoyed by gamers of all ages, and I’m excited to get to share an updated version of one of my childhood favorite genres with my own children.
I don’t know that The Origami King is the best of the Paper Mario titles, as each one differs so much from its predecessors that it’s hard to even compare them to one another. Nintendo seems to have a hell of a time deciding what they want this spin-off series to be, but please don’t let their lacking confidence steer you away from a truly great franchise. As I said, Sticker Star and Color Splash are good games in their own right, and were they not titled Paper Mario would have received much higher marks and far less criticisms. If you’ve fallen away, come back. Give our single-leaf savior another chance. Paper Mario: The Origami King may not be your favorite game about papyrus plumbers, but if its charm doesn’t win back the hearts of a few spurned fans, then I’ll rip this review to shreds, toss it in the air, and use it to fill the one last hole in your heart.
ony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 Remastered is a return to the past, a small gift for all those players who enjoyed the phenomenon that occurred with the saga at the end of the 90s. There’s nothing new here, but that isn’t what this is about. It’s about appreciating the foundation that would spawn so many games after it and a whole new genre, before ultimately meeting that brick-wall which the quality just wasn’t able to escape. These games feel like their in the right hands now with the crew over at Vicarious Visions. Let’s hope they get a chance to show the world what they can do with a brand new outing. I’m almost afraid to wish for a Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 6… but maybe it’s time. Maybe.
But let’s be honest. You aren’t going to decide to pick up and play Tell Me Why based off of how it performs, how it looks, or even how it sounds. You’re going to pick this up and play it because Dontnod Entertainment has shown that they know how to make an engaging choose-your-own-adventure style of game. As usual for anything published by Xbox Game Studios, the game is available through Xbox Game Pass, and for that reason alone, it’s worth a handful of hours of your time.