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While Balan Wonderworld has a few interesting ideas tucked up its costumed sleeves, none of them are executed particularly well, which makes the game feel like a real chore to play. From its dozens of forgettable costumes and frustrating mechanics to its uninspired visuals, it’s hard to recommend adding this one to your PS5 library, especially when there are much better platformers like Astro’s Playroom and Sackboy: A Big Adventure already available.
Retrace: Memories of Death attempts to recreate a horror game along the same vein as Corpse Party or escape themes like Zero Escape, and to an extent it succeeds; at the same time, its repetitive nature with few hints in sight meant way too much backtracking with too little reward. There’s only so many times I can read through the exact same text, solve the exact same puzzles, and pick up the exact same items only to receive an end I’d already seen, forcing me to walk in circles in perpetuity, when even death’s sweet embrace can’t release me.
Little Kite’s powerful portrayal of domestic violence is going to stay with me for a long time. Although the imagery was intense and the music divine, the point and click mechanics were frustrating for the console — as is unfortunately par for the course when it comes to this hardware and genre combination.
Sometimes it’s hard to determine what the best game in a series is. This time, it’s not. Regardless of what charms the Monster Hunter games of the past might have to offer, they’re no match for Rise‘s huge jump in overall quality and polish. I’m sure that Capcom will make a new Monster Hunter game someday and, when they do, maybe it will dethrone this one. But, until that time comes, Rise will be sitting at the top—and I’m very happy that it’s there.
Liberated is a great comic book turned video game. Dark and dystopian, almost absurdly gorgeous visuals, and a compelling story make this a surprising, but welcome, entry in the Switch library. Although you can beat the game within a few hours, don’t let the short run-time turn you off. There’s a lot of game packed into that those few hours.
Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a deeply beautiful, daringly emotional journey, tackling grief from a child’s point of view that still resonates strongly in adulthood. Clever wordplay spanning two different sections come together to create one touching story about an aspiring writer’s method of coping with the loss of a loved one. It may not be the most exciting game you’ve ever played, but it will be one of the more therapeutic ones. If you are looking for a lovely, healing game that will get you right in the feels, be sure to check out Lost Words: Beyond the Page.
Evil Genius 2 is a surprisingly addictive (evil) management sim. Despite there being a bit of repetitive busywork to do, there’s plenty of global domination wickedness for even the most power-hungry megalomaniac to sink their avaricious teeth into.
If you’ve yet to pick up the six previously-released games on this collection, then Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 is easy to recommend. Packed with hours upon hours of retro-gaming goodness, it’s as close as it gets to a definitive look at SNK’s 16-bit handheld. I only hope that Big Tournament Golf, Dark Arms, and Metal Slug: 1st & Second Mission are added to the eShop down the road so that those who purchased the earlier releases don’t have to shell out another $40 to play these titles.
Paradise Lost is a grim alternate history lesson that asks tough philosophical questions about humanity and sacrifice. With a fascinating story and a genuinely engaging setting, it’s a game that’s easy to recommend to fans of the adventure genre. If you don’t mind the game’s lack of puzzles and plodding pacing, then be sure to make your way underground to uncover the bunker’s dark secrets. You won’t be disappointed.