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Overall, while not quite at the level of its predecessor in terms of either length or script, Professor Lupo: Ocean still delivers a great puzzle solving adventure with water physics that won't make you cry, challenging yet reasonable puzzles, and a slew of bonus objectives to keep you entertained. There are plenty of puzzles, new monsters to avoid, and it was a great time to be had.
Despite the game issues, I had a fun time managing my empire, making deals with other bosses, and laughing at the discourse between people. Sure, the combat was weird at times, but it's not really difficult. And even though I played Empire of Sin for a decent amount of time, I can't in good conscience rate it very high. It needs some more time to hammer out the bugs and give players a few more options - or breathing room. Overall, I give this title a 7 out of 10.
On a final note, Shady Part of Me should have been on my Game of the Year list but with how late it was released, it sadly won’t be making it as I quite literally got to experience this tale this past weekend. It’s not a very long adventure, but it packs a punch both from the visuals and the musical score, to the emotions coming through both of your protagonists as they try to find the exit that they’ve been searching for together.
Overall, I really love Per Aspera. It is a fantastic game that keeps players on their toes. Unlike other colony builders, players feel a connection to the colonists and to the mission. It is a spectacular game like no other and I absolutely adore it. Per Aspera has amazing audio and voice acting that are well suited to the title and I can't get enough of it! For me, there are some minor UI issues, but I give Per Aspera a 9 out of 10. Do yourselves a favor and buy it now. Take out the weird aliens. The mission depends on it!
Suzerain is a fantastic political simulator that illustrates the complexity of ruling a country. It is a very clean game with plenty of intrigue to keep players interested, just like in real-world politics. I had a great time playing a President and learning about Sordland. Despite my issues with the auto-saving not registering, I give Suzerain an 8 out of 10. Don't let this title fool you into thinking it's easy to reform ideas or preventing civil war. So, don't sleep on Suzerain because the country of Sordland needs you!
Swords of Gargantua is one of those games that feels like a missed opportunity. There is some solid potential to have an interesting story, but the narrative bits never really develop. I am a pretty easy sell on the idea of a VR melee combat game, and to its credit Swords of Gargantua handles pretty well the majority of the time, but there just is not much reason to continue playing after awhile. Progression is shallow and the gameplay really never develops in a meaningful way. Swords of Gargantua is a perfectly adequate game without a lot of incentive to keep coming back for more. It's a perfectly average VR experience, but I had hoped for a bit more.
Space Invaders Forever is a cool collection of games based on the classic alien blasting classic. They all serve a slightly different function from single player, to multiplayer to an almost puzzle-y mashup with Arkanoid. None of these titles has a ton of depth to them, but at the same time they all manage to scratch that addictive arcade shooter itch that Space Invaders is so well known for.
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia is an excellent strategy / RPG hybrid that recalls some of my favorite old school games of the genre, but benefits from some modern updates and solid storytelling. The presentation didn’t wow me, but the progression is rewarding and the combat meaty enough that I stayed engaged for dozens of hours. This was the perfect holiday gift for me (if not my spare time, which Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia soaked up a lot of).
Overall, Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate is a great roguelike, albeit a rather tough roguelike. There is plenty of variety to be had, and the difficulty isn't artificial. With a wide breadth of items and effects to manage, some fun mini games, and stages that don't drag on too long, Shiren is definitely a really fun roguelike for those familiar with the genre. Those new to the scene may be in for a bit of a challenge though, as Shiren doesn't pull many punches. So buckle up and try to change the fate of a poor village girl in this title that rolled rather well on the old D10.
So on the note that it ends, I believe we can expect more unexpected quests in the future. In order to progress though, the series will need a few modifications to be done to the style in order to make it more interesting as the current formula gets a little stale after a few hours as the only thing changing was the stage layouts and puzzle aspects of what had to be done before what. Otherwise if you've been looking for something in the real time strategy vein that's been very slim pickings of late and are up for a little bit of puzzle solving, The Unexpected Quest may just be worth checking out.