El Hijo – A Wild West Tale is a charming little spaghetti western stealth game that gamers of all ages can enjoy. It might not be hard enough for more seasoned gamers but the level design and puzzles do get more challenging as you make your way through. I also just really like the theme of a young boy trying to find his mom and being able to help other children along the way. If you’re looking for a new stealth game to spend a few hours with that asks you to use things other than violence to sneak around then El Hijo is worth checking out.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV is a great finale to what has been a memorable four game journey. It’s got so many great moments throughout and many of the characters we’ve grown to love get to shine. It could’ve done with a bit better pacing though as I felt like I was just doing busy work quite a bit of the time. The Switch version doesn’t look or perform as well as the PlayStation version that released last year but what you lose in visuals you make up for in being able to pick up and play portably. It also is disappointing that Switch only owners can’t experience the full four game story on the platform currently with only the third and fourth entries being available. I can’t say much else other than if you’ve been invested in this story so far, you’ll be very happy with the payoff and if you haven’t yet jumped into it yet then you’re missing out on one of the best JRPG franchises out there.
Hunting Simulator 2 on PlayStation 5 is an enjoyable time out in the wilderness so long as you haven’t been here before. While the graphics, performance, and load times are improved a lot those things alone don’t justify paying full price again if you owned this game before. Had the team included the DLC or offered some kind of upgrade path then I could recommend it. New buyers who are fans of more realistic experiences will find a lot to like here with some beautiful areas to explore, a variety of game to hunt down, and many weapons to hunt them with. Head out on the hunt if this sounds like your type of thing.
Kaze and the Wild Masks is a must-play game for any 2D platformer fan and especially those who loved Donkey Kong Country. The controls are smooth and responsive and the difficulty gradually builds and never felt unfair. Every level looks great and sounds great and it made replaying them to hunt down any gems I missed much more enjoyable. I can’t speak highly of it enough and when we get to the end of 2021 it deserves to be in the discussion for best platformer of the year.
Samurai Shodown’s jump onto the Xbox Series doesn’t bring much new to the battle outside of a faster frame rate. The jump to 120 frames per second is noticeable though and something I hope to see more fighting games on console offer in the future. Samurai Shodown is still going strong a couple years after its original release with more content still on the way for the gorgeous Japanese fighter. If you’ve yet to jump in and have a compatible display for the faster frames now is the best time to pick up your blade.
Cyanide & Happiness: Freakpocalypse is a solid point-and-click adventure game full of adult humor. Fans of the source material or things like South Park will likely enjoy it the most as this style of humor isn’t for everyone. When the other parts of this story come out I do hope they make it a bit more challenging and come up with more content that doesn’t feel so much like fetch quests as those two things are what bothered me the most about this first iteration. Outside of that I enjoyed my time with Coop and look forward to what comes next.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla spins an epic tale of Viking legends and Eivor’s conquering of England. The world is gorgeous and chock-full of content, with a smaller map than Odyssey but feeling a lot denser and giving more weight to the side-quests than ever before. Know what you’re getting into when you set your mind to beating this game; you’ll be in it for the long run and you’re guaranteed to have a blast the entire time. Sköl!