Many games fall into the roguelike genre, but few define it. Spelunky 2's secrets and danger-infused caverns make it simultaneously one of the most frustrating and rewarding games I've ever played. Yet, having barely scratched the surface of what it offers, I can't wait to start another run-whether in search of secrets or just to see how far I can ultimately get. And in the end, isn't the desire to continue playing the hallmark of any great game?
The fourth instalment in the Port Royale series will keep fans happy with its upgraded features and a bigger map than can be found in Port Royale 3. For newcomers to the genre, they're likely to be overwhelmed at first with all of the aspects that need to be understood to create a prosperous empire. However, developer Gaming Minds has tried to make the game as accessible to those players as possible. In this, they've largely succeeded.
WRC 9 continues to give the Dirt series a run for its money. This year saw a safe update to the series, with extra content being the main new feature. If you enjoyed WRC 8, picking up WRC 9 is a no-brainer. If you skipped out on last year's entry, however, it can be had for a cheaper price these days, and by the time you've seen all that game has to offer, WRC 9 will then be an even better deal. This is the off-roading game to play while we await DiRT 5 later this year, when the competition should really get interesting.
You know a game has consumed your life when it seeps into your dreams. That's exactly what happened to me. I'm seeing Triangles floating atop heads and planning strategy in my sleep. Not the worst way to sleep but also not the most relaxing. I'm craving yakisoba pan all the time. No other games exist while you're playing 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Don't even bother trying to play anything else. Your brain simply won't let you.
For all of my criticisms, Marvel's Avengers is still a game I can't wait to get back to playing. While there's a lot of work to do, it gets one main thing right: it's fun to be an Avenger. Crystal Dynamics captured this incredible feeling of being a superhero and distilled it into a digital environment. Combat is deep and nuanced, with far more complexities and character than your traditional superhero brawler. Right now, Marvel's Avengers is a bit rough around the edges, but "good isn't a thing you are. It's a thing you do." If Crystal Dynamics can smooth performance and squash bugs, as well as build out a more compelling endgame experience, it has a lot of potential to be one of the most memorable and replayable loot brawlers of this generation and next.
Project CARS 3 represents a huge shift in Slightly Mad Studios' attitude towards racing games. I suppose this means the studio lives up to their name! What Project CARS 3 lacks in realism, it now makes up for with accessibility. However, lacking the flair of other established racers in this arcade-sim genre such as The Crew 2 or Need for Speed will make it a tougher sell. Still, there are a couple hundred new events to try, with hundreds of cars to tweak, upgrade, and drive. So, if Project CARS is to continue down this path of more friendly racing, then they are on the right track, but whether their regular fans will be along for the ride is another question entirely.
Spellbreak's magic systems and fun take on the battle royale genre show that with some more time and development it's going to be something really impressive. Whether or not it has the staying power is up to time and how much its community sticks with it but already there's a lot of potential brewing here.
All in all, I'd recommend Doraemon Story of Seasons to fans of the series and farming sims alike. Sure, you won't get to experience marriage like other SOS games, but you do get fancy doodads. There's plenty to do, lots of ways to spend your coin, and fishing is super easy and relaxing. Just a great way to unwind at the end of a long day.
Whether you played this back in 2012 or missed it the first time around, this is definitely an action-RPG worth experiencing. The fluid combat, gripping story, and detailed lore makes this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There's not a lot of new stuff been added but the tweaks to the area level system and new difficulty are very welcome additions. Now is the perfect time to refresh your memory of this delightful adventure and get ready for the expansion next year.