If you’re a fan of space combat and can push your way through the first couple hours, I’m fairly confident you’ll find a lot to like in Chorus. The core dogfighting is just plain fun, and the setpiece fights are something to see. If you’re not already a genre fan, however, I’m not entirely sure this will be the game to win you over.
Really, if I had to boil down my issues to one thing, it’s that the developers need to understand how to add content to a game. Games are all about what we as players choose to do, and for extra content to actually mean anything it should ask me to make different choices. For every dating minigame I’m making the same choices every other time that minigame shows up, for every frame of bowling I am making the same choices as every frame before it. All the pretty visuals don’t change that it is the same minute or so of content repeated over and over.
While I did enjoy quite a lot of my time in Battlefield 2042 (especially in the new Hazard Zone mode), there are a mix of gameplay, technical, and functionality issues of varying severity that really hamper the experience. This game is somewhat recommendable to Battlefield fans and those with a general interest in military-style shooters, but there is a strong chance that the game’s current flaws are going to really limit the potential for many. Because of this, if you’re considering this game, you may want to wait for a patch or two before you deploy to the battlefield.
FFV isn’t always the first thing classic fans may think of when the subject of the best of the classics come up, but that isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be held in the same regard as the usual suspects of “best of” conversations. It expands on prior gameplay elements in a fantastic manner, isn’t afraid to buck some tropes, and is an unsurprisingly solid game nearly 30 years later.
It really feels like Gust took the criticism of the original to heart here. We’ve gone from a massive stumble of a game with some good ideas to an incredibly solid JRPG that does just about everything it sets out to do correctly. From the character writing to the speedy gameplay, the world design to the excellent soundtrack, this is a game worth taking a look at.
It says a lot that the best way to experience this game is grabbing its original cartridge and plunging it into a Sega Genesis/Mega Drive rather than buying it digitally on PS4 or Switch, and the price for this experience is almost humorous given its release proximity with Gleylancer. One would hope this monumental shortcoming can be fixed with a patch, but as it stands, this port of Panorama Cotton—a blast of a game in its original form—is a nonstarter.
In no uncertain terms? Unsighted is awesome. More people should know about it and play it, especially considering that the game goes out of its way to be accessible even to people who usually find Souls-like titles too hard, or people who dislike the timer mechanic but still want to experience the game, or even people looking for a harder ride. This is a good game and you should go play it. It’s not quite for everyone… but it’s as close as any title I’ve reviewed comes to being a must-play.
At its budget price ($6.99 at the time of writing), this game is an absolute no-brainer for shmup fans. I would argue that it’s a great option for genre newcomers as well, with its relatively easy opening levels before the difficulty really ramps up. As I continue my exploration of retro shmups, I’m glad this one fell into my hands.
In spite of a unique aesthetic and passable puzzles, Tandem: A Tale of Shadows struggles to keep itself exciting. The almost complete lack of narrative thrust and droning gameplay progression drag it down from the moment it begins, and its failure to capitalize on its more attention-grabbing elements guarantees a disappointing experience out of a game that could have easily been more.
Well… maybe. There’s definitely a strong sense of the Norse in the cultural zeitgeist in the moment, and I can see someone being curious enough to take what amounts to a walking tour of these locations and places to understand a little bit more. And what the game actually wants to deliver it does. While I have some minor quibbles here and there, by and large this is very good at being an educational tour of a historical period with a few fanciful elements to support beliefs.
Inscryption is an amazingly well-put-together piece of work. The atmosphere presented…well, I’ve already doted on it multiple times. And I’ll do so again: it’s unsettling, occasionally oppressive, and always keeps the player on their toes. It could easily carry the work on its own, but luckily the card game mechanics are solid and sound as well. It’s easy to pick up, but with a ton of variables to allow customization and multiple viable approaches to the challenges provided.
See, again, that’s part of what makes this either work for people or not. This is a game that brushes up against a lot of different genres without diving too deeply into any of them, and some players are going to either clock out from that or find that they like one or two parts but not all three. It is kind of a weird game and it is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. But if the idea of the game sounds interesting to you? Hey, this is a classic remastered and improved, and it’s well worth the asking price.
In Sound Mind feels like a call back to yesteryear, in a good way. A style of game design not often seen these days, more of a niche title but one that hits that niche VERY well. It’s easily the best psychological horror game I’ve ever reviewed here, and the amount of polish and sheer heart help it stand out even outside of the niche. Above all else, In Sound Mind is fun. The horror and melancholy of what’s going on in the plot is balanced out by light-hearted camp, the levels are all interwoven exploration puzzles where a new tool invariably makes you realize several new areas you can discover, it’s all so easy to just get lost for hours and hours until next thing you know it’s 3AM.
However, the game’s weakness lies in its apparent failure to make full use of the available technology of the Nintendo Switch system. Because of this, the game has to simply trust that you’re doing everything when it calculates your calories burned. For most people, I admit this won’t be a problem, since anyone who buys this is probably interested in getting an actual workout rather than cheating it. But the game could have definitely benefited from tech that it didn’t fully utilize. Knockout Home Fitness is both effective and reasonably fun in spite of this, so it is recommendable as long as you approach it as the fitness program it is supposed to be.
I’m not going to be subtle here. I loved this game. I can never walk away from any game in this franchise unsatisfied, and I feel that even with my nitpicks and misgivings that this is a worthy successor to what many have seen as an interesting distraction to the main series. Lost Judgment stands upon the shoulders of its forebears with ease, is a joy to play, tells an intimate story with a (mostly) deft hand, and knows how to value add with the best in the series. This is not only a great sequel, it’s also a great addition in any gamer’s library. Period. Saying this is a must buy is an understatement. It’s a shining example of what a great Yakuza game can be.
It feels like a throwback to the PlayStation era in the best way, when there were always new JRPGs showing up in the hopes of getting the same sort of cult reception as Final Fantasy VII, always new titles to try out and new stories to experience, some of them winding up a bit generic but others turning into unexpected little gems along the way. Astria Ascending feels like one of those gems, except it’s a new game right now and benefits from all the hindsight that implies.
It’s not without its quirks, unfortunately. The shocking aggressive AI racers created many moments of frustration, and I’m not a fan of the “gacha but not really” system going on here for obtaining new cars. But for fans of arcade racers, whether the Hot Wheels name strikes a chord or not, Hot Wheels Unleashed is a game worth a look.
For all my complaints, Aragami 2 does pull off making you feel like a ninja rather well. Planning just the perfect route to ambush everyone one by one or slip in and out without disturbing anyone felt really satisfying. It manages to tread that fine line of letting you get away with more than is realistic while still making a perfect run challenging that makes a great stealth game. I just can’t help but feel they took a few gambles with changing things up from the original, and took a step backwards as a result.
It might not be perfectly cohesive, but whether you’re here for the jokes or because you like games where you can be on the wrong side of the law, there is definitely something here for you. So if you aren’t easily offended by the copious amounts of cursing, blood, and violence, you should definitely give Rustler a go. Pull that guard off his horse, ride off, and don’t look back!
The addictive moment-to-moment gameplay and the amount of content on offer is well worth the price of admission on either Switch or PC, but it’s hard not to prefer the latter for its higher resolution and smoother framerate. It really gives the game’s beautiful artwork the treatment it deserves.