Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove is definitely an odd title. It has a focus on exploration over combat, and embraces randomness in a way that keeps things exciting. While it’s likely not for everyone, it’s definitely a unique game in this day and age, and is worth a shot for that alone.
I think I’d be less chaffed by the lack of any world building if the game didn’t start off by making me feel like there would be more in that aspect. Why have a talking sword that just delivers the same 3 or 4 lines randomly? Mix this with the frustration of the dungeon design and mini-map issues and I soon wondered what reasons the game was giving me to want to get through this struggle. There wasn’t really anything.
...I feel that I can still recommend this game despite its flaws. I mean, the key reason to play a game is entertainment, right? While Arcade Spirits may not meet my personal metric for “great visual novel,” it was still a highly-enjoyable game, and I would say it’s worth a look for fans of the genre.
I can say I was having a lot of fun with the game until the final two areas. I really believe that if Necrosphere went with a more traditional control scheme, the entire game would’ve been much more enjoyable. The way it is now, the control scheme just adds unnecessary difficulty to an already challenging game.
Despite the plot taking itself much more seriously, Burst Re:Newal is still a Senran Kagura game, which means it still revels in giant bouncing breasts and panty shots. What I’ve said for the other games applies to this one as well: if you’re not averse to these elements, Burst Re:Newal is a hell of a fun time, and the heavier story focus here makes this entry all the more sweeter.
Sonar Beat feels like a throwaway mobile game (which I guess you can say it is, since it’s on iOS and Android as well) that was ported half-heartedly to PC for some inexplicable reason. The game is running only $2.49 at the time of writing, but if you have to subject yourself to this game’s music, use that money on the mobile versions. Avoid the Steam release at all costs.
The new additions here, especially the integration of a brand new character, definitely make this Definitive Edition worth playing for those who have already played the original. For newcomers, this release is the perfect opportunity to jump into what many (including myself) consider one of the best games in the series.
Having said that, DW8XLDE is an extremely polished entry to the series and its port over to the Switch has compromised nothing. If you’re looking to break up your usual gaming fare to get your power-hungry action fix, I can hardly think of a better alternative.
If there’s one take-away I have about Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes, it’s that it feels like a lower budget take on the series. I’m reminded of when a series on the PSX or GameCube would get a game on the GBA; It’s noticeably different, and not as highly polished, but in the end it’s still fun for what it is.
From the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack to the engrossing aesthetic design, combined with solid gameplay that does its part in showing off the world while also not being a slouch itself, Gris is far and away one of the best experiences in gaming I’ve had this year.
Though this story of war, assassination, and disposition is not for the faint of heart, it will indulge those seeking a deep and dark universe. killer7 is a nostalgic trip back to a style of gaming that encourages players to find their own answers by exploring a rich universe.
Overall, Hitman 2 is an incredible game marred by the inclusion of a confusing and hollow story. However, the story is definitely not necessary to get enjoyment out of this title. The way the game is built allows practically anyone to have a great time executing stages and targets in their own way.
Overall, Corpse Party: Book of Shadows is a spooky and unsettling experience, but it’s not without some flaws. There is the occasional line that’s at a significantly lower volume than those before or after, making it hard to hear. The exploration mechanic also becomes quite repetitious over time, especially when events in an episode make it so any room could have something new in it, requiring players to go back and check every room they have access to for anything new.
The structure of the actual rhythm gameplay makes the game accessible to pretty much anyone. Those that want to just go wild making up their own beats can have a blast here, while those more interested in score chasing have a surprisingly in-depth system they can dive into if they so choose. The game doesn’t force you to pick – you can play this game however you want to.