Gamer Escape's Reviews
A lot of effort seems to have gone into certain aspects, such as the level design. But the game is held back by some poor gameplay design decisions that incur frustration, a UI and controls that feel rudimentary, a multiplayer feature they seem to not want you to use, and a lack of inspiration. If this game cooked for another six months to a year, the devs could take it beyond just having the basics to being something truly special. But as it stands right now, this game does not really offer enough satisfaction and enjoyment to be worth its asking price.
While I do think that my teenage self would have been way more hyped about getting to experience a vampire-filled adventure of Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong’s caliber, I can confidently say my adult self was also quite amused. I really liked what this game’s story had to offer, and to be honest it has been a while since I had to think so hard about the hows and whys of the choices I wanted to make in an RPG. I could have done without the tedious and buggy gameplay and the oftentimes janky visuals, but when the credits rolled, that wasn’t at the forefront of my mind at all. Instead, I thought about how I wanted to play the game again and go back and do things differently.
Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars succeeds at being a fun crossover and a decent enough game to play. It’s solid enough to satisfy fans and newbies alike, has a solid gameplay foundation, and isn’t afraid to let loose when the time calls for it. There’s enough here to keep you busy, and everything involved is at least competent enough to keep your attention. So long as you aren’t expecting Game of the Year material, you’ll find yourself having fun with this one. If your aim is to coast and relish in a little bit of cheesy ninja action, this definitely fits the bill.
Trek to Yomi is a game with a voice and a vision. The title takes every liberty to adhere to its inspirations without ever feeling like a film masquerading as a game, and the reverence the development team has for that era of Japanese films can be felt in every aspect of the experience. The dynamic camera, the gorgeously realized environments, and the personal, character-driven narrative work in tandem to deliver a game that’s wholly unique. It might not be an easy recommendation based purely on gameplay alone, but it’s certainly easy to recommend for just about everything else.
The glory of The Stanley Parable was always that it was a game supremely confident in itself, giving you branching choices that were not choices, inviting you to push up against the boundaries of its world and see how far you could go. The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe expands those boundaries and gives you new things to explore, and in the process it managed to surprise me even as someone who had picked over the original game quite extensively. While it may not be as truly groundbreaking as the original, The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe is a must-play for fans of the original – and if you’ve never experienced the game, it’s the perfect place to learn what made the original so brilliant while finding a number of new twists.
Once again, like its predecessor, this is a much shorter review than is typical here at Gamer Escape, since there’s not really much to review here. Even less, really, since our What the Dub?! review mostly applies to RiffTrax: The Game as well. It’s a simple but well-put-together party game that’s easy to set up and play, whether with friends at home, online on Discord, or streaming to a Twitch audience.
Rogue Legacy 2 is a wonderful, beautiful, crazy-hard-and-yet-not-at-the-same-time game. I can hardly stop playing it long enough to finish writing this review. It is hard to find flaws in this game without resorting to extreme nit-picking. Every aspect of it just oozes polish. The replayability is off the charts, even after you finally reach the ending.
I want to like this game, I really do. When it works, it works really well. The core gameplay loop is satisfying, the two ideas mesh believably, and figuring out how best to manage the species on a given level is like a fun little puzzle. Actually reaching later planets makes me feel like Sisyphus rolling a boulder up a hill, with the content I’m repeating feeling no different than it did an hour ago when I started my last run.
The problem is that not only are those few missteps there, the goals it's aiming for are already far lesser than I would expect from the game as a whole. It promises something that is nice, fun, comfy, and cozy. While the game is certainly light and avoids getting bogged down in unnecessary detail, it also fails to really capitalize on its ideas and winds up being a bit unbalanced, a bit undercooked, and a lot underserved compared to a lot of other entries in the field.
It’s buggy, the balance is off, and a good 80% of the locations only really serve as random sidequest destinations. But the storytelling drew me in, the stealth worked rather well, and on the occasions when I felt like I had resources to burn it was just so dang satisfying to slow motion dive out from behind a corner while blasting a barrage of shotgun shells.
All in all, this was actually a very bittersweet review for me. I am a huge Rune Factory fan and have been excitedly waiting for this new entry in the series. Unfortunately, I can’t say that it met my expectations. The good news is Rune Factory 5 is a familiar experience for those who are used to the genre. The love interests are a bit cringy, and it has god-awful graphics, but if you have a bit of patience and don’t nitpick as much as I do, it will be a mostly enjoyable experience.
In many ways, I keep going back and forth on Triangle Strategy. On the one hand, it’s not exactly the game I was hoping it would be when it was first announced. On the other hand, it’s also not fair to hold that against the game; it’s not whether the game is what I dreamed of but what it is actually trying to be and how well it succeeds at that goal. On the third hand, there are some actual issues there with what the game is trying to be, some places where it winds up falling short of the marks it sets for itself.
With a more concerted effort to keep the experience exciting as the playthrough carries on, Young Souls could have easily been so much more. Instead, you have a game where you’ve seen the lion’s share of what it has to offer after three or so of the game’s ten hours. And yet despite the lack of variety in the encounters and the receding relevance of an initially intriguing storyline, I never wanted to put it down thanks to an abundance of heart. It’s charming, it’s a joy to look at, it’s challenging, and its accessibility options are lightyears ahead of most beat ‘em ups, but what you see is what you get in Young Souls: a demonstrably good game, but not a great one.
The thing is, it doesn’t really do much to stand out. The fast pace, the focus on maneuverability, even its adherence to old-school FPS style, all of it has been done well (and in some cases better) elsewhere in recent memory. Does this make it a bad game? No, not by any means at all. But when the only real gimmick it has going for it is weird humor that doesn’t really stick the landing, there’s not really anything else that will make it a go-to pick for FPS fans looking for something to sink their teeth into. Shadow Warrior 3 is an interesting title and a fun playthrough. But I can’t say it’s one to go out of your way to get your hands on. However, if you have the opportunity to play it, it’s a worthwhile ride.
Atelier games continue to be the mark of a consistently good franchise, and Sophie 2 does little to deter me from that sentiment. It’s the kind of game that deserves to be experienced alongside your favorite creature comforts and maybe a hot beverage to boot. Sophie’s latest outing most definitely deserves to exist, and those looking for a relatively easygoing and chill experience can’t go wrong here. It’s a worthy sequel to a cherished game, and a wonderful way to celebrate the joy fans have experienced over the years.
The game is wonderful artistically, but it just has far too many problems right now to recommend. The developers, Gato Studio, seem to recognize this and are preparing updates, but once again I find myself reminding game studios how badly things can go if you release something before it is ready. It is really hard to gain back the trust of players after you lose it.
Infernax keeps the things that worked from the nostalgic classics of yesteryear while changing what didn’t. I haven’t had this much fun with a game in a while. It’s just a perfect blend of difficulty and discovery from start to finish. It’s basic, sure, but sometimes shaving off the excess parts is how you polish something down to its core.
With the release of King of Fighters XV, SNK has done what they always do with the King of Fighters series of late: provided a complex, difficult, engaging, and satisfying team fighter. It offers incredible levels of depth to those who really delve into its systems, but vitally presents them in a way that’s still approachable, even if it’s not quite as approachable as the latest entries of its contemporaries.
Visible effort went into nearly every avenue of the game, making it an easy recommendation even if it doesn’t bring much innovation to the space. The quality of the combat and the variety of content on offer elevates this ARPG experience to be a cut above the rest. The only thing you can stand to lose in trying out Lost Ark is time, and even in a gaming landscape defined by competition for said time, it’s absolutely worth giving a gander.
The story here pulled me in quickly, and is well worth paying attention to. Exploration with parkour is just plain fun. The game doesn't feel like it's forcing the player to explore and complete every marker on the map, but rather giving the player options for how they want to approach the game. The survival aspects aren't overwhelmingly hardcore, but feel tuned to provide the perfect amount of tension.