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WWE 2K22 marks a return to form for the series, with the entertaining wrestling and wealth of modes sure to keep WWE fans happy for a long, long time. Whether playing in the likes of MyRise and building up a career, MyGM and running your own show, or Showcase and playing through the stand-out moments of a legend of the sport’s career, there’s plenty of variety here that ensures that the game is about MORE than just the wrestling. Add to that the creativity offered when it comes to your own creations and it’s clear that WWE 2K22 has covered all avenues in offering the most robust experience yet. Of course, it’s not perfect and there are a few technical hiccups here and there, whilst the fighting can be a little formulaic in places. WWE 2K22’s strengths certainly outweigh its weaknesses though, and believe me, it DEFINITELY makes up for the travesty that was WWE 2K20.
Martha Is Dead is an intriguing experience that won’t be for everyone, but still managed to hook me in with its engrossing storytelling. Whilst I’d be lying if I said I didn’t find the game unsettling, I NEEDED to see how the plot played out and just how dark it could really go. It can be shocking at times, but you know what you’re signing up for before playing. It doesn’t always hit the mark, especially when it comes to some of the frustrating interactive moments, whilst there were a handful of scenes where it did feel like it went too far for the sake of it. Still, it’s one of the most memorable and unique narratives I encountered in a game for a while, so I won’t be forgetting Martha is Dead anytime soon.
Horizon: Forbidden West is a remarkable game that blew me away with its excellent storytelling, deep and engaging gameplay, and breath-taking visuals. I found myself eagerly anticipating every twist and turn of the story, the set pieces left me in awe of just how fun and varied combat is, whilst exploring the world and uncovering all of its secrets and side quests was a real treat. And did I mention it looks ridiculously stunning? It really has it all. The first game is one of my favourite PlayStation titles of all time, but Horizon: Forbidden West exceeds it in almost every way. Some minor graphical issues here and there do stop the game from feeling ‘perfect’, but they don’t stop Horizon: Forbidden West from being a masterpiece of game design.
I enjoyed playing Edge of Eternity, but it has a few too many shortcomings for it to stand out as a ‘must play’ RPG experience. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to do in the game, the environments look pretty, and the battling is fun, but there was also a sense of vacancy in the world, a lot of story-threads felt unfinished, and some of the long-winded encounters could get boring. I didn’t have a bad time with the game at all, but there are much better alternatives to play.
Grapple Dog is a charming and well-designed 2D platforming adventure that’s only let down by some imprecise controls and technical hiccups. I loved exploring its creative levels, uncovering its collectibles, being a part of the vibrant world, and grappling everywhere, but having to deal with some clunky jumps and long loading times could be a little frustrating. Fortunately, the quality of the adventure still makes Grapple Dog a game that’s worth checking out and there’s certainly plenty of fun to be had toppling the evil robot Nul. Just expect a few frustrations along the way as you get used to the finicky controls.
Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection is an outstanding release that brings two brilliant games to the PlayStation 5 in style. The fact that both Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Uncharted: Lost Legacy are fantastic games to play anyway makes it worth investing in, but the dazzling visual and performance enhancements, the immersive DualSense features, and super-speedy load times really make this an alluring package that all PlayStation 5 gamers need to own.
The Artful Escape wowed me with its wonderful sights and sounds, with the wacky musical adventure of Francis Vendetti sure to keep a smile on players’ faces. Sure, it might not offer a deep gameplay experience, but there’s enough on offer between exploring the bizarre yet beautiful world, uncovering the surprisingly heartfelt narrative, and simply sculpting your own unique Francis to ensure the adventure remains a memorable one.
Unforeseen Incidents kept me hooked in until the very end, with the engaging narrative, quirky presentation, and enjoyable puzzles ticking all boxes of what a point-and-click adventure should offer. It all runs nicely on the Nintendo Switch too, with the visuals looking sharp, the controls accessible, and no real technical issues encountered during my eight-hour playthrough. It’s just a finely crafted point-and-click adventure and one that I’d certainly recommend to all fans of the genre, even IF you might be a little bit fed up of deadly diseases in 2022.
Vagante is an enjoyable roguelike adventure that offers a challenging escapade for players, but lacks that special spark to stand out in the genre. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing bad about the game and there’s fun to be had battling enemies, gathering loot, and evading traps (ESPECIALLY in multiplayer), but there’s also nothing about it that makes it feel like a stand-out release or even a hidden gem in the genre. It’s just a little bit ordinary, which might be enough for some players who just want a fresh roguelike fix, but might underwhelm those who are experienced with the more prolific releases in the genre.
At its best, Rainbow Six Extraction is an intense and fun experience that relies heavily on co-ordinated teamwork for players to succeed. At its worst, it can be a bit boring and frustrating. It’s been a long time since I’ve played a multiplayer game where I didn’t quite know what exactly I was going to get from each match I played, but Rainbow Six Extraction was always a little unpredictable. I did have a good time playing it though, especially when I was in a team that would work together, so it’s definitely a success for Ubisoft – it has some really thrilling moments too, especially when you’re in the middle of a satisfyingly brutal showdown with the Archaean. It’s just one of those games that’s WAY better to play with friends, so if you’re planning on playing solo or with strangers, you might not find that you’ll stick with it for the long-term.
The Company Man may not be the most original of 2D platforming adventures, but it certainly makes climbing the corporate ladder a fun (and often outrageous) task. The platforming was enjoyable, beating up bosses was satisfying, whilst the visuals were top notch too – it really does tick a lot of boxes as far as the genre is concerned, even if the adventure itself is a short-lived one that doesn’t really do anything you wouldn’t have seen before. But hey, who needs originality when you’re bashing annoying co-workers and managers over the head with a keyboard, right?
Windjammers 2 is super addictive, with its slick blend of frantic and strategic action ensuring no showdown ever feels boring. It looks the part too, with the stylish visuals and varied arenas making sure the game is packing plenty of punch when it comes to the looks department. It’s just a lot of fun to play, especially in multiplayer where the action can feel really frantic and non-stop. It was a little disappointing that the single player mode wasn’t a bit more fleshed out, and I really do think the game would’ve benefitted from a proper tutorial that goes through the ins-and-outs of the gameplay. But still, whilst these omissions are a shame, they don’t stop Windjammers 2 from being a fresh and enthralling take on the classic formula of the original.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has aged well over the last eighteen years, with the adventure still proving as enjoyable now as it was in 2003. It feels great to play on the Nintendo Switch too, even if the controls can be a little clumsy in places and the visuals are dated, though that latter issue is one you won’t notice so much when playing handheld. Whether you’re a returning player or embarking on the journey for the first time, you’re sure to have a good time with this impressive port of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. Here’s hoping Aspyr Media keep up the pace with their Star Wars releases and bring the sequel to the console too…
Flynn: Son of Crimson is a charming and entertaining adventure that doesn’t necessarily revolutionise the 2D platforming genre, but still offers plenty of fun. There’s a good time to be had traversing through the challenging levels as Flynn and defeating their countless enemies, whilst it’s also satisfying to unlock new abilities along the way. Add to that the great pixel art and catchy soundtrack and it becomes clear that there really is plenty to like about the game. It is guilty of lacking originality in places and there were some parts of levels that could be a bit annoying, but Flynn: Son of Crimson is otherwise a great title that’s easy to recommend to fans of the genre.
I had a really good time playing through Tails of Iron’s adventure, with the gorgeous visuals and robust combat mechanics the stand-out features. It was easy to root for Redgi to succeed, whilst venturing further across the world and vanquishing the enemies that roam it was a real treat. It was guilty of being a little bit repetitive with some of its side quests and the world isn’t as expansive as similar titles in the genre, but Tails of Iron never outstays its welcome and doesn’t stop being fun to play. Add to that the fact that it runs really smoothly on the Nintendo Switch and it becomes clear that it’s an adventure that fans of the genre are sure to enjoy.
Blightbound is a game that seemed to offer everything that I wanted with its stylish multiplayer dungeon-crawling adventure, but I just didn’t have much fun playing it. It’s a shame too, because it’s clear that a lot of love and effort has gone into making the game; it just didn’t come through in the final product. It’s never nice to slate a game and there’s no doubting that Blightbound has its strengths (there were occasions where everything flowed and I had a really good time), but it really is hard to recommend right now. With some fixes, refinements, and game balancing here and there, there’s the potential for it to be a fun little game – especially since the core mechanics of battling and exploration are pretty neat. As it stands though, there are much better co-op titles and much better dungeon-crawlers out there to play, with Blightbound proving a little too flawed to fully enjoy.
Dodgeball Academia blends RPG and dodgeball mechanics in an enjoyably stylish manner, with the combination making for a super fun gameplay experience. I had a really good time seeing Otto’s tale unfold, whilst the varied dodgeball mechanics and unpredictable opponents ensure that the action remains exciting from start to end. I didn’t think the sport of dodgeball could have so much depth, but the range of abilities and arenas on offer ensured it never grew tiresome when playing. There were a few things that could’ve seen improvement, such as the lack of variety outside of dodgeball, the harsh difficulty spikes, and the occasional technical hitch. None of these issues stopped Dodgeball Academia from being a heck of a lot of fun to play though, with it standing tall as yet another memorable sporting-RPG hybrid to grace the Nintendo Switch.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles offers an exciting evolution to the traditional formula, with this courtroom drama offering plenty of fun across its meaty story. Players can expect to spend over forty hours unravelling each case, but that time will fly by thanks to how well written the characters are, how enjoyable gathering evidence is, and how exciting the courtroom showdowns can be. The new features are just the cherry on top, with the Dance of Deduction and Summation Examination offering some of the game’s finest moments. Whilst I have no doubt that the game won’t be for everyone thanks to the sheer amount of reading involved, fans of the series are sure to love this new venture into the life of being an ‘Ace Attorney’.
NEO: The World Ends With You feels as slick and stylish as the original, with the enjoyable combat and fantastic narrative pulling everything together. There’s plenty to love about the world, its characters, and the challenging situation they find themselves in, whilst the many twists of the story will keep players enthralled until the end. Add to that the intuitive pin system, the variety of tasks to complete, and the gorgeous visuals, and it’s clear that NEO: The World Ends With You is a very impressive RPG. It took fourteen-years for a sequel to The World Ends With You to release, but you know what? The wait was worth it. Hopefully we won’t have to wait quite as long to play the Reaper’s Game again next time around…
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD improves upon the original massively, with its new control scheme and impressive visuals making it feel like a whole different game. It was already one of my favourite games in the series anyway, but playing it with more traditional controls at 60fps was astounding, whilst the new quality of life improvements go a long way in streamlining the overall experience. It really is a brilliant game. Admittedly, some aspects of the game haven’t aged all that well – the repetitive fetch quests particularly stood out, whilst there were some aspects of the world that felt vacant when compared to modern titles. Between all of the enhancements, the engaging narrative, and the brilliant dungeons that have stood the test of time though, it’s easy to recommend The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD to newcomers, existing fans, or just those who were simply put off the motion controls the first time around. It’s another must-own title for your Nintendo Switch library.