Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time is a wonderfully crafted game. The love developer Toys for Bob has poured into the title is evident and makes the game all the more appealing. It's accessible enough to pick up and play by anyone, but also provides a hardcore enough challenge for those diehard fans of platformers and the series.
I was rather looking forward to seeing what NBA had to offer – especially with all the buzz of next-generation – hoping for some fresh ideas and a bit more life injected into NBA 2K21. However, this was not to be, as we simply got a familiar refresh of years past – and not that it’s a bad thing, its just a little underwhelming. NBA 2K21 still offers an immensely fun, and impressive, basketball title, with a ton of modes to play through, but its time for NBA 2K to start switching up their plays a little bit.
Kirby Fighters 2 is flooded with charm and potential with some well thought out level designs. The different abilities of the characters while different seem to fade into each other and the various Kirby’s all become the same character. Simply put, it all feels very watered down and mundane.
Star Wars: Squadrons doesn't bring anything particularly new or inventive to the table that we haven't seen before in dogfighters, but it nails almost everything it embraces. The first-person perspective greatly benefits the immersive nature of the space battles, the sound design and music is about as perfect as they could ever be, and the story flips between the Imperials and Rebels to show us the ugly and beautiful sides of war.
The only redeeming quality WWE 2K Battlegrounds has at present is the simplicity of its gameplay. Even that can become frustrating after a while. There are no combos or sequences to remember or even master here. Throw a controller at a friend, mash a few buttons, and move on to another title altogether when the system inevitably grows stale.
Mafia: Definitive Edition, despite some technical hiccups, is still one of the best and most faithful remakes I had the pleasure of playing this generation. The story is engaging and thoroughly entertaining, the voice acting is terrific, the writing and characters are phenomenal, and the visuals are spectacular for modern hardware.
Minecraft Dungeons: Hero Edition isn't going to take your breath away, but it does provide a charming spin on the dungeon crawler/hack-and-slash formula that warrants some attention for fans of the genre. The core Minecraft experience is kept well in tact while re-balancing most of its mechanics to be better suited to its genre shift.
Immortal Realms: Vampire Wars is a decent game that suffers from repetition and poor AI making the game a tad too easy. It is a fun distraction and with 3 campaigns following different vampire clans, it is a long game. Unfortunately, you may get bored by the ease of winning long before you make it through the story and the different campaigns, but it does show promise and it is great to see strategy games make a comeback of sorts to PC and console.
A little extra time in development and more inventive ideas would've done this disappointing third installment in a beloved racing series well, but all it did was rehash previous ideas, significantly dumb down many aspects that made its predecessors so exciting, and mash together an incoherent mess of a sim racer that was clearly out for money above a good time.