As I approach the end game portion of the game, where we’re supposed to spend many more hours, and tinker with the online experience, which takes away the cool option to switch from one character to another on the go, I fear that the bland and uninspired will eventually overtake the awesome part of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. It’s an extremely funny, well-made, and once-traditional co-op game stuck in a live service cage that makes it sadder and more tiring as time goes on. Will the most demanding content in the game convince players to stick around and actually engage with the ‘numbers go up’ systems? I don’t think so, but I’m not writing it off just yet.
The problem is that, as many of us know, gacha games are inherently exploitative, and even though I'm confident in resisting spending any money on them, I still feel a bit strange about the pull I'm experiencing towards such a game thanks to a seperate, supposedly stand-alone RPG. Should you play Relink for a taste of Granblue Fantasy's world? I think so! But go in knowing that it won't give you everything you might want, and take it as it is.
At a certain point you have to step back and judge a game for what it is rather than what it isn’t. After all, if you want the female protagonist there’s Portable, and if you want the epilogue there’s FES. But as a stand-alone thing – as a convenient, modern, and attractive way to experience a truly great RPG classic – Persona 3 Reload is a wonderful offering.
The Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a little less consistent when compared to the two collections that preceded it, but it's still doing the good work of bringing a gem of a series to new platforms and audiences at a time when these games otherwise risk being left behind. Whether its slightly shaky attempts to position itself as a stand-alone trilogy will prove an effective draw for new players remains to be seen, but of course it's an absolute must-play if you're already a fan of the series — and if you were drawn into the franchise through the last two remastered collections and haven't encountered these three games yet, you're in for a particular treat.
Ultimately, Palworld is good fun. I’m looking forward to seeing how multiplayer works out with my friends. It’s easy to argue that much of Palworld’s best bits feel like they’ve been lifted from somewhere else, somewhere that has not been intentionally disavowed as an inspiration. Palworld definitely has some features worth admiring, and is finally letting keen monster-collectors dabble in the whole ‘what if Pokemon, but dark and violent’ query that many of us have often had, but I’m quite disappointed in how unoriginal it often feels.
The original Granblue Fantasy Versus was, frankly, bodied by Covid-19. At a time when online infrastructure was so important, it was found lacking. Now, it's perfect. It plays wonderfully. It's as if the original release was the first draft. An initial attempt that, while respectable, fell short in key spots. Rising feels like the revised version. A Pythagorean theorem for fighting game accessibility, that manages to balance a good entry level experience with competitive depth.
Like it or not, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora feels like the perfect companion piece to James Cameron’s movies: it’s big but often intimate. Savage but calm. Familiar but charming. Even without playing a single minute of it, you should know whether it’s something you want to play. If you decide to make the jump, I suggest letting go of cheap analogies and using Na’vi instincts first and gamer brain second.
There’s just so much to love about Spirittea, and I’m very glad to be able to say that this adorable rural-life sim has been well worth the wait. As fans of Stardew Valley patiently wait on ConcernedApe’s upcoming game, Haunted Chocolatier, I hope to see plenty give Spirittea a go. It’s certainly one way to bridge the gap while we wait, but you might be pleasantly surprised by just how lovely - and truly addicting - this game and its host of unique spirits and townsfolk are. I mean, I would genuinely live in this adorable town where realities collide, if I could.
That said, the most important thing about EA Sports WRC is that I’m pretty sure I’ll get addicted to the moments its recreation of rallying can provide across its plethora of modes. As with Dirt Rally 2.0, it’s those simple, brief moments when you get into a perfect adrenaline-fuelled flow and feel - just for a second - like you are as good as Colin McRae, that’ll keep me coming back for more, no matter how many trees I hit in between them. I'm pleased and relieved to report that post-acquisition Codemasters still understands what makes a good rally game tick.
Like A Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name may be a side story in RGG Studio’s long-running Yakuza franchise, but it’s also one of the biggest steps forward in quality and thoughtful design that the series has seen in years.
Your mileage with WarioWare: Move It will inevitably vary. What do you want from this game? If you want the classic microgames experience, it isn’t really here. If you want a killer multiplayer game to play with the family over the holiday season (assuming everyone is able-bodied), it’ll be ideal. I can’t wait to play this more with friends. But I don’t see any reason to boot it on my own again any time soon.
The only thing malfunctioning around here is the economics of game production. And from that struggle, under circumstances that echo those of the original movie’s troubled production, a brilliant piece of work emerges, that somehow nails every part of the brief and finally proves that Robocop can inspire worthy sequels. And if it didn't look a bit ropey sometimes, I doubt it would feel like Robocop: a stop-motion ED-209 falling down some stairs is goofy as hell, after all, but none of the CGI perfect ED-209s in the 2014 remake ever did anything goofy, and it was crap. So. Y'know.
It’s a game I could easily see myself winding down with during the evenings, ticking off my to-do list of tasks while wrapped up cosily. The music, the style, the brief thrill of finding rare components or clearing dungeons; it gives me the same feelings that Harvest Moon once did, but God damn, there’s a lot to be cracking on with at any given moment. With that in mind, I think it’s about time I return to Sandrock.
A way up, in this case. Jusant is another banger in a year of endless bangers, as notable for everything it isn’t as much as what it is: a meditative, evocative odyssey up a big tower, with plenty of time to reflect and ponder deftly weaved through the experience by master storytellers who want you to feel every pore of the rock as you ascend, and every ache of the heart that its residents left behind.