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Yakuza Kiwami is positioned as a perfect jumping on point for newcomers just now discovering Sega’s gang-centric criminal drama. Series veterans will still find plenty to love in the carefully handcrafted remake of Kazuma Kiryu’s first appearance, with a wealth of new and enticing content. Regardless of which category you find yourself a part of, Yakuza Kiwami is hands down one of the finest remakes ever made of an already extraordinary game and provides an experience that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
Sonic fans have been waiting for a game that finally built on the legacy of the Genesis era Sonic games and Sonic Mania has finally captured that magic that has been missing. Bringing in a true Sonic fan to take the reigns of the series was very much the right decision and you can tell the level of loving detail put into every aspect of the game. It may have taken a long time, but everybody’s favorite Blue Blur is finally back in Sonic Mania and it feels so good.
Absolver is a unique blend of deep martial arts combat, RPG systems, and social interaction. Sloclap’s dedication to their combat mechanics is obvious and it has paid off. The game boasts one of the deepest systems for skirmishes I have yet to encounter. This lies at the heart of Absolver and it is a solid foundation on which to build the rest of the game. Thanks to the quality of combat and the visual appeal of the striking art style, the shortcomings found within the AI and narrative do not hinder the overall experience to a crippling degree. Absolver definitely gets far more right than wrong, weaving a worthwhile venture for all but those looking for a strong single player outing.
The Long Dark takes an interesting approach to the bustling survival genre by adding a story-heavy campaign, and it looks to be paying off so far. The tale being told in Wintermute has not developed into anything wildly deep at this point and there has yet to be given much of a reason to care for the characters in play, but by the end of the second episode I still felt the desire to see everything through to the end. I needed to know how this unique apocalypse pans out, so the developer is clearly doing something right. The slow, methodical pacing may turn some potential players away, but those that can carry the weight of the game’s encumbering systems will find a gorgeous adventure worth the time investment.
The original Life is Strange kind of came out of nowhere and surprised us all with just how good it was. As a result, there is a lot for Life is Strange: Before the Storm to live up to. Only one episode of three main episodes has released thus far, but so far it looks to be maintaining the quality of the original while presenting some new mechanics and building onto the backstory that we didn’t even know we needed so badly.
Battlefield 1‘s In the Name of the Tsar DLC has set the expectation for all future expansions, providing ample content to enjoy for the coming weeks. The expansion hits its target center mass far more often than it misses the mark, delivering a shining example of the quality that DICE can produce. You would be hard-pressed to find an add-on of this caliber elsewhere. To put it plainly, In the Name of the Tsar’s focus on the Russian Empire yields one of the most satisfying multiplayer experiences in recent memory.
Destiny 2 is the culmination of two years of Bungie learning what players want, enjoy, and love about the world of Destiny. It is the evolution of the team’s previous shortcomings and an improvement upon what is already working. It is everything that makes Destiny great, but better in nearly every way. A game of this quality is teetering on the edge of perfection and it’s likely Bungie’s ongoing commitment will soon find a way to give it that final push.
There are many resource gathering and survival based games on the market and ARK: Survival Evolved almost feels like it has officially jumped in a little too late after finally leaving Early Access. If you don’t mind spending hour after hour of doing repetitive and tedious tasks, you may find some fun in the later stages of the game. However, if that doesn’t sound worth it, ARK: Survival Evolved likely isn’t going to be for you.
2K Sports seemed to get really greedy this year with the implementation of VC in MyCareer, overshadowing the new Neighborhood layout in the mode. Regardless of this major flaw in the game, fanatics that focus more on online leagues or general play are going to absolutely love what NBA 2K18 has to offer.
While Mario Kart 8 Deluxe was a must buy even for those that owned the game on Wii U, Pokken Tournament DX falls in a little bit different territory. It is still a lot of fun and is easily the definitive version of the game, but how much you enjoyed the original is really going to be the deciding factor on if you want to return to the world of Ferrum with Pokken Tournament DX.