At this stage, it feels incongruous to state whether or not this is the best Ace Attorney game. A lot of the aspects in the game are nothing new, but whilst there are elements that separate it from its predecessors, there is nothing that instantly makes it significantly better than the rest. In part, this is because the main series has been so continuously strong. Even though there has been an increase in the number of visual novel type games to come to the West, Ace Attorney is still one of the best, and Spirit of Justice does not detract from that. The fact that it holds its own against previous entries, as well as providing the most engaging overall narrative in the series makes it worth playing. What's more, it retains the humour and character (and not to forget great music) that makes the Ace Attorney series so exceptional. Now if there aren’t any objections, the verdict can now be given…
Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap may be out of its time – it's rock hard, a little obtuse, and won't lead you by the hand – but benefits from a stylish and sensitive makeover that stays painstakingly true to the mechanically perfect original. The Dragon's Trap is a remarkable thing, then. Not only is it a retro remake that's actually not crap, it's as good as the day it first came out and even holds its own against modern releases.
Return of the Obra Dinn makes the journey to Nintendo Switch content and feature complete in a sparkling port from Warp Digital. The game is, simply put, one of the best ever made. It’s intricate, macabre, involving and essential. It’s aesthetically phenomenal and intellectually satisfying. Like the very best games, Return of the Obra Dinn is an experience that could only ever exist as a game. It’s’ a masterwork of narrative Sudoku and a recommended purchase on any platform.
After one hell of a year – one in which I haven’t been able to socialise with friends in real life – it’s an absolute joy to escape to this cosy little bolthole and shoot some pool. Pure Pool is exactly what its name suggests and an essential purchase for all fans of the sport.
SuperHyperCube might not be to virtual reality what Tetris was to the GameBoy, or even what Super Hexagon was to mobile gaming, but it’s an essential purchase for early adopters and a game that you’ll want to return to time and time again. It’s a simple concept that is beautifully designed, perfect packaged and plays to the strength of the platform. One of the highlights of PS VR launch line-up.
Spider-Man is the best of the web-slinger’s video game debuts to date; the visuals are striking, its story engaging, and its gameplay is some of the most fluid anywhere on a modern console. Whilst it does occasionally get tangled in its own ambitious web, it makes up for its minor shortcomings with a large helping of heart and an even larger dose of pure fun.
If Resident Evil 7 was the game that put the legs back under Capcom’s iconic zombie franchise, Resident Evil 2 is the game that sees it clear the way back atop its bloodied throne. From the beautiful visuals to the nail-biting scares and frantic combat, this is a horror-experience that not only scares the life out of you, it makes you think as well.
As loathe as we are to re-open the old "are video games art?" debate, it's no exaggeration to say that Gris (along with the likes of Journey, Ico, and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture) is one of the examples you should roll out to prove that they most definitely are.
Ape Out is a dynamo of a game, simultaneously stylish and meaty, that manages to succeed as both a technical demonstration of procedural generation – particularly that magical audio – and a bloody fun game to boot. Between this, Gris, and Pikuniku, Devolver Digital is absolutely crushing it right now.
Developer Adam Robinson-Yu began developing A Short Hike when he was feeling burned out working on another project. It's fitting, then, that what began as an act of self-care for the game's developer has blossomed into a welcome respite from the modern world that everyone should experience.
Dan Marshall has said publicly that if Lair of the Clockwork God doesn’t sell well enough, it will most likely be Ben and Dan’s final adventure. And if that’s how it transpires, then this game will be a fitting swansong. But if there’s any justice in the world it will sell hand over fist, because it’s a brilliant, joyous, clever and generous experience.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a limited time release in both physical and digital formats. We can only guess at the reason but whatever misgivings you have about the nature of the collection – or its position as Nintendo’s big fall release – it’s still an essential purchase. The three included games look better than ever and provide hours and hours of exquisitely designed, eye-bleedingly inventive gameplay.
Whilst I wish Paradise Killer’s mechanical detective fangs were a little sharper, it oozes style and its writing and world-building are out of this world. It’s not a lie when I say I wanted to stay forever here in paradise where love dies. I already know as truth/fact that when it comes to this game my love will never die.