Game Rant's Reviews
Despite the pacing issues in its final chapters, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth is still bigger and better than Final Fantasy 7 Remake. If the third game can keep everything that's great about these remake projects so far and trim the fat a bit, we will have a spectacular trilogy on our hands.
Skull and Bones is a bloated game that does manage to swim instead of sink, but not without many caveats. In an attempt to separate itself from Black Flag and stand out from the likes of Sea of Thieves, Skulland Bones doesn't so much color outside the lines as much as dogmatically stick to a tired formula while burying its strongest attributes under mountains of redundancy and half-realized concepts. For those who crave a game set during the Golden Age of Piracy, there are definitely things here to enjoy, but get ready to do a lot of digging.
This release really needs two separate review scores: one for people who’ve never played the originals and one for players who will frolic through the levels with experience and rose-tinted glasses of nostalgia. Fans of the original Tomb Raider games will probably be thrilled with these remasters. For non-veterans, though, it will be an arduous journey, and the new textures, lighting, and “modern” controls won’t make much difference. It will be hard to judge these titles through the lens of ’90s tech and game design rather than 2024’s, and new players might have a tougher time overlooking issues that veteran players embrace as quirks or don’t see at all. However, it seems safe to assume that most people picking up Tomb Raider 1-3 Remastered already appreciate the originals, and so this score is aimed more at them. Newcomers, approach with caution.
Helldivers 2 is an exceptional cooperative experience, featuring a tight gameplay loop that is easy to pick up, and extremely difficult to put down. While its launch was plagued with issues, the title ends its first week as one of modern gaming's best multiplayer experiences. From the moment the opening cutscene rolls, players are engrossed in a hyper-militarized world that is just as rewarding as it is deadly. Whether players achieve a glorious victory or fail miserably, Helldivers 2 finds ways to make every mission truly memorable, by injecting its vast battlegrounds with a dark sense of humor, gratuitous gore, and uncapped replayability. After just one week, the title has proven itself a must-play experience on both the PC and PS5. With the majority of its universe still waiting to be explored, and the foundations of its story beginning to take shape, Helldivers 2 is sure to be an experience that keeps fans coming back for more.
ULTROS is a psychedelic metroidvania where you wake up stranded on The Sarcophagus — a cosmic uterus holding an ancient, demonic being. Trapped in the loop of a black hole, you will have to explore The Sarcophagus and meet its inhabitants to understand the part you play...
Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden is in the spirit of high-quality AA games that should not go unnoticed. Banishers does not necessarily break any new ground with its systems but it keenly focuses on a single vision with its narrative and ensures that everything else is working in rhythm with it and working well. In the end, love is the driving force of Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden, and anyone who thinks that they might be interested in Red and Antea’s story is undoubtedly in for a good time.
The combat in Lysfanga really seems to do all the heavy lifting, and it’s unfortunate that the rest of the game leaves so much to be desired and feels like it’s just there as ungratifying filler. However, it’s a hack-and-slash game, and the fighting is what’s ultimately most important. For non-completionists, the game can be finished in about 15-20 hours, and most of that time will thankfully be spent in combat taking out bad guys.
Luckily, the action is a compelling reason. The replayability of Go Mecha Ball comes purely from how much fun it is. A handful of ending scenes are available after multiple completions, but these cartoon-y, still images won't rank among the best games with multiple endings, and the first completion on max difficulty unlocks a unique upgrade. But these rewards don't amount to much. Nevertheless, players will likely pick up the game again and again because it just feels that good. Though imperfect,there's simply nothing quite like Go Mecha Ball out there, and it deserves to be experienced.
Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is a welcome addition to co-op looter-shooters, and while its live-service aspects may turn some away, it’s friendly enough, and promising enough, to newcomers to the genre. Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League doesn’t have the triumphant flair of the Batman: Arkham series, but the game deserves a fair chance for those who enjoy the worlds of DC Comics and exhilarating gameplay loops because Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League shows what fun a co-op game should be.
With plenty of quests, collectibles, bosses, cutscenes, and more, there's never a dull moment across Granblue Fantasy: Relink’s 20+ hours of play time. Relink effectively sells itself to casual and hardcore gamers alike, and saturates even its towns and menus with extra details. All the animations, ambient dialogue, Easter eggs, and the sheer energy of the whole package demonstrate how Granblue Fantasy: Relink’s extended development served its eventual release. Cygames has finally delivered the promises Granblue Fantasy: Relink made a long time ago, and it should join its RPG and fighting game counterparts in pleasing fans for years to come.
Overall, Persona 3 Reload is a fantastic package that offers enough new content to satisfy fans of the original, while remaining faithful to what made that entry so special. It's also an incredibly approachable entry for newcomers thanks to the myriad of enhancements to the Persona series' combat and social mechanics. It's clear that Persona 3 Reload isn't just a remake of an outdated game, it's an entry that is entirely its own and signals a bright future for the franchise in the post-Persona 5 era.
There is some hope that Bulletstorm VR will improve in time. People Can Fly and Incuvo have already indicated that updates are on the way, but the game will need some massive overhauls to even come close to being as good as the original. For now, anyone itching to replay Bulletstorm should stick with Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition.
Despite the plethora of side missions distracting from the main quest, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth still brings a decently poignant story to the forefront of the series. The turn-based combat might not be enjoyable for everyone, but it certainly will entertain fans of a variety of genres and game types. The game has a knack for keeping a player's interest, which is something extremely difficult in this day and age. It uses its craziness in such masterful and fun ways that most players won’t be able to help themselves from smiling and laughing along with Ichiban Kasuga and the rest of the cast in Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth.
Street Fighter 6 just raised the bar for AAA fighting games midway through 2023, and its long-time 3D rival Tekken has already matched it. Tekken 8's story mode is a breath of fresh air after T7's, and its abundance of single-player modes will give casual fans plenty to do afterward. Veterans can enjoy Tekken 8's new characters and mechanics without the game’s fundamentals being compromised, and a top-notch presentation will impress without technical hiccups. No one could have expected Tekken 8 to improve this much after Tekken 7 was already so strong, but it's clear that the new game won’t settle for anything less than being the series’ best.
Time has been kind to Apollo Justice, but Capcom has been especially kind to the re-release efforts of the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy. Much like The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles and the Phoenix Wright Trilogy before it, the Apollo Justice Trilogy is another fantastic effort by Capcom in updating and re-releasing its legacy courtroom battle games for modern audiences and with a few fixes and tweaks to make it more fitting for this day in age. Returning fans will be able to jump right into their most nostalgic moments with the series whenever they like and with plenty to come back to, while new fans can experience Apollo’s story in its best form yet.
The Last of Us Part 2 Remastered is a more fully-featured and overall superior version of an already-incredible game. No Return makes it worth the $10 upgrade by itself, and the game is an absolute must-buy for anyone who has never played the PS4 original. The Lost Levels are a bit of a letdown and the graphics haven't gotten as much of an upgrade as some may have hoped, but this is still the definitive way to experience Naughty Dog's masterpiece.
Both those new to the genre and hardcore Metroidvania fans are going to fall in love with Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown. It's too early to say if it will be remembered with the same fondness as Super Metroid or Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, but Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown is a fantastic Metroidvania and one of the best games in the entire Prince of Persia franchise.
Despite the limited content and somewhat fiddly controls, the game feels great to play. It's endlessly satisfying to turn a neglected garbage heap back into a happy home. The sandbox mode in House Flipper 2 offers lots of creative opportunities and the ability to share with fellow flippers is a big bonus, and will hopefully help the game build an ongoing community. Fingers crossed that more content comes down the road to provide players with even more possibilities.
In the face of an IP filled with rich themes with something important to say, Frontiers of Pandora ignores the point entirely and goes on to have a gameplay loop where players spend most of their time killing otherwise docile animals to make arbitrary numbers go up so they can be as immortal as possible within the confines of the game. This would be business as usual for any other open-world gameplay loop, but it's embarrassingly ironic and tone-deaf for an Avatar game. Sure, anti-pollution sentiments are there because it's impossible to make an Avatar spin-off without them, but they're there superficially and treated as a checkbox for players to complete - ultimately ringing hollow. A betrayal of Cameron’s themes with the Avatar IP, seemingly stapled together as an attempt to get a slice of the highest-grossing film of all time’s pie, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora isn’t just generic; it is downright cynical.