With its strong cast of characters, complicated and compelling cases, and a good combination of new and classic elements in a good, lengthy prequel story, The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is courtroom drama I couldn’t put down till I saw a mystery through to the end.
Those looking for a very different kind of JRPG experience will like what they see with NEO: The World Ends With You. The modern setting, the interesting creatures, and the character abilities make it unlike almost anything out there and is worth rolling the dice on.
I lament that personal character movesets have fallen by the wayside in favor of weapon category movesets and if you get quickly bored with these games I don’t think this one will blow you away. That said, Samurai Warriors 5 is a gorgeous game telling a classic story full of awesome characters and it doesn’t require much more investment than that. If that’s all you need, this is one of the best the Musou franchise has to offer.
Death’s Door combines excellent story and lore with challenging and rewarding combat. As an action game, there’s a lot to love about the enemies faced and customization available. Story can easily take the backseat in a game like this, but the sheer concept of it all and the lore dumped on top makes the story in Death’s Door equally intriguing. Acid Nerve delivers one of the more well-rounded titles I’ve played this year with Death’s Door.
Hellbound & Undressed has elements fans will enjoy, and if you dig, you can find quirky and interesting things here, but if it catches you having too much fun, be prepared to have that stripped from you like a finely quaffed set of Shadow Soul clothes. This game is a constant chore to enjoy and should be reserved for the folks that really want to see where the series began.
The future of the F1 series is cloudy right now. EA is the new boss, but its influence probably won’t be seen until next year’s game. F1 2021 adds a few new fixins to the strong foundation of last year’s game, along with the misfire that is Braking Point. Having the option to add dynamic dramatic events to the existing Career mode would be preferable to bland pre-rendered cutscenes that come with Braking Point. There's a lot of fun to be had with F1 2021, even if a true next-gen leap may not come along until next year.
Where the Heart Leads does well for what it seemingly aims to do. It’s the surreal narrative journey of a family through years of happiness and sadness with the connective tissue of a disastrous event tying it down to the present. Putting the puzzle pieces of memory, decision, and consequence together as you go takes this game in a number of directions. Not every direction is riveting and there are some definite lulls, but there are also deeply difficult moments to choose between with consequences for the choices made and the paths untaken. If you’re looking for a chill and often lackadaisical journey you'll steer in meaningful ways, Where the Heart Leads is a narrative-heavy series of roads you may be inclined to explore again and again.
Boomerang X is a fresh take on the arena shooter. Focusing on one weapon, the range in abilities and the ceiling for skill make frenetic combat exciting in just about every instance. The game is rather short, but that works perfectly for the pace of both the story and combat. Only feeling dull in the moments between the action, DANG! and Devolver Digital have an impressive indie on their hands with Boomerang X.