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Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name isn’t Ryu Ga Gotoku's best work, as combat feels bland and we’ve seen these side activities before, but this is a nice distraction for hardcore fans and a more touching and satisfying sendoff to Kazuma Kiryu as the leading man.
This is how you bring back a classic to the spotlight with a remake treatment that respects the original team’s vision, improves the game where it's needed, and understands the key points as to why The Second Story is still embedded in people’s minds as one of the greatest JRPGS they’ve played years ago. Hopefully, Square Enix will use this as a blueprint for future projects similar to The Second Story R as they nailed it.
I yearn for a meatier, more challenging Super Mario Bros. Wonder with difficult boss battles, but I can recognize that kids like my young nieces will fall head-over-heels in love with Wonder, because it truly is full of entrancing visual wonder and its simplicity is unlikely to cause household tensions between ambitious older siblings and confused younger ones.
If you’re a masochist or enjoy glitch-fests, you might find something salvageable about in the Switch version of Mortal Kombat 1, but I strongly implore you to reconsider, and to warn your friends. Buy a new console if you must, but do not spend your hard-earned money on this travesty.
You can’t go wrong with Spider-Man 2 if you were sold on the original game - it’s a fantastic use of the source material, and I think the studio has found its new specialty as they’ve delivered a superhero video game that might not only make one a fan of Spider-Man but a fan of Insomniac Games as a studio.
Assassin’s Creed Mirage is proof that the original, stealthy approach to the series’ formula still works just fine in 2023; Ubisoft’s commitment and focus on a single concept is a testament to its core strengths. Mirage lacks ambition, but it’s welcome a correction from recent bloated series entries.
Starfield isn’t as groundbreaking as one would expect it to be, but the developers held true in delivering the game fans have come to expect from Bethesda Game Studios, and in that regard, they succeeded, as this game has the potential to be relevant to players years after it was released, similar to what The Elder Scroll V: Skyrim is to this day.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a hell of a mic drop. While it’s no reinvention of the wheel, it’s definitely a more compelling and accessible take on the formula that has a lot to recommend it, both for fans of those titles and younger gamers in search of something new.
FromSoftware did not disappoint at revitalizing the Armored Core series with Armored Core VI: Fires of Rubicon, a title that superbly balances the parts and loadout of a fantastic Armored Core game while injecting the studio’s now-well-known specialty.
Tears of the Kingdom accomplishes its lofty goals, improving upon the masterful Breath of the Wild in nearly every key aspect; Tears may not be my favorite Zelda, but for millions of fans, it might be one of the greatest gaming experiences of their lives.
I was worried about the series shedding more of its JRPG roots when this title was first introduced, as recent entries have been straying away from more traditional forms for years. But my fears faded in the first five chapters of FFXIV; the essence of what makes Final Fantasy so great shines brightly here, and as such, this is one of my favorite high fantasy adventures this generation.
In the realm of punishing roguelike experiences, Darkest Dungeon 2 stands as one of the greats. With its immersive art style and complex gameplay mechanics, paired with relentless difficulty, players will be left more battered and bruised, but also wiser and more satisfied as they keep on playing.
The Burning Shores DLC is an epilogue add-on that’s filled with rich content that felt complete, as opposed to, say, a jumble of leftover parts. Though it only adds just a little more context to the base game’s conclusion, it’s still worth taking the ride if you want more of Horizon Forbidden West.
Dead Island 2 failed to stand out as the original game did since there are now a good amount of zombie-themed titles that are more than capable of scratching this particular itch. It feels so late in the game that other games like it have evolved and experimented with different concepts while this series is still trying to get back on its feet.
Minecraft Legends is a fun strategy built around the Minecraft world, and it’s easy to grasp. Fans will get a kick out of the base campaign (especially with a friend or two), It just has its limitations and mechanics that could lead to frustration.
Resident Evil 4 is another example of why I appreciate remakes, as it revitalizes the love for a beloved title. This game was delivered in such a way to not only appease veteran fans but also to welcome those who have experienced the series only through the previous remakes.
If a hardcore rhythm game where cardboard cutouts of Cloud, Lightning, Vivi, and Terra leap into the air to critical attack and dance at the end of songs sounds like your jam, you’ll most definitely enjoy tapping and sliding as you headbang through Theatrhythm Final Bar Line.
While Sonic Colors Ultimate is still plagued with a few frustrating moments, Sonic veterans know that these games are platformers at heart and not just a quick dash to the finish. If you’re a fan of the blue blur, it’s worth giving this game a shot.
Metroid Prime Remastered goes above and beyond to provide the best possible experience for the player. It is an incredible remaster in every sense of the word. In fact, it may rank alongside Rez HD as one of the best HD remasters I’ve ever played, as it is incredibly faithful to the original, more accessible, and beautiful both visually and aurally.