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Either as an adult or a kid experiencing the series for the first time, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will show you why many have stuck around with the series for this long since it first appeared in 2002, and why you'll see more of it for years to come.
Returnal isn’t for everyone, as this is a game that asks you to take a similar leap; it’s asking a lot from you with its never-ending gameplay, deep sci-fi narrative, and difficulty that could lead to frustration on long-winded runs. It’s all so well-done, however, that even though one aspect of this game might be enough to turn you off completely, another could make this a game worth playing from start to finish.
I’m happy to report that New Pokémon Snap improves upon the original game in nearly every respect. It’s filled with well-animated interactions between Pokemon, a wide variety of evolving environments, and over 200 Pokémon to add to your Photodex. Despite all of its quality-of-life improvements, its relaxing vibe, and decent presentation, however, it’s more of an evolution of the concept than a revolution, and soundly geared to younger audiences. I imagine that because of its simple gameplay, it’s not going to satisfy everyone.
It’s a complete game straight out of the box; Outriders doesn’t feel like another one of those live service games - you know the type - where you’re encouraged to go online and do dailies, weeklies, and pretty much not miss out on limited-time rewards. It’s very refreshing, as I didn’t feel the need to question what’s next for Outriders; while I can walk away from the experience happy I’ve accomplished all I set out to do, I can easily see myself revisiting this game again in the future with another character to repeat the process all over again.
While the feeling of scale in Monster Hunter Rise isn't as large as World, it wasn't something I immediately noticed until I took a look back. Rise isn’t as visually stunning and is currently a smaller overall package. But the core gameplay is so similar that I'm just happy to be playing a new entry in the series. It's an incredible game that I can easily recommend to hunters both new and old.
Persona 5 Strikers is easier to swallow compared to the long-winded original. The hack and slash, Dynasty Warriors-like combat felt more fitting for Persona 5 as a whole, and the Phantom Thieves are a cool bunch that it wouldn’t be so bad if Atlus stretches out more adventures in the future. They’ve clearly shown that they are capable of delivering a new and entertaining experience without ruining what made Persona 5 beloved by many since it launched back in 2016.
In time, it will likely get better, which makes it hard to recommend, as patience shouldn’t be a requirement to enjoy a video game, especially from a studio highly praised in providing great games. If you do take the plunge, there’s greatness found deep inside, you just need to dig with your hands longer than usual to get to it.
We know how crazy 2020 has been, but out of all the games I've played this year, Sackboy: A Big Adventure was the one I didn’t know I needed. It’s a fantastic platformer that appeals to players of all ages. You may feel uplifted, or encouraged, even. The game doesn’t reinvent the wheel for its genre, but the impressive execution, clever ideas, and extra effort behind this platformer proves that the world of Sackboy is a fun place to visit, and that the polish done to every aspect of the game makes it a must-buy for any enthusiast that owns a PS4 and PS5.
While it’s not without its faults, I enjoyed nearly every moment of my 50+ hours spent on the frantic battlefields of Hyrule playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. With a strong story, copious amounts of fan-service, and a wealth of unique and balanced musou gameplay, it succeeds wildly both as a worthy sequel to Hyrule Warriors, and a semi-prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While your mileage will vary depending on how much you enjoy musou games and how willing you are to tolerate performance issues (and, to a certain extent, repetition), I give this one a very strong recommendation.