The arrival of Pokémon Sword and Shield was a turbulent journey, and it’s clear more than ever that Game Freak is itching to change the formula as it transitions to new hardware. Although a lot of its efforts went land well, the good points feel too shallow while there are glaring issues with the game that make it hard to stand on its own two feet as a complete entry in the Pokémon series. Ongoing updates may be able to sustain the player base past the initial release, but Pokémon Sword and Shield wasn’t ready to leave its mark for the franchise’s first home console outing.
Grimshade is, in a word, a mess. There are seeds of good ideas that can be seen in the world writing and combat, and the art and side quests are mostly good. However, mountains of dry writing, numerous translation errors, bugs, performance issues, and the overall lack of depth to the combat make the experience drag. What's truly a shame is there is clearly potential in the game, but it's choked out by all of the issues it has.
In a slew of releases from Capcom for many of their well-loved series, Devil May Cry 5 continues the trend as a solid entry within the DMC mythos. By expanding upon the established combat systems and making sure the characters are looking slick and stylish while hacking through legions of demonic forces, the developers chose to spend their time tightening up what they do best, and it shows. Incredible combo depth, distinct character styles, and plethora or difficulties are sure to make for one hell of a ride.
Baba is You is a rare sort of puzzle game that I think everyone should play. It may not have the production values of a big budget game, but everything present works incredibly well together. The pacing, visual and sound design, level design, and implementation of its core mechanic create one of the best puzzle games I've ever played. What really puts it over the top for me is how it translates complicated logical puzzle solving into a concrete form that is easily understood. It's simple, accessible, and immensely gratifying.
Kingdom Hearts III is the game that fans have been craving for all these years but at the same time is a daunting endeavor for rookies to dive head first into. While veterans of the series are used to Kingdom Hearts’ confusing plots lines and odd idiosyncrasies, the great moment-to-moment gameplay and awkward storytelling has a large potential to create a lopsided experience for first-timers. At its core, it’s a truly enjoyable game with adventures to be had, but is unfortunately bogged down at times by its own story.
Chances are if you enjoy tactics games, or the games Wargroove so clearly draws inspiration from, you're going to enjoy Wargroove. Mechanical changes to critical hits, and settlements, as well as the puzzle mode, beefy content editor, and overall unit balance make for a fairly enjoyable tactics game. Despite the litany that sets in from the campaign and lack of overall variety in the commanders, there's still a huge amount to love about Wargroove and the many ways to play it round out a tactics game that is easy to recommend.
Not without its minor faults, Tales of Vesperia: Definitive Edition brings the enhanced version that fans in the west have been asking for nearly a decade. Despite the age, the graphical improvements and still solid gameplay mechanics keep it from feeling antiquated compared to the newer entries in the series. The definitive edition of the game is sure to delight fans who had played the original or those getting to experience it for the first time.
It almost feels redundant to write it here, but Slay the Spire comes highly recommended. All of its mechanics work together to prevent repetition through encouraging the player to take calculated risks and forcing them to think strategically about how to utilize their available card selection. The variety is also delivered to the player as they continue to play the game, so as to prevent overwhelming with the sheer volume of what's available. The additional game modes in the daily climb, custom game modes, and mods help to fully round out a game which already has an immense amount of diversity. While I wasn't a fan of the art style, that is only a minor gripe against Slay the Spire. It is one of the most well-designed rogue-likes I've played and a decidedly engaging deck building game.
A fantastic co-op game, Overcooked 2 is an easy recommendation for those looking for a game to play with friends and family. The pacing, mechanics that encourage cooperative behaviour, the addition of a much-needed arcade mode, and accessibility all make for a decidedly fun game. The lack of variety in the arcade and versus' mode stages is a bit disappointing, as is how much of the game's identity is owed to what came before it, but these are only minor misgivings in the face of what Overcooked 2 does well.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate delivers on what it promises to the player: a complete package of all things Smash past and present. A lengthy and engaging single player campaign, reasonable gacha mechanics, and a refined multiplayer experience all come together to create the ultimate experience. Although it's not certain if the series will continue or if Sakurai will be back at its helm, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate delivers more than enough to satisfy any gamer's appetite.