Worth Playing's Reviews
At the end of the day, Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden is the same basic game as the last two, only with a different story. It really doesn't do anything to break the mold except be incredibly dark and depressing. If you found yourself enjoying the last two games, then you'll almost certainly enjoy this one, but if any of the previous game's flaws dragged down things, then you probably won't change your mind here. It's a nice, low-budget JRPG with some interesting story beats, but the consistent flaws between games have started to wear out their welcome.
I like Pac-Man World: Re-Pac, and I think it's a great example that games don't need to be genre-defining to be fun, especially at its discount price. You have to go in knowing what you're expecting, and back in the days of Blockbuster Video, it's the game you might have completed over a weekend rental. In a vacuum, it's a fun, charming time. If your time or money is limited, you'd be better off with a title that offers more content.
Itadaki Smash isn't exactly the worst beat-'em-up on the Switch, but it gets close. The graphics are drab, with some bad-looking character models and mediocre animations. The humor is tiresome, and the lack of moves reveals the game's shallowness. The game is short, but the cumbersome saving combined with the overall instability makes it difficult to like. The Switch has a plethora of very good beat-'em-ups, both old and new, so there's no need to check out this offering.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle R is a much better experience compared to the original title. The modes feel more tightly put together, the character roster has been expanded greatly, and the fighting feels more involved, making the experience much more fun than in the 2016 offering. Unless you're primarily an online player, this is well worth checking out.
Blind Fate is a game with great ideas but doesn't live up to them. The combat system is a lot of fun, but the title does everything it can to not let it shine. Outside of the combat, you're left with a predictable story, dull levels, and a boatload of QTEs. I can see a sequel that polishes up some of the mechanics that feel half-baked, but at the end of the day, Blind Fate doesn't really do anything that stands out.
Cult of the Lamb does an excellent job of combining two distinctly different genres into an absolutely fun experience. It helps that both genres are presented in their simplest form, rather than aiming for more advanced users with a bevy of options, so the mashup isn't so overwhelming. Both genres play well on their own, and the balance is thoughtful while still providing a good challenge.
Splatoon 3 is very light on content additions, but it is easily one of the best online multiplayer games I've played. Its weird concept and fun gameplay across a variety of modes and maps are as fun and addictive as it has always been, but it lacks a big new feature. Instead, Splatoon 3 focuses on streamlining the existing experience by removing a lot of the hurdles that Splatoon 2 had imposed. While the online experience was a bit shaky during the first days, with two years of guaranteed updates on the horizon, Splatoon 3 has a mighty journey ahead, and it can only get better and more interesting from here.
I'm in love with Metal: Hellsinger. First and foremost, the mechanics feel precise, which is critical in a shooter and doubly so in a rhythm game. The music is its heart, and it is good to the point that the OST would be worth picking up on its own. The part that makes Metal: Hellsinger special is in how well it weaves the music, the themes, the action, and the unrelenting rhythm together. It's a non-stop barrage of, "you get to perform awesome things done to the beat of a fantastic metal soundtrack." I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game until the credits rolled, and it left me immediately wanting more.
The only saving grace to Ashiragu: The Last Shogun is that it runs, and you can get one Bronze Trophy out of it. Aside from that, there are no redeeming qualities. Under no circumstances should anyone play this. It's a mystery why Sony continues to let this and other games from the developer/producer exist in the marketplace at such a high price.
Tentacular shows how well VR can be done once you stop limiting it to exercise, combat, and rhythm-based genres. The puzzles are simple to understand, and the presence of a timer doesn't make it frantic. Your floppy tentacles and the finicky physics can lead to some frustration, but all of your tasks are still possible. The presence of room scaling and analog stick movement makes the title accessible for many setups. It's all done with an adorable aesthetic and a runtime that feels meaty - even before you include the playground. Tentacular is a fun experience for VR fans who are looking for something calming, different and fun.
Steelrising is sort of an average Soulsborne game. The fascinating aesthetic doesn't hide the fact that it's repeating the same sort of things we've seen in a lot of other games, and it can't manage to carve out its own identity. That doesn't mean it is a bad title; the combat is largely fun, and there are enough little things to discover to keep you moving forward. Steelrising might help to scratch the post-Elden Ring itch, but otherwise, it's best for those who are looking for another Soulsborne to play.
Circus Electrique is a great example of how being a "clone" doesn't mean being boring or bad. You can trace the game's roots back to Darkest Dungeon, but it has enough of its own charm and style to make it a worthwhile experience on its own merits. It's more linear and less punishing, which has the potential to make it fair and more accessible than its darker predecessor. I was engaged from start to finish, so it's well worth your time if you're looking for something to scratch the classic Darkest Dungeon itch or if you really like the circus aesthetic.
Even a year later, Biomutant still left us impressed in just about every area. From the adventure to the world and its history to the characters and quirks, Biomutant remains a compelling title. That said, the PS5 iteration doesn't feel that ambitious. The positives, such as an increase in fur and its interactions with the world, come with divisive negatives, like level of detail pop and controller features. It's still a good title for those who haven't played it before, but if you've already finished the game, you'll be thankful that you don't need to pay more for a marginally improved experience.
The Hot Wheels expansion for Forza Horizon 5 is a solid addition that almost feels like it could be a stand-alone game. The team has done a great job of providing a fun sandbox and plenty of different cars to use while playing in that sandbox. It doesn't matter if you're a big kid at heart or an actual kid; if you love playing with toy cars, you're going to have fun driving them around in Hot Wheels Park and across the Mexican landscape.
As the final DLC in the season pass, Far Cry 6 – Joseph: Collapse can aptly be described as more of the same. There are no innovative hooks or remixes to the gameplay, and the story is competent, but it doesn't hit the highs of the previous installments. It's meant to fill in the gap between the prior games, but the story nuggets feel more like a retread than new insight into Joseph's character. It's a missed opportunity for a deep dive into Eden's Gate's charismatic leader.
Digimon Survive is an interesting experiment that largely succeeds in taking a beloved children's franchise and giving it a darker tone without completely losing what made it so beloved in the first place. The story is largely engaging and has enough twists and turns to keep things moving forward at a comfortable pace. The gameplay is enjoyable but unexceptional, but the story is the main draw. If you're a fan of Digimon, then Survive is absolutely worth your time. Even casual JRPG fans will likely find the story to be worth a look.
That leads to The Last of Us Part I being both the best version of the game and also extremely difficult to recommend unless money is not a concern. The Last of Us has aged well enough that you don't lose a ton playing the Remastered version, unlike the similar remake Demon's Souls, which took a cult PS3 game that many people had never played and gave it a modern updated release. If you're willing to wait for a price drop or sale, Part I becomes far more appealing because it is a wonderful improvement to an already impressive game. Aside from cost, there's no reason to go back to the older versions, and The Last of Us remains one of the best games in the Sony library.
Despite the stuttering and issues with the extras, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection is still a very good title thanks to the quality of titles on offer and the enhancements to make each game a little easier for inexperienced players. The duo of arcade classics still stands the test of time, and their home version counterparts do a very good job of porting it all over while adding new elements to mask the parts that didn't get moved over. The portable games can be hit-and-miss, but they're still very good compared to the Game Boy lineup. The fighting games are interesting, and the other beat-'em-ups are solid. Hopefully the title gets patched for improvements, but retro fans will definitely enjoy it.
Destroy All Humans! 2 - Reprobed will appeal to fans of the original and a more niche audience that craves destruction without caring that the plot isn't too cohesive. Others who will be aficionados are players who like mayhem on foot rather than from a flying saucer and appreciate gameplay improvements, even if they make the title much easier. It's a fun experience for everyone who's willing to check it out, especially with the title's relatively low price point compared to many other PS5 games.
SD Gundam Battle Alliance does some things that I really enjoy and some things that I really don't. If you're a fan of the franchise, the crossovers will tickle your fancy. The chance to take some of your favorite machines into battle against one another will hold some appeal, but the overall grindy nature of the game can drag down the fan service elements. It's a fun enough game for die-hard fans of Gundam, but without that love to carry you, it's unlikely this title will catch your interest.