Explosion Network's Reviews
Don’t Nod has released 2024’s first truly surprising video game release with Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden. The 17th-century setting, ghost hunting and ethereal switching combat are all highlights, but building off what they do best, the characters, their relationships, and their story make this game unique.
Having put 70+ hours into Like A Dragon: Infinite Wealth, I can safely say that this title is going to give more bang for your buck than many other games this year. With an engrossing story, compelling characters and more side activities than you can poke a bat at, the value alone on this title makes this well worth picking up.
This silly game often feels too difficult for its own good. The bullet-hell inspirations aren't as charming as the rest of the game, and looking back, the first game is easily a much better experience thanks to its gameplay and characters.
While The Iron’s Hot does just about everything in its package well, it also never progresses any of its components into great territory. It offers an involved crafting process as its primary gameplay system that successfully engages you in feeling like a blacksmith, though the system does not evolve as your character hones his craft. Along with this, a fun adventure unfolds with eccentric characters and suitable change-of-pace activities.
A simple and effective game that never seeks to be an overwhelming experience. It mostly achieves its goals of offering a Pirate Mech roguelike adventure, raiding derelict spaceships for their booty and combating the obstacles and enemies along the way.
When played in short bursts, Hellboy Web of Wyrd is a strangely compelling game, mostly thanks to its characters and defining art style doing a lot of heavy lifting. Despite its lack of compelling gameplay systems, there is something about the simplicity presented that offers some comfort in how you play the game, and the right person might still find some enjoyment in exploring the Wyrd.
Wizard with a Gun is a very tight package, its magic being how quickly and efficiently it has you into its systems and into the groove of turning back time to save the world. It achieves this with tight-timed runs and its trim systems throughout, never leading you too far off the path to salvation.
I had a fantastic time with Detective Pikachu Returns, with more than a couple of jokes and moments having me laugh or smile at the screen. I would often wish I had been playing it with someone else in the room with me as I wanted to point out silly little jokes, comments from Pikachu or odd things the other Pokemon in the game were doing. It's got some issues, but I never once wanted to stop playing it. Now excuse me while I make a coffee!
Bilkin’s Folly is a game that I could recommend to almost anyone in the mood for a treasure-hunting adventure. Its tone and characters highlight the experience and make the longer-than-expected time sail by, whilst its puzzling is largely engaging if drawn back by more obtusely difficult puzzles and some technical hiccups that will surely be fixed in short order.
Starfield is not for everyone, but it is a game that can be truly special individually when players try to make their adventure within it. Unlike the Bethesda blueprint that appears at the game's foundation, there is no blueprint for how to play Starfield.
It is almost uncanny how the story of Jumplight Odyssey is analogous to its current state in Early Access, with both the game and the flagship SDF Catalina in functional yet imperfect states, as both seek to work towards optimisation, development of systems and eventually the salvation of the Forever Star/ 1.0 Launch.
The cast of characters here is super-likable and is the most I've enjoyed a High School cast in a video game since Life is Strange: Beyond the Storm. KO_OP may have taken a long time to get Goodbye Volcano High out the door, but it's been more than worth the wait for this final product, which is one of my favourite games of the year.