Death Stranding is as thoughtful and meditative as it is a slog and convoluted. It is a different take on gaming that most of us gamers are not used to. It is a Hideo Kojima title where in-game actions provide a sense of emotional joy for players. Death Stranding, for all its depth and struggle, is a beautiful step forward for video games, and a potential taste of what the future may bring.
Despite some small grievances with it, I still believe Luigi’s Mansion 3 is one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives to date. It’s full of fun, humor, joyous discoveries, and clever design. It’s atmospherically spooky in patches, and doesn’t quite feel as creepy as the original did, but there’s a commitment to throwing up all sorts of crazy takes on ghosts that is so very Nintendo.
For as long as I recall, MediEvil has been a crucial part of my gaming upbringing. It was the first game I ever played; I remember spending long weekends with my dad trying to beat a level. I remember using our horrible dial-up internet to look up cheat codes. I even remember going around the school playground shouting at the other children and muffling my voice like Sir Dan. This is for the fans and it’s not very accessible to anyone outside of that circle. Regardless, it was a big treat to see Sony has not entirely given up on the franchise, and if there’s enough interest, may consider developing a new game altogether.
The experience of the game is aptly kind of like going to your high school reunion. It's a little bit awkward and you have to go talk to the people you're less thrilled to see in order to find the ones you're really interested in catching up with, but it's got some high points that make it worthwhile, even if it's not quite as memorable as you thought it would be. And much like the reunion, the runtime feels just long enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome significantly, allowing you to move on with your life afterward. If you miss the days of horror game having adventure game-style puzzles, then give Worse Than Death a try, just don't be expecting anything overly substantial in the scare department.
Afterparty falls short of the standard that Night School set with Oxenfree. While it boasts a strong setting and brilliant set-up, it leans heavily on writing that just isn’t strong enough to shoulder the load. I still can’t wait to see what Night School does next, but Afterparty feels like a watered-down take on Oxenfree. Here’s hoping they can mix up something a little stronger for the next round.
Generally, though, The Park is an effective experience. It avoids the first-person horror genre’s worst habits while conveying an engaging story. It leans hard on horror tropes (and fails to interrogate well-trod stereotypical presentations of mental illness) but manages to unearth something potent in the process. Your mileage will certainly vary; roller coasters are thrilling for some, nauseating for others. I enjoyed this ride.
Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip does have the feel of a good party game. Its variety of enemies and weapons, as well as the flow of combat, all lend itself to a consistent ride of adrenaline. But even if you ignore the sometimes cringy elements of its voice acting, there’s just not enough content for such a basic experience to justify the price of Zombieland: Double Tap – Road Trip.
It’s a game that keeps on giving as you can miss so much depending on your choices, and in that sense, it’s very much got a classic game feel to it. It’s a mixture of eras poured into a satirical sci-fi romp and it’s such a joy to experience. The Outer Worlds may not be exactly what I thought it would be, but I’m so glad it turned out to be what it is.
Trine 4 isn’t a reinvention then, rather a return to that which made the series work in the first place. That alone was absolutely necessary after the misstep of the previous entry. There are times I wished there was a teensy bit more ambition with combat and platforming, but the meat of Trine 4 is the puzzles, and that is some pretty succulent meat.