Resident Evil Village is like a reunion of all the previous games in the series. It takes what worked and gives it to fans in small bites across this horrifying adventure. Tension is created in multiple ways that force you to adjust on the fly, but as scary as it, the thought that answers to all your questions lie beyond the next door will keep you going. Resident Evil Village isn’t having an identity crisis. It’s fully aware of what it’s doing. Somehow, the blending of these systems produces the most entertaining nightmare you’ve ever had.
New Pokemon Snap is there for fans who wish for a casual Pokemon experience with the only challenge being to take creative pictures of Pokemon. It recaptures much of what the previous entry offered with plenty of new systems and features to add depth, but it sadly doesn’t deliver on the sense of ownership over the pictures that I once felt. It’s all so fleeting in this digital age. Still, there are plenty of beautiful environments and Pokemon to take shots of. I wouldn’t mind waiting another 20 years for a sequel or having this be the last entry altogether.
If you haven’t been playing your VR device lately, Star Wars Pinball VR is the perfect reason to charge it back up. This is perhaps the closest you can get to experiencing these tables in real life and they translate so well in the VR space. Even if you’ve played Star Wars Pinball before, I think this version provides enough of a unique experience that warrants an additional playthrough.
Livestream: Escape from Hotel Izanami proclaims to be a horror game with interactive ecchi elements. While the latter is sorely lacking, it does live up to being a ghastly look into a classic setting. The technological approach offsets what would normally feel like cheap tricks of misleading angles and jumpscares.
Nier: Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is a beautiful experience and exactly how you should play this amazing game. Upon finishing, it’s easy to say that it is unequivocally one of the best games I have ever played. This story emotionally moves players with the help of its character-writing, intense action, and somber tone, making it easy to immerse yourself in their world.
The Atelier Mysterious Trilogy Deluxe Pack may not offer enough for old fans to double-dip in the adventures, but there’s so much here for new fans to discover. Not just in terms of gameplay, but the evolution of this series and the characters that paved the way towards its current popularity. The extra content and quality-of-life features are just added bonuses to the adventures that await.
Smelter scratched any itch I had to play a new and fulfilling platformer. Through its tight and responsive controls, challenging level design, and non-intrusive combat, this is a must-play title for any who desire a new experience in this genre. The strategy elements can either be a turn-off or further enhancement depending on the player, but I still think the game is worth playing with that risk in mind.
Shadow Man: Remastered is an alluring and eccentric game, especially for the time it was released. But it’s a cadaver of the late 90s. A timepiece that shows its age. Its dark, poetic writing is beautiful and entertaining but can also be ambiguous and misleading.
Cozy Grove definitely lives up to its namesake as a cozy gaming experience, one designed for short bursts of play, where playing a little each day allows you to get more out of it than longer play sessions. The basic gameplay loop is limited, but the charm of the game world and the basic premise provides a relaxing sense of achievement. While it doesn’t replace Animal Crossing as your next time-sink, it does enough to provide a lighter and less demanding alternative.
Ashwalkers provides a great first impression through its atmosphere and mechanics, but each playthrough weighs on that experience. The repetitive nature of this adventure simply has you playing until you wear yourself out after so many of the different endings are similar to each other. These 2-hour game loops had me wishing for longer paths or something else because there’s a good foundation here but it’s repetitive nature ultimately leaves the adventure unfulfilling.