The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles brandishes its cultural and historical context alongside its thematic story cohesiveness in an elegantly refined and bold manner that ultimately results in an undeniably masterful duology. Whether you are a veteran Ace Attorney fan or completely new, this is the height of the franchise that is worth playing in its entirety.
The Forgotten City brings out the adventurer in all of us and showcases just how capable mods can be. While the runtime is kept short, multiple endings increased replay value for a few more days spent in the ruins. In addition, there’s an impressive degree of detail put into these characters that only falters in some aspects of the general gameloop. Regardless, I’m looking forward to what this game encourages modders to produce in the future.
Blightbound is a perfect example of a game as wide as an ocean but as deep as a puddle. There’s a story, customization, and many characters, but they all take so much time to experience and have so little payoff that I can’t really recommend this game to anyone in its current state. Coming from the studio that made Awesomenauts, Blightbound feels like a step down in terms of execution and polish. It’s disappointing to see something that clearly had lofty ambitions fall so far short of what it could have been.
NEO: The World Ends With You was worth the wait. Its brilliant narrative matches its stylish design and fast-paced battle system making it difficult to put down. The game’s development is fueled by the love of the fans, and it shows during every moment of gameplay. While playing, the gap between entries disappeared, and I was transported back to this fantasy Shibuya, hanging out with friends and going on a truly memorable adventure.
Bustafellows is a great representative of the fascinating stories visual novels can tell. The narrative features a strong lead and a cast of handsome boys with dark pasts that create this endearing tale. Still, it’s a story on society’s shortcomings, which makes it relatable in many ways as we ask ourselves what would cause us to take matters into our own hands. While some design choices seem odd in this release, this otome is an easy recommendation from me.
Samurai Warriors 5 provides a fresh start for the franchise through a focused narrative while retaining what fans love. It builds on the established formula rather than overhauling it completely creating a balanced action experience. Despite issues with repetitive movesets and the limited Ultimate Skills, I had a great time returning to the battlefield that has only been better with this updated aesthetic.
For a video game to demand the player derive their own meaning from it is asking a lot. This makes Sky: Children of the Light a challenging proposition even as a free release on Switch. For many, it may be a few hours of wandering about before they are put off by the aimlessness of it all. Still, at least for its niche audience, they will likely self-select into this unique gaming community. Sky is a pointless online video game experience driven by the player’s own subjective interpretation, but that’s perhaps the entire point.
With an in-your-face title and wacky cover art, Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials was initially not my cup of tea, but that’s me judging a book by its cover. Nevertheless, Batbarian manages to excel in multiple gameplay elements with beautiful artwork, ambient soundtrack, witty story, inventive puzzles, and evolving combat mechanics. Along with its refreshing arsenal of accessibility options and dozens of hours of gameplay, Batbarian is a hidden gem that Metroidvania and puzzle lovers will fall in love with right off the bat (no pun intended).
Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed needs to played without any distractions from other games because the second you put it down, you may never care to return to it. Its lack of quality-of-life features solidifies it as a relic of the past, but its writing and characters make it out to be something that fits right in with your group of otaku friends. It’s not an easy game to get through, but its charm is enough to want a true sequel.
Death’s Door breathes some life into the generalized umbrella of action-adventure titles thanks to its efficient level design coupled with simple to grasp yet enjoyable mechanics. While a few factors, such as the ranged skill usage bar, are questionable in execution, the game’s flow and pace are never significantly hindered from ruining the experience as a whole. Furthermore, the dreary thematic tones exuded by the loneliness of the varied explorable sections alongside the appealing characterizations and dialogue also serve to make Death’s Door an assuredly exceptional time for those feeling even remotely curious.