Suicide Squad has zero redeeming features. It's a game that tries to be edgy and fails. It tries to be fun but fails. And above all else, it tries to appeal to a wide audience and appeals to nobody. This is a lazy, poorly written mess that deserves to be treated the same way Batman is in this game - like disposable trash that's thrown out after a monologue about how bad it is.
Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown is a great Metroidvania. It’s very easy to get addicted to exploring every nook and cranny of this world, and it helps that the visuals are gorgeously rendered too. It’s certainly no Hollow Knight or Castlevania, but Lost Crown is a solid, highly enjoyable game with a harmonious balance of combat, puzzles and exploration.
For a walking simulator, you’d think that Starward Industries would have at least nailed down the walking. Instead, it’s arguably one of the worst parts of The Invincible. Walking sims can be great if they have an interesting story (which this one does, in fairness) but with such laborious, sluggish mechanics to accompany that, this is way more of a chore to get through than it should be.
Super Mario Bros. Wonder isn’t a masterpiece by any means. Like other Mario games, it has its faults that shouldn’t be ignored by anyone. Yet, after playing through the title and experiencing many of its offerings, it wouldn’t be farfetched for someone to call this their favorite Mario game of all time. It contains a strong level of polish and creativity that’s been missing from his 2D quests for a long time. If you’re on the fence about buying this game, “wonder” no more, because it’s likely to make you a happy customer.
Sonic Superstars isn’t a masterful Sonic the Hedgehog side-scroller. However, it’s not a downright terrible game either. It’s an entertaining gem that shines in some areas but shrivels up in others. Despite its flaws and failures, it contains a decent mix of new ideas, flashy zones, and charming character moments to make you smile.
Fans of the Fate series and Japanese action RPGs in general should give this game a look as it provides a mostly rewarding experience during the 40-hour+ playtime. As you’ll also get a few history lessons related to the game’s setting, this is a good way to learn something without reading through reams of textbooks.
They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and when it comes to Lies of P, this game pays homage to Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls beautifully. It’s not going to win any contests for originality, but the original content here is certainly worth of remembrance. The puppet aesthetic is excellent, the story engaging, and the sheer amount of customization, alongside some memorable boss fights, makes this one of the best Souls-like games outside FromSoft’s catalogue.
If ever there was a game that embodies the term wasted potential, Atlas Fallen is it. There’s some nice ideas in here, but none of them are executed all that well. They’re muddled with a myriad of disappointing and poor elements that just do not work. Atlas has well and truly fallen here but at least it’s not as bad as Forspoken. Which, I guess, is one saving grace.
Overall though, there’s plenty to like with Illusion Island. This is a fun, vibrant platformer that feels designed to be played in multiplayer with your friends or family. While it’s not going to blow anyone away, this is well worth checking out all the same.
Dave the Diver is a delightfully delicious game packed full of charm. It’s a title that doubles up as both an adventure sim and a restaurant tycoon, and harmoniously blends both beats together to create one of the best symphonies of 2023. This is an an absolute must-play.
Oxenfree II doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it also doesn’t really spin in a way that makes you feel the momentum of a good story or gameplay mechanics you can sink your teeth into. This is an underwhelming sequel with lackluster characters and a profound lack of anything substantial to help this stand out like the original did.
Unless you’re a die-hard LOTR fan or a lover of bad games, this can’t be recommended. The sound design and motion capture work are both excellent but the game’s negatives far outweigh its positives. One day, we will get a game that rules over all LOTR games. But for now, we have a game, that, to misquote Gandalf, DOES NOT PASS!!
Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty isn’t a bad game per-se and fans of Dark Souls-esque combat should find enough to whet the appetite. Once you get the hang of the Critical-counters and playing aggressively, Wo Long isn’t too much of a challenge though, which is perhaps a bit of a disappointment. The gameplay is very much going to be a make-or-break affair for many people.
Octopath Traveler II manages to bring everything together in the end, and the 50+ hours you’ll spend getting through the main missions certainly won’t feel wasted. Whether this will be crowned best RPG at year’s end is debatable, but it’s a damn good game all the same and well worth playing.
With over 300 tracks to play, plenty of unlockables and some excellent Easter eggs along the way, Final Fantasy fans will be in their element here. It’s not perfect, and a few hang-ups like the repetitive backgrounds hold this back from being a perfect rhythm game, but there’s no denying this is an absolute blast to play through.
Atomic Heart could have been a great game. All the pieces are here to form a beautiful picture but it feels like these have been run through a blender, set on fire and then Sellotaped together to form a grotesque Frankenstein’s monster. Almost every facet of this game is underwhelming or broken in some way; if you’re expecting the next Bioshock you’re going to be very disappointed. This is closer to We Happy Few or Duke Nukem Forever. What a shame.
There’s a whole bunch of Easter eggs here, not to mention an expansive world brimming with secrets and plenty of busywork to keep you playing long after the main quest has finished. The combat is pretty fun, especially late on when you can mix and match spells, and you can tell a lot of care and attention has been putting into this. Hogwarts Legacy isn’t the best open world game on the market but it is a surprisingly polished experience and the perfect thrill-ride for Potter fans.
The few glimmers of brilliance in Forspoken are overshadowed by an abundance of problems that are hard to overlook. A horribly written story is accentuated by a morally disengaged protagonist; an empty open-world with the usual checkbox of meaningless busywork gives no incentive to explore; while the magic system sports lots of control and options but very little reason to deviate from spamming the same moves. This is a game in desperate need of another year in development rather than the bland-fest we're served up. Forspoken? More like For-shame.