"Style over substance" is a reflexively-bandied phrase that's diminished in meaning over time. Although I partly agree to its usage here to highlight certain gameplay flaws, I don't think that should tarnish Narita Boy's immense successes. Studio Koba designed what they knew best – reverent 80s nostalgia, inspired techno-spirituality, beautiful 2D art, & more – with a sincerity rarely seen today.
By blending social deduction with survival mechanics Other Ocean has successfully avoided any Among Us clone accusations. Regardless of my tempered enthusiasm from Day One DLC and some polish concerns, Project Winter is a well-devised game that can lead to moments of intense distrust and cooperation few online games can equal.
After playing through certain games, I get all emotional and dazed because the experience, even with some issues along the way, has been so exceptionally strong. The Medium is one of those games. Its distinctive art and sound design, bare-bones gameplay, Marianne’s tender persona, and stripped-down story create a poignant tale.
Skul: The Hero Slayer has a lot going for it, but it is also muddled with design issues. For all of its creative skull designs, interesting build options, and cool and flashy attacks, I found the experience as a whole to be draining. It’s a case where the core gameplay loop is hindered by its overbearing rogue elements. A genre reliant on repetition has to accommodate for it by offsetting the recursive elements of the game, no matter how good the combat is. Skul: The Hero Slayer is certainly enjoyable on occasion, but its roguelite ingredients ultimately harm the title as a whole.
Ride 4 is as niche as a game can get and I respect its commitment to providing enthusiasts with the most hardcore of simulated racing experiences. I expect to see fans of the franchise welcome this new entry with open arms, especially if they’re on the PlayStation 5, and dig deep into its features and collection of real-world vehicles.
This isn’t to say that I don’t recommend Cultist Simulator. I find its depth and focus on exploration and letting players find their own way fascinating and the many stories contained within demanded my attention. I’m glad I finally had a chance to check it out in any form and if that sounds up your alley, there’s a game in here worthy of your time. I have a much harder time recommending that you play it on the Switch, though, and would only recommend checking out Switch version if you don’t have any other way to play it. You simply have to put up with far too much to get to all the good contained within.
Overall, this is a fun, deceivingly complex game that portrays mental health in a unique and mostly accurate light. Between the simplified gameplay and lovely and dark graphics, this game is one to add to your collection especially if you enjoy problem solving and puzzles.This reminds me - better go call my therapist.
Hitman 3 doesn’t bring any substantial changes to the tried and true mechanics of the trilogy, but instead offers the most complete, refined version of Agent 47 we’ve seen to date. Despite a lackluster story, IO Interactive has otherwise done an outstanding job over the years with this trilogy and Hitman 3 represents the culmination of all those efforts.
Olija’s atmosphere is spot on and despite its huge pixels, the game manages to channel Hugo Pratt’s fabled Corto Maltese graphic novels that take place in similar exotic corners of the world. The gameplay also works most of the time, but as is often the case with indie games, the authoritarian developer has gone overboard. The less is usually more but here, the style simply went over the substance and 12 hours of playtime more than overstays its welcome considering the game's ultimately shallow bounty.
Having played through OMORI, I’m confident say that it’s an experience I won’t forget. This is a game I wholeheartedly recommend for those that appreciate a good story. With a strong emphasis on catharsis, it has a lot up its sleeves. The cutesy and colorful presentation hides a grim reality and it hits hard. Highly recommended, OMORI is a gem of a game that definitely deserves recognition.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is a great entry point for those unfamiliar with JRPGs but who would like to get acquainted with this perhaps mythical genre. At the same time, you also have to learn and put up with grinding, because now and then you will encounter bosses that are a bit too much for an under-leveled party. Thanks to the snappy combat, quick gameplay and easy traversal, you are back in the home base in no time for another go. Ryza’s bright attitude will rub on you and make it easier to go through chores and grinding of real life.
Morkredd's main mechanic succinctly reflects my own thoughts on it altogether. The glowing orb represents life: punctuating atmosphere, inspired visual design, and a motivating gimmick. But when you begin to step away, as you wander outside its glow, you encounter death: day-one DLC, technical problems, an atrocious finale, and more. These severe disparities, bright day and atramentous night, imply even genre fans will be ambivalent towards it.
There isn’t much positive to say about OverRide 2: Super Mech League. Although the game provides a diverse cast of characters, it also provides a mostly online centric experience while lacking a playerbase to make it work. The graphics look relatively nice running on the Xbox Series X, however, the gameplay is extremely clunky and unrefined, especially when it comes to the awkward trigger-centric control scheme. The campaign is relatively non-existent and mostly serves as a tutorial to teach players important game mechanics. All-in-all, OverRide 2: Super Mech League is a disappointing brawler experience.
It was a valiant effort by Dontnod, but it missed the mark. Graphically beautiful but mechanically messy, Twin Mirror is a failed attempt at a psychological thriller. The worst disappointment, however, is that the game made me want to visit Basswood, which...doesn’t exist.
I had a ton of fun with Doom Eternal, even if the story is borderline incomprehensible to seasoned Doom Slayers. I look forward to more installments in the franchise if this is the level of quality we continue to get. Those platforming sections are truly awful, though.
Taiko no Tetsujin Rhymic Adventure Pack, while not outstanding, is a solid entry to the series. Fans of the franchise will enjoy the free play mode as usual. The newcomers can go for the RPG Adventure mode if hardcore drumming to get the perfect S rank for every song is just too daunting for them.
Let's Sing 2021 works as a party game, if everyone in your party has the same music taste and likes newer pop songs or if you like to set up your friends to fail. However, the lack of diversity in the playlist and the requirement to sing songs that you don't know to play many of the modes make this a less than ideal game for people outside of its target audience. The core idea is solid, but the weakness of the note charts and short song list make this a hard sell for me. I would like to see a themed version of this game with more accessible songs, for instance, something like Let's Sing: The 80s. However, as it is, I can't recommend this game outside of a narrow audience.