I’m V and the game is Silverhand - I can’t get Cyberpunk 2077 out of my head. I’ve had it a week and played 70 hours, which is probably about as healthy as scooping out my face and replacing it with electronics, but it didn’t feel like work. Like a digital personality loaded onto a biochip, it felt like stepping into another life for a while. It’s a life I can’t wait to relive.
If you’re anything like me, your first (and only) experience with the Hero comes from playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. If the Hero has appealed to you in any way in that game as a Fighter, you owe it to yourself to play Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition. I can’t help but feel like the Switch version of the game would be my preferred choice of platform, simply since I could play the game anywhere, even if for just a few minutes at a time. However, the PlayStation 4 version comes highly recommended if you’re looking to take in the incredible visuals awaiting you in the world of Erdrea.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure is a decent platforming game that’s stuffed with charm, if a little lacking in imagination, which is a shame for a franchise built on creativity. Saying that, if you’ve got children, this is a must-buy for some family-friendly PS5 fun.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was a risk. Not really because it took Vikings as its subject matter — people love Vikings, to the extent that loads of folks are a bit sick of Norse stuff at this point. It was a risk because it compounded the ideals of Assassin’s Creed’s origins and Assassin’s Creed Origins. Fortunately, it turns out that the best game in this series is the one that’s drawn from pretty much everything that came before it, in order to carve out its own unique identity based on the absolute best bits of its many, many predecessors.
Because, ultimately, what makes a great JRPG isn't a fantastical journey, an epic tale of gods and monsters, or a slow fight against an ambiguous evil. To me, a truly great JRPG is a series of deliberate and intentional systems that inform each other in every conceivable way. Every stat has a place, and that stat's place informs the place of another stat, and so on and so forth. Each upgrade feels tangible, each new attack feels purposeful, and each "role" has an important part to "play". The story's place, then, isn't to pad out time or paint a vivid picture of a massive world, but to give players an impetus to engage with those systems - a compelling raison d'etre for making those numbers go up. Like A Dragon does this, and does it with great aplomb.
All in all, Age Of Empires 3: Definitive Edition is still a solid game. Its single-player content will last you over a dozen hours, and its multiplayer matches will last you several dozen more. While there is no longer that drive to farm XP for updates your Home City, the game itself is good enough that you'll be coming back for rematches time after time.