Ultimately, Microsoft Flight Simulator was well worth the wait. For enthusiasts of past installments, there is so much to look forward to. For those who might be on the fence about a flight simulator that is virtually an endless sandbox game, the great news is that it has been added to the Xbox Game Pass on PC right from launch, and players can check it out there before making the plunge.
There are valid criticisms of Wasteland 3, but they are relatively minor, and too much nitpicking of individual issues would detract from the overall impression of the game – it is fun to play and enjoyable to experience. Wasteland 3 attempts to make a world that the player exists in rather than just moves through, and it is a complete success.
Overall, the game is a fun introduction to dungeon crawlers for all the family. While there is still plenty for older or more experienced gamers to enjoy, hardcore dungeon crawler fans will likely find the gear mechanics too limiting. However, this title is not designed for that market. It's every inch a family-friendly co-op or solo player experience, and this is a goal it achieves perfectly.
Ultimately, Tell Me Why taught me how to not be defined by my past, and gave me the tools to thrive in the future. In a time where I needed hope perhaps more than ever, Dontnod delivered it. For that, their masterpiece has firmly cemented itself as my absolute favorite video game I've had the pleasure of playing.
At its core, the port of Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition is a masterpiece. While it does not bring anything new to the game that does not already exist on the Xbox One and PC, it translates perfectly onto our favorite portable consoles. Now someone needs to convince Microsoft to also port the upcoming sequel without waiting another four years.
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.
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.
Like the video game equivalent of an orchestra, Florence is comprised of so many different elements that all work seamlessly together to create an emotional masterpiece. Video games exploring romance is nothing new - but this short and sweet game is probably the best and most realistic title that portrays what the realities of falling in love is actually like.
Hades is, to put it plainly, a masterpiece. It has a refreshingly unique trajectory, tells a compelling story with an alluring cast, and has such a good handle on moment-to-moment play that it is never anything less than genuinely excellent. It’s a game that grows the more you play it, as opposed to being something that suffers from a slow descent into tedium. And for that reason, it is a genuine forever game.
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.
Failure is part of mastery, and by the end of my ~20-hour playthrough of DOOM Eternal, I felt like I had developed a far greater mastery of the game than I ever did in DOOM (2016). Some battles took me 20 tries or more, it's true, but by the time I got through it I learned the timing of every wave and used every single one of my abilities to survive. For that, DOOM Eternal is likely the most satisfying shooter ever made. The easy mode (I'm Too Young To Die) is still available for anyone who prefers the mindless carnage of DOOM (2016), but I promise you, DOOM Eternal is worth the struggle.
The Medium itself never hits a flat note. I beat the game in two long sittings, and there was never a point during either that I felt like the game dragged, or could’ve used a little more polish, or left too many loose ends hanging. It’s a lean, compelling experience that says what it has to say, then leaves you to grapple with the specifics afterwards. There are images, lines, and ideas from The Medium that I’ll likely take to my grave thanks to this approach, as it puts the onus on the player to piece everything together. You have to wrap your brain around the spirit world’s twisted logic so much that it becomes a part of you, as you live through Marianne’s pain with her and help to navigate her trauma.
If Persona 5 was about forming bonds with new people and recruiting them for a common cause, Persona 5 Strikers is about taking the Phantom Thieves and proving that the friendship they share is lasting, that it can and will endure any hardship. I think, right now, that message is immeasurably important, and hits harder than a bullet formed from the Seven Deadly Sins.
Ultimately, the decision as to whether or not you should snag the next-gen version of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 boils down to one thing: do you want to spend the additional $10? If you purchased the Deluxe Edition of the game for PS4, you’ve already paid that $10, so you’re already entitled to the PS5 version. Unfortunately, if you bought the physical disc version of the game, you’ll have to shell out the full price of the game if you decide to upgrade. Is it worth it? Sure. But it’s already a 5-star game. The technical enhancements aren’t going to immensely increase the overall fun factor and experience of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2. And, really, that should be all that matters.
When I wrapped up my experience with Nier Replicant, I realized it was the most satisfied I’d ever felt after working so hard for a particular ending. Yoko Taro asking me to relive the same experiences again and again wasn’t a repetitive journey, but a more meaningful reflection on a cycle of hate, pain, and trauma. Nier Replicant is Yoko Taro’s best work, brought up to modern standards, and finally delivered in the presentation its tale always deserved.
Dreams is a wonderful game. It encourages deep learning and imagination for those who truly want to create. It also encourages collaboration. Many Dreams are made with the help of others. No matter what, creating in Dreams is going to be daunting. Thankfully, the tutorials are here to assist.
In summary, Crusader Kings 3 is so complex that even after hours of playing, you can still discover new features or uncover intricate systems you've not needed before. For those who want full control of a domain and dynasty, you won't be disappointed. Just be prepared to put a chunk of time into learning the ropes.