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Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is a great addition to the series and offers near-limitless farming gameplay. While it may appear chore based and impeded by limited stamina early on, the weapon upgrades, machines, and sprinklers offer greater freedom to get the job done, and the increased breadth of available activities ensure that there’s always something different to do. Overall, it is a peaceful and wholesome experience that can be enjoyed by casual and veteran gamers alike. So come on down to Olive Town, and have yourself a good time.
With Ys IX: Monstrum NOX, Nihon Falcom continues its streak of creating fascinating worlds. Adol’s newest adventure, revolving around a mysterious prison in a single city, may sound like it’s small, but it offers layers of gameplay. With its various battle types, character abilities, collecting, and a rockin’ soundtrack, RPG fans will want to slash, fly, and scamper their way through Balduq, uncovering all its secrets. Whether you’re a veteran to the Ys series or a newcomer, the Crimson King awaits.
Cyberpunk 2077 tries too hard to come across as cool, dark, and gritty, and instead feels like a wannabe edgelord. A shallow environment with average gameplay makes this an unoriginal experience that feels like a flashy reskin of any other game. Add in the insane amount of hype leading up to release and the constant game crashes, and players are left with nothing but disappointment. Not cool, man. Not cool.
Overall, Haven delivers an immersive and wholesome experience. The mature relationship between Yu and Kai hits the mark, the dialogue is great, the glide/flight mechanic is unique, and the soundtrack is vibrant. There is also a decent amount of gameplay (10-12 hours without too much exploration) with the right balance of difficulty whether playing solo or with a partner. It just all comes together to create a peaceful and enjoyable game. So come to Planet Source for a great getaway for two.
The Pedestrian is a unique and creatively designed puzzle game that shouldn’t be missed. Even if the journey is short, travelling by signage while listening to a relaxing soundtrack is the one of the most fun ways of getting around a city (outside of pedal pubs). Sign up for this trip, puzzle fans.
Atelier Ryza 2 has most of the right pieces to make a charming RPG, from its characters and story to its gameplay mechanics. Whether you’ve played its predecessor or not, it’s well worth exploring the world of alchemy through Ryza’s eyes.
No pun intended, A Short Hike’s main hike up to the summit of Hawk Peak is brief, taking only around 1-2 hours to complete. Despite a short storyline, there are plenty of side quests and activities to explore off the beaten path. Moreover, the game provides a tranquil and low-stress experience with the aid of flight and a beautiful soundtrack. In short, A Short Hike is worth exploring as a way to get away and unwind from a busy world and its cell phone signals.
For those looking to continue the story of Valkyria Chronicles with greater challenges, definitely pick up Valkyria Chronicles 4. It has the gorgeous watercolor graphics you love, along with improved gameplay mechanics. That said, the story is quite heavy, and you may find yourself a little confused if you’re new to the series. Still, Europa’s future depends on you. Squad E, move out!
Overall, Hades slays expectations, providing an immersive, rogue-like experience filled with endless hours of gameplay. While dungeon crawling may not be for everyone, it is a well-designed and well-polished game for those who love it. Each run offers a unique experience, and the progression from meek to a godly warrior is enjoyable. Between the unique narrative, the vibrant colors and artwork, and the smooth gameplay, dying repeatedly has never felt so good.
Overall, Immortals Fenyx Rising lives up to the hype and delivers an immersive and wholesome experience filled with countless hours of gameplay. The game feels like a fusion of Breath of the Wind and Assassin’s Creed, which is a fine pedigree in my book. The distinctive and vibrant Golden Isle is captivating to explore, and the edgy twist to Greek mythology gives it even more flavor. With well-balanced gameplay that appeals to all skill levels, players are allowed to carve out their own unique journey as they save the gods. So rise, players. Rise!