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At first, I was worried Cody and May’s journey to reconnect intimately would feel rushed or, at worst, pointless. However, the story’s climax not only had a satisfying end, but one that felt earned by both the characters and the players after all they went through. It Takes Two attains Fares’ focus to have narrative and gameplay in unison rather than separate entities. Full of laughter, surprises, and addicting gameplay, It Takes Two is one of the best games of 2021 so far. Everything about It Takes Two is completely wrapped in creativity and passion that cement it as a timeless masterpiece.
Lost Words: Beyond the Page is a fantastic weekend game that can be completed in four to five hours. Lost Words provides an emotional experience that not only goes beyond the page, but beyond the game. This one is definitely worth your time, whether solo or playing along with your kid. This rousing coming-of-age adventure is wonderful for any kind of player looking for the next imaginative story to embark on.
Although an amazingly beautiful game with a great story, the lack of replay does let it down in the end. I would have liked to have more instances of going back and seeing what happens after the end or changing character story arcs through my actions. All that said, it was a touching and poignant experience that was well told and that is enough.
Supercross 4 is undoubtedly the Forza of the motocross world. It is an immaculate representation of this form of motorsport. However, its grueling riding mechanics and difficulty truly make you feel like a rookie when you begin. There are some great ways to upgrade your ride and express yourself with player and bike customizations. If you are patient and put in the effort the game is extremely rewarding knowing that you developed your skills to compete with the best. There are plenty of modes, challenges, and variety in the game to keep you busy. Yet, like any other grind, it gets repetitive and ends up feeling samey.
It is here where we run into the Destruction AllStars microtransaction problem. With this egregious practice in place, the game sure feels more like a live service free-to-play title than a once-$70 game. However, this may be PlayStation’s intention since Destruction AllStars is free to active PS Plus members until April. As of writing this, there is no way to purchase the game physically or digitally. So while Destruction AllStars has the potential to be greater in its post-launch life, it is going to be a steep hill drive up. The game looks and runs fantastic on Sony’s newest console, but that does not detract from the obvious shortcomings. A poor progression system and microtransactions are just surface-level problems.
The combat is fun but both Switch controllers were problematic. The gameplay isn’t repetitive because there are multiple very small gameplay loops. Olija is infrequently challenging (if at all). Yet it is a nice game to play between major AAA releases or 100 hour RPG’s. Olija is a great game to take out of your pocket and play in small stretches if you are on the road. Especially at the $15 price point. Unfortunately, there is so much coming out and so many games in all of our backlogs that it keeps it from really standing out. Olija will release on January 28th on Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
I could not help but feel that The Medium took inspiration from many beloved franchises before it. The camera angle style, notes and puzzles to keep the player focused, and music that makes your skin crawl all combine to make The Medium feel like a worthy newcomer in a genre with a long legacy. In an era where first-person perspective and jump scares with mediocre psychological horror reign, it is nice to see The Medium take a different approach while utilizing many of the psychological horror tactics of old and new age audio tricks. I cannot help but love the new psychologically induced horror game Bloober Team made The Medium.
If you were lucky enough to score a PS5 this holiday, Sackboy is a 3D audio showcase. If you can’t get enough of the PS5’s pack in-game Astro’s Playroom, Sackboy: A Big Adventure fills a platforming void Sony has been missing for years. While it does have some problems, these are issues most people will be able to get past. Even if it is resorting to buying the $90 version of the game to play as Sackboy Porter Bridges. Or never leaving the disc in your PS5 when you turn the console on. If you are looking for a family game to go with that new PS5, or are just wondering what happened to the platformers in Sony’s past, Sackboy is a must buy.
This is a major turning point in Destiny. A new subclass blueprint and a phenomenal new location make Beyond Light required playing for all Destiny fans. Centering the expansion around literal and emotional coldness paid off in spades. The Exo Stranger, easily the series’ most mysterious character, needed to happen at some point, and Beyond Light was that perfect moment. Even though Europa’s frozen moons don’t cover the glaring flaws, weather effects are great additions to Destiny. When we look back at Beyond Light in a year or two, we’ll see the groundwork for bigger features and story beats in this add-on.
After sinking in dozens of hours, Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory became one of my favorites in the series. It is a perfect bookend to the Dark Seeker Saga storyline while teasing its next big step forward. While it is not the best stepping on point for newcomers, it makes a solid landing spot for veteran fans.