Indie games generally hang their hats on one great idea. Is it a compelling, original narrative? Or an aesthetic that you haven’t seen anywhere else? How about a unique game mechanic around which the rest of the game builds? Any of these can work. Just one of these can lift a small-team title above the indie pack. Chicory: A Colorful Tale has all three.
Not every game needs to be remade. That’s fine! Some games are fine as-is. Especially if the ensuing revisitation doesn’t do all that much new. Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World feels like a project that happened because Wonder Boy III: The Dragon’s Trap inspired not one, but two good games in the 2010s. So now Asha is back and, while the game is fine, it doesn’t have the same level of improvements and investment.
You can tell when some forms of media are going to hit you hard. The moment I began playing Sumire on the Switch, I suspected it would have the potential to devastate me. And I mean, I was partially right. It’s a beautiful, heartfelt, and haunting game, one where every moment can count, and it can leave you feeling about how much people’s actions can matter.
While I loved every second of replaying Mass Effect for the fourth and definitely not final time, I have that history and nostalgia keeping me through the outdated gameplay. I would recommend anyone jump into this series if they love BioWare RPGs, but I’d have a string of caveats. A lot has not aged well, especially from the first game, even though the first game arguably has the best story of all three. The Mass Effect Legendary Edition is an absolutely incredible walk down memory lane, but that’s really all it is.
When one of the original selling points of a game was “featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series” back in the day, being capable and readily available might be enough. After all, it is still telling a haunting story, making you think both in and out of battle. SMT III Nocturne HD Remaster does what Atlus JRPGs do best, and that’s captivate an audience.
R-Type Final 2 is a satisfying shmup with many challenging, carefully crafted stages. Having so many different ships gives it a ton of replay value, and also gives you many strategic options for how you tackle a given area. I wish it had a more striking, clear visual style so I could appreciate the designs and stages more (and die less to dopey things).
Walking away from Resident Evil Village leaves me with mixed feelings. It wasn’t a game that I immediately disliked, and I can’t say that I didn’t have a lot of fun playing it. But a second playthrough made me more aware of pacing issues, and on harder difficulties the general spike that otherwise feels somewhat artificial.