Playing THE LAST OF US PART 1 makes me wish this was the very first time I was playing the series, taking my first steps into post apocalyptic cordyceps infected world. If this game came out for the very first time in 2022, it'd easily make everyone's game of year lists it'd be collecting high marks everywhere, it's a thoroughly excellent game with some unforgettable storytelling and gripping gameplay. But this game is for better and worse the ultimate version of that 2013 title, which means if you've experienced Joel and Ellie's first story, you've played this game already.
CULT OF THE LAMB will have you jumping back and forth between base management and roguelite dungeon crawling with such ease and pleasure, you'll definitely see hours disappear as you craft the perfect cult. Each of the systems in this surprisingly packed sandbox game build up slowly, steadily and in no time you'll be racing off to catch some fish, cooking up a hearty meal, cleaning out the latrines, tending to your farms all before church. What is most surprising is how well meshed all these systems are, I never felt while playing that either of the two main components, random dungeon crawling "crusades" and the town simulator base building, ever took over, they kept alternating perfectly.
Visually, TREK TO YOMI is a cinematic feast, using static camera angles with gorgeous placement and attention to detail to the max. There's a real focus on framing here, the camera shifting and adjusting in just the right ways to show you wide-landscapes when Hikori is outnumbered and isolated, and tight carefully framed snippets of pastoral village life and bustling marketplaces.
13 SENTINELS: AEGIS RIM is a game that's so complex it shouldn't work, with branching narratives, time travel, flashbacks and thirteen different perspectives on the same story, but Vanillaware have managed to pull together an experience that all scifi fans should play.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land is easy to pick up, beautiful to look at and fun to play by yourself or with friends in co-op and you might just find yourself spending way too long absorbed in this cute world as the time just slips on by.
At it's core it's a BORDERLANDS game through and through, move from area to area, completing missions while levelling up to collecting ever better gear, and it doesn't dramatically break that looter-shooter gameplay loop you'd would be familiar with. Where it does succeed is some genuinely heartfelt and funny writing that comes from a good understanding of what it's like to play tabletop roleplaying games with your mates.
WEIRD WEST wants to push back at you. It wants to make every step you take through its dust covered, occult landscape feel layered with consequence. Who are you? How does the world react to you and your choices? Are the people you’ve wronged going to get their revenge? Why did that witch give you a mysterious box and should you open it?