I can't stress enough how much Telling Lies might not be for you. Most of it is literally spent watching people talk to a screen, to the point where the puzzle angle, no matter how impressive it might be, might wear down its welcome in minutes. For everyone else, especially avid followers of character-driven art forms, these are performances you can really sink your teeth into while you try to make sense of it all.
I'm emotionally torn on Oninaki because there's so much to like here: it has a lot of great ideas, it just doesn't execute them all as well as it should. Maybe Tokyo RPG Factory should look at changing their formula and scaling down to tighter 10 hour adventures. By cutting down the scale they can focus on what they do best.
Overall, Age of Wonders: Planetfall is a large, ambitious strategy game that succeeds in many ways but falters ever so slightly in its grand scale. If you can grapple with the scope it's well worth the purchase and time, offering a great sandbox that could be played for hours on end. Newcomers to the genre might want to try one of the earlier Age of Wonders games before seeing if they should truly take the dive into this massive commitment. Those who do won't be disappointed.
I've had a lot of fun with RAD, even though I can tell I've really only scratched the surface. Trying to work with suboptimal body modifications is pretty funny in and of itself, and discovering new mutations and lore has been intriguing. I don't think any studio other than Double Fine could have made the post-apocalypse this entertaining.
Ion Fury not only recaptures what made retro shooters so memorable, but it improves on them in a number of ways. While not as excellent as some other recent entries in the same genre, this is a game that fans of the past should not miss. It's brutal, lightning-fast, and always putting fun before anything else.
I had my doubts going into Dicey Dungeons, despite the pedigree present. I was worried the core reliance on random dice rolls would create a frustrating experience for the player. And while I've had those moments, I always felt that I could look back and say "that's where I went wrong" and not "the random numbers just didn't work out in my favor!" That alone is an incredibly feat. Stack it on top of six incredibly unique character mechanics, episodes that force the exploration of alternate playstyles, and an expertly crafted aesthetic, and you have another absolute slam dunk from Terry Cavanagh.
Whether or not the fanservice is too much for players or just a natural evolution of the boundary-pushing booby game genre, one thing that is certain about Omega Labyrinth Life is that it is not that good. The dungeon crawling, which is how you'll spend about 75% of your time with the game, simply isn't up to snuff with its contemporaries and tending to the Grand Garden lacks the depth an activity like that should have. It's just a top-to-bottom boring experience, and no amount of lady spray on my Switch screen can change that.
Ultimately, though, I'm just not as smitten with Electronic Super Joy 2 as I was with the first. The free price tag makes this a lot more palatable, but I do believe more could have been done here. It's a little disappointing, but still a fun time that fans of the first are sure to get something out of. Just don't go in expecting anything dramatically different.
Metal Wolf Chaos fulfills this criteria because of its unique premise that wouldn't be out of place in the late '80s, combined with From Software's penchant for mechicular (I just made this up) combat. If you hate old games and crave the newest visual advancements, avoid it. For everyone else: there is something here you can sink your teeth into that's more than just a novelty relic.
I'm so torn on The Blackout Club. The prologue is an amazing experience and the game itself, while drastically different, still kept my friends and I coming back. But it's not a good game. There are too many bugs and mishandled mechanics holding it back, in addition to a huge bait-and-switch on story and lore. I do think there is a lot of potential here, as The Blackout Club fills an empty void in the market, but dang it's just so disappointing in its current state.
A Short Hike is far from perfect, but it absolutely is unique and worth your time. It's also super fucking rad, and I love it. Warts and all. If you're looking for something different, and you don't mind the price of admission, I think this is more than worth the price of entry. It may not be perfect, but life never is, and that's fine and beautiful in its own way.
Kill la Kill: IF succeeds in translating its namesake's hyper-kinetic universe, wild action, and extreme characters into a fun experience, but is held back by lackluster side-content and flaws inherent to its own design. It's worth your time if you're already a franchise fan, but those yet to be ensnared by Life-Fibers should wait until this particular couture number moves to the reduced rail.
I cannot stress enough how much Fire Emblem: Three Houses exemplifies the "RPG" part of the acronym "SRPG." While strategy is indubitably a large part of Fire Emblem's DNA, the vast majority of my enjoyment was found having lunch with classmates and getting to know them better, or doing errands while running around the lovely academy grounds. This is a world you can absolutely lose yourself to for months on end, but if you find menus tedious, you might be reticent to the modern relationship-heavy Fire Emblem formula that's cemented in Three Houses.
Maybe I just expected too much, but I find myself missing the careful balance of story and gameplay that The New Order had down pat. Youngblood makes plenty of strides forward for this series, but it also takes some steps backward that end up hurting the overall package.
It has a lot of potential, but Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot ends before it can reach most of it. Still, I hope Bethesda doesn't give up on VR. A few games like Doom VFR have been nice optional companion pieces, and I think they could stand to push that concept further, as the fundamentals are there.
That's it. The Council is over. I am now writing the last words about this godforsaken series ever. I think there are two parts of my life: pre- and post-Council. I am not the same man I was when I started playing these games. It's time for me to move on. Sayonara, The Council.
There's plenty of room for improvement, but I had fun playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. With the Marvel IP less muddled and the simplicity of this deal between Marvel and Nintendo, I'd love to see another with enhancements in tow.