Cadence of Hyrule really surprised me. It takes the best parts of Crypt of the NecroDancer and makes them more accessible, which really comes with the territory when you're paying homage to The Legend of Zelda. Although it may still take you a while to pick it up, the familiar and welcome open world format is a much better way for new players to acclimate.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Fate of Atlantis' track record isn't too shabby so far, with two out of three of its add-ons delivering. While you can take or leave Legacy of the First Blade, this wacky romp through heaven and hell is just seamless enough to fit. It's great to see Ubisoft finally embrace the wilder, more mythic side of the series.
Void Bastards is a good game. It plays just fine and looks amazing, but it lacks some of the "hooks" that many roguelikes drive in. It has great atmosphere, but doesn't do much to really encourage those who are experiencing it to soak it all in. The visual style is some absolute magic, but that sense of amazement does not translate into gameplay.
Despite its narrative shortcomings, Draugen still has plenty to offer. Graavik has no shortage of beautiful views and stunningly detailed locations. In under three hours, Draugen pulls off a series of well-composed shots that are worth the entry price alone. Teddy and Lissie's story never reaches its full potential, but there are worse ways to spend a few hours than exploring a wind-swept fjord.
So I guess what I'm saying is, if you go into Gato Roboto with the only expectation being "Metroid but with a cat protagonist," you won't likely be disappointed. But if you hope for anything beyond that, you'll likely wind up entertained but unsatisfied.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth hinges on a few hefty qualifiers. You have to dig JRPGs for one, and be willing to accept random battles in 2019. You also have to not be sick of Persona 5's characters, which for some, is a tall order. For everyone else, there's plenty of fun to be had. It also gets major points as one of the potentially final big 3DS releases from a major publisher that is best served on the 3DS platform. As stylus-based touchscreens are phased out, Persona Q2 is one last rallying battle cry.
Pathologic 2 is a surrealist drama wrapped in a survival game's tattered clothes. It's frustrating and haunting all at once. It's also one of the most atmospheric games ever made. Every element of Pathologic 2 – the persistent plague, delightfully twisted dialogue, and punishing survival mechanics – come together to form an intensely memorable experience. Is it fun? Not really. Is it brilliant? Almost certainly.
Outer Wilds proves there's still a sense of genuine adventure to be gained from games that commit to a set, fixed structure and design, rather than the kind of sprawling, endless expanses many contemporary titles set out to become. Playing it brought to mind my favorite bits of Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go...except with more of the sun exploding.
In short, Five Nights at Freddy's VR: Help Wanted is the real deal. It's a genuine celebration of everything that has come before and a fresh lens for long-time fans. Even if you've never touched a Five Nights game before in your life, you'll have a lot to latch onto. I'm as surprised as anyone!
Trover Saves the Universe is still going to be laugh-out-loud funny no matter how you approach it, but the additional context and enhanced mechanics when using a headset make it a little bit sweeter. Just approach it as more of a comedy experience that happens to be a platformer.
Outside of those pesky load times, it's hard to find fault with Crystal Crisis. This is just a well-made game, a genuinely fun puzzler that challenges players to imagine new strategies with every character they try. And with memory mode beckoning me to play again and again, I don't imagine I'll be taking up any of the other Switch puzzle games for a long, long time.
I didn't expect a whole lot from Blood & Truth and came away smiling. No it's not the best showcase for how far the VR industry has come as a whole (especially when the lead tech is a controller released in 2010), but it's the type of popcorn project I'd like to see more of from a major publisher in the space.
In the end, Mordhau is a goofy yet realistic medieval combat game that caters to a ton of different players. Many will grind games in order to best perfect their skills with their favorite weapon. Then there's me, who literally runs around the battlefield playing a musical instrument that adds absolutely zero gameplay value to the team. That's the beauty of Mordhau -- the individual moments tend to outweigh any of the design flaws or technical glitches that are present.
Overall, Total War: Three Kingdoms can be summed up as yet another great entry in the long-running series. While it may not be the absolute pinnacle of what Creative Assembly can achieve, it has become my favorite entry simply because of the setting used. We've reached a point where your personal favorite Total War will be determined more by the property being adapted than any worry about quality or gameplay factors. Since everything is fine in Three Kingdoms, what else do I really need to say?
Although I had my share of frustrations with Spark 2 during my first playthrough, I'm sure repetition and better knowledge of level layouts would make for a much smoother second playthrough. Die-hard fans of the Sonic Adventure games are absolutely gonna have a blast looking for the fastest routes possible and it's still a solid experience overall. But, I just can't help feeling like it's a less polished experience compared to its 2D predecessor.