When you take the time to explore, you’ll find a surreal, beautiful game waiting for you. But, again, SaGa Frontier does an absolutely terrible job of making this clear. Fortunately, SaGa Frontier Remastered takes much of the frustration out of this. You can save anywhere, and there’s an autosave, you can speed up movement in the overworld and battles too. This is the best way to experience an often overlooked masterpiece, and I hope that SaGa Frontier 2 gets a similar treatment in the future.
Oddworld: Soulstorm took Oddworld Inhabitants over two decades to fully realize so it’s disappointing that it came out in the state that it did. Numerous bugs are just one part of the problem as its lack of a quicksave and unwieldy controls cause a lot of easily avoidable irritation. Solving its one-of-a-kind sneaky puzzles can be fairly gratifying at times and its impeccably animated cutscenes are nothing short of amazing, but this is a mixed batch of Soulstorm brew that deserved more time in the production factory.
Gnosia isn’t a game for everyone. You’ll likely loop over a hundred times before you reach the conclusion, and the repeated dialog and loops where nothing happens will infuriate impatient gamers. However, this unique blend of RPG, visual novel, and social deduction game hits like nothing else and is one of the Switch’s hidden gems.
Outriders delivers satisfying combat but suffers from a lackluster story. For co-op players, there’s a lot to entertain you here and the banter will help fill in the duller moments. The grind is also less intense than in similar experiences. What’s more, a bonus nod has to be given for this title’s completeness at launch.
Paradise Lost doesn’t have any gameplay systems to keep players engaged and loses some of its potential because of it, but it does use its space well for its storytelling. It creates an otherworldly setting designed to simultaneously wow and disgust players as they make their way through gorgeous, yet heinous structures designed for evil. The stories within these structures are elegantly told for the most part as they reflect and strengthen each other along the way. Shooting Nazis in the face is almost always a blast, but Paradise Lost doesn’t resort to violence to make its point. Instead, it explores these horrors and wraps that inhumanity around the tragedy of a grief-stricken orphan, a rarity in the medium that demonstrates that how gaming can portray such evil needing to shoot at it first.
Myths of the Eastern Realm is so repetitive because it changes almost nothing about the repetitive game it was based upon aside from the setting. This expansion could have been a chance for Ubisoft to address criticisms of that core experience by implementing a more varied toolset, moving away from block pushing, and allowing for more freeform exploration all while taking fulling advantage of Chinese mythology. Instead it makes all the same mistakes, which are more unforgiving this time around. Immortals itself was already awash with unoriginal ideas and Myths of the Eastern Realm is only following that trend, making it a derivative expansion of an already-derivative game.
Fans who love Monster Hunter exclusively for the hunts will likely welcome the raised emphasis on taking on major monsters as quickly as possible. However, Rise is missing some of the worldbuilding of Monster Hunter: World, which will make it feel a bit emptier for players who prefer to stop and smell the roses.
The Ancient Gods Part 2 is the least impressive segment in Doom’s rebooted trilogy with its stages, level of difficulty, and slightly off-kilter story beats that all come in just below the previously established baseline. But it’s still one heck of a high baseline since the strategic, blazing-fast gunplay and ever-growing lineup of unique demons still have no equal in the first-person shooter space. The Doom Slayer was directed to rip and tear until it was done and now that it is indeed done, he has earned his rest even though his final showdown wasn’t his finest ripping and tearing.
Aside from annoying mega canids that can loop their stun-lock attacks and a handful of interesting weapons, Murder on Eridanos doesn’t add many new gameplay features to its arsenal. It’s mainly just more Outer Worlds, but that’s not a problem when the quality is this high. Interviewing witnesses and potential suspects is a chance for players to more actively engage with its branching dialogue systems and focus on Obsidian’s knack for writing bizarre, loveable, and hilarious characters that appropriately skewer corporate capitalism. It hones in on The Outer Worlds’ strengths and is an excellent way to send off one of the best RPGs in years.