It might be a bit obtuse, but Any fan of 2D JRPGs must experience Legend of Mana. It was released when they were at their zenith, a time when it seemed like every month Square Enix was dropping a new banger. Hopefully, if these continue to do well, we’ll see games like Threads of Fate and (dare I say it) Chrono Chross get another chance to shine. These remasters are a way to go back to one of the golden ages of gaming, and they can keep them coming.
In the original game, I visited Wutai more because I was a completionist than anything. But with the events of the base game and the Intermission DLC, I’m pumped to see Yuffie’s homeland, what’s going on with Avalanche there, what Shinra’s doing, and possibly the resolution with Don Coreno. When Final Fantasy 7 Remake was first announced, I was hoping for a game that was pretty much 1:1 with the original. However, Square Enix’s direction with FF7 Remake has impressed me with how the extra worldbuilding and tweaks to the plot have enhanced a game I already cherished. I can’t wait to play the second part, and this DLC was a great morsel to tide me over until then.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is the first PS5 exclusive that I can recommend everyone go out and buy. It’s a cutting-edge masterclass of what the PS5 is capable of, but with the soul of the original R&C games, packaged with a comprehensive set of accessibility options.
Considering Biomutant’s delayed and seemingly troubled road to release, I’m blindsided by just how good it is. Experiment 101 has clearly been afforded the time to see its vision through, something which is unfortunately far too rare in the cutthroat gaming industry. I did not expect this to be one of my favorites of the year so far, let alone one of the most enjoyable open-world games I’ve ever played. A true modern gaming miracle.
For me, Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne HD Remaster is worth the premium, if only because I hope it encourages Sega and Atlus to remaster more of their catalogs (Panzer Dragoon Saga, please). However, players who think they’re going to find another Persona here will be disappointed. Nocturne is one of the great traditional JRPGs, but potential buyers should know what they’re getting into before they pull the trigger.
Wrath of the Druids has a lot of the same shortcomings as the main game. The story is too concerned with political intrigue that isn’t that intriguing, the landscape is mostly barren greenery that’s unexciting to traverse, and the overall game hardly hovers above the average baseline it rests upon, just to name a few of the overlapping problems. But Wrath of the Druids does leapfrog the base experience because of its relative focus that organically slices off the astounding amount of bloat inherent to a game that large. It doesn’t magically make Assassin’s Creed Valhalla a better game, but it does show that sometimes, a smaller serving can make a huge difference.
Handing in a four-star, 4,000-point photo of a Pokemon having a great time is satisfying, but New Pokemon Snap’s tedious progression makes it far more exhausting than it should be. I just wanted to see these beloved creatures frolicking with one another in their natural habitat, while simultaneously doing my best David Attenborough impersonation and capturing their antics on camera. However, its levels are far too structured for me to believe in its weird world, while its secrets are more laborious to uncover than they are fun. I had a reasonably enjoyable time with New Pokemon Snap, though it’s still a missed opportunity to do something with these creatures other than beat them up.
I’ve been a fan of Resident Evil since I played the original RE2 when it was released in 1998. However, I’m not a purist. The increased emphasis on action isn’t Resident Evil Village’s issue. The problem is that it’s taken many elements and smooshed them together with little regard as to how they fit. If Capcom took a little more care with the game’s tone and its place in the series, it could have been a classic. As it is, RE Village is simply a good game with excellent production value.
As it did with the PS3, Vita, and PS4, Housemarque has once again provided Sony with another launch-era hit and in doing so has created a rewarding, replayable, and revolutionary game that’s hopefully the foundation for other future AAA titles that are as clever with the roguelite blueprint.
Nier Replicant ver. 1.22 is an excellent spin on the traditional hero’s journey and will give Nier Automata fans a new appreciation for that title. It’s a lovingly crafted rerelease and will delight both new and old players alike.