Moonscars is a beautiful, grimdark homage to the Soulsborne genre, with engaging art and challenging action. Not everything is well explained, and both the game’s narrative and mechanics can feel unnecessarily opaque. It takes some time and effort to master Moonscars’ combat and systems, but the effort is worth the reward. It can be punishing, but only rarely feels unfair, and it’s one of those games that will probably compel you to keep inching forward.
Although it doesn’t reinvent survival game mechanics, Grounded’s setting goes a long way towards making the familiar seem new. The world is great fun to explore. It’s easy to lose yourself for hours in the game’s satisfying loops and creative environments. The narrative does a good job of giving you direction but not a rigid path, so you’re always free to take your time and enjoy. Slightly tepid combat and a few minor technical issues aside, Grounded is one of the most engaging survival crafting games I’ve played in quite a while.
The Spirit and the Mouse is a relaxing dawdle through a lovely French village. Playing as the cute, electric-fused Lila is a joy, however, the lack of options available to traverse does hinder the expedition. While the premise is packed with possibilities, the tedious and formulaic mission design makes this an arduous trek.
If you have been wanting that extreme survival adventure experience on the Meta Quest 2, Into the Radius is your game. It’ll have you alone, outgunned and loving every minute of it. But even for the rest of us, there’s a fun time to be had — provided you can weather the initial frustration.
Idol Manager is a comprehensive and in-depth business simulator that presents its financial data in a format that is both pleasant and digestible. Creating content is fun because of its melting pot approach. Making personalized content would be fantastic if it weren’t so important to follow what the game determines is “cool.” As fun as it is to engage with Idol Manager’s business mechanics, watching a woman’s value reduced to a trading card puts a damper on things.
SpiderHeck is one of the most enjoyable local multiplayer games I’ve played in a very long time. This game takes elements from beloved games such as Smash Bros., Worms, and N+ to combine into a wild experience that was both exciting and humourous. There were times when we would burst out laughing at the insanity on screen. SpiderHeck would make a perfect addition to any game night, especially when playing locally. There are a couple of issues that I’d love to see addressed. I should be able to sign all local players into their own accounts, but this isn’t the case. I wish there were a few more customization options for difficulty and accessibility. And I’d love the ability to create my own arenas. Despite these minor issues, SpiderHeck is absolutely brilliant. Grab some friends and play it as soon as possible.
If you are a fan of JRPGs, then playing Voice of Cards: The Beasts of Burden is a no-brainer. The new monster-catching mechanic is very addictive. And the Yoko Taro story twists alone are worth the price of admission. Fans of the Voice of Cards series will find The Beasts of Burden to be darker, more episodic, and more streamlined. None of those are bad things, they just differentiate The Beasts of Burden from the other games in the series, and keep things fresh enough, without changing the core game mechanics too much. I loved this game, and if you’re a fan of old-school JRPGs, you probably will too.
If you equate MotoGP to F1 Racing, then Superbikes are the street car version. What this means in terms of gameplay is the Superbikes are less maneuverable and responsive. So they feel clunky and less enjoyable to ride. With such a driving model, you have to be more precise with your driving. If you find MotoGP 21 tough, you ain’t seen nothing yet. To tie things up, SBK 2022 is a tougher and less content-rich game than MotoGP 22. Unless you are a die-hard fan of super bike racing, MotoGP 22 is the better choice for casual players.
Real-world trombone playing entails years or decades of study, intense practice, sacrifice, blood, perspiration and tears. With Trombone Champ you can bypass all that sweat equity and just ascend to the trombone throne. Trombone Champ is a humble game made by folks with a genuine love of music, hot dogs, baboons and, even more remarkably, the trombone. It’s fun, funny, a little weird and an actual, genuine game despite what sounds like a silly premise. It’s no surprise that everyone secretly wants to be a trombone player, and now anyone can rise to that only dreamed-of level of coolness. Grab yourself some hot dogs, hug a baboon and go play Trombone Champ.
No Place For Brave is an incredible top-down adventure that tells a touching story about the lengths one will go for family. Its weighty combat is challenging but fair which makes each battle a thrill. Although I did encounter the occasional bug which stifled the pace, this didn’t hinder what was a wonderful and touching experience.
Temtem is a unique yet familiar take on the monster-collecting genre. Its blend of MMO mechanics gives it the potential for a long-running, sustainable community with more to enjoy than a single-player narrative. The new combat mechanics are a fantastic upgrade. However, the Tems themselves and the overall lack of guidance aren’t quite up to standards. Tems aren’t that memorable themselves and many of their names just don’t click. Having no guidance on typing, advantages, or explanations on a number of smaller features drops the enjoyment of gameplay. It’s a great experience, but it expects you to already have a certain amount of knowledge of both genres before picking up the controller.
Overall, NBA 2K23 has some of the best gameplay in an NBA 2K game. While the MyPlayer mode is a bit of a shadow of its former self, the various additions and changes to MyTeam and MyNBA make up for it overall. Despite being on point in most areas, the Virtual Currency situation will definitely affect players’ enjoyment of the game. While the term “pay to win” does come to mind, NBA2K23’s gameplay and various modes are still very well done.
All in all, The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero is a unique experience. If you love worldbuilding, modernizing fantasy worlds, and urban fantasy, you should check it out. If you’re allergic to long cutscenes and extraneous infodumps, you should avoid it. Love it or hate it, Trails from Zero clearly knows what it is and what it’s doing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go buy all of Trails of Cold Steel so I can find out what happens in Zemuria next.
It’s nice to play an action game more influenced by Devil May Cry than Dark Souls for a change. Soulstice makes a good case for its combat and its synthesis of two characters with distinct fighting styles. The characters themselves aren’t particularly interesting or sympathetic, and their quips and asides grow annoying. The game’s fixed camera and how it hamstrings enjoyable platforming and exploration are most troubling. Soulstice isn’t as entertaining or polished as the games from which it draws inspiration, but it’s worth checking out for gamers growing tired of the Soulsborne template.
Children of the Worm is absolutely the type of expansion that Back 4 Blood deserves. It is substantially better than the awful first expansion. This expansion brings a new Cleaner, four new enemies, and six new levels to play through. The levels feel like they’ve been carefully constructed to showcase both the new enemies, especially the snipers, and the hordes of Ridden. There are some minor annoyances, such as a ridiculous overabundance of bear traps strewn about. However, all in all, this is a worthy addition to Back 4 Blood. If the third and final Back 4 Blood expansion follows this formula, we’re in for a treat.
Besides, I have to figure you didn’t pick up something called Bear & Breakfast because you wanted it to bend your mind. This shouldn’t be as hard as running a galactic empire. You’re just a dumb, kindhearted bear. Prospective players probably want to know things like if the bear walks real cute. And he does! He really has a cute little walk. If you’re looking for a cozy little game to take you away from harsh reality, you could do worse than spending your time in these woods.
Sucker for Love: First Date may be a niche title with a weird premise, but it does that premise incredibly well. If you’re a fan of Lovecraftian horror and anime, or if you think dark romantic comedies are great, this game is for you. Akabaka’s weird creation definitely isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, you’re gonna love it. I know I did.
With Train Life: A Railway Simulator, sim railroad enthusiasts have another way to get their railroad fix. With its emphasis equally on the driving and economic aspects of running a railroad, Train Life: A Railway Simulator has a little more depth than those games that focus more on the locomotives and rolling stock. It’s also a Eurocentric sim, so American gamers wanting to drive a speeding Amtrak train over the Rockies are out of luck. Train Life: A Railway Simulator might be built for a specific audience, but general sim enthusiasts might give it try as well.
SD Gundam Battle Alliance is not perfect, but there’s no denying the enjoyment one can get from it. Whether you enjoy playing solo or joining online with friends, there’s something suitable for everyone. Sure, it’s more fun if you know some main characters and villains, but it’s still entertaining if you’re new to the franchise. For myself, it was a pleasure to experience the modern nostalgia, and I’m positive other Gundam fans will feel the same.
Taken as a whole, Splatoon 3 is an engaging, exciting experience. You can cycle between weapon load-outs, game modes, and gear to keep things fresh. The solo campaign is always there if you ever get truly stuck, though it does nothing for your overall progression. The Anarchy Battles are a massive boost, with enough game types to keep you hooked for ages. The battles themselves are slick and speedy, with a host of potential strategies to help you eke out a win. I’d love more customization, and I’ve no patience for motion controls, but these are minor troubles. While it doesn’t re-invent the wheel, Splatoon 3 is a lot more of an already great idea.