The pace of the game is slow, there isn’t a whole lot of depth to be found anywhere in Paradise Lost, and it’s not without its frame rate drops and bugs either. Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly some diamonds to be found in the rough here, but they’re few and far between. What Paradise Lost does deliver on is a minimally interactive experience as more of a walking simulator than an alternate history first-player adventure game. And it does look and sound exactly as you’d expect if you were to find yourself as a 12-year-old boy, trapped in a desolate Nazi bunker. Overall there’s just a lot of potential left untapped and that’s really its biggest problem.
Cozy Grove is an adorable little time-waster, but depending on your play style, the level of commitment this game requires might not work for you. The core gameplay loop is fun for the most part but after playing for a couple of days every task feels the same as the last, making the whole experience fairly repetitive. The game offers a cute and relaxing experience for the right player and for anyone with an interest in life sim games like Animal Crossing or the Sims, I definitely recommend it. However, if you aren’t already a fan of this genre, Cozy Grove likely won’t change your opinion on it.
If you can look past all of the issues plaguing Arkham Horror: Mother’s Embrace, there are certainly worse games to spend a weekend with. Especially if you’re a fan of Lovecraftian horror, but steer clear of it if you’re somebody that asks of your 2021 gaming experiences to at least feel like you’re playing something made in the past fifteen years. Granted, I’ll be curious to see if this receives a sequel, as I do believe this series could become a sleeper hit. Stay tuned.
Even though Clea 2 is very challenging, it is not impossible to beat nor is it scary enough to act as nightmare fuel. A great continuation for those who are looking for more of Clea, the sequel does not have a story that could stand on its own. However, it rightfully belongs in the horror genre with its heavy and tense atmosphere and clever use of sounds in a dark setting. Even though the plot isn’t memorable, Clea 2 is a quiet thrill that can be mastered and replayed over and over again.
I still commend the studio for its bravery and innovation. Before Your Eyes is unique enough to try out if you are interested. It’s just that although the game is backed by many wonderful talents, it lacked that little “umph” to turn it into something truly memorable.
What we have here are two stories told with mixed results. The grim, gorgeous sci-fi saga fell flat for me. I couldn’t get invested in this last leg of the human race turning to tribalism and violence in the face of adversity. I’m pretty bored with ‘special soldier saves the day’ stories. But the loot cycle was a different matter. This tale of frustration, anticipation, determination, and joy was immediately compelling. I dug into the mechanical guts early and easily. The combat is varied, breathless, and brutal. The character progression is a decent mix of stats and skills, there’s a ton of customization to mess around with, and the difficulty scaling is perfectly fluid. I can tolerate a lot of nonsense in exchange for a good gameplay loop. But if you’re hoping for a package as good as the prize, you might be disappointed. So long as you’re prepared to dig a little for that glittering pearl, there’s a ton of fun to be had with Outriders.
It Takes Two is a dazzling adventure filled with more mechanics than you can shake a stick at. Working together throughout the mesmerizing set of levels is compelling and full of hearty chuckles, but sadly the story falls short of that bar with inconsistent tone and a lack of perceptible character growth along the way. It’s still well worth your time and energy, just don’t expect to be as emotionally invested in the journey as you might have been with Hazelight’s past work.
Monster Hunter Rise is everything I had hoped it would be, and more. It’s welcoming to beginners while still retaining that deep core experience that longtime players know and love. It’s challenging, but never in ways that feel unfair or cruel. And the attention to the details that are meant to keep one smiling is something you don’t see too often. Every inch of Rise plays like it’s the culmination of the series’ best ideas. Subsequently, I’m enormously excited to continue my journey in discovering what else Capcom has crammed into the game. I’m 20 hours in, and I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface. So, excuse me, my next hunt awaits.
Overall, the visual upgrade to 4K and the power of the PS5 take this already great game and add an extra level of immersion to it. Everything that is great in the PS4 version of the game is here, just better and faster. With the haptic feedback only possible with the DualSense, you’ll feel not only more in touch with it, but also more control in the game. Short of an entire remake to take full advantage of the new consoles this is the premium way to play Tony Hawk 1 + 2. While the overall differences between the PS4 and PS5 may be subtle, once you play the PS5 version you won’t want to go back to the other one. So yeah, the $10 is worth it. The original review gave the game a 95 rating. That rating holds for the PS5 version too. That said, I would have gone higher if more graphical enhancements like ray tracing had been added.