Gravity Ghost imagines the maelstrom of adolescence further complicated by its protagonist's untimely death. As an elliptic platformer, it's concerned with reaching a neat-and-tidy series of goals. As a narrative experience, it's consumed by normalizing the despondency of its cast. Gravity Ghost's kinetic novelty may have ebbed since its 2015 debut, but its resolution, which seeks idyllic healing from an enormous tragedy, still creates a powerful statement.
Lucah: Born of a Dream is a neon crash of allusive storytelling, deliberate top-down combat, and distressed, manic ambience. Its indirect means of expression risks losing the player in its internal contradictions—it's hysterical and tender, it's demanding and soothing—but tenacious pandemonium is also its objective. Lucah: Born of a Dream seeks an audience that can relate to its world without needing to make explicit sense of its features.
Overall, Catan on the Nintendo Switch is a treat. The inclusion of a large campaign helps to sell this game easily. The addition of strong AI makes the experience valuable and challenging. If the menu system could improve, then you’re looking at one of the best versions of the board game to ever grace a console.
Nitro-Fueled is a wonderful remake of the classic racer we all know and love. The mechanics and courses are lovingly recreated for the current gen. Combine that with a revamped Adventure mode and players have another faithful, fantastic game. Though I wouldn't say it's a perfect game due to its difficulty and pretty short story, I don't think it is crazy to say that Crash Team Racing is the best kart racing game available.
They Are Billions' crucible of experimentation and failure molds players into rugged survivalists. The RTS-style resource management and tower defense test the ability to aptly devote time to the bare necessities that will fend off countless hordes of undead. Harder to master console controls may add an extra layer of tension but living another day remains the sweetest of rewards.
Warhammer: Chaosbane joins the large family of Warhammer properties in a small stable of action-RPGs. Though somewhat derivative of the genre, it offers enough new blood and style to be a valuable entry for those looking for dungeons to crawl and loot to collect.
DeadToast Entertainment's My Friend Pedro is the expected offspring of a Devolver Digital title: oozing with style and enough substance. Players looking for an addictive score-attack game in the vein of Hotline Miami will embrace the over-the-top gunplay and the emphasis on skill and replayability.
Blood & Truth is a savvy and seasoned virtual reality thriller confident in its suave posture and meticulous operation. It is simultaneously a bonkers riff on outrageous action cinema where it's just as easy imagine its main character as narrowly sentient tank treads with gun-hands born to decimate cloned hordes of bungling bald men. Blood & Truth works even as its internal truth is a grinning mystery.
Ritual of the Moon's takes five minutes from twenty-eight consecutive days to consider, measure, and test the variable nature of morality. It's a cycle of play that finds a rhythm with the player's social and behavioral conflict, and questions that seemed trapped in ethereal ambience reveal honest and unexpected conclusions. My own introspection and negligence, as it turns out, have a lot in common.
Everybody's Golf VR's devotion to (and immersion in) the ambience of golf transcends its simulation-oriented peers. As I swing a virtual club with one of my physical hands on a course populated by dinosaurs, instead of feeling lost in the abstract, I'm committed to refining and improving my shot. Everybody's Golf VR's affable pragmatism and judicious feedback grant access to a sport I had always considered too distant and aloof to negotiate.
Saints Row: The Third was a sacred moment in time where lunatics reimagined the animus of an open-world crime game. It enabled players to thunderously lead a prestigious gang of miscreants and also turn themselves into a toilet. Eight years later Saints Row: The Third's glut of Content is more difficult to digest, but its outrageous ambience is (mostly) still so sweet.
Shakedown: Hawaii energizes its open-world satire with the transparent and ruthless cynicism of modern commerce. Its antihero's flagrant and invincible dishonesty would go beyond parody if it weren't kept in check by the player's underhanded complicity. I want the money numbers to go higher, too. And I'll destroy or ruin anyone in Shakedown: Hawaii's lush pixel paradise to see it through.
Running on a treadmill and Days Gone are very similar experiences. You put in time and effort, yet you remain in the same spot. Thrilling gameplay and crazed "freakers" cannot save this game from its LONG, uncompelling story. Ultimately, the amount of hours invested in Days Gone do not pay off. This is not a full throttle Sony exclusive that we've come to know and love, it's miles away from that.
Jupiter & Mars presents a sincere restoration of the radical environmentalism that permeated pop culture in the early 90's. Steering its pair of dolphins through a neon post-human wonderland measures against its persistent undercurrent of despair and culpability. Jupiter & Mars lets players smile at what's left while scowling at the wreckage we're doomed to leave behind.
Katana Zero's blade isn't sharp enough to cut through its self-indulgent idiosyncrasy. Inventive action sequences that neatly divide improvisation and orchestration and a novel time-rewinding mechanic both suffer under an overwrought style miserably impressed with its own posture. Katana Zero works best when it's not auditioning to change its title to Edge Lords.
God's Trigger's grindhouse kitsch is effective because you can believe it was made by deeply inspired people who barely knew what they were doing. Blundering adrenaline has an unconscious authenticity which, by its nature, translates to a gnarly player experience. Misadventure is technically still an adventure.