Digital Chumps's Reviews
On paper, Cyber Hook taps into several gameplay elements that are innately appealing: It encourages high-speed gameplay, it blends parkour platforming with precision, and its retrowave environments look really freaking cool. But, its PlayStation implementation is somewhat buggy, hindering the momentum further beyond progression decisions that already prevent players from blazing through the games. I want to believe that Blazing Stick will continue to support the PlayStation version and iron out some of the kinks (and hopefully release new content, too), as its current implementation leaves much to be desired.
The Legend of Tianding is more than just a side-scrolling action game. It lives within a larger world and does its best to separate itself from the rest of the side-scrolling action genre. It mostly does a good job with its gameplay design but stumbles in some areas to keep it from being perfect. In the end, it’s one worthwhile action game when you need a little bit more than just punching and kicking.
My second time around with Persona 4 Golden was still a positive one. While I’m still a little put off by the amount of dialogue the game features, I completely understand that it’s for good reason, as the overall story is absolutely thrilling as it is terrifying. It’s a gorgeous centerpiece to superb gameplay design and I have nothing but praise for it. The only knock with P4G is that I wish it gave more reason to own it on the last and current generation of consoles.
Capcom’s Monster Hunter Rise is an entertaining game. It has enough depth, action, and crafting to keep you and your team occupied for a while. It’s not perfect in some respects, but it’s good enough when you’re looking for a team-based game that is more coop than not.
Persona 3 Portable remains the definitive version of Persona 3, albeit a relic of Persona's past. Compared to the star quality of the entire Persona 5 series, I can see a world where a newer Persona player may be confused about the lack of animated cutscenes, a battle system that is focused around solely controlling the main character by default, a point-and-click-esque navigation system outside of dungeon-crawling, and a forgiving-but-still-simple Social Link system. I can also see a world where veterans may be expecting a remaster that incorporates the media from Persona 3 into the skeleton of Persona 3 Portable, breathing new life and character into a classic RPG. Looking past these quibbles, Persona 3 Portable remains a stellar JRPG, and it looks, sounds, and plays better than I remembered.
Judging The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition on its entertainment value is easy – it’s perfect. It has an unbelievable story, compelling characters, solid gameplay, and a properly thought-through backend that shows the developers are all-in on delivering an unforgettable experience. On the next-generation upgrade side of this release, it’s just not complete. While the performance mode takes the experience up a notch with visuals and frame rate, the Ray Tracing mode is unplayable and incomplete. It hurts the experience more than it helps it.
Sky: Children of the Light is a welcome addition to the PlayStation ecosystem, especially in a post-COVID world where happiness and cooperation are fleeting. As an MMO, Sky's approach to player retention, exploration, and connection are uplifting, positive, and indeed show the brighter side of humanity. I wish that a PS5-upgrade could better integrate my DualSense into the gameplay, but in the grand scheme of cooperation and connection, Sky hits the sweet spot of an incredibly chill gameplay experience.
The Meta Quest 2 release of Iron Man VR shows that Camouflaj is expanding and enhancing the VR experience as the hardware capabilities improve. The game feels like what you would expect from an Iron Man experience and without all the wires to gum up the perceived reality it’s trying to deliver. The game works better, feels better, and looks better than its previous release. You shouldn’t pass it up.
Hindsight is still an experience that feels real, brings out the best and worst emotions, and provides an accurate portrayal of the grieving process. The longevity of the experience is a blessing due to the emotional strain it puts on the gamer, and also a curse as it isn’t replayable for any reason other than personal choice. It’s a great tale and one that everyone should experience.
The majority of games featured in the NEOGEO Pocket Color Selection Vol. 2 are fun, while some fall flat. Overall, I think SNK released a solid selection of titles for volume 2 of this series with some added extra to boot, but they really do need to rethink that price point.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: The Devil in Me uses a piece of real history to deliver a B-movie-level horror show experience. The H.H. Holmes backdrop makes for a devilishly uncomfortable story experience, while the gameplay design falls in line with the DPA game series. The game does have some technical hiccups here and there, but it should satisfy those who enjoy the previous iterations of the series.
Sifu remains an excellent third-person roguelike that taps into classic kung fu combat. With its multiple free updates thus far in 2022, patient gamers should be assured that now is the best time to try one of the most accessible but still challenging roguelikes of the year. Sure, the Switch's port is probably a suboptimal experience compared to the PS5's hardware. But, it runs pretty well on the Switch, and it's quite fun despite the graphical quibbles one may expect from the Switch's hardware. SLOCLAP has done a pretty good job with this port and free updates, making Sifu a shoe-in for those wanting a souls-like experience on their Switches.
The best version of Spider-Man: Miles Morales resides on the PC. With a powerful story, compelling gameplay, DualSense compatibility, and a load of customizable options to get the best visuals, you’re going to be happy that this game came to this platform. It’s an absolute gem.
Atari 50 from developer Digital Eclipse provides a proper path down memory lane with video interviews, old commercials, and a cornucopia of information to dig into about Atari’s history, the good and the bad. The inclusion of early Atari games, arcade experiences, the Atari computing systems, Lynx, and Jaguar are just icing on a well-baked, delicious cake.
Sonic Frontiers from Sonic Team has all the right moves with controls, level design, looks, feel, and structure. What it needs to work on is making the game more pointed in its narrative and flowing without interruption. This game has a great skeleton, now all it requires is some solid content to fill some of that narrative disconnect. It contains some great elements, but it’s far from perfect.
Terrible Toybox and Devolver Digital’s Return to Monkey Island hit all the right notes that proper homage to the original. It brought classic humor, a great story, and a new way to play the game to make it faster. It’s one of the brighter spots of a skimpy game release year.
iLLOGIKA Studios’ Atari Mania tugs at the heartstrings of old gamers in a good attempt to reignite interest in Atari 2600 games. The way that the game uses older titles to create mini-games is genius, if not straight from the pages of Wario World. The only caveat is that you get some of that 1980s unforgiving difficulty with it, which at times can make the game a bit unfun. It’s still a solid attempt at creating something new with the Atari brand, and certainly one you should check out.