3338 Published Reviews
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & DebriefedPS4
I can’t imagine anyone so desperate for content that they would find value in this only marginally improved ten-year-old game. Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is and has always been, awful and no HD remaster will fix its terrible story, lackluster combat, primitive graphics, and creepy tone. Some games are broken or bad in a kind of fun way, but Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed isn’t broken, it’s just bad and decidedly, aggressively not fun at all.
Death’s Door is a masterclass in level design. The interwoven areas encourage and reward exploration, whilst the simple yet challenging combat makes confrontations a thrill. With an alluring art style, sorrowful soundtrack, Acid Nerve has managed to create one of the greatest indie titles of 2021.
Although Risk System might not appeal to bullet hell enthusiasts, it still provides an excellent challenge. And really, Risk System isn’t trying to appeal to them anyway; it’s made to be much more accessible and innovative. In that sense, it exceeds in shining colors. I just wish there was more game to play. But for the low price tag, anyone interested in the shoot ‘em up genre can’t go wrong with a Risk System purchase.
Macrotis: A Mother's JourneySwitch
From the moment you lay your eyes on Mother Bilby, you’ll fall in love with this title. The beautiful animation, emotive story, and luscious backdrops echo great cartoons of the past. Proud Dinosaur has expertly crafted puzzles that mature in quality and difficulty as the game progresses. Although Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey is relatively short and a little sluggish at times, the game imbues quality, making this a journey worth taking.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDSwitch
On its own merits, Skyward Sword HD still has a little rust on the blade. The level design leans on outdated, clumsy mechanics. Traversal between islands is boring at best, painful at worst. The motion controls, the outdated mechanics in question, are still an absolute third rail, not to be engaged with for any reason. On the other hand, this is an excellent remaster.
Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze DetectiveSwitch
Labyrinth City: Pierre, the Maze Detective, is an enjoyable experience that combines intelligent-level design and a charming art style. The lovely setting, packed with detail, is a joy to explore even though it lacks any real challenge. With several collectibles in each level, there is some replayability. However, I would be surprised if many revisit the game after completing it.
F1 2021Xbox Series X
Catering to both casual newcomers and the most exacting simulation-seekers, F1 2021 offers a mind-blowing amount of polished and entertaining content, whether your preference is to race alone or with others. With the new Braking Point single-player story and improvements and expansions to just about everything else, F1 2021 is that rare instance of an annual sports game that has managed to continue to get better with every release.
Where the Heart LeadsPS4
The narrative holds a mirror to the player, cornering them against realistic in-game situations and forces them to investigate their values. It’s not preachy, by any means, but it uses realism in a way that made me want to get my own life in order. If such was the goal, Armature Games has succeeded through and through.
Curved Space is described as arcade-style anyways, so I don’t understand why the devs thought the story was needed at all. If they focused on polishing a mode that players can have some mindless fun, Curved Space could be leaps and bounds better. There’s a reason why rogue-lites have been finding so much success in the indie sphere: gameplay-first designs that just feel nice to play.
Old World succeeds in giving genre fans a clear alternative to their favorite games, but it seems unconcerned with welcoming the uninitiated, thanks to a fussy interface, lack of patient tutorials, and a focus on a fairly narrow slice of history and culture. Fundamentally, Old World both honors a tradition and gently pushes it forward.
Crash Drive 3Switch
Crash Drive 3 is a fun idea that is enjoyable in short bursts. Unfortunately, in longer sessions, an array of issues are glaringly obvious. The slippy driving mechanics, repetitive missions and bland visuals make this an uninspiring release. With almost no reason to play solo, the game’s reliance on a community could mean that the game crashes before it hits the highway. Due to this, I would hit the brakes before picking up this racer.
Sniper Elite VRPS4
Sniper Elite VR is the complete package. It’s got great gameplay, excellently designed levels, and the best scope use of any game to date. While the game may have some graphical blemishes, Rebellion has stated that a day one game patch will be available to address them plus other items.
Not everyone is going to love the attention-getting and specific art style and level of abstraction, or the bare minimum story or lack of interesting characters. That said, a game that knows how to balance its strengths with just enough story, gameplay, and challenge is worth playing, and Boomerang X definitely knows its strength.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of RuinSwitch
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the perfect example of a game I didn’t know I needed. It scratches the itch that Pokemon hasn’t been able to touch in years, all the while setting itself apart from the influences it drew from. While it may be limited in certain aspects by the Switch itself, there’s no denying that this one of the best games for the system in 2021.
Warhammer 40,000: Space WolfXbox One
With so little effort put into making Space Wolf feel like it actually belongs anywhere near the new systems, it’s hard not to be anything but disappointed and cynical about this release. Graphics aren’t everything, of course, but Space Wolf’s other elements aren’t nearly strong enough to tip this one into the win column.
Disgaea 6: Defiance of DestinySwitch
In the end, all that Disgaea 6 truly demands of a player is the willingness to learn its mechanics, an appreciation for its zany sense of humor, and a fondness for cute anime demons causing problems on purpose. As long as you can give it that, you’ll have a good time with this game.
ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the KnightsXbox Series X
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights has been in early access on Steam for quite some time, where it has garnered significant praise, and rightly so. Now coming to consoles and in full release on PC, any fan of games like Hollow Knight, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night or the Dark Souls franchise will enjoy Ender Lilies for its incredible art, mysterious story and action combat.
Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2PC
The less open-world nature of the campaign keeps things moving and the large toybox of gadgets and weapons is there for players to use, or not. I wish Sniper Ghost Warrior Contracts 2 had a more engaging set of characters and better action combat outside the sniping mechanics, but the game is a well-made step in the right direction for the franchise.
Overall, Wildermyth is a fantastic addition to the CRPG genre that shows how great procedural generation can be when used smartly. I would highly recommend this game for anyone who is a fan of TTRPGs, maybe even with a couple of friends if your playgroup has been looking for something new to tackle.
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR SeriesPS4
Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series succeeds in its goal of making you feel like a Jedi. With a high production value, intriguing plot, and excellent cinematics, the game will leave fans of the franchise in awe. However, with little gameplay and a short runtime, this is more of a VR experience than a game.
A Rogue EscapePC
It’s also short. That’s a common complaint in VR games, though, and it seems that in these early days we’ll have to judge VR games by the quality of their content, not the quantity of it. By that standard, A Rogue Escape is a decent experience. If you like a game that doesn’t hold your hand, you’ll like this one.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!Switch
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is the kind of game that provides experiences unique to the video game medium. It is also the kind of game that pushes the visual novel genre’s boundaries, and serves as an excellent example of what non-video game players might not know they’re missing, if they’re not willing to try different kinds of games.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity - Pulse of the AncientsSwitch
DLC content needs to walk a fine line between substantial and exhausting. Pulse of The Ancients doesn’t always pull it off, but it almost isn’t meant to. This is endgame content, you see. There’s no handholding or pleasant jaunts happening here. This is a vicious gauntlet, a sweaty sprint through harsh plains under a blistering sun.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark AllianceXbox Series X
Dear Dark Alliance: those of us that were fans of the original PS2 game and the Dungeons and Dragons franchise came ready to enjoy you. You waved your fancy pedigree and showed us your impressive environments, only to disappoint us once we paid the price of admission.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2Switch
Whether you’re a fan of the originals, or a curious party looking to get into skateboarding games, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a must play. All the original content, a smooth framerate, portability, loads of in-game customization, and a pinch of new content are a recipe for skateboarding success. Only a lack of create-a-skater options and lack of Spider-Man mar this fun flashback. This is what it’s like when worlds collide.