Epitasis is not an adventure game, but a collection of painfully similar puzzles that require minimum effort to solve. On the bright side, the main goal of Lucas Govatos' creation was to provide some simple, casual, relaxing fun, and it achieves that, looking pretty good while at it. Just make sure to grab it when it gets a lot cheaper.
Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-teredSwitch
There's nothing new to say about Guerrilla that hasn't been said before - its gameplay is solid and enjoyable enough to hold up its shortcomings in the story and graphics departments. They just don't make games like this anymore, and perhaps with good reason. Nevertheless, this is a robust cult classic that houses some thrills up its sleeve. It's intriguing that Red Faction has even made a reappearance… Is THQ Nordic gauging interest for a sequel, perhaps?
For an action-adventure title, inaccurate hit-boxes and level-design that's even slightly off can be a deal-breaker. Rather than get dragged down by its deficiencies, Blasphemous rises above to create a uniquely engaging experience. Exploring the dire realm of Cvstodia is a treat in itself. The lore is intriguing, and the few characters you meet weave compelling narratives. Still, there remains an unshakeable thought that this game is a beautiful painting, but with an askew frame.
Gamers may not remember Turrican. Thankfully, Gunlord X is here to fill that gap inside everyone's soul, which only fast-paced 2D action can fill. Not since Sonic Mania has a throw-back retro style game been pulled off with this much panache and style. While it may not be lengthy, it is hard to let go of the controller because playing as Gunlord just feels so good and the wake of destruction he can leave feels so satisfying.
Spyro Reignited TrilogySwitch
A brilliant remaster that has wiped the dust off the original Spyro trilogy and given it a lease of new life in the hope of introducing Spyro to a new generation of gamers. The Nintendo Switch feels like the most suitable home for a family friendly mascot platformer where so many primary colours are at full bloom, so it is a shame that it has taken such a long time for a port. The low level difficulty will be quite off-putting to seasoned gamers, but charming characters, varied worlds and a number of items to collect will keep younger players entertained for quite some time.
Home to an incredibly immersive world and the best combat on the Nintendo Switch, Astral Chain is a must-play not only for fans of the genre, but the medium as a whole. It is a title that understands the importance of balancing gameplay, story, and style without ever sacrificing substance for anything else. It's more accessible than most PlatinumGames titles without ever having to compromise its core mechanics. The slower start may alienate potential fans but sticking with Astral Chain leads to a surprisingly thematic script, incredibly deep combat, and what might be Platinum's best game to date.
Children of MortaPC
Children of Morta is an exceptionally well made ARPG, where the same amount of attention has been given to all its aspects, from the way it plays, to the way it's story is told, to the way it looks. Those in search for something with hundreds of hours of additional content should better look elsewhere, but the pleasure of combat (solo or co-op), and the addictive nature of rogue-likes, combined with the strong narrative, and the fantastic ultra-detailed pixel art style, gives a pretty good reason to put this on your wishlist - NOW!
The Ninja Saviors: Return of the WarriorsSwitch
Altogether, Ninja Saviors: Return of the Warriors is an exemplary update to the 1994 original. Both the new and returning characters have impressive move-sets. Discovering how to implement these techniques is very rewarding. The eight stages aren't especially creative, but they all have strong fundamentals. If players want a spot on the online leaderboards, then they have to take as little damage as possible, and accurately gauge threats. While it is fun to mash on hapless grunts, targeting elites is the only way to survive. This is one beat em' up gem that you don't want to miss.
Catherine: Full BodyPS4
Catherine: Full Body's narrative contributions may ultimately serve to hinder what was an otherwise thoughtfully written story about self-discovery, but the overall improvement when it comes to gameplay is almost staggering. With hundreds of brand-new stages to play through - both in the main game and in Super Rapunzel - along with deep online multiplayer, this is a remake that offers so much high quality content that it's difficult not to see the whole package as a complete upgrade.
Vambrace: Cold SoulSwitch
This is, for the most part, a disappointment. By no means a terrible game, Vambrace: Cold Soul plays it a bit too safe with its concepts, as most of them are straight up copied from better tactical rogue-likes and RPGs, and especially Darkest Dungeon. Gorgeous character design can only get you so far...
Anodyne 2: Return to DustPC
nodyne 2 is a unique game that really can't be compared with any other in the industry - not even the original of the "series." Anodyne 2 is a jack of all trades that is what it wants to be in any specific time; a 3D platformer from the late '90s, a 2D Zelda-esque puzzler with a GBC/GBA feel, a completely obscure adventure, an existential trip down to the subconscious, and so on and forth. If a lover of weird, give it a look. It's hard to foretell whether you'll like it or not, but it will definitely manage to stay with you for a while... and then some.
For the spiritual sequel of the Momodora games, Minoria doesn't really do much to separate itself from them, or add some new mechanics. For some that won't be a problem. Those thirty for more of the same will definitely enjoy this short, marvellously gloomy, and pleasantly unforgiving journey. Undoubtedly, it has a pretty strong, unique charm, and it's far from mediocre, but it's safe to say that much better metroidvania alternatives exist out there.
Lucah: Born of a DreamPC
Lucah: Born of a Dream is the type of game that starts off great, but the more someone plays, the more they realize it isn't really so. Combat ultimately is repetitive, the graphics are bad enough that important scenes are lost, and the largest problem is that the 'deep' story is so vague that this becomes an annoyance every time some dark concept is dropped on the player only to never be seen again. To allow a player to finish a sizable play-through and have zero idea on the story is unforgivable.
Wreckfest is at its best when you don't take it too seriously. It features a great handling model that's sufficiently deep and rewarding to master. The wild and dirty races tend to be quite enjoyable too. Of course, the chaos can sometimes become frustrating. There are few things worse than getting knocked off the track at the last possible moment. It's even more agonizing when it's not entirely your fault. Those who persevere, despite the occasional bout of unfairness, will get a lot of mileage out of this.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac AgeSwitch
On a scale of best to worst Final Fantasy titles, XII sits somewhere in the middle. It exists in a bland limbo of mediocrity. The best qualities lie in its art direction, music and animation. Being able to play with a high speed mode truly illustrates just how slow and tedious the combat actually is and by circumventing it entirely, a huge portion of the experience is compromised but also the overall product is made more enjoyable.
Everything about this title is unique in a good way, from its eerie tone to its vibrant combat to its mysterious story. The design work is fantastic, even though the main thing holding the experience back is the lack of optimisation. This will most likely be fixed in the coming weeks but it's these stutters in Control's step that hold it back from being truly seamless. Nevertheless, this is a very, very good game, and a must play for sci-fi enthusiasts and fans of Remedy's past works.
MetaGal is the store-brand version of - any - Mega Man. It has all of the elements from said franchise, but none of the charm - competent, but unremarkable. The pieces are there for a good experience, but the potential is withheld, and the result is a title that's merely serviceable. With the much better-made, and entertaining Mega Man 11 out, there's no need to bother with this one. Like Mighty No.9, it attempts to be a spiritual successor to the classics, but past the retro aesthetics, there is a game that's simply run-of-the-mill.
Picross S3 definitely improved since its predecessor Picross S2. Especially the newly added colour picross mode is a lot of fun to play and makes a real difference in the gameplay experience. This entry offers more variability, making it easier to play longer and harder to get bored. However, it still has a variety of flaws that could be tended to in the future.
Strictly as an adventure-type videogame, Sagebrush is as simplistic one can get. As an experience, though, it's an unforgettable journey to the bizarre world of religious fanaticism, and, more specifically, suicide cults; one with an incredibly immersive, hair-raising atmosphere, in great part courtesy of its incredibly fitting, 32-bit era visuals, and minimalist approach to sound. If a fan of short, narrative-driven, psychological thrillers, this is a must-buy.
Collection of ManaSwitch
Collection of Mana is a must play for fans of the series, the genre, and the medium. Final Fantasy Adventure's humble simplicity shines to this day, culminating in an unforgettable adventure; Secret of Mana fleshes out its predecessor's gameplay in all the right ways while establishing the Mana franchise's aesthetic; and Trials of Mana offers western games the opportunity to play one of the greatest sequels of all time with an official English translation. Collection of Mana has its quirks, but there's no good reason to skip out on this legendary compilation.
Bitlogic - A Cyberpunk Arcade AdventureSwitch
Bitlogic: A Cyberpunk Arcade Adventure is a gimmick or novelty of a video game that is meant for twitch streams or to dupe friends into playing it as a joke. It is not the most enjoyable adventure game but is also not designed to be the great either since it is trying to make a point. It is designed to be played by almost anyone and not counting the directional pad, it only uses one button. By that token it is almost impressive that it manages to be engaging at all.
SEGA AGES Space HarrierSwitch
Sega Ages Space Harrier is a perfect port of a great classic that remains a milestone in video gaming technology to this day, perfectly preserved for both home and portable play in its Switch incarnation. It could have included a better integer scaling option in docked mode, but it nails it flat on the head in every other area.
There is a fascinating premise, and a robust story, but it takes far too long to really get going, and the side-quests are wasted. Also, the scope feels too small. When it comes to the combat, the wide range of Daemons keeps things fresh, changing up the experience enough to keep interest higher but, at its core, the combat is just... fine. There's nothing special - same with the RPG elements that add little extra depth to the whole thing.
Like with the original, BloodRayne 2 remains a simplistic, and flawed hack 'n' slasher that's more concerned with looking and feeling cool than being a great videogame. Fans of such titles will definitely manage to have lots of fun for the few evenings it will last, but in all honesty, don't expect much improvement over BloodRayne.
Artifact Adventure Gaiden DXSwitch
If in search for a fresh take on the RPG genre, then Artifact Adventure Gaiden DX is well worth discovering. Its uniquely-designed world draws elements from a number of other classics, and then gives it all its own creative spin. Though constant fights can get a little mind-numbing, the speed at which they move helps keep them from becoming dull. The world is packed full of quests and secrets to uncover, yet the typical play-through leans on the short side. Players are sure to have a fulfilling adventure, without sacrificing all of their free time.