392 Published Reviews
That aside, Neon Abyss is an absolute joy. Having put plenty of times into other games like this, Neon Abyss is the first where it felt like the deck was stacked equally between the enemies and the player. Sometimes, the random swings go the enemies’ way, and you find no bombs, no keys, and die to spikes while making what should have been a super easy jump.
RB: Axolotl is a multi-year labor of love from a very small team and it bravely includes some characters and emotional situations that have rarely been explored in games, but given the passive nature of the player experience, I couldn’t help but wonder if the video game format was the best, or even a necessary, vehicle for telling the story.
In Death: UnchainedPC
There are some excellent elements and bits and pieces here — shooting with the ranged weapons, the medieval vibe — and In Death: Unchained is enough unlike other Quest games to make it worth a look. After that first blush, though, the game’s lack of soul and variety, and its fundamental mechanical issues make it less appealing in the long term.
The Wake: Mourning Father, Mourning MotherPC
The Wake: Mourning Father, Mourning Mother is too uncoordinated in the game being made and the story being told. It hits a strange chord with me because I find Somi laudable and his previous work worth investigating. The visual/audio design’s toned-down, retro ethos marries well with the saccharine storytelling and yet, obstructive gameplay frequently flatlined my drive to turn the next page.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete EditionPC
Between the base game and the Frozen Wilds expansion, Horizon: Zero Dawn Complete Edition is a forty+ hour experience that should not be missed by fans of open world action games. Three years down the road from release, Horizon feels a little more unfocused to me than it did at launch, but the story, combat and characters are still some of my favorites from the past few years and so I was happy to return to Aloy’s world, that now looks even better.
Creaks stands out by its beautiful art style, especially when it comes to the various paintings found throughout the mansion. Amanita Design has made a puzzle game that offers just enough accessible cerebral challenges. Though by no means a poorly constructed piece of software, Creaks’ minimalist approach to gameplay is entertaining in the moment but doesn’t quite leave much of a lasting impression.
Crysis is from a different era of gaming, which works as both a strength and a weakness in the remaster. Visually the game is largely a success, with impressive lighting and dense foliage that revitalizes some of the magic around the original release's graphics. The game's free-form level design makes for immersive sandboxes that favor creativity, planning, and player expression.
Few X-COM derivatives make you care for characters like Othercide does, even if the daughters can be considered expendable. Bolstered by sensuous visuals and melodic, elegant heavy metal tunes, Othercide is definitely not the case of style over substance. Both sides of the game support each other in the eternal battle between good and evil. Any fan of tactical combat and challenge should break on through to Othercide!
There were many times in my playthrough of Hellpoint where I had the same delicious salad of feelings that I get with Dark Souls — frustration at my own carelessness, need to try again or satisfaction at besting a challenging encounter — but these highs were balanced by some disappointments with the design that seemed to intentionally frustrate. Even more than Nioh, The Surge, or Remnant, Hellpoint goes all in with the Dark Souls model.
Rock of Ages 3: Make & BreakPS4
There are parts of Rock of Ages 3: Make & Break that I really came to enjoy. The rolling aspect of the game can be quite rewarding and the humor is consistently outstanding. I also appreciate any game that works well in a split screen local multiplayer today, something which far too many modern games overlook. The tower defense modes just keep showing up, though, and they consistently take away from the experience.
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in DisguiseSwitch
For the sequel, many of its characters are little more than obstacles to overcome and when you do, you barely hear from them ever again unless the story calls for them to make an appearance out of convenience. When you get right down to it, A Blessing In Disguise’s attempt to recapture lightning in a bottle largely fumbles because of its severe banality and ho-hum drama.
Destroy All Humans!PS4
Aside from updated visuals, the one new mission, and slightly tweaked gameplay, it’s a game that still doesn’t have much going for it besides the comedy factor. Though the remake is definitely the definitive way to play Destroy All Humans!, I still find it difficult to really recommend it.
Paper Mario: The Origami KingSwitch
Origami King has the trademark humor and heart the series is known for, as well as a unique battle system. It continues the tradition of great Paper Mario games while being different enough to stand on its own. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll most likely be a fan of this one as well.
Carrion has a great hook and its core mission — to become a ravenous and swift-moving pile of tentacled jelly with teeth — is delightfully gruesome and successfully realized. It’s fun, but the the experience is slightly undermined by repetitive level and puzzle design, some questionable POV shifts, and a lack of story or context that might add even more tension and horror.
Rocket ArenaXbox One
Rocket Arena’s retro rocket romanticism aesthetics, playful music and cute and fun characters (super-freckled Rev being my favorite!) go a long way to make it easily approachable. However, despite the four main game modes, the nature of the gameplay feels limited. It’s easy to play and fun in short bursts, but that’s just it; in short bursts.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2Switch
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is a somewhat uneven sequel. On one hand, its new playable characters create some of the most ingenious stretches of retro platforming in recent memory. The myriad abilities at your disposal create an open-ended experience, and dismantling tricky challenges with your broad toolset is one of the game's greatest pleasures.
NASCAR Heat 5PS4
The game simply lacks any thrill and excitement of its namesake, not to mention its presentation and overall vibes that cry about a budget title. Alas, it’s not such but sold at fifty bucks. I guess if you are truly and desperately in a need of a stock car racing fix, NASCAR Heat 5 could suffice as an emergency measure. Just wait for the sale and you will be much happier with your purchase.
Röki pretends to be smarter - and more emotional - than it really is. As hard as it tries to impress and touch, it left me feeling as if I had eaten a plate of stale pickled herrings. Röki has gameplay and pacing issues but the biggest annoyance is that the lovable character you will play as has not been given any humanly worth beyond her obsessive mission.
Burnout Paradise RemasteredSwitch
No matter how good the game is — and make no mistake, it’s great — it’s hard not to scoff at the price. Yes, if you’re a fan of Burnout Paradise or open-world racers, this remaster is worth a look. But unless you’re craving a handheld experience, it might be wise to grab it elsewhere — or wait for a price drop.
Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral TownPC
Friends of Mineral Town may not feature quite everything that the newest Story of Seasons games have, but it comes fairly close and it does so while remaking one of the series most popular titles. Fans of this long-running farming series should feel good picking the remake up and playing it whenever they can, and if you're a recent convert (from, say, the breakout success of Stardew Valley), you will also undoubtedly love this title as well. Welcome back to Mineral Town!
The Coma 2: Vicious SistersPS4
The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters mixes up the Lovecraftian horror with the Asian concept of netherworld to present its ghastly apparitions and locales, overgrown in tentacles and disfigured flesh. Still, the game is wise enough not to rely on jump scares even though there are some unexpected sights to behold. Like the best Asian horror, it slowly creeps under your skin and when played late in the night, you know what you will be dreaming of.
Overall, I enjoyed Crosscode much more than I thought I would. Despite the generic and cliched start of the game, it is full of great writing and a lot of heart. Couple that with solid gameplay, beautiful graphics and a solid soundtrack and you have an indie-RPG that is easy to recommend to fans of the genre. If you're a fan of action-RPG's and fondly remember the 16-bit era, you owe it to yourself to check CrossCode out!
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive EditionSwitch
All in all, if you’ve been waiting to play Xenoblade Chronicles for any reason, now is the time to do it. Having never taken the plunge with its initial release on the Wii, or its re-release on the 3DS, the Definitive Edition is just that. It’s a beautiful game with a great story that finally feels like it's found the system it deserves.
Ghost of TsushimaPS4
Jin’s story is a fascinating one as he struggles with his growing identity as the Ghost amidst others taking him to task for using tactics unbecoming of a samurai. Ghost of Tsushima is a game I could not put down because the combat is so good, the world is fun to explore, and the stories it has to tell are rich and compelling. And I’m already anxiously awaiting a sequel.
It simply shifts the shark in the direction of the closest foe, even if it is not your intended target. Please don’t utilize this feature! Unfortunately, Maneater does not have very much post-game content or replayability, but it’s a tremendously epic, over-the-top open-world action RPG where you dominate the ocean as an apex predator, gaining new and improved bio-adaptations as you rank up. Kindly do yourself a favor and play it!