3115 Published Reviews
Cotton Reboot! is a very pretty and highly enjoyable remake of one of the shmup genre’s most pioneering cute ’em ups — as endearing today as it has ever been while featuring surprisingly deep mechanics for score attack fanatics. It’s a shame a threadbare package, a subjectively high price, and distracting visual issues frequently threaten to spoil the party.
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & DebriefedSwitch
Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed is a horny game if nothing else. It’s not explicit ecchi, but it knows exactly what it’s doing, and it succeeds in a lot of ways. It’s an interesting satire of the otaku lifestyle, both poking fun at and embracing it.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDSwitch
Zelda: Skyward Sword was a weird game to assess in 2011, much less today. It had a lot of great ideas undercut by some questionable design choices, but to some, it was the best Zelda ever made. I understand that $60 for a remaster of a 2011 game is a big ask, but this is the definitive version of a flawed yet fun adventure that should be part of any Zelda rotation.
Mario Golf: Super RushSwitch
Mario Golf: Super Rush is still a fairly solid golf experience, but it will need some of that aforementioned post-launch support to match up with previous sports spinoffs for me. It satisfies a craving for some arcade-style golf multiplayer, and I can see myself having some fun playing an 18-hole trek with friends online a few more times. I’m just hoping for some more reasons to keep me coming back.
I like the way that Boomerang X sprinkles in combat abilities and just-fussy-enough enemy types. It’s all layered on without needlessly complicating the whole thing. This game starts fun, and it ends fun. There’s no time for your mind to wander, or get twisted up trying to remember the controls, or feel too stressed out. It’s a great flow.
What Monster Hunter Stories as a whole truly offers is an expansive look into the Monster Hunter universe through a more welcoming lens. It’s not as deep (in ways that both hurt and help its case), but that’s by design. Just know what you’re getting into and you should have a fun time with Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Zombies Ate My Neighbors and Ghoul PatrolSwitch
You could do worse — there are still two fun games here — but you could do better. I always applaud when old games become more widely available, but I prefer it when they go the extra mile to present a definitive version. This isn’t the definitive version of either game, so I hope you’re happy with just a version.
Secret Agent HDPC
I don’t want to set expectations too high, however. This is a ‘90s DOS platformer, so it may be a little antiquated for some. There’s no plotline to get immersed in, the design is deliciously simple, and it’s not all that lengthy. But for $7.99, there’s no better way to experience this little shareware gem. It’s a lovingly definitive version of an already enjoyable game.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark AlliancePC
Okay, I screwed that one up. Its other strengths are… Let me put it gently: there is some promise to its multiplayer. If its control issues are mopped up and the enemies recover from their collective hangovers, Dark Alliance could be reasonable fun with friends. For a little while. I guess.
Umurangi Generation Special EditionSwitch
Umurangi Generation defines itself by its ability to make self-contradiction work in its favor. It’s a joyful romp and a painful trap. It’s colorful, zesty, and empowering, and also bleak, confining, and debilitating. The way it weaves these opposite traits together into a cohesive whole allows it to be potentially life-altering. It has permanently changed the way I see video games, the real world, and myself. It wouldn’t have been able to do that if it weren’t so perfectly imperfect.
Scarlet Nexus is, ultimately, some gorgeous, action-heavy comfort food. It is Saturday morning anime in game form, and while it will struggle to hold your attention from a story perspective, it’s also a good way to lose 30 hours in a fun combat system. It’s not a narrative powerhouse, but if you need a vehicle for bashing monsters with the might of your brain, it’ll suit that need just fine.
All these years later it’s a treat to revisit the world of Legend of Mana in any form, much less through an HD modern lens. It’s still unlike just about anything else out there.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DXPS4
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is a visually gorgeous upgrade to a very rose-tinted release. While the flaws of the original game remain laid bare, Jankenteam accentuates the positives, reimagining one of console gaming’s earliest universes with stunning artwork, great animation, and a sophisticated score.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 – The Official Video GameXbox One
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: The Official Video Game doesn’t have a lot going on. Progression boils down to earning points to unlocking costumes, different titles, earning medals, and not much else. That progression can be kind of a slog, though, when a lot of the gameplay mechanics are too shallow to be fun for more than a few minutes (especially when playing alone). It’s at its absolute best when it’s over-the-top and absurd while competing in sports that are more than just button mashing.
Game Builder GarageSwitch
If you have aspirations of making your own video game but haven’t taken that first step, Game Builder Garage is for you. Just keep your expectations in check. You probably won’t be able to make your perfect game with just this software, but it could provide the creative spark that pushes you to turn your game developer dreams into a reality.
Mass Effect Legendary EditionPC
If we’re setting off to new horizons and, eventually, a new Mass Effect, then Mass Effect Legendary Edition serves as a solid collection of this trilogy. This is everything these three games were, and still are to many fans, preserved for time. Just like the capsule Liara makes during Mass Effect 3, this is what can hopefully stand the test of time and carry what this trilogy is—its characters, its worlds, and its stories—forward for ages to come.
I’m not even sure if I enjoyed it, I just couldn’t look away. It’s like being trapped in a burning circus; it’s a little terrifying, but you can’t help enjoying yourself. There’s something awe-inspiring about having all these terrible little facets come together into a cohesive package. So, I guess I recommend playing it?
Phantasy Star Online 2: New GenesisPC
I’m not sure if New Genesis is going to live up to the nine-year-and-still-going legacy of PSO 2, but it’s a start. Sega does have their work cut out for them, though. It’s a lot easier to localize years-old PSO 2 content for the west than it is to make entirely new content for New Genesis and also localize it. New Genesis will live and die by its updates. For now, it’s free. Enjoy it, even for just a bit.
If I was looking for an on-ramp to understanding Guilty Gear or even one-on-one anime fighters, this is the game to do it with; and what’s here looks ready to act as a platform for more to come, as there will no doubt be balance changes and new characters to come. I can lament what it might be missing, but Guilty Gear Strive is also what I needed right now: a good, solid, very online-capable fighting game with plenty of big swords, charging dolphins, and doctors with questionable credentials to go around.
DC Super Hero Girls: Teen PowerSwitch
A lot of effort went into creating an experience that fans of the show will recognize and respect. Whether or not they’ll find the game to be fun depends on their tolerance for simple combat, poor AI, and repetitive missions. Speaking as a fan of the show, I can say everything the developers got wrong with DC Super Hero Girls: Teen Power didn’t deter me from enjoying everything they got right.
Final Fantasy VII Remake IntergradePS5
As far as Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade INTERmission goes as a whole, I’m really glad it exists. Yuffie is a character worth exploring on her own, as the enhanced focus on the Wutai and Shinra conflict in the Remake needed fleshing out. To be frank I wouldn’t mind seeing another one of these, say for Vincent, at some point.
Chicory: A Colorful TalePC
Not only is Chicory a fun game, and not only did it speak to me on a profound level, it also made me want to be a better me. I’m not exaggerating nor using hyperbole, it’s a well-built experience with a tremendous amount of heart. It wants you to be you, and it wants you to know that the best you can do is always good enough.
Koei Tecmo could have used this opportunity to further strengthen the weak link beyond what it already did, but the first two games still stand so tall that it justifies the preservation altogether.
It’s a good time with an enjoyable story, but otherwise it’s just kind of routine. The visual style is great, but it’s offset by uneven audio design. There’s definitely a lot to love about Backbone, I just don’t feel it sticks the landing quite well. It will be worthwhile playing for most, but I’m more interested in what comes next from EggNut.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartPS5
Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart isn’t afraid to revel in its mascot-platformer roots, but it manages to knock so many of its competitors completely out of the water. The secret sauce? Insomniac knows that a strong presentation goes a long way, and they’ve stretched this formula about as far as it can go with plenty of customization and a compelling world to play around in. While it’s uneven at times, it’ll suck you into the universe of Ratchet & Clank all over again.