Harry Potter: Wizards UniteAndroid
Beyond that feeling of individuality, I'm just not sold on what Niantic has created here. There are small, annoying issues with storage, access to necessary potion ingredients, and the wild inconsistency of how well it rates my spell tracing, but the far bigger problem with Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is its inability to utilize the IP and the technology in a way that is not only engaging but also distinct from Niantic's other games. I have no doubt in my mind there is a great Harry Potter AR game out there. This just isn't it.
MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black OrderSwitch
There's plenty of room for improvement, but I had fun playing through Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. With the Marvel IP less muddled and the simplicity of this deal between Marvel and Nintendo, I'd love to see another with enhancements in tow.
The Fate of Atlantis Episode 3 - Judgment of AtlantisXbox One
With that in mind, Atlantis is a bit smaller in scale compared to the last two DLCs, and Ubisoft tries to mask that with some light gating. In order to access a few strongholds (and one critical path quest near the end), you have to acquire "Isu Knowledge," a statistic that can be earned from reading tablets and finding hidden caches. It's not like these are impossible to find as many are in plain sight during missions, but it feels grating all the same.
Umihara Kawase Fresh!Switch
The gameplay in the Umihara Kawase games may be a tough sell to some people, as it requires finesse and familiarity rather than twitch reflexes. However, if you’ve ever been interested in the series, or if you’ve never heard of it at all, Umihara Kawase Fresh! is probably the best entry point. It makes concessions that create a gentler experience and the inviting framework makes for a more engrossing experience. Better yet, it pulls it off without sacrificing the addictive nature of the core swinging mechanics and the high skill ceiling they provide.
Super Mario Maker 2Switch
The other half is a platform game with no quality control, no impetus for putting legitimate effort into your original designs, and no way to weed out poor content creators other than trusting that players will be able to discern the difference between a bad level and good level and rate them accordingly. Given how many positive messages I've seen attached to genuinely bad stages, I don't have much faith in the Mario Maker community right now and I question whether it'll get better down the line.
Stranger Things 3: The GameSwitch
I'm conflicted. Cooperative titles like this are hard to find nowadays, especially with drop-in, drop-out co-op. There's no denying it's fun exploring with a friend and the game contains some genuinely clever challenges, especially during the boss fights. There's the seed of a great game here, and I'd genuinely like to see more like it. I really hope BonusXP gets the chance to use this engine to make something else: It's pretty good for a licenced product, but ultimately, that's all it is.
With Blazing Chrome you kind of get what you get: it's an hour and change shooter that pays extreme homage to the Contra series. JoyMasher has already proved that they "get" the bygone eras of retro gaming with Oniken and Odallus, and now they have yet another triumph to add to their resume.
Dragon Quest Builders 2PS4
It's easy for me to say Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a good game because it'd be a lie for me to say otherwise. The groundwork laid by the first title is still sound, but it just didn't grab me the same way its predecessor did. That doesn't mean I'm going to stop playing anytime soon -- I still have my home island to complete -- but it does mean it's not going to get my undivided attention for weeks-on-end like the first game did.
Dr. Mario WorldiOS
Super Mario Run's "buy the entire game" concept likely would have worked at a different pricepoint, or perhaps it was worth experimenting further instead of hitching their wagon to one of many runners in an already-bloated runner market. Instead we now have energy meters and gacha-gambling in nearly every mobile release; an extreme 180 compared to the original strategy. Dr. Mario World had plenty of potential to be added to my list of regular mobile games, but I literally can't play it as often as I'd like for that to happen.
The friends of Ringo IshikawaSwitch
Ultimately, though, the game ended up not being for me. I do believe it's worth a look to the right person, but you should know what you're getting into before taking the plunge. I'd also recommend you check this out on PC because that random bug in the Switch version could wind up causing you to waste a ton of time without you even knowing it.
I appreciate Ace Team's attempt here, I really do. It's kind of amazing that this game exists in 2019 under Sega. It's not as original as the team's past projects, but SolSeraph has a lot to like if you're looking for a modern take on an absolute gem of the 16-bit era. Part of me wonders how outlandish these creators could've gotten with a bigger budget and scope, but as a tribute, this still hits the spot.
Senran Kagura Peach BallSwitch
Marvelous and Honey∞Parade Games' biggest mistake with Senran Kagura: Peach Ball was treating it as a budget title because it deserves so much more: more tables, more girls, more everything. Combining the cheeseball sexuality of Senran with pinball is perhaps the most brilliant idea this franchise has ever had and the execution of what is here is nearly flawless. But the lack of a diverse set of pinball tables and a curtailed cast keep Peach Ball from reaching the excellence it could have so easily achieved if the developers had more time and more ideas for what they wanted Peach Ball to be.
Sea of SolitudePC
Sea of Solitude stands out as heartfelt, almost painfully sincere, so much so that I hesitated to actually put a score on this review at all. It felt almost crass to do so, like being allowed to read a relative's diary, only to give it a thumbs-up or -down. Though engaging gameplay and meaningful messaging aren't mutually exclusive in games, Sea of Solitude is squarely one of a growing number of titles that challenges the notion that "fun and entertainment" should be a game's main priority in every case.
FINAL FANTASY XIV: ShadowbringersPS4
Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers is more XIV, and right now that's something I'm still happy with. The story delivers with its effortless whimsy and urgency, the battles are filled with spectacle, and the core fundamentals have only gotten better over time.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-FueledPS4
Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled not only succeeds as a loving and faithful adaptation of the classic PS1 release, but it has been turbo-boosted by a glut of welcome new content including characters, tracks, and modes. Though it occasionally shows its age in course design, and erratically pumps the brakes with a surprising difficulty spike, Nitro-Fueled remains a fast and fun kart racer, sure to please old fans and worthy of a test drive from new ones.
If you're ever in the mood for more Overcooked 2, try not to sleep on Night of the Hangry Horde for too long. Ghost Town Games has really come into its own with these DLC releases. There's still one final expansion pack left to go in the season pass, and at this rate, my expectations are only rising.
The Sinking CityPC
Overall, as much as I adore the story and atmosphere of The Sinking City, it definitely feels like a budget title at times. If you can get past the weak combat, harmless jank, and enjoy a solid detective experience that won't hold your hand and throw tough choices your way, you shouldn't pass up on it. Even more so if you're a fan of Lovecraft. Because as the Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be and that's a good enough reason for me!
I'm not as over the moon as I was with DUSK, but that's like saying you didn't enjoy driving the Camaro as much as the Corvette. Obviously the sports car is nicer, sleeker, and prettier, but the muscle car is still a damn fine piece of machinery. Amid Evil is much the same. This is another wonderful FPS from New Blood that pays homage to and improves upon the past in all the ways you could hope for. Do you really need me to say anything else?
My Friend PedroPC
My Friend Pedro is a crazy, violent, and sometimes downright weird score-attack title. It's designed to be played and replayed in perpetuity, with the aim simply to master its wild action, wide variety of weapons and maneuvers, and over-the-top physics. As long as you're aware of what you're buying into here, you'll have a (double-barreled) blast with its gleefully unashamed anarchy.
I appreciate that the Yakuza studio wanted to try something different with Judgment, even if the biggest deviations are the absence of the bankable character Kazuma Kiryu and the addition of some detective busywork. Given that said work is typically brief, this is an easy one to recommend to Ryu Ga Gotoku acolytes and folks with patience.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the NightPS4
Bloodstained is occasionally frustrating, refreshingly open, and as promised, wholly Castlevania. Hopefully some polish is on the way for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night as to not alienate folks who are new to the genre, but as any Castlevania fan knows, partial jank comes with the territory.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of ZeldaSwitch
Cadence of Hyrule really surprised me. It takes the best parts of Crypt of the NecroDancer and makes them more accessible, which really comes with the territory when you're paying homage to The Legend of Zelda. Although it may still take you a while to pick it up, the familiar and welcome open world format is a much better way for new players to acclimate.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: Fate of Atlantis' track record isn't too shabby so far, with two out of three of its add-ons delivering. While you can take or leave Legacy of the First Blade, this wacky romp through heaven and hell is just seamless enough to fit. It's great to see Ubisoft fully embrace the wilder, more mythical side of the series.
Void Bastards is a good game. It plays just fine and looks amazing, but it lacks some of the "hooks" that many roguelikes drive in. It has great atmosphere, but doesn't do much to really encourage those who are experiencing it to soak it all in. The visual style is some absolute magic, but that sense of amazement does not translate into gameplay.