2979 Published Reviews
I have to admit, I found Hotshot Racing to be quite enamoring. I don’t have much nostalgia for the early days of 3D racing games, but I do appreciate a good arcade racer, and that’s exactly what this is. Its cheery sound design and visuals are endlessly charming and the driving feels exactly as it should. If you feel the need to go back to the simpler days of racing games, this certainly fits the bill. This likely won’t be the last time I take it for a lap around the track.
Super Punch PatrolSwitch
At $4.99, you really can't go wrong with downloading Super Punch Patrol from the eShop. With a few adjustments this could be a really good, potentially great game, but there's easily five bucks worth of entertainment here, including 12 costumes to unlock across the three characters and an online leaderboard if you want to chase high scores. Just make sure you bring a friend along because this city is not kind to those who walk its streets alone.
Hades had the unenviable task of bridging a well-established action-roguelike format with impactful character-driven storytelling, and neither element feels like an afterthought. They lift each other to new heights. The finer details – all those little artistic touches that add up over time – really seal the deal.
Super Mario 3D All-StarsSwitch
Super Mario 3D All-Stars, as barebones as it might be as a compilation, is a great way to experience (or re-experience) these games all over again. It was a joy running through all three of them even if they weren't strictly upgraded. That goes double for Mario Galaxy, as this is going to be my preferred way to play it from now on.
13 Sentinels: Aegis RimPS4
Had Vanillaware crafted a title where the story and the action wove into one another flawlessly, we'd be looking at the greatest game the developer has ever made, without question. Unfortunately, that's not what this game is, and while what is here is great, it's crushing to see just how close 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim came to perfection.
Death and TaxesSwitch
It’s definitely a worthwhile game, especially if you’re a fan of bureaucracy simulators. If you get stimulation from organizing, considering, and processing. Entrepreneurial pirate aside, the game is well written and delivered. The soundtrack is outstanding, the atmosphere is just so, and the replay value is nice.
Spelunky 2 is more Spelunky. It doesn't wildly reinvent the formula, and even brings back a lot of the same hazards and enemies that tormented you the first time around. But it innovates ever so slightly in so many ways to help give this sequel its own life. Either way, it sucked me back in.
It manages to keep things smelling fresh by putting you through some absolutely bizarre situations, and you’ll never forget the first time a lobster comes at you with a revolver. On the other hand, this kind of stupid fun is always fleeting. You’re probably not going to spend a lot of time mastering the art of the death pinch, and once the novelty wears off, you’ll likely molt your old shell and move on.
Borderlands 3 - Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic FustercluckPC
Although it can feel slow-going at times, Borderlands 3: Psycho Krieg and the Fantastic Fustercluck benefits from its lore-heavy framework and a clear focus on one major character. If Gearbox has anything to say about it, this isn't the end of Borderlands 3's DLC, despite the fact that this is the final expansion of the first season pass. There's plenty of room for improvement if it is meant to be.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on GorgonPC
Peril on Gorgon is a meaningful and natural extension of the base game. It avoids feeling tacked on, which was my main concern coming in, and it's more of the good stuff, not filler. Don't skip it! That said, without knowing exactly when or where the second half of the Season Pass will slot in, I'd potentially wait to knock both DLC stories out at the same time (and save a bit of money) if you can.
Paradise Killer is a strange experience. Even having completed it, I have difficulty putting into words what it was like to play it. It's sometimes boring, often intriguing, frequently funny, and startlingly deep. I didn’t go into this expecting such an amazing detective experience, but that’s exactly what I got. It’s rare to see a game so adeptly balance style and substance, and even though it’s not a flawless experience, it has it where it counts.
Every time Moon would lose me with its constant waiting around or head-scratching puzzle solutions, it would win me back with its humor, characters, writing, and music. This is a game that exudes joy, and while I wasn't always having fun playing it, I am grateful that I at least got the chance to experience it.
When Avengers isn't getting in the way of itself with its tacked-on campaign, it's a bit of silly arcade fun. If a lot of these concerns are answered via post-launch patches and the DLC characters are fun to play, there's plenty of room for improvement with Avengers. At launch, it's not going to wow everyone. Maybe Marvel wanted this out as soon as possible, but it could have used another delay.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PS4
Blemishes aside, Activision is doing so much right this time beyond just putting Vicarious Visions in charge. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 isn't going to blow people away, but it preserves the original experience with a few modern conveniences. It's a win.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered EditionPS4
I imagine Square Enix will get the online working consistently in due time, negating a huge chunk of this review. But even if it does someday become consistently available, I worry it won't greatly improve on the final product. Too much of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition is tied to an experience that is no longer available.
From a distance, Windbound is a gorgeous oceanic adventure with a fun sailing system that isn't afraid to push back, but up close, the cracks start to show. The game makes a great first impression that ultimately wears thin by the time you've mastered its repetitive resource-gathering roguelike loop.
Best Friend ForeverSwitch
It hit me how superficial a lot of the mechanics in Best Friend Forever are. I had thought that, similar to a typical dating sim, you’d have to train specific stats to score points with your lover, but it’s more segregated and mechanical than that. The dog lends a layer of brightness to the game, so it’s not entirely wasted, but from a gameplay standpoint, it’s pointless.
That's the reality of the Remedy Connected Universe. As a trial run, AWE manages to be a great double-dip on some beloved narratives, even though it's not necessarily a great representation of either Control or Alan Wake individually. Sometimes the sum is greater than the parts, sometimes the lake is really an ocean.
Kandagawa Jet GirlsPS4
Kandagawa Jet Girls delights with its boisterous, glowing presentation, cast of vibrant characters, and array of fun side-attractions. But the jet-ski action itself is mostly dull, struggling to offer a decent challenge or a genuine sense of speed. Jet Girls rides waves of goodwill thanks to its infectious personality, but this eventually gives way to tepid, monotonous gameplay, hampering what could have been one of Marvelous' best releases yet.
Fast & Furious CrossroadsPS4
Fast & Furious Crossroads is the closest the series has come yet to delivering an experience worthy of the blockbuster movie franchise, but skids off track with dull missions, frustrating mechanics, and lonely multiplayer lobbies. Crucially, the driving itself just isn't fun, resulting in a bland experience interchangeable with any other street racing franchise.
Total War Saga: TROYPC
A Total War Saga: Troy plays it safe in some slightly disappointing ways, but brings enough new to the table that I would appreciate seeing its ideas make their way over to the next mainline Total War game.
Giraffe and AnnikaSwitch
Keeping a proper rhythm is the key to boss battles found in Giraffe and Annika. At the end of each dungeon, the witch Lily will challenge you to a rhythm game. She sends little cosmic bulbs at Annika who needs to hit them in time with the music using her magically manifested staff.
Samurai Jack: Battle Through TimeSwitch
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is a weak adaptation of the series, but the action mechanics just aren't all there either, dragging it down even further. With a few tweaks it could be a fun little weekend mascot game, but as is, this adaption isn't going to appeal to just about anyone.
Phoenotopia : AwakeningSwitch
Nonetheless, I found myself largely enamored with Phoenotopia Awakening. Its often humorous and sometimes sentimental dialogue got through to me, and its challenging but tight platforming action really appealed. I’m a little bit weary from my trek through its expansive campaign, but I’m satisfied all the same. It’s an aesthetically pleasing, unforgivingly mean, but an altogether lovingly assembled experience.
Peaky Blinders: MastermindPC
Peaky Blinders: Mastermind is built on a inventive central concept and is smartly dressed in an authentic audio/visual package, capturing the dangerous world of The Shelby Family. The inventiveness of this core element is not captilised upon, however, resulting in uninspired action and repetitive gameplay. Peaky Blinders fans might find a few hours of entertainment but, overall, Mastermind is a missed opportunity.