949 Published Reviews
Disc Room provides a difficult experience for those looking for a brutal challenge that you’d be happy to brag to your friends that you’ve accomplished. Even though there aren’t many accessibility features available, as a title that was created by a four-person team, it is still surprising to see the number of options that are there for players who need it.
The Jackbox Party Pack 7Xbox One
Given the strong individual parts, and especially in the current state of the world right now, Jackbox 7 is probably the best entry in the franchise yet. I’ve enjoyed older versions of Jackbox while reconnecting with friends over Discord or Zoom–or just playing with the people I live with–but this year’s party pack feels like a consistently fun and hilarious diversion from the stresses of 2020.
There’s a strong story to be had here, and it does what good horror should: provides an interesting experience, regardless of if the scares land. And, quite frankly, I’m fairly certain they’ll land for most willing to take the plunge. Rebirth is quite the worthy sequel to The Dark Descent. That alone makes it a commendable title and an experience worth having.
For those who want an enjoyable title with simple and layered combat system, great character and sound design, spot on localization, lovely graphics, and a story that delves into the franchise as a whole, Ys Origin is a choice that you’d be hard pressed to pass up — especially for its price.
My initial thought was to compare how Torchlight III paled in comparison to the growth and development that Diablo III took that franchise in, but then I remembered that the launch iteration of Diablo III was nothing compared to the game it is now. I think Torchlight III has the foundations to be great, and hopefully, Echtra Games can bring the franchise to its full potential.
Those Be A Pro changes are great and all, but it isn’t too much of an incentive for those who already own NHL 20 to go out a grab NHL 21. While there are some new gameplay features, it doesn’t really feel like it differs much from last year’s installment. If you missed out last year, now may be a good time to check out EA’s take on hockey, but if you’re looking for something new and exciting, maybe wait for a next-gen entry.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About TimePS4
I enjoyed my time with Crash 4 and would easily recommend it to any like-minded fans of the series. Though there aren’t many meaningful changes to how the game is played, it’s still a fun jaunt, and what new content is here is mostly welcomed, despite some unnecessary modern additions. Crash games don’t need a long list of skins or collectibles, but they do need to take a bigger step forward. In a sense, Crash needs to stop living in the 90s.
Super Mario Bros. 35Switch
Super Mario Bros. 35 is fun. It’s a great distraction and a nice way to pass time. Unfortunately, it can be a little one-dimensional, and its gameplay can feel a little repetitive. Should Nintendo decide to use this as a platform and build on it we may have a future classic on our hands, but until then, it’s just fine. Despite its limitations though, Super Mario Bros. 35 is definitely worth checking out, even if it’s just for the alternate take on a piece of video game history.
Truly, this is the The Godfather Part II of roguelikes. A sequel that builds on its foundation in every way and serves to push the genre one step further. I still would probably choose to play Hades over Spelunky 2, but it’s a real Sophie’s choice for me. Either way, I know I’m going to have a fantastic afternoon playing an excellent video game. Now, if only someone would leave me a cannoli.
I Am DeadSwitch
As a puzzle game, I Am Dead isn’t necessarily anything to write home about. Outside of some wildly captivating visual mechanics, the game itself is shallow but accessible. That said, players that take their time to explore every nook and cranny on the island, or even mess around with the cross-section mechanic, are rewarded for their time with more little tidbits about the world that bolster one of the most interesting stories I’ve experienced in a game.
STAR WARS: SquadronsPC
Few games have managed to effectively capture the thrill and tension of Star Wars‘ space combat, but for the most part, Star Wars: Squadrons is in a whole other galaxy.
The Solitaire ConspiracyPC
The crew at Bithell Games has done it again. The Solitaire Conspiracy may not be the developer’s best-told story, but it’s one of the most enjoyable on a gameplay level. And like every Bithell Short, it never overstays its welcome. If you want to play something short and sweet, look no further.
EA SPORTS FIFA 21PS4
So, at the end of the day, FIFA 21 feels like a game with a ton of potential that’s being held back by its engine. Konami decided to take the year off and switch to Unreal. I can’t help but feel like EA really needs to do the same. For all the bells and whistles the team adds every year, the on-field product leaves so much to be desired.
Warsaw is a complex and deep game that forces players to fight against seemingly impossible odds while making difficult decisions. You must fight against the looming threat of an enemy hell bent on conquest as you deal with the horrors left to fester in the cracks of the battlefield. The combat is fast-past with a fun system that rewards you for battling smart, and the storytelling is simple yet compelling, leaving you wanting to learn more.
Bartlow's Dread MachinePC
Bartlow’s Dread Machine is a good game; don’t get it twisted. If the art looks good to you and you want a bullet-hell title that keeps you on your toes, you should consider giving it a playthrough. However, a few odd design choices keep it from being great.
WWE 2K BattlegroundsPS4
I am so mixed on WWE 2K Battlegrounds. In some ways, I really dig that 2K decided to create an arcade-style wrestling game. I do believe the basics of this game make a solid foundation for another entry. The “pick-up and play” direction is great if you want to play with a few friends. Still, a lot of its flaws make it hard to recommend to those who usually play these games alone. After a couple of hours, all of WWE 2K Battlegrounds’ silly over-the-top gimmicks lose their luster.
Super Mario 3D All-StarsSwitch
Ultimately, this is what it all comes down to. There’s no denying that a few improvements would have been nice and some more archival footage would make Super Mario 3D All-Stars feel like more of a celebration, but each one of these games is still a masterpiece and that’s what it’s all about.
Valkyria Chronicles RemasteredPS4
The scenario and world-building of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles are by far the best aspects of the game and what will push players forward, clearing dungeons despite the tediousness. Some of these flaws were corrected in following Crystal Chronicles games. Perhaps future remasters, remakes, or new projects from Square Enix could make everyone remember the Crystal Chronicles series for brighter reasons.
Seriously, this game is fantastic. Hades is my current pick for Game of the Year, and other games will be hard-pressed to nudge it far down the list. I’m going to pick up a second copy for Switch so I can start it all fresh and play it anywhere. Give it a try. Hell, give all Supergiant Games’ titles a try. You’re in for a great time, and there are no game developers out there I’d sooner recommend.
Mafia: Definitive EditionPC
When I previewed Mafia: Definitive Edition I said that it was the only game in the franchise being remade that actually deserved the title of “definitive.” It was the only one that felt like a breath of fresh air; like it had been given the thought and care that it deserves. After beating the game, my stance is solidified. If you want to experience a Mafia title, there is no better choice than Mafia: Definitive Edition — the Don of the Mafia franchise.
WRC 9 FIA World Rally ChampionshipPS4
For the fans of the official rally championship tournament, WRC 9 is likely a must-play title as it doesn’t have anything bad enough to keep you from buying it. But for newcomers, I have to admit that you need to have some grit if you want to play the WRC series for the first time. It really requires a very high level of concentration while playing. If you are not in the mood for this style of play, you may want to just skip WRC 9.
Mortal ShellXbox One
Mortal Shell definitely has some interesting ideas and considering how small the team is at Cold Symmetry, it’s actually quite impressive what the studio has been able to put together on its first outing. From a purely mechanical perspective, Mortal Shell will absolutely scratch any Soulslike itch that you might be having in 2020.
Granted, Crystal Dynamics clearly is planning to make this experience evolve over time with the introduction of new heroes and storylines into its online modes, so the Marvel’s Avengers a year from now may look very different than today. For now, we’ll have to see if these heroes can find a way to regroup to face the challenges ahead.
A fantastic surprise was to see that Cloud Gardens had a built-in photo mode and also its very own recording feature, which is vital to this game’s rich and striking habitats. In the recording feature and after you have made your diorama, you can watch and save your entire process from start to finish in just a few short seconds. This allows you to see your masterpiece in all its glory as it transitions from your placed objects to a fully-fledged urban decay.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PC
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 isn’t a simulation, unlike most modern skateboarding games we’re seeing today, but instead, it’s something fun, enjoyable in short bursts or long sessions. It’s a throwback to the past in a way that hasn’t erased its charm and legacy; it instead expands on that and becomes one of the finest remakes to come out of 2020 while keeping its original roots intact, but to modern standards.