Red Faction: Guerrilla Re-Mars-teredSwitch
While it isn’t a terribly deep or innovative game by today’s standards (especially when it comes to the open-world genre), there is still something to be said for how Guerrilla‘s dedication to letting players loose inside a world of their own unmaking is still a thrilling experience ten years later, especially when you have the capabilities of so much destruction in the palm of your hands.
Dragon Quest Builders 2PS4
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a masterfully built game with a multitude of shiny new features that are just a joy every second you get to tinker with them. I could play this game for a very long time and never get bored with it. There’s something included here for fans of multiple genres and titles. Whether you’re a fan of the Dragon Quest series or not, this is a game you can jump into. While it’s certainly a spin-off from the mainline series, Dragon Quest Builders 2 may very well be one of the best game in the entire franchise.
Blazing Chrome is a top-of-the-line appetizer to what could be a masterpiece of a five-course meal. I really hope this game does well because I cannot wait to see what JoyMasher does for their follow-up. If they can build on the rock-solid foundation they've created here, they might produce something truly spectacular.
Super Mario Maker 2Switch
Super Mario Maker 2 may make a weaker impression than the game-changing original, but it breaks out the gate with far fewer problems and with much more skill level appeal. Though it misses the mark in some highly-requested QoL improvements, it adds much more in value, diversity, and replayability. Super Mario Maker 2 is the game that keeps on giving, while leaving enough room to build in the future.
FINAL FANTASY XIV: ShadowbringersPS4
Shadowbringers has set quite a standard in quality of content delivered and how Yoshi P and his team respond positively to community feedback for further updates. While there are some flaws to be addressed still, many of these are due to how ambitious in nature Shadowbringers is in every category. With an outline of future content roll-outs that includes a Nier: Automata YoRHa series of raids, more notoriously difficult Savage difficulty trials, housing updates, and an ever-expanding story, there’s even more to look forward to down the road with Shadowbringers
Sea of SolitudePS4
Sea of Solitude is a fun puzzle platformer with a passionate plot. If a game like Celeste or Sea of Solitude can make people feel less lonely while allowing their developers to express themselves at the same time, I’m all for it. Even though it’s not without its faults when it comes to some of writing and voice acting, Sea of Solitude has the heart to pull through and guide players to the end, where its messages really start taking shape. And as this game ultimately shows, opening yourself up and listening is the first step of many to be, or help someone else be, less lonely.
The total package just adds up to something that feels half-baked. There are elements here that could make an interesting spiritual sequel to ActRaiser, but they never realize the potential. You can basically sum this entire game and review up in one word: frustration.
Though Catan might be a serviceable translation of a beloved board game, it also has some glaring omissions that might make it a bit of a disappointment for those hoping to play the game locally with friends, confining its tabletop-like experience to either playing solo or against others online. While I’ll definitely enjoy the chance to curl up with a game or two on my own before bed, I can’t help but want to share the game’s best qualities with others, where this iteration of Catan comes up limiting.
Muse Dash is a fun game that is very simplistic in design. For having not listened to really any Japanese music outside of anime, I ran into a fair amount of tracks that I really enjoyed that I could see myself going back to playing just to give it another listen.
Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization - Deluxe EditionSwitch
For those not familiar or fond of the IP, it's harder to recommend Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization. In the case of the latter, your enjoyment of the game will boil down to whether you can overlook the uninspired story for the rewarding gameplay.
F1 2019 Anniversary EditionPS4
F1 2019 isn’t really all that spectacular. The gameplay is mostly what you’d expect with the potential of an exhilarating moment here and there, but it wouldn’t be the first game I’d look to for a racing simulation experience. That being said, it is enjoyable and there is plenty to do, especially for those looking for a new racing game to pick up.
Collection of ManaSwitch
Collection of Mana is a great chance for newcomers and longtime fans to revisit this long-dormant series. While Square Enix did try and breath new life into the series with the Secret of Mana remake last year, I’d definitely say that this is the best way to experience that game as well as its predecessor and sequel. The novelty of having these titles at home or on the go with Nintendo Switch has been mentioned time and time again but it also cannot be understated here.
The Sinking CityXbox One
The Sinking City has character. If you are a fan of Lovecraftian themes then you might still want to give this game a shot if you can look past some of its flaws. For me personally, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed. I was looking forward to a detective game but felt that I was just solving a bunch of fetch quests most of the time. Those cool detective moments where I actually felt like I was a PI were a little few and far between. From the subpar mission pacing and structure to the clunky and forgettable combat mechanics, The Sinking City fell somewhat flat for me but might still interest some.
Featuring such an engaging and unique fighting system, Samurai Shodown is worth every penny, especially if you’re just in it to play online or against friends. However, in terms of how content-rich the package is, there’s not a lot. There is a fairly cut-and-dry story mode set between the very first Samurai Shodown and Samurai Shodown V, but it’s pretty standard in terms of fighting game stories. You play against a few fighters, and eventually, a boss that presents a bit of a challenge.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the NightPS4
Those hiccups aren’t really that bad in the grand scheme of things. Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is an excellent Metroidvania game that encourages exploration and experimentation. It’s incredibly fun to solve its many puzzles and finding that perfect shard combination feels fantastic. Fans of the genre will be very happy with this release. That said, I also think it’s a solid entry point if you’re wanting to see what all the hubbub is about. Igavania is back, and the video game world is better for it.
My Friend PedroSwitch
My Friend Pedro is a ton of fun to play, which is the most important aspect of all. Even though not all of the levels in the game are winners, the vast majority of the experience is a blast and will likely keep you coming back repeatedly. Devolver Digital has been on a tear so far in 2019 andÂ My Friend Pedro is yet another winner for the indie publisher.
Judgment is much greater than the sum of its parts. Getting lost in the city of Kamurocho as you solve cases, make friends, and punch thugs into oblivion never stopped being fun even if the missions you sometimes have to do aren’t that engaging. It was easy to overlook most of the issues that I may have had with Judgment just because of how much consistent fun I was having over the course of my experience. While Judgment was my first foray into this world of Yakuza, it most certainly won’t be my last.
Brothers: A Tale of Two SonsSwitch
My suggestion would be to invest in something a lot more engaging and more extensive like Unravel 2 or Overcooked 2 to satisfy your couch co-op desires. It pains me to say that the implemented co-op feature has defeated the whole purpose of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons and it should have been left how it was — in the past and untouched.
Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of the NecroDancer Featuring the Legend of ZeldaSwitch
Cadence of Hyrule: Curse of the NecroDancer is the crossover I didn’t know I needed until I played it. Save for a few hiccups, this rhythmic take on the popular Nintendo series is a wonderful surprise. It’s proof that smaller studios like Brace Yourself Games can take beloved franchises, flip them on their head, and make something undoubtedly refreshing. I won’t say I want to see Crypt of the NecroDancer mechanics in all of Nintendo’s franchises, but I would like to see Nintendo commit to more collaborations like this.
Splitgate: Arena WarfarePC
If there’s one thing I can leave you with about Splitgate: Arena Warfare, it certainly has the solid foundation needed for a great shooter. With the game being free-to-play, I hope that the development team focuses on making meaningful changes that help differentiate the title, helping it grow into something very special over time. It’ll be tough with a player base that already seems like it’s dying. though. It seems that the developers put too much focus on creating something so close to Halo and in the process forgot to let their creativity come out a bit more, which is a shame.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth3DS
While I wasn’t moved by the narrative in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, the game does do its job at incorporating the series’ long history of characters into a cohesive and fun story. Paired with the familiar and new mechanics, this is a great title for Persona fans on the go. As one of, if not the last major title coming to the Nintendo 3DS, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is one of the best RPGs on the handheld.
Darkwood is a game that more people should know about because there is so much here to be loved for those who like this genre. With a $14.99 price tag, it has a fair amount of replayability. For such a small price, I think this makes it worth it. Even though this was not a game for me specifically, I know others looking for an experience like this won’t be disappointed.
Pathologic 2 is a flawed theoretical masterpiece. I give all the credit to Ice-Pick Lodge for having the ambition to develop one of the most intriguing games I’ve ever played. I also am in awe of their courage to stick to their artistic vision even with the knowledge that their vision likely cost them a number of sales. That said, I don’t know if I have it in me to play another Ice-Pick Lodge game again. The experience constantly thumped me over the head with my poor planning and stupidity. If another game comes along, I think I might just stick to a YouTube playthrough.