2334 Published Reviews
Panzer Paladin also has a variety of extras, including a second run at the story mode with redesigned levels, speedrun and boss rush-style tournament modes, and even an option to design your own weapons. As throwback retro adventures go, it hits a lot of the right marks, even if some of those targets are ideas that might have been best left in the past.
SUPERHOT: MIND CONTROL DELETEXbox One
While the difficulty spikes near the end of the campaign were frustrating, I never felt like it was an unfair or insurmountable challenge. With procedural generation keeping the experience fresh, and exciting abilities to make you even more capable in combat, Superhot: Mind Control Delete is an exciting follow up that had me saying “one more try” well past when I planned to stop playing.
Destroy All Humans!Xbox One
The brightest moments are when the action gives way to pure chaos. I watched electricity arc between humans, made brains pop out of heads, and turned a secret base into smoldering ruins with my spaceship’s death ray. But like a person floating above the ground in the glow of an abducto beam, those moments aren’t connected to anything substantial; they just make some noise and get flung aside.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2Switch
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 may as well have come out in 1989. It looks and feels like a game from three decades ago. If that was the only goal, it succeeds with flying colors. Unfortunately, that’s not a very ambitious goal, since the market full of side-scrolling 8-bit inspired gems that cleverly blend genres and make use of modern gaming conventions.
With no real story to follow or info given on what the alien is or even what building it is trapped in, Carrion lives and dies by what happens in the moment. The focus on opening up new areas using the same ideas grows stale quick, and robs a fascinating premise of its true potential.
Rocket Arena is a competent game with a clear sense of what a 3v3 rocket match should be from a technical perspective, but it furtively struggles to find an entertaining hook to keep players coming back. In today’s world of countless shooters, it’s destined to be forgotten.
Paper Mario: The Origami KingSwitch
As a series, Paper Mario constantly explores new concepts and mechanics, which is exciting, but that comes with plenty of risks. Origami King’s biggest chances don't pay off in a satisfying way. I enjoyed Mario’s hijinks and all the misfits he encounters, but the new ring-based action needs refinement. I hope Paper Mario’s next twist on combat can rise to the same level as its humor.
Ghost of TsushimaPS4
Ghost of Tsushima captures the mystique, fierce violence, and barely contained emotional angst of the great samurai films. The line of inspiration is clearly purposeful; Sucker Punch included a gorgeous “Kurosawa Mode,” which sets a black-and-white, film-grain, audio-treated effect that doubles down on the classic cinematic vibe. It’s well worth turning on, if only for a few missions.
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in DisguiseSwitch
When the credits rolled, I was completely shocked. Not because I couldn’t believe who the culprit behind all of this was, or how messed up the final encounter was, but because it came out of nowhere. Characters are built up and then deflated without fanfare. There is a final confrontation, but it’s hollow and seems rushed. It’s a weird paradox overall – a game that is simultaneously too short and too padded out, but here we are.
Marvel's Iron Man VRPS4
As a huge fan of the iron Avenger, Iron Man VR has me torn. I love the feeling of putting on the iconic suit and destroying waves of enemies, but for every moment I felt like a seasoned superhero soaring into action and taking down the bad guys, the finicky flight controls made me feel more like someone who snuck into Stark’s workshop to take the suit for a spin with no prior training.
BRIGANDINE The Legend of RunersiaSwitch
Brigandine: The Legend of Runersia does everything pretty adequately, but there’s also nothing all that remarkable about the experience. I felt like I was going through the motions without anything meaningful to keep bringing me back for these tedious takeovers. The repetition just dulls the adventure, and everything plays out predictably. The game is decent and functional, but it doesn’t have any surprises, big innovations, or memorable moments.
Evan’s Remains successfully achieves what it attempts: It delivers a compact story punctuated by neat puzzles. It switches between these central elements frequently, so no one idea overstays its welcome, but the concepts aren’t deep or compelling enough.
Song of HorrorPC
Song of Horror’s production values initially turned me off, with poorly animated characters and awful voice acting. Despite those flaws, I had a hard time putting the game down once I was drawn into its world. The quirks even grew on me, the same way I embrace schlocky low-budget horror movies.
The Last of Us: Part IIPS4
Naughty Dog's masterpiece is a sequel unlike any other, taking video game storytelling to new heights.
Valorant doesn’t reinvent aspects of core tactical shooters, but it differentiates itself in meaningful ways by giving players new ways to glean information, protect areas, and obscure enemy perception. While Valorant’s characters may be mundane and its modes limited, I had plenty of fun with its precision shooting, careful planning, and soft footsteps.
Disintegration’s core idea of blending a first-person shooter with a strategy game is neat, but it takes so many missteps that the promising concept gets lost. The action is repetitive, and the basic mission design is tired – you can’t even save the game mid-mission, which is particularly baffling. Amid the tedium, I had an occasional moments of fun in Disintegration, but those moments were fleeting.
Golf With Your FriendsXbox One
Golf With Your Friends captures the spirit of minigolf – you’re going to have some laughs, frustrations, and at the end of the day, not take it all too seriously.
Crucible isn’t a bad game, but it’s not a good game either. In the context of today’s hero-shooter environment, that makes it a lost soul, struggling to find a strong sense of identity. With time, perhaps Crucible can find reasons to stay on the menu, but right now the recipe is diluted and dull.
Like Dead Cells before it, Fury Unleashed is one of those roguelikes that is hard to put down, as you know the next run will only give you a better shot making more progress to unlock new comics, gear, and ultimately a better chance at taking down the final boss. It’s a hell of a lot of fun, whether you’re playing solo or co-op.
Mortal Kombat 11: AftermathXbox One
While you’re able to play through the story in a single evening, Aftermath gives you a deeper look into the Mortal Kombat universe as seen through the eyes of characters who aren’t typically stars of the show. When combined with three additional characters, Aftermath delivers a strong package for fans of the latest iteration of the bloody fighting franchise.
Several games offer players the chance to rewind time and pause the action, but I’ve never grown tired of this particular power fantasy. I appreciate Timelie’s stealth-based, tactical approach to time manipulation. But just as Timelie starts to hit its stride, I hit the credits. Timelie isn’t the most comprehensive exploration of time manipulation, but its bite-sized puzzles are a welcome distraction.
Monster Train is a pleasant, mind-blowingly addictive exercise that’s well worth your time, especially if you’re a fan of roguelikes, card games, and deck-building fare. Hours of entertainment await, often chained back-to-back like a crazy card combo.
Deep Rock GalacticPC
It’s immensely satisfying to have your whole team empty out into a new cavern, and then immediately set to work chipping away at rock and bug alike. Even transplanted from their popularization in Tolkien or Snow White and into a dark corner of space, the essence of the dwarven fantasy is richly realized here, and consistently makes me smile. Bring some friends, a handy pickaxe, and a cantankerous attitude, and you’ll be smiling as well.
Minecraft DungeonsXbox One
Minecraft Dungeons has a solid core, and I’d love to see where it goes from here. Hopefully, Mojang recognizes the fact that games with grinding don’t have to be as much of a grind. It would be great to have some kind of way to experience levels in a remixed format, similar to how Diablo III has rifts or Torchlight and Path of Exile offer more randomized maps to encourage replays. But Minecraft Dungeons’ current approach is simply replaying the same stuff over again, and just isn’t enough.
Maneater is an enjoyable hunt that satisfies in its shark mayhem and story of revenge. The action is a bit repetitive and chaotic, but the goofiness of the violence ends up winning out. This is the first shark game I’ve truly enjoyed. It has cult classic written all over it.