1291 Published Reviews
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen OrderXbox One
Despite polish issues, Jedi Fallen Order is a ton of fun. It’s raw Star Wars just like we used to get with the Dark Forces series. I haven’t been very hopeful for the gaming future of Star Wars since EA took over the license, but that changed with Jedi Fallen Order. For all its flaws, it’s a game that taps into my nostalgia in a big way, and I very much hope that this is the first in a new line of games that aren’t just rabid, designed by committee money grabs.
Need for Speed HeatXbox One
For years, Need for Speed has felt like a burnout, a franchise stumbling in the dark searching for a sense of purpose through an entire lazy generation. Since there seems to be no end in sight despite this, here’s hoping that Need for Speed is radically retooled when it is inevitably dragged out once again in the next few years. But if Heat is any indication, it’ll be almost better left to rot in a junkyard.
Linear takes on roguelikes often feature lots of variety and plenty of unique hooks. The world of Sparklite feels drab in comparison. It feels like you’ve been here a hundred times before in a hundred other games. It’s yet another game in a long line of titles like it that use the trappings of roguelikes without really delving into what makes that genre tick. Sparklite is a painfully static game that can’t overcome its inspirations or its ambitions. Whether you’re looking for a retro throwback, a new obsession, or something in-between, there are far better options than this sleepy clunker.
Football Manager 2020PC
Football Manager 2020 isn’t radically different from FM 19. If you were hoping for a huge overhaul from last year, you’ll be disappointed. Equally, if you get bored of a save after two or three seasons and start a new one, the benefits of these new features will be lost on you. FM 20 is more than just a DLC pack for FM 19, though. It’s more immersive, experimental, and enjoyable thanks to its suite of big and small changes.
A blast whether you play it by yourself or with a friend, The Stretchers is bound to put a smile on the face of anyone that plays it and showcases how talented a developer Tarsier Studios is. The team went from creating one of the creepiest horror platformers in recent memory to a lighthearted romp that is clearly inspired by the work of Josef Fares. From the controls down to the red and blue color scheme of the characters, The Stretchers is made for the Switch and that commitment benefits the experience as a whole as well as the creative execution of its silly ideas.
Despite a few limitations, Superliminal succeeds where it counts. It’s only a few hours long, giving you a tour of interesting mechanics wrapped in an intriguing scenario. There should have been a bit more focus on the main ideas, though, as there’s plenty of untapped potential and not a lot of room for a traditional sequel. But perhaps that’s the point. Rather than repetition, Superliminal wants to keep you guessing until the very end. It might not be for someone who is brand new to the genre, but veterans will spend a memorable afternoon trying to wake up from this hard day’s night.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020Switch
Ultimately, Sega has produced yet another solid Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games installment. However, it’s far from the must-own that it could have been with some further refinement. The middling story mode wastes a really solid concept, and the best events lack the structure that could make them appealing to play for hours rather than just a few minutes. It’s a fun party game to whip out at social gatherings, which is what it was designed to be after all, but it could have been so much more.
Guildmaster Story does a great job of making a well-thought out critique of capitalism and the society it has brought forth into an easily digestible puzzle game. Without any of the roadblocks on mobile, the PC release is the perfect way to enjoy the story. It's one of the more memorable titles in the past few years not only for its dark, hilarious lines that hit far too close to home, but because of how it adeptly skewers the very time period it was released in.
Hellish bugs might significantly diminish the experience but Afterparty still gives players a convincing enough argument to take an express elevator down to the fiery pits of torment. The colorful take on the underworld is unique and the characters are endearing enough to give the player a vessel to experience the aforementioned otherworldly vistas. But the game doesn’t quite live up to its superb premise because of its consistently poor comedy bits, immersion-breaking technical mishaps, and handful of rushed or superfluous story beats.
It’s always struck me as weird that people look down on games as some “lesser” form of entertainment than books, TV, or movies. Death Stranding stands defiantly in the face of that attitude, and I’d put its story against anything that’s come out in the last decade. Sam’s journey is a true epic that spans the whole country, and it inspires the hell out of me.
Call of Duty: Modern WarfarePS4
I feel like this Call of Duty could evolve to become one of the best ever, as there is certainly a solid foundation to build upon. With a number of balancing patches, some new (or classic!) maps, and constant communication with the community, I think Modern Warfare will get better. For now, though, you can find me in Gunfight, which separates the brilliant from the BS.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and the Lion KingSwitch
While neither game has stood the test of time without any blemishes, Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King is a solid collection full of behind-the-scenes tales from development as well as nearly every edition of both games available. You might not remember how difficult either of these games were and you will find yourself shouting colorful language at colorful hyenas and parrots, but this collection will take you back to the days of entertaining movie tie-ins.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Complete EditionPS4
If you’re a fan of Suda51’s past games, then there is so much to appreciate in Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes. However, if you’re expecting simply more No More Heroes gameplay, then you might be disappointed. It’s a weird title in that it subverts expectations of long-time fans while also rewarding them throughout its experimental story. Ultimately, the Complete Edition is the best way to experience this spin-off, as it is a solid game in its own right and serves as an excellent, if different, primer for No More Heroes 3.
The Outer WorldsPS4
For over 40 hours, The Outer Worlds allowed me to be a space cowboy with all the adventure, intrigue, and danger that came along with it. Planet-hopping throughout Halcyon is one of the best experiences I’ve had in a game in years, introducing me to a cast of sympathetic and interesting characters, throwing me into exciting gunfights, and inundating me with tough decisions to make. This is a must-play for RPG fans, and an absolutely vital game for Fallout fans.
Overwatch®: Legendary EditionSwitch
Overwatch on the Switch is still Overwatch, meaning that its newly added flaws are easier to forgive because of the sheer quality of the base experience. It has the same creatively designed cast that all play differently and a vibrant art style with fluid animation that’s all wrapped up in Blizzard’s signature impeccable presentation. Any form of the game is going to have that and why this slightly hobbled iteration remains a blast on a fundamental level.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete EditionSwitch
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition isn’t going to wow you unless you already have a built-in appreciation for the franchise. While the monster collecting could teach Pokemon a thing or two, the game surrounding that makes it hard to power through hours and hours of turn-based battles. It’s a great option on Switch, as you can pull it out and get through a few tasks without focusing in on how lackluster the rest of it is. If you’d prefer hours-long sessions on console or PC, you’ll need real patience to get to any of the good stuff.
Beyond that, there are also a lot of small things that keep Megaquarium from reaching its full potential. From cute, but overly simplistic visuals to fish behavior being off and getting caught on the decorative items, it feels like what it really is: a simplified tycoon sim with a lot of heart. It can’t rival the best in the genre, but players can make a pretty awesome aquarium within its constraints, so it ultimately delivers what was promised even if it doesn’t exceed those promises.
Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for NeighborvillePC
Unfortunately, aside from its more robust PvE offering and unique new characters, most of the other changes that have been made in Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville haven’t been for the better. A lot of tweaks have served to make it far less accessible, while technical problems at launch — even after its extensive Founder’s Edition period — add frustration on top of its uneven difficulty curve.
Not every game needs to painstakingly be compared against to its genre leaders, but when you take so brazenly from them, you beg for those comparisons. And that’s not always a favorable connection to make in this case, given how masterfully executed from top to bottom both of Playdead’s titles are and how Stela either coasts along the established line or well beneath it.
Killer Queen BlackSwitch
With only a scant amount of truly unique experiences coming to the few reaming arcades in America, it is great that Killer Queen Black exists. This is an experience that you won’t get anywhere else, and it deserves to go beyond its current cult status. While there’s room for improvement everywhere outside of online, Black‘s singular focus delivers what you want if you’re looking for something new and different for your multiplayer rotation, even if it doesn’t reign king queen among those games.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt — Complete EditionSwitch
Sure, I may have criticized the visuals for being too blurry at times, as well as minor frame-rate hiccups, but those are just niggles when considering the massive open world that is now available to Nintendo Switch owners. This might not be the “definitive edition” of the game, but its existence makes The Witcher 3 accessible to more players, and that is certainly a good thing. The developers should be commended on their efforts here, and I’m excited to see how much further the Switch can be pushed.
It’s difficult to fault a game for dreaming big, and it’s still enjoyable to hunt for secrets under Stonehenge. However, that might be because these types of forward-thinking gameplay ideas are almost always alluring. We need to see games with a sense of humanity in its characters and games that can teach the socially awkward in the same way that action games teach reflexes. Perhaps that’s too much to put on a small scale first-person experience. And perhaps it is not, but given how The Bradwell Conspiracy executed its ideas, it might actually be too much to ask for in this case.
Argonus and the Gods of StonePC
Whether you’re eager to play at launch or find this chronicling many moons later, Argonus and the Gods of Stone will satisfy a very specific strand of adventurers. Specifically, it will probably please those with gray beards who remember code wheels, vinyl-style releases and the first meaning of Origin. But it probably would have been better for the game to reach out to a wider birth of players. Although that is perhaps that’s beyond the scope of the project. It is either that or the team wants to honor the past as much as possible.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningSwitch
At $60, you can get this great 26-year-old game with some updated graphics, or you could get Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Hell, depending on the time of year, you could get The Witcher 3 for you and five of your friends and loved ones. With so much competition, the Nintendo tax isn’t worth paying for this one, especially with such a packed release calendar over the next six months. Unless you find this one on sale, do yourself a favor and grab Link’s Awakening DX instead.
The Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of MedanPS4
Despite its technical shortcomings, Man of Medan is a decent maiden voyage for Supermassive’s new Dark Pictures Anthology series. The deluge of branching paths and chilling atmosphere combine well enough with its brief yet keen story that invites players to repeatedly run through it. But an abundance of cheap jump scares, semi-frequent slowdown, and initially goofy cast members mean that it pales in comparison to Until Dawn; the studio’s magnum opus that all of its titles will forever be compared to.