698 Published Reviews
13 Sentinels: Aegis RimPS4
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim spins a web of mystery around you, then chuckles smugly as you think you've found your way out only to realize you're in the middle of a maze. Each character's story and narrative intersections drive the pace forward at an almost compulsive pace, helped along by the game's smooth design.
BPM: BULLETS PER MINUTEPC
It's not a forgiving experience, and though it's difficult to master, BPM proves surprisingly easy to pick up and play. If you're prepared to die a lot, you'll find an incredible game within, and it's one title rhythm fans would do well to put on their playlist.
NBA 2K21Xbox One
NBA 2K21 is a mediocre ending to a predominantly positive console generation. A disappointing lack of new features, as well as a bizarre overhaul of the game's shooting mechanics, make it a tough sell for anyone still enjoying last year's title. If you can hold out for the next-gen version, we'd advise doing so, but if you're desperate to jump into MyTeam or get the latest roster updates, this will tide you over until then.
Marvel's AvengersXbox One
I wanted to like this game, as the basic premise — co-op Avengers — seemed destined for greatness. At least eventually, if not right away. Sadly, the end result is a rushed, broken, disassembled experience that never delivers on that once-thought unbeatable premise, leaving me feeling more despondent than Tony Stark after The Snap.
The Outer Worlds: Peril on GorgonPC
For my money, I would recommend going with the season pass and maybe waiting until the second DLC releases to dive back in. The Outer Worlds is great but right as I was starting to get back into the swing of things, Peril on Gorgon's content was finished.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PS4
None of this should detract from the stellar job Vicarious Visions has done in bringing these cult classics to life on modern consoles, but I can’t help feeling like THPS 1+2 should have been a $20 download, which wouldn’t have needed the frills of several hundred achievements and a mountain of cosmetics to artificially extend its lifespan beyond a 5-hour nostalgia romp.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-ReckoningPS4
If we're lucky, maybe this re-release will point towards the possibility of a sequel. The sheer depth of detail in the Amalur's world-building feels like wasted potential if it's just for a singular game. This needs to become the next great RPG franchise. Not all games get a second chance and it has absolutely earned the right to be worthy of your attention.
Ary and the Secret of SeasonsPC
Ary and the Secret of Seasons proved highly enjoyable overall, bringing some solid Zelda-esque action to a beautiful yet chaotic world. But it’s hard to ignore the game's technical faults, even if the developers are working diligently to fix them.
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New ChampionsSwitch
I can only hope that early Twitter hype for this game translates into demand not just for a sequel, but for more games like this to be made. Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions' love for soccer is infectious, and because of that, it's a game that will either have you wearing a big goofy grin as you pull off an expert cross-header-combo, or staring unblinkingly at the screen as you attempt to claw back the lead in an intense multiplayer match.
Nexomon: Extinction has plenty to offer for just $19.99, even if a chunk of it is grinding. But for whatever reason, it's not willing to forge a new path and let go of its inspirations completely. It doesn't make Nexomon: Extinction a bad game — by any means. It's just not as good as it could be.
Surgeon Simulator 2PC
Not everything lands, the campaign is short, surgeries can get repetitive, and the physics-based controls can occasionally hamper the enjoyment. But it’s hard not to admire the creativity driving the evolution of this sequel. For better or for worse, Surgeon Simulator 2 is something entirely different and a game that builds a solid foundation for a strong future.
Control: AweXbox One
AWE is built with Remedy's biggest fans in mind, and it's they who will most appreciate this final chapter (for now) of one of last year's greatest games. There's so much more to discuss but the details would be full of spoilers. To put it simply, fans of the studio simply have to play AWE. A decade ago, Remedy told us "it's not a lake, it's an ocean." Today, those tides are more apparent than ever.
No Straight RoadsPC
It's flawed, but in an interesting way, and that's valuable. This isn't some market-tested focus-grouped vanilla milkshake of a game that's aimed directly at the lowest common denominator or some indie project that blew up on the runway. Instead, No Straight Roads' chief problem is that it's so busy being an animated cyberpunk comedy/rock opera that it's not a particularly satisfying video game, and that's actually fascinating.
If you're looking for a strong, single-player RTS with a unique world to explore, Iron Harvest is a perfect option. The world is well-realized, and the mechs offer a sense of style that sometimes get lost in historical strategy games. A train car on legs firing huge artillery shells is a little more memorable than a different-colored tank.
Crusader Kings IIIPC
At the same time, CK3 is great for veterans. A lot of fan-favorite elements that were added to CK2 over a decade of DLC are already here, and most of the systems are close enough to the same family tree that you shouldn't have trouble taking kingdoms over.
Madden NFL 21Xbox One
As good as Madden 21 feels to play, it’s impossible not to wonder what could have been had the field-side action been able to keep up. Die-hard Madden fans will be disappointed in a complete lack of attention given to Franchise mode and MUT, but the addition of The Yard and a much more rounded Face of the Franchise mode soften the blow somewhat.
Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite CombatePC
Overall, Is It Wrong To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? (sorry, Infinite Combate) is a fun little visual novel with some very, very, light RPG mechanics. It's not going to change anybody's life, but it does a good job of retelling the story of the anime. For long-time fans, it's a nice chance to delve into the world of the gods once more.
Windbound is a game that requires a lot of patience and by combining survival and adventure gameplay into one, it successfully creates a unique identity. There are a few shortcomings with sailing and crafting could use some additional depth, but 5 Lives Studios have brought us an entertaining adventure. if you can put these issues aside, this is an experience that comes recommended.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Remastered EditionSwitch
Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles Remastered carries the original’s sins along for the journey. It’s very much a multiplayer-first game, and playing with friends offsets some of the combat’s tedium and the lackluster dungeon design. More than anything, though, Crystal Chronicles Remastered seems like a missed opportunity for the series.
Wasteland 3 is, without a doubt, one of the best games of the year. Despite its dark, gloomy atmosphere, it manages to shine through humor and characterization. The world-building is second to none, with a wide range of locales to visit, creating a sense of epic-scale and adventure. It’s a game where your choices have real consequences as you play judge, jury, and executioner.
Spiritfarer might be emotionally challenging, but that's also what makes it worthwhile. As just a game, it works fine enough on its own. But everything else it's wrapped up in transforms Spiritfarer into something special. Any conversation about games as art, or how individual games can push the medium forward, absolutely must include Spiritfarer from now on.
Samurai Jack: Battle Through TimeXbox One
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time has various flaws, but despite those blemishes, it’s a thoroughly engaging adventure through the show’s past, and an engaging action game for those looking to scratch that itch.
Peaky Blinders: MastermindPC
It’s a real shame that Mastermind fails to capitalize on the evocative theme and characters of the Peaky Blinders canon. Even as someone who hasn’t finished the first of its five seasons, I can already tell what a missed opportunity Mastermind is.
The humor fails to land most of the time and is clearly held back by its desire to cater to a wider audience. Despite its missteps, Battletoads is a fantastically fun thrill ride with plenty of twists and turns. While its genre-hopping nature might not be for everyone, those who are gripped by it are in for a tubular ride.
Souls veterans will find a tasty snack lasting about 15-20 hours, and newcomers will be challenged in ways they’re not ready for. To me, that’s all a solid Souls-like can hope to offer: a game that takes time to learn, but once mastered, provides both power fantasy and the pure elation of victory over a dying world.