1084 Published Reviews
R-Type Final 2PS4
As the name alone implies, R-Type Final 2 does not even attempt to modernise the formula but if you accept its goal is merely to present what already exists in as appealing, and comprehensive, a manner as possible it largely succeeds. Although whether it’s merely an encore to its final stage appearance or the prelude to something genuinely new only time will tell.
What we would say though is that Returnal is by far the most fun we’ve had with a video game all year. Despite being a new IP it doesn’t always feel entirely original, given how liberally it borrows ideas from other games, but even when Lady Luck abandoned us we were always quick to get back up and try again.
New Pokemon SnapSwitch
The graphics aren’t the best on the Switch, but at least they’re not as flat out embarrassing as Sword/Shield, and seeing pokémon in more naturalistic settings, with no mention of pokéballs or fighting, focuses on a side of the franchise that often gets ignored nowadays.
Wraith: The Oblivion - AfterlifePC
The backstories for each of the spectres is disturbingly tragic and their physical appearances, which reflect their character and cause of death, equally so. Afterlife’s low budget is a little too obvious at times, but this is one of the most effective VR horror games so far. Not just in the fact that it’s genuinely frightening but that it actually tries to get under your skin instead of just in your face.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139...PS4
Considering the improvement from this to the sequel the thought of what director Yoko Taro might be cooking up next is almost too exciting to bear. Imaginative, thoughtful, and effortlessly entertaining, even with just two games NieR is already one of the most accomplished role-playing franchises in gaming history.
MotoGP 21Xbox Series X
It really does a fine job of bringing what feels like the real MotoGP circus into a game, with nothing noticeably fudged or omitted, and a palpable air of authenticity along with plenty of quality. If you’re a novice, you may find it intimidating, at least initially. But if you’re a MotoGP enthusiast, you should find it extremely satisfying.
There Is No Game : Wrong DimensionSwitch
It’s also a really good point ‘n’ click adventure and proves that the genre can still work as more than just nostalgia. The title There Is No Game is knowingly coy, as not only is there a game here but it’s one of the most enjoyable and inventive indie titles of recent years.
Before Your EyesPC
Given its low price and the novelty of its ideas Before Your Eyes is a game that easily survives its flaws and as long as the technical issues do not become too serious – which may be a difficult thing to anticipate before buying it – it achieves its central goal of investing you in the life and death of a very atypical video game protagonist.
If you loved early Final Fantasies this will be like coming home. Despite modest innovations, the core of the gameplay, battles, and characterisation are just as they were in the classic Japanese role-playing game.
Many, if not all, of the faults may be fixed with subsequent patches but after all this wait it’s unfortunate that, for the sake of a couple of months, this has missed its chance for a more unequivocal recommendation. In the end, Abe probably should’ve delayed his exodus just a little bit longer.
Star Wars: Republic CommandoPS4
As bland and repetitive as it may be it’s still more enjoyable than the movie that inspired it, and as The Clone Wars has proven it really is possible to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.
Outriders shouldn’t work as well as it does, but it trades on surprise, an often scarce commodity. People Can Fly has crafted something increasingly rare in the modern gaming world: a new and exciting major IP with a bright future.
Balan Wonderworld is a welcome reminder of how 3D games used to be, but in the sense that you’ll come out the other end thankful for how much things have improved over the decades. Balan Wonderworld isn’t awful but rather than proving that the old ways still have merit it only makes the case for leaving the past alone.
Mid-budget games are often plagued by inattention to detail but when systems are this complex and interconnected even one unearned failure is destructive, and often leads to a cascade of problems from which it’s impossible to recover without restarting the scenario.
It Takes TwoPS5
It works beautifully not just because of its ingenuity but because having a friend present through the shared experience becomes a continual catalyst for entertainment. As a proof of concept that co-op-only works, it turns out that Hazelight Studios were right all along.
Evil Genius 2: World DominationPC
By perfecting the Dungeon Keeper formula, the best James Bond game since GoldenEye proves that playing the bad guy really can be more fun.
For a first game from an indie studio, it is a stunning effort though, portraying a gloriously distinctive fantasy universe and decorating that world with a surfeit of compelling and surprisingly tactical gameplay. Gamers fed up with the interminable wait for a new Metroid game will especially lap it up. With Narita Boy, Studio Koba has entered the games industry with a bang, and we can’t wait to see what it comes up with next.
Genesis NoirXbox One
Unique, ambitious, profound, and emotional, Genesis Noir is a work of passion, whose own reasons for existence are purely artistic rather than commercial. Other video games with similar priorities tend to suffer from very low budget presentation but Genesis Noir is a treat for all the senses and one of the best games of the year so far.
The Outer Worlds: Murder on EridanosPS4
The Outer Worlds was a fun and resolutely old school take on space opera role-playing. By contrast, Murder On Eridanos is a pedestrian pot boiler whose lack of imagination lays bare mechanical shortcomings that just weren’t as noticeable in the original.
Apex Legends is another in a line of Nintendo Switch ports that remain impressive in the fact that they exist, but ultimately are too compromised to entirely recommend. In a multiplayer first person shooter, especially one as ferocious as this, that problem is especially evident.
Expecting it to be a hardcore puzzle game isn’t fair, and the high quality of both its voice acting and art design never falter, but you can’t help but wonder what might have been if the game had pushed itself just slightly harder in the direction of brain teasing. Still, as developer Graceful Decay’s debut it remains a positive and hugely promising start.
BRAVELY DEFAULT IISwitch
Rather than taking the systems and concepts of the original portable games and using a bigger budget and superior technology to improve on them it’s merely highlighted their failings. Bravely Default 2 isn’t a bad game but rather than being the new hope of modern Japanese role-players it just comes across as another misguided attempt to keep them in the past.
Ghosts 'n Goblins ResurrectionSwitch
Not even Dark Souls is this frustrating and unfair, and while Ghosts ‘N Goblins does have the excuse of age its legacy is becoming harder to appreciate the more it refuses to change.
Persona 5 StrikersPS4
It’s not very well made, and P-Studio should really have found something more constructive to spend their time on, but it is mindlessly enjoyable trash. Compared to Persona 5, which is one of the best Japanese role-playing games ever made, that’s quite the comedown, but for Dynasty Warriors it’s a career best.
Capcom Arcade StadiumSwitch
Regardless of the nostalgia factor, the rewind and slow-mo options make these versions uniquely accessible to new players and that’s an important achievement that should help to keep these classic arcade games alive for another generation.