601 Published Reviews
Capcom Fighting CollectionPS4
Capcom is to be applauded for providing yet another superb compendium of seminal fighting games. Having the entire Darkstalkers series in one place is something of a coup, and bothering to include some deep cuts and arcade-perfect ports, as well as an online mode with lag-free rollback netcode (and the ability to play solo during matchmaking), makes this a pretty comprehensive and thorough walk through some of Capcom's finest arcade moments.
Still, if you've yet to delve into Sonic the Hedgehog's original '90s outings, or if you're searching for an excuse to play them again, then you could do worse than Sonic Origins – it's clear that there's more than a modicum of love for the blue blur in this bundle, but a dearth of modern features that you'd normally take for granted in a collection like this, and content locked off in paid DLC, make this a tricky thing to heartily recommend.
In Final Vendetta, there's a very clear deference to the '80s and '90s beat 'em up greats, which once clogged the halls of amusement arcades the world over. And it truly looks and sounds the part - to a degree, it even plays like something you'd find in your old local arcade. But with a poorly balanced level of difficulty, haphazard attempts at adding a couple of new out-of-place gameplay mechanics, and a Training Mode that's bizarrely locked off until you finish the game, Final Vendetta talks the talk, but it doesn't manage to walk the walk.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's RevengePS4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge succeeds in being a superlative scrolling beat 'em up that is about as good as this sort of thing gets. With Streets of Rage 4 proving there's ample life in the genre yet, Tribute Games' sterling effort is further compelling proof of that fact. Make no mistake, this is easily the best thing since Turtles-branded sliced bread.
Humorous animated tutorials, the hands-off Movie Mode, and a 'pass-the-controller' couch co-op option for enjoying the journey with a friend, help to flesh out the experience, while the myriad endings and branching paths encourage repeat playthroughs. With Friday The 13th vibes, and a love of 1980s creature features, The Quarry is Supermassive's best game since Until Dawn, and an effective thriller that's a joy to watch and play.
As you descend ever deeper, and start awakening ancient machinery - all enormous gears, rusted chains, and gummed-up mechanisms - the game's obscure mysteries don't become any less so, and that's completely fine. Sometimes, it's nice to just soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the scenery. Besides, Silt is made with such a clear-eyed, assured vision, succeeding in being strangely surreal and beguiling, that you can't help but be totally enraptured from beginning to end.
The levels are mostly well designed and great to look at, even if the whole game isn’t that original. But it’s absolutely essential for 3D platformers to be tight and consistent from beginning to end, and Kao the Kangaroo needs a lot more polish from its developer to make it great. Maybe it will become an easy recommendation after a few patches, but for now, you'll have to take the good with the bad.
Granted, the killcam remains one of the main draws, the splattering blood and organs tickling some sick little centre in my brain, each and every time it happens, but there's so much more to SE5 than that. Rebellion evidently knows what it's doing with the continuing adventures of Karl Fairburne, and Sniper Elite 5 sees the studio in fine fettle, working well within its comfort zone to deliver an unapologetically entertaining and remarkably varied bullet-riddled experience.
Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong's lack of polish and attention to detail drags it down into the doldrums, its low-level production values ultimately scuffing what is otherwise a fairly interesting and complex game of vampiric machinations and intrigue. There’s a good game in here somewhere, but you’ll have to work exceedingly hard to find it.
As a 4v1 multiplayer experience, Evil Dead: The Game covers all of the requisite bases, but the balance is slightly askew, making achieving victory as the Kandarian demon remarkably tough; and the game's solitary match type can grow a mite stale after a while. As a foundation and platform to grow and develop, however, Evil Dead: The Game has a lot to offer from the outset, but how groovy you'll find it all really depends on how much you love all things Evil Dead.
Choosing Hiroki's path, confronting his past failures, and ultimately deciding his fate, while engaging in enjoyable, meticulously crafted sword-swishing duels, ensures that Trek to Yomi is a journey worth embarking upon. While it has the occasional annoyance, it's an experience that can feel hugely rewarding.
THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD: RemakePS4
Equally, the soundtrack is absolutely brilliant, and will instantly transport any fans of the series back to the sticky carpeted floors of your local arcade. Simply put, it’s hard not to have a good time with The House of the Dead, despite the game’s best efforts. But unless it miraculously gets patched with true lightgun support to combat its glaring control issues, it’s also a difficult title to recommend.
Though not the most welcoming or accessible racing game to newcomers, MotoGP 22 is certainly one of the most rewarding, paying off perseverance in spades. Its sense of speed is superb, its handling is tight yet exacting, and there are few racing experiences as unapologetically pure. This proves to be a good thing, and, as such, it's hard not to heartily recommend giving MotoGP 22 a fair shake.
LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga looks every bit as tactile as the real thing, right down to the little seams in the plastic, flecked with tiny deposits of sand and grime, to the texture and printed designs on each character's shiny surfaces. LEGO games have always done a great job of replicating their source material, but Skywalker Saga goes beyond, imbuing its bricks and minifigures with a vibrant life and energy.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands won't leave you feeling shortchanged. Though repetitive in spots – especially during the self-contained combat encounter sequences – there's an energy and brio to developer Gearbox Software's game that's difficult to resist, and enough to distinguish from the mainline series from whence it sprang. Technical snafus with the game's Shift login (required for cross-play) that cause the game to momentarily freeze on console notwithstanding, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is an enjoyable take on the Borderlands formula, though superficially more of the same.
Ghostwire: Tokyo is something rather special. A remarkably interesting beast that defies conventional descriptors, it's crucially an experience that's never not fun, and makes the best use of the DualSense we've seen to date, as KK talks to you through the speaker and Visitors in the vicinity are met with an otherworldly sound akin to Darth Vader hyperventilating.
It's great to see WWE 2K22 back on fighting form, proving that there's plenty of life left in the grappler yet. Though its selection of features and modes offer the most comprehensive and all-encompassing wrestling experience in ages, it's the overhauled gameplay that finally returns the series to its former glory.
Visual fidelity (or lack thereof) aside, there's just not a whole lot to like about Babylon's Fall. A shoddy story, repetitious combat, a lack of meaningful incentives to play, and little scope for exploration add up to make this a PlatinumGames misfire of catastrophic magnitude.
Shadow Warrior 3PS4
What's here is sheer, unapologetic fun that has no pretence beyond providing ludicrously overblown monster-dismembering violence, with delightfully gory finishing moves, devastating limited-use 'Gore Weapons' that will have you grinning from ear-to-ear, and just enough variation present in its upgrades and platforming segments to keep the action chugging along at a dizzying pace.
Gran Turismo 7 has something to offer players of all kinds, in what emerges as the most definitive, full-blooded GT game since Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec, cementing the series’ place as one of PlayStation’s greatest.
The Story mode may only be fleetingly enjoyable, with nothing to warrant playing it again once it's finished, but the Career mode and Race Creator will keep you playing for countless hours, tearing up the asphalt in stunning venues like San Francisco, London, Havana, Paris, Shanghai, and Moscow.
Elden Ring’s combination of classic Dark Souls gameplay, with an open world that is ripe for exploration, is an utter treat for fans of FromSoftware, but also serves as the most welcoming and accessible game to newcomers that the studio has made to date. It’s rare to play a game that is so difficult to put down, but so easy to pick up. Elden Ring might not be totally unique, but you could make the case that it’s FromSoftware’s best, most accomplished game yet.
By the time you've reached the end of FAR: Changing Tides, you'll feel like you've been on a proper journey, you and your boat going through the whole thing together, overcoming whatever lies in your way. Remarkably pretty, wonderfully meditative, and enjoyable while it lasts, FAR: Changing Tides is a fantastic voyage worth embarking upon.
Horizon Forbidden West is the very definition of a killer app, a game that everyone must play, a game that sums up Sony’s commitment to incredible first-party experiences over the past decade. Horizon Forbidden West is an unforgettable next-gen experience on PS5, and one that is most certainly worth buying a console for.
KOF XV is nonetheless a superlative fighting game, which only makes it all the more upsetting that it's missing features that have been a series staple for ages. Should you not care about such things, then SNK's latest King of Fighters outing will undoubtedly scratch any face-pounding itch, its various systems proving deep yet intuitive, resulting in bouts that are almost invariably close-fought and thrilling.