2332 Published Reviews
Rune Factory 4 SpecialPS4
Rune Factory 4 Special offers up a different take on the beloved farm/life sim genre, focusing more on RPG elements. This makes Rune Factory 4 a good entry point for newcomers to the genre due to its ease of entry. At the same time, Rune Factory 4 simplifies a great deal of what makes this genre special. The catch-22 is accessibility versus gameplay depth here. While still a good game in its own right, it limits its own potential by diversifying so vastly.
While I would have liked a bit more variety, what Solar Ash gives is a beautiful, vivid, technological adventure that drips with style. Its fluid traversal, combat and puzzle-like sections are a joy to navigate, as are its hulking bosses. Solar Ash is like nothing else on the market at the moment and that alone is enough for me to recommend it. What more could you want than a stunning, fluid, unique game? Not much, I reckon.
Chorus is a mostly good game, with excellent dogfighting and gameplay that always feels fun to pull off. It also looks gorgeous and can make for an entertaining narrative, even if it's not really breaking the mold too much with its plot. Still, it's almost tragic how poorly the game's ending lets down the rest of the solid work that made everything else about it so brilliant.
Bloodrayne ReVamped is essentially an easier way to play the original 2002 game, staying true to the original vision of the title. The flaws stand out now more than ever, ranging from visuals to stiff mechanics. At the same time, many of the ideas from two decades ago age well enough to make the gameplay work even by today's standards.
Beyond a Steel SkyPS4
A thoroughly absorbing and compelling sci-fi adventure story which perfectly balances dry humour and gripping narrative. It's worth overlooking the slightly dated cel shaded visuals and the linear structure in order to enjoy a refreshingly original game from the justly lauded developers.
The Wild at HeartPS4
Rarely is a game fun, beautiful and thought-provoking while being entertaining. The Wild at Heart does cover some heavy emotional threads while weaving them into a bright, bold and funny tapestry. New items and systems are introduced slowly and regularly, the puzzles are fun and there is always something to do.
Farming Simulator 22PS5
Though newcomers will likely struggle with the tutorial and learning curve, Farming Simulator 22 soon becomes an engaging time sink that not only taxes the brain duly, but helps to provide a modicum of insight into the sheer amount of hard graft that goes into one of the most challenging occupations in the world.
Death's Door is everything you hope to get out of an indie game. An addictive challenge, an intriguing little tale and enough content to keep you going back. Unhindered by budgetary restrictions, Death's Door delivers on all fronts. The gameplay feedback from combat is implemented so well that you forget just how simple it is. Better still, it's made all the more excellent by the DualSense controller. Fans of Action RPG's will not want to miss this indie treasure on PS5.
Kingdom Two Crowns: Norse LandsPS4
Norse Lands is welcome expansion to Kingdom Two Crowns featuring Viking-inspired aesthetics and new mechanics. Both series veterans and newcomers alike will find lots to explore and discover in this premium DLC. The gameplay is addictive and balanced. The artwork and music together create an immersive experience that can be enjoyed alone or with a friend via online or split-screen co-op. Overall, Norse Lands is highly recommended for fans of strategy games or pixel art worlds.
Call of Duty: VanguardPS5
Call of Duty: Vanguard is not the full package fans have and should expect from a franchise that consistently tops the sales charts. There are not enough positives to overcome the fact that the amount and quality of its content is sorely lacking. This is a blast from the past in the worst possible way.
A Short HikePS4
As whimsical and relaxing lo-res indie adventure games go, A Short Hike is up there with the best. It draws you in with its freewheeling 'go where you like' vibe, charms you with some beautiful artwork and music and offers up great pleasures in exploration as you stroll, climb and glide around the small mountainous island. You'll only be there for a few hours, but every moment is a chilled out pleasure.
As it stands now, Battlefield 2042 is a formidable and enjoyable shooter that once again delivers on the series promise of peerless open world combat theatre in a way that no other series or franchise has managed to match. It's just a shame that while Battlefield 2042 looks to the future for its setting, so too must players for the short-term as EA and DICE scramble to fix what could potentially be the best Battlefield in years.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary EditionPS5
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition continues to be exactly what makes Skyrim popular: a massive world to explore with tons of different ways to develop your Dragonborne. Outside of that, mods make an appearance and add a bit to the formula in their own way. Otherwise, this Skyrim is exactly as you remember, except it loads a bit faster and plays a lot smoother.
The Binding of Isaac: RepentancePS5
While not too much has changed, everything we love about Isaac has been expanded on. With a massively improved multiplayer mode, new bosses, items, paths and challenges, Isaac is at his tearful best. The PS5 version is the best console version of Isaac and contains everything ever made, and while it may be pricey, you get a hell-load of content for your money.
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive EditionPS5
Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy Definitive Edition isn’t exactly the disaster it’s been made out to be, but it is still a frustrating, underwhelming attempt to modernize three very important games. The quality of life improvements are generally welcome, and in many places, there’s a faithful upgrading of the iconic visual style of the PS2 era titles. Unfortunately, not every change is welcome, and in the case of San Andreas, perhaps a little less of it might have done it a few favours.
Sherlock Holmes Chapter OnePS5
If you can get through the relatively humdrum, lifeless and unneeded open world of Sherlock Holmes: Chapter One you'll uncover a whip smart detective adventure that is up there with the series best. It's just a shame that a smattering of technical issues and poorly executed combat sections detract from what should have been the Pride of Baker Street's triumphant return to PlayStation.
BLUE REFLECTION: Second LightPS4
It's a shame that Blue Reflection: Second Light couldn't live up to the expectations it set for itself. Though the story and characters development is good, the game is held back by overly complicated combat mechanics that seem to make encounters harder and longer when they didn't need to be.
Carrion presents you with an opportunity to take the reigns of an invading monster, and it delivers on all fronts with visceral gore and effects that translate vividly even through its pixelated style. The lack of a map combined with navigational and interaction clumsiness make for a more cumbersome Metroidvania formula, but the payoffs of gameplay and exploration outweigh the issues that Carrion presents.
Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja WarsPS4
Neptunia x Senran Kagura Ninja Wars maintains the cheeky charms of both franchise, bringing in the fun, safe jokes and jabs at the gaming industry. However, it taxes that charm with the gameplay choices made at the end of the game. There's enough here to bring in longtime fans, and even some crossover fans between the franchises, but not many others will rally to this mashup.
Riders Republic is at its core a fun game that only wants you to have fun, more than most games. Its UI isn't the best, and there still seem to be some bugs that need to be ironed out, but there are no issues that really break your fun along the way. On top of the gorgeous presentation, Riders Republic is easy to recommend for anyone with a liking towards a game where they can flip around three times on a pair of rocket ski's mid-air while dressed as a giraffe.
Weird, unique and brilliantly designed, Backbone is a game like no other in 2021. The narrative is both mysterious and absorbing, the characters and dialogue are fun and it never overstays its welcome. I wish I was given a little more information in the second half of the game and the ending a bit more fleshed out but I was left wanting more. Backbone surprised me massively and I enjoyed it a lot.
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon RoarsPS4
Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars cloaks a very traditional JRPG in an alluring tabletop veneer. Sure, it doesn't really shake up the genre in any real meaningful way, but the unique presentation and laid back approach to player engagement all combine to make one of the more relaxing and easily accessible JRPG offerings to come along in a good while.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black WaterPS5
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water does some things well and misses the mark on others. It generates tension well, but it depends too much on the simplistic, yet rewarding camera-based combat. Either way, Maiden of Black Water offers something compelling for horror fans to dig into, as long as you can accept its shortcomings.
NHL 22 does an excellent job at bringing back old arcade-y mechanics and blending it with today's simulation quality presentation in a way that works together rather than against itself. Some modes could still use a refresh, but the core gameplay of NHL 22 shows that the NHL series is really hitting its stride with this release.
Marvel's Guardians of the GalaxyPS5
Eidos Montreal has crafted one of the best superhero games to date. Their attention to world-building and characterization should be followed by many studios to come. The Exciting combat, which blends action RPG elements with strategic player commands, and breathtaking visuals and animations, is something to behold.