1844 Published Reviews
In a year that likely not see any more hockey at the NHL level, it’s nice to see that NHL 21 is allowing us to indulge our inner superstar. There may not be a ton of other huge innovations, but the enhanced take on Be A Pro alone makes this installment worth investing in. If you’re looking to only dive into the season mode, this may be more of an off-year, but for everybody else, it’s high-time to return to the ice with vengeance!
Ray's The DeadPS4
It’s potential to delve into unique puzzle mechanics is overshadowed by obnoxious and frustrating combat segments and bugs impacting critical elements of the gameplay. Ray’s the Dead might have a lot of heart, but that heart is contained within a cumbersome rotting corpse crawling with bugs that make coming back from the dead more chore than triumph.
It’s frustrating to not be able to talk about the bits of Rebirth that I liked the most due to a fear of spoiling things, but just know that there’s a lot to uncover that makes the bits that I liked less worth going through. Although the pacing and second half of the game let things down a bit, an awesome story and a campaign full of tension make Amnesia: Rebirth worth playing through for both the horror fans and the horror fearful.
RIDE 4 is the motorcycle racer for motorcycle fans. This is a double-edged sword, of course, because outside of this core audience there won’t be much pickup from non-fans. The demanding physics helps to achieve great immersion in first-person view, custom liveries can easily be crafted, and the career mode gives a nice sense of progression, even if it is very low-profile. This all adds up to a neat package that fans are sure to enjoy.
EA SPORTS FIFA 21PS4
It’s hard to shake the sinking feeling that FIFA 21 has almost been frozen in stasis since last season. While there are the expected seasonal enhancements, nothing stands on its own to make this a “must buy” installment. If you picked up the game in 2019, you’d probably be forgiven for taking a pass this time around.
STAR WARS: SquadronsPS4
Star Wars Squadrons is nothing if not an authentic experience. It’s goal is to put you in the cockpit of a starfighter in the Star Wars universe, and to that end it succeeds admirably. An uninspired story serves as training for Fleet Battles, an epic multiplayer experience that recreates the best of Star Wars space combat in ways that no other games have.
Deep down, Torchlight III could be a great game. If the developers revamp the map and UI issues I pointed out I’d be over the moon. But in its current state I can’t in good conscious tell you to pay full asking price. Hold off until this is either patched or on sale.
Mafia: Definitive EditionPS4
I’m going to level with you, reader: I went into Mafia Definitive Edition expecting to be underwhelmed. What I ended up playing was far-and-away, infinitely better than I was expecting, featuring fantastic storytelling, compelling, yet immensely flawed characters (in a good way), and a world that is teeming with life. You don’t have to be a fan of the original game in order to feel like a member of the family. Don’t worry! There’s more than enough hot lead to go around.
Bridge Constructor: The Walking DeadPS4
The Walking Dead Onslaught is a serviceable enough Walking Dead VR game if it piques your interest, but its hard for me to recommend. While the ties to the AMC series are fun and interesting, Saints & Sinners is simply a better game. I traditionally don’t like comparisons in reviews, but the release dates, themes, and mechanics of these two are just too close to ignore.
Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About TimePS4
As a Crash Bandicoot fan, Crash Bandicoot 4: It’s About Time is everything I’ve dreamed of since the original trilogy ended all those years ago. It’s a jam-packed, brutal platformer that expands on what makes Crash great with some really cool twists and turns. The challenge may get a little too much sometimes, but it is more than worth fighting through and proof that Crash Bandicoot is king of the platformers.
Many games fall into the roguelike genre, but few define it. Spelunky 2’s secrets and danger-infused caverns make it simultaneously one of the most frustrating and rewarding games I’ve ever played. Yet, having barely scratched the surface of what it offers, I can’t wait to start another run—whether in search of secrets or just to see how far I can ultimately get. And in the end, isn’t the desire to continue playing the hallmark of any great game?
Those who skipped the original game and went straight to Crysis 2 and Crysis 3 are doubtful to feel as though they missed out on much. As such, this remaster does a disservice to what is otherwise a rather seminal gaming experience. And that the Warhead expansion isn’t packaged with the remaster feels like salt in an already irritated wound.
Port Royale 4PS4
The fourth instalment in the Port Royale series will keep fans happy with its upgraded features and a bigger map than can be found in Port Royale 3. For newcomers to the genre, they’re likely to be overwhelmed at first with all of the aspects that need to be understood to create a prosperous empire. However, developer Gaming Minds has tried to make the game as accessible to those players as possible. In this, they’ve largely succeeded.
WRC 9 FIA World Rally ChampionshipPS4
WRC 9 continues to give the Dirt series a run for its money. This year saw a safe update to the series, with extra content being the main new feature. If you enjoyed WRC 8, picking up WRC 9 is a no-brainer. If you skipped out on last year’s entry, however, it can be had for a cheaper price these days, and by the time you’ve seen all that game has to offer, WRC 9 will then be an even better deal.
13 Sentinels: Aegis RimPS4
You know a game has consumed your life when it seeps into your dreams. That’s exactly what happened to me. I’m seeing Triangles floating atop heads and planning strategy in my sleep. Not the worst way to sleep but also not the most relaxing. I’m craving yakisoba pan all the time. No other games exist while you’re playing 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Don’t even bother trying to play anything else. Your brain simply won’t let you.
Right now, Marvel’s Avengers is a bit rough around the edges, but “good isn’t a thing you are. It’s a thing you do.” If Crystal Dynamics can smooth performance and squash bugs, as well as build out a more compelling endgame experience, it has a lot of potential to be one of the most memorable and replayable loot brawlers of this generation and next.
DORAEMON STORY OF SEASONSPS4
All in all, I’d recommend Doraemon Story of Seasons to fans of the series and farming sims alike. Sure, you won’t get to experience marriage like other SOS games, but you do get fancy doodads. There’s plenty to do, lots of ways to spend your coin, and fishing is super easy and relaxing. Just a great way to unwind at the end of a long day.
Spellbreak‘s magic systems and fun take on the battle royale genre show that with some more time and development it’s going to be something really impressive. Whether or not it has the staying power is up to time and how much its community sticks with it but already there’s a lot of potential brewing here.
Project CARS 3PS4
Project CARS 3 represents a huge shift in Slightly Mad Studios’ attitude towards racing games. I suppose this means the studio lives up to their name! What Project CARS 3 lacks in realism, it now makes up for with accessibility.
PGA TOUR 2K21PS4
PGA Tour 2K21 appears to be taking the series in a good direction, with a larger PGA license to boot. The presentation may be lacking, but the feel of the game is spot-on. Tuning up the graphics, expanding the license to include more pros, caddies, and the like, and filling out the commentary will really help to sell the immersion that games such as this rely on.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-ReckoningPS4
The fluid combat, gripping story, and detailed lore makes this a thoroughly enjoyable experience. There’s not a lot of new stuff been added but the tweaks to the area level system and new difficulty are very welcome additions. Now is the perfect time to refresh your memory of this delightful adventure and get ready for the expansion next year.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2PS4
Vicarious Visions’ reputation for developing nostalgia continues. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 not only lives up to the beloved classic games, but it lives up to my memory of the beloved classic games; an important distinction. It walks the fine line of recreating the classics for a modern era, while never feeling either dated or burdened with new and unnecessary changes.
Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New ChampionsPS4
Even with some of its mechanical and story-telling shortcomings Rise of New Champions is a fun time that shows why this is a beloved series. There’s a lot of joy to be had in following Tsubasa’s story and creating your own and the flashy football action has some shining moments. With some more tuning and gameplay focus, there’s a really bright future for Nankatsu’s football star.
Ary and the Secret of SeasonsPS4
I sincerely wanted to enjoy this adventure. Everything I had read about it excited me but here I am, feeling as though I wasted too many hours and grew a dozen new white hairs stressing over a game that was just not ready to be released. From in-game glitches to progression-halting bugs, what little fun there was ended up marred by a game that just didn’t feel finished.
In general, Nexomon Extinction is a novel Pokemon-like. Its story is quite enjoyable and packed with personality, humor, and even some twists about the state of the world. There are lots of cool monsters who are really appealing, with movesets you could really work with and build parties around.