1948 Published Reviews
Akiba's Trip: Hellbound & DebriefedPS4
I appreciate Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed for spawning a sequel that I fondly remember. I just have an extremely hard time overlooking so many glaring problems that were glossed over to repackage and sell it in this state. Unless you really loved Undead & Undressed or just don’t want a hole in your collection, this is one to pick up on sale.
F1 2021 is the most fun you can have in a Formula driver’s cockpit. Braking Point brings the kind of drama you didn’t realize you needed in your racing life, even if it does get a little cringeworthy on occasion. This wonderful looking and sounding Formula racer shines on the PS5, even if some of the platform’s features are under-utilized at this time.
Where the Heart LeadsPS4
Where the Heart Leads isn’t going to be a game for everyone but it does a remarkable job at letting the player walk their own path through Whit’s life. Much of the story is fairly ordinary but that’s what makes it so relatable. It may even cause you to reflect on the choices you’ve made in your own life and how you may have helped or hindered those around you.
The sequel to the classic is indeed worthy in most ways, and Chivalry II is a much needed upgrade to the original game. Combat has a lot going on, and while many players will behave as non-chivalrous bastards, there is a good amount of fun to be found on the medieval battlefields of Chivalry II.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!PS5
Doki Doki Literature Club works best if you go into it knowing nothing about it. It’s still a visual novel dating sim, and the Plus! version really doubles down on the visual novel aspect, but it breaks the status quo and does the unexpected, making a deeply disturbing psychological horror game out of something that looks cute and adorable on the surface.
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark AlliancePC
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance has the potential to become a fun showcase for the long-running franchise. Despite the issues, none of these are game-breaking bugs, and it is a passable RPG. Now we just have to see if Tuque Games has what it takes to turn things around.
Japanese sci-fi has long been a genre I enjoy. Last year players were spoiled with 13 Sentinels, and Scarlet Nexus has delivered another wonderfully woven narrative worth playing. Do not sleep on this game! JRPG July is just around the corner and the perfect time to spend 60 hours playing video games.
Final Fantasy VII Remake IntergradePS5
As a complete package, Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade just feels like the definitive version of an already perfect game. And the addition of Episode INTERmission is a great excuse to bring old players back for new content (or just a solid extra couple of chapters for new players). For those just jumping into Final Fantasy VII Remake for the first time with Intergrade, consider me jealous. I wish I could play it with fresh eyes all over again.
Legend of ManaPS4
For the most part, the changes that the new HD remaster brings are welcome ones. Not only because these changes add and improve upon what makes Legend of Mana a good game, but because they also make the game accessible to both new and returning players.
Wonder Boy Asha in Monster WorldPS4
Those wanting to compare the new version of the game to the original can do so if they buy the retail version, which comes with a download code for the original Monster World IV. For the few improvements there have been, though, I’d recommend sticking with the remake; the game just seems more refined even if it does keep most of the ’90s tropes.
NINJA GAIDEN: Master CollectionPS4
The Ninja Gaiden Master Collection is a great value for only $39.99. Three frenetic adventures that represent some of the best action games from console generations of the past are bundled, ensuring a lot of content for almost half the price of some AAA games.
Neptunia ReVerse improves a few things from the Vita version, but it ultimately feels like a test of things to come. The fishing minigame is the only real use of the DualSense’s triggers, and while the game’s loading times have been basically erased, that is likely due to the PS5’s SSD speed and little else. It helps when the game’s assets aren’t all that graphically intense to begin with, after all.
Super Bomberman R OnlinePS4
Personally, I think that’s been the core of Bomberman titles since it began in the ’80s. Maybe that’s why the battle royale, always-ranked competitive style of Super Bomberman R Online just doesn’t feel right. Or, maybe it’s just the long matchmaking times and frequent glitches. Yeah, that’s probably it.
Ratchet & Clank: Rift ApartPS5
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart is proof that some series are timeless. It celebrates and retains the classic gameplay first created nearly 20 years ago, while simultaneously feeling completely at home as a showcase PS5 title. It tells a heartfelt story that explores beyond Ratchet and Clank, bringing in new characters that stand tall in their own right.
Mass Effect Legendary EditionPS4
We’ll get our proper new-gen Mass Effect soon enough, but right now, this is where players should experience where it all began with Commander Shepard’s epic three-game saga. Whether you’re an eager fan looking to return or a curious new player who wants to see what all the fuss is about, this is Mass Effect.
Every once in a while, a special game comes along that redefines the rules; that finds a unique concept that nobody knew they wanted, but that everyone ends up loving. Knockout City is one of those special games, a passion project built on originality that will surely go on to be bigger than anybody could have initially imagined.
With so much to do, time can fly by without you noticing. Yes, the graphics may not be the best with stuttering and pop-in in places, and there were occasional game crashes, but nothing is game breaking and it’s a lot of fun. The humor will especially appeal to children, while the game is complex enough for adults to enjoy too.
Manifold Garden sure took its time to reach us, but the wait has been worth it. This is a beautiful puzzle game that stretches your spatial reasoning, but not immensely so. The difficulty could have been increased, but designing and then developing these complex spaces that loop forever was no doubt a huge challenge on its own.
While this strategy game does a great job at creating a unique look, the gameplay doesn’t really do enough to hold your attention. It’s pretty simplistic and won’t take long for you to master which unfortunately means that it ends up feeling fairly repetitive. It’s a shame as when the game does introduce new mechanics in the boss fights things can get pretty interesting but there just aren’t enough of these types of battles.
Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD RemasterPS4
SMT 3 Nocturne HD Remaster is a trip down nostalgia lane, one new and returning players will sink hours into for the full experience. Whether you stick to the main story or chase down every side quest in pursuit of power, you won’t be disappointed.
Hood: Outlaws & LegendsPS5
Presenting the lore of Robin Hood in a whole new way, there’s a really fun and unique game in Hood: Outlaws and Legends. While it has a number of balancing issues that can impact matchmaking in various ways, it’s all wonderful when it works. Hood is a game that frustrated me on numerous occasions, but was also one of the most thrilling and distinctive multiplayer stealth experiences since Assassin’s Creed’s multiplayer modes.
While the game brought over many features from the PC version, there are some that are missing. Those expecting a map editor will be disappointed to find it absent, as are the procedurally generated maps that offer a lot of replayability for PC players. The latter means there’s no Frontier mode either for players to compete against each other. Despite this, The Colonists offers hours of entertainment for those wanting a relaxing, simplified experience and those wanting to speed run their way through all manner of variables to a perfect colony.
Subnautica: Below ZeroPS5
Subnautica: Below Zero will grow on you, if you give it time. While the beginning hours aren’t nearly as rough as the last time around, a dedicated session or two of several hours is essentially mandatory before the adventure really starts to open up. After that, though, the sense of exploration is fantastic, the story is engaging, and the views can be spectacular.
Skate City is buoyed up by its excellent and mellow lo-fi soundtrack, a veritable repository of chill beats to skate to. This defining aspect helps elevate a simple concept to put you in the right mood to engage with it. While the visuals are nothing to write home about and the finnicky controls can sometimes cause frustration, there’s still something special about chilling out with a 20 minute skate session after a hard day’s work, and discovering yet another great lo-fi tune.
The steady improvement of MotoGP continues with MotoGP 21. The move to the PlayStation 5 affords a bunch of benefits inherent to the latest generation of consoles, and having a race load in a handful of seconds is such a nice luxury. The inclusion of the DualSense’s haptics is appreciated, as a useful feature to tell when tires are losing their grip.