1993 Published Reviews
WRC 10 FIA World Rally ChampionshipPS5
WRC 10 is a safe entry, celebrating the long, rich history of the World Rally Championship, while taking care to not break anything that was already working well. If you missed out on WRC 9, you may be content with picking that up for a bargain (assuming you have a disc-based console). If you want the latest and most up-to-date rally racing simulator, though, then WRC 10 is more than competent at providing a ton of fun for rally fans everywhere.
Nickelodeon All-Star BrawlPS5
Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a great Smash clone that painfully underutilizes its Nickelodeon license, to its own detriment. Lacking some of Nick’s biggest characters, franchises, and environments, absolutely no voice lines whatsoever, and all wrapped up in a rather unimpressive package, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is a good concept, and one of the best Smash-alikes to come along in the last 20 years.
Alan Wake RemasteredPS5
Enjoying Alan Wake Remastered was like the best kind of deja vu. Muscle memory steered me toward the hidden caches, triggered reminders to backtrack just a little here and there or look around that corner for collectibles. Alan’s somewhat stiff voice, the ancient rockers, Barry—all of these things, campy as they were, welcomed me home. Those cold waters of Cauldron Lake sure are impossible to escape.
Aragami 2 had potential to be a great follow up to an indie classic released five years ago. Unfortunately it lacks any real challenge and feels bloated with repetitive mission types and locations. The game starts to overstay its welcome after a while, but there’s definitely fun to be had before reaching that stage if you can put up with the plenty of bugs that still need to be fixed.
Far Cry 6PS5
Far Cry 6 strikes a great tonal balance, a variety of activities and exploration that never get dull, another imposing villain whose presence can be felt throughout, and a brilliant main character. Yara is a fun playground because it’s Dani’s playground, and that’s a crucial part of the equation, part of the meaningful growth the latest entry brings to the Far Cry franchise. ¡Viva la Revolución!
MechWarrior 5: MercenariesPS5
MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is a lot of fun for fans of the BattleTech franchise. It may not be the flashiest game around, and its story can be very campy at times. But this is pretty much your best bet for playing a ‘Mech game on a PlayStation console. If you have (online) friends, co-op will likely provide some extra thrills, and the generous DLC support is great to see. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but MechWarrior 5 is more than welcome on PlayStation after all this time.
In Sound MindPS5
The overall story is fine but lacks that punch to push it over the top. If it were a movie it would sit comfortably with in the B movie section next to Pooka! and The Babadook—which is damn good company, if you ask me. Depending on just how long it takes you to solve the various puzzles, In Sound Mind takes an average of 12-ish hours from start to finish.
A Juggler's TalePS5
A Juggler’s Tale is enjoyable for what it is, but it doesn’t quite reach the particularly memorable nature of similar indie games it so obviously takes inspiration from. There’s a great introspective narrative with some brilliant themes regarding personal freedoms and cutting the strings of toxic relationships throughout, but a short runtime and occasionally obtuse puzzles and mechanics leave it feeling a bit more tangled up than it should by the end.
HOT WHEELS UNLEASHEDPS5
Despite some balancing issues and some issues with how cars are obtained, Hot Wheels Unleashed is still a ton of fun thanks to its breakneck-speed racing, a detailed track editor that would make your inner child jealous, awesome collectible cars, and packed single-player content. Add in the nostalgia for playing with Hot Wheels cars and tracks as a kid, and you might find it to be one of 2021’s hidden gems.
Death Stranding: Director's CutPS5
Reworked missions will aid new players into the world more smoothly than the original release, too. I definitely felt as though the difficulty spike wasn’t nearly as harsh thanks to this. Keep in mind that while the Director’s Cut expands and adds delicate touches here and there, this is still a game that requires patience and time for the best results.
Murder Mystery MachinePS4
Murder Mystery Machine could be a great distraction from the usual adventure games. Its emphasis on deductions rather than evidence gathering turns it more into a puzzle game than an adventure game, and it genuinely makes you feel like you’re working things out for yourself. The problem is it’s held back by several design issues that didn’t translate well from mobile platforms to console and these can dilute the fun.
Kena: Bridge of SpiritsPS5
It’s pretty amazing to think that Kena: Bridge of Spirits is Ember Lab’s very first game. With absolutely stunning visuals and impactful music this is sure to leave an impression on people. Gameplay-wise it doesn’t do anything particularly new or innovative but that doesn’t stop it from being loads of fun.
Lost Judgment is a subtle improvement on the original, and continues the fun of seeing the seedy sides of Kamurocho and Ijincho while staying mostly on the good side of the law. A new combat style combined with a few more tricks up Yagami-san’s sleeves provide more entertaining ways to dispatch or get the upper hand on enemies, and of course the usual slate of minigames offer a much-needed respite from the main campaign’s twisted story.
Super Animal RoyalePS4
Overall, Super Animal Royale doesn’t really do anything groundbreaking, but it is still a fresh entry into the battle royale genre with its cute animal theme and the ability to quickly get into games without much waiting around. Cross play adds a lot of possible players to the pool and what’s here in the package works and it’s fun to play. The game does just enough to keep you coming back for more without being such a huge time commitment.
Lost in RandomPS5
Lost in Random is a magical adventure, and though its dice and card-based combat system never achieves a significant depth at which it could, its still a worthwhile journey. Zoink’s strength lies in building wonderous, mysterious, and frankly just weird characters and worlds. Hand-in-hand with Even and Dicey, you won’t be disappointed at getting lost in Random.
It’s a game that’s thought out top-to-bottom, with two perfect leads heralding the charge and a unique multiplayer component that feels central to everything that Deathloop is, without ever getting in the way. Whether you’re looking to break the loop or preserve it, Blackreef is certainly worth the visit. You may find yourself as stuck there too.
Even with the occasional tricky platforming section The Touryst is an absolute joy to play. There’s a diverse range of puzzles and silly mini-games for you to discover and have an absolute blast with. It’s a delightful bite-sized adventure that, just like a real holiday, is likely to leave you with fond memories and wishing you could spend more time there.
Life is Strange: True ColorsPS4
And that’s where True Colors‘ most vital aspect lies. To focus not just on healing others, but healing yourself. Letting yourself feel sad when a family member passes, feel angry at your parent for betraying your trust, and feel joy towards the absurd and mundane.
F.I.S.T.: Forged In Shadow TorchPS5
While it may not redefine the Metroidvania style of games by any stretch of the imagination, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch is a stellar example of the genre done right. Featuring mildly interesting characters, a world teeming with life, and a well-designed map that is very player-friendly, it genuinely feels like it does damn near everything right.
Like many horror games before it, it fails to balance its tension with certain gameplay mechanics that can turn from fear to frustration pretty quickly, but these are spaced out enough that it never ruined the experience wholesale. For any horror fans looking for a Silent Hill-esque game to fill that ominous void, The Medium will at least scratch that itch.
I Am DeadPS5
I Am Dead is a hidden object game where players can get as much or as little out of it as they wish. Those following the story will find a short but simple game, perhaps too simple for some. The secondary objectives add more to do but seem like a compromise to keep adventure veterans entertained seeing as they carry very little reward. Away from the gameplay, I Am Dead dances around the raw emotions of death but deals with its impacts in a pleasant way.
After 16 years of waiting, though, Psychonauts 2 more than makes up for lost time. It’s a glorious return for the franchise, one that should keep existing fans happy while being perfectly welcoming for new players. Let’s just hope we won’t have to wait a similar amount of time for the third game.
It might sound like I’m being quite critical of Kitaria Fables but I did actually have a lot of fun playing it. It never quite reaches its full potential, but as long as you don’t mind that it’s quite grindy in places, then it is a worthwhile adventure. There’s also a couch co-op mode which is perfect if you have been looking for a simple RPG to introduce to a younger gamer or if you just want something low key to play with a friend.
Golf Club: WastelandPS4
Golf Club: Wasteland has a great vibe for its somber and solemn story about the end of the Earth, and I loved the concept behind its world. But it’s burdened by a golf game that is simply not all that fun (granted, perhaps it shouldn’t be fun to golf on the headstone of humanity). Occasional moments that seemed to portend exciting new golf puzzle mechanics were quickly followed by more lobbing to almost out of reach platforms, made intolerable by frustratingly simple mechanics that seem to have an air of randomness and luck.
For all of its issues, Rustler is a fun little game that tries something a bit different, recapturing a long-lost element of game design and adding a fun new twist. Its humorous and satirical elements help keep it light-hearted, and though it occasionally has some comedic misses, its also full of genuinely laugh-out-loud moments.