Penn & Teller VR: Frankly Unfair, Unkind, Unnecessary, and UnderhandedPS4
I really love Penn & Teller VR for what it was willing to do differently with a VR headset, something that no ordinary video game can replicate. The headset becomes a magician’s prop, and you the performer. But its welcome wears thin too quickly, its traps, tricks, and inner workings too easily revealed, and gimmicks too often expected. It’s just not the magic of video games that I was hoping for from two of magic’s greatest.
Sea of SolitudePS4
Sea of Solitude is an interactive story that has bits of a game peppered into it. Like gamey meat, it’s not for everyone. Some players may want more to do than run around looking for seagulls and messages in bottles in between story moments and the occasional “fight” sequence. The story (which we have not spoiled here) is likely to resonate with many people, but for some it won’t be enough to overcome a lack of fun gameplay to take players in between exposition. It is a worthy attempt, but just falls a bit short.
Citizens of SpacePS4
You can really see that the developer has tried hard to address the criticisms of the first game. The mini-games are a fun new addition to the combat system but don’t totally eliminate the repetitive nature of the fights. The memorable cast of characters and kooky storyline helps to keep things fresh but ultimately this isn’t too different from the first Citizens game.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-FueledPS4
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a faithful remake of a classic karting game, with extra content from across the franchise to boot. Whether playing the respectfully challenging campaign mode to unlock all kinds of parts, stickers, and more, or skirmishing with strangers and friends both online and off, those who have fond memories of the original will get their money’s worth out of the racer, without a doubt. The sliding mechanic still takes some getting used to after all these years, but it just wouldn’t be CTR without it.
World End SyndromePS4
World End Syndrome is such a beautiful visual novel and it expertly weaves its romance and mystery elements together to create a truly alluring adventure. It does a very good job at subverting your expectations but it's lengthy prologue may mean that some will switch off before the game reaches the really good bits.
MotoGP 19 stands as a serviceable motorcycle road racing game. It’s a step forward with the inclusion of MotoE, and the historical races provide an intense challenge. Fans of the series should appreciate vastly improved loading times, a better (if still underwhelming) presentation, and especially customization options. While not the best racing game on the market today, the MotoGP series has come back into its own as a respectable franchise with the release of MotoGP 19.
Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of FujisawaPS4
Considering that this is the PQube’s first venture into game development, Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa, is still pretty impressive. It’s a delightfully gripping visual novel, with beautiful artwork, as well as a really entertaining mini-game. It’s a very easy game to recommend to those who love visual novels and enjoy a bit of fan service.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IIPS4
Regardless of its tragic lack of special features, Trails of Cold Steel II is, like the one before it, an incredible game and must for JRPG fans. With Trails of Cold Steel III on the way, anyone who loves to get lost in long-winded storytelling, extensive world-building, and friends gushing to each other about their feelings needs to give this series a whirl. And now’s the perfect time, with both of the first games finally on PS4. Class VII’s story is far from over, but now you can dive in on your current hardware.
I enjoy seeing what other developers do with the style to make it their own. Other than the skill trees, Warhammer: Chaosbane does not have much to separate it from Diablo, and what it does have sorely lacks depth. If more was put into the environments, if it had real side quests, or if it had variety at all, this could have been a fantastic Diablo-lite. As it is now, it’s a bit half-baked and feels rushed.
Super Cane Magic ZEROPS4
Super Cane Magic ZERO is one RPG some gamers will be quick to dismiss, but that will be a mistake. Appearances can be deceiving, and the fugly exterior belies a deep experience, one that can even be rewarding and challenging. The inclusion of same-screen co-op and other multiplayer options ensure friends, foes, and frenemies can join in on the fun whenever they want.
Overall, Observation has a handful of issues but is still an enjoyable game if you’re a fan of the puzzle and sci-fi genre. It takes around 8-10 hours to play through, which I believe is enough content to justify the $25 price tag. Despite only having one centralized location and some confusing puzzles along the way, the overall player controls and narrative of the story are intriguing enough to draw you in for the journey through space.
Lapis x LabyrinthPS4
This is a game where I could plug a few minutes in, try to make some kind of progress, and gain experience either way. There may not be a ton of complexity to be had, but what it offers is plenty of variety, fast-paced action, and a desire to push forward. While the labyrinth is full of dangers, the rewards can be great.
Fade to SilencePS4
All in all, Fade to Silence has been an enjoyable experience for me. Itâs got the resource management and camp building that I seem to be drawn to and challenging but not Soulsbourne level enemies to tackle. The glitches are easily fixed with patches (knock on wood that they are in the pipeline), and thereâs a decently sized map to explore with hidden passages and caverns to loot.
Brief Battles is a fun party game that is easy to pick up and play, while also being rewarding to master. The novel ability to be able to climb along most surfaces inspired some great level design, while still being approachable. A large variety of levels, and even plenty of solo/co-op modes, ensures Brief Battle’s replayability. Juicy Cupcake has created a whimsical game everyone can get into, that is far deeper than its simple controls and silly sense of humor betray.
Fell Seal: Arbiter's MarkPS4
One of the staples of an awesome game is the fact that it leaves you jonesing for more. Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark accomplishes this with a style and grace of a bygone era of game design. Here’s to hoping there is more content on the way, because I can’t wait for my next dose of tactical action.
The unique, hand made graphics are one of the biggest, and most impressive features of the game and will likely leave you wanting to see more games made in the same style. A short story can leave players feeling a little bit disappointed at the end, despite challenging and well thought out puzzles throughout the game. Overall, Trüberbrook is a very special and quirky game that most people are going to love.
World War ZPS4
If you want something you don’t have to think too deeply about or are into competitive multiplayer with friends, then World War Z could be for you. But if you’re expecting an in-depth narrative and a campaign that requires strategy and coordination, then perhaps you should stay away.
Our World Is EndedPS4
Our World is Ended feels like an opportunity to tell an off-kilter sci-fi story like Danganronpa or Zero Escape a little differently, then falls flat by leaning too hard on tropes and superficial mechanics. Despite its brazen disregard for social appearances, Our World is Ended lacks drive and confidence needed to help a weird story come together in the end.
My Time At PortiaPS4
After an entire calendar year in Portia, there’s still so much more for me to do. There are new areas to unlock and explore, buildings to reopen, and I still haven’t convinced Gust that we should be married and become a powerhouse architect firm. I may not reconstruct every single lost relic that lays beneath Portia in the ruins, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get Gust to wear my ring.
Ghost Giant is one of those unique must-play VR experiences that effectively demonstrates just what VR can do that traditional screens can’t. It’s a game that effectively makes you feel a strong bond and connection with its world and its characters. It deftly weaves between humor and deep emotion, elation and sadness. It’s not a difficult game, but that’s not the point. Ghost Giant wants you to play in its world, but also engage with its heart. It’s a beautiful experience that really highlights what not just VR, but games overall, are all about.
Earth Defense Force: Iron RainPS4
At the end of the day, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain feels like it should have come out over a decade ago. There are a few fine ideas and some fun moments, but this kind of game just doesn’t hold up when there are so many other fantastic titles releasing so frequently. It’s not a bad game, but time and money are limited, so I can’t recommend Iron Rain unless you’re a die hard Earth Defense Force fan, or if you can manage to get it for a great price, sadly. If you’re wanting an in-depth co-op experience with a deep progression system and a memorable story, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney TrilogyPS4
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a fantastic chance to explore your inner gumshoe. The amount of content delivered in this package will keep you gleefully badgering witnesses, in glorious HD, for far longer than the price would indicate. However, for those considering a second trip into the courtroom, you may want to consider if you hold high definition visuals at a premium. Lord knows that the game’s stellar writing will show through, regardless of the medium, so just make sure that this case doesn’t slip through your fingers.
Dangerous Driving can be fun in short spurts. The lack of car manufacturersâ licenses is expected when any game is priced at half the cost of bigger-scale games. But the lack of even a time attack mode means that once players have beaten the campaign, there is little reason to go back besides the inclusion of online leaderboards. Arcade racing games are also incredibly fun to play with others, and a lack of online and/or split screen support limits Dangerous Drivingâs replayability. Sure, online is coming, eventually, but by the time that feature launches, how many buyers of this $29.99 arcade racing game will have moved on?
It often feels like bits and pieces of Skorecery are missing. The concept is there and the Breakout-style gameplay works, but it is so rudimentary. You can only really play if you have at least one other person with you. If you do get other people around you, then you are limited to two playable characters. There are only really two modes, with one of them having a few different variations. It seems like a game that needs some updates to make it more of a well-rounded experience.