561 Published Reviews
ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the KnightsPC
Ender Lilies is an emotional sidescroller RPG with a well-told compelling story, beautiful music & art, and solid gameplay. Its hauntingly beautiful style and satisfying world more than makes up for some slight combat blemishes, leaving a lasting impression as one of the most remarkable games of its kind.
Unsighted is a fun, quick little game, lasting me around ten hours on my first playthrough. Its combat and exploration are rewarding, the presentation is stylishly retro, and the narrative is good enough to round out the package. Some of the systems in place come across a little bit more tedious than they feel they should be, and the time-restriction mechanics don't do anything for me, but nitpicks aside, Unsighted is a solid pixel-art indie worth checking out.
Astria Ascending is not a great JRPG. I would hesitate to label it a good one. In a year of winners, it's not a complete outlier but it's no contemporary classic. Despite a few flirtations with intrigue, the story is generally vacant of anything compelling enough to stick around until the credits. Poor writing compounds the problem and unlikable characters can't overcome it. Gameplay ranges from strong to stale, with just enough gumption and innovation to keep things lively. Pound for pound and for all its pedigree, this is a disappointing experience I'm not inclined to recommend.
Mary Skelter FinaleSwitch
Mary Skelter Finale provides a rather disappointing finale to the series. The previous games left off on a rather satisfying conclusion to the series, and Finale just feels like an overextended sequel. It's ultimately a really difficult game to recommend to players unless they're already heavily invested in the story of the first two games.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDSwitch
Given its high price point for a remaster, anyone on the fence should either wait, or ignore the game altogether. The quality of life changes are greatly appreciated, but they are not going to change anyone's long standing opinions on the game, besides perhaps criticisms about the motion controls.
Fuga: Melodies of SteelPC
For me, Fuga: Melodies of Steel is the most “feel-good” release of the year so far. I always hoped it would be great, and my impressions of the game two years ago at AnimeExpo made me sure that the game was on the right track – but you’ll never truly know how a game will land until you’ve had a chance to sit down and play the whole thing for yourself.
I come away from Final Fantasy 1, 2, and 3 looking forward to the remaining games more than I did before. I appreciate the new features like the enhanced bestiary, the auto-combat feature, making grinding friendlier, and I LOVE the new soundtracks. But I hope they manage to address issues like the screen tearing and especially the font before the last three games release.
NEO: The World Ends With YouSwitch
NEO: The World Ends With You does a wonderful job recapturing what made this formula work so well on the DS, but in a more approachable way. If there’s one game in this duology I’ll ever find myself revisiting, it’ll definitely be this one. Few other games come close to conveying this kind of rebellious style in every aspect of its design, and NEO completely lived up to what I wanted from a TWEWY sequel.
The Great Ace Attorney ChroniclesPC
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles isn’t perfect, but it’s the closest that the series has ever been to that lofty goal. These games are Shu Takumi at his absolute best, and it’s a blessing that western players finally have the chance to play them without resorting to fan translations. Whether you’re a new fan, or have been with the series from the very beginning, I can’t recommend The Great Ace Attorney: Chronicles enough.
Cris Tales is an enjoyable experience if you go into it with the right expectations. It's an easygoing ride through a colorful world that, while somewhat uneven & unpolished, is a comfy & familiar adventure. The interesting time mechanics that help the game stand out unfortunately never realize their full potential, and the storyline falls a bit rote, but my experience with Crisbell and company was still a pleasant one.
I greatly enjoyed my time with Monster Hunter Stories 2, but if this review reads more restrained than the score might make you feel - it's because as much as I enjoyed the game, it still has its fair share of flaws, and I'm unsure if players with less of a history with the franchise might be willing to overlook them. Your mileage may vary, but one thing's for sure - it's great to see that Monster Hunter: Stories isn't dead, and hopefully this is just one of many more sequels to come.
World's End ClubSwitch
World’s End Club is like the watered-down version of the two works that inspired it. Understandably, it’s not supposed to be the same. However, World’s End Club still doesn’t quite stand on its own. To its credit, it's successfully uplifting and heartfelt -- just not in the most cohesive way. I’d give a light recommendation to those who enjoy coming-of-age anime stories without the need to overthink them.
Disgaea 6: Defiance of DestinySwitch
Disgaea 6 makes a lot of changes, not all of which are for the best, leading to a somewhat unsatisfying experience. The autobattle system is useful in some aspects but could cheapen the experience for those who don’t restrain themselves. Parts of the campaign, like constantly having to fight the God of Destruction at the end of each chapter, got extraordinarily tiring.
Although, I do have a big issue with one thing in particular. An issue so massive it ruined my experience. News articles before release repeatedly reported that a certain character’s name was Cullen Travers. As a Cullen myself, I found myself over the moon with excitement. You don’t really ever see Cullens in video games, especially ones in Japan. I even took on this assignment just to get to say I reviewed a game with a Cullen in it.
Legend of ManaPS4
I’m excited for a whole new generation to give the world of Fa’Diel a look. I appreciate that in recent years, Square Enix is giving their other franchises like Mana and SaGa time back in the spotlight. My best advice to take advantage of all that Legend of Mana has to offer is to use guides while playing, especially if you plan to tackle New Game+ and the post-game content! Now, hopefully, we will hear about a brand new Mana game before too long.
Miitopia relies on the Mii cast and their silly dynamics to carry you through largely basic gameplay, if Nintendo’s constant prompts to stop playing weren’t already a reminder this game is designed to be played in increments at a time. Taking it slow still won’t prevent you from realising how repetitive a playthrough can be.
Final Fantasy VII Remake IntergradePS5
If you’re stressing because you can’t find a PS5 and are worried about seriously missing out, you shouldn’t - you should be able to head on into FF7 Remake part 2 whenever it arrives with or without experiencing this fun but missable add-on. If you have a PS5 and couldn’t get enough FF7 Remake, however, this will prove to be a thrilling extra couple of hours.
Mass Effect Legendary EditionPS4
Mass Effect Legendary Edition is sure to bring in both new and returning fans with its slick presentation and positive word-of-mouth about the series over the years since the original game's release. I enjoyed playing through the series again on more recent hardware, and not needing to hook up my Xbox 360 again. While the games haven't changed much from their initial releases, which can sometimes make the games feel dated, this is still an amazing collection of games to experience.
I wish I could be coming away from Biomutant recommending it to other players. In fact, before starting it I was damn near certain that I’d enjoy it, but it sadly didn’t live up to my expectations. It’s charming and has a great suite of RPG mechanics and customisation, but it’s also surprisingly generic in most of its mission design and has combat that is unique but unsatisfying.
Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD RemasterPC
I also think about the outstanding work Atlus put in for last year’s Steam release of Persona 4 Golden and how this feels lackluster even compared to that. I still quite enjoyed my time with Nocturne HD Remaster, but it is great because the core game is already phenomenal; aside from adding skill inheritance to demon fusions, most of the updates in this remaster aren’t all that remarkable.
New Pokemon SnapSwitch
It feels like I’m being asked to prove I deserve to play more of the game I fell in love with on the Wii’s Virtual Console by finishing a huge stack of work first. For a game that seems so determined to relax the player, I feel like they forgot to consider that there’s a fine line between relaxation and boredom. New Pokemon Snap didn’t have to bore me, and that’s what makes it all the more frustrating.
Frustrations aside, Famicom Detective Club still manages to captivate all the same. It’s a miracle that these two Nintendo classics were ever localized, let alone as a global simultaneous release with these remakes. It was a blast to join the Detective Club after so many years, and I can only hope one day we can see a similar remake for the series’ 3rd game, sales permitting.
Kingdom Hearts IIIPC
While the price might be asking a lot for a game that can now be purchased for significantly less on consoles - or even downloaded on Xbox as part of Game Pass! - whoever was in charge of the Kingdom Hearts III PC port has delivered not just a fantastic PC version of the game, but one that is sure to become the benchmark for Square Enix PC ports going forward - for good or ill.
STORY OF SEASONS: Pioneers of Olive TownSwitch
For anyone who prefers pure farming and enjoys the Story of Seasons franchise, this can still be a game for you. Everything that the series is well-known for is present in this game. However, it doesn't seem like the series has really taken any real steps forward since I last played a Story of Seasons game back in 2007. For now, I think I'll stick to Rune Factory.
When it comes down to it, Poison Control fails to do anything interesting in any manner. There's nothing about the game that is outright broken, but there is just no substance to anything at all. A forgettable nothing story, forgettable gameplay, tedious maps, all lead to an experience that is an easy skip.