186 Published Reviews
Solasta: Crown of the MagisterPC
Solasta: Crown of the Magister takes the mantle of the “most” Dungeons & Dragons video game out there, if not quite the best. Though the game has a modular adventure setup that strongly suggests there will be more stories, this one falls too flat for its 40- to 50-hour length. However, the combat system is merely a few tweaks short of perfection, so I’d still be interested in sending my heroes on another adventure in the realm of Solasta.
Backbone feels like it needs a sequel. The story just doesn’t feel complete right now, and given that the game is pretty short (you can probably beat it in about 5-7 hours), it’s hard for me to enthusiastically recommend it. If you’re still interested despite the issues I’ve outlined, make sure you’re prepared for an abrupt conclusion. If you’re on the fence, well… maybe wait for a sale.
The gameplay, while somewhat reminiscent of those Fire Emblem titles, also provides some key differences that help greatly emphasize the strategy component of the game’s campaign. To SRPG fans looking for another Fire Emblem-esque experience, I’d wholeheartedly recommend giving Dark Deity a chance. It is a truly enjoyable addition to the genre, and one I’m glad I got the chance to further peruse.
With stunning pixel-art graphics, solid combat, and a considerable amount of character customization, you can easily sink a few hours into Foregone, maybe more if you delve into more challenging difficulty levels. However, if you’re looking for a complex Metroidvania full of backtracking and deep lore, I would look elsewhere. Foregone may have left me feeling a bit cold, but if you’re looking for some straightforward side-scrolling action, I suspect it will nicely scratch that itch!
Re:ZERO - Starting Life in Another World: The Prophecy of the ThronePC
Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- The Prophecy of the Throne attempts to appeal to both casual visual novel fans and Re:ZERO fans but ends up disappointing both. The macabre elements that Re:ZERO fans expect are all but absent, and the result is a dime-a-dozen visual novel that even casual genre fans would gloss over. That said, the interactive gameplay elements, though shallow, are welcome, and the English dub is par excellence. A single playthrough took me about 14 hours, and there is only one ending.
Disco Elysium: The Final CutPS4
From the most hemmed-in of interstices, the deepest of all swales, and the coldest, most ruinous morning of your life, you exist. You might awaken with bloodshot eyes, a headful of regret and a stomach filled with things far worse. But today… today is always the day you can begin again. We can be better, save each other from the crevices and darkened corners where we’ve kept ourselves hidden.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IVSwitch
Overall, I spent well over one hundred twenty hours playing the Switch port of Trails of Cold Steel IV. While I certainly felt that the game dragged at times, it was ultimately still a solid JRPG experience. At times, “the end of saga” might have felt like it was going out with more of a whimper than a roar, but the conclusion of the True Ending more than makes up for the game’s pacing struggles.
New Pokemon SnapSwitch
New Pokémon Snap is the perfect blend of nostalgic and modern, accommodating for the fact that Pokémon is so much more now than what it was over 20 years ago. Just as the series has developed a life all its own, New Pokémon Snap gives the Pokémon, region, and cast the polish they need to truly shine.
Biomutant certainly took a while to get out of the gate as far as its development went. While it can still be rough around the edges at times, overall, it’s clear that a lot of heart and effort went into the project. I never knew I needed Kung-Fu Panda to be tossed into a post-apocalyptic setting with mutants as a video game experience, but I’m thrilled someone saw that need and ran with it!
Only those absolutely craving a dystopian game need apply, but be prepared for a mind-numbing journey.
Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD RemasterPS4
Nocturne isn’t just a classic to be admired from afar; it is “required reading” for any RPG fan and a modern-day masterpiece. This was true before Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster existed, but this version makes it easier and smoother than ever to experience. The journey you undertake as the Demi-Fiend is one you don’t want to miss and certainly one you will never forget.
Mass Effect Legendary EditionXbox Series X
Mass Effect: Legendary Edition is just about everything I had hoped it would be. It carries the torch from past into future, dutifully imbuing Shepard’s fantastical voyages with a sense of modernity that will help the series continue to attract new fans as we inch boldly closer to whatever comes next.
The Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the DarkPC
A Fumble in the Dark may have lost sight of what made the first iteration great in some respects, but for those who want more of the charismatic duo and excellent observational humor, this is an admirable sequel. More is on the way, as well, so for those who worry we’ll be waiting another three or four years for Francis and Dooley to return, fear not. As for me, I’m okay with the break if it means an assurance of quality in the future.
Atelier Sophie: The Alchemist of the Mysterious Book DXSwitch
My time with Atelier Sophie ended just over the 35-hour mark before credits rolled, though I could’ve spent another two dozen or so hours crafting every single recipe in the book or chasing down the super bosses to test out my newest overpowered equipment or the brand new bomb that’s bound to shake the heavens.
Outriders is a fine shooter carried by its spectacular special abilities, but some might lose interest in the underwhelming story and repetitive gameplay.
Fantasian was something of an impulse play for me. I hadn’t considered getting an Apple Arcade subscription before I found out about the game, but so far, I’m glad I did. Of course, I’m pretty immersed in the Apple ecosystem, so it was an easier adjustment for me than it might be for others. I’d like to hope that Fantasian may one day make its way to other systems — it felt like it would be right at home on console and PC when I played it on my Apple TV — but for now, it’s Apple or bust.
If you haven’t yet played the game and are an otome fan, it is easy enough to recommend even at its hefty price for the sheer amount of content and replayability you get. However, I’d be hard-pressed to say if it is a sure-fire purchase if you’ve already played another version of the title since you’ve probably seen most of the content before. That said, as far as VNs go, Steam Prison is another solid addition to the Nintendo Switch lineup.
BRAVELY DEFAULT IISwitch
Bravely Default II is a tightly-designed and well-written Japanese RPG with gameplay ideas rooted in the 1990s, but lacks the polish and amenities expected of a Square Enix RPG of the 2020s.
Judgment is a successful spinoff from the Yakuza series that simply demands a follow-up. If Yakuza: Like a Dragon is pulling the main series towards turn-based combat, then Judgment would be an excellent place to continue exploring its real-time brawler roots. If you’re looking for a next-gen title that will deliver much more than just pretty visuals, it’s well worth a purchase on the PS5! If, however, you already own the title on the PS4, your money is likely better spent on other games (You HAVE played Yakuza: Like a Dragon, right?)
MONSTER HUNTER RISESwitch
Not only is this one of the best games in the series, it's one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch, period. It's the perfect place for newcomers and veterans to hunt together.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139...PS4
Regardless of my feelings on the final changes, or at my annoyances at the reptetitions, few games touch my soul as deeply as this series does. NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… is still an experience that will always stick with me, whether I think my hard work has been rewarded or not. The original 2010 release came with many caveats, and Replicant has softened many while bringing some of its own, but this is a game that makes me think and feel more than most others.
SaGa Frontier RemasteredPS4
The price tag for this remaster may seem a little high, but considering the amount of effort required to overhaul this flawed classic into an enjoyable play experience amongst other games in the instant-gratification era, SaGa Frontier Remastered is appropriately priced at $24.99 USD on all platforms at the time of release.
The Life and Suffering of Sir BrantePC
My experience may be the exception or a blip in the system. I can only imagine what gratifying conclusion my Sir Brante would have met had everything played out as I had anticipated. For those looking on, sitting on the fence, I say go for it. If everything I described before the bug sounds like a game you’ve been craving, please support these developers and take the plunge.
Evil InsideXbox One
Did I enjoy being scared? Yeah, I did. I don’t understand people who watch a horror movie, laugh at it the whole time, and then talk about how the movie just wasn’t scary. If you allow yourself to be scared, this game creates some reliable tension. Unfortunately, the entire premise is essentially the theft of what Hideo Kojima’s team created, and nothing is built on top of that.
Curse of the Dead GodsPC
Part of the appeal of roguelikes is the depth. Since static maps aren’t developed and a linear (or non-linear) story doesn’t unfold in typical RPG fashion, a generous serving of content is almost required. Curse of the Dead Gods feels like a proof of concept in this way, because what’s here is tight, enticing, and consistent, but it needs more.