352 Published Reviews
AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES - nirvanA InitiativePS5
Nonetheless, Uchikoshi has done better. This time, it felt like he was trying to be clever for its own sake rather than focusing on the narrative momentum and a satisfying ending. But none of that really matters. If you’re an Uchikoshi fan, you’re going to play this. And you probably should. Just don’t expect the heights he’s reached in the past.
Salt and SacrificePC
Salt and Sacrifice is a capable Soulslike for those who can’t get enough of the genre. I had a good time playing it and found the experience worthwhile, but I by no means think this cements itself as a flagbearer for games like it. Five years later, I still distinctly remember the personality and mystery of Salt and Sanctuary, but this title seems to lack that same sort of magic. Though, I will say, Soulslikes have a high standard given the sheer quality of titles available.
Ultimately, that blend exemplifies the entire experience in Wolfstride. There are good ideas at work with the combat, style, and interesting story twists. But for everything it does right, it does two things wrong. Whether it’s aggravating attempts at comedy, tasks that feel like a chore, or a tone that just can’t decide what it wants to be, there is always something standing between you and the ideal experience.
Bit Orchard: Animal ValleySwitch
Overall, Bit Orchard: Animal Valley is cute and charming. With such a low price point, it is worth it for those looking for something a little different. Sure, some aspects could be better, but for retro fans, it is a worthwhile journey. But don’t try to catch frogs; trust me, your sanity will thank you later.
Death end re;Quest 2Switch
Thankfully, Death end re;Quest 2‘s audio is nearly identical to other versions. The eerie, atmospheric music creates an unsettling backdrop while you roam the foggy, monster-riddled streets. A haunting piano adds a chilling touch to the experience, and at times it almost feels like the piano itself is a ghostly apparition drifting through the air. When you’re not basking in the creepy ambience, the soundtrack spikes in tempo and excitement as soon as a battle starts. Even the boss themes have a catchy, melodic flow to them that feels heavy and impactful.
Vampire: The Masquerade - SwansongPC
I must admit, I was a little overwhelmed when I started playing Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong. But once I’d familiarized myself with the universe, it was easy to get invested in the game’s story and characters. The RPG elements give players a lot of options to tackle objectives, and the narrative nature of the game means there is ample incentive to do multiple playthroughs. The visuals can be a little distracting, and I have a few qualms with some of the mechanics, but I still enjoyed my first foray into the franchise.
Arcade Spirits: The New ChallengersPS5
I adore so much about Arcade Spirits: The New Challengers. I love how choice-heavy it is, and the replayability it provides is phenomenal. It is an entertaining experience for fans of the visual novel genre, with a colorful cast you can’t help but root for and fall in love with. Playing it was a pleasure despite some occasional hiccups, and I’m going to be diving into my copy of the original game soon just to experience more of this zany and heartwarming series. That, to me, is the sign of a true winner!
The Centennial Case : A Shijima StoryPS5
Overall, I find The Centennial Case a compelling mystery and game. It is a well-done interactive drama. The multi-generational story isn’t just a gimmick, but an inspired choice, and everything comes together in a perfectly satisfying and thoughtful way in the finale. It constantly surprised me with its production values across all fronts (except the disappointing translation) and kept me entertained and asking questions the entire time.
Guild Wars 2: End of DragonsPC
End of Dragons doesn’t have one big feature to hang its hat on. Instead, it offers several smaller features and the game’s most enjoyable campaign yet. Factor in beautiful new maps and challenging but engaging late-game bosses, and there’s plenty of content for Guild Wars 2 fans to come back to.
Overboard! is simply an incredible puzzle-box of a game. The ship’s small size and the limited timeframe for events hide tremendous content and depth. Uncovering all the secrets of the passengers for your own ends will require careful observation, repetition, and smart choices.
Eiyuden Chronicle: RisingPC
To be clear, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is not working on that level. But it doesn’t need to. It does get one part of Suikoden just right: the feeling of progression as you build a community. Taken for what it is, a wonderful little townbuilding Metroidvania-like title, it’s stellar. Time will tell if Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is truly necessary before playing Hundred Heroes, but it stands tall as a delightful little game all on its own.
start;again is a puzzle-laden visual novel adventure with some wonderful mystery, suspense, found family, and romance themes that are deftly explored even in its shorter playtime. I enjoyed my time playing the game and felt like it was a solidly designed, well-written, and complete adventure.
Best Month Ever!PC
Best Month Ever! has an important, unique story to tell that charts the course of a dying mother and her beautiful young boy. Like the road trip itself, however, bumps occur along the way that detract from the experience. While checkered with flaws, the story hits home and meets a satisfying, albeit sad, conclusion. Some folks won’t be able to see past the jankiness, while others will appreciate the experience for what it is.
Triangle Strategy is a game that welcomes numerous approaches to its strategic gameplay and multiple runs through its story. No matter which way you proceed, you’re met with an impactful experience, thought-provoking in its mechanics and the story that it tells.
Vengeful Heart is an all-around solid VN with a powerful story. It was developed using Ren’Py by only a handful of people, and the quality of their work is absolutely incredible to behold! Vengeful Heart made me think and feel so many things as I progressed through it, something I wish more narratives in general could do.
This is a shorter game that still manages to feel like a complete experience, and it ends up providing many activities for players to enjoy. Anuchard isn’t exactly breaking the mold as far as action RPGs go, but those looking for a solid gaming experience whose narrative leaves a little room for thought might want to give this bell a ring.
Tiny Tina's WonderlandsPC
There is simply no denying that Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands has style oozing out of its pores. Character designs have tons of flair, and even the most basic of enemies look cool, too. The shading used on player characters, NPCs, and enemies looks slick. Whether they’re in your face or far away, they look great. The immersive environments look quite smooth, and several have creative touches that could only come from the brain of Tiny Tina.
Sigh of the Abyss: Shadow Bonds ProloguePC
It is an enjoyable, albeit brief, VN with some neat interactive points. I’d highly recommend playing it if you’re at all curious about Sigh of the Abyss or if you just want a short-but-entertaining fantasy visual novel to lose yourself in for an hour or two during any given playthrough.
Chinatown Detective AgencyPC
Graphically, Chinatown Detective Agency looks great with its hybrid of pixelated environments and realistic portraits. On the other hand, sometimes the pixelwork doesn’t deliver puzzles well, which is itself a significant deterrent to finding the solution. Maybe that was the point, but it was a frustrating problem to overcome. Audibly, Chinatown Detective Agency had some classy piano pieces, and the voice acting was generally well-delivered, but the aforementioned blemishes remain.
Arietta of SpiritsPC
Ultimately, this compact, contained adventure does its job. In the end, the right, satisfying, speculative questions come to mind, not from plot holes, but by leaving players wanting to see more of this world so like our own, yet different. While it feels like Third Spirit Games may have played it a little safe with their first foray into the industry, Arietta of Spirits has put the developer on solid ground. We can only hope that there are more untold tales to share of the Bound, their Spirit Guides, and of the souls they save along the way.
NORCO is an absolute, unequivocal must-play. We need more capable storytellers like this in games.
Persona 4 Arena UltimaxSwitch
I’m also hard-pressed to recommend the title to anyone who isn’t a fighting game fan and who isn’t familiar with both Persona 3 and Persona 4. But those who happen to fall under both umbrellas will undoubtedly find an entertaining, solid fighting game experience with some surprising RPG undertones in Persona 4 Arena Ultimax!
CHRONO CROSS: THE RADICAL DREAMERS EDITIONPS5
Chrono Cross is not just a personal favourite, but also a deeply personal game, and I have many emotional ties to it. Having the opportunity to play it on modern consoles, even in a flawed form, is a tremendous boon. I hope this remaster will satisfy other fans and bring in new fans that might not have had the chance to play it before.
13 Sentinels: Aegis RimSwitch
My time with 13 Sentinels was nothing short of magnificent, even though its combat felt undercooked and its narrative was daunting to follow. Its refreshing handling of queer issues alone ensures its mark in genre history. 13 Sentinels is a love letter to storytelling no one should miss, and it’s one I’m anxiously hoping Vanillaware follows up on sooner rather than later.
Overall, it is a solid cyberpunk adventure with a surprising amount of content that I can wholeheartedly recommend for those who enjoy the genre. ANNO: Mutationem was very much a blast to play from the very beginning through to the end credits. I certainly hope that we’ll get to see more of its fun world and characters in the future, as the game left me feeling like there should be more to come!