83 Published Reviews
JOURNEY TO THE SAVAGE PLANETXbox One
Journey to the Savage Planet balances ridiculousness, humour, and exploration to present something that has really clicked with me. Priced at a very reasonable $60, you’ll get endless hours of entertainment from it.
Dragon Ball Z: KakarotXbox One
Its frantic retelling of a well-worn story enables it to dig deeper into the world and characters of Dragon Ball Z beyond the iconic battles, and it’s all the better for it. It blends a collection of RPG tropes into the Dragon Ball Z universe, intent on keeping its humour, and while some of it feels a little dated and the side missions don’t diverge as much as they could, the overall package is a deeply engrossing fresh way to experience an old staple for any Dragon Ball Z fan.
AO Tennis 2Xbox One
While the original AO Tennis released in a horrendous state, the same isn’t true of AO Tennis 2. While there are some niggling issues here and there, they certainly don’t detract from the overall experience. As with the original — especially its AO International Tennis iteration — this is a title we’d recommend to fans of the sport.
Sid Meier's Civilization VIXbox One
In our preview, we mentioned we weren’t sure if Civlization VI feels like a new game, or merely DLC for Civlization V. After many hours with the game, it’s safe to say that it’s a separate entity, different yet the same. It’s one that franchise fans will enjoy, most definitely.
STAR WARS Jedi: Fallen OrderXbox One
It’s the blend of all these elements that makes Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order the gripping single-player Star Wars game we have been waiting for all generation. Challenging combat is broken up by platforming and exploration, and it’s all held together by a narrative I genuinely cared about. On their own, none of these elements are going to win awards and are all done better elsewhere, but as a package they form something exciting — much like the Star Wars films.
Need for Speed HeatXbox One
Need for Speed Heat is ultimately enjoyable, an experience that can provide some high highs alongside some fairly low lows. Those looking for a new racing experience will certainly enjoy it, once mastering its quirks.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020Switch
At the end of the day, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is serviceable, a bit boring for adults but likely to be engaging for little ones. In addition to mini-games galore — which will likely take mature players one instance to blunder before things clicking and then becoming an expert in the event — players can also explore Story mode and collect trivia facts on not only the games themselves but both the Mario and Sonic franchises.
If this is the type of project that Kojima insists to make, I suggest he move from games to TV shows or feature films. Being weird for the sake of weirdness isn’t enough — while Kojima hopes to hit the same level of work as David Lynch or Sam Lake (if we want to keep it in the same industry) he falls very short. Even if Death Stranding’s narrative was good — and it’s not — a game needs to have actual gameplay. What you find within is abysmal; frustrating, tedious and beyond repair, it is to be avoided at all costs.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HDXbox One
In addition to the normal campaign, players can choose to tackle worlds in a Time Attack mode alongside a series of ten multiplayer-supported mini-games that can be played separately or as part of a decathalon. The ten mini-games are just a fraction of the fifty that shipped with the original Banana Blitz but trust me when I say you’re not missing out; most of those were utter garbage. As it stands, some of the ten still in Banana Blitz HD could have been removed too.
Luigi's Mansion 3Switch
Despite its annoyances, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a hauntingly good time, packed with charm everywhere you look. As someone who has once dabbled in the franchise, I’m already hooked — I can imagine those already in love with Luigi (and Gooigi!) will find this a trick rather than a treat.
When adding in that chocolate cereal reference above, I really had to work to stop myself adding ten or so more additional quotes. Needless to say, Afterparty should be commended for its diabolical sense of humour and elegantly crafted conversations. While it’s definitely the wrong time of year for additional playthroughs, I’m most certainly coming back when I find myself with some precious free time, slamming down some different drinks and picking new decisions just to see how things will play out in my newly-created alternate timeline.
For those entering in here for the memories of a beloved game, I don’t want to knock the experience for you. This is the game you love! But unlike aforementioned remakes, nostalgia seems like a necessity to enjoy MediEvil rather than just being a bonus. Let all brave knights beware.
The Outer WorldsXbox One
The Outer Limits has something for everyone â like intricately designed RPGs that have come before it, I found myself plotting my next moves while at work or even playing hockey, desperate to get back into its world and continue my journey. An Xbox Game Pass title at launch, do yourself a favour and jump on in. Youâll certainly be glad you did.
John Wick HexPC
While Keanu Reeves doesn’t grace us with his dulcet tones, John Wick Hex boasts Ian McShane as Winston and Lance Reddick as Charon alongside the aforementioned Troy Baker. An original story, taking place before the first John Wick feature film, is also a nice touch rather than being presented with a simple retelling of what we’ve seen before on the big screen.
Despite the gimmicks, Concrete Genie is beautiful, endearing, charming and simply adorable. It’s far more fleshed out (and lenghty, though still over overly long) than Entwined. At a $40 AUD price tag, you simply can’t go wrong; it’s extremely relaxing after a stressful day.
Shadowkeep is a big stride forward for Destiny 2, and it shows that Bungie cares about its game. Sure, there are some stumbling blocks like a bare bones story and some wonky design choices, but those don’t get in the way of enjoying the core Destiny experience. I love Destiny, and the breath of fresh air that Shadowkeep has brought to the series has me hooked once more.
Ghostbusters: The Video Game RemasteredXbox One
All in all, Ghostbusters: The Video Game was great back in the day and remains the same in 2019. The gameplay, not without its minor frustrations, is absolutely worth the $50 AUD price tag. Fans will definitely want to pick this up, and other gamers can’t go wrong if looking for a decent third-person shooter that’s not the standard shotgun and sniper rifle fare.
Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible LairXbox One
The levels and the Overworld before it certainly rely on a level of skill to progress, while the Lair feels more like the games that populated the arcades of my youth: it’s purposefully designed to rob your of your quarters… or in this case, your Beetalion friends. As frustating as it can be, a pop-up in the Overworld that keeps track of your attempts alongside your furthest progression point (as a percentage) keeps you coming back to best it. While I’m annoyed that the Lair itself is more frustrating than fun, it’s that very quality that keeps you coming back to beat it.
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon BreakpointXbox One
As a multiplayer mode, Ghost War is fun enough — I got destroyed in my first 4v4 games before realising I had to play like the realistic military shooter I was expecting in campaign. Once you get your head around things, you’ll enjoy working as a team to best your opponents. But whether or not I’d choose Ghost War over, say, the Crucible? Hands-down, I’m out. Sorry, Breakpoint.
WRC 8 FIA World Rally ChampionshipXbox One
WRC 8 certainly boasts engaging, fun and challenging gameplay. The vehicles handle with a sense of realism, they sound fantastic and the variety in locations and stages is second-to-none. Sure there’s still some work to go from a graphical perspective, but it’s not something that would impact replayability if you’re a rally/racing fan.
The Surge 2PC
Despite some of the technical issues and difficulty scaling, The Surge 2 is a fun game that should satisfy those looking for a souls-like experience. The combat is rewarding, and the directional blocking system is definitely something I would love to see implemented into other action games. The Surge 2 shouldn’t be seen as a Dark Souls clone; instead, it’s a great game standing on its own feet that has done some exciting things to expand the genre.
The Legend of Zelda: Link's AwakeningSwitch
Having previously only dabbled with the Game Boy Color remaster, it was about time I gave Link’s Awakening a proper go. In turn, it rewarded me with one of the most engrossing and rewarding gaming experiences of 2019. Despite being over a quarter of a century old, the gameplay holds up remarkably well, especially the short and sweet dungeons and delectable puzzles. It’s one of the shorter Zelda games, clocking in at 8-10 hours, but it’s quality over quantity with a relaxing and familiar The Legend of Zelda jaunt.
NHL 20 is a decided improvement over NHL 18 and a step up from NHL 19, though you’d also be forgiven if you skipped out for a year. The usual gripes remain — the Achievements list is the same as last year again, which was the same as the year before and the year before that — and on-ice coaching remains unhelpfully black and white. Though I ragged on NHL 19 for taking some emphasis away from the actual NHL action, I welcome it this year — these polished additions are a welcome companion to the big game. If you don’t want to muck about in a backyard rink, Ray and James are waiting for you at the stadium.
Gears 5 is a delight to play, with myriad options available including a robust, three-person campaign, multiplayer and even a map editor. Best yet, it comes at no additional cost to Xbox Game Pass subscibers and there’s a promise of even more content to come — hi there, Dave Bautista. It’s also a big step up from Gears of War 4. That said, the game’s campaign was sold as an open-world vehicle for Kait and that takes a bit of time to actually be upheld; trust me though: it’s worth the wait.
MXGP 2019Xbox One
It’s hard to settle upon an audience for MXGP 2019, especially on Xbox One — MXGP3 will work just fine for casual players, and those looking for a hardcore experience are better serviced with MXGP Pro instead. With the variations in naming conventions in the franchise, I’d recommend Milestone marry the two steams — casual (or more casual) and professional — to present a killer app that could someday carry the same weight as a yearly FIFA or Madden. Otherwise, Milestone will need to go back to the drawing board to truly differenciate the streams like Forza has done with Motorsport and Horizon.