1945 Published Reviews
Ori and the Will of the WispsSwitch
Ori and the Will of the Wisps arrives on the Switch in exceptional form. Though there have been a few nips and tucks here and there in order to squeeze it into a considerably more modest form factor, it still showcases Moon Studio’s incredible vision from the moment it starts to the tear-jerking finale.
Evergate has the potential to be an incredible game to play, with its beautiful artwork and animation, and intelligent and well-planned gameplay. Unfortunately, every level feels like a struggle, needing pinpoint precision to complete and move on to the next. It ends up a frustrating experience more than an enjoyable challenge.
Worm Jazz is one of the best puzzlers I’ve played in a long while. It’s intelligent, smooth, stars a hat-wearing worm and features a chilled jazz soundtrack. Nice.
Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Definitive EditionXbox One
Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a phenomenal game with hundreds of hours of deep CRPG and kingdom management gameplay, but at the time of review it's hampered by bugs that impact how you can enjoy the game, and with reports of progression halting issues and save file corruption. Our advice would be to wait for the bugs to be patched, but ready yourself for a serious commitment to this vast CRPG.
Tamarin may look like the ideal nostalgic fix - evoking fond memories of Rare's Jet Force Gemini - but this is not the game you are looking for. Tamarin's external charms hide flawed and deeply dull gameplay. What's most frustrating is the squandered potential of Tamarin, this could have been a game worth playing, but sadly you're best keeping a safe distance from this particular monkey.
Dog Duty is certainly an experience, I'll give it that, though not exactly a good one. There's a grand parade of issues here, from poor visuals to inept path finding and everything else in between. I'm not saying Dog Duty is the worst game I've ever played, but it's certainly up for contention.
Hades is one of the best roguelites of all-time. It's a phenomenal achievement in story telling, gameplay, and an absolute treat for both your eyes and ears. It's astounding, and it's always been fairly astounding through Early Access, but this final release cements it as one of the greats. If you like roguelites, and even if you don't, you should probably get in on this as soon as you can.
Super Mario 3D All-StarsSwitch
Much like an actual 35th birthday party (I assume), Super Mario 3D All-Stars just feels a little halfhearted. It bundles together three great platformers, all of which benefit from the bump up to HD resolutions, and Nintendo have done well to adapt the varying controls to suit the Nintendo Switch, but there's a squandered opportunity to enhance and go beyond this in a meaningful way. Maybe Nintendo are saving themselves for the big five-oh in 2035?
The Outer Worlds: Peril on GorgonPS4
The Outer Worlds' first expansion fits quite neatly into the main game, not really changing it significantly but potentially having pretty big consequences in the aftermath of the events of main plot. The story is well written and interesting with its share of surprises, and dialogue is as witty and funny as ever. If more of The Outer Worlds is what you want, Peril on Gorgon is exactly that.
CrossCode is without a doubt one of the best RPG titles we’ve seen this year, marrying 90s JRPG nostalgia with modern gaming sensibilities to create an exceptional experience. Whether it’s the stellar combat, ingenious puzzle design or lush and vibrant world, there’s plenty to keep you coming back to CrossCode throughout its lenghty story.
13 Sentinels: Aegis RimPS4
A story ambitious enough to have thirteen different protagonists seems bound for failure, yet the game manages to make each story not only incredibly impactful on its own, but adds up to a bigger, brighter and utterly unforgettable narrative. The addictive tactical gameplay that strings these story scenes together, despite a strange artstyle, is just icing on the already massive and delicious cake.
Here Be DragonsSwitch
Here Be Dragons is actually a well thought out and detailed game, but the lacklustre characters and plot leave a lot to be desired. Mechanically the game is wonderful, the incredible enemies and art style working fantastically, yet Here Be Dragons falls short where it matters.
Ary and the Secret of SeasonsPS4
At times, Ary and the Secret of Seasons can be a fun if not particularly memorable new action adventure game, but what will really stick in your mind are the various gamebreaking bugs you can stumble across. I would certainly wait a few seasons for patches before considering picking this up. There is the skeleton of an enjoyable family-friendly title here but it just isn’t ready.
Spellbreak holds vast potential and is full of depths to explore, but it’s not quite there yet, despite the 1.0 release. Sure, it’s fun enough to play if you can sit down with two of your friends and bash out a couple hours’ madness, but I forgot what the game was called once I stopped playing. With next to no lore within the game, and with every win or loss feeling the same, there's just not quite enough to make a lasting impression.
Madden NFL 21Xbox One
Madden 21 has the components to be a solid, if utterly by-the-numbers entry in the franchise. However, a raft of bugs and glitches serve to undo the game’s atmosphere at every turn.
Nexomon: Extinction is a solid take on the monster training genre with some interesting gameplay tweaks on the Pokémon formula and narrative decisions. The higher difficulty saps some of the pace and enjoyment of adventuring, making me hanker for a return to a Pokémon game. Still, if you’re after some monster catching and battling, Nexomon: Extinction will do the job.
If you'd have told me before I played Shing! that I would like a control scheme that see's you launch combo attacks with an analogue stick, I would have karate chopped your kidney in anger. Ultimately, you would have been right. It's a control scheme that innovates, is accessible and offers a degree of combo flexibility not seen in more traditional beat 'em ups.
Othercide on Switch remains an evocative and impressive tactical gothic-horror game, though the move to Nintendo’s hardware has dulled the game’s headline visuals, taking some of the atmosphere away from the tactics themselves.
Minoria is an exemplary Metroidvania, offering enjoyable combat, fantastic boss fights and stellar exploration all wrapped up in a narrative that is worth paying attention to and with resolute old school sensibilities. I wouldn't say it's the best Metroidvania I've ever played, but it's certainly in my top 10. In short, if you're a fan of the genre, Minoria is essential.
Street Power SoccerPS4
I went into Street Power Football hoping for an enjoyable take on the sport and was genuinely astonished by how bad the whole package is. This would be unforgivable were it a budget title, but to then have the temerity to stick a full retail price on this just takes the biscuit. I have wracked my brains but couldn’t find anything positive to say about this title.
Necromunda: Underhive WarsPS4
Its strategic skirmishing gameplay can prove rewarding, but it's clunky and gets bogged down by technical issues and stodgy pacing. Necromunda fans will delight in being able to create their own Underhive mob though casual fans of the genre may want to stay clear if they’re not particularly fussed about Warhammer 40K.
Moon may look dated and its mechanics and puzzles can be obtuse as hell compared to what you might expect in 2020. Stick with it however and it’s one of the most charming and unusual RPGs you can play that’s just as influential and relevant as ever.
For content starved fans of the classic point and click adventure, it's hard not to get excited about a new entry in the genre, particularly one whose visuals inspire a feel good nostalgic hit for all things LucasArts. Dig a little deeper though and you'll find this is an underwhelming imitator of the legends of yesteryear. Too many obscure puzzles and too many unfunny jokes prevent Darkestville Castle from being the Secret of Monkey Island successor it so obsessively wants to be.
OkunoKA MadnessXbox One
OkunoKa Madness isn’t the name of the game, it’s the name of the condition you have once you’ve played it. Evil geniuses are more forgiving than this game’s development team, and though you’ll be whimpering for the sweet, simple oblivion of a shark-infested tank, OkunoKa Madness will have you clambering back out for another go.
Inertial Drift is a conceptually stunning driving game with unique drifting mechanics that are easy to pick up but hard master. With plenty of cars, tracks and modes to contend with, there's more to this indie title than meets the eye.