1547 Published Reviews
Evertried is a strategic isometric RPG with an addictive roguelite gameplay loop. There isn’t much to it in its opening moments, but this is a deceptively simple game which rewards strategic planning and foresight. Genre fans will certainly enjoy the challenge, while newcomers will get plenty of enjoyment from the turn-based action as they master tile movement and placement.
Back 4 BloodXbox Series X
All in all, with Back 4 Blood launching on Xbox Game Pass, I have to say it’s worth every penny. It is fast, brutal, punishing and can bring complete strangers together into a zombie mincing machine. Swarm is there if you have the PvP itch, and if you can play with others, this is an easy sell. If you play alone, things are more problematic, as a lot of the game seems to be locked away from you, but co-op up and you’ll be sorted with the zombie killing sprees of Back 4 Blood.
Nickelodeon All-Star BrawlXbox Series X
All in all, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is, in the words of my son, “not as good as Smash Bros”. However, as we are unlikely to ever to see Smash on a Microsoft console, this is a pretty close facsimile. The AI bots are dumb, but it’s really in the local play and online where the game shines. It’s fast, fun and furious, with a pace that makes the older gamer wince, but when it all comes together, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is more than capable of delivering a decent old time.
No Longer HomeXbox One
In its experimentation, it managed to lose our empathy for the main characters, as we got tossed around on some cyclical dialogue. But even with that critical issue, No Longer Home is a woozy, experimental and magical dream that dredged up our own memories of a similar time. If you’ve ever felt lost and unsure of what the future might hold, then No Longer Home will keep you in good company.
SHEEPOXbox Series X
So yes, Sheepo is undoubtedly a metroidvania. But a pacifist metroidvania platformer that feels brilliant to control. Sheepo moves around brilliantly, and chaining moves together feels brilliant. The world and story are cleverly brought together and at no point has it felt like the game needed any form of combat. At just three hours long it may sound short, but it is perfectly timed.
Bouncy Bullets 2Xbox Series X
This isn’t a quickfire, lazy sequel: it’s taken the control issues of the first and shot them in the back of the head with rubber rounds. Bouncy Bullets 2 lacks variety, multiplayer and longevity, but it’s a glow-up from the original Bouncy Bullets. Spend a couple of hours in this adult playground, and your adrenaline will be firing.
Far Cry 6Xbox Series X
Far Cry 6 is a slow burner, but once it gets going it really sinks those hooks. Fans of the series will have a blast, whether alone or through the cooperative options, and whilst some may well think there is too much to do in this world, I say that’s something to appreciate.
Lemnis GateXbox Series X
All in all, Lemnis Gate is a very pleasant surprise. A unique, strategic mind-bending FPS, it is mechanically strong and content-rich. There are still some technical issues that need to be resolved and the progression system is very stingy, but what is here is a hidden gem. Matches are tense, exciting and fun. Please, if you haven’t already, give the game a look on Game Pass or pick it up at the very reasonable price. If you are a fan of arena shooters and strategy games, you really can’t go wrong.
As a Souls-like goes, this is so stripped back that you question whether it can be a Souls-like anymore. At its best, Obsurity is a hardcore hack-and-slash where you spend more time retreating than progressing, which is better than it sounds. But at its worst, and it is all too often in that area, it’s a buggy, unwieldy and incomprehensible brawler that needs tightening up on pretty much every joint.
GhostrunnerXbox Series X
Ghostrunner provides hard adrenaline, fast parkour, and ninja fighting action that demands your attention. The story is good, yet it’s the action which is utterly frenetic; albeit quite difficult. You’ll find yourself dying a ton of times as you get to grips with Ghostrunner’s mechanics, but the checkpointing is very relaxed and it feels good to play in short bursts.
Astria AscendingXbox Series X
In conclusion, Astria Ascending is a worthy entry into the JRPG genre. It’s beautifully presented, has a cracking story, engaging combat and enough side quests to keep you busy for a good long time. If you have the slightest interest in JRPGs – in fact, even if you haven’t – I urge you to give it a try.
Agatha Christie: The ABC MurdersXbox One
All in all, Agatha Christie – Hercule Poirot: The First Cases may actually surprise players because the biggest worry in attempting to deliver an original story, is perhaps its strongest draw. But that’s not saying a lot when the gameplay is mediocre on the whole and makes it seem as though you’re just along for the ride for the entire adventure.
Guts 'N GoalsXbox One
For everything that doesn’t stick, there is plenty that does. Guts ‘N Goals is a comprehensive package, which you might not expect from a game that’s basically Rocket League where everyone’s gotten out of their car, brandishing baseball bats. It’s subtle as a brick; it sells a brand of anarchy that’s too noisy; but most importantly it’s fun, and flourishes when you’ve got friends on the sofa with you.
Henchman StoryXbox Series X
It has a couple of stories to tell that will have you glued, skipping between genres like a Deadpool and Cable team-up. Sure, it could do with a touch less snark and a degree more characterisation, but this henchman’s costume is well worth pulling on for an evening.
There aren’t many negatives to worry about in Godstrike to be honest; it’s very much a ‘does what it says on the tin’ title. The bosses do feel a little bit inconsistent though, for instance I found the second boss to be a lot more troublesome than the fourth, and it is sometimes hard to tell if you are being hit or not, with a lack of danger or weight to the bosses attacks.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8Xbox Series X
Overall The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is another splendid serving of mini-game madness. There’s nothing radically new or different here, but the same established formula works as well as ever, especially when your mates are up for a game or two.
Boulder Dash DeluxeXbox Series X
Whether you’re new to Boulder Dash or remember it fondly from back in the day, the new Deluxe edition is well worth taking for a roll – especially when you consider the sheer number of stages included.
Dustwind - The Last ResortXbox Series X
It still looks very Red Alert in terms of presentation, albeit with better in-game visuals. Unfortunately, it still appears as if it could have easily come from the last generation, or the one before that. Dustwind – The Last Resort presents a world which intrigues and offers a gritty RTS experience. However, punishing difficulty, gradual pace and repetitive gameplay make it an acquired taste for sure.
Ember: Console EditionXbox One
For picking up and blasting through an hour at a time, Ember: Console Edition works. It’s an RPG lite experience that fails to hit the depth and intricacy of a standard RPG, yet it does a good job of providing entry-level genre ideas. It certainly plays great homage to the likes of Baldur’s Gate or Diablo and whilst the combat system hasn’t translated very well from mobile to console, there is tons to involve yourself in – all for a cheap price.
Apsulov: End of GodsXbox Series X
Running at 7-8 hours in length, Aspulov: End of Gods is a decent playthrough. It’s a game that does feel a bit dark – perhaps because of the size of the budget – but the essence of the game and the heart of its content is excellent. It’s something which neatly tells a worthwhile story, one that takes a well-trodden path but does something completely new with it.
Diablo II: ResurrectedXbox Series X
Time spent with Diablo II: Resurrected is certainly an enjoyable one. It isn’t as polished as Diablo III, but then this is a remaster of a 21 year old game and I fear the devs were pretty much painted into a corner: if they changed the systems, the original fans would be up in arms, but keeping the original feel does mean it slightly alienates players who are used to the newer game.
Disco Elysium: The Final CutXbox Series X
Disco Elysium – The Final Cut is one of those games which only comes along every now and then. It’s a true piece of art, with fantastic writing, brilliant voice acting and highly unusual and unique gameplay elements. There is a lot of game to be had here in terms of pathways and ways of playing through it all, but it certainly deserves the multiple playthroughs it allows. Disco Elysium hooked me in way back in 2018 and even now it fails to ever disappoint.
On the whole Gearshifters is a brilliant little surprise. A side scrolling combat racer like this shouldn’t really have as much going on as Gearshifters does, but the inclusion of those roguelite elements means this is one you’ll be going back to time and time again – if only as the temptation of a new upgrade is always just around the corner.
Chernobylite mixes a whole load of gaming styles but still manages to come up with something very unique and challenging. It’s a game in which you can invest a bunch of hours, especially in the resource management stuff, but is neatly complemented by a cracking story and some great visuals. If you want to try something different and have the stomach and time for some serious gaming, then Chernobylite could be for you.
Lost JudgmentXbox Series X
The plot feels elongated out in the early stages, and then padded in with unnecessary bumph as you continue. Just as well then that the side quests are as good as they have ever been with the whole School Stories perhaps being more entertaining than the main narrative. And if all that fails to win you over, Lost Judgment is still an excellent SEGA Master System emulator.