843 Published Reviews
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing in DisguiseSwitch
Deadly Premonition 2: A Blessing In Disguise is hard to love, even by the standards set by its predecessor. In leaving Greenvale behind for a style of prequel and sequel storytelling split across Louisiana and Boston, Deadly Premonition 2 jettisons the much of what made the original charming (along with some interesting mechanics and variety) in favor of an empty town and a story that serves up tropes and bits of lore that do little to enhance or build upon what made the original fascinating.
Ninjala at launch is thin on content, but still enjoyable. Despite a frankly skippable paid Story Package, it's the sheer variety in its weapon lineup that makes its colorful free-to-play melee action stand out. Whether you're a Splatoon fan hungry for any new content, or just curious about a game where you can swing a giant ear of corn as a bat and enwrap your foes in bubblegum, Ninjala is worth checking out.
Valorant leans heavily on its predecessors, but makes use of established schools of thought and the unique novelties of its Agents to create a fresh take on tactical shooters, even if its launch is a little slim. For years, there hasn't been a fight for Counter-Strike's throne; but in Valorant, Riot Games has found a valiant contender.
Mimimi Games returns to the real-time stealth tactical genre with Desperados 3. Across massive levels, players will guide their magnificent five characters toward their objectives. Each hero has their own strength they bring to the team, and they're all essential to survive. Desperados is a game of trial-and-error, expecting quicksaves and quickloads to "solve" each level.
The Last of Us: Part IIPS4
The Last of Us Part 2 is an outstanding action game; a darker, more introspective follow-up that seeks to challenge the conventions of big-budget action games. In this it's not always successful, but its execution is impeccable, and its story proves an appropriate bookend to the story of Joel and Ellie. In short, it's some of Naughty Dog's best work.
The Elder Scrolls Online: GreymoorPC
The Elder Scrolls Online heads back to familiar locale ahead of the 10th anniversary of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Unfortunately, Western Skyrim isn't the same stunning location as Morrowind or Summerset. There are moments of beauty, but Skyrim itself is drab, grey landscape for the most part. The undercroft of Blackreach is a more interesting and fantastical location, but it's only half of the entire experience.
Disintegration is not the next great sci-fi action franchise (as if we really need another), but hopefully, it can be a stepping stone to something more distinctive and unique from V1 in the future.
Command & Conquer RemasteredPC
Command & Conquer: The Remastered Collection gathers up every conceivable ounce of content from the first two games in the series and gives it a full makeover, resulting in a collection that feels holistic, modern, and true to its roots. It has some wrinkles that add an asterisk, but only just that much. This is Command & Conquer, not just how you remember it back then, but how you'll want to remember it years from now.
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide ClassicsSwitch
Its clean, charming interface guides you through a wide selection, including classic card games, complex board games based in deep traditions, and simple pastimes that let you fiddle with toys. Don't know how to play something? No problem: 51 Worldwide Classics will happily teach you. It's a great choice for single players and families alike.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive EditionSwitch
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is the best sort of remaster: its improvements may seem minimal, but it overhauls most of the tedium that once plagued the Wii RPG classic. While some things it can't fix with polish—the too-big environments, the boring side quests, its messy battle system—for fans or curious new players, Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is easily the best Xenoblade Chronicles out there, even with its annoyances.
Mojang spins up its own take on the Diablo dungeon crawling formula. While it looks like it might be "Baby's First Diablo," Minecraft Dungeons has a good degree of challenge available for you and three friends. It's more focused on lowering barriers by streamlining the acquisition of loot, instead of miring you in pages of stats.
Saints Row: The Third RemasteredPC
Saints Row: The Third time travels to 2020 with a solid remaster. This is the same game you remember from 2011, with all of the DLC and content packs along for the ride. Developer Sperasoft has redone some of the models, especially with regards to the vehicles, and added an all-new, more realistic lighting engine. Unfortunately, it still doesn't quite measure up to the original PC release, and all the bugs of the original are still here.
The Wonderful 101: RemasteredSwitch
The Wonderful 101: Remastered is the latest Wii U exclusive to be whisked from near-obscurity to land on modern platforms. It's a worthy rescue: Like the original game, The Wonderful 101: Remastered is funny, action-packed, and loaded with unique PlatinumGames charm. That uniqueness is simultaneously its best and worst asset: The trademark line-drawing technique that lets the Wonderful Ones turn their followers into weapons is awkward to pull off without the Wii U's gamepad.
If Found is a mesmerizing commentary on the nature of failed relationships and human nature. The stunning painted canvas the game is presented on has an outwardly negative attitude—presenting failure in relationships as a constant—but it crucially dictates that although the ending of relationships is an inherently human trait, so is the continuation of life and something meaningful arriving afterwards in the wake of tragedy, as we build and evolve from such events.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega MixSwitch
Project Diva Mega Mix is a welcome return to Nintendo's portable platform for the rhythm game series. While it doesn't scale well to portable and its Joy-Con motion control mode is a dud, the main mode remains as brutally satisfying as ever. Whether a diehard Miku fan or just a rhythm game enthusiast, Hatsune Miku: Project Diva Mega Mix is yet another great entry in the series.
Streets of Rage 4PC
Streets of Rage 4 is a small, concentrated hit of beat 'em up excellence. While its length and lack of extra modes might make this offering seem slim, it makes up for it with brilliant fighting, effusive style, and another solid set of tunes. If beat 'em up games are seeing a revival, Streets of Rage 4 is leading the charge.
Predator: Hunting GroundsPS4
There is a shell of a good game in Predator: Hunting Grounds, but severe balancing issues, poor console performance, and general clunkiness hold it back from standing shoulder to shoulder with other solid 4v1 multiplayer games—even the one its developer has made before. While its Predator callbacks are solid, for fans looking for another good Predator game, there's not one to be found here. At least not yet.
The gap between Gears and the isometric strategy genre popularized by XCOM isn't that wide, based around cover and squad action. Gears Tactics finds its niche by leaning further into the hyper-aggressive action and gore of the franchise. It throws tons of enemies at you, which forces you to move and keeps you on your toes, but can also become annoying and tedious in some missions. For a first-time outing though, Gears Tactics is a fantastic start.
Sakura Wars features a loveable cast of characters and pleasantly easy mech hack-and-slash combat. However creepy and decidedly overbearing the romantic sections of Sakura Wars are, the cutesy characters make this game what it is: a simplistic but enjoyably stylish romp around Tokyo. It's not going to be a memorable tale, but this Sakura Wars is an enjoyable adventure while it lasts.
XCOM: Chimera SquadPC
XCOM: Chimera Squad retains much of what makes XCOM such a special tactics series, in the process adding in some genuine improvements to its already excellent formula. But these improvements are undermined by some strange art choices, as well as a general reluctance to maximize some of its bolder changes. All in all, an interesting experiment, but one that still has a ways to go before reaching its full potential.
Trials of ManaPS4
Trials of Mana is a strong remake of the classic 2D Super Famciom RPG that Western fans pined after for so very, very long. Its story is a bit weak, Charlotte's English voice acting might make you retch, and there's some notable repetition in the game's environments, but fighting through enemy hordes feels great. It's a considerable step above the 2018 revamp of Secret of Mana, so no worries there.
Disaster Report 4 Plus: Summer MemoriesPS4
For Disaster Report's grand return to the West, Disaster Report 4 puts its focus on humanity struggling for survival amidst the destruction. And it's here, that is unfortunately its greatest misstep, with long stretches of tedium and even moments that feel exploitative. In paring down the campy charm of the series before it, Disaster Report 4's more serious tone often crumbles like the very buildings you find yourself running away from.
Final Fantasy VII RemakePS4
Final Fantasy 7 Remake sets out to fully re-imagine a classic RPG with improved combat and an expanded story. Unfortunately, it's hurt by weak side quests and a surplus of padding, and its biggest change is bound to be controversial. It's one of the most coherent and enjoyable Final Fantasy releases in years, but it's also likely to be one of the most divisive.
Bleeding Edge has some really good ideas, but not enough content or progression to back them up. It's a solid pick for a few game nights with your pals if you all have Game Pass, but it still needs some time to develop into a true competitor.
RESIDENT EVIL 3PS4
Resident Evil 3 finally repositions its place as not just a true sequel to Resident Evil 2, but as a bridge to Resident Evil 4, both in action and plot. While it streamlines the formula of Resident Evil 2 into something more linear, it's still the best way to dodge through Raccoon City with Jill and Carlos, even with Nemesis always on your tail and the occasional clunkiness here and there. With a breezy runtime, Resident Evil 3 is well worth revisiting. Just maybe not Resident Evil Resistance.