1321 Published Reviews
Behind Closed Doors: A Developer's TaleXbox Series X|S
Behind Closed Doors: A Developer's Tale could only evoke two distinct emotions within me: bored or aggravated. I tend to like meta "game about game development" conceits in principle. The issue here is each foundational pillar – gameplay, story, etc. – is so lacking that its dearth of “passable” qualities feel so meaningless. Upon concluding with an arbitrary last-minute binary choice, the realization will hit you: Polygonal Wolf didn't make a tale worth telling; even worse, it never feels like that was ever a goal.
Final VendettaXbox One
On the whole, Final Vendetta is an incredibly faithful retro-inspired side-scrolling beat ‘em up. If you want a nostalgia kick with a bit of a modern twist - perhaps to play with your kids, like I did - then Final Vendetta will definitely fill that need without forcing you to drag out all of your old kit; it even has a CRT filter to give it an authentic retro look.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's RevengeSwitch
Indeed, thanks to its many playable characters, multiple modes, addictive action, fetching graphics, and support for up to six players both online and offline, it's arguably the best brawler in the expansive Turtles canon. Tribute Games: moving forward, we should start paying tribute to you.
Roller ChampionsXbox One
Without a doubt, Roller Champions has an accessible and interesting core. There's something satisfying about its derby-style structure and the nuanced tactics that entails. Its rollerblading mechanics are very approachable, yet there's also a deceptive skill ceiling too. But, like skating through a small sand mound, the momentum is lost by the repetition and under-polished features.
Kao the KangarooPC
In terms of overall length, the four hub-islands are home to fifteen levels, four of them exclusive to boss fights, with fourteen mini-challenges within those via the Eternal Wells. Depending on how you play, the experience might be relatively brief, especially given the paucity of challenge. It took me just under nine hours to complete the game and find all but a handful of the collectible crystals. Personally, coming off the back of a hundred-odd hours with Elden Ring I appreciated the brevity and easy-going nature of Kao.
Salt and SacrificePC
Aesthetically, it looks very pretty as well, with everything being drawn by hand and carrying a unique artistic style. The inclusion of some returning features that aren’t in most Souls games like local co-op is also highly appreciated, and I’d like to see some of these elements in more Soulslikes than just the Salt series. At the bare minimum, it is still a decent title, with a strong enough foundation to make up for a lot of the new annoyances.
Nintendo Switch SportsSwitch
So that's Switch Sports. Just like the crown prince of Nintendo's newest investor, it's short, unengaging, and isn't nearly as impressive as it thinks it is. The price point is unreasonable, the games on display don't have nearly enough new content, and what is new has some charm but ultimately lacks staying power. Now all that's left is for me to hope that unlike the aforementioned individual, Switch Sports won't send assassins to kill me because I didn't like it.
Dolmen arrives at a time in the evolution of the Souls-like where innovation or originality or at least technical excellence is required to stand out. While Dolmen adds its own flavor to the proceedings with a focus on eldritch enemies, energy consumption, and projectile combat, it's not enough to distinguish itself.
Citizen Sleeper is a very compelling experience, with an enticing story supported by some solid strategy gameplay and barebones but still competent RPG mechanics.
To put In Nightmare into perspective: imagine leeches sucking enthusiasm out of your body the longer you play. Yes, it's functional and has some decent concepts, however the experience simply can't avoid comparisons with boring indie horror titles.
Trek to YomiXbox One
Artistically and thematically, it hits all the right notes, and conjures memories of Kurosawa and Mifune. If, however, you prefer deep, diverse gameplay to art and story, you might find yourself only partially satisfied. In either case, it's hard to deny the love and attention to detail that went into this production.
Its repetitive nature, fussy controls, and generic graphics hold it back, but its high replay value and accessibility give it some staying power.
A Memoir BlueXbox Series X|S
The problem is the experience surrounding them is metaphorically gasping for air. The minimal gameplay in this interactive poem oftentimes feels inserted without rhyme or reason. And though the condensed narrative has some visually evocative moments, the ebbs and flows feel too safe and predictable. When it’s said and done, A Memoir Blue's earnest aspirations feel undone by shallow execution.
Paradise KillerXbox Series X|S
The way its dark undertones are wallpapered over by its wildly eccentric visuals, soundscapes, and characters works so well. Admittedly, certain gameplay and storytelling elements can feel like empty pageantry, but they're annoying speedbumps in the grand scheme of things. Paradise Killer succeeds by selling all of its ostensibly contradictory artistic choices as inseparable parts of a greater whole.
Serious Sam: TormentalPC
Certain upgrades within Tormental contain so many visual effects that it becomes incredibly difficult to determine what is and what is not an incoming enemy projectile that will bring an end to your existence faster than encountering an American police officer as a member of a racial minority. The boomerang effect is one of the worst offenders in this respect, as returning bullets quickly become indistinguishable from enemy projectiles. I found that I wound up choosing my build less on what I thought was most interesting or engaging and more on what would allow me to more accurately gauge incoming attacks.
Kirby and the Forgotten LandSwitch
This is supplemented by its presentation, with vibrant eye candy, lovely music, and a quasi-post-apocalyptic vibe that spurs the imagination. While the core campaign is fairly short and straightforward, there’s plenty to offer for those who delve deeper into this majestic journey. Simply put, this is a delightful platformer from start to finish; one I wish could have gone on longer.
Ghostwire Tokyo is a cool action game with equally cool design in many respects, but suffers from several shortcomings and erroneous game design choices. There's not enough emphasis on horror, story, or spectacle, and while it tends to attempt a lot of things at the same time - action shooter, horror, RPG, open world, platformer - it fails to excel at most, if any, of them.
Gran Turismo 7PS5
Gran Turismo 7's in-depth simulation and offbeat attitude can be consistently enjoyed. The strange contrast between the realistic racing and the sincere corniness in its presentation feels like a breath of fresh air. There are some misgivings to find within its design, on and off the track, but Polyphony's meticulous craftmanship handedly surpasses them.
It’s too safe; unwilling to challenge or threaten the player in any meaningful way. I wonder if the desire to create something that would make its players feel happy and “chill,” as the youth say these days, resulted in a game that ultimately failed to stand out in any way. Perhaps if you're looking for a game that will let you just turn your brain off and kill a few more of those precious seconds between cradle and grave, FixFox might appeal to you, but for anyone else it's hard to argue this is worth your time.
Coromon is a litmus test of the mind, and at the moment the main thing holding it back are its own aspirations. TRAGsoft assuredly has an audience in its sights, but time will tell if its aim hits the mark.
Rune Factory 5Switch
Rune Factory 5 is overflowing with things to do. Among the main story quests, dungeons, courtships, and farm and life simulation, you're looking at dozens of hours of content.
Triangle Strategy’s general design makes much more sense, especially since the amount of content on display due to the branching paths is frankly absurd. I think I played just over a third of the available maps on my first go around, looking at a list of them all in a walkthrough. There are so many alternate chapters and battles that, quite frankly, there was no way the maps or the overall gameplay was likely to be especially well designed.
Kirby and the Forgotten LandSwitch
It’s hard to appropriately sum up Kirby and the Forgotten Land. It’s an experience like no other. Well, like some other games… just in 2D. But since this one’s in 3D, it’s dramatically better and more innovative. I can only give Kirby and the Forgotten Land my highest recommendation, as a true drama filled experience packed with so much gameplay variety it doesn’t even fit together. This isn’t just the Dark Souls of Kirby games; it’s the Breath of the Dark Fire May Cry of War of Kirby, and that’s every bit as enticing as it sounds. Truly a masterpiece on all levels, and a game so good I would have thought I made it all up had I not played it myself.
Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy OriginPS5
The worst part is that it's a damn fun time that deserves attention for its merits. If you've done the legwork, the story is an intriguing look into the increasingly detailed lore of Final Fantasy that had already grown more complex than most comprehend. Add a great combat system, strong amount of customization, and online co-op, it could – and should – be a win-win situation for everyone by all accounts, but it isn't. Instead, Stranger of Paradise will fall into the void, appreciated only by a select group.
Dawn of the MonstersSwitch
Dawn of the Monsters is immediately one of the better kaiju games out there. In part, that's due to the fact that, historically, there haven't been many great games in the genre. More importantly, though, that's due to the simple fact that it's a fun game with four playable heroes, lots of layered fighting mechanics, a good amount of content, and some excellent monster designs. The story is so-so and the levels repetitive, but the developers' love for the subject matter shines through.