1242 Published Reviews
Ultimately, Deathloop is a good game that's just a little too afraid to fully take its hands off the wheel and let the player drive. As a result, there’s an ingenious and really engaging concept here that isn't quite executed well enough to reach greatness. Assuming you’re capable of running it, Deathloop is interesting and unique enough to warrant a buy regardless, but don’t expect to come out of it without feeling a little let down at what could have been... kind of like the artists who got put on urination animating duty.
I Am DeadXbox Series X
Respect for I Am Dead's cozier atmosphere can only get it so far. It's nice coming into a game about death and seeing an earnest joe-schmo learn more about his cherished hometown before his final resting place. From presentation to storytelling, Hollow Ponds & Richard Hogg wanted to make a game that exuded warmth. The problem comes back to the puzzles surrounding that softer tone.
Ghost of Tsushima Director's CutPS5
Despite this, Iki Island is a solid and vastly improved product over the base game, featuring an excellent aesthetic, some solid content, and much-needed improvements from patches made to the original material. It’s not perfect, and some of the core gameplay still certainly needs some polish, but it is an encouraging step in the right direction.
Super Animal RoyaleSwitch
If you've always wondered about battle royale titles but found the rules, commands, and learning curve overwhelming, Super Animal Royale might be the game for you. It's easy to learn and features a streamlined set of commands. Its combination of quick matches and high time-to-kill makes it accessible and forgiving.
The Forgotten CityXbox Series X
Like several recent developer stories, the humble origins of this freshmen studio feel like a shot in the arm for this industry. But it's not getting a pass on that alone. From a consumerist perspective, its asking price ($30) feels worth it because greater value is discovered the more you learn about this interesting world. Some reservations about The Forgotten City's game design keep it from attaining Legion-dary status among the new wave of time loop games, but its exceptional narrative ensures I won't forget it either.
Blaster Master Zero 3Switch
It's obviously hard to recommend to someone who's not already a fan of retro-style titles, be they 8-bit, 16-bit, or other similarly stylized pixel art releases, but Blaster Master Zero 3 is still a great game; one that makes me want to explore earlier entries in the franchise in order to see what I've missed out on.
Aliens: Fireteam ElitePC
All in all, Aliens: Fireteam Elite is probably what I deserve for getting my hopes up. After Isolation, I finally had hope for Alien video games. Hope that they would start consistently getting the love and attention they deserve. Hope that the now tarnished reputation of the franchise that once captured my weird curiosity for visceral horror could be recaptured within an interactive medium.
Blightbound is a title without much of an identity to flaunt; it’s utterly devoid of anything that could make it stand out amidst the usual crowd of Steam dungeon crawlers, and it features numerous technical issues that hold over from its long stay in Early Access. That all makes Blightbound hard to recommend to anyone. So if you’re searching for a dungeon crawler with hack and slash mechanics, I can’t really think of a situation where Blightbound would be at the top of the recommendation list.
Death's DoorXbox Series X
Death's Door isn't shy about flaunting its inspirations. The soaring success over similar adventure titles stems back to its slight nuances and implementation; so confident is it in these strengths that some of the best content awaits after the credits roll. The unabashed approach to avaricious elders staving off the natural life/death cycle is also unexpected and welcomed.
BloodrootsXbox Series X
Inspiration can be double-edged sword. The giant's shoulders stood upon may elicit an unquenchable creative flame that serves a developer’s work; conversely, the ready-made comparison could sour the result should it not live up to expectations. Paper Cult threw Samurai Jack's aesthetic, Tarantino's offbeat writing, and Hotline Miami's lurid violence into a vat; to its credit, that confection is still a mixture I admire at a distance. It’s the closer inspection that reveals several bad roots.
The Great Ace Attorney ChroniclesPC
For newcomers, this isn’t a bad spot to begin experiencing the series, although I’d personally still hold up the original trilogy as the high water mark for storytelling purposes. More than anything, I think I’m waiting for Ace Attorney to take the next step. Ace Attorney has already more than proven itself as one of the best narrative series in gaming, but sooner or later it needs to address the issues prevalent with its gameplay design.
Of all the roguelites I've played, Dreamscaper is by far the most accessible and the amount of freedom given to the player easily ranks it among my favorites. Afterburner Studios enters the gaming world with a very strong debut; I can only hope we meet again in the future. People don't need to be perfect to be beautiful, they just have to be themselves.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of RuinSwitch
Thanks to its thoughtful diversion into turn-based RPG mechanics, Wings of Ruin is a very solid entry in the Monster Hunter franchise. Its monster management and combat systems are engaging, nuanced, and often addictive. Its wealth of content bestows upon it extreme value. And its animations and music are lovely.
Beasts of Maravilla IslandXbox One
Despite paring back in-game score sheets, Beasts of Maravilla Island still subtly encourages this through locales that are teeming with life. But this picture begins to lose its luster when no other interesting mechanics are included. The guided tour quickly becomes overbearing and the initial drive to document any magical wildlife never recovers. The camera seems to be working, but what picture is worth taking?
Last StopXbox Series X
In the end, Last Stop's anthology set-up has a tendency to separate more than mix. The chapter select structure and the disparate quality tends to make the better story (Paper Dolls) pull more than its weight. But regardless of writing, the whole effort feels limited in enabling players to properly connect with the title's characters. Variable State's "game design austerity" feels rigid and characterless to the point of being guided through a clear hamster tube.
A Plague Tale: InnocenceXbox Series X
The gameplay template buttressing this tale doesn't excel to the top of any selected genre, yet it's fashioned and remixed in ways I haven't previously experienced. Despite the fact that Asobo Studio's authoritative limits to progress through said story can foment aggravation, it's in service to an otherwise thrilling jaunt through a plague-ridden France.
Dariusburst: Another Chronicle Ex+Switch
It's less accomplished, due to the lack of a tutorial or manual, an ultra-wide aspect ratio that makes playing in portable mode a pain, and a general opaqueness about its systems and modes. Simply put, Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+ is the most complete version of the arcade game, but it's not yet optimized for home consumption.
SAMURAI WARRIORS 5Xbox One
If you're a fan of Omega Force’s previous games then you’ll no doubt enjoy Samurai Warriors 5, but if you're looking for a completely fresh or even brand new approach to Samurai Warriors then you'll find yourself disappointed. Nearly a decade on from its last full Samurai Warriors release, it's clear that Omega Force still doesn’t have half as much confidence in this franchise as it does Dynasty Warriors.
Streets Of Rage 4 - Mr. X NightmareSwitch
Streets of Rage 4 was already great. Looking back, it's one of the finest games of 2020 and arguably the pinnacle of the Streets of Rage series. Now, thanks to the Mr. X Nightmare DLC, it's even greater. The three new characters — Estel, Max, and Shiva — enhance an already stacked roster, and the endless Survival mode adds considerable longevity to the core experience, as long as you don't mind the repetitive, grindy gameplay loop. If you're looking for an excuse to revisit Wood Oak City, this is it. Moreover, at $8, it's a steal.
Russian Subway DogsPS Vita
Once you're done with the campaign you can dip into endless mode, which is an excellent high score-chasing challenge that will likely keep me coming back for many months to come. It solidifies Russian Subway Dogs as the complete package and an absolutely fantastic final Vita game release, ensuring the console goes out in style.
GreedFallXbox Series X
GreedFall - The de Vespe Conspiracy finds itself in strange territory compared to other self-identified "expansions" I've played. Not as pricey as most out there, but doesn't capture a unique tone from the base game either. It also feels like Spiders had to do some prying for this story to fit; concurrently, its existence feels more like a developer's victory lap. For me? I was reflexively happy to see more GreedFall regardless. But after its 1.5 hour runtime, the conclusion didn't leave me satiated to the same extent as many of the original's extensive journeys.
Cotton Reboot! won't grant the Cotton series the cachet of Space Invaders, or even Gradius, but it will make a lot of shoot-em-up fans happy. This is a fine remake, with new mechanics, flashier gameplay, reimagined visuals, and reworked sound. As a bonus, it includes a score attack mode, a port of the 1993 X68000 version of Cotton: Fantastic Night Dreams, and online leaderboards.
Mario Golf: Super RushSwitch
Initially I was going to say it feels hard to call Super Rush a bad game, since there’s nothing especially bad about it (except the aforementioned price to content ratio). However, it’s hard to imagine finding anyone who I would recommend it to, with the possible exception of someone really desperate to see Waluigi dressed like Al Capone, running full speed through a Mardi Gras parade. And maybe that alone does make it bad. As well as boring. Really, really boring.
GUILTY GEAR -STRIVE-PS5
Guilty Gear -Strive- introduces some noticeable shifts for the franchise in favor of approachability. Not every aspect of Arc System Works' design ethos will go over smoothly with long-time fans, but there's so much to otherwise appreciate in its altered DNA. It's still mechanically rewarding, visually sumptuous, & aurally satisfying to an insane degree.
Final Fantasy VII Remake IntergradePS5
Regardless of your affiliation with Final Fantasy VII, this is one sweet package. If you're coming into Intergrade blind, get ready to experience one of the best RPGs of 2020. It might be admittedly bloated in a few sections (Aerith's 'shortcut' home is similar to the one Christopher Columbus discovered) and the boss fights are overtly cinematic for my personal tastes, but these are small prices to pay for how wonderfully this new vision of Final Fantasy VII is shaping up to be.