1073 Published Reviews
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide ClassicsSwitch
Regardless, there’s still loads of fun and tons of diverse, delightful games packed into this compilation. Sure, it’s unlikely most players will enjoy all (or even most) of the 51 options. But the likelihood of favoring half the games available ensures you’ll get your money’s worth, given its respectable price tag of $40. At least when it comes to local 2-player romps and online offerings, Clubhouse Games just may be the best multiplayer title since Smash Bros Ultimate and Super Mario Party.
The Last of Us: Part IIPS4
The Last of Us Part II is one of the most fascinating blockbusters of the year. It refashions its predecessor's templates, in narrative and gameplay, with greater complexity. But the dare is an uneven success. Naughty Dog has created another technical marvel that can be so easily appreciated during gameplay or cinematics, and is sure to take home end-of-year awards in that department.
Goosebumps Dead of NightXbox One
Goosebumps Dead of Night could've been a compendium of the series' best horror iconography and occasional silliness but instead opted to be a cash grab. I hate rendering such a harsh verdict against Cosmic Forces' work; and yet, everything I'm seeing points to said conclusion.
Was Ultracore worth saving? Yes. It's a fair take on the run-and-gun genre, with rewarding exploration, interesting boss battles, great music, and entertaining action — thanks to a retrofitted twin-stick control scheme. At the same time, however, it suffers from punishing platforming, cheap deaths, and an outdated password system. No matter what, it's great news that Ultracore can now see the light of day, after 25 years in the dark.
Shantae and the Seven SirensSwitch
In the end, Shantae and the Seven Sirens doesn't revolutionize anything, nor does it really endeavor to do so; it's a highly entertaining Metroidvania-styled platformer with fantastically witty writing and amusing dialogue that fans of the series will thoroughly enjoy. Clocking in at somewhere between 8 and 12 hours, this is a great title to purchase if you're looking for some gorgeous 2D platforming action.
Rigid Force ReduxSwitch
Rigid Force Redux isn't the prettiest or most original shoot-em-up on the market, but it's still an entertaining game. It enjoys high replay value, thanks to multiple modes and online leaderboards, and solid gameplay due to several interesting and tactical mechanics. Graphics and music lack character and there's no multiplayer, yet despite those letdowns Redux offers plenty to like for shooter fans, particularly if they gravitate toward series like R-Type.
Minecraft DungeonsXbox One
Combat can be enjoyable - especially when using bows and artifacts - and the enchantment system adds to the intrigue as well. But for a game that so heavily emphasizes action, the pacing and excitement could have been amped up. Despite tinges of shallowness and repetition, though, Minecraft Dungeons mostly succeeds as an amusing dungeon crawler. It’s a fun and charming new take on the franchise that many fans should enjoy.
Darius Cozmic Collection ArcadeSwitch
That omission notwithstanding, M2 has done justice to Taito's extraordinary shooting series with Darius Cozmic Collection Arcade. The studio has preserved several arcade classics and made them more accessible and customizable than ever before. Moreover, the games themselves are good, great, or, in the case of Darius Gaiden, exceptional. Darius fans, rejoice: the Silver Hawk has come home.
Demon's Tier+PS Vita
A few other niggles I had with things like lack of item and upgrade descriptions don't detract from the fact that I had an enjoyable time with the game overall. If this is the swansong for COWCAT and Diabolical Mind on Vita, then it's a very good way to go out.
Death end re;Quest 2PS4
Fans can legitimately start to question Compile Heart's current policy of mass producing Switch ports, when its new games, like this one, lack content and polish. Like Mary Skelter Finale, Death end re;Quest may have a third chance in the near future (the ending clearly suggests as much), but for now Death end re;Quest 2 is a poor sequel in respect of gameplay, graphics, and story.
Desperadoes III does a great job of keeping things fresh throughout the 20-30 hour playthrough. You’ll be drip fed new team members and locations vary from desert wastelands, to dimly lit towns, to murky green swamps, and so on. If you’re a fan of strategy games, you really should give this one a try. Yes, sometimes the try, die, retry system can grind your gears, but more often than not you’ll be enjoying the myriad scenarios in which you stealth kill your way to another victory.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive EditionSwitch
The story is fantastic, but the gameplay will only appeal to a specific set of tastes. Anyone who does enjoy JRPGs, however, is highly encouraged to look here, as Xenoblade is one of the landmark titles in the genre over the past decade, and the Definitive Edition improves on it across the board.
Mortal Kombat 11: AftermathPS4
Aftermath is an okay add-on, but hardly essential. The base game is so rich in content and strategic action that the expansion seems superfluous — especially when the new storyline muddles the previous one. Still, as a vehicle for several previously-overlooked characters and an excuse to revel in Tagawa's charismatic turn as Shang Tsung, it's fine. Moreover, you'll gain access to three new characters, two of which are especially good.
Saints Row: The Third RemasteredPS4
The ultimate question that any Remaster has to answer, though, is whether it’s worth purchasing again. At a $40 price point, this represents much better value than most remasters, especially if you’re interested in the chance to experience The Third in a much better looking Steelport and all of the zany characters that come with. Those expecting gameplay updates to come with their remasters, however, will be out of luck.
SEGA AGES Thunder Force ACSwitch
Had Thunder Force AC arrived on Switch unaltered, it would still be a great game. Yet the port masters at M2 have made the classic shooter even better, thanks to online leaderboards, additional playable ships, a range of difficulty settings, and a host of display options. It's a relatively short game with a modest amount of trial and error, but its mechanics, level designs, and quality-of-life features make it a must-play for shoot-em-up fans.
Resolutiion features a distinct pixel-art style with some very provocative imagery. While some of the set pieces and models are perhaps a little too pixelated and abstract, they're undoubtedly memorable. Not many games can claim to have a giant sand cat, a sunken god, a stadium filled with pulsing, bloody tendons, and an enormous beating heart in the middle of a forest.
The Wonderful 101: RemasteredPC
So then, is The Wonderful 101 Remastered worth your time and money? If you didn’t play the original game, absolutely. It certainly has its flaws, but you can tell it's very much a passion product that, for the most part, is fun. At $40 and with a high degree of replayability, it’s certainly worth it for newcomers.
Trials of ManaSwitch
ToM is a rich, gripping remake overall. It offers countless hours of action-laced fun, thanks mostly to its fast-paced combat. It’s a vibrant, charming ARPG that blends past and present elements, making it sure to resonate with both newcomers and RPG vets. It won’t soon dethrone the likes of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest, but it's nonetheless a faithful remake that’s sure to satisfy Mana fans.
Considering Island Saver is a free-to-play educational game commissioned by a bank, it's not that bad. Its commentary on environmentalism and fiscal responsibility, if a bit preachy, is ultimately constructive and the ideas it derives from titles like Slime Rancher, Viva Pinata, and a host of fifth-gen 3D platformers are full of potential.
WHAT THE GOLF?Switch
What the Golf? Is the dad joke of video games - and I mean that with a great deal of love. Even amidst all of the puns, cheeky humor, and just plain silliness there's an immense amount of respect and passion shining through for the medium that it satirizes so well.
Red Wings: Aces of the SkySwitch
Red Wings has a lot of good ideas and a strong foundation. It features approachable controls, two different campaigns, unlockable content, and fun aerial combat from a largely untapped period in modern warfare. Yet poor storytelling, monotonous mission design, and unsatisfactory specialty stages ultimately drag this airborne adventure back down to earth.
Daymare: 1998Xbox One
For all the pustulous boils and decrepit flesh, Invader Studios put out something I subconsciously feel they hoped honors a well-beloved series. Wishing can only get you so far though. Daymare: 1998 winds up being a deflating imitation of the source material. Several crucial aspects, technical and artistic, consistently rein in my otherwise-appreciative outlook on their worthwhile concepts. When all's said and done, it's closer in line to “Resident Feeble” than Capcom’s best.
Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Mega MixSwitch
Mega Mix is a solid celebration of ten years of Hatsune Miku. While its song list pales in comparison to its PS4 predecessor and its novel modes aren't game-changers, its large amount of content, big replay value, accessible mechanics, and expansive customization options make it a fine entree into the series for Switch owners.
It took five years for Fury Unleashed to find its voice, but the wait was worth it. It's a stylish side-scrolling hybrid that succeeds as both a randomized rogue-lite and a run-and-gun action-platformer. The game's two-steps-forward-one-step-backward gameplay loop can prove tiresome and its steep learning curve is, at times, frustrating, but developer Awesome Games Studio has built in plenty of safeguards — including permanent unlocks, dynamic combat, and item variety — to encourage players to try, try again.
XCOM: Chimera SquadPC
Conversely, if you played XCOM previously and didn’t enjoy it, this certainly won’t change your mind. Ultimately, it’s tough for me to recommend this to anyone but people who loved the prior games and are desperate for any morsel of similar content they can get while waiting for an XCOM 3. If you’re in that group, you’ll probably extract some enjoyment out of Chimera Squad, although you’re likely to find just as many problems to complain about along the way as I have.