1676 Published Reviews
Sonic Colors: UltimateXbox One
Sonic Colors Ultimate is definitely conjuring up memories of the 3D Sonic era in its execution. This game was considered a hidden gem back in the day, but really is just one of the better 3D Sonic games. It still doesn’t come close to matching the excitement of the classic style or even the more recent Sonic Mania. Sonic just works best in 2D and while Colors does some interesting things with its game play, it still only serves as the best of a worse situation.
Flynn: Son of CrimsonXbox One
Flynn: Son of Crimson is just a solid game. It has all the charm I would expect from these games, but also backs it all up with tight controls and some interesting combat mechanics. Thrown in some exploration and nice upgrades in for good measure, and you have yourself a great action platformer that any fan of Shovel Knight would enjoy.
Super Monkey Ball Banana ManiaXbox One
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania is a solid collection that is worth dipping into for new and old fans alike. There is simple a staggering amount of content to be found and the nuanced new physics will only apply to hardcore fans of the original. While the interesting content might be locked behind a paywall there is still more than plenty in the vanilla version to keep players happy. Now let’s not go another 20 years without constant Monkey Ball. The gaming world is always better when AiAi and his crew are present.
Far Cry 6Xbox Series X
Far Cry 6 may not move the needle much in terms of innovation, but it executes what makes these games extremely fun to play. I settled right in within the first couple hours and couldn’t stop playing until the end. I am still cleaning up around the world of Yara and the promised DLC on the way will certainly have me back in big time. There is just a massive playground here that is extremely enjoyable to play. At the end of the day that is what is most important to me. I hope the series does change up in the future, but for now Far Cry 6 keeps what makes the experience fun and simply nails it.
NBA 2K22Xbox Series X
NBA 2K22 has a few things that make this upgrade feel worthy. The new play mechanics are excellent, and it continues to excel on the presentation front. The microtransactions are still super gross and I wish some of the other modes such as Blacktop would get a proper overhaul as they are starting to feel dated. Still being the only NBA game in town it does upgrade nicely. I found myself deleting the old version to play this one, and not being a huge NBA fan that is saying something.
Death Stranding: Director's CutPS5
Death Stranding: Director’s Cut is easily the best version of Kojima’s latest game. The new features and additions are more than worth the $10 upgrade for existing owners. Visually the game always looked amazing, but the new higher resolution just showcases the details even better. For anyone who enjoyed the original this upgrade is easy to recommend. For those that never played it, this is the version to get. I continue to think about this game on a weekly basis and enjoyed revisiting it with the new content.
HOT WHEELS UNLEASHEDXbox Series X
Hot Wheels Unleashed is a game that tugs at my nostalgia for collecting these cars. I just wish the aggressive DLC plans and grinding for new cars didn’t sour that experience so much. When I was playing I was having a blast. The track design and handling are superb and when I got a new rare car I was super excited. Hopefully they tweak some of the requirements for unlocking cars and I hope the season passes are not overly priced for their own good.
Madden NFL 22PS5
Let’s be realistic. For an annual sports franchise, it’s not necessarily practical to expect huge evolution year on year. It’s also fair to say that at a minimum, players should expect EA to deliver incremental quality of life improvements and make an effort to hone their overall experience of the game for the better. Whilst there is only so far the needle can be pushed year on year, the launch of a new Madden on next-gen systems presented EA with an opportunity to really raise the bar.
Space Invaders Invincible CollectionSwitch
Now I can’t tell if Taito is the one that made Forever or if it was ININ, but even in Japan this release was more frustrating than it needed to be and ININ had zero hand in the release over there. My point however is that I hope United Games/ININ/Strictly Limited make it a bit clearer on what label handles what games and that they no longer sell lesser digital versions of titles (even if they are not necessarily to blame for them). It’s just more consumer friendly that way because even now there is a listing for the Invincible Collection and Forever on the eShop.
SkateBIRD has the skeleton of a great skateboarding game, but with the collision issues and the movement being as spotty as it is, it just brings down the entire experience. There were times in my play sessions I was having a blast pulling off combos and tricks and would come crashing down when I would hit a grind that didn’t work, or I would tap on the edge of a wall and fall off.
Revisiting Quake has been both a nostalgic trip for me as well as rekindling my thirst for new games in the series. I hope this remake spawns interest in the franchise and we see a proper new game in the franchise very soon. At $10 this is an easy recommendation and if you have Game Pass it is included, so there is no excuse not to give it a go.
Lawn Mowing SimulatorXbox Series X
It’s a hard one to describe, but I fell in love with the relaxed feel of this game. Sure, the business side of the game wasn’t the deepest and really all you’re doing is going back and forth on a lawn mower, but I would be lying if I did have a good time with the game and to the point of writing this review, have put over 20 hours into it. If you’re looking for a chill game to throw some music or a podcast on and just ride, you really can’t beat this game.
Tales of ArisePC
When it’s all said and done, Tales of Arise features a likeable cast of characters, compelling story and one of my new favorite combat engines, not just in the Tales series but in all the JRPGs I’ve played so far and if not for the pacing issues and the PC port’s technical issues, it could have set the bar for JRPGs to follow.
RustlerXbox Series X
This is Rustler’s biggest crime. The game just doesn’t work in the ways I wanted it to. I never felt compelled to keep going forward. Whether it was a glitch or just subpar writing Rustler never managed to draw me into its world. I struggled to finish the game and had little desire to return and mop up any side quests afterwards. There is a fun game buried underneath all of its issues, but Rustler never manages to achieve what it sets out to do. It would have made a solid addition to Game Pass, but for now I recommend waiting for a sale if you desire some Grand Theft Horse.
Cruis’n Blast is a fantastic trip back to the past with some modern luxuries to round out the package. This is not a game for everyone. It can be maxed out in a day and the replay comes from the enjoyment of the races and tracks themselves. If you are into that though, you will be hard-pressed to find a more polished version of an arcade racing game to date. You can feel the love from Raw Thrills past work poured into this game and I hope it eventually makes its way onto other platforms at some point. Everyone should get a chance to experience the thrill of arcade racing in its finest form.
FORECLOSEDXbox Series X
Foreclosed feels like its on a swinging pendulum where the extremes are “Frustrating” and “Mediocre” and it constantly swings in these directions within minutes of each play session. It’s all style and no substance, unfortunately. If the aiming was so haphazardly programmed and maybe an extra animation or two to make it feel like I wasn’t shooting the same person over and over, or maybe if the cover in the cover-based shooter would actually work, then maybe I could give it a pass, but the way Foreclosed is currently, I would say pass on this one. Even at deep discount, you’re just going to end up frustrated or bored.
No More Heroes 3Switch
No More Heroes III is a wild ride though a psychedelic warzone that begs to be experienced. The technical issues and slog of an open world drag it down at times, but it never stopped me from wanting to see it through. I really wish the game had been released on more powerful hardware as it is clear the team had bigger ambitions than the Switch could handle. Still if you have enjoyed previous entries then this is a no-brainer. Definitely a solid end to the trilogy and one of the most unique games you will play ever.
Ghost of Tsushima Director's CutPS5
Iki Island is a nice addition to an already amazing game. For anyone who hasn’t experienced Ghost of Tsushima you are in for a treat. For players like me returning to the world it is worthy content. The expansion can last anywhere from 5-10 hours depending on your completion mentality. It is a worthy expansion worth the price of admission and as good of an excuse as any to revisit one of the best games of last generation.
Axiom Verge 2PS4
Axiom Verge 2 is a stellar follow-up to one of the original indie Metroid-inspired titles. It is worth checking out even if players haven’t dove into the first game. Also you should totally play both games. They are some of the best in the indie genre. I can’t wait until the game drops on Xbox as well so all platforms have a chance to experience such an amazing experience.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HDSwitch
For anyone who wrote this game off for any reason, please give this game another shot. It contains a wonderful story, one of the most satisfying final battles, some of the best humor in any Zelda game, plenty of completely optional side content, and some really unique gameplay that only Skyward Sword has offered. I have never been happier to say I was wrong about a game.
Psychonauts 2Xbox Series X
Psychonauts 2 is a masterclass in design. Some of the levels in the game will stick with me for another 16 years easily. I hate that it took this long for Tim Schafer and his team to get the chance to make this sequel, but it was truly worth the wait. Fans of the original are in for a treat. Anyone with Game Pass should not hesitate to download this game. This is now on my short list of best of the year, and I cannot wait to see what Double Fine does now with an even larger budget.
Disgaea 6: Defiance of DestinySwitch
The 3D models themselves weren’t too terrible despite me vastly preferring the 2D sprites but their limited animations made them look awful, especially during story cutscenes which took away from what small semblance of drama the VAs managed to portray given the terrible script.
Dariusburst: Another Chronicle Ex+PS4
Unfortunately, the best way to describe Dariusburst Another Chronicle EX+ is as follows: a console port that feels like it isn’t supposed to be played on console. As a result, it feels like a cheap experience – a rehash of highlights without any thought as to how the package fits together as a whole. Perhaps most egregiously, the medium through which this console version is played appears to be an afterthought at best.
I don’t think anything is gained by playing either Famicom Detective Club that can’t be gained by watching a playthrough because the puzzles are at best throwaway and at worst barely present. These are inherently flawed games, but if somehow the idea of slogging through menus isn’t a turn off there are absolutely two great, down to Earth murder mysteries to be experienced here.
The AscentXbox Series X
The Ascent is a wonderful experience that is easy to recommend thanks to Game Pass. It has some technical issues, some bugs, and also takes a while to get to the point, but it is worth the investment. There is little reason to not check it out if you have Game Pass. This is a game that is great with friends and even solo manages to entertain. I hope they continue to clean up the bugs over time, but for now it is easily one of my favorite experiences of the Summer.