Super Mario Maker 2Switch
Super Mario Maker 2 is an outstanding game that is marred by some odd choices familiar with Nintendo games. Their online features still feel like a relic of the past, and with something that relies so much on creation and sharing it sticks out like a sore thumb here. Still, getting past that and knowing updates are on the horizon makes me comfortable in recommending this title. It is a pure blast creating and sharing levels with friends, and of course letting my son’s creativity run wild in creating new levels. The single player content is a welcome addition to an already impressive package.
Warhammer: ChaosbaneXbox One
Warhammer: Chaosbane has the potential to be a top tier action RPG in the likes of Diablo, Torchlight, and Grim Dawn, but as it stands now, it is a fun 10 hours with the endgame content being watered down. Now, developers EKO Software has stated that their plans are to support this game throughout the rest of the year with updates and new additions, of course, only time will tell on that. Currently, almost a month after release, the newest patch that hit the PC version is still waiting approval for the consoles, so that’s been fun.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-FueledXbox One
It is hard not to appreciate how good this game looks. Beenox has done an amazing job bringing these already impressive-looking tracks into the new generation. Everything is so clean and colorful. The design is immaculate and the implementation of 4K and HDR really showcase just how good everything looks. The game also runs beautifully on the higher-end consoles, keeping a constant frame rate and really making this feel like a brand new game.
SolSeraph is a love letter to fans of Actraiser and feels like it should somehow contain the name in its title. Sadly, it falls short on several areas that keep it from resurrecting the genre like many hoped it would. Ace Team continues to be a developer I cannot take my eyes off of though. Their creations are unique in and of themselves, and always entertain me even when they fall short of that great status mark.
Samurai ShodownXbox One
Samurai Shodown is unlike any other fighting game. I love the deliberate combat and how each fighter feels entirely unique. I wish the online was more active, but even the amount of single player modes and promise of new characters means I will be revisiting this for a while. If things like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter feel overwhelming this might be the game for you. It is simple, yet deep in a different sense. It doesn’t require memorization, just good timing and understanding. It felt more user friendly than long string combos and the visceral attacks feel incredible.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the NightPS4
Bloodstained is great. More content is promised for the future. I sunk way too much time into it when I had other games to review. It’s addictive and likely making my top 10 this year. I hope it does well enough that this isn’t the last we see of Bloodstained.
Judgment tells a compelling story of a disgraced defense attorney turned detective and his obsessive search for the truth. Unfortunately, the half baked nature of the investigative mechanics as well as a slew of pacing issues holds it back from escaping from the Dragon’s shadow.
Citizens of SpaceXbox One
Citizens of Space is a solid follow-up to a truly unique RPG experience. There is little else like it, especially on Xbox One. It is a game that can be played without having to worry about the first title and it is definitely worth the time. I just wish it took a little less of it. It feels padded in the places that make it drag on occasion, however the writing and performances pick up the slack, making this one diamond in the rough that should not be missed.
Blood & TruthPS4
In my opinion, there are only a handful of games that can be categorised as a system seller for Sony’s headset; something that would make it worthwhile laying down the cost of VR. Games like Beat Saber and Astro Bot have proven themselves at making VR work in its own right, and now you can add Blood & Truth to that list. And if you already own a PSVR you would be doing yourself a disservice by not going out and picking this game up.
My Friend PedroSwitch
My Friend Pedro is as wacky as the name suggests. In a sea of games it is hard to make a splash, but Switch owners would be wise not to skip this fun romp. While it has some issues the pure joy of bouncing a bullet off a frying pan and into the skull of your adversary outweighs that frustration. I wish Devolver would put their games on more systems right out of the gate, as I think this game could easily make a splash with just about every gamer.
Gato Roboto is a great game that is designed well. I just wish there was more. This better not be the last we see of Kiki. I could definitely have spent another three or more hours in the world of this Gato Roboto. I hope if a sequel comes around we get to see some different mech types and some more power ups, but for $8 I have to recommend this game. It’s bite-sized Metroid and that is the highest of compliments I can give.
Puyo Puyo ChampionsXbox One
Finally, the look and the overall presentation of the game are really well done. Everything is very colorful and pops off the screen, and the music is both catchy and fits right in with the cutesy look of the characters and board. Everything is unlocked from the beginning, so progression is pretty much limited to the ranked play.Puyo Puyo Champions is a fine puzzle game. It leans heavily into the multiplayer aspects of the game, and while it may turn off beginners or people out of practice, for the price, you still get a really good puzzle game.
American FugitiveXbox One
American Fugitive is a neat take on the top-down crime drama. I like a lot of its ideas, while others hold it back. I would love to see more from this team with these ideas in mind. Clean up the padding and add fast travel and this game could really be something special. Also, give me the option to zoom the camera out a little more, as it stands it feels a little too close to avoid oncoming traffic.
Bubsy: Paws on Fire!PS4
For being handed what I would consider a horribly tainted license, Choice Provisions did well combining their expertise with it to make something pretty good. I would still recommend their own Runner series before recommending Bubsy: Paws on Fire, but any fan of those titles looking for can’t go wrong with this game. Bubsy: Paws on Fire is hands down the best Bubsy game. Anyone with any nostalgia for this despicable bobcat should find enjoyment here, even if in only short bursts.
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists: Ateliers of The New WorldPS4
It was also nice to see many of the characters realized in 3D for the first time, and even though this isn’t Gust’s best work from a visual standpoint, each character’s individual charm shone through the art style.Instead of a glorious celebration of all things Atelier, Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists comes off more like a misguided attempt at creating a spinoff by toning down all the elements that makes Atelier games enjoyable in the first place.
Sniper Elite V2 RemasteredXbox One
The remaster portion looks good. The levels and characters have received some nice texture work and the resolution has been updated. The game still has some drab colors spread throughout, but it works for the time. Rebellion has even gone back and added a photo mode with all the usual bells and whistles. This is a nice package of one of the better sniper games ever made.Sniper Elite V2 Remastered is a nice throwback in the series. While it is more linear than its follow-ups it still packs a visceral punch worth checking out.
I like Days Gone. I really like Deacon as a character. I think the world is interesting. I like all of this enough to look past the bugs and glitches that I don’t expect from Sony first party games. I just wish this game didn’t waste large portions of my time between exciting story moments. I don’t even dislike the shooting or the driving; I just dislike the quantity of these elements. Days Gone has sold well. I expect and hope for a sequel. Just know that going into this game that there is a lot of tedious nonsense to pad out a really good game to make it feel more worth every dollar, much to its detriment.
Castlevania Anniversary CollectionXbox One
This collection is a solid offering with a few setbacks. These can be patched in for sure – please let us remap buttons on all collections going forward. Still for those with nostalgia for the Belmont’s this collection is a must own for the price. It offers up a little of everything in the early history of the series. Now about that GBA collection of titles…
GIGA WRECKER ALT.Xbox One
Giga Wrecker Alt. is a game that teeters on the brink of a great experience. It has some wonderful ideas that are hampered by the lackluster controls and frustrating execution. The world and its surroundings are great, the ideas are fantastic, but it just never hits that sweet spot of being something I felt compelled to keep coming back to. I struggled to get past some parts while others were a pure joy to play. It is the definition of mixed emotions.
SNK 40th Anniversary CollectionXbox One
For the collector or retro game enthusiast, this is a must have. Fans of SNK games will find a lot of history here, and some fun while they’re at it. Some games may turn off the more casual players, and I can’t help but notice there are a few games on here that are just not that fun to play, but knowing the history of these games and video games as a whole is important to me. Luckily, SNK didn’t skimp on the presentation and restoration of this collection. It’s an acquired taste, but for those that are interested in the games of yesteryear, this is a great collection to pick up.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney TrilogySwitch
Remastering or remaking a game presents a unique opportunity to not only introduce a classic to a new generation, but to do so in a way where it has an identity of its own, and in this regard I think Capcom came up short.Despite feeling that this was a bit of a missed opportunity, the Phoenix Wright Trilogy on the Switch has now become my recommended way to experience this classic story thanks to its various quality of life updates and solid price point.
Team Sonic RacingPS4
Team Sonic Racing is not as great as Racing Transformed, and can been seen as a slight step back in terms of innovation and gameplay. Despite that and all my complaints, I recommend this title for being a well made kart racer for modern consoles, especially Xbox One and PS4 where competition in the genre is lacking.
While some will tout Falcon Age as the next great VR game, it is much more than that. I recommend it even for those without a PSVR headset. It is charming, compelling, and most of all enjoyable. I loved my time in this world and I look forward to whatever the team at Outerloop does next. This is a showpiece for many reason, but let’s be fair, it is mostly for the falcon. Now I want one in real life.
Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD RemasterXbox One
Final Fantasy X/X-2 is a monster collection of the series in the peak of its greatness. FFX alone set so many standards for JRPGs that still hold true today. Both games are well represented here, and it is nice to see them show up on Microsoft and Nintendo consoles. The price tag may be steep, but the content matches it pound for pound. If for some reason you have never experienced these games, get this collection. It is more than worth your time to see a genuine piece of JRPG history.