15 Games Rated and Reviewed
The Switch really is the perfect platform for visual novels. 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim is a surprisingly different take on the genre. It managed to juggle 13 different protagonists in a multi-layered science fiction story. Each character has its own set of mysteries to solve and answers to find. The game's visual novel section will piece together the events in a fragmented type of storytelling. It can get confusing most of the time, so I recommend having a notepad to keep track of multiple names.
Apart from its Visual Novel sections, 13 Sentinels Aegis Rim has actual combat. In between its point and click visual novel adventure, it's a mecha game. Like Into The Breach, or XCOM, battles require careful thinking, or brute force. Eliminate a legion of relentless Kaijus called 'Deimos' using. your 'Sentinel' to save the day. It's a simple premise, but the story gets even deeper after every incursion.
These two sections: the visual novel and the tactical gameplay, make up the core experience of Aegis Rim. Vanillaware somehow blended these mechanics into one seamless experience. It's a game that's best played blind, so be careful when you're searching around the internet.
If you enjoy games like Persona, Ace Attorney or even Steins; Gate, Aegis Rim has a lot of themes dealing with all things sci-fi, and anime tropes.
I recommend playing it on the Switch since it's compact and Vanillaware included a patch exclusively to the machine. It adds gameplay balance and special new abilities to its 13 characters.
It's even better on the PC.
Monster Hunter Rise is a surprising new direction for the future of CAPCOM's best-selling franchise. Rise removes most of its dull features (Hot Drinks, Excessive Grinding, Travel) in favor of a more streamlined monster hunting experience. The amount of quality of life changes makes the experience less frustrating and doesn't disrupt its core gameplay loop: which is hunting monsters.
Rise even pushed movement even further with two additions: the Wirebug and the Palamute, your dog companion. Traversing around its treacherous locales is made even easier with these two important additions. You can even use them in combat, and it requires mastery.
New players will find this less intimidating compared to its big brother, Monster Hunter World/Iceborne.
This PC release doesn't only improve performance, pumping its frames to more than 30, it's also the definitive way to play this game in my opinion. The visual overhaul, the 4K support and a smooth-sailing online experience (without Nintendo Online) makes monster hunting a little less stressful. My only concern is that it didn't really add anything significant in terms of gameplay and content. It's JUST a PC port.
But nonetheless, I can't wait for their Sunbreak expansion.
Nintendo came at a perfect time to release this game. At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic, everyone was scattered and forced to quarantine. Fortunately I owned a Switch and this helped me retain some of my sanity as the world slowly adjusts to this deadly virus.
The comforting characters and Tom Nook's capitalist empire kept me busy most of the time. It generated hours and hours of me scrambling to find that perfect fencing post, or pave that ideal road for my little villagers. It even forced me to learn about Interior Design!
From my previous reviews, I mentioned how much I recently got into visual novels, notably Shu Takumi's Ace Attorney games. This interest got me to try his other work: Ghost Trick. A lot of Ace Attorney fans recommend this title as it shares the same gripping narrative that the series has, as well as its memorable cast of characters.
All of that was true. Well, according to my experience. Each episode has its own set of surprises, and the gimmick of manipulating objects around you and rewinding someone's death makes it better. In a span of 24 hours in-game, it slowly opens up into an emotional story that hinges on themes of death and life. Too cheesy, yeah, but that's Shu Takumi for you.
As stated in my Ace Attorney Trilogy review, I was never into the Visual Novel genre. Shu Takumi's Ace Attorney games changed that for me. It was honestly the most emotionally charged experience I've ever had. Not to exaggerate but everything about this duology is all condensed into one tightly packed story about Phoenix Wright's ancestor, Naruhodo-san.
The change in setting from Japanifornia (or wherever the original series was set) to London is a much needed addition, as it provides room for more realism in its history.
The courtroom dramas are improved to cater more than one person being questioned. The characters are memorable and their motives are sound, even the eccentric Herlock Sholmes. I'm giving this game a perfect score because it elevated the AA series to new levels, and I believed in Shu Takumi's talent.
I've never found Visual Novels to be my kind of genre, but the Ace Attorney series proved me wrong. The courtroom dramas and the stellar cast of lovable characters has made this series into one of my favorites. The entire trilogy is an experience that could never be replicated once you're done with all three titles.
It's best played on a comfy weekend, all alone with your Switch. I took my time with each episode and had to digest what was happening with all the crazy moments happening around Phoenix's lawyer life. It was the most fun I had in a long time, and I considered playing all the succeeding Ace Attorney games after. Let's hope Shu Takumi continues the series!
I've always admired how Celeste managed to make their game work when it's all about just one move: Jumping. The jumping variations we have to do in order to climb the dangerous Celeste Mountain is impressive. We can jump, but we can latch on to walls and do a double jump. As simple as their controls are, the game is unforgiving when it comes to its platforming levels.
Yes, Celeste is difficult and pretty sure everyone who's interested in playing this game knows that. It takes more than a few deaths to prepare you to the many challenges the Mountain has to offer. Don't worry, the soundtrack helps with the stress, thanks to renowned videogame composer Lena Raine. The controls are responsive and getting that elusive strawberry is satisfying. Don't even get me started on its B-Sides and C-Sides.
FromSoftware's latest since their famed Dark Souls and Bloodborne titles. Sekiro is a breath of fresh air from the standard hit and dodge mechanics of their previous games. It encourages careful timing when it comes to parrying enemy attacks and maximizing movement and stealth, which is unlike any FromSoft game.
The atmospheric supernatural backdrop in the midst of a Feudal War is also something I've grown interested with. FromSoft knows how to keep evolving its world and I can't wait to experience Elden Ring soon.
Riot's been trying their best to take the crown from Blizzard, and with their recent acquisition from Microsoft, it looks like they won.
Valorant's five versus five gunfights are the strongest I've seen in a competitive FPS yet. No match is ever the same if you account its cast of colorful agents (and bad players). Overwatch was a fantastic game, but it was hampered by Blizzard's constant change in formula. Riot became consistent with its mechanics, and that's what I love about them.
There's still more room for improvement with this budding competitive shooter and Riot is well-equipped to handle the many changes it has to encounter in the future.