Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot displays unparalleled care and respect for the iconic story arcs it adapts. The original music is there, original Dragon Ball characters return, and pivotal moments are gorgeously animated. If these were stories being presented in video game format for the first time, it would be a mind-blowing experience. Unfortunately, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot doesn't push the envelope enough to warrant sitting through the Cell Saga for the umpteenth time and seeing Frieza get obliterated yet again. If you've played a Dragon Ball Z game before, you've basically played this one.
With the Atelier Dusk Trilogy Deluxe Pack, the entire library of PlayStation 3 Atelier games is now playable on modern systems. While the Arland trilogy broke ground by being the first 3D entries in the franchise, the Atelier Dusk games trade technical innovation for narrative, introducing a strikingly solemn and mysterious world inhabited by gorgeously designed characters that won't be soon forgotten by anyone who plays these games.
Gun Gun Pixies has a very specific audience, and many of those people are sure to have a good time with this game. Cute characters and a wealthy abundance of fanservice are here in spades. Unfortunately, I often found myself struggling with the repetitive gameplay and clunky controls too much to appreciate any of the good aspects of the game.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout reinvents the wheel on a series that felt like it was beginning to grow stagnant. Fresh combat and an engaging new protagonist help this entry usher in a remarkable new era for the long-running Atelier series, and other improvements like great Switch performance and gorgeous music are just icing on the cake. I never thought that Atelier Sophie could be out-done, but Atelier Ryza has thoroughly made the case to be my new favorite game in the series.
The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III the third 80-hour RPG in a series of equally lengthy games. If you're a newcomer, it's a daunting and probably foolish task to try and play this game. If you're a die-hard fan of the Cold Steel series already, you'll get plenty of satisfaction out of the continued plot development and engaging combat. Even the most dedicated of fans, though, are likely to be turned off by the dated visuals and confusing Legend of Heroes crossovers that mar an otherwise impressive story-driven JRPG.
What The Golf has created an absurd, hilarious, bite-sized experience that is always golf-adjacent and brilliant for it. The jokes and levels are a whirlwind of zany ideas, but the quick pacing and brief runtime of the game keep them from falling flat or getting tiresome. Despite an overworld that can feel a little repetitive, What The Golf? is full of hearty laughs and addictive gameplay that made me never want to stop playing.
John Wick Hex is the last form you might expect a John Wick game to take, but this unique, inventive puzzler kept my mind racing from beginning to end. While the gameplay and interesting story shed light on some important aspects of the film franchise, the sometimes punishing difficulty and surprising lack of focus on John Wick himself left me a little disappointed. This isn't a perfect video game adaptation of a film, but it's certainly the most original one I've ever played.