Concept Destruction is instantly accessible a neat take on the Destruction Derby set on table tops with cardboard cars. There’s some odd rules that can cause a headache and there’s not a lot of content here. After a few hours, you’ll have seen everything the game has under the hood.
Saints Row: The Third Remastered takes a 9 year old game that needed a spruce up, shines it up real nice and blasts it in your face on modern day consoles. The visual improvements here work really well even at 30 frames per second, bringing the game close to today's high standards, but there’s still some aspects of the game that betray its age, namely the NPC AI.
Dark Nights with Poe and Munro is more of what D’Avekki does well – weird, cheeky, eldritch FMV games that have snappy dialogue and a penchant for the lovecraftian darker side of entertainment. If you enjoyed Shapeshifting Detective or The Infectious Madness of Doctor Dekker, you’ll enjoy what this game does too.
Troubleshooter is ugly, mechanically shallow, stylistically mundane and lacks any kind of innovation. Without a framing or story to give it meaning, it looks like a hodgepodge of assets thrown together with some barely working systems and mechanics built around them. The design flaws are numerous, the soundtrack irritating and it is quite frankly the worst game I’ve played in 2020.
I’m sure those who loved The Wonderful 101 the first time around will get a kick out of playing this game again on modern day consoles with nicer visuals. For those that hadn’t experienced it before though, this remaster feels like an artifact from a bygone age that couldn’t adapt to a new set of input’s without the Wii U controller. The combat and concept are still sound 7 years on. Everything else needed to be reworked or tweaked further.
The small hitches and spotty audio don’t spoil what is an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable narrative. The diverse cast of characters, showing more inclusivity than any other romance visual novel on the PS4, is certainly welcome. Arcade Spirit is tightly written, with only a hand full of lulls, but plenty of heart and a tonne of quirk. While it’s not going to be challenging the greats in the visual novel genre, It’ll surely raise a smile or 10 on your face.
John Wick Hex isn’t your traditional movie tie-in game. Whereas so many others take a franchise and shoe horn it into a genre, Bithell Games have taken John Wick under a microscope, examined its DNA and gamified the essence of it. It’s an ingenious take on what it means to be the Baba Yaga, an efficient killing machine that’s as human as the next guy but fights like an assassin savant.
If you’re a veteran of Solomon’s Key and are desperate for more, Ghost Sweeper will provide you with what feels like the levels from the 1980’s classic that didn’t make the cut. The mechanics and enemy types have been recreated with a spit shine for modern TV’s and having a second playable character is a nice touch. Compared to modern day puzzle platformers though, Ghost Sweeper feels like a relic from the past that needed more of a refresh that simply updated visuals.
Non-violent yet regularly thrilling, it has a surprisingly powerful story that takes a little too long to draw you in, but eventually pays off. The vast majority of the puzzles, mostly based on scouring the environment for clues and thinking outside of the box, are well designed to offer just enough of a challenge without feeling over complex.
The Inner Friend is a short but sweet experience that will give back as much as you put into it. You’ve got to read between the lines with this game and if you like your narratives to have a clear structure, you’ll likely bounce right off this. If you like a game to challenge you, to make you think and maybe, just maybe, make you feel something, then The Inner Friend is certainly worth a look. Some sticky platforming sections aside, it’s a thrilling and occasionally chilling game that’s truly artistic in its vision.