One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 introduces some great fighting mechanics, overhauled systems from previous iterations, and smoother and more rewarding gameplay to the franchise. While it doesn't do anything new to uplift the Musou genre of games, it's a good game to pick up and beat the crap out of pirates as Luffy tries to become the king of the pirates.
Moons of Madness plays more like a cinematic experience than an actual game. Its immersion visually is sublime, and though objects are intuitively interactive, the story lacks the emotional pull needed to match the tone and mood set forth. You will undoubtedly feel as if you are on an alien planet, but that's it. The imbalance of story, gameplay, and interactivity with the enemy becomes apparent the more you play. And with much of the story being told through accessing terminals and listening to banter dialogue, I often felt as if I was no longer interested in what was occurring around me.
Saints Row: IV Re-elected on the Switch is a much-welcomed game as it runs amazing in handheld and docked mode, brings a beloved franchise to millions of gamers, and almost feels a bit naughty to have next to my Mario games. With its smooth gunplay, game mechanics that mesh well with the control scheme of the Switch, and ability to cram all of its explosive, expansive, and destructive gameplay into your hand, you cannot pass this game up.
With all the different battle royale games on the market, all seeming to offer the same experiences, Warzone might give the most realistic, precise, and investing performance of them all, but it will need to stay innovative. Sounds of ricocheting bullets, footsteps of the enemy, and a highly detailed world keep it a cut above its competition. I easily found this to be one of my favorite battle royale games to date.
MLB The Show 20 is clearly the culmination of all the hard work that went into the previous iterations, and then some. The updated and added game mechanics such as First Step and Perfect-Perfect batting add a sense of realism to a game where instincts and being quick on your feet is important. With a plethora of game modes, it's almost overwhelming at times because you don't know where to start. But once you begin, this game is hard to put down.
Likening this game to the movie Up, Arise: A Simple Story is much more than what its title lets on. It forces us to take a step back and analyze life. With its time control mechanics that manipulate the world in so many ways, platforming style of play, and its ability to tell a narrative story without dialogue, Arise is one of those games that makes you question whether small titles like this are becoming the status quo.
This is exactly what Street Fighter players have wanted. A game where all of their favorite characters and skins are available, and not having to wait for Capcom to release them when they see fit. The fighting is engaging and rewarding. Each fighter feels unique and offers a wide array of offensive attacks that land as intended. But with most modes locked behind the PS Plus service, it's a hard buy, even if you are looking to upgrade from the base Street Fighter V game.
The first-person survival horror aspect of the game doesn't suffer at all on the Switch. From the visuals, audio, and inputs, everything feels and plays as if the series was made for the console. In fact, it's a testament that the Switch is more than the sum of its parts. Though there is a loss of some visual fidelity, and some sacrifice made while playing in handheld mode that comes in the form of battery life, Metro 2033 Redux and Metro: Last Light feel at home on this hybrid console.
Riverbond is a game that feels as if it were meant to be part of a larger and more ambitious world. It's great for jumping into a quick game to feed your hack and slash needs throughout the day, but with no in-game saves, no perks for skins collected, and a world that offers no room for real exploration, I find it hard to want to play with four friends because the enemies aren't challenging enough. Coupled by an imbalance in weapon damage and objectives that don't fit the style of play, I'd say Riverbond doesn't stand out in a genre that's already crowded.
Dreams is an ambitious game that succeeds on every front where others have failed. Media Molecule took what they designed, developed, and created over the years and encapsulated it into an experience that has endless possibilities; for them and us. It's hard to sum up how groundbreaking and pioneering the game is as it's more than the sum of its parts, it's exactly what you make of it. Let your dreams come true.