Katana Zero is a game that I loved playing, but I walked away from it with some major reservations. On top of its tight, excellent swordplay, fun time-shifting powers, and pitch-perfect soundtrack, Katana Zero packs some interesting storytelling tricks that I wasn't expecting. On the other hand, it uses its innovative structure to tell a story rife with ill-conceived takes on disturbing subject matter without a content warning in sight. Katana Zero is an extraordinarily fun experience for the few hours it lasts, but the bad taste it left in my mouth lingered much longer.
Overwhelm's dark, intense action makes for a fantastic yet occasionally frustrating horror experience. When you are in the game, leaping around enemies and using your limited ammo to deal with evolving threats, you will be experiencing an immensely satisfying challenge. It's only a shame that some of the technical aspects can make death too easy and navigation a chore, because the roots of Overwhelm's concept design are exemplary.
God's Trigger is a fast-paced top down shooter in the realm of Hotline Miami, which brings with it some brutal deaths. The various abilities and ways to attack are fantastic. The story doesn't delve deep, but it does what's needed to keep you engaged.
Weedcraft Inc. is an interesting tycoon game that focuses on the weed business. The premise may be controversial to some, but it offers an experience not typically known by people. The resource management can be challenging and fun, though the soundtrack may get annoying.
Outward is an ambitious, uncompromising game, sometimes to its own detriment. There’s a lot to like about it, from its unique take on player character death to its focus on the mundane aspects of adventuring. But every moment when it really shined was surrounded by drudgery and frustration. Outward is sure to appeal to some players, but it often undercuts its own best features.
Unruly Heroes features a mix of platforming and combat with four characters that you can switch between on the fly. With a handful of interesting bosses and plenty of mechanical variation between levels, the game never locks you into one style of play for too long. Ultimately, though, I didn't find any part of it that much fun to play, which wasn't helped by its leaden controls and uneven difficulty.
Hob: The Definitive Edition is a 3D adventure game that combines fluid combat, landscape altering puzzles, and engaging platforming. The varying area designs and atmospheres are a treat to experience and entice you into pushing forward. The enhancements since the original improve the experience as well.
Operencia is a great dungeon crawling experience that you shouldn't sleep on, especially if you're a fan of the genre. While some of the mechanics and presentation are a little hit-or-miss, that shouldn't scare you away from the unique world, memorable characters, and excellent combat that Operencia has to offer.
The transition from portable devices to consoles hasn't hurt the quality of the Ace Attorney Trilogy, which remain some of my favorite games of all time. Phoenix Wright and company are deserving of the big screen, and this game is well worth your time if you haven't gotten around to playing it elsewhere.
Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid has some near-perfect online play and tag-team mechanics, but is held back by some disappointing story modes and an egregious lack of content. Dedicated Power Rangers fans and fighting game enthusiasts will find a lot to love, but for everyone else, wait until the free update for more characters and content in the future.
Yoshi's Crafted World is a refreshing, modern 2D platformer from Nintendo that, for once, truly feels new. From its gorgeous aesthetic to its myriad creative level motifs and gameplay ideas, Crafted World embodies the spirit of fun. While the game's soundtrack is decidedly lackluster and its co-op feels underbaked, this is undeniably the most ambitious and fun 2D platformer from Nintendo in a long, long time.
Take Us Back, the franchise finale of The Walking Dead, is a serviceable episode to end the series, and in a way, Telltale Games in general. While it has the problem of falling into its familiar issues at times, the sendoff of Clementine and her friends is one that will be remembered for years to come.
Tropico 6 overhauls the entire infrastructure, bringing forward most, but not all of the features we had with previous outings. A greater emphasis on transportation and simulation deepens the experience and makes Tropicans feel less like mere numbers. At its heart, Tropico 6 is still a game about building your empire and making it grow, but it's the small mechanics that create a connection with your benevolent dictator, and help make your anarchy-prone archipelago feel a little like home.
R.B.I. Baseball 19 is a lazy, clunky, uninspired mess of a game. The controls are overly simple and leave little control to the player. The physics are unrealistic and the players contort their bodies in Silent Hill-esque horror after each swing. The format is tired and outdated, and the game bears no resemblance to a competent baseball experience aside from the skeleton of game it presents.
Broken Toys is a wonderful third episode for Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season, and is perhaps the best entry for the season so far. With a great mix of new and returning appearances, varied action sequences, and a stronger emphasis between the dynamic of AJ and Clementine, this is a great couple of hours before the final installment.
With an incredibly robust feature set and massive swaths of content ready for the launch window, as well as an extensive roadmap on the horizon, The Division 2 raises the bar for how a sequel should launch. Only a handful of minor bugs and hiccups remain, but none of them hold this back from being the best team-based shooter we've played in a very long time. Massive Entertainment has a massive hit on their hands, and we can't wait to see where it goes next.