A game based on Stranger Things seems like a winning combination, but this effort based on the recent season three leaves a lot to be desired. Most of what makes the show so good is missing here, and the gameplay and presentation are terribly flat. Retelling the latest season, sometimes word for word, also alienates the game from both people who've seen the show and people who haven't. Our advice to you is to watch the source material and leave it there; the game isn't going to turn your world upside down.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 does a lot of things better than its predecessor. A better story is propped up by better characters, and even though the opening hours are slow, there's a better overall flow to the game. All in all, Square Enix has constructed a rock solid sequel that, while safe and undeniably familiar, should satisfy both returning players and newcomers alike.
It's hard to call Sea of Solitude a bad experience, but it feels very pedestrian at almost every turn. Bland gameplay means you'll rarely be doing anything too exciting, in turn making the short run time all the more suspect. Beautiful visuals and themes that may resonate with some are minor highlights, although they're not enough to make up for insipidity.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a wonderful love letter to Castlevania fans. It's gothy, camp, and unabashedly old school. But it's also a meticulously crafted game that constantly rewards players for exploration and offers unbridled options in combat. For long-time Metroidvania fans, Ritual of the Night is an unmissable celebration of the genre from the mind of one if its chief architects, while for newcomers it's an accessible entry-point that's easy to pick up and oh so difficult to put down. Let's hope the next one doesn't take quite as long.
The Sinking City is a captivating detective undertaking that dives into the hauntings of H.P. Lovecraft with a compelling narrative that is sure to question your viewpoint as well as reality itself. If you can look past its presentational shortcomings and mediocre combat system, the plight of private eye Charles Reed is one worth seeing for yourself.
With some very smart additions, Vacation Simulator is a suitably more free flowing and open ended experience than its predecessor. Larger locations, reasons to revisit, and a huge range of things to see and do, this is a successful evolution of the silly sandbox antics Owlchemy Labs does so well. Despite PS Move tracking issues and no real step forward in writing, this is another mindlessly fun time-waster for when the summer Sun dips behind the clouds.
Samurai Shodown is back and it's arguably better than ever. SNK has delivered a truly gripping fighting game where the tides can turn in an instant, and it's this constant sense of tension that creates a uniquely electric experience. Against a backdrop of faster paced, combo-heavy fighters, Samurai Shodown stands out as a deliberate and excellently judged duelling simulator. Against a worthy opponent, there's simply nothing quite like it on PS4.
F1 2019 takes all the elements of the previous games and adds a very thin layer of polish. The introduction of F2 makes Career Mode a little more exciting, and the racing gameplay and graphics are still top notch, but there's no getting away from the fact that this is really just F1 2018 again.
While lean on content, Funomena delivers a bite-sized title that offers one of PSVR's more meditative experiences. Extremely relaxing, the title's puzzle, art, and music work in concert to deliver a title that had us smiling from beginning to end. The game has such a warm sincerity that it's nigh impossible to not get swept up in its charm. If you're on the fence, but have PSVR, the recommendation to pick it up is a no brainer.
Judgment may be a Yakuza spin-off, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the best games in SEGA's series. Barring some gimmicky gameplay additions and some unnecessary story padding, it's an absolutely ace detective thriller. As we've come to expect of Yakuza Studio, Judgment's writing and characters are top notch, and it's arguably a perfect place to start if you're looking to explore the streets of Kamurocho for the first time. Another great showing from a developer that's at the top of its game.
Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry plots the return of a filthy anti-hero that's often enjoyable and sometimes cringe-worthy. An interestingly non-linear story format breaks from the usual adventure template, but this is still the same old Larry – for better or worse.
Super Neptunia RPG is a fun but ultimately fairly average spin-off. Neptune and her friends are as funny and endearing as ever, but the story does them a disservice by bogging them down in needlessly long and boring conversations. If you're a fan of the Neptunia series then you'll certainly enjoy seeing all the familiar faces and the world in its gorgeous new 2D form, but for everyone else, this is a run-of-the-mill JRPG.
If you're a fan of hockey, this is not a game you want to miss. Given how long EA's hockey titles have remained an underwhelming exercise in repetition, the fact that Super Blood Hockey approaches the frozen sport with such creative spark is incredibly refreshing. An oddball genre mashup that blends fighters with hockey even better than NHL Hitz, this is a delight. With a razor sharp sense of humor, and great, concise gameplay, this title manages to sneak an awful lot of quality into a small package, while still allowing room for its goofier moments to breathe.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey: The Fate of Atlantis - Episode 2 is an improvement over Episode 1, and we're looking forward to seeing how things play out in the final chapter. Hades' hellish realm may be a barren wasteland, but it's got a density that Elysium was missing, and some of the side quests are especially well crafted. Throw in a handful of great boss fights and Torment of Hades stands as one of the better DLC episodes that Odyssey has offered.
This Diablo clone shares many of the mechanics with the famous dungeon-'em-up, but scarcely manages to execute them with the anywhere close to the same degree of quality. The moment to moment gameplay is where Warhammer: Chaosbane falls shortest, offering a loop that is neither fun nor addictive by any recognisable measure thanks to dull combat and disappointing loot. There's little reason to recommend Warhammer: Chaosbane in a world in which Diablo III exists – which is the world we currently live in – so we're not recommending it.