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Blaster Master Zero 2 was loads of fun. Coming out of nowhere for fans of the first and for me, I have zero regrets and will now head out in order to play the first to see just how the two compare to one another. With more or less three varied modes of gameplay, slick controls and plenty of new abilities to pick up and use against standard and boss mutants alike, there’s plenty to enjoy for both fans of metroidvanias and platformers!
The Wizards - Enhanced Edition is a fun virtual reality game that has more length and polish than many other VR titles on the market. The gesture-based combat is a lot of fun, even if it is not always completely precise and the presentation values are quite good as well. The combat itself can get a little repetitive however, due to lack of enemy variety and overall spells at your disposal, and the lack of modes beyond campaign and arena do limit replay value some as well. That being said, The Wizards is an entertaining experience and one that has room for growth should Carbon Studio go ahead and see fit to make a sequel, which I would definitely like to see.
While it is a short game, I think the phrase “short and sweet” applies rather well to this title. While it might not have the most to offer in terms of campaign, it well makes up for in couch co-op-ability, and yes that’s now a word. If you’re looking for something to do with a few friends, if you have those, go check out Assault Android Cactus, available on pretty much any system you can shake a stick at.
Legitimately, throughout the entire last three or so areas, I kept having to repeat to myself “Why in the name of all that is even remotely holy would you even CONSIDER designing something this way”. Extremely poor design/engineering practices aside, I did have fun going through the last few areas, despite my dwindling sanity, and the game as a whole just felt really good to run, jump, climb, explore, and swing through.
While The Princess Guide has an interesting concept, and the systems meshed rather nicely when I got used to them, there are some points that need a more in-depth tutorial, or at least an accessible tutorial after you’ve seen it, instead of having to start a new game to re-read something you missed. It may not be anything that’s redefining the genre, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed either.
Fate/Extella Link does not take a lot of chances, and it does not really shake up the core formula of the first game - but it does improve upon it in subtle but effective ways throughout. There is a lot of content here, and if you are a fan of the Fate/ series, you will likely enjoy getting to spend some time with its cast of quirky, colorful characters. The combat and progression are both deeper than the last outing as well, even if by the end of the game there is the risk of things getting a bit repetitive, but that did not keep me from spending a lot of time with this game and unlocking every last thing I could. There is still potential to do something more with multiplayer than the 4-on-4 mode that was introduced here, and I would not object to a bit more depth in terms of RPG elements as well, but all in all Fate/Extella Link was exactly what I was looking for in this sequel.
So while a lot of the elements were there in order to create a stellar throwback RPG with nods to some rather great titles for their time, Eternity: The Last Unicorn missed that mark due to some of those design choices and the performance issues. With a bit more work and balancing though, as it’s never too late, Void Studios still have a chance to fix a good chunk of these issues and I would be more than glad to revisit this title once they do.
Overall, I have to say I really loved how “relatable” or “real” the characters in Caligula Effect Overdose felt. A lot of good improvements were made on the original, and there were a lot of new and innovative gameplay ideas. While the game may get a little repetitive at times, if you intersperse with trauma resolution, it becomes significantly more manageable. I’m really hoping the team that made this continues on to do future work.
As I bring it all together Ni No Kuni 2: Lord of the Lair is a DLC prepped for hardcore veterans of the game. The added features and small side quest are refreshing, but be prepared to grind till your teeth turn raw if you wish to challenge the labyrinth portion. I give this downloadable content a 6.5 out of 10. It's difficulty spike was a little over bearing and it could have used a bit more charm.
I think it is safe to say that the care and attention that went until putting this collection together is fantastic overall, though the games themselves are certainly more niche in nature. Arcade and NES enthusiasts who enjoy action games (especially shooters) will probably have the most fun with this compilation, however.
Honestly? As excited as I was to get my hands on Fimbul as Norse mythology is a great one, and pretty hot right now between the Thor movies, The Iron Druid novels and the newest God of War, Fimbul, the winter before Ragnarok, will not be making its way to the halls of Valhalla. It really should have gone through much more testing and refinement because it has the elements to be a great title, but the execution and the approach taken is just not there.
Overall Hell Warders has some good ideas and visually looks great but the mechanics are just not there. Also plagued by performance issues and horrible load times, I’m looking forward to future versions which could solve some of the above to make it a bit smoother as I would honestly love to see it succeed as the ideas behind it were good ones.
Overall, Tokyo School Life felt less like a dating sim and more like an interactive guide/tour, which I found to be rather refreshing. While full of tropes, they're mostly played off of or deconstructed, which is great to see them not being relied upon.
JackQuest: The Tale of The Sword could have been truly great, with all the makings needed for a memorable game that balances between nostalgia and modern design principles. Regrettably, this game lands far from that mark, and as much as I’d like to, I just can’t overlook those things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good game, but there are definite improvements to be made to it.
With its gorgeous models, bountiful explosions, excellent sound design and voice acting, and an interesting story for each of its campaigns, Battlefleet Gothic Armada 2 is a worthy entrance into the very small cadre of excellent Warhammer 40,000 titles. Well done Tindalos and Focus Home, well done indeed.
All of that said, I love this game because of its art style, music, my interest and fascination with the alien structures, and the thrill of discovery, but I am giving Astroneer a 6 out of 10. The game has a long way to go in terms of resolving its technical issues before I can confidently rate it higher – and I really want to rate it higher! I quite like Astroneer and considering this is System Era Softworks first title, they have a solid foundation from which to build upon.
So was seven years worth waiting for a new entry to Dead or Alive? Yes. Alongside the like of the newest Soul Calibur and the upcoming Mortal Kombat, this is a good time to be a fan of these titles. With both a new story to follow and plenty of other modes to keep yourself and others occupied as you go head to head, Dead or Alive 6 is a great new entry into the series and worth picking up.
Dick Wilde 2 is a decently made game that really does nothing new. If you enjoy these kinds of wave / rail shooters in virtual reality, odds are you will enjoy your time spent with Dick Wilde 2. However, for those looking for deeper mechanics or a more engaging story, you will likely find this to be a shallow adventure that you are done with in relatively short order. Dick Wilde 2 does what it sets out to do rather well, just set your expectations accordingly if you are looking for anything more than a goofy arcade shooter.
I haven't been this disappointed in the first ending I got since…geez, I don't even remember the last time I was as disappointed as I was with the ending I got. Ultimately, Song of Memories had some pretty solid potential, but ultimately squandered a bunch of it with generic characters and poor rhythm gimmick. If a little more though was put into explaining unanswered questions and making the characters a little more unique, this could've been a real gem.