Maneater really does do what it says on the tin. It’s a hyper-violent, super fun and wonderfully tongue in cheek shark simulator that lets players live out their fantasy of becoming the ocean’s most notorious predator. Yet, it’s beyond that where Maneater struggles, as its repetitive missions and frequent padding prevent it from sustaining its 10-hour runtime.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill excels as both an adrenaline-fueled racer and a zenlike exploration. It’s a signal of the game’s clarity of vision and tightness of scope that it can, somehow, succeed at both. A triumph of beautiful cinematography and spinning tyres alike.
There’s a lot about Resident Evil 3 to love. Its combat is meatier, its linearity makes for an interesting change of pace, and Nemesis is pure nightmare fuel in all the right ways. Yet, the game’s pace is simply too hasty for its brief runtime. In the end, it’s an enjoyable – but noticeably rushed – remake, that never quite matches the heights of its outstanding predecessor.
With more sensational world-building, slick combat and compelling narrative, The Foundation feels like a superb next chapter to Control’s story. It might not do much with the ideas introduced within the original campaign, but with Control being one of last year’s best games, that’s far from a disappointment.
Dan Marshall has said publicly that if Lair of the Clockwork God doesn’t sell well enough, it will most likely be Ben and Dan’s final adventure. And if that’s how it transpires, then this game will be a fitting swansong. But if there’s any justice in the world it will sell hand over fist, because it’s a brilliant, joyous, clever and generous experience.
Final Fantasy VIII isn’t without its flaws, and it spreads them fairly evenly across story, mechanics, and pacing. Happily, the speed boost on offer in the remaster fixes the pacing, which effectively papers over the cracks in the grind-heavy mechanics. What you’re left with is a fun, somewhat silly, and beautiful RPG. And on Nintendo Switch, you can play it anywhere. This really is the best way to play Final Fantasy VIII.
Despite its unapproachable first few hours and some severely rough edges, Planet Zoo is one of the best tycoon games of the year. It offers near-limitless potential through its construction and exhibit tools, while Frontier’s visually stunning animals feel authentic and supremely detailed. With some patches, there’s no denying Planet Zoo could wind up being something extraordinarily special.
In terms of moment to moment gameplay, Song of Horror can feel a little bland. The puzzles are inconsistent, it lacks scares, and the narrative is forgettable. However, the game’s willingness to go all-in on its interesting permadeath mechanic makes it a unique horror experience that manages to disguise its flaws with ambition. It may be largely centred around a gimmick, but with each episode feeling relatively brief, its one that doesn’t wear out its welcome.