Half-Life: Alyx is billed as a VR return to the series, and that's exactly what it delivers. It does what Half-Life has historically done well, and without the clouding of nostalgia or unhelpful notions of what constitutes "revolutionary" design, it ranks alongside Half-Life 2.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps serves up a balanced meal of combat and platforming that captured me immediately. I'm not a big fan of the first game, but Ori's weapon wheel and slick maneuverability turns Will of the Wisps into an irresistible ballet. Unfortunately, performance problems on the Xbox One S in particular bring down a game that is otherwise almost perfect.
MLB The Show 20 isn't a complete replacement for all those lost afternoons at the ballpark, but it's nevertheless a balm for the baseball fan's soul in these trying times. While this year's version largely rests on the excellence of last year's version, it still brings with it plenty of strong additions, including the return of online leagues. As a tip of the cap to conclude the PlayStation 4 generation, it comes highly recommended.
Nioh 2 crafts its tough experience with precise, delicious Team Ninja combat. On top of that is an entire mass of additional systems that offer players a way forward if your skills aren't top-notch. When those systems come together, Nioh 2 can make you feel powerful, but it does feel like a mess of numbers and bonuses thrown your way at times. You're surprisingly versatile, but you're also forced into a lot of management. A bit of trimming would've led to a near-perfect experience, rather than just a great one.
Though still imperfect, Mystery Dungeon more than makes up for its stumblings through one of the most sweet-hearted stories in the Pokemon franchise, backed by a solid dungeoneering system and a gorgeous aesthetic. If all Pokemon games were as forward-thinking and adventurous as this one, who knows what the franchise could be by now?