This game is the pinnacle of Mortal Kombat action. Fights are fluid, weighty, and gorgeous to look at. Unfortunately, that tightly-designed gameplay is bogged down by a grindy system of loot and consumables that only serves to artificially extend your playtime in the most tedious ways imaginable. There is so much heart and care put into this game, from the combat to the gorgeous visuals and memorable story, but that effort feels nullified by the desperate attempt to twist an iconic video game franchise into just another endlessly online service game.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures is a pretty big disappointment for me. As a fan of the series for most of my life, a portable, fully fledged, modern version of the game on a portable console is a dream, but that isn't what this is. This casual approach is too dumbed down for it to be fun for more than a few hours. With the rollercoaster building being so awful, it's difficult to recommend even for casual users, but it might work as something to distract from the drudgery of a bus ride.
Heaven's Vault is a fantastic narrative experience that offers a genuinely mature and intelligent take on science fiction and the interactions between technology and religion. Superbly realised characters, fascinating architecture, and a wonderfully detailed new language to decipher combine to make this a truly original and rewarding game. It's a shame that the sailing is so repetitive, but Heaven's Vault will reward fans of slower paced and meditative games.
Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko's Hysteric Birthday Bash is an interesting divergence from the usual gory terror of the Corpse Party franchise. It's also a gargantuan crossover event that might leave players feeling lost or confused if they aren't caught up on every piece of Corpse Party media so far. Still, despite the somewhat daunting amount of catching up you'd have to do if you wanted to be totally in the loop, the latest Corpse Party is a wacky and absurd treat that any visual novel fan is sure to get a kick out of.
The lack of depth in RBI 19's basic mechanics has a crippling effect on the whole experience, first as frustration when trying to get used to timing-based batting, then with boredom after you're familiar. On top of that, it's an arcade baseball game that's presented like a sim, but without the depth to back that up or a hook to set it apart from actual sim games, it just feels barren and empty.
RICO is meant meant to be played in quick bursts of ridiculous action. Spend too long with the game and infinite loop of smashing doors and clearing rooms becomes rather tiresome, but that's fine, not every game has to be an epic that requires you to bring a packed lunch. It may not be the best looking title, and it does have a few technical hiccups, but for a quick hit of over the top action it works really well, even more so if you have a friend to join in.
Full of quirky characters and the convoluted cases to solve, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is still a great visual novel adventure, and it's been thoroughly spruced up for modern consoles. It's not the most adventurous of remasters, but there's a real charm to these games that's great for newcomers as well as fans revisiting the series.
12 is Better Than 6 has good combat and a great art style, but is held back by technical issues, unpredictable AI and some odd design decisions. The issues hamper the gameplay and, whilst there is a story, it's entirely forgettable and delivered in awkwardly written dialogue. It's probably best to stick this game's obvious influences.
A tight and taught story that just wouldn't let me go, not until the very end. Most importantly of all, Telltale have delivered on their original remit, to allow players to make meaningful choices that truly effect those around them.
Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists is an intriguing take on the long-running JRPG series, but it just doesn't do a good job of crafting a management experience that feels rewarding or engaging. Even once you're used to the overwhelming menus and systems, it never feels like you're a part of the town you're building from behind the walls menus, charts and numbers. It was a treat to see previous Atelier characters interact and talk to each other, but that bit of fanservice doesn't make up for the lacking gameplay.
Splicing dino DNA with a very old school style of RTS, Warparty has plenty going for it conceptually, but it comes up short. Even if the gamepad controls weren't an obstacle to your success, the three races aren't balanced and it's all too easy to fall back on massed army tactics. A refreshing setting is not enough to drag this tired old school RTS out of the past.
The Division 2 is closer to what I imagine the original vision was for the first game. Washington D.C is a sprawling, deep and detailed world filled with baddies to shoot and loot to collect that keeps you and any friends that join you engaged well after you finish the campaign. The story is a bit shallow, but missions are well written and exceptionally designed, leading to an endgame built around tons of content and a deep loot system. The Division 2 is well worth investing your time in.
Yoshi's Crafted World is simply lovely. The arts and crafts style is used in so many quirky little ways, the soundtrack lodges itself in your brain, and there's the same kind of laid back family friendly collectathon platforming that the series is now known for. Its one real new trick is its art style, sure, but that doesn't make it any less charming and wholesome.