KINGDOM of the DEAD is nice. Sadly, that's all there is to say about it. Putting the neat "ink & paper" art style and unique synth OST aside, what's left is a way too simplistic love letter to mid '90s FPS games that just doesn't manage to impress in any way. Fun, but it's the one evening kind of fun.
It's a strange one. There couldn't be a title that's more due of a remake yet also still a really good time as Knights of the old Republic. Although it came out around the same time as when the prequels were in cinemas, it has more in kin with the classic trilogy insomuch as what was once cutting edge is now low-fi and that very aspect comprises a large part of the charm. Not without issues, but to focus on those issues in the harsh light of day would feel too much like pestering an old person for losing their teeth - an influential old person, with lots of great stories. So, while a remake is most welcome one does wonder if it'll lose something in the translation about what makes this version work. It's the OG that captures the scale of the Star Wars Universe unlike any other Star Wars game. It absolutely deserves play in 2022.
KUR doesn't have what it takes to join the slowly, but steadily growing family of old-but-modern FPS games. The gunplay is generic at best, the visuals not that appealing, and, most importantly, this is undoubtedly a title that left Early Access way too early. Wait for many an update before trying this out.
AI WAR 2 is the type of game that would normally be very good. The concept and guerrilla warfare are both interesting ideas. However, this just doesn't really click or feel that interesting. Given players have access to so much stuff from the beginning, there is no sense of progression which might be the largest killer, if not the steep learning curve. Some might really enjoy it, but general strategy players won't want to hop through all the hoops.
There are some rough spots with the UI, a bit of repetition with some overworld aspects, but nitpicks aside Trials of Fire was actually highly enjoyable both as a strategy game, and a deck builder. The fact the game has some strong Heroes of Might and Magic vibes going on is icing on the cake. The problem comes through that a single play (~2-4 hours) is about all it takes to get most out of the game. After that players likely won't be back.
There is no doubt that the Booster Course Pass is going to heralded as "must-have", but so far Wave 1 hasn't set the track on fire. The runaway winners of Wave 1 are the three courses featured from Mario Kart Tour, but that is not to say the other courses are bad, but are lacking in imagination compared to other retro-courses featured in the base game of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. The lack of anti-grav and some questionable graphical decisions also mount up to disappointment and it is interesting to see if Nintendo are going to address this with the remaining 40 courses. However, in the grand scheme of things it is great to have new courses to race on and is certainly thoroughly recommended for all Mario Kart fans.
When it comes down to it, Triangle Strategy really impresses with its deep battle and party system, storytelling and clean visual presentation aside from some performance issues. While some of the voice acting is somewhat weak, the cast is up to the task to deliver on the well written and engaging tale. However, oftentimes the scales weigh too heavily in favor of the story over the major battling moments, removing quite a bit of player engagement. Even though time spent between gameplay and story is unbalanced, the overall experience is well worth a look for tactics fans.
GRID Legends does an admirable job of keeping pace with its rivals with a steady title offering all a racing fan would expect. Every aspect is done to an admirable standard from graphics, modes and handling. This is recommended for fans of the genre but also for newcomers looking for an arcade feel mixed with their realism. With the excellently cheese fest of story mode and fun integration of the nemesis system, there's something for everyone here.
WWE 2K22 certainly hits different, go check the score again, it certainly has not come out a perfect ten. The redeemable qualities, thankfully, are the wrestling mechanics themselves, which ironically might not be everyone's cup of tea, and MyRISE mode which offers a good amount of content to keep the average WWE gamer going. It has taken over 2 years for the game to finally release and while it is an improvement on WWE 2K20 it still serves up disappointment in other ways, such as an outdated roster, a pathetic attempt at recreating General Manager mode, and a disgusting ethical issue of microtransactions in MyFACTION mode, albeit optional. MyFACTION mode is enjoyable, and can be played without using real-world money to progress, but the fact of the matter is that this mechanic should not exist in a full priced game. If you came to play then there is certainly a price to pay.
With beautiful and accurate presentation as well as great gameplay, the basics are done fantastically well. It is such a shame then to see the rest of the package convoluted with endless menus and unnecessary, incomplete feeling modes. Madden 21 is certainly heading the right direction, here's hoping the newest iteration 'pads' everything out.
Will you like PowerSlave Exhumed? Well, if you have played the genre's greats, or even its cult classics, you won't find it to be something special. It's a good shooter, no doubt about it, and the fact that it sort of plays like Metroid Prime many years before the latter saw the light of day is quite the feat, but at the end of the day it's just a decent-to-good FPS. If you view it strictly as a remaster, though, it's something more. It combines the best elements from all its versions, beautifies it a bit for the modern era, and adds all the typical buttons and levers that Nightdive tends to include in its fantastic repackagings. More like a collector's item than a great blast from the past, but boy, what a collector's item!
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania is a surefire sign that the series was and still is great to play. The change in game engine adds a vibrant coat of paint while tweaking the physics to a slightly faster alternative. However, this does not change the fact that some levels are too stuck in the past. Topped off with some very welcome accessibility options, this package is well worth playing even if the mini games and customization have some notable downsides.
Subway Midnight's great, semi-creepy aura and neat, spookycute art-style isn't enough to save this from its paper-thin, and, in all honesty, very tedious gameplay, which revolves around walking, walking, walking, and more walking, with a little bit of puzzle-solving thrown into the mix.
Deeply emotive, well written, respectful of player choice, and with a great look and atmosphere, Life is Strange and Life is Strange: Before the Storm are must-haves for anyone interested in narrative-driven adventures that focus more on the characters than the plot itself - even when taking their flaws into consideration. When it comes to the remastered collection, though… better wait for a generous bargain if already in possession of the original instalments, as the upgrades are not that strong, and the package isn't devoid of a few technical issues. If a total newcomer, however, be sure to check it out - although you can expect a bug or two if unlucky.
Pokémon Legends Arceus is a successful attempt at making something new and fresh with the same concepts and ideas that have driven the franchise for thepast nigh on three decades. It is addictive, has charming characters and scenes, and has plenty of content to savour for fans of collectathons. It is a cohesive package on every front. This game is, however, embarrassingly clumsily put together from a graphical standpoint. This does not make it less enjoyable on a pure gameplay level, but during quiet times when little action is happening and players will want to take in what is presented on screen at face value, it is especially jarring. We loved the gameplay loop of Pokémon Legends Arceus, it has been one of the most engaging experiences to come out of Nintendo or Game Freak of the past few years, but it is well past time for either of those actors to finally take the right steps to solve this recurring lack of technical finesse from the series.
Forget the utterly nonsensical story, the unbalanced combat mechanics, the aggravating insta-deaths, the glitches, bugs, translation errors, and so on. Bright Memories: Infinite's biggest issue is that it's not a complete package. It's a two-hour tech demo, and not even an impressive one. The general idea behind it is great (one-woman army who is both a gunfighter, a ninja, and a high-tech wizard), but the execution is subpar to say the least.
While far from bad, Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot + A New Power Awakens is a hard sell for anyone who is not already a fan of the series. Even then, franchise diehards will likely notice the changes and omissions in adaptation to the point of annoyance. Combat also leaves much to be desired, lacking in depth and devoid of real strategy more often than not. At the same time, overworld exploration is surprisingly relaxing, side content outside of side quests is engaging, and the story mode does make for an enjoyable way to revisit Dragon Ball Z thanks to stellar cutscene direction. Those who connect with the gameplay will also be delighted at the sheer amount of content available, from the three DLC packs to new playable characters. Kakarot is a Dragon Ball love letter that often forgets to be an action RPG, but never loses the unique charm that has defined the series.
Tetris Effect: Connected is a beautiful game and a great multiplayer-focused refresh of the initial PlayStation 4 game. The visuals are gorgeous and deserve to be experienced in VR. Depending on the display, HDR or SDR colour ranges might not look right until some tweaking is done outside of the game. However, once it clicks this is one of the best puzzle games and definitely a fantastic way to play Tetris in its modern format solo or with others.
Those who are expecting 'Resident Evil with Boobs' will be disappointed. Red Colony 3, like every single installment before it, is nowhere near Capcom's classic in terms of gameplay, and no amount of jiggly digital mammaries can change that. So, no, don't come in expecting a great survival horror experience. Come in for the b-movie-esque, camp feel it has, the pleasantly bad writing, and the bonkers plot. Red Colony 3 is not a very good game, but it is still enjoyable despite that.