A dark-fantasy western RPG with a compelling world and an ambitious narrative, Weird West is undermined by awkward combat and micromanagement. Weird West's rotating multi-character perspective will be an acquired taste, but makes sense as a method of world-building. It's got room to grow, but right now, it's challenging to build momentum in the early game and to persevere through the mid-game.
Wonderlands mixes over-the-top combat, wonderfully absurd guns, interesting classes, and fun characters to create the best version of this series I've ever played. It's weirdly wholesome, patently absurd, and frequently obnoxious, but the intent feels far purer than what you might expect. When you then add in the excellent voice acting, and the fact that you can play this through with friends and strangers, you get a really entertaining FPS RPG that I'd be happy to recommend to anyone.
Get used to the slightly cumbersome controls, menu heavy play and perhaps choose for a slower pace, and Crusader Kings 3's innate charms can still shine through on console. This is still a game that's all about dynasty, family and roleplaying your way through the ages, and it's still just as compelling as ever.
Conan Chop Chop offers a (mostly) lovingly violent local co-up dungeon crawling experience. Sadly, a few too many frustrating gameplay issues rather take the shine off what would otherwise be a brilliant party game.
Elex II is a perfect continuation of the Piranha Bytes RPG formula, but it is unlikely to win over new fans. The graphics and gameplay are very similar to the first game and are beginning to feel increasingly dated, a feeling exacerbated by all the fantastic games released in the last few months. If you're already a fan of Piranha Bytes then this is exactly what you've been waiting for, for good and ill.
Tunic had a lot to live up to after years of built up expectation, and it doesn't just meet them, it shatters them and stands out as one of the most joyous gaming experiences I've had in years. It takes a little while to feel at home in Tunic's gorgeously rendered world, but once it clicks and the secrets of the masterfully constructed in-game manual start to reveal themselves, the resulting game is up there with the likes of Zelda in terms of exploration and discoveries.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land makes Kirby's jump to 3D feel effortless, but it's much more than that, with the vibrantly styled decaying world to explore and the Mouthful Modes that will have you laughing with each new one that's discovered.
Rune Factory 5 takes a few missteps, for sure - the clunky framerate and a lifeless town being the biggest of them – but it's the kind of fantasy farming experience I've been clamouring for ever since the last game came out. The routine of tending your farm, clobbering some goblins, and giving your spouse a bunch of gifts is as addictive as ever. Even if this isn't the most polished entry in the series, it's absolutely a welcome return for the series that fans will eat up.
Shredders is a breath of chilly mountain air in the face of snowboarding fans everywhere. If you miss the genre's heyday of Cool Boarders, 1080 Snowboarding, and Amped, then it's definitely time to strap on a new pair of digital bindings.
Ghostwire: Tokyo was not the game I was expecting from Tango Gameworks, but I definitely enjoyed it. Blending magic-filled FPS action with Japanese mythology and an open world Tokyo that reminds me of the Yakuza series, it stands out from the crowd even if it's not truly groundbreaking. Ghostwire has a lot of potential as a new franchise and I'm looking forward to seeing what Tango Gameworks does with it next.
WWE 2K22 isn't a good fighting game, despite the multiplayer being a bit of knock-around fun. The woolly controls, messy inputs, and numerous glitches lead to an underwhelming video game experience, while the lacklustre Showcase and MyRise game modes don't manage to replicate the bombast of professional wrestling, WWE 2K22 isn't a particularly good wrestling game either. It's a decent laugh in multiplayer, but with the notably hefty price tag I would expect a lot more than that.
Stranger of Paradise is one of "those" games - a scuffed diamond that's a joy to play, yet has unmissable imperfections. However, while annoying, a poor story and bland visuals don't diminish its punchy RPG action, nor its rewarding web of character customisation options. Needless to say, we're pretty eager to see how Stranger is received by the Final Fantasy fandom.
Gunborg: Dark Matters is a relatively short game, but it is packed with challenge and fast-paced action throughout. I like that you have to keep cycling through weapons as they drop to meet challenges ahead, and how satisfying it is to finally get through a stage. If you want an action platformer that will offer you a tough but rewarding experience then Gunborg: Dark Matters is for you.
GetsuFumaDen: Undying Moon is a gorgeous game with solid side-scrolling combat, but its genre shift to the roguelike form hasn't paid off. The progression system is slow and the upgrades you obtain are pretty deal, leading to a roguelike experience that doesn't do enough to incentivise sticking with it for very long.
I've never wanted to play a roguelike deck builder before because, quite frankly, they look really boring. Playing Roguebook proved how wrong I was. This is a devious and delightful slice of turn based card slinging strategy that will win over even the most cynical of deck building haters. I can't think of any finer praise than that.
Babylon's Fall is just dull, repetitive and ultimately forgettable. The combat at the game's core so simple and lacking in challenge, especially if you have a full team. We all know that PlatinumGames are capable of games so much more than this, and Square Enix should probably step back from their live service efforts, because they simply haven't cracked it.
Triangle Strategy is a beautiful and authentic tactical RPG. Fans of Fire Emblem in particular will love the involving narrative on top of the strategic action - just be prepared for a slow start as it sets its expansive story in motion.
There’s no denying that the main story missions for The Witch Queen are great, Void 3.0 is very welcome, and if you do like chasing God Rolls you will be very happy. The Witch Queen is a solid expansion and I suspect many more secrets will be uncovered over the coming months, but I do hope the next year’s Lightfall brings us something totally brand new rather than reworking existing enemies and mechanics.
I really wanted to like Chocobo GP, having never had the chance to play the PS1 original. Unfortunately, the tone is all over the place, the references are archaic, and the gameplay is mediocre to the point of boredom. It is possible that the online multiplayer will be where this comes to life, but even then the prospect of exploitative microtransactions threatens to cast a Cloud over affairs. if you've got any affection for Final Fantasy or Kart games, it's probably best to download the Lite version before deciding on the full game.
Gran Turismo 7 takes everything that was excellent about GT Sport's fantastic multiplayer, high fidelity cars and circuits and innovative Scapes mode, and builds up a more traditional GT experience around it. It's got its own quirky new ideas which will likely be passing diversions to most, but at its core, this is the Gran Turismo you know and love. Broad and accessible, but with depth, nuance and competitive racing for those keen to find it.