Tagged With 102

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If you have never played The World Ends With You before, the Nintendo Switch version released yesterday is not a bad way to get into it. Final Remix retains the game’s great sense of humour, its fantastic music, and Tetsuya Nomura’s most restrained character designs.

But if you have played it before — say, if you’re a big fan of the original 2007 Nintendo DS version, like me — you will most likely be disappointed by the Switch port.

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Mega Man 11 is a fine game, and a worthy eleventh entry in a series that once set the bar for tricky platformers. It also feels oddly shallow, the latest iteration of a formula that has gone largely unchanged for decades.

Mega Man 11 is great at being a Mega Man game. Maybe that’s why it didn’t do much for me.

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Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is huge. Each new boundary is broken down the moment you reach it, the game world spilling out and expanding further and further than you can possibly imagine. It is big in the same way the Great Pyramids or Empire State Building are big, the result of untold amounts of labour and artistry distilled into something remarkable yet intimidating.

It isn’t a sandbox. It is a world, with all of the beauty, anxiety and inconsistency that entails.

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I recently left my apartment in northern California and drove a U-Haul full of my belongings to a new place in southern California. Although it’s a game that’s played by millions every day, I cannot recommend Moving.

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Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a game of extremes. Its romantic attitude towards soldiers clashes with a desire to tell a tale of mass violence and corpse-laden battlefields. It is as intimate as it is loud, and each moment captivates even if the parts are often greater than the whole.

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Destiny 2’s new expansion, Forsaken, turns the game into something that people can play as much as they want without running out of things to do. If anything, its tantalising new pursuits, designed to satisfy the appetites of the series’ most voracious players, may be too life-consuming.

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The new Tomb Raider’s freshest idea is the floating of a question: What if all this tomb raiding that Lara Croft does indicates that she is a treasure-plundering jerk who wrecks other people’s cultures and, worse, their lives?

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Insomniac Game’s new Spider-Man adventure on the PS4 is a fun comic book brawler with some good story beats. It's elevated by a system of acrobatics that features some of the most intuitive and exhilarating movement I’ve ever experienced in a game.

It’s extremely fun, if you’re OK with a version of New York City that is bursting with life when viewed from above but whose dazzling beauty is mostly only skin deep.

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Guacamelee 2 feels great to play. It’s a demanding platformer with elements drawn from the beat ‘em ups of old but executed with such precision they feel modern. The way throwing a punch can be intertwined with hoping over a pit of lava transforms every obstacle into a puzzle.

Despite surface similarities and homages to dozens of video game classics, Guacamelee 2 feels unique and unrivalled, even if the whole doesn’t surpass the sum of each amazing part.

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Each new Halo game since 2007’s Halo 3 gets some praise, then fades, and then is pointed to as a sign that the Xbox’s once-unstoppable franchise is hitting a wall. Halo 5, released in 2015, deserves a different reputation.

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Video games often deal in illusions, proffering the fantasy of control and power even when your meaningful influence is minimal. Monster Hunter: World, the new third-person action game from Capcom, absolutely deals in fantasy. It plucks you from reality and sets you in the domains of exotically imposing monsters that you must hunt. In this game, however, the sense of accomplishment and pride that comes from felling them is anything but an illusion.

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In my first game of Dead Cells, I died after about four minutes. In my most recent one, I lasted almost an hour. The time difference between those two attempts says a lot about how Dead Cells evolves as you play it, and how you evolve alongside it.