The Great Ace Attorney 2 (3DS) – 9/9/8/8 [34/40]
Levels+ (Switch) – 8/7/8/8 [31/40]
Mama ni Game Kasareta (3DS) – 7/8/8/7 [30/40]
So Many Me (PS4) – 7/8/8/8 [31/40]
Super Ping Pong Trick Shot (Switch) – 6/6/6/7 [25/40]
There's a lot to love here. Everywhere you turn, there's something to appreciate. The music, which I've yet to mention, is stunning, and easily the best soundtrack to come out of the Supergiant Games' studios. I don't have a vocabulary to describe the audio, but I will admit to leaving the game to idle for no other reason than to write by the tune I've selected. And there are always little things to interact with, little clever things that Supergiant Games has done with the way that information is presented, little choices in their approach to design that impress. Even the skill trees and the way you can assist your coterie of misfits, the inscrutable language used by the general populace. It is a good game.
And thus it's all too easy to fall in love with Pyre. It's immediately attractive. Its songs dance in your head long after they debut. And before you know it, you find yourself driven to get better at rites and perform at the top of your game. Likewise, you can't help but reflect on your partners in the Downside--those you trained, as well as those you neglected. Supergiant Games has created something special that lives on in your heart. And against great odds, it's invented a sport that could have stood on its own without the story it's attached to--but it's so much better because it is.
Despite some of these hiccups, it’s difficult not to enjoy being part of this strange world and participating blindly in its customs. Although I wasn’t quite as attached to the characters as I had hoped, I did appreciate the medley of personalities and felt the world and its customs were admirably orchestrated within everyone’s backstory. It might not be for everyone, but Pyre delivers on its fun gameplay in a way that beautifully illustrates the struggles of redemption and what it means to gain true freedom.
Pyre is interesting enough to play multiple times, but it can also be played just as a one-on-one sport. In the game’s versus mode, which pits you against either an AI opponent or against a friend on your couch. In the story, there’s a lot of narrative pressure to do well in the rites. Against another person, I was a bit freer to just enjoy banishing my enemies, or passing the ball down the court, or flying over an aura blast. When I played against Kotaku editor-in-chief Stephen Totilo in the office, he banished me just as I was about to score on him and I shouted, “you motherfucker.” Pyre is good in many ways. It’s even good enough that it made me call my boss a motherfucker.
DiRT 4 (PS4) – 9/8/8/8 [33/40]
DiRT 4 (XBO) – 9/8/8/8 [33/40]
I and Me (Switch) – 8/8/7/7 [30/40]
Implosion: Never Lose Hope (Switch) – 7/8/7/8 [30/40]
Kirby’s Blowout Blast (3DS) – 7/8/7/8 [30/40]
LOUD on Planet X (PS4) – 6/6/7/6 [25/40]
Maldita Castilla (3DS) – 7/8/7/7 [29/40]
Typoman: Revised (PS4) – 7/7/8/8 [30/40]
Utsusemi no Mawari (PS Vita) – 8/8/8/8 [32/40]
Wagamama High Spec (PS Vita) – 7/7/7/7 [28/40]
Cars 3: Driven to Win (PS4) – 8/8/8/8 [32/40]
Cars 3: Driven to Win (Switch) – 8/8/8/8 [32/40]
Farming Simulator 18 (3DS) – 6/7/7/6 [26/40]
GoNNER (Switch) – 7/7/7/8 [29/40]
Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy (3DS) – 9/9/8/8 [34/40]
MXGP3: The Official Motocross Videogame (PS4) – 7/8/7/8 [30/40]
Portal Knights (PS4) – 8/8/8/7 [31/40]
Photon Cubed (Switch) – 7/7/7/7 [28/40]
Photon Cubed (PS Vita) – 7/7/7/7 [28/40]
Rabi Laby: Puzzle Out Stories (PS Vita) – 6/7/6/6 [25/40]
StarBlood Arena (PSVR) – 7/7/7/8 [29/40]
Sumikko Gurashi: Koko,
Under Night In-Birth
Under Night In-Birth
Under Night In-Birth
World Election (PS Vita) – 8/7/8/7 [30/40]
What is clear is that this is the definitive version of Final Fantasy 12, a game that despite its developmental difficulties, still emerged as one of the most fascinating projects to take the series' name.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, despite my misgivings, is a triumph that still holds up all these years later. Modern conveniences like upping the tempo of combat are far more valuable than the new coat of paint, and despite a slow-going narrative it's a blast to just roam the open countryside, mess around with Gambits, and go on hunts. Slowly but surely XII has wormed its way into my heart -- it only took 11 years.
And I am going to keep doing things in The Zodiac Age. It's taken the game I already loved so much and given me more. The Zodiac Age doesn’t add things for the sake of adding them. I can see myself putting 300 more hours into this version of Final Fantasy 12, trying different combinations of job classes and testing out new tactics on the optional bosses I could never quite conquer in the original game.
After missing out on Final Fantasy XII the first time, I feel like a lot of people are wondering if they should finally tackle the Final Fantasy that time forgot. As something of a former skeptic myself, I can definitely say, "Yes." It may never have the mass appeal of some of its peers, but it's time Final Fantasy XII received some of the love and attention it deserves.
Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is a remaster done right. The core content remains the same, but the changes in various systems add a new layer of discovery. This means old fans can still relive the journey, while new players (or those who had issues with old mechanics) don’t feel trapped in an outdated adventure. Not every facet of the game has aged well, but the clever combat and fantastic cast earns this entry its status as classic RPG, and The Zodiac Age is the best way to play it.
While its enhancements do not translate into a brand new game for existing fans, The Zodiac Age is nonetheless invigorating. For an experience that can last over a hundred hours, the subtle tweaks therein go a long way in showcasing Final Fantasy 12's grand trek in a new light. Its epic, lore-abundant story and its time-tested Gambit System should also appeal to those who missed out on the mainline series' trip to Ivalice the first time around.
Valkyria Revolution is an action RPG developed by Media Vision for the PS4 and PS Vita. I decided to review the PS Vita version of the game, as I assume most reviewers chose the console version, so I wanted to provide some insight into the handheld version of the game. It is also my first Valkyria game, so my perspective will be unique in that regards as well. And as usual, this review contains no spoilers.
Starting with combat. In a bubble, the combat of Valkyria Revolution isn't bad. Missions can be accepted through an NPC. Before a mission is accepted, players can choose which characters to bring with them, as well as some other smaller details. Having options like this is always nice, especially since it allows players to only bring the characters they like. The combat itself is live action, meaning characters can move freely, and execute moves whenever they want. Those actions include normal weapon skills, as well as
There were also battle effects that I thought were nice. As an example, if a commander is taken out in front of his squad, they may become “scared” or “petrified”, making them easier to fight. It is a really neat mechanic that makes it important for players to think about who to attack first.
On the other hand, the live-action nature of the game made some fights messy. For instance, when there is a singular enemy or boss, all of the party members converge on him which doesn't make for a very theatrical fight. Too much stuff flies around the screen, and it can be hard to enjoy the moment.
But while I believe the combat overall is fine, I do hate that the developers decided to make it an action title, instead of keeping the turn-based combat that the series is known for. Especially on the Vita, the game would have benefited greatly
There are a few areas that can be visited outside of combat, but unfortunately, they aren't anything special. My biggest issue with these areas is the lack of camera control. Even the Vita is plenty powerful enough to handle an explorable city, so there should be no reason as to why the non-combat areas couldn't be more interesting. I know that Valkyria Revolution is mostly about combat, but that shouldn't mean other areas of the game should be lacking.
Moving on to the story. Before I talk about the actual story, I’d like to start with talking about how much story there is. There is so much of it that I almost feel like I am watching more cutscenes than actually playing anything. And long time followers of the site will know how much I hate that. Cutscenes in a game are fine, especially when there is a large focus on the story. And even long cutscenes in a game are not always a bad thing. But when cutscenes are bordering on overtaking gameplay in regards to play time it becomes absurd. There is so much of it that I am honestly shocked that Sega paid for all of the voice
All in all, Valkyria Revolution is a game that hits the middle of the road for me. There is nothing in it that I think is overly exceptional, but at the same time, there is nothing that I hated. And considering the offerings that the PS Vita has, I would definitely recommend it for people looking to play something on a great handheld.
Note: This will be my third review here on GoingSony, and I have been trying different things with each of them. I am working on finding a good style, so if anyone has any suggestions for things they would like to see me do in the future, please feel free to leave a comment or send an email. Thanks!
The culprit behind Crash's dated feel is the passage of time. Vicarious Visions, for its part, succeeded in revitalizing Crash from an artistic perspective while preserving the charm that made him appealing when he first showed up, but years have passed since the original PlayStation was relevant, and we are well past the formative years of 3D gaming.
Not all games from yesteryear hold up well. The original Crash Bandicoot likely would drive people nuts if it returned in its original form. Vicarious Visions made it fun again, without altering its DNA – a feat that deserves recognition.
It's a shame what happened to Crash. Although Naughty Dog moved on to bigger things, I wouldn't necessarily call all of them better. The Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy serves as a time capsule of sorts before the series was ran into the ground, and my only major regret is that I wish it had CTR as the cherry on top.
Nitro crates are still a pain in the arse, those damn boulders still incite masses of anxiety, Cortex is still a douche, and Polar is still so damn cute. Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is faithful to the original, and in today’s day and age, still manages to be fun as hell. Vicarious Visions has shown how possible it is to remake and reassemble a classic set of games without removing any of the original allure.
While the N. Sane Trilogy is by no means the perfect and/or flawless remaster fans and interested onlookers may have wanted, there’s no denying that a lot of Vicarious’ microscopic and macroscopic attention to detail alike is demonstrated sufficiently well in Crash’s current-gen revisit.
2Dark (PS4) – 8/8/6/8 [30/40]
Bridge Constructor (PS4) – 7/8/7/7 [29/40]
Human Resource Machine (Switch) – 7/8/7/8 [30/40]
Karumaruka Circle (PS Vita) – 7/7/6/7 [27/40]
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology (3DS) – 9/8/8/8 [33/40]
Summer Lesson: Allison Snow Seven Days Garden (PSVR) – 9/8/8/8 [33/40]
Tsumigui: Sen no Noroi, Sen no Inori for V (PS Vita) – 7/8/8/9 [32/40]