It has a fun, finely-crafted story told through splendid animation and outstanding narration, a gorgeous, adventure-filled world with plenty to explore, and one of the greatest 2D combat systems I’ve ever experienced. Tails of Iron is not only one of the best things I’ve played all year, but it’s a sign of great things to come from an incredibly talented studio.
Super Animal Royale is a great free-to-play title. If you’re familiar with battle royales to any degree, everything here will feel simultaneously familiar and new. Wacky characters with loads of customization, fun weapons, and unique ideas will hold your attention, but the frustrating lack of accessibility options, fairly repetitive combat, and oodles of in-game currencies could be a deal breaker for some.
There just isn’t that much to Mad Streets. You’ve seen everything it has to offer within the space of an hour. Playing with friends and laughing for a bit at the idea of “haha! That character fell down funny!” gets old insanely fast, and it does so even quicker when playing alone. Not to mention that even when you manage to make a hit connect in a way that you actually wanted it to, it’s as satisfying as wiping someone’s face with a rubber chicken.
Kitaria Fables is certainly not for everyone, but neither are donuts. Its visuals are mostly great, the music is a delight, and the story is charming. Sure the combat and quests are a grind, but if you enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from completing lengthy tasks and you don’t have a gluten allergy, grab yourself a donut and give Kitaria Fables a try.
With the pleasant and cathartic combat system in mind, Ruvato: Original Complex on Xbox might be all that some people are looking for. The game can be completed within one or two sittings, and the combat certainly is engaging enough to warrant said completion. But if you just don’t see the appeal of repetitive, unoriginal, overly dramatic anime stories, you’re better off forgetting this one.
With the gameplay being pretty weak, the only worthwhile part of Anodyne 2 on Xbox is its presentation. Truly, it should be applauded for this alone. Even the music succeeds in pulling the player back to that early, three-dimensional time period. However, a nice bit of music and some neat aesthetics do not make for a complete or fun experience.
The single solution puzzles make it all too easy to get frustrated when spending a large amount of time trying to clear a level. Combined with the damsel that one would rather leave in distress and the horribly annoying bug that continued to remove all challenge from the game, Dungeons & Bombs on Xbox is an unoriginal idea that goes off with a “meh” rather than a “bang”.
Shiny pixels, nice music, and ho-hum gameplay do not make up for the areas in which Habroxia 2 on Xbox falters. Fans of the first Habroxia will likely be upset by the blatant copy and paste content, while anyone who hasn’t played the first could find a more interesting space shooter in many places.
I’m afraid that Redout: Space Assault on Xbox just isn’t worth it. The game couldn’t be less interesting to play, because it isn’t interested in having you play it. Its story, if one could call it that, is a mindless distraction, and everything feels pointless. Even with the auto-shooting turned off, the game offers next to no challenge at all.
When a title like Shing! on Xbox comes along, I can’t help but feel annoyed. Its uninspired combat system, lack of narrative cohesion, and insultingly crass writing makes the game one that doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the enormous collection of well-made titles the industry has to offer. If you give Shing! a try, I promise that you’ll be wi-shing! you hadn’t.
I could spend a few hours telling you about the heroic conquests and heartbreaking losses of my merry band of soldiers. Instead, I’ll tell you that if you’re a fan of roguelikes, satisfying combat, and unique game design, then Gods Will Fall on Xbox is one of the best games that you can play. With its beautiful combination of random generation and concrete level design, it sets the bar high for any roguelikes that come after.
Teratopia on Xbox is a gross, poorly optimized, poorly designed, and disastrous product. I regularly have more fun with the mazes on the back of cereal boxes. Maybe if there were some kind of actual direction, it could have been a fun little 3D something. Instead, Teratopia is yet another example of a weird name being tied to a horrendous game.
We need more puzzle games. Batu Ta Batu on Xbox has got me fired up for more games with delightfully addictive mechanics. Though the multiplayer feels out of place, and the additional game modes are ho-hum, the endless mode is so good that it’s reason enough to give the game a go.
If you’re a diehard fan of city-stomping robots, Override 2: Super Mech League’s combat will surely keep your attention for a while. It is a great looking game with some stellar robot designs, but that only does so much. With nothing more than samey online fights again and again, this is a game that will rust up sooner rather than later.
Despite its cute visuals and some great moments of exploring the game’s world, Monster Sanctuary on Xbox feels relatively hollow. There is plenty of content to keep the most dedicated of min-maxing enthusiasts busy, especially if one ventures into online battles against others, but the game owes too much of its identity to the past. If it leaned more into the unique metroidvania ideas, had a more interesting story, and felt less like homework, Monster Sanctuary would have been something truly special.
Gods Will Fall looks like a brutal delight. It’s bevy of original ideas look like they’ll inject the roguelike genre with some much-needed variety. Additionally, the game’s focus on generating unique, personal stories looks to be incredibly satisfying. Early 2021 can’t get here soon enough.
Microtransactions and frustrating matchmaking issues aside, Rogue Company on Xbox Series X|S is thoroughly enjoyable. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it’s so snappy, action-packed, and easy to get into that I regularly convince myself to play just one more game over and over.
Did I have fun with Towaga: Among Shadows on Xbox? Yes. Do I wish that there was more to it? Even bigger yes. The alternate game modes and unlockable spells all feel pointless, and the story is lacking in many ways. Yet, despite these flaws, I couldn’t put the game down. Though it doesn’t feel like it lives up to its true potential, Towaga: Among Shadows is a unique shooter that I hope to see more of in the future.
Pangeon on Xbox One feels more like a demo than a finished game. It has some strong points to be sure; nice visuals, great enemy and level design, and perfectly adequate combat. Yet the horribly brief runtime, useless character classes, and complete lack of replayability make it difficult to recommend.
We were just putting up our feet with some mulled wine when we got jabbed in the ribs. Apparently actual bonafide games are being released in December 2023. And a GOTY contender no less! We had factored in a snooze, and our plans have gone to pot.
Currently in Early Access on PC, Merge Games have announced the full release date for their teeny tiny open-world multiplayer survival game - Smalland: Survive the Wilds. And as they do so, Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 versions are confirmed.
Crashy Laps very much does what it says on the tin, chucking you into an old school racer that is intent on crashing. Poor visuals, terrible audio and a 'feel’ that is nothing short of unique fail to help this racer speed away from the grid, let alone be able to compete for podiums.