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Bowser’s Fury is a fun experiment. Its bitesize islands are perfect for constantly throwing new mechanics and enemies at the player, Bowser frequently interrupting gameplay is a clever idea without being so invasive that his interruptions feel like a chore and the areas evolving as you revisit them make treading old ground not feel tedious. Yes boss fights with Bowser and the challenges to get the cat shines are repetitive and there is scope for improvements with the water sections, but Bowser’s Fury is still a blast and its shorter length means that the concepts which could grow tedious in a full length Mario game do not overstay their welcome here.
Portal 2 is damn good, but is not quite the perfect experience, for me personally, that many believe it to be. It’s got phenomenal writing, puzzle design and physics, with the hilariously dimwitted Wheatley absolutely stealing the show. The new puzzle mechanics introduced throughout the experience help keep things fresh and understanding how to combine these is where the gameplay is at its best. Though the game has some minor pacing issues, especially in the drab corridors that connect the test chambers, the soundtrack is forgettable and a bit more visual variety would’ve added to the experience. However, these minor grievances are dwarfed by what this game absolutely nails, doing everything a sequel should. Now I’m just waiting for Cave Johnson’s scientists to finally make their breakthrough and blow up my house with lemons.
Halo 5 does not feel like a Halo game. It may look like one, but when you get your finger on the triggers, its overhauled systems are plain to see and more akin to more generic blockbuster shooters like COD. While the new gunplay and traversal systems aren’t bad, they do not feel at home on this sort of game, watering down the experience which results in some of Halo’s identity being lost in the process. While the game is gorgeous and there is some intrigue to the story, it isn’t memorable. Halo 5 is not an awful experience, but it’s a misstep which unfortunately tarnishes the name of this fantastic franchise. Here’s hoping that the shift in momentum back in the right direction initiated by Infinite can make people fall in love with Halo once again.