Feels like a Yakuza all-stars game, but Samurais. While there's certainly nothing wrong with that, it was a little tricky to remember who some of the cameos were because they were a secondary villain in one Yakuza game. It does take a while for the game to get going, but that's normal at this point. Once it gets into the real meat of the game, it's fantastic, with compelling characters and story. Sometimes you want to ignore the great side stories and bonds just to find out what happens next. The combat is fun and fluid, with you using a Katana and Gun, switching style to best suit the situation.
For a sequel, I was hoping they had improved on the formula somewhat. Instead, this was the same game as the first, but without the origin story making it better. This is one I could have saved myself some time and watched a video of the cutscenes. It did serve as a good reminder of how awful Quick Time Events are and how glad I am that they aren't as bad as this anymore. It's hard to believe that this originally came out in the same year as games like Bioshock and Heavenly Sword.
I didn't think it would be possible for Atlus to make me fall in love with another cast of characters as it did with Persona 5, especially for an earlier game, but here we are, they achieved it. At first, the game felt aimless as you were just going through the motions without a central plot tying it together. However, it didn't last long for the threat to be established. The game largely revolves around ascending the mysterious tower known as Tartarus, with segments blocked off until you've progressed in the main story. Tartarus itself is very mundane, as it's the same process of walking through procedurally generated hallways, fighting enemies and collecting loot for over 200 floors. As with the other games, the characters and your interactions with them are where it excels. Spending time with the various NPCs and understanding what drives them never gets old. These games are always very long but at the same time, you never want them to end as it means giving a bittersweet farewell to those you've come to know and love.
On paper I should love this, a turn-based RPG with the One Piece crew in the style of Dragon Quest. However, something didn't quite feel right during my playthrough and I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what was making it fall short of the mark. My conclusion was everything just takes a little too long; the combat animations, changing characters in the overworld and even getting from place to place. Everything takes just one or two clicks more than it needed to, which doesn't sound like a lot but does add up over time. The game also relies heavily on the crew revisiting the memories of their past adventures. The original story that is there is rather mundane and very predictable. Despite that though, I'm glad it exists because it's always fun to hang out with the Straw Hat Pirates and they've never looked so good.
I played this as part of the LEGO Harry Potter Collection. It's largely the same experience as the first game but with a lot of quality-of-life improvements. At least this time I didn't come across any bugs or glitches, so was able to get to 100% completion. As with the previous game, it can be difficult to know how to get around the hub area, and it's bigger this time around. I ended up needing to find an image online to know how to navigate through the various zones.
I played this as part of the LEGO Harry Potter Collection. The game takes a different approach to characters where instead of using different ones to solve puzzles, you learn new spells throughout the years from your classes. Some characters have specific powers but they'll usually be short-lived as you go back to your main Wizard of choice. However, this does have the drawback of the roster being filled with many pointless characters, like Boy, Girl and the unforgettable Bassist. The game was enjoyable overall but game-breaking bugs and glitches meant I was forever stuck on 98.3%, which for this kind of game is devastating. You'd like to think there would have been some effort to fix these bugs when they were repackaged and resold.
While it was great to see the origins of Kratos, this was a product of its time that aged poorly. I found I died more to the fixed cameras and the god-awful and punishing platforming. There is a part of me that wonders whether it would have been better to watch the cutscenes instead, but things like this are better experienced to completely appreciate just how far the series has come and why the recent games are so revered. This was my first time using the PlayStation streaming service, and I've tried to not hold it against the game itself.
Aside from the massive graphical improvement, it's the same as the original PSP game that came out in 2007. That's not a bad thing though, revisiting the events leading into Final Fantasy VII is always a blast. While there have been minor improvements to combat, it feels largely the same as before. It's not quite at the same level as FFVII Remake, but still good in its own right. The random slots of the DMW giving random buffs, limit breaks and summons are a nice boost, even though they aren't largely required to get through the main content. The hype for FFVII Rebirth is higher than ever now the events of Crisis Core have been refreshed in my mind.
This proves that some games are not greater than the sum of their parts. The combat is probably the strongest part, feeling almost like a game of Chess. The controversial card system plays a part in this by making you think about having the most efficient turn with the tools at your disposal. While half of the game is combat, the other half is a Persona-like social sim, with your custom character making friends with the other Marvel heroes making up the team. The main issue is that the game is far too long, each story mission is unnecessarily bloated due to the fact you have to do a random mission between each one. This doesn't factor in all the exploration and light puzzles scattered around the area surrounding your base of operations. Personally, a much more focused game would have made it perfect.
Probably the best Pokémon game ever. While the old ones do hold a lot of power in the way of nostalgia, I struggle to see in what ways they are better than this latest iteration. However the Cufant in the room has to be addressed, the game's code is so poorly optimised that the framerate drops significantly when someone isn't directly next to you. Personally, it doesn't detract from the innate joy of Pokémon with some of the best new designs in history. Having three separate campaigns that you can tackle in any order at any time is a breath of fresh air and what follows after goes place I never thought they'd be willing to go. It's the first game in the franchise that has made me feel things. I eagerly await the next entry in the series to see how GameFreak improves on their formula.
This surpasses the 2018 game in every conceivable way, resulting in a masterpiece. That being said, it would have been nice if you could either toggle the hints your companions give you for puzzles or at least give a prompt that one was available. So many times I was given the hint or even solution to a puzzle while exploring the surrounding area for collectables. I would also say that the game was slightly too long, something similar to the previous game would have been nice. This doesn't detract from the fact this was stellar, something that I'll look back fondly on while hoping for another game like this in the future.
Felt like a true sequel to the original film, more so than the actual sequel. Voiced by the original cast, you join the Ghostbusters as a no-name Rookie to combat ghosts, gain some closure and dive deeper into the lore of Gozer. It's full of fan service, and as a fan, I loved every second of it. The audio wasn't great though, sounding like a lower quality than the game deserved but you do sort of get used to it after a while. The AI of the actual squad is quite bad though, there were a few fights I spent more time reviving than combating ghosts. I was pleasantly surprised at how spooky it was and wish there were more games like this.
While it's graphically miles better than the first Tales from the Borderlands, the story itself leaves much to be desired. The writing is shocking, even when you consider that it's set in the Borderlands universe. One of the main character's voice acting is a bit wobbly, with their accent wavering in and out. The Vaultlanders mini-game was the most fun I had playing this, I just wished there was more of it. As with some of the past games, while it's giving you choices throughout the game, you do start feeling that the dialogue choice isn't deciding what happens but more how it happens.
This improves on the first game in every conceivable way. The writing, characters, story, everything is better, leaving a much bigger impression than before. One handy addition is that your companions, outside of your little brother, each have a unique ability to help you navigate through the various puzzles and enemies. The puzzles and areas themselves have been improved upon, requiring more trial and error to figure out how to get through and survive. Although, I did have to resort to using the Photo Mode as a way to scout the area to figure out where I actually needed to aim towards in the first place.
Well, this was a weird experience. At its core, there are three elements to the game. First is the third-person shooter element where you use the powers of time to zip around the area, freezing enemies as you stack bullets into a satisfying collective shot. Second is the episodic nature with a single dilemma at the end of each, with a little preview of the consequences of each choice before making it. The third is the live-action TV show, where the content is based on how you chose to get through the previous dilemma while making a few minor tweaks if you got all the collectables in that section. While the live-action part is quite cool, seeing the character being played by their actual actors, they go on for far too long. So much so that there were times I had to remind myself that I was playing a game.