This game is honestly a masterclass of storytelling. It's emotional, heartbreaking, and beautiful. Absolutely loved it. Fantastic even on a second play-through.
+ Beautiful story
+ Fantastic voice performances throughout
+ Lovely music
- Walk speed feels slow at the beginning but it ends up being a non-issue as the story gets moving

Great and surprisingly well-written team story with dull, repetitive combat makes for an overall good experience despite its flaws.
I'm honestly shocked by how much I found myself caring about not only the team dynamic but every individual member of the team pretty quickly. Even secondary characters introduced in the story are fantastic. This game lives because of its characters and their interactions. Even when you're just cruising around exploring, the banter between your team is fun and helps to entertain when the gameplay is lacking. Though, they maybe could've toned down the combat dialogue a bit. I'd often hear the same lines spoken 3-4 times during one combat encounter.
Without harping on it too much, the gameplay leaves a lot to be desired. It's not actively bad or anything, it's just bland. Especially compared to how much personality the rest of the game has. They're really trying for that Mass Effect team combat dynamic but they don't come anywhere close to hitting that.
This is a small nitpick, but as a completionist, the collectibles in this game are a nightmare. The collectibles are scattered throughout the game and the game has no backtracking so every single one of them is missable. There's chapter select, but using it reverts your game back to the state it was in at the time of that chapter so you can't even use chapter select for clean up. Some of the collectibles are also quite hard to see. Your scanner eventually can be upgraded to mark upgrade materials, but not collectibles. Choices were made.
Overall, the game was something I enjoyed and looked forward to playing entirely because of the story and characters. Though, I think I might've enjoyed it more as a TV show than a video game.
+ Great characters that I quickly became invested in
+ Good story overall
+ Fantastic soundtrack / song picks
- Bland combat / gameplay
- Terrible collectibles
- Repeated dialogue during combat encounters

Somewhere in this weird piece of art is an idea for a very good video game, but you have to suffer through monotonous fetch quests, annoying gameplay, and an obtuse story to experience even a hint of that idea.
Death Stranding does that thing that a lot of games do - it throws you into an environment that clearly spells out your limitations before slowly introducing tools to make your journey easier. The difference is it's not like "You could only jump before, but now you can double jump. Isn't that fun!?"
It's more like "You don't know how to walk down a hill because you're a big dumb man baby. Struggle through this for 10 hours and then we'll give you something to make it not suck." Every minute I spent walking around in that world was a constant battle of "Wow this sure looks beautiful I can't wait to explore it more" and "Oh I beefed it again on a pebble while walking up a slight incline".
Every single upgrade or improvement you get in the game isn't to make a fun game more fun, it's to make the game you are playing suck less.
"Walking with a load sure does suck, huh? Here have this"
"Traveling this long distance over and over is boring. Make a road to make it faster"
But you still have to put in a lot of work to even build these structures to make your life easier. So you either struggle to complete your journey or you struggle to collect resources to build a bridge to make it easier to complete your journey. Yay?
The social/"strand" portion of Death Stranding I think is some of the coolest stuff I've experienced in a game. Building bridges, roads, or other structures that you or others can use to make you journey a little easier is a lot of work but also satisfying. The fact that those structures can then be used by other players is very cool, even if it did feel like I was the only one in my world actually contributing to these projects.
I'd spend hours working on these roads and the contributions from others was measly.
I can stomach boring gameplay if the story is at least holding my interest along the way. And while I wouldn't call Death Stranding's story uninteresting, I definitely wouldn't call it good. The vibe of this game consist of characters with goofy names delivering horribly-written lines of dialogue with deadly-serious tone all while Monster energy drinks and ads for Norman Reedus's real life TV show on AMC are in the background. It's a game that simultaneously takes itself so seriously and not seriously at all. Honestly, normally, I think that kind of thing can be kind of funny but every second of this game had me scratching my head and asking "This is the video game mastermind everyone worships?"
+ Gorgeous world
+ Incredible soundtrack
+ Really cool building/social element
- Gameplay loop is just nonstop fetch quests
- Getting around the world is actively not fun until you put the work in to make it suck less
- BT encounters are stressful
- Nonsense story
- Conflicting tone

With all the DLC content free to play this week, I decided to hop back in to Destiny 2 for the first time since Forsaken and it did not disappoint. Even if I couldn't follow most of the lore, The Witch Queen was fun mostly thanks to some rad mechanics during missions and the fact that the feel of Destiny's shooting is still best in class.
While it was fun hopping in for a couple days, the grind which caused me to quit the game is still there even if it's been vastly improved. And that's not something I want to grapple with right now.

This was a 4/5 game when it came out in 2010, but this "remaster" is little more than a lazy re-release of an old game with no attempt at cleaning it up.
As a big fan of the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels, I loved this game back in 2010. I maxed every character, got all the achievements, and saw all the endings. My wife (then girlfriend) and I put a lot of time into the game and I have nothing but fond memories. So when Ubisoft announced a remaster, I was stoked. Unfortunately, they did the bare minimum just to get the old game to run on new consoles and called it a day.
After playing other modern beat 'em ups I've enjoyed like TMNT Shredder's Revenge and River City Girls, Scott Pilgrim hasn't aged quite as well as I remembered. Enemies have seemingly endless block with no way to break it and they'll often fly from off screen and stun lock you with no warning. Even on "easy" difficulty, it's an exercise in frustration especially if you're playing alone. Playing solo means no one to revive you when you go down, so you've only got 3 lives to get through a level - and you'll have to start from the beginning if you fail. Why are we still using this old "lives" systems when we're not playing it on a machine built to eat quarters?
Aged gameplay aside, the game's online multiplayer is busted. If you manage to get through the game's cumbersome party creation and can get a group together without error codes, you get to enjoy latency issues, random hitching, and progress-blocking bugs. For a game that's better with friends, you'd think they'd put a bit more effort into making that part of the game actually work.
I was playing the game with a monthly game club and we all sort of felt like it was a slog to get through until we found an exploit that allowed you to easily max your stats. Once you do that, the game is a dream. You can run through the level quickly, tearing through enemies, and rarely going down. It's just straight fun. Sadly, "just use an exploit and make sure you don't play the game alone" shouldn't be a requirement to have fun with a video game.
It's disappointing that Ubisoft didn't put as much love into remastering this game as the original devs put into making it. The slapping soundtrack by Anamanaguchi, the beautiful pixel visuals, the scene cards drawn by the comic's creator Bryan Lee O'Malley, the references to other games, and the absolute reverence they show to the source material is phenomenal. It just sucks that this game is kind of a bummer to play in 2022.
+ Incredible adaptation of the Scott Pilgrim comics
+ Banging soundtrack Anamanaguchi
+ Fantastic visuals and overall presentatio
+ Some fun hiding under an uphill climb
- Terrible, broken online
- Rough combat issues like stun-locking and infinite blocking enemies
- Too punishing even on "Easy" difficulty

Part Animal Crossing base building, part Rogue-lite that comes together in a cute package that is better than the sum of its parts.
The above comparison may be a bit overused but it's honestly quite appropriate for what Cult of the Lamb has to offer. The gameplay loop is - run around in a dungeon collecting materials, money, and recruiting followers, and then retire to your cult to work on building out your base and putting your followers to work while working on your relationships.
The thing is, I wouldn't say that any one specific part of the game is good enough to stand on its own. There are much better rogue-lites and there are better base building/resource management games. That said, Cult of the Lamb somehow brings those parts together in a package that absolutely shines better than any of its individual components do on their own. I don't know if I'd play this game for just the cult or just the combat, but those two systems balance each other so perfectly that I enjoyed bouncing from one to the other throughout the game.
Still, this game could've been a perfect game had those elements been a bit better.
The combat leaves something to be desired. It's fun, don't get me wrong, but it's quite basic and it has no way to mitigate RNG the way other games in the rogue genre often do. In fact, the randomness of your builds gets worse as you progress through the game. The deeper into the game you get, you unlock more weapons, more spells, and more modifier cards. The pool of potential items you can find on your run gets about 6 times larger by the end of the game compared to the beginning of the game. I was constantly grappling with weapons or spells I didn't enjoy and had no way to toss them. I honestly wish this game had more of a deck-building mechanic to it allowing you remove certain things you don't want from the pool so you can refine your runs a bit. But honestly, even if they had that, there's not much of a reason to keep doing runs. Runs push the story forward and help you find followers, but I never really had any shortage of followers or materials so there's not much of a need to do runs outside of what's needed for the story unless you're doing a side quest.
The base building and resource management aspect of the game has far fewer flaws overall. What shocked me the most about Cult of the Lamb is that I spent far more time building out my cult than dungeon crawling. Partially because there's more to do in your base, but also partially because I think that part of the game is just better. Honestly, the biggest issue with that is the pacing ends up being a bit off. I had finished my skill tree when I was only about halfway into the game. And while I didn't have this problem, I also had some friends who maxed out their cult well before reaching the end. I think it would've been nice if they had built some better pacing into the game.
Overall, despite the drawbacks with the Rogue-lite half, I think Cult of the Lamb is a really fun and inventive new game. The visual style is a delightful contrast to the grim theme. I enjoyed building out my cult and naming all my followers to that it was more tragic when they died. I loved my time with the game and I definitely think it's worth playing.
+ Great balance of combat and base building
+ Fantastic visual design that makes light of the grim theme
+ Base building is fun and addicting.
+ The dungeon exploration is fun enough even if it's not amazing
- RNG gets worse as you progress in the game
- Some general pacing issues
- Overlapping cultists in the base make it hard to select what you want occasionally
- Lots of bugs at launch make it worth waiting a bit on

20 players fighting on a relatively small map for 10 minutes is a pretty underwhelming "Battle Royale".
Overall, Rumbleverse is kind of fun even though some of the mechanics aren't very easy to figure out. I found myself using a move on another player, then sort of just bouncing off of them when they weren't blocking and I'd wonder if I did something wrong, if it was a latency thing, or if the game was just busted.
It just doesn't really do a good job of communicating when you can use abilities, what moves have priority, how you recover, why you're stunned, etc. etc. A lot of those could be solved by just having a better UI and competent tutorial.
The current tutorial is just "Hey, explore the entire map and we've hidden some TVs around that loosely explain mechanics". Bad
Visually, the game leaves a lot to be desired. The styling is a bit rough and the UI is horrible.
This is also yet another free-to-play game from devs that seemingly have never played another F2P game before. It seems silly but Fortnite is one of the most profitable games for a reason. Their skins in Fortnite are all pretty fairly priced... especially in contrast to Rumbleverse which is charging $22 for pretty bad quality skins and $7 for a plain hair style. Wild
I'll give the game one thing - getting to the final circle and winning the hectic battle is pretty fun. Even if this "Battle Royale" only fills the lobby with 20 people.
+ Kind of fun
+ Satisfying to win a match
- Terrible UI
- Unclear combat mechanics and move priority
- Bad stun-locking issue
- Extremely overpriced skins
- Bad tutorial

One of the best cooperative games I've ever played weighed down by terrible writing and insufferable characters.
I've played a ton of co-op games over the years, which usually just means that you and other people can play a game together. It Takes Two, however, is a truly cooperative game. You have to work together to do basically everything in the game - solve puzzles, complete platforming challenges, beat bosses with paired weapons, etc. In that aspect this is one of the most unique and genuinely cooperative games I've ever played. It was such a fun experience with my wife.
Every level introduces new mechanics, gameplay elements, or even genre shifts that keep the game feeling fresh throughout. About half the time, each player has their own unique mechanic they need to use to help each other throughout the level. The level design itself is also brilliant. Several levels have little hubs to explore and fun things to find. The world design is so well thought-out that we genuinely wanted to explore and find every secret. Every minute playing the game was fun... when we weren't being constantly reminded that you're playing as a bickering married couple on the brink of divorce.
For a majority of the game, every damn thing that happens in the game is accompanied by negative commentary from the characters. A complaint from the husband that the wife is too controlling or a groan from the wife because the husband is annoying. On and on. it doesn't end. And when it's not the parents, it's the racial stereotype Love Guru book making terrible jokes. Or even the daughter just saying things and doing things that proves that the writers have never even met a child before. Or literally any other secondary characters. Every word that comes out of any of the characters' mouths is embarrassing and the plot is bad. Every minute spent enduring it was painful.
But, hey, if you can get past the bad writing, it's definitely worth playing with a friend or significant other.
+ Fantastic cooperative gameplay
+ Constantly stays fresh with new mechanics
+ Great world and level design
- Atrocious writing
- Insufferable characters

Picross puzzles with a moderately entertaining murder mystery on top of it that overstays its welcome.
At the start of Murder by Numbers, I found myself getting ancy to get through the exposition so I could get to the meat of why I was playing the game - the Picross puzzles.
Over time, that balance began to shift and i wanted more story and less puzzles. Though, I think that is due more to my picross fatigue and less to the quality of the writing. The story was fun and, despite how incredibly predictable it was, I enjoyed seeing how it all played out.
I honestly thought I really liked Picross until I played 20 hours of puzzles over the span of a week and now I think I'm good on Picross for a while. To be clear, I still like Picross, but I've definitely discovered my limit. I've dabbled with picross in the past but I've never played this many puzzles in this short of a time. The issue is mainly that once you've done one picross puzzle, you've done them all. The mechanics don't change. It's like doing one kind of math problem 200 times but just changing the numbers around every time.
+ Good combo of puzzles and story
+ Fun story
- Too long
- Predictable twists
- Music gets repetitive

Played a few matches just to check it out. The core gameplay is fun but I don't know how much depth or replayability there is. The visual style was great. A bummer it didn't last.

A cute and silly game that plays as noodley as it's animated.
It's fun to go around and kicking stuff and NPCs. The animations while you tumble around the world are entertaining. The humor is silly. But when you apply the wacky noodle legs to actual gameplay it feels more sloppy than fun. It's got some charm but overall I don't think it's worth playing.
+ Silly and charming
+ Good animations
- Annoying platforming with imprecise controls

An incredibly entertaining spoof but a pretty mediocre video game.
The Witness is one of my favorite games of all time so all of the spoof stuff in The Looker hit super hard. I laughed at basically all the jokes making fun of The Witness. The audio logs are perfection. Even if you haven't play The Witness, there are some other just funny bits in the game.
But as an actual video game it's not great. The puzzles aren't satisfying as much as they're occasionally annoying. when they're not funny. For some reason the game made me motion sick too which has never happened to me with a first person game. But hey it's free so I can't complain too much
+ Pretty funny. Good jokes if you played The Witness
+ Some generally clever and funny other bits
- Some puzzles are more annoying than difficult

Absolutely delightful game about talking to alligators in Alligator New York City.
It's a point-and-click game in which you go to different locations around the city, meet different gators, have goofy conversations, and then play some minigames to get to the bottom of a "mystery." The game is a joy. The writing is funny and I wanted to meet everyone so I could get the final ending.
Highly recommend
+ Delightful
+ Funny/entertaining writing
+ Excellent and goofy animations
+ Some fun minigames
- Some minigames are more annoying than fun
- Maybe better on a PC with mouse but still fine on Switch

A game that wishes it was a cool as it looked.
Watching the trailer for this game honestly got me pretty hyped. A Cyberpunk iso-shooter / Diablo-like? That sounds like a dream game. Too bad it kind of sucks.
The menus are overwhelming and full of information that implies this game has a lot of depth to it but it's quite shallow and boring. The general visual design is neat and Cyberpunk-y but I weirdly think the world is too detailed for an isometric game like this. It's often quite difficult to see where you're suppose to go or what you can interact with.
+ Good visual design
- Level of detail makes it visually cluttered.
- Menu is full of an overwhelming amount of info
- Incremental stat increases that feel meaningless
- Gameplay gets stale fast.
- Bad voice acting and boring story


The greatest cat game of all time.
I truly do not think there has ever been a video game that captures the mannerisms, look, and antics of being a cat as authentically as Stray does. It's not a coincidence that there are countless videos online of peoples' pets reacting to the game. Heck, my cats (who normally don't care about anything on the TV) even reacted to the cat in Stray. Every time the cat did a very "cat" thing like scratch something, stretch, lay down, knock something off a shelf, etc. my wife and I laughed. It truly brought us so much joy.
Beyond feline antics, Stray offers a really cool new take on a post-apocalyptic world. The Cyberpunk-esque world inhabited entirely by robots was interesting and one I enjoyed exploring. I spoke to every resident to get their story and eagerly poked around to find any collectibles that opened up side conversations. The story behind the city you slowly uncover is interesting and I genuinely cared about the growing friendship between the cat and B12. And I honestly think all of it delivers in a solid and satisfying ending.
My biggest critiques in the game come down to the sometimes finicky parkour controls (that often resulted in the cat jumping down when I was trying to go up) and the lack of direction in some of the larger areas. There are a couple zones that are quite large and, as a small cat jumping all over the place, finding which things you can jump on or which nooks you can get into to find collectibles can feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack.
Also I personally don't like a couple of the trophies in the game. There's a trophy for making it through an area of the game unscathed that took me about an hour to do due to randomness of enemy movement. There's another trophy that asks you not to use an item you just got in the story for the entire time you have said item which feels weird.
Critiques aside, I loved my time with the game - from the cat and characters, to the world I spent time in. It was a lovely experience and as a cat owner, I loved every second of watching the cat do cat things.
+ Authentically captures cat doing cat things
+ Interesting world and characters
+ Great story
+ Solid presentation - visuals and soundtrack
- Finicky one-button parkour controls that often leads to jumping down when trying to jump up
- Large areas can sometimes be hard to navigate
- A couple of bad trophies