.hack//G.U. Last Recode is a very… unique game. It’s actually a remastered collection of 3 early PS2 games based on .hack//G.U. with some additional content, including a 3 hour epilogue.
The story is mostly standalone, but it is a sequel to the anime it’s based on, so some characters and plot points show up and the game assumes you are intimately familiar with these elements.
Characters are somewhat well written and voice acted, but a good chunk of the dialogue is weird, with characters often talking in a way that normal humans would never do.
Combat is pretty simple, but gradually adds more and more mechanics throughout the games. But it’s so easy to over level without even trying that you don’t even need to use most of them.
My favorite thing though, is all the meta stuff you can do. You see, you’re not playing a game, you’re playing as someone else playing an online game. You can log out of the online game to send emails to your friends, play an auto-battle card game, read news articles, browse the forums, and look at fan art. There’s a lot of cool character and world building in this side content, some of it not even being really relevant to the main story.
If you like not so distant future sci-fi or video game based stories, it’s definitely worth a playthrough.

Pirate Warriors 4 is a musou game, where you just mash buttons and kill hundreds of enemies. A classic genre that somehow doesn’t get old despite the seemingly simple and repetitive combat.
The only problems I have with PW4 is that:
1. The story is an extremely watered down version of One Piece’s story, with entire arcs being glossed over with barely a sentence casually mentioning them.
2. Without DLC, there are 43 playable characters. While that might seem like a lot for a video game, for a series like One Piece it doesn’t feel that way. There are hundreds of One Piece characters, all with unique abilities and powers that could be really fun to play as.
3. Another character based problem, PW4 cut out a good chunk of playable characters from the previous games, but some of them are still in the game as enemy units only. There’s a similar issue with pre-timeskip Nami, Chopper, Robin, and Franky, they only appear in pre-timeskip story missions. This doesn’t make sense to me.
Regardless if you want a One Piece flavored musou game, Pirate Warriors 4 is a good time killer.

I’ve never played a Sakura Wars game before, so I didn’t know what to expect besides mech fighting.
Turns out, despite being a mech game, the mechs aren’t really a focus? It’s more of a Slice of Life/Harem Visual Novel with simple hack-and-slash mech combat thrown in.
That’s not to say it’s completely bad, it’s just different than what it was advertised as.
The story starts pretty decent, but around the midpoint it kinda forgets it has a main plot for a little bit and just focuses on character driven plot lines. This wouldn’t be a problem in a longer game, but Sakura Wars is about 15-20 hours long, and this part just makes the main plot lose momentum.
Characters are for the most part well written, but after a certain point almost every interaction with your party members is ‘comedic misunderstanding’, where the protag is accused of being a horny pervert over the most random things.
Combat is super simple and doesn’t evolve or change in any way, except for one party member getting an upgrade. All the characters play differently though, but you can’t choose your party for most of the few combat sections this game has. Combat is also paired with awkward platforming.
If you need a quick mech fix, I’d recommend playing this for at least one playthrough.

A typical not very good mainstream anime game.
The story barely exists. Characters and plot elements are constantly being reintroduced and acted like it’s the time you’re seeing them. Characters that have no reason to be here, are here only for fan service, which is fine. The two game original characters are boring and have next to no personality.
The controls are absolute garbage. You are in control of the camera 100% of the time which will make traversal and combat disorienting at times. Even if you ‘lock on’ to enemies, Luffy is mostly just hitting the air in a different direction, and even if you do make contact with enemies, a good chunk of the time they will be protected by random invincibility frames.
Traversing the world tries to hard be like Sony’s Spider-Man, but the controls are awful. Also when traveling certain locations, going places can be near impossible because snipers constantly shoot you down when you try to move.
The graphics look mostly fine, the colors are nice, but the particle effects can look really bad.
There are quite a few weird translation errors/choices and typos. The biggest one being the Marines with ‘MARINES’ plastered on their clothes and buildings, but are always referred to as ‘sailors’.
Unless you’re a hardcore One Piece fan who needs some form of One Piece content to keep yourself sane, don’t bother with this one.

I never got into the Minecraft craze when it first came out. Not that I have anything against it, it just wasn’t my type of game.
Minecraft Dungeons was my first official foray into the series, and it’s… not bad. I was expecting a crappy cash grab Diablo ripoff, but it’s actually pretty fun.
The ‘story’, if you want to call it that, only serves as an excuse for this game to exist, which is fine, a deep story was never really needed for a game like this.
The combat is simple, with a surprising amount of depth to it. With all the different kinds of equipment, artifact, and enchantment combinations, there’s almost limitless playstyles to choose from. The only problem is that since all the drops are random, it can be frustrating to find the ‘perfect’ gear that you want. And if you do find gear that you want to keep using, you’ll have to wait until near the end of the game to even unlock the ability to upgrade it.
The game is not that long, with only about 15 levels (not including DLC), but at the same time these levels can feel like they never end.
Children, especially those that like Minecraft, would definitely enjoy this game. Also a good choice for trying to get a child into playing RPGs.

Catherine is a unique beast of a game, being a “choose your adventure” romance-horror puzzle game that’s presented as a late night TV show.
This remastered version adds plenty of new content, the main draw obviously being the new third love interest.
However, there are some changes that some might find… questionable. Such as whitewashing the one the two(!) black characters, and some cutscenes that can be interpreted as homo/transphobic.
A problem that still persists from the original is that despite being a “choose your adventure” game, you can’t directly pick the actions your character takes. Instead, after beating a level, you’re asked a question that typically pertains to relationships, with a choice of two different answers, one representing “Order” and the other one being “Chaos”. A morality meter shows up and the hand inches to one side or the other, and where that hand is at will determine what happens. If you’re going for a specific route, it can be kinda difficult unless you’re using a guide.
All in all, I would recommend doing at least one playthrough. It may have 13 different endings, but only about half of them are worth getting, with the rest being shortened versions of the others.

One of the worst Final Fantasy games in the series, worse than even 13.
The story, if you want to call it that, barely exists, and what little does exist was chopped up into a movie, an anime, books, spin off games, DLC, etc.
Combat is boring and consists of just mashing circle or triangle.
The only good thing I can say about this game is that the main cast have great chemistry with each other. You can feel a genuine, loving friendship between these four, something that rarely happens in a JRPG party.
But that friendship is wasted in a game like this.

Zero Dawn, while not perfect, was good enough in its own rights, but Forbidden West is an improvement on almost all fronts.
The environments are still undeniably beautiful, more unique and challenging enemies, more weapons and weapon types (though I’d probably argue that there a few too many different weapons), and many more ways to customize Alloy to accommodate for different play styles.
Once again, in my opinion, the game’s biggest weaknesses are Alloy and the story. The game starts with some of the story beats as Zero Dawn, and Alloy doesn’t really get developed too much, but both of those points get better around the last few hours of the game.
If you enjoyed Zero Dawn, you obviously need to play Forbidden West.

Probably the weakest entry of the Bioshock series.
The concepts are great, but the execution, not so much.
Gameplay is mostly the same as previous entries, with a few tweaks, including an underused ‘time warp’ mechanic.
Dungeon design is a bit more linear, which is fine. The environments are aesthetically pleasing at times, but combat can be too chaotic to be able to enjoy it.
The story is all over the place, and the time travel shenanigans don’t help at all.
Not a completely horrible game, it just doesn’t live up to the legacy of the first game.

One of the most disappointing games I’ve ever played. After Akiba’sTrip, I had high hopes for this game, but those hopes died minutes into playing this.
Compared to the previous games, combat has changed from a clothes tearing beat’emup to just pressing the circle button over and over. The game claims to have rhythm based combat, but the closest it comes to that is that you can activate a mode in combat where theme music can play, boosting your damage. Since you’re only pressing one button the whole time, it’s still boring and repetitive. Normal enemy fights can take a few seconds, while boss fights can take upwards of 30ish minutes.
You can upgrade weapons by buying computer parts, which sounds cool, but you have to upgrade your weapons at least every other dungeon, and these upgrades are extremely expensive, so you’ll need to grind for money regularly.
The plot feels like the developers read the summaries of some Persona 5 trailers, decided to copy that. The dungeons look bland and cheap, and are mostly just long hallways with random turns and stairs.
The characters themselves are annoying 95% of the time. The main protagonist himself is the worst offender. The plot focuses on how the protag is kinda an asshole to his one and friend, and implies that he might have some form of depression, and you think the game will go into his struggles with that. But nope, he doesn’t have depression, he’s just a lazy, greedy, selfish asshole with rich parents who couldn’t care about the few people who do care about him, and he never grows out of it. There’s a few moments where you think he gets some actual character growth, but nothing has really changed.
As for the other characters, they all hate each other. Whenever they talk to each other, they just bicker and argue and bully each other. There are moments where they just randomly act like best friends, and sometimes it’s a little heartwarming, but then they back to screaming at each other almost immediately.
The voice acting is pretty good, and the music isn’t terrible. But the writing and pacing is all over the place, and has a very bland, predictable, unearned resolution at the end.
Play Persona 5/Royal instead.

While Akiba’sTrip might seem like one ‘those’ types of games, the ones that appeal to lonely and horny young men, it’s actually not like that at all.
It takes place in a near perfect (at time of release) replica of Akihabara, Japan. It’s amazing how much little details went into the environment alone.
The combat controls can be a little difficult, and feels repetitive pretty quickly sometimes, but is a solid beat’emup regardless.
The plot is ridiculous and over the top, but in a stupid fun sort of way. The characters are likable and relatable, and the voice acting is pretty good.
Overall just a stupid fun game.

A game that starts with an interesting premise, but ultimately fails to live up to its potential.
There is an interesting mechanic where you switch between a VN style ‘real world’ and the in universe video game. The idea is that things that happen in one universe would change something in the other one, but all of these events are required for gameplay progression, taking the fun out of the idea.
Another mechanic that’s neat in theory is that enemies can bounce off of walls and each other, depending on far your attacks launch them, making take more damage. But a majority of the time the enemy is dead before the damage bonus comes into play.
There’s another mechanic that claims to change the game to a different genre, but they are all just unfun mini games.
The ‘real world’ characters are fine, and talk about interesting things pertaining to the plot. The ‘video game’ characters on the other hand, are mostly annoying waifu bait anime girls that drone on and on about things that usually don’t pertain to the overall plot.
As for the plot itself, it starts out simple enough, with an interesting premise too, but it kinda falls flat at the end. The ‘game world’ constantly brings up supernatural real world phenomena, but is actually completely unrelated to anything, other than getting the ‘real world’ protagonist to investigate certain areas.
Sometimes plot events just happen with little to no build up. There’s a random fourth wall break near the end that tries to make some kind of meta narrative (think Bravely Default but with awful writing), but it’s pretty meaningless.
Just don’t bother with this game.

A run of the mill JRPG with some unique mechanics.
The biggest problem is that the story opens up on what feels like what should be the third of fourth part of game. The characters already have history with each other, and interact well with each other. They have one final destination to get to, and it’s about 3 or 4 hours of gameplay away. You have a final confrontation with a rival group shortly before the last dungeon.
But there’s no buildup to any of this. And then the games with a strange and somewhat predictable plot twist.
It’s fun enough, and the characters are fine, but wait for it to be on sale if want to play it, definitely not worth full price.

An amazingly beautiful world, with fun combat, and a mostly competently written story.
The games biggest weakness is the protagonist, Aloy. I’ve never been a fan Ashley Burch’s voice acting, and her performance as Aloy doesn’t do me any favors. There’s also the way other characters act towards Aloy. They either love and worship her from the second they lay eyes on her, or they’re a misogynistic pig. There is almost no in between.
The combat is fresh and fun, for the most part. It can feel a bit repetitive at times, and some fights are more annoying than they are challenging. But every fight is still rewarding.
Check it out if you want a fresh new open world to explore and play in.

An incredibly fun game. Spider-Man games rarely disappoint, and this one is no exception.
The combat is basically a Spider-Man flavor of the Batman: Arkham series’ combat, which isn’t a bad thing in this case.
Web-slinging throughout the city is extremely fun, you kinda don’t want to stop to do other objectives sometimes.
The story is engaging and feels real, something that I feel has always been of the strongest points of the majority of the Spider-Man series.
My only problems, are that story is a little short, and the Sinister Six has little to no involvement, being defeated shortly after being introduced.
Overall, a great game for Spider-Man fans, or for someone wanting to get into Spider-Man.