Game Reviews for May 2023
Good evening! Many new games are coming out in June, so let’s cover everything that was released in the Spring. It was a surprisingly quiet season. Maybe it felt empty to me because I never jumped on the Zelda bandwagon. Tears of the Kingdom and Breath of the Wild look excellent, but I’m not getting started with that universe. I digress. It’s time to check out my latest reviews. Happy reading!
The Spring season was kicked into gear with the remake of Resident Evil 4. Personally, I don’t think the original RE4 holds up very well on today’s standards, but the remake is a great experience. It has plenty of creepy environments with a wealth of enemy variety. Leon is a fun protagonist who has an impressive arsenal of weapons. The violence is visceral and gross in a delightfully entertaining way. I’m not sure if the animation has a next gen appearance, but it’s still very good and well crafted. This remake ditches the annoying elements and dead weight of the original RE4, such as the unbearable U3 boss sequence. The action is over the top and it stifles the horror elements, but the overall experience works quite well. You can combine treasure pieces and sell them for a lot of money. Players also have more opportunities for exploration and extra boss fights.
What are my complaints? I find this game really difficult. Even the easy mode is oddly challenging. Resident Evil 4 is fun, bit it’s also frustrating. I wish the Merchant’s store had more inventory, such as better weapons, ammo, and crafting supplies. Also, I don’t find this game very frightening. It has spooky moments, but the action sequences dominate the gameplay. RE4 is pretty buggy. For example, the ground was invisible through the entire third act on my save file. I was literally walking on air above the ocean, which was super distracting and it made the gameplay more difficult. Plus, Ashley is still a damsel in distress who you’ll rescue constantly during some of the most difficult sequences.
Take my criticism with a grain of salt because the remake of Resident Evil 4 is absolutely worth playing. It’s not a perfect game by any means, but that’s okay. I recommend playing it a chapter or two at a time. Otherwise, you might get frustrated and burned out. I’m already noticing price drops from major retailers, so check it out.
Call me bored, but I tried Fight Crab: Shella’ Awesome Edition. Nonsensical games can be a lot of fun, including titles like Catlateral Damage Remeowstered and Untitled Goose Game. Sadly, Fight Crab is a slog with poor gameplay and minimal replay value. Basically, it’s a fighting game with crabs and lobsters. As displayed on the case, you can wield a bunch of weapons, ranging from swords, crowbars, hammers, javelins, guns, etc. It might sounds like a fun and zany idea, but the weapons break quickly and the entire game only has six stages. Fight Crab becomes repetitive right away and the various crabs have very little difference in terms of stats. Technically, you can upgrade your crabs or lobsters, but I didn’t notice major improvements. Here’s the worst part. The controls barely work. It’s almost impossible to move around efficiently and fight confidently. Maybe that issue was part of the game design. It’s probably supposed to be an awkward experience.
I believe all developers work hard on these games, although you should avoid this one. Fight Crab might be creative and entertaining on paper, but the actual gameplay is awful. Don’t spend money on this game. It’s not particularly expensive, but that’s not the point. Perhaps, we’ll have a better game with crabs and lobsters some day.
It seems like Star Wars Jedi: Survivor is receiving major criticism on PC, but it plays quite well on consoles. I thought the map design in Fallen Order was really bad. However, Survivor makes large strides in the right direction. This long awaited sequel is the quintessential Jedi experience with fun combat, excellent platforming, interesting world building, well crafted characters, and five types of lightsabers. You heard me. Five! The story is middle of the road, but it’s a lot better than anything in the recent Star Wars movies. It takes many influences from the soulsborne genre, although the experience is still accessible to a wide variety of audiences. The map design is much easier to understand and the game includes several skill trees to enhance the combat.
I thoroughly enjoy Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, but it has many problems. They might be a deal breaker for some people. I wish players could explore more planets and environments. It only includes a small number of locations and you revisit them several times. Survivor promotes exploration, but the side quests aren’t very entertaining. Similarly to Fallen Order, it’s really easy to get lost and that issue dampens the motivation for exploitation. Some of the puzzles are confusing and the Force powers are a bit underwhelming. It showcases the standard force push and mind control, but they only have a notable impact in certain areas. This game has way too many bugs and glitches, along with big drops in frame rate. I also experienced a handful of hard crashes, which set back my progress sometimes.
Is this sequel the right game for you? On one level, I believe Survivor is a worthy entry in the Star Wars franchise. It’s very entertaining and a great AAA experience. However, I see a lot of criticism online, which is understandable. Between the repetition and unpolished presentation, it might sour the gameplay for some players. I definitely think you should play it at some point. If you’re skeptical, wait for a sale or a debut on EA Play via Xbox Game Pass some day. I still believe you could purchase the game now and enjoy the experience, but that’s just my opinion.
This looter shooter was supposed to launch Xbox into competition with PlayStation and Nintendo regarding exclusive titles. Instead, Redfall was an embarrassing flop with endless problems. Why can’t we have good games with vampires? It’s like a curse! Redfall was delayed for a year and it was probably very expensive. However, it doesn’t have real cutscenes, the animation looks cheap, the missions are repetitive, the game runs at 30 FPS, the combat is clunky, and it’s super buggy. Where on Earth did the money and development time go? I must say, the gameplay is somewhat better than people are saying online, but that doesn’t mean Redfall is good. Honestly, I think it’s a typical Arkane game. I never understood the appeal. Arkane always has marketing with misleading elements. I remember promotions for Dishonored 2 and Deathloop showcasing a flurry of amazing powers and abilities. None of that is true! Arkane games only give players a small number of skills points for upgrades, which mean you can’t unlock all of those abilities in a single run. This game is the same, but it’s getting more criticism for some reason. Like every Arkane title, you’ll die with one or two hits on any difficulty setting. It’s ludicrous! Much of my time was spent wandering around, searching for specific items that were difficult to find. Furthermore, the map is terrible and the overall gameplay isn’t enjoyable. It just feels like I’m checking boxes.
Obviously, I’m not recommending Redfall. I suppose you could play it on Xbox Game Pass, but you probably won’t like it very much. Xbox needs to do better. Their exclusive titles are rare and many of them are quite poor. If they want to compete with PlayStation and Nintendo, games like Redfall can’t be the standard.
That’s all for now! I had mixed results with these games, which is typical in the modern era. It seems like the new generation of consoles debuted too early. I couldn’t tell you why we have new consoles with the exception of corporate greed. The new consoles can’t even run games with this much power yet. Be prepared for a very buggy and unpolished generation of gaming. I don’t think it will get better. We need to wait for the PlayStation 6 and the next Xbox to have games that run properly. Those are my two cents, but modern games are still worth playing. I think perfection is overrated anyway. It’s all about the entertainment factor. Have you played any of these games yet? Are you waiting for different games later in the year? Leave your thoughts and complaints in the comment section. Summer Game Fest is almost here, so keep watching for updates. Thanks for visiting my blog and game on!
Greetings! E3 might be a dead event, but Summer Game Fest has taken over the convention scene as the most reliable gaming event. Overall, we should see many new announcements, release dates, trailers, and potential disappointments, such as delays. The event has more than 40 partners across the gaming space, which is quite impressive. That means we should be getting a lot of news. I don’t know if Summer Game Fest will be great or a bust. We’ll find out in June. Here are my predictions for several video game studios.
We’re going to hear about new games regardless if the merger with Microsoft succeeds or fails. Most likely, Activision is going to focus on Crash Team Rumble and Diablo IV because both games are releasing in June. They’ll probably announce major features, day one patches, full character rosters, and more. I wouldn’t be surprised if they announce new games, such as the next Call of Duty and possibly something else. Could we hear about a new Spyro the Dragon game? I doubt it, but that’s one of my hopeful long shots.
I assume Annapurna will focus on new games. They’re a fascinating indie and AA studio. I really want a sequel to Stray. The game is amazing and it ends with potential for a new chapter. Announcing a new Stray game is unlikely, but they’re bound to discuss something. I can’t think of anything Annapurna has in the works, yet they’re on the partner list. It’s probably a surprise.
This studio is working on many games. We might get a release date for Naruto x Baruto: Ultimate Ninja Storm Connections. Typically, they release an entry in The Dark Pictures Anthology each year, which means we might hear some news about Directive 8020. It’s a deep space horror game that might come out in the Fall. That was the trend in the past. Bandai Namco is also working on a new Dragon Ball game, but it’s probably quite far down the road. I’m not betting on a major Dragon Ball announcement, but it would be nice. It also seems like updates and a new trailer for Tekken 8 are likely. Bandai Namco might not give us a release date, but I have a feeling they’ll reveal something.
I’m in the dark regarding Capcom. They could announce anything, including Mega Man, Monster Hunter, and whatnot. My favorite Capcom franchises are Resident Evil and Devil May Cry. I don’t think we’ll hear anything about DMC for a long time, but Resident Evil always has new installments. What’s the next project? I’m betting on Resident Evil 9. They have a tendency to alternate remakes with mainline games. It’s also possible to hear about remakes for Resident Evil 5, Code Veronica, or maybe the original Resident Evil again. We should also expect to hear new information and updates for Street Fighter 6 because it’s a June release.
CD Projekt Red
I’m done with Cyberpunk 2077, but it will probably receive more DLC anyway. There’s a slim chance we could hear news about the next Witcher game. I doubt we’ll get a trailer. If anything, CD Projekt Red might provide updates, some gameplay details, and a basic idea of the story. They might also announce a brand new game. You never know.
This indie studio doesn’t have a presentation date yet, but they’re supposed to have a showcase during Summer Game Fest. I would like to hear details about new games. However, I’m pretty sure Devolver will focus on DLC for Cult of the Lamb. It’s not my type of game, but this weird comedy horror title is a big hit. We might get multiple announcements if Devolver bothers to have their own showcase.
I don’t see Disney at gaming events very often. However, we might see updates for Disney Illusion Island. It’s a 2d platformer with Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Goofy. That’s probably all from Disney, but we could also see news about the remaster of Gargoyles. Apparently, there’s going to be a Marvel game with Captain America and Black Panther. An announcement for this Marvel project is slim, but anything is possible. We might also hear announcements for mobile games. It sounds like the type of thing Disney would promote.
Most likely, EA will focus on their annual sports games and Immortals of Aveum. For the moment, their big space fantasy game has a release date of 7/20/23, but the gameplay looks very rough. So, I have a feeling they’re going to delay this one. Keep in mind, delays can help developers create better products. I would say Hogwarts Legacy, God of War: Ragnarok, and Horizon Forbidden West all benefitted from delays. Regardless if the release date sticks or not, I’m sure we’ll hear updates and possibly see a new trailer for Immortals of Aveum.
They’re a rare developer of strong AA games. The AAA fad is running mid range projects into the ground. However, Focus Entertainment has a major release coming out in August. Atlas Fallen is dystopian fantasy game with an emphasis on magic. It was delayed to 8/10/23 and the studio will have ample time to show new trailers, gameplay, and other features. Focus Entertainment might also announce new games.
I’m pretty sure Gearbox will feature new games. Does that mean we’re getting news about a Borderlands title? I imagine Gearbox will try something else. We’ll get more Borderlands, but it seems like the studio will focus on other projects first. With that said, they might discuss the upcoming Borderlands movie a little bit. I’m not expecting a trailer or photos, but they might provide a few updates.
So far, I haven’t noticed announcements for a PlayStation showcase, but it’s bound to happen. PlayStation must be on the partners list for a reason. What could they announce? Perhaps, they’ll provide a release date and a brand new trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. They might also announce something entirely different. I doubt we’ll get updates about the Wolverine game. It just seems like that one is years away. They might also mention something about a PlayStation Pro console. Let’s face it. PlayStation will do anything to sell more consoles and a spruced up model is a good marketing strategy.
Who knows? They’ll probably announce at least one new game. It’s not going to be Bayonetta. I don’t think we’ll get a new Bayonetta game for multiple years. Allegedly, Sega is working on remakes and remasters of older games. That could be anything, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Yakuza, Virtua Fighter, Streets of Rage, Shenmue, Super Monkey Ball, etc. I also heard they’re working on a really big AAA game, so anything is possible.
This one should be obvious. Square Enix is having a huge presentation about Final Fantasy XVI, which is debuting on June 22. The Pre-Launch Celebration is taking place on June 10 at 3:00 p.m. PST. There’s also a slim chance we’ll hear news about something else on another day. I’m sure gamers are hoping Kingdom Hearts IV will get an update, but that seems far fetched. It could happen, but I strongly believe the new Kingdom Hearts game is years away. I would be surprised if we see it on current gen consoles.
Goodness. This developer needs to clean up their act. Ubisoft must back in favor with the public, which is probably why they’re having a showcase on June 12 at 10:00 a.m. PST. We can expect all kinds of announcements, ranging from a release date for Skull & Bones, updates regarding Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, and a number of Assassin’s Creed announcements. I’m pretty sure Assassin’s Creed: Mirage is getting pushed into 2024. Ubisoft might give more details about their online hub, called Assassin’s Creed: Infinity. There’s a slim chance we could hear updates for AC Red, Jade, and Hex. It’s even possible to hear updates about ancient projects, such as Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Remake.
Warner Bros. Games
I’m almost one hundred percent sure we’ll get an announcement regarding the next Mortal Kombat game. We might not see gameplay or a release date, but some type of news is virtually imminent. It’s been a while since I’ve heard anything about Mortal Kombat and leaks are running rampant about this franchise. I would also like to hear updates and a new trailer for the Wonder Woman game, but that seems less likely. We might also receive news about DLC for Hogwarts Legacy.
Nobody needs to make a good impression more than Microsoft. Their entire business model is just a mess right now. Xbox is having a Starfield showcase on June 11 at 10:00 a.m. PST. That game needs to be a real winner to clean up their reputation. I assume we can expect new trailers and gameplay footage. Xbox is also having a separate showcase on June 13 at 10:00 a.m. PST for their remaining projects. Likely announcements probably include news about Hellblade II and Forza Motorsport. I suppose we could also hear details about other lingering games, such as Everwild, Avowed, Contraband, etc. Pretty soon, we need to see gameplay footage and release dates to keep some amount of good faith in Microsoft.
That’s all for now. Are planning to watch any of the showcases or trailers from Summer Game Fest? Do you have any predictions? What games are you waiting for? Leave your thoughts in the comment section. I have more game reviews to post at some point. We’re getting Street Fighter 6, Diablo IV, Crash Team Rumble, and Final Fantasy XVI in June, which means next month is going to be super busy. I’m waiting to hear what the EU decides in regards to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. The writer’s strike in Hollywood is also a work in progress. So, keep watching for more news. This summer is going be packed for better or worse. Thanks for visiting and happy Mother’s Day!
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