Microsoft

Psychonauts 2 (Xbox Series X)

A notable Roger Ebert quote states it’s not what a movie is about, but how it is about it. Pscychonauts 2 summarizes that statement by distilling mental health down to a young adult, Tim Burton-esque world that, in execution, betters Pixar’s Inside Out, which attempted a similar concept. Psychonauts 2 deals in multiple personality orders,… Continue reading Psychonauts 2 (Xbox Series X)

Microsoft

Madden NFL 22 (Xbox Series X)

Madden has become soulless. Routine. Flaccid. It’s to a point where the minor, niggling issues that remain each subsequent year – even with leniency allowed for pandemic-era development – pile on. There’s the listless, indifferent career “story” that’s a distressing waste of time. There’s an identity crisis where Madden cannot decide between arcade flourishes and… Continue reading Madden NFL 22 (Xbox Series X)

Nintendo

Mayhem Brawler (Switch)

For a moment, Mayhem Brawler seems to mock Streets of Rage, which concerned three cops who walked the streets, punching suspected criminals without due process. Alongside Mayhem Brawler’s comic book interludes, a faux social media feed scrolls. Users question why the “heroes” needed to use force against the villains. They shout complaints about excessive force,… Continue reading Mayhem Brawler (Switch)

Microsoft

The Ascent (Xbox Series X)

A mission late in The Ascent sends the protagonist into a nightclub, fully armed, ready to slaughter rivals in a traditional cyberpunk corporate espionage act. The nightclub is not empty – it’s the business’ prime hour. Opening fire, people scatter. They stumble, they fall. Some shout about having family. Many die in the crossfire. The… Continue reading The Ascent (Xbox Series X)

Sony

Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart (PS5)

A rousing, smart distillation of western society over the past few years, Ratchet & Clank’s return fits complicated world events into a comfortable platform/my-first-shooter frame. Rebellion against a bumbling authoritarian leader, multiverse traveling akin to Marvel, and genuinely nuanced approach to character drama allow A Rift Apart to eclipse the seemingly perfect predecessor. Where that… Continue reading Ratchet & Clank: A Rift Apart (PS5)

Microsoft

Necromunda: Hired Gun (Xbox Series X)

The world of Necroumunda is impressively voluminous, towering, and often vertical. Most if it is metal, some concrete, the type of place a metal band named “Death Dead Dying” might use as an album cover. It’s vicious, cloning the expressly violent Quake, infusing that with the modern Doom. Violence is passe in videogames; then comes… Continue reading Necromunda: Hired Gun (Xbox Series X)

Sony

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PS4)

The world is literally in pieces when World Brothers begins. Ignore the physics of this situation – the EDF team seeks to put these individual blocks back together by defeating alien motherships. For some reason, that works. Just go with it. World Brothers does. Don’t arrive at World Brothers looking for a formula twist; this… Continue reading Earth Defense Force: World Brothers (PS4)