Microsoft

Biomutant (Xbox Series X)

Biomutant is a multi-layered throwback. On the surface, the mundane open world, slippery combat, and messy dialog trees flashback to the original Fable, as if Biomutant were resurrected from the first Xbox, then remastered. It wasn’t, to note. Then the story, pleading to a pre-teen audience about global climate catastrophes in a way even Captain… Continue reading Biomutant (Xbox Series X)

Microsoft

Resident Evil: Village (Xbox Series X)

Ethan Winters’ journey across this and the previous Resident Evil represent a wiry, weird fable of emotional distress. Little of Village’s kooky, raw camp fits Winters’ pain as he tries to reunite his family and save his child; that’s just Resident Evil’s way (still), paying tribute to schlock horror. Where Italian horror maestros in the… Continue reading Resident Evil: Village (Xbox Series X)

Microsoft

Zombie Army 4 (Xbox Series X)

Back when filmmakers distributed bonkers pulp exploitation to theaters – nudity-laden women’s prison thrillers, sleazy vampire lust horror, and gonzo gore sagas – is where Zombie Army 4 belongs. It’s too pure, too absurd, too ridiculous to exist in today’s Nazi-sploitation world. Imagine Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, but instead of Nazi scalps, the troopers bludgeoned undead… Continue reading Zombie Army 4 (Xbox Series X)

Microsoft

Outriders (Xbox Series X)

Remember Avatar? Billion dollar movie? Blue aliens? Sigourney Weaver? Outriders is that, but you’re the militaristic villains. Unknowingly so, but the villains regardless. Imagine jumping into a war after an extended coma, siding with those you first meet, then slaughtering 5,000+ indigenous based on that alone. Not even John Wayne and John Ford were so… Continue reading Outriders (Xbox Series X)

Nintendo

Super Mario 3D World: Bowser’s Fury (Switch)

Bowser’s Fury isn’t typical Mario. There’s the transforming, mustached plumber fighting against the spiky, fire-spitting dinosaur – but in comes Bowser Jr. Often the spoiled, obnoxious offspring, Bowser’s Fury makes this kid a victim. Junior flies in his always bizarre floating clown pod, but his goal isn’t to keep Princess Peach locked away, but to… Continue reading Super Mario 3D World: Bowser’s Fury (Switch)

Sony

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (PS5)

It’s odd to see lycanthropy lore warped from a tormented curse, with the afflicted forced to live with their uncontrolled murder, into something celebrated for its brutality, cruelty, and viciousness. Rather than fear, Werewolf: The Apocalypse treats the primal and instinctual bloodlust as a defensive means against a comically crude oil corporation. In its own… Continue reading Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (PS5)

Microsoft

Planet Coaster (Xbox Series X)

It’s odd to think menu music makes an impact on a game, but Planet Coaster’s mellow guitar strings and exited kid’s choir feels right. Planet Coaster is a simulation about happy places, and that catchy, hummable tune sticks in the brain even when amid the ambient shrieks, cheers, and mechanical whirring inside the parks. Tone… Continue reading Planet Coaster (Xbox Series X)

Sony

Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)

Originated in the early ’80s, the term cyberpunk (and resulting genre) rooted itself in anti-Japanese phobia, arriving in mainstream fiction as Japan became a technology-centric export economy. Cyberpunk 2077 looks the part, as does most cyberpunk. The neon signs, the noodle vendors, skyscrapers. A murder mystery too, revolving around a vicious generational divide and rebellious… Continue reading Cyberpunk 2077 (PS4)