FATE/EXTELLA: THE UMBRAL STAR – Metacritic Score: 67
Fate/Extella: The Umbral Star is a surprisingly decent title, according to both critics and users. It is a new entry in the Fate saga, made purely for fans. The franchise started as a visual novel and expanded to manga, anime, and naturally, video games. This time, The Umbral Star relies on a musou style of gameplay, with huge crowds of enemies and simple combos to destroy them all, as usual in the genre.
The general consensus is that the game is really repetitive and does not innovate, but it still is entertaining nonetheless. On one hand, critics think that the story is ok-ish, although it is partially told as a visual novel and does not fit its style and pace. On the other hand, many fans and some unexpected players find it interesting, mainly for its quirky characters, solid gameplay, and fulfilling story. However, our reviewer thought otherwise.
This post was originally authored by Pablo Seara.
KINGDOM HEARTS HD 2.8 FINAL CHAPTER PROLOGUE – Metacritic Score: 78
Square Enix continued their recent tradition of releasing Kindgom Hearts remasters in compilations with this game. However, this one comes with two surprises; alongside Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance HD, we can find Kindgom Hearts X Back Cover and Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep – A Fragmentary Passage. The first is a one-hour movie that deepens into the lore of the franchise, while the second one is a new bit of gameplay that shows us what happened to Aqua at the end of Birth by Sleep, as well as the graphics engine of Kingdom Hearts 3.
Critics believe that Kindgom Hearts HD 2.8 is an excellent appetizer for those who are waiting for the highly anticipated third entry in Kingdom Hearts. However, many players think that this game is too expensive for its small amount of new content. Only those who did not play Dream Drop Distance are generally eager to get their hands on this compilation. I just want to know who is in charge of creating the names for these games…
TALES OF BERSERIA – Metacritic Score: 78
Tales of Zestiria got a mixed reception last year, mainly due to its weird combat style and bland story, but it seems like the developers listened to the critics and delivered a better game with Tales of Berseria. This emotional tale of revenge reverts the changes introduced in the last entry and focuses on a narrative darker than usual for a Tales Of game, completely opposed to Tales of Zestiria.
Reviewers in general believe that Tales of Berseria is a great game, with a powerful story, compelling characters and a new, improved combat style. Despite being too conservative, they consider that the writing quality and the gameplay of this JRPG are top-notch. On the negative side, critics thought that the game’s visuals and attention to detail are lacking. However, Tales Of fans are very pleased with what they got, including myself and our reviewer.
GRAVITY RUSH 2 – Metacritic Score: 81
Who would have thought that we would get a sequel to Gravity Rush on PlayStation 4? The first game was a pleasant surprise for those who got a PlayStation Vita on its first days, and the second seems to follow its steps. This peculiar title plays with the forces of gravity, even more than its prequel. Players can traverse floating open world using the gravitational powers of Kat (not Katniss), unveiling an intriguing story about her past.
Both critics and users agree that Gravity Rush 2 is superior to the first outing, deeming it an extremely fun and gorgeous game with a great variety of powers that make exploring its world really entertaining. Its artistic design is charming and unique, though, as our reviewer put it, it is still rough around the edges because of its poor camera controls and some boring sections.
YAKUZA 0 – Metacritic Score: 84
Sega is a company that usually disappoints players by not releasing some highly anticipated games outside Japan (I am still waiting for Phantasy Star Online 2…). Surprisingly, they changed their minds with the Yakuza series, and they are releasing new games from the franchise in Western countries. This month we got Yakuza 0, and many players could see that they missed an excellent franchise entry. This game serves as a prequel and introduces us to the Japanese urban environments of the 80s.
There is a general consensus among the critics that Yakuza 0 excels at representing Japanese culture with the help of some stunning visuals and sounds. The fictional cities of Kamurocho and Sotenbori are astonishing places, with a more surprising amount of activities and gameplay mechanics. Reviewers define its story and characters as humorous, interesting, fun… Good traits. However, they also think that the franchise needs a technical upgrade and an evolution in its combat. Our reviewer felt the same.
RESIDENT EVIL 7: BIOHAZARD – Metacritic Score: 86
At the end of the day, Resident Evil 7 stands out among critics as the best PS4 store game of January 2017. Resident Evil 7 departs from the action-oriented gameplay of the last entries and mimics the style of recent horror games like Amnesia or Outlast. Despite the new looks, it still manages to retain the essence of the franchise, maintaining familiar elements like exploration, weapons, and puzzles, but also adding new ones like the first person view.
Critics, including us, praised Resident Evil 7 for its return to its roots. For them, it is genuinely scary, even more so in VR. The art design, graphics and gameplay are great, the perfect evolution. However, users’ opinions are more mixed. Many of them believe that the normal enemies are boring, the controls are sluggish, and the game is simply too easy. There are also some who find the story extremely forgettable.