Hey remember how last month I joked it was a slow month and then realized we had written over 50 previews and impressions thanks to E3? Well good news! This time it’s actually a slow month. E3 just ended, the previews are done, and we get a month off before the real swarm of releases hits us. So sit back, relax, and enjoy something else that’s slow: our opinions.

Yes, it’s the TechRaptor Game Review Roundup! Here we collect all of our reviews, impressions, and previews into one easy-to-digest article. So let’s dive right in and show you what we hit up in the slow month of July.


Reviews

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled

by Andrew Stretch

Summary: Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled is a fun and complex kart racer. Boasting mechanics that are now genre standards, CTR’s return shows just how relevant it still is. With additional features to fit into modern times like difficulty settings and graphics, this is a must-have for fans of the original, and for anyone who enjoys kart racing with friends. 8.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Darkwood

by William Worrall

Summary: Darkwood manages to pull off horror to a truly stunning degree. What minor gameplay annoyances that there are in the game are more than covered for by the exploration and atmosphere. 8/10. You can read our full review here.

Dollhouse

by Samuel Guglielmo

Summary: Dollhouse has some honestly good mechanics and ideas, and can be fun to play in short bursts. It’s just repetitive, and its unique multiplayer modes have likely never been played. 6.5/10. You canread our full review here.

Heavy Rain

by Richard Costa

Summary: If you’ve already played Heavy Rain on PS3, you won’t miss anything. If you’re totally new to it as a PC gamer, it might surprise you with its branching narrative and raw drama, even if the writing occasionally misses the mark. 7/10. You can read our full review here.

Heavy Rain Review

Amid Evil

by Trevor Whalen

Summary: Amid Evil is a superb first-person shooter crafted in the classic style, and a more than worthy spiritual successor to Heretic. But it’s more than either of those things: It is its own masterpiece, an instant classic for all times. 9.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Super Mario Maker 2

by Dan Hodges

Summary: Super Mario Maker 2 is much more than an enhanced Switch port. Featuring a lengthy story mode, a myriad of smart additions, and more ways to create nightmarish abominations and call them Mario levels, this is some essential Mario that Switch owners won’t want to miss. 8.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Sea of Solitude

by Robert Scarpinito

Summary: Despite some shortcomings in the narrative, Sea of Solitude champions its storytelling. It lands solidly on its own two feet, for the most part, and presents a fairly cathartic look at loneliness and depression. 7/10. You can read our full review here.

Blazing Chrome

by Joe Allen

Summary: Blazing Chrome is a true old-school throwback to the glory days of Metal Slug and Contra. It may pay a little too much homage to its forebears, but there’s plenty of satisfying hardcore action on offer for the faithful. 8/10. You can read our full review here.

Night Call

by William Worral

Summary: Night Call is a game filled with good ideas, but terrible execution. Great characters and exploration are let down by superfluous mechanics and a lack of meaningful choices. 5.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Etherborn

by Samuel Guglielmo

Summary: Etherborn has all the good ideas for a clever puzzle game. Then it ends after only four levels, never exploring its mechanics in a way that makes them stand out. 6/10. You can read our full review here.

etherborn review running

Nowhere Prophet

by Richard Costa

Summary: Nowhere Prophet is a unique and thoughtful single-player deckbuilding card game set in a fascinating Indofuturistic world. It features compelling convoy management with hints of The Oregon Trail, and a highly innovative ‘living card’ mechanic. 9.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Dragon Quest Builders 2

by Dan Hodges

Summary: Dragon Quest Builders 2 is a marked improvement on its predecessor. Although the combat is still underwhelming, the rest of the package is sharp, charming, and loaded with stuff to build, crops to farm, and settlements to manage. 7.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Fantasy Strike

by Austin Suther

Summary: Fantasy Strike delivers on its promise to make a fighting game easy to pick up and play. It’s simple to get the hang of, and characters actually have cool abilities. Still, it’s lacking in content, lacking in a player base, and plagued with AI issues. 5/10. You can read our full review here.

Kill La Kill IF

by Andrew Stretch

Summary: Kill La Kill IF wants to show off all that was great about the 2013 anime, but between a muddled story mode, small character roster, and questionable mechanics, it doesn’t quite stick the landing. 4.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Wolfenstein Cyberpilot

by Samuel Guglielmo

Summary: Wolfenstein Cyberpilot is a video game where you decapitate a statue of Hitler and somehow feel absolutely no thrill, interest, or anything vaguely resembling fun. 3.5/10. You can read our full review here.

Wolfenstein: Youngblood

by Anson Chan

Summary: Wolfenstein: Youngblood is more or less just as good as its predecessors but the implementation of some of the new gameplay features leave the tiniest of imperfections in an otherwise excellent game. 7.5/10. You can read our full review here.

wolfenstein youngblood tunnel

Beyond: Two Souls

by Richard Costa

Summary: Beyond: Two Souls is an interactive drama action-adventure with painfully inept writing. Ellen Page’s top-notch acting can only carry it so far until it falls apart in a terminally inane climax. 4/10. You can read our full review here.

 


Previews/Impressions

Oxygen Not Included

by William Worrall

Summary: It’s certainly possible that Klei decided they wanted a game which made space exploration difficult and obtuse, but that doesn’t mean it was a good idea. Hopefully when the final game releases we’ll get an updated version which has refined the gameplay just a tad. You can read our full preview here.

Occupy White Walls

by Samuel Guglielmo

Summary: If you’re one of those creative people, then Occupy White Walls is for you. There’s always something appealing about actually creating a living space, and centering it around art only seems to fit the theme even better. It helps that you can also grab it for free. So jump in, appreciate art, build something, and stop reading those dumb comments I left on pictures. You can read our full preview here.

Boyfriend Dungeon

by Robert Scarpinito

Summary: At the end of the day, Boyfriend Dungeon is definitely a title to keep in mind this year. Rarely do you find games that fuse two unexpected genres as well as it does. Fans of dungeon crawlers might awaken a new love for dating sims, and vice versa. I’m not sure what the venn diagram overlap is between dating-sim and dungeon-crawler lovers, but I know that Boyfriend Dungeon will expand it. You can read our full preview here.

Neo Cab

by Robert Scarpinito

Summary: The game’s Steam page describes the game in the best way possible. “This is an emotional survival game. Balance what feels right with what Lina needs to survive.” And the game lives up to that idea well. You aren’t managing your hunger, stamina, or hit points to survive in the world of Neo Cab. You’re trying to understand a person’s emotions as they navigate a variety of human conversations. If narrative is what you crave in your games, keep an eye on Neo Cab. You can read our full preview here.

Dry Drowning

by Samuel Guglielmo

Summary: At the end of the first chapter, I decided to put Dry Drowning down. Not because I didn’t like it, but rather because I was really into it. I want to experience the full story as soon as possible, and go in knowing nothing more than I already do. There really seemed to be something unique here, and I can easily see this being my next shot at giving visual novels an honest chance. If nothing else, I’d love to see more of the world. That already has me hooked. You can read our full preview here.

dry drowning preview argument

The Sims 4: Island Living

by Courtney Ehrenhofler

Summary: Island Living, as an expansion pack, is alright. It’s alright by itself and it’s alright as an addition to other packs and the base game. It does add some new aesthetics that I personally love, as well as elements like mermaids, sunbathing and beachcombing. However, it suffers from the same problem the previous add-ons suffer from. It’s just that The Sims 4 just isn’t that well designed at its core. You can dress up a corpse in hula kit and take it to a luau, it is still a corpse at the end of the day. You can read our full impressions here.

Why Am I Dead at Sea

by Megan Cronin

Summary: If you’re a fan of solving mysteries and think yourself a strong detective, play this game. If you enjoy games for the stories, play this game. As long as you like a lot of reading and retro visuals, this is worth a shot. With multiple endings awaiting you, you’d better be ready to do some legwork if you want to get to the bottom of the doomed ferry. Hop to it, gumshoe! You can read our full impressions here.

AWAY: The Survival Series

by Samuel Guglielmo

Summary: While this is only a very small and early slice of the full game, I’m quite excited for AWAY: The Survival Series after this. There’s just something about gliding down a cliff and catching grasshoppers that totally works for me. It’s impressive how well AWAY manages to hit that nature documentary tone. You get to see cute animals being cute, up until that very horrifying moment when they’re not. It’s amazing, and I need to see more episodes of it. You can read our full preview here.

Iratus: Lord of the Dead

by Austin Suther

Summary: Overall, Iratus offers a comprehensive package thus far, even in Early Access. With three different dungeon-like areas to navigate and truly brutal, difficult gameplay, there is a decent amount of content available for Iratus‘ Early Access launch. The strategy layer and meticulous planning of your party is a component I can’t wait to experience more of. If you find the combat the most enjoyable part of games like Darkest DungeonIratus will make you feel right at home. Unfrozen definitely appears to have a winning formula, so the future for Iratus looks bright. You can read our full preview here.

LISA: The Painful

by Ron Welch

Summary: LISA: The Painful is a true diamond in the rough. It is one of the most entertaining and exciting experiences I’ve had with a turn-based RPG.  Intricately designed combat, excellent character writing, and strong pacing combine to form a powerful narrative. If you need a post-apocalyptic adventure to wash away the acrid taste of Fallout 76, LISA: The Painful will not disappoint. You can read our full impressions here.

lisa the painful combat

The Surge 2

by Joe Allen

Summary: The Surge 2 is undeniably a marked improvement over the first game. The combat is focused and tense. The visuals are much cleaner and make enemies much easier to follow. Deck13 has streamlined the equipment and menu systems for player convenience. All of these things are definitely laudable, and it’s clear Deck13 has been listening to its critics. Still, it’s going to take more than this to capitalize on The Surge 2‘s infinite potential. If the narrative takes off from its initial ho-hum starting point and the enemy design diversifies a little, The Surge 2 could be a classic. As it stands, it’s shaping up to be a very playable, if not quite essential, Soulslike. You can read our full preview here.

Griftlands

by Max Moeller

Summary: Even with these gripes, Griftlands is an exceptional experience that convinced even me, someone who cares very little for deckbuilders, that they can be fun, engaging, and at times, even delightful. It just needs some more variety to keep my attention. You can read our full preview here.

80 Days

by Megan Cronin

Summary: 80 Days boasts four BAFTA nominations and Time’s 2014 Game of the Year among its accolades. This is all well-earned praise. As far as interactive adventures go, it’s hard to do better than to travel with Master Fogg. You can read our full impressions here.


Samuel Guglielmo

Associate Review Editor

I'm Sam. Been playing video games since PlayStation. Favorite games include Ace Combat 5, Perfect Dark, Final Fantasy IX, Metro 2033, and MonsterBag. Also loves books and can be found face first in one all the time.



Videos from TechRaptor

Comment Section