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.
Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled
by Andrew StretchSummary: 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.
by William WorrallSummary: 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.
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: 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.
by Richard CostaSummary: 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.
by Trevor WhalenSummary: 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 HodgesSummary: 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 ScarpinitoSummary: 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.
by Joe AllenSummary: 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.
by William WorralSummary: 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.
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: 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.
by Richard CostaSummary: 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 HodgesSummary: 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.
by Austin SutherSummary: 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 StretchSummary: 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.
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: 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.
by Anson ChanSummary: 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.
Beyond: Two Souls
by Richard CostaSummary: 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.
Oxygen Not Included
by William WorrallSummary: 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 GuglielmoSummary: 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.
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: 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.
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: 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.
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: 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.