December 2018 Game Review Roundup

review roundup dec 2018

Feature

December 2018 Game Review Roundup

December 31, 2018

By: Samuel Guglielmo

 
 

Oh no! It appears 2018 has ended! That's ... not really a shame actually. For most people this will be remembered as a year in which everything was terrible. For a few people this will be remembered as a year where they were terrible. However, there's a brand new year where everything has a chance to be great and will probably be terrible again. So let's start it off with something terrible: our opinions.

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

Reviews

Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus

Summary: Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus redeems a long line of mediocre 40k games. As a turn-based combat RPG, it works on every level. The effect is only enhanced by excellent writing and incredible attention to detail. 8.5/10 You can read our full review here.

 

Just Cause 4

Just Cause 4 is the most essential game in the series, perfecting years of blowing things up in the most creative ways. While the narrative doesn't have any lasting impact, the overall package delivers as video game comfort food. 8.5/10 You can read our full review here.

 

 
 

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden

Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a competent albeit narratively underwhelming tactical RPG with novel stealth mechanics and solid turn-based combat. 7/10 You can read our full review here.

 

Arca's Path

Summary: Arca's Path is simple enough for VR newbies to enjoy, but also complicated enough to be a satisfying game for anyone. 8.5/10. You can read our full review here.

arcas path review story

Artifact

Summary: Artifact is an engaging collectible card game that's sure to excite fans of Dota 2. Unfortunately, the business model inarguably favors those who are willing to spend real money and it could use some additional features and modes. 8/10. You can read our full review here.

 

The World Ends With You: Final Remix

Summary: Ultimately, The World Ends With You: Final Remix is a so-so port of an excellent jRPG. If you've never played it before, there's still a great time to be had. However, if you have the choice, grab the original. 7.5/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Storm Boy: The Game

Summary: Storm Boy: The Game attempts to adapt a book into a format where it doesn't really work. The story and visuals are nice enough, but it's told poorly and not much fun to play. 5/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Earth Defense Force 5

Summary: Earth Defense Force 5 takes what the previous games in the series were known for; Classes with huge customization, large-scale battles, and a story about mankind defeating enemy forces. If you're looking for a third person shooter that you can keep coming back to for different experiences, EDF 5 will keep you entertained for hours. 6/10. You can read our full review here.

 

 
 

The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

Summary: The Missing: J. J. Macfield and the Island of Memories has beautiful landscapes, ok gameplay, and a story that misses the mark. If you're wanting a short puzzle platformer it might be worth playing through but for the majority it's an avoidable experience. 5/10. You can read our full review here.

the missing puzzle

Gungrave VR

Summary: Despite being only 45 minutes long, Gungrave VR manages to showcase an overwhelmingly high amount of terrible decisions, boring gameplay, and barebone plot. 2.5/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Pokémon: Let's Go, Piakchu!

Summary: I may no longer be the target audience with Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Eevee!, but I am glad that future children will be, so I can share in their experience in a way that creates new adventures for us both. 7/10. You can read our full review here.

 

GRIS

Summary: GRIS features outstanding graphics, beautiful cinematics, and whimsical music. While it lacks in gameplay and replayability, it handily makes up for it in its presentation. 9/10. You can read our full review here.

 

 

DUSK

Summary: DUSK is a thoroughly unapologetic retro-inspired shooter. Its got flaws, but its excellent combat and emphasis on exploration should see it rocket-jump to the top of every shooter fan's wish list. 8/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Ashen

Summary: Ashen is a quality Soulslike with a nice art style and some great ideas about seamless and anonymous online co-op. The dungeons are memorable, the evolving town is awesome, and the increased focus that quests provide is a nice touch. 8.5/10. You can read our full review here.

 

RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride

Summary: At several times while playing RollerCoaster Tycoon Joyride, I became convinced I died and this was my personal hell. In a world where we thought the worst RollerCoaster Tycoon game had already shipped, Joyride shows up to claim that spot. 1/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Kingdom Hearts

Summary: Kingdom Hearts holds up better than I could have ever imagined. If you can get over some wonky moments, it's well worth returning to. 8/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Super Smash Bros Ultimate

Summary: Super Smash Bros Ultimate is just as the name suggests, the Ultimate Smash experience. All the characters and stages have returned. A better balance across all 74 playable characters. Returning single player game modes as well as a whole new story mode that merges Super Smash with RPG elements. This is a game that you'll want to play with friends on the big screen, or on your own anywhere. 9/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Below

Summary: If you like to unravel a mysterious world that doesn't hold your hand, then you might find something in Below. If you're looking for an action-packed roguelite, Below is not it. 5.5/10. You can read our full review here.

below4

Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories

Summary: Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories is a bad remake of a solid game. Full of boring grind, filler story, and bad difficulty spikes, it doesn't have enough good elements to redeem itself as anything other than average. 5/10. You can read our full review here.

The Council - Episode 5: Checkmate

Summary: The Council's final episode fails to deliver a satisfying ending, nor a strong episode to a season that desperately needed it. 5/10. You can read our full review here.

 

Previews/Impressions

 

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics

Summary: All told Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics provides just about what I’d expect for a new game at its scale. The tactical combat is fun, the Momentum system really helps you feel like you have choices in combat, and the vision cones really help sell the theme. If you enjoy turn-based tactics games primarily for the combat you may want to give it a serious look, but if you are expecting a deep strategy layer or a nuanced, engaging story you’ll want to look elsewhere. You can read our full impressions here.

 

Professor Layton and the Curious Village HD

Summary: Overall, Professor Layton and the Curious Village HD is thus far a good example of how to do mobile game ports right. It’s got enough new tweaks and add-ons to make it worthwhile for those who already own the DS version of the game, and it has the Professor Layton puzzle charm to attract newcomers. You can read our full impressions here.

 

The Perfect Sniper

Summary: Really, there’s not much to say about The Perfect Sniper. It’s a rather generic game. It’s at its absolute best when you’re just sniping, but even its absolute best doesn’t claw above “okay”. It’s a video game, it exists. Unless you’re completely desperate for a VR FPS, there are way better and more interesting games to play. You can read our full impressions here.

 

Hades

Summary: Despite being still in Early Access, Hades shows a huge deal of potential. The combat is enjoyable (although it’s no Dead Cells) but still needs some ironing out. Considering the pedigree of the developer, it feels almost unnecessary to point out that the art, the music and the voice acting are all of the highest quality. While it needs a good deal of extra content and some minor bug fixing, Hades has the potential to become the fourth jewel of Supergiant Games’ crown. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on. You can read our full preview here.

hades mock

 

The Unlikely Legend of Rusty Pup

Summary: Curious as I am about the story, the game eventually won me over. Still, the loud backdrop and trial-and-error gameplay make Pup a tough nut to crack. Even if you’re an old Conker fan, that may not be enough on its own to carry you through Pup. It’s a game you have to allow to grow on you since its look and feel are so indiscernible at first. With some playtime, there’s an intriguing world here, and I feel sorry for the little guy at the center of it. You can read our full impressions here.
Samuel Guglielmo TechRaptor
Reviews 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.

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