Hey guys. E3 was last month, so I doubt I actually have much to do here. Easily the lightest month of the year as far as reviews go. So yeah, lets just relax. Wait, what's that? Because of both E3 and the #loveindies event, we wrote over 50 previews and impressions this month? Well that's ... a lot of terrible opinions I have to share with you guys.
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 E3 month of June.
Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is a saccharine treat for hardcore Persona fans, but at times, it can get a little too sweet. Furthermore, somewhat unfair challenges hamper what otherwise could be a great JRPG to sunset the Nintendo 3DS. 7/10. You can read our full review here.
Stellaris: Ancient Relics
by Anson ChanSummary: Stellaris' latest DLC, Ancient Relics, explores a familiar sci-fi trope in a unique way. It's an excellent addition to the game that features great writing and a ton of depth. 8/10. You can read our full review here.
by Dan HodgesSummary: Conan Unconquered is a deep and rewarding strategy-survival title with some unfortunate technical issues that could really shine with some updates. Grab a friend and you'll have a quality co-op game on your hands. 6.5/10. You can read our full review here.
by Jackson WerySummary: Taking on the role of demon-hunting, wisecracking priest Alexander and exploring a visually-distinctive voxel mansion is pretty enjoyable. If you can survive the awkward controls and story, it's a cozy, competent creepfest. 6.5/10. You can read our full review here.
by Dan HodgesSummary: Pathologic 2 presents a weird, engaging, and wholly unique world to uncover and explore, but makes the act of playing it a clunky and laborious chore. 6/10. You can read our full review here.
My Friend Pedro
by Dan HodgesSummary: My Friend Pedro is like if Sonic the Hedgehog went on a drug-fueled killing spree. It's a ridiculous whirlwind of flashy dives, stylish shooting, and accidentally amazing trick shots that refuses to take itself seriously. 7.5/10. You can read our full review here.
Shadow Fencer Theatre
by Ron WelchSummary: Tricky to learn and satisfying to master, Shadow Fencer Theatre features basic, but hilarious QWOP-style swordplay. It is an artistic treat, a brilliant merging of old-timie visuals and modernized music. What Shadow Fencer Theatre lacks in content, it makes up for in style. 8.5/10. You can read our full review here.
by Richard CostaSummary: Outer Wilds is a triumphant first-person exploration adventure with innovative (quantum) physics puzzles. More than that, it's a microcosm in itself that pleads to be explored and untangled in its minutiae. 9/10. You can read our full review here.
The Sinking City
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: The Sinking City has a fantastic story, atmosphere, and investigations, leading to something that feels genuinely unique. It's just a shame that it's brought down by an overabundance of crummy combat and glitches. 7.5/10. You can read our full review here.
Lovely Planet 2: April Skies
by Brian RenadetteSummary: Quick to learn yet hard to master, Lovely Planet 2: April Skies is a charming and fast-paced sequel that improves on the original formula while maintaining it's charming aesthetic. 8.5/10. You can read out full review here.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night
by Joe AllenSummary: Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a comfortable return for Koji Igarashi. It doesn't push any boundaries, but it's a fluid, well-crafted labor of love with tons of content and a satisfying core gameplay loop. 8/10. You can read our full review here.
Cadence of Hyrule
by Austin SutherSummary: Cadence of Hyrule is a strange spin-off between The Legend of Zelda and Crypt of the Necrodancer, but it works so well as a mashup. It's a bit too short and the replay value isn't substantial, but the remixed songs and exhilarating gameplay are too good to pass up. 9/10. You can read our full review here.
Children of Morta
by Robert N. AdamsSummary: Children of Morta has a wonderful art style, an interesting way of delivering the narrative, and (perhaps most importantly) incredibly tight gameplay. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished version of this game and already mentally preparing myself for the countless hours I’ll certainly lose to this lovely little world. You can read our full preview here.
The First Tree
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: Those looking for another thoughtful narrative driven game should find plenty to like in The First Tree. Those looking for a simple platformer will likely find less. It was easy to appreciate my time with the game and I’ll be working to complete the narrative. I just hope things turn out ok for the fox. I want to give her pets. You can read our full impressions here.
Nelly Cootalot: Spookbeaks Ahoy!
by Courtney EhrenhoflerSummary: If you’re looking for a light, semi-casual adventure that won’t end up with your brain in knots, Spoonbeaks Ahoy! Is a great choice. With fun British humor and an engaging cast of oddball characters, it’s worth playing for those who have already dabbled in the Nelly Cootalot series, as well as those who haven’t. Now the only remaining mystery is – so when’s Nelly Cootalot 3 going to be released? You can read our full impressions here.
by Robert N. AdamsSummary: I spent two hours playing Bargain Hunter. I found the gameplay very compelling, but the execution of the idea is so mediocre that I can’t really recommend that you pick it up. You can read our full impressions here.
Winkeltje: The Little Shop
by Robert N. AdamsSummary: If you enjoy games of this sort (or you’re simply curious about them), I think that Winkeltje is something you should consider picking up. It’s a great value prospect at its current state of development. Especially with a team of developers who listen to the community and constantly push out new features. It’s well worth a look. You can read our full impressions here.
The Caribbean Sail
by Ron WelchSummary: The Caribbean Sail is a tale of ups and downs, rising and falling in time with the salty swell. And yet, even as a few waves of missed opportunity crash into the ship, the crew, their songs, and your stories brighten the darkest night. What’s more, even a year and a half after release, the “one nautical enthusiast” behind The Carribean Sail is active on the game’s Discord server and puts out regular content updates, balance changes, and is even working on a “fantasy toggle” which would add sea monsters, ancient treasure, and other mythological elements. If you have any interest in nautical games, sea shanties, or the Oregon Trail, you owe it to yourself to try The Caribbean Sail. You can read our full impressions here.
by Richard CostaSummary: While I have my misgivings based on what I’ve played so far, I intend to keep playing Atom, and maybe I might even complete a playthrough at some point. I can’t say it’s the kind of game that keeps me hooked for hours, but I do want to see more of it. If you’re a Western fan of Fallout, you’ll probably have the same issues with it that I did, but you might still enjoy it for what it is. It just depends on what you liked most in Fallout: the RPG system and combat gameplay, or the story and world building. You can read our full impressions here.
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: Yet what little I played was more than enough to totally sell me on Small Saga. There’s something really special about the game, and it feels like a ton of love has been put into every pixel. I absolutely can not wait for the full release and for the full saga to be told. You can read our full preview here.
The Greater Good
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: So if you need a new, indie, look on turn-based RPGs right now, then I highly suggest giving The Greater Good a shot. It’s fun to play, the story is interesting, and the world is lovely to look at. On top of everything, it easily contains one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard recently. It seems like I’ve totally reignited my joy for the genre. You can read our full impressions here.
by Richard CostaSummary: I expect Argonwood will release Rising Lords in Early Access first at some point this year, so players will be able to influence the development with feedback and criticism. Hopefully, the game will have a final release at some point next year with an interesting single-player campaign and a robust multiplayer mode, as they have promised. I look forward to trying out the final release of Rising Lords at some point in the future to review it properly. You can read our full preview here.
by Alex Santa MariaSummary: iD’s bloody original already had some of the best shooting around, but Eternal seems to raise up the rest of the game to that same standard. The developers knew what worked and what didn’t, and that shines through even in this early build. There are some questionable additions to the Doomslayer’s toolbox, but it’s worth powering through those flaws to get to this action. If the rest of Doom Eternal lives up to what I played, then there really is no stopping the Doomslayer come November. You can read our full preview here.
Contra: Rogue Corps
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: Overall, Contra: Rogue Corps oozes fun. The crazy action makes you want to laugh and cheer at the sheer insanity. It feels like the developer had as much fun making the game as you will playing it. With co-op and PvP included, this could one of the better party and multiplayer games to come out this year. And even solo, it provides an engaging experience that left me wanting more. You can read our full preview here.
by Austin SutherSummary: If The New Colossus left you disappointed, Youngblood is still worth a look. While I am unsure if the gameplay will be as fun and engaging without a friend, there’s enough improvements and new features this time around to interest fans of the series. You can read our full preview here.
Destroy All Humans!
by Austin SutherSummary: The remake for Destroy All Humans! comes out sometime next year, but if Black Forest Games maintains the quality of what I experienced today, you’re going to enjoy reliving this cult classic. You can read our full preview here.
by Austin SutherSummary: There are a lot of mechanics at play in Scavengers, but it was very easy to pick up and play. Combat is simple and satisfying and the map seemed vast enough that gameplay is bound to stay fresh. Midwinter seems to have consolidated a lot of popular multiplayer mechanics from other titles into one very cohesive and refreshing multiplayer experience. When Scavengers drops some time next year, I fully expect to see it to take the video game world by storm. You can read our full preview here.
Zombie Army 4: Dead War
by Alex Santa MariaSummary: Overall, it’s clear that Rebellion picked up a few tricks when they were making Strange Brigade last year. Both games have you fighting off massive hordes in novel ways, and both games are way more fun with a likeminded group of chuckleheads. If you want to take off gigantic undead supersoldiers with flamethrowers, Zombie Army 4: Dead War is going to be for you. You can read our full preview here.
by Alex Santa MariaSummary: I assure you, writing about these mechanics make them sound way more complicated than they are in motion. There are few games that I’ve picked up as quickly as Dicey Dungeons. It has the pick-up and play nature of a grade school pastime, but with the complexity of the roguelike greats. Anyone who’s into procedurally generated fun should keep a close look on Dicey Dungeons before release this summer. If nothing else, it’s the perfect cooldown after a long week at the “office.” You can read our full preview here.
by Andrew StretchSummary: The last thing that’s crucial to point out about Cris Tales is the beautiful art style. Walking around the village or seeing the inside of the Sanctuary there’s some truly beautiful scenery. Every panel of overworld has had to be recreated three times over to show the progression of time. In battles, the animations are smooth and vibrant. In the demo we’re shown the outskirts of a forest and a town, to see how the game would deal with a seaside setting. I want to explore the world to see just how good it looks. You can read our full preview here.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: It’s one of the most insanely fun demos I played on the show floor and everything about the game was polished to such an absurd shine. I can’t believe it’s as good as it is, and now I have nothing but hope for the game. This may have truly been worth the wait after all. You can read our full preview here.
Luigi's Mansion 3
by Austin SutherSummary: My hands-on time with Luigi’s Mansion 3 was brief, but it proves that Luigi can stand on his own two feet. Mario might take the spotlight more often than his younger brother, but you can’t deny that the Luigi’s Mansion series is tons of fun to play. I’m pleased to see the final result later this year, and the demo left me with high hopes for the finished product. You can read our full preview here.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: To put it simply, Kakarot looks to capitalize on the recent success the franchise has seen. The run of Dragon Ball Super, the Broly movie, and the success of FighterZ helped the IP reach a new generation. By retelling Goku’s iconic story in great detail, old fans can relive their favorite moments while new fans learn more about the story. You can read our full preview here.
by Austin SutherSummary: The bottom line is, if you like the Borderlands series, you’re going to like Borderlands 3 as well. If you don’t like the series, it’s probably not going to make you change your mind. Still, the gunplay feels like a modern shooter and the cherry on top is how crisp the graphics look. My only regret is finishing the Borderlands 3 demo too fast at E3, but I guess waiting a few months until its release on September 13th will have to do. You can read our full preview here.
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: To put it simply, fans of Yakuza will find a lot to love in Judgment. The detective gameplay elevates Ryu ga Gotoku’s work, but the studio remembers the wackiness its games are known for. For newcomers to the series, Judgment might be the perfect place to jump in. Kiryu Kazuma’s story is over, but Takayuki Yagami’s is only beginning. You can read our full preview here.
Killer Queen Black
by Austin SutherSummary: If you’re a fan of the arcade game or even the least bit intrigued by fun, team-based competition, I urge you to get your hands on Killer Queen Black for yourself when it launches later this year. You can read our full preview here.
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: Early on I came across a firing range which apparently has some sort of mysterious supernatural object, known as Objects of Power in the game world, causing problems in it. However, without a level 4 access card, that’s something I’ll need to come back to later. Another section saw me stumbling across the furnace, and I noticed I had a side quest to use my TK to toss the radioactive barrels into it. There’s plenty to discover in Control and I’m excited to find it all. You can read our full preview here.
Journey to the Savage Planet
by Alex Santa MariaSummary: If I had to describe Journey to the Savage Planet in one succinct comparison, it would be No Man’s Sky by way of Adult Swim. Journeying through different biomes and bringing home upgrade materials is a great loop, one that will feel much better once the limitations of the E3 show floor fade away back at home. Till then, I’ll at least have the memories of the excellent Kindred Aerospace ads. If the rest of the game has even half that much personality, then it will certainly be a trip worth taking. You can read our full preview here.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: Holistically speaking, it’s a straightforward title that can be easily approached. You’ll slip right into the game with its simple controls, and the simple yet stylish art style invites you to play more. Furthermore, the soundtrack elevates the experience, and it’ll be the reason you keep coming back. Without the music, this Simogo title lose the core of its identity. But with the built-in playlist, Sayonara Wild Hearts steals the show. You can read our full preview here.
by Austin SutherSummary: Again, my main gripe with RAD was its combat. The early stages of a roguelike can be difficult to get into and aren’t the most exciting parts of a game. I have some faith that later on, RAD has much potential to be fun. While the combat might be lacking, I found the music and graphics to be pretty swell. It’s not going to be a Double Fine classic like Psychonauts or Brütal Legend, but if you’re a fan of the 80s or like roguelike gameplay, RAD might turn out to be better than the time I had with it. You can read our full preview here.
Lost Worlds: Beyond the Page
by Austin SutherSummary: If you find yourself yearning for a platformer or enjoy clever puzzle mechanics, Lost Words: Beyond the Page is something to watch out for. You can read our full preview here.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
by Alex Santa MariaSummary: Going in with little to no expectations (and not even knowing I’d get to demo the game at E3), I came away with high hopes for Team Ninja’s crack at the long-running franchise. I can’t see the game blowing anyone away when it makes its debut this July, but it should provide some good comic book fun to any True Believers who want an authentic comic action experience. Let’s just hope that we don’t have to wait another decade before the next one. You can read our full preview here.
Cathrine: Full Body Edition
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: Catherine: Full Body packs an almost ludicrous amount of new content into an already intriguing puzzle game. To call this a remake or a remaster would pale in comparison to what it is. Instead, it’d be more accurate to describe it as one step below a full-blown sequel. Old Catherine fans will find a lot to unpack, especially in the newly tweaked narrative. Meanwhile, newcomers to the game will simply be blown away by its beloved weirdness. You can read our full preview here.
Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
by Alex Santa MariaSummary: While there’s a long way to go, Mediatronic is certainly off on the right foot with Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. While Fortnite is an overwhelming hit amongst the younger set, it’s not exactly a game pitched towards that demographic. For those who oppose cartoonish murder, Fall Guys could provide a stylish alternative that everyone can enjoy. You can read our full preview here.
Conan Chop Chop
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: Still, I ultimately had a fun time with Conan Chop Chop. Smacking enemies around as the big warrior is always fun, and there’s a neat little cartoon vibe that the game has going. It may not be perfect, but roguelite fans should find something worth seeing here. You can read our full preview here.
Moons of Madness
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: As I kept working my way through the environment, going around security doors and reconnecting wires to get power working, things just kept feeling off and I began to wonder if I had lapsed into another dream. Finally I got the power working again, only for a disgusting monster to crawl out of the shadows, ending my demo. What was this thing? It seems like I’ll have to wait for the full game to find out, and I can say I’m waiting with some interest. You can read our full preview here.
by Andrew OttonSummary: I walked away from Darksiders Genesis extremely impressed. The isometric view only seemed to enhance Darksiders’ gameplay, from the combat to the platforming and puzzles. From just the one real boss I faced off, I can’t wait to see the rest, as it was extremely engaging and fun. If you like Darksiders, or if you like some good hack and slash gameplay, you should keep an eye on Darksiders Genesis. You can read our full preview here.
Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: Edelweiss promises a meaty campaign, quoting a 20-hour length for the story. Of course, depending on your skills, that time can vary. Previously, the studio aimed for a late 2018 release window, but obviously that didn’t come to be. However, all that extra development time shows, and Sakuna deserves a moment in the spotlight. You can read our full preview here.
Dragon Quest Builders 2
by Robert ScarpinitoSummary: This mix of active and passive gameplay makes Dragon Quest Builders 2 a relaxing experience. The combat was surprisingly engaging, despite its straightforward simplicity. The low-pressure environment felt welcoming, like a warm cup of tea after a long day of work. Hopefully the rest of the game continues to deliver a similar experience. You can read our full preview here.
No Straight Roads
by Nick MailletSummary: No Straight Roads is one of those few independent music-based games that has that perfect blend of upbeat tunes with engaging gameplay to keep gamers tapping their foot along all the way through. And while I would have liked to see a bit more of the game outside of the tutorial and short level and boss fight I played, I was definitely intrigued enough to award it one of our “Game of the show” awards at E3 2019. You can read our full preview here.
Pokémon Sword & Shield
by Nick MailletSummary: From the small slice of gameplay I was allowed to check out at this year’s E3, I could already see that this game is shaping up to do so much more than was possible on previous generations of handheld games. And with the inclusion of 4 player co-op raids, Dynamax battles, dynamic weather and Pokemon capture conditions, and what’s promised to be the biggest Pokémon game yet, it’s hard to think that this isn’t the game we’ve all been secretly wanting since the late ’90s. You can read our full preview here.
Harvest Moon Mad Dash
by Nick MailletSummary: I won’t say this game is for everyone, and quite frankly it’s probably not too great solo. But if you have kids, younger siblings, or just want to play games with someone who isn’t very versed in gaming, then Harvest Moon Mad Dash is definitely worth checking out. Harvest Moon Mad Dash has a lot going for it from the so cute it almost hurts art style, the pick up and play game mechanics, and general relaxing presentation that the series is known for its hard to not recommend to anyone looking for something casual and fun. You can read our full preview here.
Iratus: Lord of the Dead
by Austin SutherSummary: Indeed, the combat is certain reminiscent of Darkest Dungeon (there’s even a spooky town area where you can build all manner of nefarious building). Still, I think the idea around crafting enemies along with the different skill trees and abilities for our necromancer protagonist make Iratus: Lord of the Dead a game worth your time when it launches in early access this Summer. You can read our full preview here.
by Austin SutherSummary: I can get over the shortcomings of Project Warlock because of the exceptional gunplay and progression. Weapons are all quite unique and the meta-progression keeps me hooked even when the level design is lacking. Jakub Cislo’s next foray into the genre is sure to turn heads. Until then, Project Warlock is an FPS that shooter fans need to add to their arsenal. You can read our full impressions here.
by Austin SutherSummary: I think the most impressive aspect of El Hijo was the art direction, which is a vibrant and cartoonish style full of color. I’m a sucker for stealth games, and it’s far from the most complex game in the genre, but I anticipate that El Hijo will be fun for all skill levels and ages. You can read our full preview here.
Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
by Alex ParkerSummary: While I had fun with the game (controller issues aside), I have not been able to set aside the fact that this game just doesn’t have the polish you would get from something with Mario in the title. But with all demos were still a ways off from the final release and hopefully, things can get fixed. For now though, Mario and Sonic aren’t seeing any gold medals. You can read our full preview here.
by Andrew OttonSummary: It felt like Company of Heroes with its own twist, mainly the mechs, and the setting is realized beautifully in the game. I can’t wait to experience the epic campaign and see King Art Games’ take on the 1920+ setting after already falling in love with it in Scythe. RTS fans, this one is more than worth keeping an eye on, it’s one that should be near the top of your most anticipated list. You can read our full preview here.
by Andrew OttonSummary: To Trine fans that may have been a little disappointed in Trine 3, you should look forward to Trine 4. There’s no more 3D, it’s all the 2.5D the series is known for. It’s still gorgeous as ever and there’s nothing I saw in the gameplay demo above that did not seem like an improvement. You can read our full preview here.
by Austin SutherSummary: Perhaps with more time to explore the park area with unique shops and NPCs, I would have enjoyed Heroland more. As it stands, it could be a game for you if you’re interesting in the developer’s past works and need a game you can pick up and put down easily. I understand that when it was released in Japan as Work x Work, people were excited for a Western release. If you’re familiar with the Japanese version of Heroland, you’ve probably already made up your mind, but I’ll likely take a pass. You can read our full preview here.
Decay of Logos
by Austin SutherSummary: The world, exploration, and visuals are Decay of Logos‘ most intriguing aspects. If they can adjust the combat mechanics, I see this as a decent Souls-like. I’m not entirely sure if the aim is to emulate Dark Souls, but either way, the combat is detracting from the overall experience. You can read our full preview here.
Lonely Mountains: Downhill
by Austin SutherSummary: I only got to experience a single course in Lonely Mountain, and it was brief. I hope some of the courses are longer, but I can’t deny I had fun wiping out and eventually making it to the bottom of that mountain. You can read our full preview here.
Asphalt 9: Legends
by Nick MailletSummary: With its blazing fast Burnout gameplay, as well as its relatively deep customization and multiplayer options, Asphalt 9: Legends is shaping up to be one of the best arcade racers on the Switch. And at the low price of free, it’s definitely worth checking out the only game that lets me crash a BMW M4 through a skyscraper at 180mph. You can read our full preview here.
by Ron WelchSummary: After watching the trailer, I envisioned Driven Out as a 2D Dark Souls, but that doesn’t do it justice. Driven Out brings a unique blend of skill and tension to the action fighter genre. You are the ultimate underdog, an unarmored, unskilled nobody facing knights, beasts, and other abominations. There’s no other way to say it, Driven Out makes you feel like a badass. You can read our full preview here.
A Year of Rain
by Samuel GuglielmoSummary: While I’m not great at RTSes, I certainly enjoyed my time with A Year of Rain. It may still have some growing pains to get through, and I’ll admit I’m way more interested in the campaign than the multiplayer, but it’s a great start. If you’re looking for your next RTS, this may be one worth keeping an eye on, especially if you have a friend to play it with. You can read our full preview here.
by Courtney EhrenhoflerSummary: Guard Duty is definitely recommended for those looking for a short but sweet distraction game. Anyone looking to scratch that nostalgia itch or to try something a little different in the medieval fantasy genre will find plenty to love. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely fun. Plus, there’s a really cute dog that you do get to pet! You can read our full impressions here.