|88 92%||Metroid Zero Mission (2004) - Apr 26, 2020
"A revisitation of the original with the look, feel, and approach to exploration and progression of Super Metroid—and it works beautifully. A map and a bit of gentle "go here next" does make things go by a bit quickly compared to the old days, so the extra finale's not a bad idea, and I do like the little "stealth" element it briefly throws in."
|80 79%||Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2003) - Apr 17, 2020
"A triumph of presentation thanks to the beautiful graphics (the detailed animations and artfully applied lighting made this a wonder to look at in its day) and some clever gameplay conceits playing with the time-manipulation concept. The platforming parts are clever enough to puzzle out, even if there's not much real challenge to them beyond sussing out the intended path and then maybe following it in a mild hurry. The combat also *looks* nice, though it grows old very quickly."
|73 68%||Deus Ex: Invisible War (2003) - Apr 13, 2020
"Not really a bad followup, though it can be tempting to focus on the aspects that could have gone better. Having every faction constantly pop up in your ear no matter what you do gets silly and the dialogue is not really up to the story this wants to tell at all; the inventory/ammo system is just plain odd; etc. However, it succeeds in giving you a varied range of ways to go about things (and generally rewards the less direct approach best—probably for the best given how firefights play out)"
|78 75%||Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon (2003) - Apr 04, 2020
"After a long wait and a move to... serviceable 3D, the familiar writing and characters return still in fine form. All the little "platforming" traversal puzzles, box sliding puzzles, and dodgy stealth bits added in to "modernize" gameplay (or should I say date it?) feel like unchallenging padding to what is still a very appealing adventure game at heart."
|86 87%||Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror (1997) - Apr 03, 2020
"Coming just a year after the first game, the second is not, when you get down to it, very different than its pedecessor. The same sort of post-Indiana Jones adventure plot (on a Central American theme, this time), the same sort of humor, and the same sort of puzzles. It's noticeably more strictly linear, and perhaps a tad shorter, not that that matters much. Giving both main characters their own playable moments this time was a nice idea from a plotting and character perspective."
|88 92%||Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (1996) - Apr 01, 2020
"Just about the moment when the classic big-budget third-person American adventure game was being declared dead... comes one of the most influential models for the European small-to-mid-budget third person adventure games that were to keep chugging along quite healthily nevertheless. Interesting plot, amusing dialogue; nice animated look courtesy of some former Bluth Studios Ireland people. Relatively easy puzzles outside a few memorably obtuse actions (say hello to that goat for me)."
|88 92%||Mega Man 3 (1990) - Mar 30, 2020
"A long one. The slide and Rush make their appearance, giving you some more flexibility in moving around on top of the usual growing flexibility in attack options (though I do wonder how many players actually found a compelling use for the submarine form)."
|25 4%||Manhunt (2003) - Mar 25, 2020
"For a time when drab, formulaic stealth action (SOCOM, Splinter Cell, etc.), overdone and repetitive "brutal melee takedowns", and dire slasher films with an abundance of stylistic tics were all taking off big individually... comes a game ready to buy all-in on all three. Ironically, for all the visual polish and performative "edginess" that got this the controversy the marketing department no doubt wanted, the end result is about as dull and pointless as the trends that produced it."
|70 62%||Phantasy Star (1988) - Mar 22, 2020
"A fairly typical Dragon Quest/Ultima style RPG for the most part, though perhaps the best-looking of the SMS/NES crop, with colorful, detailed graphics and smoothly animated first person dungeons. That, plus its relatively early localization helped it stand out in a Western console market less saturated by the genre than Japan (though the steep price and being on the Master System may have held it back somewhat). An extra-generous save system for the time helps speed things along."
|68 58%||Blaster Master (1988) - Mar 19, 2020
"Something of a standout for the exploratory action-adventure genre when it came out. The top down sections are not nearly as good as the side-scrolling parts (though it's best to treat them as a cautious little puzzle to avoid everything and hang on to the gun upgrades), and the lack of a mapping or save/password system will quickly illustrate why this genre was so quick to embrace those features. Still, an impressive design despite its dated elements."