I can't in any good conscious call this good. The new characters feel awful compared to their Sonic Adventure counterparts which came out 25 years ago, the trials range from braindead to requiring perfect inputs to proceed, and while the Cyberspace levels are imaginative the level design feels like spaghetti with no cohesion. I actually found myself just skipping as much content as I could to get it over faster. After having to repeat the same initial run-up on Wyvern for the 10th time I just called it quits. The base game was actually a lot of fun with a fair amount of promise, this update is so unlike that, that I'm starting to reconsider if those initial feelings were warranted.
It's free at least, but I don't understand why Sonic Team always seems to fumble the ball at the last minute. Being hard is one thing, but it has to be at least satisfying to play. Did they forget this is a game series predominantly aimed at children? This exemplifies all the worst parts of Frontiers, it's the biggest disappointment of 2023.
I swear to god, if Superstars isn't the second coming of Christ...
Edit: Went back to it after reading some cheeses for the boss rush (seriously what were they thinking) and finished the campaign. I've softened on it a little bit but the issues are way too big to ignore. I doubt I'll play this again, the original ending sequence was better anyway imo.

Once you get over the learning curve of the controls (it actually feels really good for 85), you'll find an early example of a precision platformer that treats you like an adult, requiring mastery of its (frankly limited) systems to succeed. You'll be repeating the first few screens over and over, but you'll find yourself getting a little bit further with each attempt. Just don't focus on beating it as quickly as possible, a perfect run is only about 20 minutes long. It's truly the Dark Souls of platformers ;)
Seriously, give it a go. A complete run of the first loop will take a while, but it's really not as intimidating as it might initially seem. There's a reason this game has stuck in the minds of Japanese game fans. I would have been all over this if I was a Famicom owner back then.

Creative Business Unit 3 are masters of the 7/10 experience, creating a streamlined RPG that simplifies so much in the pursuit of accessibility that you wonder why they even bothered in the first place. Everything here feels like it exists because it has to for the sake of convention, its technically competent but incredibly basic.
If you've played XIV over the years, this shouldn't be all that surprising. Removing barriers to entry is what they do best. It'll appeal to newcomers to the genre, but those expecting more depth will be disappointed to find that this game has more in common with Mystic Quest than traditional RPGs.
A fun one and done, but feels like wasted potential.

Rough around the edges and clearly a victim of the HD console transition - Tomb Raider: Underworld is an unfinished jumble of great ideas hampered by poor execution. All I can say is that despite playing the other Legend-era games many years ago, it took me just as long to get around to beating this one, and as the last Tomb Raider game to feel in line with the series roots - it's unfortunate it turned out this way.

Honestly I think this games reputation for sadism has been exaggerated by the fact that most have only played the busted outsourced NES version (Thanks for nothing, Micronics). The arcade original, while still extremely difficult feels logically and fairly designed. Its not going to change your mind if you dont like this type of game, but atleast, if you're going to give it a go, make sure you play the right version.

Honestly, it's a really fun concept that is crippled by the Game Gear's small screen. Would love to see a fan remake of this one ala Triple Trouble.

People act like this game is an affront to God when the reality is that it is just a so-so puzzle game that only lasts around 30 minutes and may give you a seizure if you ask nicely. So many worse games than this.

A Westernized take that tries its best, but comes nowhere close to the classics. The music can be pretty great at times but it's overall a pretty sleepy experience. Incredibly late '00s.

You could've played literally anything else but curiosity drove you here instead. Shame on you, and shame on me.

A step back compared to Operation C in most ways. This one feels way slower, less interesting, and just an overall lower-effort product than what came before. A curiosity no doubt, but it's a shame we got an outsourced Contra 3 demake rather than something that built upon what was already set.

Played the Japanese version with rewind because I don't hate myself. I can see there is a method to the masochism, but there isn't enough here to warrant that sort of attention. Exemplifies all the worst parts of Castlevania. Avoid unless Castlevania-curious.

A step above 1942 in every conceivable way, though I think it's still too basic for most. It's problems are far less forgiving in 1987.


If you were to define shmups by their era, there is definitely a point in time between Xevious and Gradius where these games haven't aged as gracefully as those that came before or after. 1942 is one of those titles. It's not simple enough to be an addictive score chaser, and also not complex enough to warrant completing the loop. It's a historical relic of a transitional period, the sort of game your Dad might like, but others will just look at with a sense of curiosity and nothing more. Not bad at all, it's just old.

It's okay? Capcom were trying thier hand at something a little experimental here, but I don't think it really worked out to be as good as it was pitched. Far from bad, but definitely seems forgotten for a reason.