Author: Colin Buchanan

Colin is a queer, neurodivergent media critic who joined Noisy Pixel in 2021. You can also find him writing with AniTAY at https://www.anitay.org, or his own personal musings about anime at arcaneranger.tumblr.com.

After playing a brief demo of the Witch Beam-developed Unpacking, I couldn’t really find much to say about the short but relaxing slice of a broader game, but I enjoyed its presentation. So, now that I have the whole picture from playing the full game, I can confidently say that it provides an experience, unlike anything I’ve played this year.  On the surface, there’s not much Unpacking. There are six chapters, each one a different location in which you will have to unpack boxes of very nice-looking pixel items and place them in a suitable area. It’s a relaxing,…

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The Complete Edition of Final Fantasy XIV (a game you may have heard about because of its free trial, which includes the award-winning Heavensward expansion and allows you to play all the way up to level 60 without paying anything) is currently on sale on multiple platforms for $23, matching an all-time low price. We’re not really sure why, though, because there is some crucial additional context for this sale. This Complete Edition will only be “complete” for about another three weeks before the game’s fourth expansion, Endwalker, releases. Therefore, Endwalker is not included in this sale, so you will…

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The announcement of a remaster for Alan Wake, one of the most prominent cult-hit video games of all time, came as a surprise to many people. It had been pulled from and relisted to online marketplaces due to music licensing issues, the PC port had been canceled and then un-canceled, and a supposed sequel has been rumored and scrapped multiple times in the decade since its release. But now, hitting PlayStation platforms for the first time, developer Remedy has rekindled the flame yet again. https://youtu.be/J8l1369sAJ0 Alan Wake Remastered tells the story of its titular author’s trip to a small American…

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At their Tokyo Game Show 2021 presentation, Square Enix released a brand-new gameplay trailer for Final Fantasy VII The First Soldier, the mobile battle-royale title. The game showed off a class-based combat system, quickly demonstrated several battle scenarios, and reiterated that it is still scheduled for release in 2021. The title was announced earlier this year as part of the new slate of Final Fantasy VII titles tying in with the new Remake series, alongside another mobile title, Ever Crisis. While Ever Crisis will adapt previous games’ stories in the Compilation of Final Fantasy VII, The First Soldier will be…

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The world of UNSIGHTED, Arcadia, is dying. In many ways, it’s already dead. The humans have disappeared, and all that remains is the Automatons, a race of sentient robots whose sentience is a finite resource about to be extinguished. This game puts you in the role of one such android and tasks you with saving the city, your friends, and yourself before you succumb to madness and become a bloodthirsty UNSIGHTED. https://youtu.be/qAIL1IaJPCM This debut title from two-person Brazilian team Studio Pixel Punk takes heavy influence from The Legend of Zelda and NieR series, blending them into a dark, bleak world…

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Opening the September 2021 Nintendo Direct, Capcom has announced a Summer 2022 release date for Monster Hunter Rise expansion Sunbreak. This is being said to introduce new monsters, locations, and hunting gameplay, similar in scope to World’s expansion Iceborne, which added a sizeable amount of content to the base game. While only a cinematic trailer was shown, with a stylized and detailed dragon monster climbing a ruined castle, the company has stated that more details will be coming as the release date approaches. Monster Hunter Rise was released exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on March 26th, 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DatM4U30b0M If you…

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Every two months or so, fans of Final Fantasy XIV are presented with a development update in the form of what is formally called a Letter from the Producer, usually abbreviated to “Live Letter.” This evening, we got the sixty-sixth installment, and it is one of, if not the last, ones before Endwalker releases in November. Expectations for this Live Letter were that it would be substantial and heavily focused on combat. At over five hours long, it certainly was, and here’s everything we found out! Job Adjustments While the developer team warned that they weren’t going to go into…

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If you have tried as many mobile games as I have, chances are that your YouTube ads have been clogged with World Flipper promos for several months now, starting long before its eventual release. While ordinarily, as a player, I am averse to anything that gets so boldly shoved into my face, I admit that the idea of a gachapon game with pinball as a combat system was intriguing to me. Developer Cygames is well-known for the quality titles they produce, and the art style looked very appealing, so I gave in and pre-registered, hoping for the best. And once…

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The Artful Escape, the most recent title from indie publisher Annapurna Interactive, is a distinct experience from top to bottom. If you threw The Wizard of Oz and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure into a blender with a tab of acid, you’d get something like this game, which is a simultaneous boon and flaw. https://youtu.be/_rp4ohO_6Xs You play as Francis Vendetti, a young man from a small mountain town with heavy expectations set on his shoulders. The town of Calypso is notable for one thing, or rather person – Francis’ late uncle, Johnson Vendetti. He was an absolute folk music legend,…

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The idea of a dating sim that puts inclusivity and representation first is a noble one. Adding that design philosophy to an action-heavy dungeon crawler was the pitch that got developer Kitfox Games to quadruple their Kickstarter goal for crowdfunding Boyfriend Dungeon. Unfortunately, while I had a delightful time with the game, the way its engaging ideas weakly synergize by the conclusion left me feeling somewhat perplexed and disappointed. https://youtu.be/3KtC_C-RqRs Starting with the many positives, Boyfriend Dungeon definitely fulfills its goal of inclusivity and representation. The idea here is to give the player as many options for engaging with the…

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As a gamer who grew up during the Game Boy Color era, one of my favorite video games as a kid was Mario Tennis. While I had both the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy versions of the title, the GBC version was special in that it included not just the regular game mode but also an entire JRPG-flavored story adventure.  You played as either Alex or Nina, a youngster attending the Royal Academy gradually rising the ranks of the school’s varsity tennis club while earning experience points and leveling up to increase your character’s capabilities. Unfortunately, while this engaging…

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Disgaea is a series that has risen in popularity over the years after three console generations of mainline entries and spin-offs. Its over-the-top SRPG systems keep players coming back for more as the series has evolved to offer almost too many hours of gameplay with some memorable characters. It’s only natural that this experience would find its way to mobile devices. Disgaea RPG was released in March 2019 in Japan and immediately go down for emergency maintenance on the same day, which lasted until November. This maintenance allegedly was necessary because the servers were stressed under the weight of unexpected…

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The mobile gaming landscape – especially the realm of RPGs – has largely become the domain of RNG-based gacha games. They tend to feature hundreds of characters and very complicated upgrade systems that reward players who spend more to progress exponentially further and faster than those who don’t. While I have found many of these titles enjoyable, I remained desperate for a mobile title that actually provided the console experience many of these games promise. Now enter, Another Eden, an original game made by two of the chief creatives of Chrono Trigger that’s more than an auto-battler RPG for mobile…

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When Yakuza 6: The Song of Life was first released in 2016, it had a couple of barriers to overcome. This would be the first entry of the series on the PS4 using the Dragon Engine. This development tool from Ryu Gotoku Studio would be utilized for Yakuza Kiwami 2, Judgment, and eventually Like a Dragon. The other is that it had to continue a narrative from the ending of Yakuza 5, which was contentious due to several characters’ actions not making much sense but having far-reaching consequences. So, the odds were kind of stacked up against Kazuma Kiryu in…

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Other than the many hours of Beat Hazard logged on my ancient iPod Touch, I can’t say I’m well-versed in twin-stick shooters. The genre blew up in popularity during the early days of mobile gaming, but most of them eventually disappeared from App Stores over the years. Still, their popularity persists in titles like Enter the Gungeon, Geometry Wars 3, and even NieR: Automata, all of which are technically entirely different genres. Today, however, I’m taking a look at Revita, a brand-new Early Access title that throws a little bit of Hollow Knight into the typical twin-stick shooter gameplay, delivering…

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Gravity Heroes is a title from pretty-new developer Electric Monkeys, which takes some evident inspiration from arcade games and classic Mega Man titles, which attempts to marry concepts from those games with a gravity-shifting mechanic that makes it challenging but not fun.  Let’s start with the positives here because it’s clear that Gravity Heroes’ most significant strength is its presentation. The game looks great for being a retro-style arcade shmup. Further, the characters have personalities, and the UI is fantastic. Though it has something of an excuse plot given its arcade inspiration, it’s worth noting that there’s some unique…

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