Games like Judgement, Cosy Grove and NieR Replicant often go unnoticed, so we’re here to tell you why they’re worth your time and money.
Cosy Grove (Switch)
Last year Animal Crossing took over the world by storm with its casual gameplay and therapeutic loop. Cosy Grove channels much of that same energy. In fact, the game’s developers only really intend for you to play for 20-30 minutes a day over a long period of time.
Similar to Animal Crossing, in Cosy Grove you’ll find yourself in an untidy island in desperate need of some TLC. It’s also home to a whole lotta Casper-level ghosts – friendly souls looking for a way out. So as the days progress and you go about your usual farming, fishing and building, you’ll also be busy doing odd jobs for these spirits. Tasks will rarely be strenuous – like tracking down lost items – but you’ll be reward with firewood that is fed into a mystical fire that then in turn brings more colour to your world.
This game is charming, simple and perfect for pick-up-and-play sessions. It’s slower pace won’t be for everybody, but is one of the year’s best quiet achievers so far.
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Judgement (PS5, Xbox Series X/S)
For newcomers, the Yakuza series is a daunting challenge, with countless games you’d need to add to your pile of shame before you’re caught up with everything. That’s why Judgement, originally released in 2018, is such a promising adventure. while it’s set in the world of Yakuza, the whole game is a spin-off, delivering a whole new story focused on private detective Takayuki Yagami.
If you haven’t played it before, this update is well worth a look and is one of, if not the best, looking Yakuza-style game out there. The boost on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S is significant, with 60fps now making gameplay silky smooth as you navigate the world.
The sad news is that if you wanted to transfer an old save, or hoped that you’d get a free upgrade path like some titles offer, you’re shit outta luck on both fronts.
But complete newcomers should add Judgement to your wish list pronto.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139… (PS4, XBO, PC)
The tale of Nier Replicant is a complicated one. Technically, it blurs the lines between remake and remaster – focusing on a main character of the 2010 original that only existed in the Japanese version of the game. Yep, it’s all a bit weird. But for those who missed the game entirely, this is the version to get invested in.
The game tasks you with saving your sister from a deadly plague, in amongst a world thrown into chaos. That’s probably the best elevator pitch without falling into a deep rabbit hole, so trust us when we say if you like quirky Japanese RPG action games, you’ll probably like Replicant.
Plus, this new version has a much better performance than its PS3 original and a new lock-on camera that makes combat encounters much more satisfying and less unwieldy. Just be prepared to take part in a lot of repetitive fetch quests.
You can read more about this topic over at the Gaming Observer.