Monday, 14 Jun 2021

The Hottest Reviews Of The Week (November 1-7, 2020)

The time has come! After a year of rumored delays, baseless speculation, disappointing trailers, seemingly endless periods of radio silence, and bad news being filtered through blog posts, they’re finally here. The PS5 and Xbox Series X generation are finally here.

TheGamer has been playing and dissecting each of the major new titles as they have been released. These are our reviews of some of the biggest releases of November 2020, including the latest consoles by Microsoft and Sony, the cute adventure that shows off the power of the DualSense, a thrilling JRPG crime adventure in modern Japan, and Miles Morales’ shining moment in the spotlight.

Related: The Hottest Reviews Of The Week (October 25-31, 2020)

Xbox Series X – No Score

The Xbox Series X is finally here and it offers an early glimpse of the power of next-gen, but it might be a bit too early. The hardware is everything that Microsoft promised it to be: lightning-fast load times, incredible visuals, and access to a massive library of games from previous Xbox systems. The new controller is a notable step up in comfort from the one used by the Xbox One, while the system itself is whisper quiet.

The only problem with the Xbox Series X at launch is that there are no games that show off the true power of the console. There is nothing in the system’s launch window that will wow audiences. Xbox Game Pass means that the customers will have access to a massive library of titles at launch, but it lacks the killer exclusive that would have pushed it over the edge. With all that being said, the Xbox Series X is an incredible piece of hardware for its price tag, and we can’t wait to see what games are released for the system in the future.

You can check out Kirk McKeand’s full review of the Xbox Series X here.

PlayStation 5 – No Score

The PS5 is a massive beast of a console that will refuse to fit into entertainment centers around the globe. Like the Xbox Series X, the PS5 features incredible graphics and near-instant load times. Unlike the Xbox Series X, it actually has games that can show off its potential at launch, which we’ll discuss later. The system also runs the bulk of the PS4’s library, with games like Days Gone and Ghost of Tsushima receiving performance upgrades. The UI of the system has also been overhauled, with the new Cards system making it easy to see guides for troublesome parts of a game, and keeping players informed of their trophy progress.

The highlight of the system is the DualSense controller. The much-lauded haptic feedback feature can emulate the sensation of in-game effects on your fingers, such as rainfall or a sandstorm. This brings gaming to new levels of immersion. The adaptive triggers responding to in-game actions by making it harder to pull them also add a great deal to immersion. The only problem is the battery life and the fact that charging only just keeps up with the controller when it’s active, meaning that you have to get into a routine of leaving it to charge when not using the PS5.

The PlayStation Plus Collection doesn’t compete with Xbox Game Pass in terms of numbers, but the PS5’s launch library actually has games that show off the potential of the system. Of the two systems, the PS5 feels more like a next-gen system, thanks in so small part to the Dualsense. It’s just a shame that the disastrous pre-order situation will prevent a lot of longtime Sony fans from actually playing the system in 2020.

You can check out Kirk McKeand’s full review of the PS5 here.

Astro’s Playroom – 4 Out Of 5 Stars

Astro’s Playroom is like the 1-2 Switch of the PS5, except that it’s free. It exists to show off the features of the console while offering a hefty dollop of fanservice (not the pervy kind) to longtime fans of the PlayStation.

Astro’s Playroom would be a generic collectathon platformer, if it weren’t for the technology in the DualSense controller. The haptic feedback in the controller makes every level and surface feel unique, while the adaptive triggers, motion sensors, and even the microphone are used to bypass hazards in each stage. The game is full of references to the history of PlayStation, ranging from its games to its hardware. Astro’s Playroom isn’t a long game, nor is it particularly in-depth, but it does give a great tour of what your new console is capable of.

You can check out Kirk McKeand’s full review of Astro’s Playroom here.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon – 5 Out Of 5 Stars

The Yakuza franchise is following the example of the Final Fantasy and Persona series with its first turn-based RPG. Yakuza: Like A Dragon eschews the fantasy setting of similar games for contemporary Japan. The orcs and dragons have been replaced with thugs and gangsters, while the magical swords and potions are now mundane items that the player gets their hands on. Yakuza: Like A Dragon also differentiates itself from is peers by implementing the battle locations in interesting ways, such as allowing items on the ground to be used in fights, or calling on allies from nearby places to rush in for an assist.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon follows Kasuga Ichiban, an ex-con who is betrayed by his former criminal friends and left for dead on the streets. Kasuga uses this opportunity to turn his back on his past and become a hero of the people, as well as discovering the reason behind his betrayal. The phenomenal story of Yakuza: Like A Dragon, coupled with its innovative gameplay makes it a must-have title for fans of JRPGs and the Yakuza series as a whole.

You can check out Bella Blondeau’s full review of Yakuza: Like A Dragon here.

Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales – 4.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Spider-Man: Miles Morales is the follow-up (but not quite sequel) to Insomniac Games’ incredible Spider-Man game on PS4. Miles Morales is the protege of Peter Parker and he has to step up and take on the role of Spider-Man while his mentor goes on vacation. Spider-Man Miles Morales is an incredible looking game, with almost no load times on the PS5. The same amazing exploration and gameplay of the previous game is here, and that’s the only point in which Spider-Man: Miles Morales stumbles, as it doesn’t do much to differentiate itself or improve upon the experience. The story of Miles protecting Harlem from villains (of both the street-level and super kinds) is more personal than Peter’s, and the great characters help keep things interesting until the end. Spider-Man: Miles Morales doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but people who loved the last game (and we’re guessing that’s a lot of you) should also love this one.

You can check out Kirk McKeand’s full review of Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales here.

Next: The Hottest Reviews Of The Week (October 18-24, 2020)

  • TheGamer Originals
  • Xbox
  • Ps5
  • Yakuza: Like A Dragon
  • Spider-Man: Miles Morales
  • Xbox Series

Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.

Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.

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