Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Review Round-Up - June 2020

A clear copy of the Paper Mario formula with Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
didn't bug me when the end result was so satisfying!
Hope everyone is staying safe and if you can, staying inside... perhaps while playing some video games? Regardless, it's time for the Review Round-Up, where you and I join forces to look at the games that I reviewed for the previous month. In this case, we'll be talking about June 2020! Let's get to it, gang!

We kicked things off with the boys of summer with Super Mega Baseball 3, which knocked it out of the park in Metalhead's third series outing with a B+. Then, the Saints marched in to aim for the spotlight again with an impressive remaster, suitably titled Saints Row: The Third - Remastered. It, too, received a B+. From there, Nintendo and ND Cube's Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Games presented fun fare for gamers of all ages and skill levels, winning a B+ grade as a prize. Finally, SPC's Game of the Month is Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling, delighting with its excellent take on the Paper Mario formula, and excelling at it as well. So much so that I couldn't help but give the game a highly recommended A- grade.

To conclude this month's Review Round-Up, here are excerpts from each game review from June 2020, and a final reminder to check out the SPC Review Archive for every game review ever posted on SuperPhillip Central.

Super Mega Baseball 3 (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC) - B+
The Super Mega Baseball series is known for both its entertaining and accessible gameplay, and now Super Mega Baseball 3 further hammers this point home like a long, powerful drive over the center field wall. It makes even finagling with team budgets, lineups, and free agency--stuff that I found difficult to wrap my head around in more sim-like games--to be incredibly approachable and dare I say, fun. While the high cost of entry robs the game from being a complete grand slam, as it might be a barrier of entry for some prospective players, the welcoming gameplay and robust lineup of modes gives Super Mega Baseball 3 the walk-off home run all the same.
Saints Row: The Third - Remastered (PS4, XB1, PC) - B+
Saints Row: The Third - Remastered may not have evolved too much in the gameplay department, but what it has done is more than market itself well as a remaster, looking phenomenal at times. Much of the humor is dated and beyond juvenile, but there is some good stuff that gave me a giggle here and there. If you're sick of Steelport and the Saints' adventures therein, this remaster is not going to do anything to sweeten your opinion on the fictional city, but for those who want to jump in for a first, second, or--like me--a third time, then Saints Row: The Third - Remastered is a great game and excellent effort.
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics (NSW) - B+
Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is one of those games that I see myself coming back to for the near and also distant future. It's perfect to bring out for parties, family get-togethers, and any not-so-special occasion as well, such as when you're bored and looking to play a quick game of Four-In-A-Row or Dominoes to kill some time. Though online is a ridiculously rough spot, Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics is an otherwise highly competent and well put-together collection of gaming classics. Not all of the 51 games are winners, but the majority of the games brought and continue to bring loads of fun to the SuperPhillip household. I managed to accumulate armfuls of favorites. You certainly will, too.
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (PS4, NSW, XB1, PC) - A-
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling takes the ball that Nintendo and the Paper Mario series dropped and absolutely runs with it to amazing levels. The game is polished well, full of fun secrets to discover in its colorful worlds, complete with a superb script (though one that occasionally drags on during some scenes), and features a sublime take on Paper Mario's heralded battle system. It's easy to dismiss Bug Fables as a mere clone, but the game does so much differently and dare I say sometimes better than its clear inspiration that it's hard to even care. On "paper", Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling is a great game inspired by a Nintendo classic. In execution... well, it's still a great game inspired by a Nintendo classic!
What better way to stay in and enjoy some gaming than with a collection of 51 worldwide classics?
That's exactly what the sequel to 2005's Clubhouse Games gave Switch owners.

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