Monster Hunter Rise has a comfy vibe. It’s coherently comfy in this instalment, which ditches the slightly more grounded edge of 2018’s Monster Hunter World in favour of a more relaxed and generally smaller scale experience, which also manages to dodge any significant compromises to the series’ well established gameplay loop. It’s a game that elegantly weaves together technically sublime encounters, pleasant preparation phases and a well-structured reward system.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon begins with a performance of dramatic violence. It’s part of a more detailed flashback that ends up serving a crucial story purpose, but isolated from its context and looking at it structurally, it’s certainly an interesting decision for the opening moments of the Yakuza game, which have previously begun in very different ways. Outside of the flashy intro movies, the beginning of Yakuza games have often been deceptively mundane — Yakuza 3 begins with Kiryu emerging from the water, catching some fish for dinner. Yakuza 4 begins with the office life of Akiyama on a rainy…

Adam Arter

stealth expert, giant robot fan, third-rate Scholar. I make words & videos focused on narrative and thematics in games!

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