Contradictions abound in ReCore, a platforming shooter with a likeable female lead in Joule Adams. It's a promising collaboration between Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune (see also Dead Rising, Onimusha and many more) and veterans of the Metroid Prime series.
But it also took three studios to finish and retails at mid-price, which hints at a lack of confidence in the final product.
First impressions help. An intriguing desert planet overrun by rogue droids provides an enjoyable stomping ground for Joule's mix of acrobatic platforming and frenetic gunplay. She's assisted by a roster of loyal bots, which variously enhance her traversal skills, seek treasure or attack enemies.
ReCore throws crafting, upgrades plus Metroid-style gear-gating into the mix and, for a while, it's very moreish. But the hollow centre eventually becomes hard to ignore.
The buddy-upgrade system feels arbitrary, the storyline descends into padding and as the difficulty spikes, the horrendous loading times eat away at your soul.
Another year of production could perhaps have made ReCore a true gem but now it's a flawed Joule.
(XO/PS4/PC) Rating: 4/5 Age: 7+
Twenty years of Worms' turn-based mayhem has spawned one of the franchise's finest thanks to a return to its 2D roots. The usual hilarious accident-prone combat benefits from the addition of new weapons (including a hefty air strike), vehicles, item crafting and buildings for shelter. Best played with other players on the sofa beside you, WMD is a nostalgic throwback blissfully at odds with recent missteps in the series.
God Eater 2: Rage Burst
(PS4/PC/Vita) Rating: 3/5 Age: 12+
Let's get the Monster Hunter comparisons out of the way immediately. God Eater desperately wants to be Monster Hunter but isn't. This Rage Burst edition, a remastered version of a PS Vita title, is stuffed with content but, betraying its origins on a handheld, lacks visual flair.
Otherwise, it's full of usual Monster Hunter tropes - bizarre beasts to be slain with crazy weapons, endless grinding to level up and a near-unfathomable array of customisation options.
Fans of Japanese RPGs will feel at home but even they may realise GE2 lacks the wit and polish of a typical Monster Hunter adventure.