Crysis 3 - I enjoyed the Crysis series as a Predator sim, stealthing up, taking out a bunch of military guys in a sandbox, and on paper, this has the potential to be pretty good - the vehicles and wide open levels are back after being removed from 2, and there's some fun additions to the sandbox, like temporary heavy weapons which suit each playstyle or the ability to supercharge your powers, and it looks incredible for a 2013 game. Unfortunately I found it a uneven but thankfully brief slog, not helped by the game bugging out and permanently losing my bow in the second level, while clearly expecting you to have access to explosives or shock arrows throughout for certain enemies. And the less said about the plot the better.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar - This is a JRPG without the J based on some trashy comic book from the 90s I'd never heard of, and it's fantastic. And while turn-based line-dancing games have become synonymous with "throwback" this a thoroughly modern game, with so many quality of life improvements. Like I could talk for paragraphs on the smart design decisions this makes in its battle system - every move you have has some special effect with the "pure damage but more of it" moves being only available at higher levels, so the game gets you actually using tactics and stuff from the start. Status effects, buffs and debuffs scale and are kept useful throughout by being able to stack them, there's actual transparency on how much damage moves'll do, you can tell an enemy is casting a move if you've seen it before and can plan your response, so no need for "attack while the tail's up" prompts, you build temporary mana called Overcharge by using combat moves and get bonus XP for overkilling enemies, so you get to use your most powerful spells regularly, for free, rather than ration them for the boss, and playing this way also allows you to save your finite resources, so the mechanics still support the way people naturally play!
It genuinely improves so much, so effortlessly, that I'm basically having to re-evaluate my thoughts to the genre, how is it there is so little improvement over decades in JRPGs when a single small western indie team can fix so much in their first try? How is it even in the genres heydey you were lucky to get a tutorial, let alone other quality of life stuff? Is everyone else genuinely just a bit shit at what they do?