Batman Arkham Knight
Arkham Knight, being the third and definitely the most iterative of the Batman games, even more so than Arkham Origins, has a tall hill to climb. Much of the hook, the Batmobile content, is pretty questionable and its inclusion just comes off as unnecessary. In spite of all this, this final Batman title tells one magnificent story that sets the Arkham series aside as an incredible journey for the Dark Knight that stands up with some of the best Batman stories of all time as far as I’m concerned.
Even if blowing up tank drones isn’t the most ‘Batman’ thing to do, I still had fun weaving around the city in a mobile Bat-tank. Flying out of it, traversing almost all of Gotham and working directly with the GCPD makes for an incredibly authentic Batman experience. Not to mention the way each character’s story comes to a close through the many twists and turns that happen is madness are certain points.
Though maybe you’ll be disappointed from what you expect in this Arkham title, what you don’t know is coming will surely knock you off your feet. Batman is an excellent end to an excellent series, and even if it’s not the best game in the series, per se, but it is definitely the most authentic Batman experience.
Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition
It’s been interesting going back playing Devil May Cry 4 again after not playing it since it’s original release back in 2008. I usually have zeroes issues playing older games going back playing older games and getting used to archaic control schemes/level design but there’s something about this game that makes it seem anicent in a bad way. Granted, the combat feels better after awhile of playing but playing games like the rebooted DmC and Bayonetta just makes it seem way too stiff and restricted to do the moves you want to do. Though DMC4 has the biggest issue that from it original release of having to go through the levels all over again, playing with the new characters Trish, Lady, and Vergil does help to make the game fresh with different move list and techniques that each character possess.
Though not the greatest character action game in 2008 nor 2015 either, Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition does give you a ton of content classic DMC fan should enjoy. Just don’t expect this game to feel modern in any sense of the word.
J-Stars Victory VS +
There’s nothing really impressive in J-Stars Victory Vs +. The story mode isn’t all that great, the fighting is barely playable and it doesn’t really look as good as it probably should. Despite these flaws this game clearly has, when seeing something as surreal as Himura Kenshin going into battle with Yusuke Urameshi and Bo-Bobo I can’t help but have a huge smile in face. It’s something me, 10 years ago, would be head over heels for and I still feel that in me while playing it. Having all the Shounen Jump comic characters in an insane fighting game may not be the most quality experience but if you’ve ever wanted Son Goku and Naruto Uzamaki go head to head in a somewhat accurate battle, this may be your jam for the summer as I feel it will be for me.
The Long Dark (Xbox Game Preview)
I am by no means an advocate for early access. In fact, I’d advise against investing in any early access game. There is always the caveat that you know what you’re spending money on and understand the risk that the product may never be finished, and that’s fine, I respect that, just something to keep in mind.
I appreciate that all “Xbox Game Preview” titles need to have a trial that you can play for up to an hour. That means all of these early access titles can be tested before unlocking, similar to how all XBLA games on 360 needed a trial as well. I played The Long Dark’s trial and it just caught me. Maybe it was Jennifer Hale voicing the female character, or maybe it was the beautiful winter wonderland you find yourself trapped in; whatever it was, it had me.
After spending hours and hours, surviving for almost a month with some characters, I can say that The Long Dark stands proudly aside from its first-person-survival compatriots. Its hook is the need to stay warm and stay alive. You need to kill wolves. You have to. They will kill you! With a static sandbox to explore, it just has me starting over and over, seeing how long I can hack it in the ruthless winter-world. Hinterland Studio has a really solid idea here, and even though it’s only in alpha, I’m excited to spend more and more time in the cold woods of Canada, surviving a long dark journey.