DmC: Definitive Edition
I joked with Nabeshin in late February during the planning of this month’s Passions about how it would be a busy month for me because of all the great games coming out. Ironically, the only game I’ve played in March was a game I already got the platinum trophy in 2 years ago. I fully accept that I am a special sort of ass clown.
But DmC: DE is a damn good game made better by 60 fps, remixed difficulties, and Turbo mode. I do have to add, though, that once I get the platinum for this version of the game, I will have finished this game 8 times. The story doesn’t get any better on the 8th run, if you’re wondering.
That said, I hope these characters don’t just disappear, New Dante and New Vergil are great representations of these classic characters and have a lot of story potential. Hopefully in better written games.
Ori and the Blind Forest
Ori and the Blind Forest is a goddamn magical game. It takes the idea of telling a “storybook” tale in a video game to an entirely new level. It evolves on all those indie darlings before it by doing a full-on UP bait-and-switch. You get all the emotional investment and payoff right there in the first ten minutes, then you actually get control of Ori.
She jumps, climbs and flips her way beautiful through the hand-painting environments like no other before her. The experience immediately evolves into a Metroidvania, where collecting power ups, backtracking, and incredibly tight platforming are all names of the game. I can not emphasize enough how fantastic this game looks and feels, and they just work together, something often seldom in games that proport themselves as indie darlings or emotional story experience. Here, you get the best of both worlds, and they meld perfectly in a storybook style.
Ori is a tough one to beat, as far as gaming experiences go this year. After finishing the game, I was left just breathless at the adventure that had unfolded before me. It’s just powerful stuff.
Battlefield Hardline is the newest installment in the Battlefield series and takes a slightly different approach to the whole Battlefield style we know and love. Instead of military factions the game is instead focused around the classic cops vs. robbers idea. Going this route really opened up a lot of possibilities to this game we haven’t seen before.
New game modes are present such as Hiest, a bank robbery objective, Hotwire, where the repossessed cars are the control points, and Blood Money, where each team tries to recover as much money as possible, just to name a few of the game mode options present in Hardline. We also get a whole new line of vehicles such as S.W.A.T. trucks, Police Interceptors, and muscle cars. As far as weapons go there are a lot of similar guns we have seen in previous Battlefields but also brand new weapons such as tasers, ziplines, and batons are present.
My favorite thing about Hardline isn’t just the cool new toys but it’s the gameplay elements and overall fun of the game that makes it such a success in my books. There is a big difference between enjoying a game and just straight up having fun with a game and we don’t see the latter all that often anymore. If you are looking for a game with a fun core gameplay loop and dynamic objective modes than I fully suggest giving Battlefield Hardline a try.
Mario Party 10
Mario Party 10 isn’t my favorite kind of party. Though I commend them for the for the Bowser Mode which lets you control Bowser and the amiibo Mode that gives you classic Mario Party gameplay in the most simplest of form, there’s almost a new layer of boredom added to this mix that makes it unappealing.
I’m guessing it’s a matter of who you ask of what you come to Mario Party for and for myself it’s the constant mini games and the rivalry of getting the most stars. Having everyone moving at the same time in the car, not having rounds to have a constant stream of mini-games, and the fact that stars are now just what coins were in the previous games loses a lot for me and makes the challenge of having a come from behind victory almost non-existent.
There is still fun to be had and the mini-games are fun when they come around but when the other 70% of the game is just a boring slog, you can’t help but feel disappointed with this release. This is one party I think is ok to “lose” the invitation to.
A lot of people have complained about Bloodborne. They’ve called it too streamlined, or to different. To me, this isn’t that: this is evolution of a ‘genre’, for lack of a better term, that could quickly become stagnant. Dark Souls 2 is an excellent continuation of what From Software set out to do with Dark Souls, but at the end of the day, it was more of the same. Bloodborne is anything but “the same” and challenges third person action games in a new and very exciting way.
From the new mechanics to combat to the streamlined states and transforming weapons, Bloodborne is fresh and new, while still retaining the feel of a Souls game, which it is at heart. It still have the give and take of combat, but feels more challenging because it requires so much more aggressive out of the player. You can’t be a passive patron in battle, and you need to charge in and stay sharp to find that satisfaction these games dole out in droves, when given the time, love and care to beat them.
Bloodborne feels like the true sequel to Dark Souls, continuing a chain of ever-evolving action games that started with Demon’s Souls. I love it, and I can’t wait to play more of my insanely hard New Game+.
Final Fantasy XV: “Episode Duscae”
Do you remember when Final Fantasy XIII was announced and they shown the first gameplay of it? Do you remember that it looked action based and you were going to control characters in real time and attack in real time? I do, and I was disappointed that we didn’t get that with the final game. Then there was Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a game that got the attention of everyone from the first sign of videos. If you don’t remember that name at all, it’s because it is now Final Fantasy XV.
If you were excited for that game, then you probably already played Final Fantasy XV Episode Duscae. Despite the many flak the game is getting for reasons you may or may not disagree with there is one thing that everyone agrees, this demo is beautiful. The environments are stunning, the lighting from the sun and moon is captivating, looking at the stars at night never looked better. You can’t deny that this game when it comes out and is completely finished that it may be one of the best looking games of all time.
The gameplay and how you fight takes some getting used to since it is a new system for a Final Fantasy game. You no longer get into random encounters on another screen, it all happens right on the field you are in, whether you are snuck up on from behind or you run head first to some enemies. Fighting is action based where you control all actions of your character. Depending on how your weapons are arranged different attack methods are found when attacking. You can also warp to get in close to attack or go on top of a tower assess the situation and recharge your mana. This demo is a good taste with some small problems of what Final Fantasy XV will be like. Also can we all admit that the new Cid is the best Cid, that southern accent is just adorable.
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Axiom Verge takes it’s Metroidvania roots very seriously. Maybe to a bit of a fault, even, but nonetheless, what you get is one of the most robust and true-to-form 2D Metroid-like experiences since Metroid Zero Mission on the GameBoy Advanced. Everything is there, from the morph ball equivalent, to backtracking, to just about everything in between.
The world created here, Sudra I believe (it’s a little ambiguous), is open and mysterious and covered with giant monsters to tackle. The aliens from the surface to the deepest depths may send your mind for a loop, but the bosses are what really shine. They go from horrific to gigantic, with some tricks to the mind thrown in there for good measure. It’s awe-inspiring, and a wonderful sight to see.
I’ve been begging for a new Metroid, a traditional one. Even another Metroid Prime with hit the spot with me, as it’s just that formula done perfectly in 3D. This has all the makings of a great Super Metroid clone, and that it is a bit too derivative, it hits all the right notes. If you want to see Metroid again, you should play Axiom Verge.
Life Is Strange: Out of Time
I was already captivated by Life is Strange from playing the first episode but now after finishing the newest entry “Out of Time”, I couldn’t be more in love with this series. There was something about this episode in particular that really resonated with me. Having troubled friends and being there for them no matter what kind of situation put in front of you is something I strongly believe in and I could really see myself as Max when those events happen.
Even though the game’s character models and language are CLEARLY not the best they can be at times, there’s a certain realness to this game that I feel most games don’t have. A kind of sincerity of taking the modern teenage lifestyle and having it played out. I cannot wait for the next episode.
I can’t deny that Life is Strange is compelling, or satisfying and I love almost everything about it. Out of Time dances very close to the fire though, and it’s a risk they earn and take with respect. It’s an emotional experience, especially for someone who struggles with depression on a daily basis. Regardless, Out of Time is all about character, and it delivers.
Frome Chloe to Warren, you see a bit more of all the characters that will hold center-stage in this story, while still developing Max and the kind of Max you want to be. It plays around with her powers and even gives her some new tricks, but this episode ends with a very serious tone, and a serious choice. I have a lot of thoughts on it, and it’s best if you see my spoiler-friendly review.