It’s weird to see Evolve doing so well in the wild. It was a game insulated in the gaming press – a consistent trade show attraction – for almost a year before it finally released. But here it is, a big draw on Twitch and successful new AAA IP from 2K, a publisher not known for its risk taking. Did I mention the game worked at launch? Isn’t that weird?
Whether this game will be a huge hit this time next year is a mystery that only time can solve. I do know that this game is a blast to play, from either the monster or the hunter’s perspective. You never know when your going to have your very own Jaws or Alien moment as you slink through the forests and mountains unseen. One false move between equally matched sides, and it becomes hard to predict who the hunter and hunted truly are. At my most optimistic, I could see Evolve not as a game needing sequels, but as a platform where new monsters, maps, modes, and hunters are plugged in every so often.
This is games business, though, and I expect to see an Evolve 2 before that little fantasy. A boy can dream, right?
Evolve is a demonstration in innovative game design. On the surface, asymmetrical multiplayer may seem like a gimmick, and it may even look like one from the outside in with Evolve too. The intricacies put in place here are much deeper, and all the harder to appreciate though.
Balancing one monster against four varying hunters must be a nightmare, but spin in 12 different hunters, three for each class, and three different monsters on top of that, and it will send your head reeling. After playing a whole bunch of each human class, I’ve unlocked all the dudes there are to get, and feel confident and comfortable in each class now. Each add such variety to every situation, and make hunting different monsters with different friends change widely from match to match.
But it’s intense moments like vehemently hunting a Kraken only to lose it every single time, and before you can land a single hit, it’s stage three. Then you have some of the best coordination you’ve ever had in a video game and take it down, the unthinkable to some, but not to me. Evolve rewards teamwork and proper planning just as it said it would, and it can create unendingly satisfying moments.
My review is forthcoming!
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D
For all of its flaws, none of them really come close to the huge successes of Majora’s Mask, and I’m so happy it got this re-release, so at least more people could give it a fair shake. Though Majora’s time limit may drive some people insane, by giving a much more forgiving hint system and overall streamlining the gameplay, cutting out a lot of the fat, accomplishing what you want in Majora is easier than it was before.
That, and all of the bosses have been changed and revamped to make them better, or at least more intense. Some didn’t need changes, in fact I’d say all of them didn’t, but it’s a wonder what they’ve done with them, and fans of the game that have seen this story before will want to see the changes and judge them for themselves.
Besides all of that, though, Majora’s Mask holds some of the most moving moments this series has ever seen, and missing out on it because of frustrating design choices that can be circumvented may not be the best choice. Give it a shot, because here on the 3DS it is easier to play, and much easier to get through, so all those die-hard Majora’s Mask fans can maybe let a few new members into their ranks.
The Order 1886
At the beginning playing The Order 1886 made me question what my video game taste are. Do lengthy stories with very little interactions not do it for me? No, that’s not the case because I love games like Beyond: Two Souls and Asura’s Wrath. Do I just hate it when games are just so super serious and doesn’t have fun with itself? That can’t be right because as The Walking Dead and Heavy Rain showed, when the story is well done, the overall tone of the game shouldn’t matter, and I feel The Order accomplishes this.
Overall though I think The Order 1886 is a good game, it’s just not a good enough game. The shooting can, at times, lackluster, the interactibles are pointless, and with no new game plus it’s very much a “one and done” game. However, I do think it’s worth the playthrough. The characters are interesting, once the story picks up it becomes engrossing, and it just looks phenomenal. This is not just any game you rent, it’s literally the perfect rental game. Not worth a buy full price but is worth the time playing. Give it a shot.
Darkest Dungeon (Early Access)
As vocal as I am about the state of Early Access, I can’t look at games like Darkest Dungeon and say that they’re all bad in earnest. This may not be a complete product, but its design and gameplay hooks are so well realized that you almost don’t care if it isn’t finished.
Lovecraftian lore is better referenced than read, in my opinion, and I think Darkest Dungeon takes the ideas of ancient evils, impending doom, and their effects on the mortal human mind and nails it better than any sprawling paragraph HP could produce. Trotting though these dungeons is incredibly harrowing after a while, and as my playtime with it hasn’t reached past double digits yet, I can feel it only gets more challenging. And no, its not the Dark Souls of turn based RPGs. Stop that.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
This series is finally getting its due with this latest entry. It’s always had certain charms and really good ideas, but the added polish and focus on being more entry level hunter friendly is finally making Monster Hunter a series worth recommending to people. I’ve been playing these games for a long time, and every edition there are new quirks and attractions to make the simple act of slaying monsters for loot ever enticing. This is, by far, the biggest leap in evolution between games.
A new found verticality means monsters can climb and manipulate multi tiered stages in ways they never had before. Changes have been made to running, climbing, carrying items, etc. all in the name of being faster, more responsive, and more approachable. Please continue this trend, Capcom.