Super Smash Bros (3DS)
I adore Super Smash Brothers, and I always will. It is kind of something that kids think of when they play video games: an absurd mash up of a ton of recognizable characters that just works, because it’s dumb, fun, and awesome, all at the same time. That’s exactly what Smash Bros on 3DS is, and it’s also on the go.
The series has never gone portable before, and it’s understandable to be worried, but put those aside: this iteration of Smash Bros plays better than any other version in my opinion. It’s faster than Brawl and has the coolest and most diverse cast the franchise has ever seen. It just plays super well, and runs incredibly well on the 3DS. The time, love and care is there, and it’s easy to notice.
It’s super simple to pop off a few matches really quickly, or run through the now-shortened classic mode, making this just feel great on the go. Sure, the big Wii U version is just a few weeks away, and that may be better, but you can take this version with you wherever you go, and it’s awesome.
Check out my review. (FORTHCOMING)
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor
As time will ultimately tell just how this title gets remembered (and why), as far as Fall 2014 goes, Shadow of Mordor may be THE sleeper hit of this year. I expected absolutely nothing from this game when it was announced. And even its spread in Game Informer did little to sway me. It wasn’t until gameplay footage surfaced during E3 where this game hit my radar. When Evolve was eventually delayed till next year, this became my fall AAA experimental buy. When I started playing it, I couldn’t put it down. 4 days and a Platinum Trophy later I realized this games was absolutely brilliant.
Let’s keep it in context, though. It’s an open world action game in the vein of Assassin’s Creed and the Arkham games and doesn’t stray very far from those series’ tried and true formulae (though, it arguably executes their signature styles better). Besides the truly inventive Nemesis system, this game doesn’t really break barriers as far as uniquity in content is concerned. But execution is everything, as any good action movie buff will attest to.
The Evil Within
Shinji Mikami returns to direct another survival horror game and this time it’s a new IP called The Evil Within. Despite some of its problems the one thing it does right, is give you the perfect sense of horror and feeling of dread horror games need. Each place you visit has a great ambiance to it that is also helped with the villains and creatures that are seen throughout. The story has its ups and downs with some great memorable moments, but that also comes with some mediocre forgettable scenes and characters.
I will quickly get the things I didn’t like out of the way, first being the ammo scarcity. For how many times I had to fight bosses or tons of enemies, I found myself with no ammo during these important encounters, more times then none. The second and last thing was checkpoints are atrocious, I finally had a good run and got past a hard part I continued on and more enemies showed up when I got trapped and died. This was 30 minutes of hell that I had to replay multiple times because of the bad checkpoint placements. Now with the bad out of the way, I can say I did enjoy the trial and error aspect of levels. I feel like every time I died was because I was rushing or wasn’t using my ammo and the environment efficiently. I also enjoyed the feel of the game, which felt like a mix between Resident Evil 4 and The Last of Us but not to the perfection that those two games provide.
The Evil Within is a great horror game with some minor issues, which I personally can blow off. Don’t expect a lot of jump scares or feeling helpless like in other recent horror games like Outlast and Alien: Isolation. Its horror comes from visuals, environments, and the grotesque ways of dying, and to me that makes a better horror game then the jump scares that most games rely on now a days like Five Nights at Freddy’s. I know that this game won’t be for everyone, but the time I sank into was enjoyable and may warrant another play through in the future and highly recommend that people give it a shot.
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I couldn’t tell you why I was just immediately in love with Fantasy Life when I first saw it, but I was. Maybe it was seeing Sword Art Online and feeling the growing desire to escape into my own magical world. Maybe it was losing interest in Animal Crossing because there was enough hook there. Either way, Fantasy Life scratches all mentioned itches, and more.
It’s an adorable little adventure where you can be anything you want, whether it’s a cook, a wizard or a warrior. The world is populated with tons of crazy fantasy locations, and silly characters that drown you with the charm of this game as you set out on your adventure. It’s silly, fun and just so easily puts a smile on my face. Plus, it feels right at home on the 3DS and is one of the easiest, “pick up and play,” games I’ve seen all year.
Have you’ve ever had a moment where there’s something you truly loved that no one really understood why you do, just to have them finally get it and turns out they love it as much as you do? Bayonetta 2 is not just good game, it’s one of the top 3 games of the years from almost every gaming website. It’s insane (as the game itself) that Bayonetta 2 beats out games like Destiny, Watch_Dogs, and even Titanfall. Nothing this year plays, looks, and feels as good as Bayonetta 2. I’ve been saying it’s going to be my game of the year for 2 years now and guess what? *Spoiler Alert* It totally is.
In case you were concerned, Nidhogg is still just as good as I remember it. Now with the added brain power and billfold of Sony backing the project, online matches are more stable, and the Dualshock 4 is the best controller to stab your enemies in the mighty pink wurm’s name. This is also the perfect Share Play game, as matches people may be skeptical of its merits at first but will almost always be persuaded after their first few rounds.