2017 So Far…..
Alright Dashcancel friends, I think I want to start up a little segment called Game Dash. Here’s how it works- Since we are getting ready to go into the latter half of 2017, I thought I would write about some of the games 2017 has graced(or shamed) us with already, in a sort of fast paced way. Can you feel the excitement?!?! Oh wait, that might be nausea, after I put on the Playstation VR and experienced(gasp!)-
Resident Evil 7
I have played quite a bit of my Playstation VR(PSVR) now, and have had some really neat experiences. Some people get dizzy or nausea while playing VR games, due to a number of reasons. I am not one of them….. until I played Resident Evil 7(RE7) in VR mode. I will keep this quick and painless, unlike a number of gruesome deaths you will experience in the game.
I have read that the game has a hard time performing in vr mode, and the refresh rate takes a bit of a dive, causing your eyes and brain all kinds of kill me now feelings. And as much as I loved the immersion this game brought with VR, I opted to give it up, instead of giving up my lunch every little bit. Just walking and seeing things move across the screen didn’t jive with me at all. Try at your own lunch-I mean risk. So my thoughts on the actual game?
I first thought of this game as a hiding simulator(think Outlast), but was quickly reminded that it was indeed Resident Evil, with a nice southern cult family twist. Playing in first person was a nice change for the main entries of the RE series, and the encounters truly made me jump and freak out a bit. There are some choices in the game that can lead to different outcomes, and fights, just like in some of the older titles. This truly fits right at home in the series. Check it out.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
Having been a huge fan of the first Mass Effect and the Mako (Mako forever!), I was excited to hear that it more or less made a return in Andromeda. You get Mass Effect here. Go to planets, explore, fight, move the story along, talk to your crew, etc…. But there was just something off here for me. Was it the loss of Shepherd and his/her crew? Was it Ryder’s happy go lucky attitude after being dealt what seemed like nonstop hardships over and over again? I got a wave of- been here done that hard with this game. I didn’t care about any of the characters really, until way later in the game. Was it a bad game? No. It just fell short of what I wanted out of Mass Effect, even though the ingredients are all there.
Hitman: The Complete First Season
I know, Hitman released last year. But where it was released as an episodic game, I played on into 2017. This game feels more and more polished with each “episode”(level). Honestly, I hated the thought of what I would call a AAA game being chopped up like this. It worked wonders here. It gave the devs room to breathe, and think, to try and keep things fresh. From the set pieces to the usual thousand different ways to complete your objectives, this game keeps you entertained. There could be hope for other games to follow the same formula and work.
Halo Wars 2
I enjoy real time strategy games. I really enjoy Halo. This is a no brainer, right? Wrong. I did not enjoy either entry of Halo Wars. While I will say that the controls work well for a console RTS, it did nothing for me. The layout was bland, the story was meh, and I just couldn’t keep my focus on it. I would rather play RE7 VR barfing.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Play this game. Stop playing whatever you are playing, and dive into this game. This isn’t some Nintendo hype, this game kept me glued to my TV and Switch on the go. I have friends that aren’t big into Zelda that thanked me for pushing them to play it. The beautiful, Studio Ghibli style artwork shines in this truly open world gem. And with voice actors? Yep. And a story too, at least more than what you usually get in the Zelda series. While 2017 has had some great games so far, this one will be a tough contender for game of the year.
Yet another game of the year contender here. This game takes everything amazing about the Persona series, and pushes it to the limit(limit! You thought it too). While the Persona series is known for all of its stylized Japanese flavor, P5 boasts an easy 100 plus hours, and plenty of things to dive into on your day to day life over in Japan. Or in EJ’s case, home(so jealous). I found myself immediately drawn to the characters, and what they want to accomplish. This truly felt like an amazing anime series being unfolded as you kept playing. PSA- Please, PLEASE, play this with the original Japanese voice actors, and not the stab your ears out English cast. This tends to happen often when games are brought outside of Japan to other countries. Occasionally they translation and voice actors are good enough to play through. Or sometimes you have no option to change them. But in almost every case, I opt to change it, because you feel the original emotion intended for what you are experiencing. I can keep going, but I will move on… After you agree to play this game…with the original voice cast…ahem-
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands
I honestly thought the beta was uninteresting. The camera was too close on your character for my liking. But after being coerced into playing it with some friends, I thought the full game was fun enough to keep me playing. I had minimal fun playing solo, so I waited until my friends were on to play. Sometimes we would finish missions all stealth, feeling like we were bad asses. Sometimes we would go in guns blazing, and usually get killed, due to someone not wanting to go in stealth. I love stealth games, so I always opted for the stealth route. This game really isn’t about bursting in and gunning down everything in your path. You will usually get wrecked in that case. Or sometimes we would just mess around, or even sabotage the missions, by running each other over, or throwing a grenade under you dirt bike, to watch you fly in the air good times. Pick this up for co op only.
Blaster Master Zero
I felt I had to talk about this game due to my love for the old Nintendo Blaster Master. This game holds up to the original, and even adds in some newer gameplay mechanics and cutscenes. I really enjoyed what it had to offer. Not exactly a remake, but it brought back most of the areas form the first game. Pick it up on your Switch or 3DS.
Banjo Kazooie 3? Not even close. EJ told me how bad it was, so I had to see for myself. This game truly feels like it belongs back in 1999, complete with wonky camera controls, button lag, and just all around bland level design. Pick up Rare Replay, and experience Banjo Kazooie 1 and 2, which are much better games, that still hold up well today.
Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood
Loving it so far. Check out my early impressions I wrote.
Friday the 13th
Have my review up on that. Great game. Plenty of room for improvement, but I play it about every other day at least.
Games that I have on my list to play:
I know. Shame on me. I am a huge Demon/Dark Souls fan, and should have already played this seeing the definite Souls/Ninja Gaiden vibe there. I will get to it. Soon. Hopefully with EJ’s help.
After playing the demo from the Playstation store, I was sold. The controls were very tight, and the action was just an all around blast to play. Plus the change ups from a straight up action game, to the bullet hell shooter mechanics, to it going to a side scrolling element at points left me wanting more. This will happen.
I just picked this game up, having put the first Valkyria Chronicles up there with the likes of Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre for an amazing turn based strategy experience. More to come on this very soon.
This looks like another 3DS games I can sink my teeth into. It features some colorful sprites, along with a nice soundtrack from what I have listened to so far.