[Game] Nioh

Nioh.jpg

Game

Obviously inspired by Dark Souls, Nioh offers familiar game-play but with enough unique twists to set itself apart. I was thinking it would easily be a 5/5 game for me at the beginning, but as the game went on I realized I was fighting the same enemies over and over again regardless of the stage which honestly were all kind of similar to begin with — caves and old Japanese castles. Not to mention that nothing I was doing in game felt like it had ANYTHING to do with the story in the cutscenes.

Definitely nowhere near as meticulously designed as Dark Souls.

Positive:
Negative:
Challenging, satisfying game-play
Story feels like it has barely anything to do with what you’re playing
Lots of versatile styles to choose from
Repetitive enemies and level design
Great boss fights

[Game] Far Cry 5

Far Cry 5

Game
Finally, a sequel to Far Cry 3 that lives up to it with charismatic villains, and interesting world to explore, and relatively cool story.
Positive:
Negative:
A fascinating setting of religiously brainwashed rural USA
The sandbox nature makes it hard to tell a coherent narrative
Great, fitting background music
Can start feeling a bit repetitive after you play for longer
Interesting, relatively memorable characters
Doesn’t really do a particularly exceptional job at anything
A surprisingly unpredictable story, at least the conclusion
Interesting exploration
Fairly good shooter game-play

[Game] Moss

Moss

Game

A dull and unremarkable platformer that only stands out because it’s in virtual reality.

Positive: 
Negative:
An interesting approach to virtual reality
Unremarkable narrative
Unremarkable platformer game-play
Unfinished

 

[Game] Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

Ys VIII

Game

A satisfying if not exactly mind-blowing action JRPG.

Positive:
Negative:
The island is interesting to explore
Silent protagonist undermines the story
Likable characters, except the protagonist
Game-play doesn’t feel as tight as 2D Ys
Interesting story inspired by evolution
Lots of cool boss fights
Good English localization (retranslation)

[Game] Into the Breach

Into the Breach

Game

An insanely addicting and satisfying turn-based strategy game that’s a bit bare-bones on the narrative and way too short for how good it is (I ended up beating the game with all teams because I just couldn’t let it end so soon).

Positive:
Negative:
Good atmospheric soundtrack
Bare-bones narrative
Fantastic, super addicting and super satisfying game-play
Too short

[Game] Subnautica

Subnautica

Game

An survival game that focuses on underwater exploration that’s so freaking spooky it can double function as a horror game, especially in VR. It’s been a while since I was so bummed out by seeing a game end.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful underwater world design
The end-game vehicles become a chore to navigate
Fascinating, spooky setting full of mysteries
Achieving the ending feels more like busywork after you’ve explored everything
Effective, atmospheric music that pumps you up
Buggy VR support that can cause motion sickness
An absolute treat to explore
Surprisingly involving plot
Addicting survival game-play

 

[Game] Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime

Game

Sometimes I wonder if my internet connects me to a parallel dimension where Nintendo games are different from the ones I’m playing, but my version of Metroid Prime was a fairly dull experience comprised mostly of backtracking and running in circles interspersed with some enjoyable boss fights here and there.

Positive:
Negative:
Relatively well-designed maps to explore
Dull colors and similar looking rooms make it too easy to get lost and miss things
Good boss fights
Tedious scanning mechanic obscures the story
Wii controls blow some fresh air on the FPS formula
A fairly slow and dull experience overall

[Game] Serious Sam: Last Hope

Last Hope

Game

It’s just a standing shooter, but dodging bullets and blowing waves of monsters to smithereens is an absolute delight in VR.

Positive:
Negative:
Awesome, immersing VR experience
Short
Simple, but challenging and satisfying game-play
Health kits are overpowered, unbalancing the game

[Game] Sacrifice

Sacrifice

Game

Sacrifice offers a completely new approach to real time strategy which actually works… except for the camera.

Positive:
Negative:
Novel, good strategy game-play
Third person camera doesn’t work with real time strategy that well
Entertaining god characters
Regardless of branching, the story always leads to the same conclusion
A branching story that can take many directions
The story and plot aren’t all that special and don’t do a great job at building the world

 

[Game] Beat Saber

Beat Saber

An addicting VR rhythm game that’s genius in its simplicity, but also has no progression and relies on fan content that tends to be of varying degrees of quality. I wish it at least had some sort of challenge mode.

Positive:
Negative:
Addicting rhythm game-play
No progression
Awesome, immersing VR
Relies on fan content which varies in quality

 

[Game] Robo Recall

Robo Recall

Game

A fantastic VR shooter that’s over before you know it. With that length and lack of level variety, it feels more like a tech demo, but if this is what VR is capable of, then damn… I might have trouble returning to normal gaming.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautifully designed city
Too short
Good background music
All the stages take place in the same city
Upbeat, awesome atmosphere
Weak narrative
Fantastic shooter game-play seriously makes you feel like you’re in the Matrix
Amazing, immersing VR experience

 

[Game] Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV

Game

When Final fantasy XIII came out lots of people complained about it being too linear, and Square Enix had the bright idea to listen to these people and wandered out of their comfort zone, delivering the most open world Final Fantasy yet, which also happens to be the worst main series title since Final Fantasy II.

It reminded me of Resident Evil VI; a high budget disaster that completely lost its identity by trying to cater to everyone instead of doing its own thing. In Final Fantasy XV, the open world feels lifeless and offers absolutely nothing interesting to do. The narrative is all over the place, and then it feels like most of the story is missing anyway. Even the game-play feels unfinished, as despite some interesting mechanics it devolves to just button mashing and item spamming later in the game.

I came in with low expectations, but I couldn’t have been prepared for this. The only reason I managed to finish this game was because of my sheer disbelief that a Final Fantasy game couldn’t possibly be this bad. I kept pushing myself through this mess hoping it would become better… but it only became worse.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful visuals
Dull, lifeless characters
Good soundtrack
Noctis is one of the worst protagonists I’ve ever seen
An interesting, relatively modern-looking fantasy setting
The worst, most poorly fleshed out main villain in the series
Abysmal, disjointed, and incomplete story
Abysmal plot that’s all over the place and fails to catch your interest
Repetitive, dull, and unbalanced game-play
Lifeless, poorly designed open world with nothing to do
Countless fetch quests that would be embarrassing even in a MMORPG
Abysmal traveling/driving mechanics where you can’t even steer the car
Boring, boring, boring, boring, boring

[Game] Yoku’s Island Express

Yoku's Island Express

Game

This is probably one of the weirdest concepts I’ve seen in a game, but it actually works. I’d have enjoyed this just on the account of freshness, but it’s a pretty good metroidvania kind of game even without that.

Positive:
Negative:
Novel game-play that combines metroidvania and pinball
Some parts are easy to get lost in

[Game] Cities: Skylines

Cities - Skylines

Game

A competent city builder in the vein of Sim City. It was extremely difficult for me to figure out how traffic worked, but I enjoyed the game while it lasted.

Positive:
Negative:
Addicting sim strategy game-play
Doesn’t offer anything particularly new

[Game] Just Cause 3

Just Cause 3

Game

Just Cause 3 is a pretty good game, but… it’s just so similar to Just Cause 2, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference, and even that one already had problems with being overly repetitive and drawn out. I literally felt like I was playing the same game and the narrative didn’t offer much either, so I just… kind of stopped after a couple of hours of game-play and just couldn’t pick the game again.

I’d recommend checking it out if you haven’t played Just Cause 2, but otherwise there’s not much new to find here, unless you feel like replaying Just Cause 2.

Positive:
Negative:
A huge, beautiful sandbox to explore
Forgettable story and characters
Being able to destroy almost everything is awesome
Some basic features, like hiding in cover and sprinting are missing
Grappling hook mechanic is awesome
Liberating settlements is extremely repetitive
Lots of cool racing and flying challenges
Feels almost identical to the prequel

[Game] The Movies

The Movies

Game

A nice sim strategy game that combines The Sims with Theme Park-like building to experience running an American movie studio through history.

I kind of lost interest once the stars I nurtured ended up growing old and retiring, but I was having quite a blast with this game until then.

Positive:
Negative:
Addicting sim-strategy game-play
No campaign, just a sandbox with achievements
The experience is kind of ruined by your actors retiring
Some micromanagement feels clunky

 

[Game] Celeste

Celeste

Game

And I had people tell me that shitty story is part of platformer genre. I wish Nintendo games were half as engaging as this gem.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful, artistic stage design
SNES level graphics
Interesting, heartfelt story about anxiety and depression
Likable, relatively profound characters
Great and varied platforming game-play
Challenging difficulty

[Game] Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG

Game

I never imagined I’d actually enjoy this, but the story in this installment of Mario somehow wasn’t completely abysmal, though it still takes a backseat to game-play as usual in Nintendo games… which is still definitely for the best.

Positive:
Negative:
Sense of adventure
The story is very basic
Surprisingly likable characters
The setting is kind of silly
Platforming sections add variety
Though aged well, still a bit outdated
Simple, but nice turn-based game-play

[Game] Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

Ni no Kuni II The Revenant Kingdom

Game

Maybe I’d have liked this game if I were twenty years younger.

Positive:
Negative:
Fantastic anime visuals
Dull, simplistic, cliche story
A sense of adventure
Uninspired, stereotypical characters
Lots of forced tedious side-quests
Full of tedious gimmicks that add nothing to game-play
Low difficulty negates most game-play mechanics