For those who haven't yet given Katamari Damacy a shot, if you long for the unexpected and uncomplicated, Katamari Damacy REROLL offers respite from the norm of today's games. If you've always had a soft spot for the series, this is your chance to relive the joys of proving yourself through a brighter, more clearly defined lens.
Alas, main characters sometimes receiving a single line of dialogue to describe their end, if anything at all, is what makes The Banner Saga so unique. Life is fleeting, as it is for the hundreds of clansmen I lost throughout the past four years, as it is for my characters who wandered off and never returned, and as it is for the ultimate conclusion to The Banner Saga.
At the end of the day, it takes more than fun mini games to make a good Mario Party game. It's also about carefully crafting a meaningful game experience that allows you to screw over your friends in the most skilled, fair way possible (with a dash of luck, obvs). Hopefully Nintendo can keep the series alive and perfect the spirit of Mario Party for the Switch, but for now I think Mario Party games are officially dead for the 3DS.
Although I wasn't quite as attached to the characters as I had hoped, I did appreciate the medley of personalities and felt the world and its customs were admirably orchestrated within everyone's backstory. It might not be for everyone, but Pyre delivers on its fun gameplay in a way that beautifully illustrates the struggles of redemption and what it means to gain true freedom.
There aren't many games that can offer a camaraderie aspect to the survival horror genre, and Friday the 13th delivers in that regard. It could certainly use a lot more fine tuning and adjustments, but for now, it delivers on a solidly campy experience.
As much as I love PaRappa and his quest to find love with Sunny Funny, the experience was significantly marred with the visible lag and the lack of calibration options. For a remastered rhythm game, this is practically a must-have given calibration difficulties with modern televisions. I still enjoyed my time with the updated, clean-looking PaRappa, but I might just go back to playing the PSP version if I got the funky flow...
I now know why people fell in love with Bastion. It's a perfectly proportioned, well packaged, beautiful escape into a foreign world with compelling music, art, and narration. There's no real added benefits to playing it on the Xbox One besides a few more achievements, but then again, it doesn't really need any upgrades. It's fairly perfect as it stands.
Virginia is, at its best, a gaming mechanism that provides slightly more immersion than watching a movie -- and at its worst, a failed walking simulator with a convoluted ending. Because it is a scripted experience light on interaction and choice, I'm not entirely sure I can recommend it as a game. There may be an inkling of promise in its budding story, but for many I imagine it will be hard to read between the lines and even harder to consider it a worthy experience.
It’s a special thing when a game gifts you a superior experience without traditional or prescribed story mechanics, and from that perspective Obduction prevails completely. Some of the puzzles and paths can become overused and tiring after a while, but on the whole it stretches the mind in the right ways. For what it sets out to do, it does it pretty perfectly, and I think both fans and newcomers alike will appreciate its ingenuity.
This is the Police presents situations that aren’t deep enough to invoke social commentary, yet it still takes the opportunity to arbitrarily throw them out in the open. It’s missing key storytelling elements that allow for that kind of messaging, and in the mundane yet slur-sprinkled missions those ideas fall apart. However with its interesting gameplay mechanics, pretty packaging, and plans for a sandbox mode it has a lot of future promise which I hope they deliver on.
Regardless, I really enjoyed this installment of Rhythm Heaven -- the lighthearted story and silly characters gave it even more charm than its predecessors, and I reveled in its dopiness. I didn’t even mind playing through the old games I had conquered many a time previously. Similar to Katamari Damacy, WarioWare, and other inane Japanese creations, the heart of these games are really in their core, catchy repeatable gameplay. You will laugh, you will cry, you will perfect, you will try again -- but most of all, you will find heavenly flow.
However, even if you're one to stomach these triggers in some way, you must also be open to the power of storytelling over gameplay. If you're looking for a jump-out action packed horror game, The Town of Light is not for you. But I urge you to open your mind and consider it a separate learning experience.
Day of the Tentacle remastered is an excellent way to feed your 90s soul with good, nonsensical fun. The remastered graphics capture the cartoonish charm of the original perfectly, yet the updated sound and controls give it a much more modern feel. They managed to capture the original spirit of the game while still smoothing over any bumps that may have cropped up due to its age. I’m glad I had a chance to play it through this lens, and I’d definitely recommend for any fans of this genre to give it a go, or for old fans of the game to relive the experience in a shinier fashion.
Unravel cherishes the best moments in life while recognizing the hard battles we sometimes face as families, all wrapped up within delightful gameplay and stunning scenery. The atmosphere is so compelling that I couldn't help but feel like a piece of my own story was wrapped up in the game with the rest of the photo album. It's rare but a special thing when a game manages to impart a story that touches strings deep in the heart, and Unravel manages to meet and exceed this feat. Get ready to have all the feels.
Despite the great storytelling mechanics, I can't help but wish there was a little more to the game. When all was said and done it wrapped up in a handful of hours at most and I was left craving more. It's especially a let down because the game invents such new ways of thinking about the horror genre, and it left so much to be expanded on. However, I honestly have to applaud the team for delivering a concise and complete story in that amount of time, and one that is so unique to the horror realm at that.
It's sad to say, but I can only recommend Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star if you're either a) extremely bird to death over the holidays, B) extremely drunk over the holidays, or ideally, c) extremely both. Fans of the original game may enjoy seeing the same birds in new situations, but the lack of any choice or gameplay (even compared to the first) is just downright owlful. Those looking for an actual game may want to sparrow themselves the pain.
Despite my qualms, I had fun playing Just Dance 2016 -- but then again, it's hard not to. It's still a favored party game and one that has almost perfected the fun-for-all game model. Heck, it's reached a point where it's thrown in some mediocre new modes and a subscription model just to keep itself fresh, so in some cases you can call this a success. However you can also say that Just Dance is a dying breed, one that is taking its last breath to capitalize on the streaming craze that's enveloped our little gaming world. I say we don't think about it too deeply, and just dance.
Armikrog does not surpass The Neverhood, but just like a successor to any celebrated piece of media, that would have been an impossible task. However, it does contain a unique charm in its own right which fans of The Neverhood or other old-school point-and-click adventures will especially appreciate. Those followers will likely forgive its faults for a taste of nostalgia, but others new to this realm may find it too outdated and unpolished.
SOMA gets everything right about the the survival horror genre. It's like someone created the perfect video game mixtape -- a little bit of abandoned underwater atmosphere from BioShock, detailed environments a la Gone Home, and (of course) the frenzied monster mechanics from Amnesia. Even if you dislike non-combat-oriented games, I dare you to give it a try.