Overall I very much enjoyed my time with Afterparty. The world was gorgeous and filled with likeable, interesting characters. It tackled themes I found particularly compelling, and the dialogue options offer a lot of replayability. I would actually love to go back and see if I can’t get some different outcomes from the ones I got my first playthrough. It’s light on gameplay, but this is a game I would definitely recommend for those who enjoy narrative experiences.
There’s a lot to like about SC5VR, but it’s definitely geared toward fans of the series. Newcomers to VR will find an easy rhythm game with a low barrier of entry and style oozing from every pore, but rhythm players wanting a challenge may need to look elsewhere. Still, if you have access to a VR system, I suggest at least giving Kinda Funky News Flash! a gander. It’s is available for PlayStation VR for $39.99 USD. The game requires the PlayStation Camera and two Move controllers. Grounding eventually plans to release versions for the HTC Vive, SteamVR, and oculus quest.
I spent 14 hours with Wintermoor. It was charming and engaging, with some snappy writing and pretty decent art direction. I liked the world of Wintermoor Academy. If I had one major complaint, it would be the tedium of walking back and forth between areas of the school during fetch quests. There aren’t many in the game, thankfully, but it did tend to drag the pacing a bit for me. And while the music is solid overall, I do wish there had been more variety. As it goes though, those are pretty minor nitpicks.
How far would you go to get revenge? How much would you sacrifice for forgiveness? How do you deal with guilt when it eats you from inside? Is there a line you won’t cross, or is everything fair game to make someone else pay for your pain? None of these are easy questions with simple answers, and The Last of Us Part II doesn’t really offer a definitive answer, either. It can’t, and if it did, it would ring hollow. Instead we’re left with the wreckage of two lives spurred on by vengeance and the hope that, maybe, there is closure for the worst of us.
I wanted to like my time with Double Kick Heroes more than I did. It’s got a great soundtrack, memorable aesthetic, and a fun concept in a rhythm shooter. Playing the game tended to be more frustrating and physically uncomfortable for me than fun, however, even taking advantage of the numerous options available. For metal fans, this game is a must-play, if only for the ear worms, and I would suggest rhythm fans check it out if they want a challenging, albeit frustrating, title. That being said, I think I’d rather just listen to the soundtrack.
If you enjoy meta-fiction the way I do, I think you’ll enjoy your time with The Wanderer: Frankenstein’s Creature. Clocking in at around two hours, the game is brisk but does offer replay value. The game touches on several concepts near and dear to my heart, including the idea that fiction exists beyond its creator, as well as what constitutes immortality. It’s a somber look at depression, but also finds the beauty in a flawed existence. There’s very little gameplay to be had, but like a good book or film, the questions The Wanderer poses about life, love, complicity, and free will stick with me.
In the roughly 15 hours I spent with No Straight Roads, I got to experience a fun ride with a lot of things to say about the music industry, fan entitlement, the ways artists deal with both the positive and negative aspects of fame and creativity, and the messiness of trying to fix a broken system. In their quest to overthrow NSR and bring back rock, Mayday and Zuke also trod on those who genuinely enjoyed the EDM they were hearing, and were on their way to instating rock as the law of the land. Would that make them better than NSR, or just as bad? How much room do we allow for differing voices? When does one voice become so overwhelmingly strong – either through popularity, force, or a combination – that it silences others? And how do artists deal with balancing their personal creative wants with appeasing those who love their creations? When do the fans dictate the creativity rather than the artist? NSR has something to say about each of these – some more coherently than others – and even if I don’t agree with its conclusions in all cases, it sure made a for a fun argument along the way.
Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing is a fun little title that takes advantage of virtual reality’s ability to break physical boundaries to provide an engaging flight simulation. The animation and acting help bring these quirky characters to life in an immersive episode that has a rather predictable story but still sticks the landing thanks to wearing its heart on its sleeve. If you’re into VR, this is a great title to grab.