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Gal*Gun 2 is an interesting experience, to say the least. I can’t say it’s a bad game, but it isn’t a great one either. I can say I am not the target audience and that’s fine, for those who the game is targeted at, will have a grand time. Judging this game, mechanically, it works, and the concept of rail shooters still works in 2018 despite being popularized over a decade ago. At an asking $60 price, it’s hard to justify but I did have fun with it for what it is. The story and soundtrack are poor, the former by design and the latter because of lack of care. The voice acting is great, and the graphics do well to imitate manga and anime. In the end, it all comes down to if this experience is what you want.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a fantastic 2D platformer that is challenging, filled with collectibles, and has a nice handful of characters to choose from. The game is beautiful, and the soundtrack is spectacular. The co-op element is wonderful, and the game is a ton of fun. Judging the Switch release without taking the Wii U version into account, this is definitely worth a purchase. However, here is the problem... Other than the higher resolution, the faster loading times, and Funky Kong, it's the same exact game that can be picked up for Wii U and a fraction of the price. Donkey Kong Country fans will not need convincing but for those who own the game on Wii U, the only reason to get this game is for the portability aspect of Switch. It was enough to warrant another purchase for me, but will it be for you? Other than that, this release doesn't add any incentive to double dip. For those who love challenging 2D platforming, this is definitely worth the purchase because of its extremely high fun factor and the challenging difficulty. Regardless of platform or year released, this entry is still a wonderful showcase of Retro Studios creativity and talent, a near masterpiece of exceptional gameplay and design.
Dark Souls Remastered is a special experience. With almost no narrative or direct story the game somehow utilizes combat to force the player to feel true emotion, you’ll feel victorious, devastated, inspired, distraught, confused, powerful and so much more. The world really works well with the story that’s available to convey a quest of epic proportion. You know what you’re doing is important. You feel the stakes. It’s this gauntlet of emotions that a player feels that makes Dark Souls so unique. There’s no doubt that this is an incredibly challenging game, but it’s a challenge well worth undertaking. There is no way to describe the sense of personal achievement this game will give you, experience it yourself and you’ll feel an addiction creeping in that you won’t be able to escape. This Remaster really is the definitive Dark Souls experience and a brilliant way to make one of the best games as accessible as possible.
Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is exactly what the title states; it is the ultimate version of Hyrule Warriors. The game has everything that was available on the 3DS and Wii U combined and runs at 1080p and 60FPS. For those interested in the series but never took the chance, this is the perfect opportunity. The game is loaded with more content than more games with full series, it looks good and the music is pretty great. There is no stuttering, no pop-in, and no performance issues that I’ve encountered. The game offers couch co-op and the story is surprisingly good. For those who have already played it... well, then it might be more difficult to recommend. 3DS players will see a vast difference in visuals and performance and Wii U owners will find an experience similar to what they’ve previously experienced. For you, I imagine portability will be the defining factor. For me, the portability trumps everything else because of my hectic lifestyle. Regardless, one thing is for sure, and that’s that the best version is the Switch version.
Rogue Aces is a cracking little game that’s great fun and has plenty to do. Its graphics and sound design are decent but it’s the addictive gameplay hook that will keep pulling you back for “just one more go”. It’s perfect for portable gaming, so its presence on both the Vita and the Switch is very smart thinking by the developers. So while it’s still fun on the big screen at home, its short play design loop makes it an ideal purchase for the commuting gamer on the go. Plus it’s less than a tenner so what are you waiting for?
Aside from being upset about the US not getting a full nude version of Conan Exiles on the console, this game is pretty damn good. The crafting system is extremely complex in regards to the variety of things you can make and their uses. The access to those recipes and the actual creating of the items is easy and even a brain dead horse would be able to manage it. The thrall system (Servants) makes this even easier and speeds up the process of everything as well as beef up your base defense. The single player is great for people who prefer solo play but it takes some fun out of the game in my opinion.
As a massive Streets of Rage 2 fan (still my favourite game of all time) I have been looking forward to play Raging Justice from the second I learned of its existence. Now while I can’t say that this knocks SoR2 of the top spot (the nostalgia alone meant it never had a chance), what Raging Justice does do is bring the forgotten genre into the modern day and it does it well. With the addition of challenges and the GoodCop/BadCop system, MakinGames have added longevity to a game that is short by design (as most brawlers were). There are some annoyances such as those mentioned previously, along with some collision detection issues involving a steel girder that manages to hit you whether or not you’re actually under it when it comes down. Also some of the boss fights feel needlessly drawn out due to the small window given to inflict damage during the gameplay loop (boss is vulnerable for a short time, boss becomes invulnerable during his attacks, boss calls for gang of regular enemies then sits in the corner, invulnerable again, while you take them out, repeat). These niggles aside, Raging Justice is just pure fun. It harkens back to the classics that inspired it while adding enough to give it it’s own identity. Its simple gameplay combined with its challenges and leaderboards give it the “one more go” factor that will keep genres fans coming back for more. Even for those who haven’t played this type of game, there’s plenty of fun to be had. As my non gaming wife put it, after we played through the campaign, “it’s repetitive but addictive” and who am I to argue with her?
City of Brass is an amazing rogue like title. It really captures the spirit of the genre and understands what the strengths and weaknesses of this style of game are. It addresses these superbly by allowing players to customize their experience. The gameplay is fun but does start to feel repetitive after extended periods of play, considering the price of the title though, the hours of fun you’ll get well outweighs the eventual grating. If you are in anyway interested in rogue like titles like The Binding of Isaac, City of Brass shines as brightly as the best of them.
Lode Runner Legacy is loaded with content and open freedom for individuals to dabble into their creative sides with little restrictions. Puzzles increase in difficulty as you progress through the levels and the gameplay does still hold up after 35 years, but the gameplay is where I can see gamers getting turned off. Unfortunately for Lode Runner, we live in an era where dynamic gameplay is prevalent and new ways to play are being discovered constantly, so players may see this simplicity and not give it a shot. That would be a shame. I’ve really grown to appreciate and enjoy Lode Runner Legacy and I think others could too; I definitely recommend this game.
God of War is the game that will define this entire generation. It takes great ideas from multiple games and doesn’t just improve on them, it brings a unique twist to make those ideas shine brighter than they ever had. The story has epic moments of brutal, stylish combat like any God of War game should have, these are tempered by emotional moments that Oscar winning movies can’t compete with. The world and characters are brought to life in a way that no other video game has matched, Midgard truly feels real as you are totally immersed in the journey. To call God of War the Game of the Year in 2018 is really not doing the title any justice, there are very few games that have ever been made that stand close to this game’s brilliance. Sony Santa Monica have crafted something totally unique here and deserve every single sliver of praise that players have to throw their way. If I could condense this two thousand word review into three words, these would be: Play This Game.