The first thing I’ll say is that the opening video is epic – I’d have been just as happy if the game was just a three-hour movie instead. Its graphics alone were enough to get me hooked instantly and the tension building as the trucks cross the ice was the perfect calm before the storm. Then the explosions started! Rocket launchers flipped the vehicles and snipers picked off Rangers as they scurried for cover. I first realized I was going to love this game when one of the bullets sent blood and brain spraying out across the thick snow in a truly stunning cinematic shot.
Unfortunately, the elation didn’t last very long and my first actual race was much more disappointing. I think I placed in the last position, but it was hard to tell as there seemed to be an endless stream over cars over-taking me at every corner so I have no idea how many were actually in the race. I didn’t even get a chance to check where on the HUD it gave you your position because I was concentrating so much on getting around each corner without just smashing my number plate into the barriers – even on the first track there were a LOT of corners. They could’ve given me a basic oval track to practice on for a while first!
The amount of levels in the games is pretty nice, but if you feel like you want to take the game to the next level, you can also make your own skate park or go online and play a custom made park by someone else. I found it to be crazy that the game has not been out in the wild very long but there are some incredibly fun (and detailed) parks already available made by people with much more creativity than myself.
The first and more notable introduction to the game series is The Yard. When you were a kid, you probably had a nice summer evening or two where you and a group of friends would go outside and play a round of flag football. The rules are different and the way you play is almost more unique, but the heart and soul of the game is very much the same. That is what The Yard is trying to tackle here. You play 6 vs. 6 and depending on where you play, the rules can be pretty different. Like the backyard football I played as a kid, once the play starts, defenders have to call out Mississippis before they can rush the QB. Depending on how you customize your team makes a big difference as well. Honestly, this mode is the saving grace that Madden 2021 has going for it.
Let’s talk about the story! As we all know from the initial trailer, the game opens up with a massive Avengers-themed Con where the biggest fans gather in celebration of the Earth’s Heroes. The main narrative of Marvel Avengers is told through the eyes of Kamala Khan, also known as Ms. Marvel. Kamala is an interesting character to play as because at the beginning of the game, she has no powers and is just an average you teenager with a big love for comic books. As we know though, this celebration is disrupted and a catastrophic event happens, which is blamed on The Avengers, causing them to disband. The main game takes place a few years later with the focus of reuniting the team and persuading the world of The Avenger’s innocence.
One of the best strongest points is the fact that if you’re playing solo or with a friend, you can switch between Rash, Zitz and Pimple by pressing the corresponding d-pad arrow (except the shmups and platforming levels). This gives players a chance to try out all three characters and also a lifeline if the current character they are using is near death, they can switch with a full health character.
Destroy All Humans! is a semi-open world game as players are thrown into different open areas to complete mission objectives in order to move on to the next. Each mission contains a vast open area where players can take a bit of time to explore before heading directly for the objective.
The story of Cuphead is admittedly not going to change your life, but the fact is that the game isn’t about having a Final Fantasy-esque plot, it’s a boss rush! One day Cuphead and Mugman enter the Devil’s Casino and after amassing a fortune, the Devil offers them a bet that was too hard to resist, double their money or forfeit their souls. Little did our heroes know that in the end, the house ALWAYS wins, even if by nefarious means, so of course the Devil wins, but he gives Cuphead and Mugman a deal. If they can chase down other debtors who are on the run from the Devil and collect their souls instead, he’ll consider their debt paid off.
I would say that Paper Mario: The Origami King is a nice return to form that the last couple of Paper Mario games seemed to have lost. The game shows a lot of charm between it’s lush and beautiful landscapes as well as the fun child-like humour. I personally feel like it still doesn’t quite hit the same strides that games like Bowser Inside Story hit, but this is a great start.
f you are a fan of Kojima’s work, most people will probably know of him because of the Metal Gear series, then you should know what to expect when it comes to story elements in Death Stranding. Knowing that Hideo Kojima is such a huge fan of cinema, it is no surprise that he would want to have a lush storyline full of twists and turns. In some ways, replaying Death Stranding on PC was more enjoyable as I knew exactly what was going on at every given moment. Most of Kojima’s work has that element about it though. You can expect that most cut scenes are quite lengthy though, with one cutscene lasting approximately 2 hours!