Few games provide as liberating an experience as getting behind the wheel of an exotic car in Forza Horizon 3, tearing through the Australian outback, and chasing the pack in the hopes of being the first to cross that finish line.
Not only did Vanillaware and Atlus give Odin Sphere a visual retuning, but they practically rebuilt the whole system. The result is a streamlined, flashy and refined retread that outdoes the original in ways that make this remake seem like an entirely different and better game by comparison.
In a world where media companies are too content to endlessly regurgitate their greatest hits, one company has stepped out from the shadows to bring forth something different, something original, something amazing.
Overwatch, Blizzard's first new intellectual property in almost two decades, is here.
Hell, it's about time.
It seems like only yesterday that Bloodborne came out. Indeed, it’s actually only been a little bit over a year since its initial launch and its last DLC came in late November 2015. Nonetheless, here we are at Dark Souls III, and despite that alarmingly short timeframe, this game doesn’t feel rushed in the least. In fact, it feels like a culmination of all of From Software’s experience brought in at the highest level. However, where Dark Souls II felt like a continuation and natural evolution of the original Dark Souls, Dark Souls III feels more like an extension of Dark Souls II mixed with a few fresh lessons learned from Bloodborne to create a richer and more powerful overall experience.
We know a mature game by the things that rating systems tell us. Mature, PEGI 18, etc. These are labels defined by mostly surface things: blood and gore, suggestive themes, language and the like. But any child can see blood. Any child can hear bad language. Conversely, That Dragon, Cancer doesn’t have any of those things. Yet it may be the most mature thing I’ve ever experienced. It’s an invite to walk beside a family through the deepest waters of hope, despair, faith, humanity, loneliness, togetherness, joy, and sadness. You can’t give this to a child. You can’t expect someone to grasp this episode without the strength, patience and awareness to see, hear and feel what is meant to be conveyed. For my experience, it was almost perfect.
War never changes, but the console and gaming landscape has dramatically over the last seven years. In the time since Fallout 3's release, open-world games have evolved quite a bit thanks to that game's success. New platforms have also emerged, giving developers the resources to make larger, more detailed worlds for players to explore, while adding in the additional graphical benefits new hardware provides. While the rest of the world was moving on at an incredible pace, Bethesda was taking its time with Fallout 4. A proper fourth entry in the series needed to be bigger and better than before, but the wait was excruciating for fans. Though the franchise hasn't come quite as far in the last seven years as we'd hoped, but Fallout 4 is still an impressive piece of work that's not to be missed.
Nintendo is no stranger to cooperative multiplayer in its games. Recently, games like Super Mario 3D World and Super Mario Bros. U have integrated four-player co-op in their main story modes. However because those games were designed with only one player in mind, the resulting multiplayer experience was chaotic to say the least. Nintendo has also given us great multiplayer experiences with games like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords and Four Swords Adventures. The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes falls right in the middle of those two gameplay experiences.
The Halo series has long been the benchmark by which all other Xbox games are judged. There have been some stumbles in the great lineage of Master Chief as of late, in particular last year's Master Chief Collection falling prey to launch woes that would have crippled any chance for success a true sequel could have had. Now one year later, 343 Industries has returned with the first true Xbox One Halo game, Halo 5. There are a lot of new aspects 343's thrown on top of the existing architecture that's become so familiar to fans over the past decade plus, and most of them work quite well to help bring the Halo franchise into a new generation. There just must be something about second entries in Master Chief's life.