Whew! February is finally done (weird to say about the shortest month) and we can maybe take a breather and recoup after an absolute storm of releases…Oh wait, no we can’t because the Switch is hitting store shelves in a couple days and we have multiple launch titles incoming!
It continues to be a great time to be a gamer, but just to keep our feet on the ground let’s take a look at everything; the good and the bad (…and the indie). Shall we?
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Look, is there any gamer worth his joypad who doesn’t love at least one Zelda title? I mean, putting aside the Water Temple, Links adventures throughout Hyrules timeline have been pretty consistently awesome in each major release. Breath of the Wild looks like it’s trying to update the formula with a more open-world feel (yes I know Hyrule Field could be called Open World) that strikes me as a little reminiscent of Skyrim and similar titles. This new approach, when combined with the Zelda gameplay we all know and love, including giant bosses with helpfully colour-coded weaknesses, looks set to make this a huge selling point for the Switch.
This might also be the first Nintendo-exclusive title we’ve had in The Good section so…bonus?
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
I didn’t get a chance to jump onto the open beta this past week, but all my friends who did were pretty keen to tell me how awesome it was. I like a lot of the components of this game, from the team-based shooting to the multiple paths to victory and it seems like the team behind Wildlands have done a solid job bringing them all together. Of course, the question of how a bunch of heavily armed white guys can remain inconspicuous in a relatively small South American country is probably gonna be sidestepped but hey, that’s games for you.
I catch a lot of flak for being an ‘Xbox fan boy’ when I make these lists, but the truth is just that a lot of the PS4 exclusives really fail to grab my attention. Nier typifies my problems with a lot of them, namely it’s yet another game about a group of androgynous Japanese teenagers fighting the forces of evil with ridiculous weaponry. However, people who aren’t as bitter and jaded as myself tell me the original game was a lot of fun and I can certainly appreciate the grand visuals that Platinum Games have so far demonstrated. Will I be getting it? Probably not, see androgynous teenager comments above. However, if this is your bag then it looks like a good example.
Oh and it’s already gone gold in pre-orders so not like me disliking it is gonna stop anyone. So, Good List.
Mass Effect: Andomeda
Holy crap am I ever excited for this game. The Mass Effect universe is by far one of my favourites in recent memory and, despite all the controversy around number 3s ending, they’ve consistently been some of the finest RPGs ever made. Throw into that the fact that the last Bioware title; Dragon Age: Inquisition, also did a huge amount to ‘fix’ the damage from an unloved sequel and things just get more rosy.
I also love the setup for this game. The idea of humanity forced to be a nomadic race trying to find a new home is intriguing. I’ve purposefully avoided too many spoilers but there’s a lot of depth and story there that could be dug into and I can’t wait to see what they do with it.
Super Bomberman R
One more Switch launch title to round out the Good. Bomberman is one of those titles from the golden age of games that has surprisingly few imitators despite being among the most straightforward ideas ever. You are a man, who has bombs; Hijinks Ensue. That is basically it, you and three other people (or bots) each control a bomberman on a level filled with walls just aching to be exploded to reveal more power ups which help you, eventually, blow up your friends. Rinse and repeat…for hours and hours, because when it’s done right this is also some of the most fun you’ll ever have on a couch (or plane, or train or hipster roof party…Switch!).
Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX
Ah here we go, back in my comfort zone. Please take everything I said before about how much I dislike games involving Japanese teenagers with stupid weaponry and add in the worst characters of the Disney stable (sorry, but no one has like Donald and Goofy for five decades now). That is essentially what you have in Kingdom Hearts. When the latest re-release comes packaged in a title as bizarre as what I just had to type, it’s definitely getting chucked in here.
Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash
So apparently Senran Kagura is a ‘game’ series most revolving around women fighting eachother with liberal use of the 3DS 3D functions whenever they happen to do a kick that flashes their underwear at the player. It’s basically Dead or Alive with even less subtlety. On that note, the latest chapter takes place on an island where the girls are all having a water fight so now they’ve managed to make DOA: Beach Volleyball look like an actual representation of womens sports in comparison.
Just a quick note to any series fans in the audience: You know internet porn is a thing right?
Star Trek: Bridge Crew
For the record, I really want to be wrong about this one. The idea of being able to stand on the bridge of the Enterprise and force everyone to ‘Make it So!’ (Picard forever y’all) sounds fantastic. However, I just feel like there’s no way the technology as it stands can actually match the expectations when it comes to gameplay.
Mario Sports Superstars
We get it, Mario is man of many and varied interests. Though I’d just like to point out that, despite his long careers in Princess-Rescuing, Go-Kart Driving and now Sports-Playing we’ve never actually seen the guy do any plumbing. This is how you lose your customer base, Mario.
Just Dance 2017
Ok, what is this really adding to the series at this point? I’m still not gonna be able to do anything past ‘Easy’ and will eventually just cave and use my hands like some kind of ground-pounding Ape. Stop rubbing in my lack of Rhythm Ubisoft!
Troll & I
The heartwarming story of a boy in post-WW2 Scandanavia finding his way home with the help of an enormous mythical troll. The third-person action is pretty standard looking but the plot has me intrigued and, if I’m being honest, I’m just a sucker for Scandanavian culture so this had me hooked pretty much straight away. At one point Square Enix were going to publish this title, which should show some confidence in the title, though they did later let it go so it’s now coming from Maximum Games.
Styx: Shards of Darkness
Technically the third game in the Of Orcs and Men series, it’s really more like the second title of what I imagine will continue to be a Styx-dominated series from now on. For those who missed the previous two games, the world of Styx is a slight twist on your TV-Tropes approved Standard Fantasy Setting. In it, the Human Empire is an evil dictatorship intent on wiping out the Orcs and Goblins who’ve now brought in the help of the Elves and Dwarves to accomplish just that. It’s quite a good setting, and the stealth gameplay has always been remarkably solid so I look forward to this latest title.
The words ‘Rogue-like’ and ‘Challenging’ are pretty much redundant at this point but that’s nevertheless how Has-Been Heroes is promoting itself. It looks like a fun little strategic action game using elements in the vein of other titles like Banner Saga and, obviously, Rogue.
Battle for Orion 2
Combining two of my favourite genres; RTS games and Space titles, into a single package and then giving me tools I never realised I wanted (like being able to mine choke points or ‘space lanes’) is a pretty solid way of making me want your game. Where Infinite Loop Games take it to the next level is by allowing expansion throughout the universe not only around planets but onto Stars as well, allowing you to quite literally build a Death Star just like your inner Palpatine has always wanted.
Episodic games are a bit like speed metal. The people who hate them really hate them, while the people who love them really love them. Enter the latest episode in the Dreamfall series which has been getting a lot of positive buildup ahead of release but which I’ve also had several people describe to me as ‘More like ‘snoozefall’ amiright?’.
So there you have it, your Good, Bad and Indie titles for this month! Agree? Disagree? Want to inform me as to my previous dalliances with livestock? Well hit up the comments or grab me on Twitter!
‘Making you a Better Geek, one post at a time!’