SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech Review – Written by Jose Vega
Product provided by Image & Form Games and Thunderful Publishing
The SteamWorld series has explored many avenues when it comes to their games. They can range from Metroidvania with SteamWorld Dig to Turn-based strategy with SteamWorld Heist. But Image & Form Games announced that they would take the series in an unexpected direction. It would come to be known as SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech. Mixing turn-based RPG with the feel of a collectible card game is an interesting ambition. Does this game deliver in everything and then some?
Let’s get started with the plot. The game is presented as a fairy tale. Long ago there was a warrior who went by the name of Gilgamech. He is a legend due to his accomplishments, including taking down a menacing force called the Behemoth. But as time went on his feats would soon fade from memory. Several years pass and the world is at peace. Armilly and Copernica, small-town friends go on a small journey. It starts small but eventually it soon escalates into one that will decide the fate of their world. They will meet new allies, face deadly challenges and eventually come together not just as a team but as real heroes.
Sure the story is traditional fairy tale fluff but it’s one story I got behind from start to finish. It starts simple and as it goes on, it gets intense. They take their time introducing the world, the characters, etc. Not only that but the characters also develop and improve as a result. It just feels so enjoyable that by the time its over, you feel relieved. You feel satisfied to have enjoyed a tale like this, even if it does follow many of the tropes.
Gameplay in SteamWorld Quest is different from previous entries. It’s split into two sections: field and battle. Field is mostly a side-scroller where players can move about and explore. It isn’t just you but your enemies too. Sometimes you can find treasures that give players new things and other times you can find doors that lead to hidden areas. In some instances there are some puzzle solving. Nothing too fancy. As for enemies, you can avoid them if you know their patterns but one way or the other, you got to attack them. Attacking them or even encountering them triggers the second section, battle.
In battle, in follows your traditional RPG game. You have your party on one side while the enemy’s on the other. What sets this apart from other RPG games is the game’s main gimmick: cards. You use cards to have your characters do a variety of things, ranging from attacks or special abilities. But there’s a limit. Players must form a deck of 8 cards for each of the five characters in the party. In addition many cards can contain a cost. In the place of MP, there are steam gears. You acquire 1 steam gear each turn but some cards will give you access to more. Not only do players have to create proper decks for each character but also they have to determine the best strategies. It’s a very interesting system that offers a lot of experimentation and customization, giving players the freedom to decide how their party should go about. In addition using three of the same card type gives access to Chains, letting party members dish out special attacks. They mostly depend on the weapon equipped and can range from offensive to defensive. Again it adds more variety to a game that will have players plan accordingly.
The combat is really good and sometimes addicting to boot. It’s not just you who will be dealing the pain but your enemies to. They won’t hesitate to get versatile by using buffs and debuffs. Players will have to do the same and sometimes mix things up if they wish to succeed. Boss battles will really put your skills to the test and sometimes you’ll have to form strategies to beat them. Thankfully the checkpoint system is effective. There are save points and you can automatically return to them if you die but using them will also revive enemies you defeated. It’s similar to Dark Souls but it can also be used to grind your characters. It’s pretty good and one you will definitely need. The game isn’t long, taking players 10-12 hours to complete. But if there is a recommendation, do the game on Hard. Hard will provide you a good challenge but Normal comes at a close second if you feel it’s too difficult.
I love how the game looks. It carries this steampunk feel while adding it’s own flair to make it stand out. The characters all look great and they stand out with their own strengths, weaknesses and trials to overcome. If there’s one thing I will praise about the game is the music. The music is really amazing, especially during boss battles. Makes players feel energized and really wanting to be victorious. Everything about the game has a lot of heart and soul put into it. It shows in every way and it’s easy to see why Image & Form and Thunderful Publishing delivered in this game. They truly did deliver. If there was an issue or two this game had, it would probably be the lack of challenge. That’s not to say it’s bad since there are 3 difficulty settings. As stated earlier, it’s recommended to play the game on Hard for a true challenge. Also there’s not much to do after being it aside from a coliseum challenge. A New Game+ would alleviate it and add more to the length.
In conclusion, SteamWorld Quest is a game that has a familiar feel but offers something new and unique. To summarize, there’s gameplay that is unique and at times addictive along with its combat. There’s also a solid presentation that keeps it consistent and the music is really good. Only a minor negative or two hinders this from being an all-time game but it’s truly one that players should put their time into. It’s a worthy addition to the Steamworld series of games and from my experience, you won’t regret it. Trust me.
I give SteamWorld Quest an 8.5 out of 10.
My Top 15 Best Games of 2018 – Written by Jose Vega
If you thought that 2017 was a great year for gaming, think again. 2018 has blown it out of the water and there’s a reason why. What better way to celebrate this year than by looking back at what I consider to be the best of the best. This will not be an easy list and remember that my list is an opinionated one. So let’s get underway with a list that’s good. So let’s get to the cream of the crop, the pedal to the metal. These are my Top 15 Best Games of 2018.
Before I begin, here are some rules.
Rule #1: Straight-up ports or compilations to newer consoles will not be included. If they were, I would pretty much have half of the list devoted to them. There will be a few exceptions.
Rule #2: This list focuses on games that I’ve played and put time towards. So yes, expect the list to be not to your liking.
Rule #3: If you feel a game you like isn’t on your list, feel free to provide your own.
Now that we’ve got them out of the way, let us begin.
Number #15: Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)
Kicking off the list is an RPG that has a simple premise yet works. It centers on 8 different characters, each having a story of their own to tell. What makes it so good is how players go about it. The game is a love-letter to old school RPGs, offering up something exciting while challenging you. Everything about it is great whether it be the gameplay, music, presentation, voice acting, etc. Plus with the fact that you can customize your party however you like adds replay value. Don’t take my word for it, even though I still need to beat it. Get this. Octopath is an RPG that deserves all the love it can get. Who will you choose to start your journey?
Number #14: The Alliance Alive (Nintendo 3DS)
In 2018, the 3DS continues to get support from companies like Atlus. This game is no exception. The Alliance Alive centers on a group of characters that must work together to free their world from creatures called Daemons. What makes this game stand out is the battle and leveling system. Battles take place on a 3×5 grid where your group can be in different formations offering unique and interesting strategies. Not only that but towers also help provide advantages in battle. Leveling is similar to games like the original FF2 with its nurture vs. nature mechanic. Not only that but the cast can wield whatever weapons they can use offering a lot of variety and strategy. It’s a very underrated game that deserves more appreciation. Give it a chance. You won’t regret it.
Number #13: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PlayStation 4, PC)
If there’s one thing I will say regarding 2018 is that this year is home to RPGs and this list is going to have plenty of these. It had been seven years since the last Ni no Kuni game and people wonder what happened. Well we didn’t have to wait that long, as Namco Bandai would give us a sequel, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Taking place hundreds of years after the events of the first game, Ni no Kuni II centers on Evan Tildrum and Roland Crane. Together the two must gather allies and save the world while dealing with those that threaten it including a sinister evil. It’s an RPG that I should have put more time towards. Plus its story is a journey for everyone involved. Thankfully the game did sell well enough that we’re getting DLC in the form of new campaigns and exclusive gear. Hopefully these guys can add more and let’s face it. The game is fun, the battle system is interesting and the building mechanics for the kingdom is interesting. It deserves your time and money.
Number #12: Hollow Knight (Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)
This is the one exception that is on this list and for a very good reason. Though it came out last year on Steam, the fact that Hollow Knight had come to consoles, especially the Nintendo Switch is more than enough to convince me to give it a shot. This game is part-Metroidvania/part-Dark Souls. It’s a game that I can’t put down and yet it offers so much more. Its atmosphere is dark, creepy and enticing. There’s a lot to do in the game. The challenge is there and will push you to your limits but when it’s all said and done, you will feel satisfied knowing that you made the impossible possible. It’s a reason why I put over 20 hours and there is so much more to do. The fact we get the final expansion Gods and Glory is meant to end it out on a high note and it did. Hollow Knight is an amazing game and if you haven’t bought it, you should. My review I did should be proof enough.
Number #11: Mega Man 11 (Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One)
We waited 8 years for a new Mega Man game and then Capcom decided to enter its dork phase and cancel anything relating to the blue bomber left and right either out of spite or stupidity. We would reach Mega Man’s 30th anniversary and Capcom announced a brand new Mega Man game in the form of Mega Man 11. Its plot has Mega Man stopping Dr. Wily once more as he uses a strange machine to capture eight new Robot Masters and use them in his goal for conquest. Mega Man is still as fun as you remember except he has a new trick: the Double Gear system. It can be used to either slow down time or power up his attacks. My only complaint with the game is that it’s not a long game. It’s still fun but I only wish that Capcom can consider adding DLC down the line such as Proto Man and Bass. That would help add more to the game. At least it’s not at full price because if it was, that’d be another story.
Number #10: Soulcalibur VI (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Never thought Namco Bandai would ever go back to this series, especially after Soulcalibur V. This is a game that’s going to make or break the series… thankfully it helps give the series new life. Soulcalibur VI serves not only as a reboot of the series but also a celebration of the franchise. It goes back to its roots meaning the game’s fast paced and really fun. With a roster of 21 characters and additional characters incoming such as 2B, it’s a game I feel that breathes new life to the series. In addition the game also has a really good story mode where you create a character and travel on a journey in the Soulcalibur world. That’s amazing. A game like this deserves all the love it can get. I don’t want the Soulcalibur series to die.
Number #9: Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee & Let’s Go, Pikachu (Nintendo Switch)
There’s going to be somebody here that will complain at me wondering why it’s so low on my list. To be fair, this game is a bit divisive but honestly, this is a spin off and it’s meant to hold us over until Game Freak actually releases Generation 8. Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee takes us back to Kanto where it all began except in a very different way. The difference between that the game incorporates elements from Pokemon Go. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since it’s only done to make the game a bit easier. It’s accessible for people new to the franchise while bringing something that has us old-school veterans feeling nostalgic. Let’s only hope that when Gen 8 does come, its gameplay should be like every other main line in the series. Don’t screw it up guys.
Number #8: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country (Nintendo Switch)
A DLC making this list?! You don’t say but thing is, this is no ordinary DLC we’re talking about. Monolith Soft surprised us with something that could almost be a full game if it wants. Torna ~ The Golden Country is set hundreds of years before the events of the main game. It focuses on a pair named Jin and Lora who travel the continent of Torna. Meeting new and familiar companions, their story details how Torna had fallen and how it all leads up to Xenoblade 2. This feels like a full game and it does. It offers a lot of customization for the cast, quests to complete and plenty to do. I am amazed that they were able to pull it off and it’s another that I recommend you should get on the Nintendo Switch. Heck it’s available as a separate game so there’s that.
Number #7: Dragon Ball FighterZ (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
When it was announced, everyone was excited for it especially when Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite turned out to be a dud. Dragon Ball FighterZ is pretty much Marvel vs. Capcom 2/3 but it incorporates characters from Dragon Ball Z. The result is absolute beauty. Dragon Ball FighterZ is the definition of an amazing fighting game. 3-on-3 action that’s intense, addicting and satisfying. We even have a story mode that’s split into three acts, each just as good as the next. It felt like a breath of fresh air and even the roster has everyone you ever want and then some… almost. Though the game is real fun and it has its moments, I only hope that the tournament scene doesn’t get screwed over… hopefully. Yeah. DBFZ is great. It really is. Also Android 21 is best waifu. Don’t @ me.
Number #6: Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation 4)
2018 should also be the Year of Kiryu. Why? Well, because in addition to a fantastic remake of the 2nd Yakuza game, we also get one that serves as a fitting yet emotional finale to his tale. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has a simple theme: “How far would you go for family?” For Kiryu, it’s more than you realize as he’s on a journey to save those that matter to him while uncovering a secret that could rock the fate of Japan. It’s Kiryu’s tale and it feels so strong and emotional. Not only that but Yakuza 6 is awesome in terms of gameplay and content. The Dragon Engine allows the game to run amazingly at 60fps. Not only that but there is much for Kiryu to do and so much more. This may be the final tale for Kiryu but not the end of the series. With the announcement of a spin-off titled Judgment coming this year, it’s flame will not die out. It deserves the #6 spot and it’s a bit fitting too.
Number #5: Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)
After the success of the Crash N. Sane Trilogy, Activision figured that if one franchise found new life, why not do the same to another. The result is the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Activision and Toys for Bob delivered a trilogy that was remade from the ground up and treated with love and respect. We know all about the struggles of the game’s development & that Activision did the right thing by delaying the game. For all the negatives the company has done, they did at least something right. As for the game itself, the game is completely redone. It looks amazing, plays amazing and is just so good. It made me now be a fan of Spyro and I feel that the praise will convince Activision to give the franchise another shot. Let’s hope it does. It’s why Spyro Reignited deserves to be in the Top 5.
Number #4: Monster Hunter World (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)
Where do I even start with a game like this? Monster Hunter World is just incredible. A game that is not only accessible for newcomers but also offers something veterans can enjoy. The best of both worlds and it’s great. A game like this is more fun when you have friends along. You can play it solo if you want. Plus the fact that it continues to add more content in a way that can get people back in is just stunning. This is how you get people coming back to your games. With the announcement of it’s first expansion, Icebound coming this year, what better time to get into this game is now. Did I forget to mention that it looks great with a great amount of accessibility? Yep. Monster Hunter World is the franchise at its highest point and it’ll only continue to get higher.
Number #3: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)
If I wanted to, it would be #1 but it’s not and there’s a very good reason for it. Sakurai and Nintendo should be praised to high heaven. No one ever thought that there would be a system seller the way Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild were. Well look no further than this: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s the game where EVERYONE IS HERE! Yep. Every character from Smash 64 all the way to Smash 3DS/Wii U have made their return along with the arrival of many new characters such as Ridley, K. Rool and Simon Belmont. The game is fun, simply fun whether online or off. Not only that but the game’s Adventure Mode, World of Light will take you quite a long time to do. I can’t do it justice. This is truly a game Switch owners MUST HAVE! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the magnum opus of the franchise. Immediate recommendation and if I wanted to, this would be #1. But it isn’t and like I said, for good reason.
Number #2: Spider-Man (PlayStation 4)
After years of the Spider-Man license being dragged through the mud courtesy of Activision & Beenox, Insomniac comes in and delivers a game that gives the webhead justice. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a blessing. It’s not a movie-licensed game but it is one of the best Spider-Man games ever. The gameplay is amazing. It has a lot to do in terms of content such as side quests, challenges, bases and it goes on and on. It’s story is real good. They skip the origin story and give us an older Peter Parker who has to deal with the Daemons and I really don’t want to spoil the rest. The DLC, while nice could be better but it shouldn’t dissuade anyone from enjoying this. I hope that they get the opportunity to do the sequel. They set the bar for Spider-Man and I hope with the sequel, it’s set even higher. Oh and if this doesn’t convince you to get a PlayStation 4 and play this, the next will.
Number #1: God of War (PlayStation 4)
Here’s the thing. My brother got me this as a birthday gift and I swear, the sooner I started playing it, I was hooked. God of War for PlayStation 4… I have no words to express my real feelings on this. This game along with Spider-Man and many others are pretty much a big, fat, FU to Electronic Arts & any others that say, “single player games are dead and that online & live services are the future”. Future my ass! The fact that it’s a PS4 exclusive says a lot. Sony killed it this year. They really did.
God of War is simply incredible. Everything about the game is awesome. The story is well done and crafted. Combat is real good and the customization for both Kratos and Atreus is real good. Speaking of which, Kratos and Atreus are two characters that share a bond and you see it grow throughout the game. It’s so good that it makes you cry when it’s all over. When a game like this makes me cry, you know it’s a game worth your time. I’m not kidding. As I said already, if Spider-Man isn’t the reason why you should get a PS4, this definitely will. You will not be disappointed. That’s a guarantee.
Not every game that was good is on this list. Therefore I will provide some honorable mentions, games that are real good along with my reasons why.
Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
I’ve heard a lot of good things about the game and I was able to give it a shot. I liked it but I truthfully should have put more time into it. It deserves an honorable mention because you should give it a chance. It’s a Dragon Quest game made for the current generation of gaming. My issue is with Square-Enix behind the scenes. They didn’t bring the 3DS version overseas, the Switch version is delayed to 2019 & they even have the gall to say that they won’t release any more Dragon Quest games westward if the game doesn’t meet expectations. How petty & pathetic. Should this stop you from trying DQ XI? No.
Another game I got my hands on but never got around to playing, so much so that I also got the Definitive Edition of Hitman 2016. iO Interactive had their work cut out for them when developing this. Square-Enix pulling out and de-investing them didn’t help. Thankfully they stuck to their guns and gave us a game that is just as addicting as the original. They continue to add more content in the form of elusive targets & they’re bringing back the missions from Hitman 2016 but revised and improved. It’s truly good. All of this may want me to give it a shot. You should too.
Kirby Star Allies
When I first played & reviewed the game, it was all right but it lacked in some ways. Almost a year ago, the game feels now complete. I want it on the list but I always review games based on as they are. Thankfully the game has a lot of additional content in the form of new modes, allies, the works. It now feels complete and I commend the people at HAL for devoting their time to this game. I love it. All of this may want me to go back. The game is more fun if you have friends and it shows.
Mario Tennis Aces
We haven’t had a proper Mario Tennis game in a while and the Wii U version was a major dud. Camelot Software Planning had their work cut out for them. At least with this game, it fixed many of the problems the Wii U game had. Although I still feel Mario Tennis Aces could have been a lot more. Though they added new characters and modes, I feel it’s not enough. The Adventure Mode was okay. Now I only wish Camelot Software can maybe give us a brand new Golden Sun game. It’s been too long.
Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology
Another 3DS game I should have put more time into and I feel bad because if there’s any company that deserves praise for their commitment to Nintendo’s handheld, it should be Atlus. This game is an updated port of the original DS game but with a lot of updated bells and whistles such as visuals and music. It also has a new sub-plot where you explore alternate timelines and what happens there can unlock new stuff in the main timeline. It’s awesome and a game like this really should get you interested. I mean it. Why do you think I wish I could put time into it huh?
Red Dead Redemption 2
There’s going to be somebody here saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 should be on the list. Look… I know. This game broke sales records. It defied expectations and then some. The game is incredible. Rockstar has a reputation for delivering amazing single-player experiences. RDR2 is no exception and I should have at least put some time into it. I didn’t and I regret it. My only issue is the multiplayer and I feel it’s going to be the same way they did it with what they did to GTAV. I’m worried since GTAV suffered due to online making them more money. That is my only worry. I will enjoy RDR2, just not the online though.
Starlink: Battle for Atlas
Originally, it was going to be on this list but after much consideration, I changed my mind. Starlink has some good ideas. The game is like No Man’s Sky but with ships, ship combat and a lot of battles. If you plan on getting any version of it, get the Switch version. The Switch version is a recommended because you get an exclusive character and ship, Fox McCloud and the Arwing. Not only that but an exclusive campaign regarding the Star Fox team. It’s good. My issue with it is the DLC. Unless you got the $80 digital deluxe edition, expect to spend a lot of money to get everything. Plus the toys-to-life stuff while good is a bit problematic. That’s what turned me off but its Ubisoft so what else is new. Give it a chance if you can.
Valkyria Chronicles 4
A game I got for Christmas and one I should put time towards. I never thought we would get another Valkyria game after that awful Valkyria Revolution. I was worried but SEGA surprised us with a game that takes us back to what it should be. It’s well done. It has characters that you will like and the gameplay is back to how it was in the original Valkyria Chronicles. Expect to spend a lot of time towards a game like this and yes, there is additional content as DLC. So yeah, you are getting more for your money’s worth and then some.
Yakuza Kiwami 2
Yakuza Kiwami was a major hit and then SEGA announces that they are remaking the second. But it isn’t just any remake. They just went the deep end with this, implementing the Dragon Engine used for Yakuza 6 in this game. The story is awesome, the combat is refined and there’s so much to do it would take you hours. I kid you not. Not only that but this game also has a side-story centering on the Mad Dog of Shimano himself, Goro Majima. It’s not long but it does add more to the overall plot of the game. With the Judgment spin-off coming next year and hopefully HD remakes of Yakuza 3-5, the franchise is going strong. Very strong.
And that’s my list in a nutshell. If you feel there’s a game you like that came out this year that should be on here, feel free to tell me. I look forward to hearing from all of you.
Top 15 Best Games of 2017
If you thought that 2016 was good in terms of gaming, 2017 simply tells you to hold my beer. 2017 in gaming has had some ups and downs, especially downs in the terms of behind the scenes. But regardless, this year alone has been home to a number of great games. Nintendo’s arrival of the Switch bringing the company back to providence and the PS4 bringing in games that only show why it’s the console of choice. I sadly can’t say the same for Microsoft since well this year has been a disappointing year with games either being delayed or cancelled for one reason or another. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about right?
2017 game-wise was an awesome year and this list culminates the very best that gaming has to offer. This here is my Top 15 Best Games of 2017.
Before I begin, this here is a list consisting of games that I have played and experienced. This is also an opinionated list so you are free to disagree with me. If for whatever reason a game you expected isn’t on this list, it’s either I haven’t played it or never knew about it. Also since many games released this year are remasters of previous games, I will be limiting things on this list for the sake of things… or not because I didn’t get to play that many games and the rest turned out to be letdown after letdown. I vote with my wallet.
15) Gravity Rush 2 – PlayStation 4
We start off this list with a game came out on the first month of the year, Gravity Rush 2. A sequel to the original, which had a remastered version last year, the game focuses on Kat and Syd in a new place, as they must find a way back home. Along the way many secrets are revealed, along with an origin tale for our favorite Gravity Shifter. The game is an improvement over the first, fixing many problems while adding new gameplay elements, such as the Gravity Styles. They also provide a lot not only on backstory but also on the world and its characters. It’s an amazing game that offers a lot and it also comes with free DLC, detailing a tale about Raven. The tale involving her is just as good as Kat’s tale and plus you get to play as Raven as well.
It’s #15 on my list since I never thought we get a sequel but I’m happy that it’s now possible. The people behind it should be proud to deliver a game like this. Now if only they don’t shut down the online aspect of it because it’s going to feel a bit stale without it.
14) Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue – PlayStation 4
Let me explain first. It’s on this list for two reasons. First is that we finally get an HD version of Dream Drop Distance. The second is A Fragmented Passage and it serves as a sneak peek for what to expect in the upcoming Kingdom Hearts III, if it ever comes out. But regardless the game is incredible to look at. The presentation is a huge step-up with the game running flawlessly at 60 frames per second! I mean it, purely flawless. The inclusion of Chi Back Cover adds some backstory for the mobile game and it’s pretty good.
For a compilation it’s amazing and you can get it now in a cheap price. Unlike the 1.5 + 2.5 Remix that had some problems when it came out and they had eventually been fixed, this had absolutely no issues and felt like a well deserved upgrade. I feel Square-Enix should have put a bit more time in checking before they released that. So yeah, this game is #14 since it’s a compilation that does offer new stuff alongside a remastered 3DS game from 2012.
13) Fire Emblem Warriors – Nintendo Switch/New 3DS
The Warriors series are best known for hack-and-slash fun and when Nintendo franchises are involved, they ultimately become fun experiences. It was like it with Hyrule Warriors and the 3DS port, Hyrule Warriors Legends. But then they decide to try their luck with Fire Emblem and the results are great. Fire Emblem Warriors is what you’d expect; it’s simple hack-and-slash fun. This game offers a lot in terms of content with a campaign, having multiple difficulties and a history mode where you relive certain moments in FE history. Elements of Fire Emblem such as the weapon triangle are implemented, adding a level of strategy for players.
Although the game does have some issues such as the roster and the fact some characters are only unlocked in the History Mode, it does offer a lot and for a Switch title, it’s impressive. There is DLC and like in Hyrule Warriors, it’s done right offering new characters and maps to play in. The game is also released on the 3DS handheld but only as a New 3DS exclusive, probably after how Hyrule Warriors Legends fared, having it on the New line is a good alternative. Personally the Switch version is the best one.
12) Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age – PlayStation 4
Celebrating the 11th anniversary of the PS2 release of FF12, Square-Enix brings the twelfth entry of their beloved franchise to the PlayStation 4, in the form of Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. It’s a remaster yes but thing is, this game uses the FFXII International Zodiac Job System. For the first time, players can experience a version of FFXII that is quite different than what they once played back in 2006.
The visuals are a big step up, the music is great while the gameplay is just as you remember. It’s a perfect way for fans to celebrate a game that is part of a series of games taking place within the continent of Ivalice. For anyone that has never played a Final Fantasy game, it’s one place to start and for those who have experienced it, it’s going to be one ride you should relive. Why it’s #12 on my list since you know it would be obvious but hey, I enjoyed FF12 back in 2006 and I enjoy this even more now that it was given the upgraded treatment.
11) Metroid: Samus Returns – Nintendo 3DS
Amazing how in one year a franchise can go from have an uncertain future to a ray of hope. With Federation Force being a massive dud, fans wonder if this was the end for Samus Aran. Nope. Nintendo not only announced a new Metroid Prime game but also a remake of a Game Boy classic, Metroid: Samus Returns. A remake of the original Metroid, this game retells Samus’ journey through Planet SR388 as she’s ordered by the Galactic Federation to hunt down and eliminate all the Metroids while having to contend with everything the planet has to offer.
If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the old adage and it shows here. In addition to what makes Metroid great, they add a bunch of new things to help streamline the experience such as the Melee Counter and Aeion System. But the only gripe the game has is that the DLC for it is restricted to it’s exclusive Amiibo line. Despite this, Samus Returns is Nintendo saying I’m sorry for Federation Force. The fans have accepted this apology but let’s only hope that the upcoming Metroid Prime 4 can deliver on all fronts.
10) Cuphead – Xbox One, PC, Steam
It started as an ambitious project, made by three people who were willing to risk everything to make this possible. Three blossomed into 19 and once it got some help from Microsoft in exchange for exclusivity, their dream and ambition became a reality. Cuphead is one of the few games that is just spectacular. All you do is take on bosses while trying to study their patterns and survive. There are also some run and gun sections and it helps balance the intensity of this game.
Cuphead is hard, a very hard game that offers a lot of challenge. It’s presentation is phenomenal, paying tribute to the 1930s and 40s era of animation. The music is some of the best I’ve ever listened to with tracks that are so addicting and the gameplay is simple but there’s a level of depth that can have you using various weapons for different strategies. It’s hard yes but it’s the challenge that makes it rewarding, as it’s a nod to old school games that were hard but rewarded you for persevering. For a $20 game that’s on Xbox One, PC and Steam, you can’t say no to a game like this. Absolutely not! This game deserves to be in your collection and I highly recommend it.
9) Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy – PlayStation 4
2017 is the year where classics that we grew up on in the 90s and 2000s get a needed HD makeover for a new decade. Some were well received while others were so and so. But Activision and Vicarious Visions delivered on a compilation that hit for all the right reasons, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, released on the PlayStation 4.
This compilation takes the original three PS1 games and giving it a serious facelift on all sides: presentation, sound and gameplay. It serves not only to celebrate the series but also introduces new players to the lovable marsupial Crash Bandicoot. At around $40 (or cheaper), you get three games for the price of one with trophy support and there’s even DLC of a level that is so hard, you will be pushed to your limits. It’s nostalgia kicking you in the rear end right here for all the right reasons. It’s a must-buy for anyone that grew up with the franchise or for someone that wants a first-hand experience.
8) Splatoon 2 – Nintendo Switch
In 2015, Nintendo released Splatoon for the Wii U, their take on the shooter genre that Call of Duty would claim popularity over. It didn’t had much when it launched but in time it would grow to be a game that people loved. Two years later, Splatoon returned for another round except this time it would be taken to the next level. Splatoon 2 improves so much on the original that it’s considered better than the first in every way.
You have a single-player campaign with a lot of replay value, an online component that can have you going back for hours on end whether it be co-op or multiplayer and continuous updates that would add more such as splatfests, new weapons and refinements that make it feel like a complete package. Honestly what else is to say about Splatoon 2 that hasn’t been said? It’s enjoyable whether you play alone or with friends. It deserves the #8 spot and if you haven’t gotten this game, you should because it’s worth it.
7) Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon – Nintendo 3DS
Wait one minute! This game at #7 and you ask why?! Here’s why!
Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon are considered to be huge improvements to the originals in so many ways. The story is better with the introduction of new elements such as Necrozma and the fact you travel through different worlds via Ultra Warp Ride. The game is still the same as it always has been but that isn’t a bad thing. In fact it’s good, very good. Plus since they are the last games on Nintendo’s handhelds, it’s a fitting yet beautiful way for it to end.
The game is the same as Sun & Moon released last year but with a lot of improvements while fixing some of the problems that plagued the previous game. Not to mention the post-game is incredibly massive with you being able to catch every legendary Pokemon from the past sixth generations. It’s truly the last hurrah for the franchise on handhelds and the future for it is going to be really bright.
6) Steamworld Dig 2 – PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PS Vita, PC
2017 is the year where Indie developers were able to do what Triple-A publishers can’t: deliver great games. Image & Form Games, best known for the Steamworld series of games hit this one right out of the park. Steamworld Dig 2 is the sequel to the original Steamworld Dig released four years ago. Focusing on Dot as the main protagonist, her job is to find out what happened to the previous protagonist, Rusty.
It’s a Metroidvania-style game but it excels on it in so many ways. The presentation shows as you explore the underground, finding treasure and using what you earn to upgrade your character. It’s gameplay is solid and the music is soothing to listen to as you explore. The game has replay value but overall, it’s one you shouldn’t miss out on. Show your support and get this game! It’s available on almost every current system.
5) Persona 5 – PlayStation 4
This is one game that I really should put more time towards because there were so many other games that came out this year, I’ll keep it short and brief.
Atlus has done it again with the fifth main installment of the Persona series. Persona 5 takes everything that makes the other games good and goes full throttle. Everything about Persona 5 is awesome: the characters, the gameplay, the music, the story, it has enough twists and turns that it has you on the edge of your seat. Not only that but bonding with your allies help boost your confidants’ strength and in turn makes you stronger. It’s one of the best Atlus has delivered and it’s one that makes you want to go back. Persona 5 deserves its spot at #5 and I’ll say this, you never saw this coming.
4) Nioh – PlayStation 4
What do you get when you take Dark Souls and combine it with the feel of Japanese tales and folklore? You get Nioh! Nioh is a game that I have spent hours upon hours on trying to be as strong as I can be. It’s that addicting. Nioh is such a marvel to play and even more of a marvel to look at. The Dark Souls mentality exists but in turn, the game is more fast-paced requiring you to be on your toes against enemies that will spare no expense in taking you down. In addition you can customize the protagonist William “Anjin” Adams however you want, adding more replay value to the game.
Replay value for the game is through the roof with New Game+ and even after beating that, you unlock New Game++ and so on. The DLC for the game add hours into an otherwise complete package, with new weapons, guardian spirits, balance tweaks, etc. It’s incredible. Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja should be praised for giving us a game that is not only challenging but fun. If you are in a fix for a game that’s like Dark Souls but intense and action-packed Nioh is it. Take it from me. This game is awesome. Hard, but awesome!
3) Sonic Mania – PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
A Sonic game made by fans for the fans and it shows. Sonic Mania is 2D Sonic at it’s absolute best. Sonic, Tails & Knuckles return for a new adventure, journeying to stop Dr. Eggman who has gotten his hands on a gem called the Phantom Ruby and uses it to do some crazy stuff like turning a pack of Egg Robos into the Hard-Boiled Heavies. You travel through 12 zones, eight of them being retreads of zones from previous games while adding something new and making nods to all things Sonic.
Christian Whitehead and Tee Lopes should be praised all the way to high heaven for their contributions. Whitehead especially for the gameplay! He understood how a Sonic game should be done and it shows. Tee Lopes nailed it on the music with many tracks being so amazingly good. It’s a game for fans who grew up with Sonic and for people that want to get into it but don’t know where to start. Sonic Mania is the game of choice. The only sad thing is that this ties in to the disappointingly Sonic Forces but regardless it shouldn’t dissuade you from playing this. No way.
The last two entries on this list is just so hard to decide. Both of them came out on a console that has become a massive moneymaker for Nintendo. If I wanted to, I would have both of them fit the #1 slot but I can’t. I honestly can’t.
2) Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo Switch
People say that this banks heavily on nostalgia. I disagree. Super Mario Odyssey is the definitive 3D Mario Game taking what made the 3D Mario games good like 64, Sunshine and Galaxy and improving on them. It’s a celebration of the Mario franchise while offering an adventure like any other. The biggest addition and one that’s considered a major game changer is Cappy. Having the ability to possess anything it comes across adds a whole new layer of gameplay I have never seen. In addition the game is so much fun with exploration being it’s highest point. There is so much to do in Mario Odyssey that it’s nuts. It’s completely nuts.
The gameplay is refined and almost perfect, its presentation is just delightful with each world being able to stand out offering something different with the Metro Kingdom being my personal favorite. The music is what you’d expect in a Mario game: a joy to listen to and combined with the fact that the game has massive replay value. It’s incredible. This here is a game that anyone who owns a Switch should have. If you have a Switch, get it. NOW! You won’t regret it.
1) The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo Switch
You all knew that this game would be on the list! You all know that this game has won numerous awards and has gone on to become one of the greatest games ever! What else needs to be said about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that hasn’t already been said. It’s one of the best Zelda games hands down. An open world experience that offers so much to do and it depends on what you do. You could go straight to Ganon if you want or you can pretty much take your time exploring Hyrule and getting yourself stronger. This game offers a freedom I never thought I’d see and it’s so good.
I don’t have much else to say about it. Breath of the Wild is a game that says farewell to the Nintendo Wii U and hello to the Nintendo Switch. A game that earns it’s praise and the added content via Expansion Pass offers more to an otherwise incredible game. People can say I’m biased about it but no, I don’t think that way. Breath of the Wild is the definitive Zelda game that is a celebration of the franchise but also one of the best games of 2017! Hands down.
- A Hat in Time
- Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia
- Fire Emblem Heroes
- Hey! Pikmin
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- Mario & Rabbids: Kingdom Battle
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- NieR: Automata
- Super Mario Run
- Uncharted: Lost Legacy
- Yakuza 0
- Yakuza Kiwami
- Yo-kai Watch 2 Psychic Specters
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review – Written by Jose Vega
Purchased product for the sake of this review.
Since 1987, the Legend of Zelda has been a franchise that has endured the test of time. It introduced many things that would be mainstay for the series and would serve as inspiration for other games to follow. Now on it’s 30th anniversary, Nintendo decides to pull out all the stops to deliver a game unlike any other… that is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Funny since it is not only the last game released for the Nintendo Wii U but also one of the first on the Nintendo Switch. Despite this, the game is everything that Zelda has to offer and then some.
The game’s story takes place 100 years after a calamity destroyed the kingdom of Hyrule. Link wakes from a long slumber, guided by a voice telling him that he must go out and save it once more. However he suffers from amnesia. Despite this, Link heads out into Hyrule, hoping to save it from a threat named Calamity Ganon but also learn the truth about what happened. It’s a story that has me intrigued and at the same time fills me with a lot of questions. Sometimes stories in Zelda take a back seat in favor of gameplay but not in this case. Here, Breath of the Wild provides a story that pays tribute to the franchise while offering something very intriguing. I loved it and by the time I finished the game, it left me with a satisfying feeling and a sense of hope.
Breath of the Wild is a departure from many other Zelda games. Although it does kind of borrow elements from games like Elder Scrolls, you can’t deny that Nintendo actually took a chance to change something that has worked and make it better. For starters, the world of Hyrule actually feels like an open world, not to mention a lot bigger. Though you are quite limited at it in the beginning, once you get the Paraglider then the real fun begins. You aren’t limited to just following objectives. It’s up to you to decide what to do from here. This is the freedom this game gives you and I like it. Not that it’s a bad thing. The game introduces a nifty item, the Sheikah Slate. It is a tablet that allows Link to do a variety of functions like forming bombs, ice platforms or even trap things. It can also get upgrades that add more to the device. Pretty nifty. It also replaces items that we’ve used many times in the Zelda series.
As you progress, you have the option to collect gear such as weapons, shields, bows, outfits, etc. You need them to survive the harsh environment. Unlike previous Zelda games, you don’t use hearts to restore health. You use food. They can be collected, eaten up or cooked to create dishes that provide various effects. Speaking of effects, they can range from resistance to various elements to providing temporary health. The possibilities are endless and they even work on elixirs too. With all this, the game offers a lot to do and how you do it depends on you, again the freedom. You can move about either on foot, horseback, swim if you’re in water or you can glide. If there’s a wall or mountain, you can climb. Know that doing any of it drains your stamina. If it runs out while doing any of it, you have to wait until it’s filled up.
Every Zelda game always has dungeons that put your skills to the test. Breath of the Wild has plenty of them in the form of shrines. Shrines are mini-dungeons and there are 120 of them. Some require simple puzzle solving. Others involve a test of combat. Tackling them is simple but finding them is the challenging part. Completing them nets you Shrine Orbs, which you can exchange for more health or stamina. As for the actual dungeons, they take the form of the four Divine Beasts. They require a bit of puzzle solving, culminating with a boss battle at the end. The bosses are a challenge and depending on your equipment can determine the outcome.
Breath of the Wild has additional new features. Link can now jump with a button press. It can be useful for exploration or in battle with the Flurry Rush. If you time your evasion well enough, you go into a matrix-style slowdown and then follow it up with a series of strikes that can damage your enemies. It’s nifty and for anyone that masters this can be unstoppable. Another thing they included and one I feel isn’t the most useful of additions is durability. No weapon lasts forever and they’ll break. When that happens, expect to switch to a new one fast. You can always throw the damaged weapon to an enemy for double damage so there’s a workaround. It’s not limited to weapons like swords, axes or bows. Your shield can also break if it absorbs too much damage. Gear can get upgraded too with the help of the Great Fairies. You need to trade items in order to do so.
Breath of the Wild’s length depends on the player and how he goes about it. Since it does depend on the player, there is an insane amount of replay value. On average, the game can be beaten in roughly 16 hours but to complete everything, it goes beyond into the hundreds. Even now players always find ways to go around and that’s really cool. If you wonder about Amiibo support, there’s plenty. Scanning Amiibos like the Legend of Zelda line can net you stuff and they depend. If you’re lucky, you’ll get rare garb that you can use to dress up.
Presentation-wise, the game is fantastic and colorful. It is a marvel whether playing it on the Wii U or on the Nintendo Switch. It is marvelous. The music is amazing. I recommend giving a listen to some tracks so you can see how great they are. Character models are pretty good, with Link being my favorite since he can express himself in many ways. Also, a first for the Zelda series, the game has full voice acting. I was surprised they included this. Link is still mute but as for some of the other characters, they are pretty good. It’s a nice addition and one we waited for quite some time. The game is also on the Wii U but it has some problems on the frame rate department. They are minor at best but if you’re on the Switch, it’s consistent and flawless. Overall, both Wii U and Switch are similar if anything.
In conclusion, Breath of the Wild is a game that offers many firsts to the series. It does borrow stuff from other games but it brings it’s own flavor into the mix. Fitting that this serves as a farewell to the Wii U and a welcome to Nintendo’s new Switch console. Despite some shortcomings, you can’t deny that this game is truly one to behold. Great combat, amazing presentation, addicting gameplay and high replay value all add up to a game that just screams perfect, despite some faults. Nintendo nailed it and it’s going to be a game people will be talking about for a very long time.
I give The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild a perfect 10 out of 10. It is worth your money whether on the Wii U or on the Nintendo Switch.
Product provided for this review by Yacht Club Games.
Three years ago, a little game called Shovel Knight was released. It was praised both critically and commercially for not only being fun but as a tribute to the games of yesteryear. A year later, Yacht Club Games releases its first expansion, Plague of Shadows, serving as a what-if story with Plague Knight as the protagonist. It was a great expansion that offered something different. Now Yacht Club Games is back at it again with the second expansion called Specter of Torment. The focus shifts on the scythe wielding Specter Knight but can this second expansion deliver just as well as the last one?
Unlike the previous two campaigns, Specter of Torment is a prequel to the original Shovel Knight. It centers on Specter Knight as he’s ordered by The Evil Enchantress to gather knights from all over the region to form her Order of No Quarter. In addition, the campaign details on Specter Knight’s origins. It is an interesting premise and adds more to the lore of the Shovel Knight world.
Shovel Knight has always been best known for its gameplay and presentation. The gameplay still is excellent in the case of Specter of Torment. Since Specter Knight is the focus, he plays differently than the previous two. He packs a scythe that can be used offensively against foes and is also used as a means to move about. He can do a dash strike either diagonally up or down and it doubles as a dash. He can walk up on walls for a few seconds, allowing wall climbing. He is fueled by darkness and in turn, has access to several “curios” or relics that offer unique advantages. To get those, he has to collect red skulls in each level and exchange them. The abilities can also be upgraded too. Like Shovel and Plague Knight, he can get garb that can change how he plays. It adds more variety to a character that can provide so much.
There is no world map for instead you have the castle that serves as a hub for all your needs. Similar to the Mega Man series, you have the option to choose your stage. It’s good in case one level is tough, you can try another that’s easier. As far as length goes, it’ll take you 4-6 hours to beat and New Game + adds more hours into it along with the challenges providing a lot for your money’s worth. I’m serious. For $10 (or $25 if you get the Treasure Trove Pack), it offers a lot.
The presentation is simply a sight to behold. Though it’s old school, the detail is amazing. It amazes on how a game like this provide so much and fact is, Yacht Club Games captures the feel of old school games for the modern era. Specter of Torment should get praise for its music. Jake Kaufman is back at it again delivering music that makes your ears fill with excitement. They are remixed, yes but they also feel original. Good much alongside great gameplay and a strong presentation really makes this a surefire hit. I love it personally. Now I only wish that we would get the soundtrack for this.
As for anything negative, I couldn’t find any that hinders the game. Absolutely none. The game can be hard but it’s a good kind of hard, something that is sadly missed nowadays. I’m happy that it can be challenging and it doesn’t punish the player as much. From my experience, I say that it is a game that’s worth playing plus it does detail what would soon follow in the events of Shovel Knight’s campaign. People that couldn’t get it on the Switch will have to wait a month before this comes out for all the other consoles. If you purchased the Treasure Trove Edition, the game also comes with the option to body swap in Shovel Knight’s campaign. You can mix the genders of all the characters involved for some crazy possibilities.
Specter of Torment offers a lot at a reasonable price giving us a new playable character, hours of replay value and other additional features. Yacht Club Games hits it out of the park yet again with another expansion to an otherwise amazing game. With King Knight’s expansion on the horizon, I can say that Spectre of Torment is one that is worthy to be knighted… with a shovel of all things. You know what they say, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
I give Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment a perfect 10 out of 10. This game is worth your money, that’s a fact.
2016 has been a rather unexpected year when it comes to gaming. We’ve had good games, bad games, disappointing games and games that end up getting canned for one reason or another. Regardless, it’s time for a list and it’s not going to be an easy one. I’m not limiting this to just Nintendo games. I’m involving all sorts of games so without further ado, these are my Top 10 Games of 2016.
Word of warning for everyone… if you find that a game you like isn’t on the list, you are welcome to make your own and share it. I won’t judge you and remember, the only opinion that should ever matter is your own.
Let us begin.
10) Song of the Deep – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Kicking off the list we have Song of the Deep, developed and published by Insomniac Games. Song of the Deep is basically Metroid but in an underwater style. I will admit. This game had me intrigued because of its design and presentation. When I got to play it, it was a sight to behold. The presentation for it is incredible with the level of detail to be intense. It’s gameplay leaves a lot to be desired but it fits the world that this game is. Not to mention it’s a bit too simple and short, around 4 hours. I’ll cut some slack since the game is rather cheap and there’s replay value to back it up. This game deserves a bit more appreciation. Sure it’s not the best but for what it’s worth, it’s a soothing and satisfying experience. I recommend that you pick the game up, at least to see for yourself how good it is. It’s $10! It’s not the best but I feel that it deserves to be #10 on my list.
9) Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS – Nintendo 3DS
To think that Nintendo would take a risk and bring a game like this to their best-selling handheld is a challenge onto itself. But for its shortcomings, I say that they did a good job. Mario Maker for 3DS is what it is, a port of a game that was on Wii U now fit on the handheld. Nothing more. Nothing less. The only problems I have with the game is that there’s no Amiibo functionality, you can’t play others courses or share courses online and the only way you can share them is through its Streetpass function. But despite its negatives, the game is still really fun and can even push your skills as a gamer/level creator to the test. Had this game allowed you to share courses online and play others’ from the get-go, it’d be rated higher. I recommend playing this on a New 3DS XL because, on a regular 3DS, you can experience crashes. I just want to give you a heads up.
8) Final Fantasy XV – PlayStation 4, Xbox One (PC coming soon)
We waited a long time for this game. It originally was going to be part of the Fabula Nova Crystalis as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Unfortunately, it was scrapped and then replaced with this. The wait was long but in the end is worth it. Final Fantasy XV is a great game. Its strong points are the gameplay, the open world location and the many things you can do in this said world. My problems with the game are its lackluster story and the characters. The four protagonists are fleshed out well enough but everything else feels flat. Made worse is that in order to better understand this, you need to watch stuff that’s outside the game like the film Kingsglaive and OVA Brotherhood. Other than that, I couldn’t find anything else wrong but at least Square-Enix is dedicated to making the game better while filling up story bits that should have been added. Thankfully I’m happy with that and it shows that they really want to make the game feel complete. I recommend giving this game a chance. Besides once the negatives are pushed aside, you have a game that’s very satisfying.
7) Overwatch – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC
Blizzard has a lot of balls for trying their luck in the first-person shooter genre and it paid off considerably with this game. Overwatch is just that: a first-person shooter game where you and five others can take the fight against the opposition in various modes. They range from escort/stop the payload to capturing defensive points/objectives on the map. Okay. It’s a bit small but that’s not why it’s on the list. Overwatch’s strong points are its setting and characters. No two characters are similar. Each character offers something different and that’s what makes it good. Coupled with the fact that there’s a lot to do in this game, it’s nuts. We already got two new characters, a whole bunch of new modes and events and knowing what 2017 has in store, it’s going to get better. This game is better played if you have friends because it’s all the more satisfying when you achieve victory. I ask you… are you with me?
6) Paper Mario: Color Splash – Nintendo Wii U
I know what you’re thinking. Why is this game on the list? Let me explain. Sure this game uses the same style as Paper Mario: Sticker Star but that’s pretty much it. Why it’s on my list because it is a much better game. Design wise, it is awesome. It is a step up from the previous game and the theme involving paint and colors adds it in perfectly. You can tell when you travel through Prisma Island. The addition of restoring the world through paint offers something different. Using cards instead of stickers is a lot better. The humor this game has is spot on with some being very funny to listen. Color Splash offers a lot here and I say it is miles better especially since it’s released on a system that’s on its deathbed. I only wish that Nintendo could go back to its roots with the game offering what it should be, instead of this. But for what it’s worth, I say it’s a must buy. Truthfully it is a must buy and I recommend this game.
Enjoying the list so far? Good because we’re now reaching the halfway point of this list. There’s no going back for us now.
5) Fire Emblem Fates – Nintendo 3DS
Three years after the release of Fire Emblem: Awakening, we get a game that not only is good but offers so much. I’m talking about Fire Emblem Fates and I speak on behalf of everything the game offers. What’s different from the previous games is its branching campaigns. You play as Corrin, a young noble who was born in the kingdom of Hoshido but was raised by the kingdom of Nohr. When both kingdoms declare war on each other, you have to make a choice on whose family you would side. Should you side with Hoshido, the kingdom you were born in as your Birthright. Should you side with Nohr, the kingdom that raised you and follows the side of Conquest. Or will you choose neither side and instead work to have both kingdoms unite under one banner and learn of a Revelation that threatens all. That is what makes the game stand out. The three campaigns: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation offer hours of gameplay and customization that can drive you nuts. Replay value here is through the roof, along with additional content via DLC drives it even further. I won’t go into too much detail but if you haven’t picked up this game, you should. I recommend trying your luck to get the Special Edition of the game, which has all 3 campaigns in one DLC. But if you are getting either Birthright or Conquest, expect to spend a lot just to get the rest. It’s why this game gets the #5 on my slot on this list.
4) Gravity Rush Remastered – PlayStation 4
In 2012, a game called Gravity Rush was released on the PlayStation Vita. It was a game that was fun, different and offered something new. Sadly not many people got to play it due to being released on a handheld that Sony never gave a damn about. Four years later, SCE Studio and Project Siren bring this game over to the PlayStation 4 and my god, it is incredible. Gravity Rush Remastered is marvelous. Seeing the game in glorious HD is jaw dropping. It’s nuts! What’s even better is that it runs at a solid 60 frames per second. Flawless 60fps. It is perfect. They also refined the game’s controls making things such as sliding across the city seamless. You can use the back buttons on the PS4 controller but there’s also the option to use the DualShock 4’s motion controls so it offers some variety for players. What’s even better is that the Remastered port includes all the DLC for the game and at a price of $30, how can you say no to that? You simply can’t.
This game is what made the PlayStation Vita stand out but now that it’s on a PS4, it’s the go-to game for anyone wanting this console. I highly recommend it. It is a must buy, without a doubt and it should prep anyone for the eventual release of Gravity Rush 2 coming in January.
3) Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita and PC
WayForward should be praised and commended for making a game like this. Not a lot of people are going to like having this as my #3 spot but this is a perfect example of a Kickstarter campaign done right, aside from Shovel Knight. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is amazing. There is so much good to say here such as the presentation. Design-wise, it’s a step up from the previous game. 2.5D at its finest with the character models being at its absolute best. Jake Kaufman does it again with the music here and all the tracks are addicting to listen to. Very addicting. The gameplay is similar to the first two games but it’s improved and easy enough for anyone to pick up and play. Hopefully, with the upcoming DLC like Risky Boots’ campaign, Half-Genie Hero is going to be one that’s worth every penny. Show love to WayForward. Get this game now!
2) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice – Nintendo 3DS
The Ace Attorney series has endured for more than 15 years with a strong and devoted following. 2013’s Dual Destinies is one a lot of people were hyped for and though nowadays is a bit mixed it was a welcome addition. Three years later, Phoenix Wright returns in full force with the sixth game in the main franchise: Spirit of Justice. Similar to the previous entries, it’s a visual novel style game where as Phoenix Wright (or any of the others like Apollo & Athena) you must investigate witnesses, find evidence and discover the truth through the courts. This time around, the story takes Phoenix to the Kingdom of Khura’in and in that country, defense attorneys are outlawed. Spirit of Justice introduces the Divination Seances where it details the last thing the victim sees before they pass on. But the truth isn’t always black and white. That’s where we come in to figure out if what the victim sees is the truth or not.
Many staples that are prevalent in the previous entries return here but its biggest points are its story and music. The story is a bit dark and intense for a game like this and the music is still its shining moment. Believe me, there are some tracks that are incredible to listen to. Whereas Dual Destinies serves as a return to form for the well-respected attorney, Spirit of Justice serves as a passing of the torch for Apollo Justice, allowing him to take the spotlight he deserves. It’s reason enough why this gets the #2 spot.
1) Pokémon Sun & Moon – Nintendo 3DS
Some people like the game, others didn’t. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the game. As a fan of Pokémon since Generation 1, I had a lot of expectations. They paid off when it came out. Nintendo, GameFreak & The Pokemon Company took a lot of risks in making this stand out over the previous generations. Removing some staples like Gyms, HMs seems crazy when you think about it. However, when I got to play it for myself, I can say is wow… they nailed it. The game does hold your hand a lot at times but you do get the chance to explore at your leisure. The Island Challenges are interesting and provide something different instead of going to a gym and earning a badge. It’s emphasized a lot and I like it personally. Z-Moves are also cool and how they look is amazing. But if I were to net any nitpicks, it’s the story. That leaves a lot to be desired. I wish it can improve but at least the game is still the way you remember it.
Pokemon Sun & Moon may not be for everyone but for those that put the time into it, it’s a pretty awesome game. I recommend it and yes, it’s one that I feel should be #1 on my list.
Honorable Mentions: Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, Pokken Tournament, Yo-Kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls, Ratchet & Clank PS4, Kirby: Planet Robobot
That’s pretty much it for this list. Remember, my list is 100% opinionated and you are welcome to disagree with me. If you guys have a list of your own Top 10s or if you feel that a game you played should be on the list, let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from everyone.