Thursday, January 2, 2014
Games: You know, I see a lot of people moaning about the top ten lists that appear at the end of every year, but you know what? I love ranked lists.
I really enjoy seeing what games hit the mark for people (even if they didn’t for me) and I usually discover a couple of things that weren’t already on my radar. You can’t discover hidden gems if you ain’t looking, know what I mean?
So, in spite of all the “OMG how can you make LISTS because LISTS don’t make sense” sentiments floating around, I decided to run in the other direction and I actually gathered top ten lists!
If you can’t stand lists, then skip ahead to the game talk section of tonight’s post. On the other hand, if you’re like me and love numerically ranked groupings, below are a bunch from people I know on Twitter.
Here they are, in the order I received them. If you dig ‘em, give ‘em a follow!
...And finally, here's a mega-breakdown from a wide variety of really sharp writers gathered by my fellow GC'er @SparkyClarkson. It's his Year Of The Games.
Aside from collecting all those lists, I've been scratching the surface with Terraria. It runs great on the Vita and it looks nice enough for what it is, but since the game (from what I can tell so far, anyway) is essentially Minecraft played from a side-view perspective, I'm not sure I'm willing to dive into that.
Absolutely nothing wrong with it so far, but I spent quite a bit of time in Minecraft when it hit XBLA, and I don't really feel the need to repeat that experience anytime soon. I mean, doing a bit of freestyle building with the kids every now and again is one thing, but starting from scratch and grinding through a campaign mode? Maybe not. Looks super solid if you’re not burned out on digging for minerals, though.
In other game news, I’m about halfway through Super Mario 3D World. I've been seeing it pop up on a lot of the lists above (among others) and I've been enjoying it. It's a solid game, but it doesn't instill me with as much wonder as Super Mario Galaxy did, and although I still have about half left to see, it doesn't strike me as exciting or as interesting as Super Mario 3D Land on 3DS did.
Also, I've been playing the entirety of it in two-player co-op, and I don't feel that it adds much to the experience. Sure, it's fun to have a buddy along to play, but the mechanics don't seem designed to add anything beneficial… What usually happens is one of us accidentally picks up the other, or one of us accidentally bounces off the head of the other, and effs up whatever jump we’re trying to make. Besides that, in tight situations one of us will inevitably drag the other one down, and I'm not getting much that I wouldn't get from simply having someone sit beside me as I played in solo mode.
It's a fine game and I like it, but it hasn't knocked my socks off the way it has for some. I’ll finish it for sure, but it’s just... okay.
Finally, I was sent a pre-release copy of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for the Vita, and it has been quite a pleasant surprise. I didn't know boo about it before playing, but if I had to sum it up, I would say that it takes the social aspects of Persona, mixes in the premise of Battle Royale, the courtroom battles of Phoenix Wright, and it couches the whole thing in a visual novel structure.
Basically, a totally average teenager is picked to go to school full of super-achieving special students. Upon arriving, the entire class is whisked away to some bizarre location and sealed inside a building. They’re told that the only way any of them can leave is if they murder each other, and then the intrigue begins…
Some recent visual novels I've played have felt very static and dry, with not much happening on-screen. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with reading, but when working in a videogame format, there are tons of places where little touches and niceties can be added to spice everything up. Danganronpa takes advantage of this, and has a strong style full of bright colors, interesting effects and a lot of visual energy.
I've only begun to start playing, but it hooked me immediately and I'm quite eager to see where the story goes. Put it on your radar.