It’s always fun to check in with folks and see what everyone is playing right now. With so much of video game news focused on new releases it’s easy to forget that we are all playing lots of games and very many of them are not new releases.
Recommendations from fellow gamers is arguably the best way to discover gems, especially hidden ones from small operations that can’t afford a big marketing budget. I’ll break down a few selections I’m digging into when I get a few precious minutes to play. I covered several platforms because that’s how I game and it’s relevant to a variety of other gamers.
Playstation 3: Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen
This is no surprise to people and with it being recently free on Playstation Plus (NA) there are a lot of people running around Gransys right now and for good reason. It’s addictive combat and amazing monster spectacles overcome it’s frustrating quirks and keep you coming back for more. Felling a beast of myth is a suspenseful and rewarding experience and the expansion into Bitterblack is a refreshing and versatile addition. This new franchise from Capcom has serious legs and a sequel done right could be a genre definer.
Playstation Vita: Sine Mora
Why didn’t I put Persona 4 here? Well because I’m always playing Persona 4 and it does not look like that will change any time soon. So to keep away a redundant section, I have been playing Sine Mora and I love it. A side scrolling aerial shooter, this game has addictive shoot ’em up in spades. The story is absolutely ludicrous but the gameplay is solid. It adds a nice twist with time warping and is not a pushover for difficulty. You need to think and react quickly. The visuals are gorgeous from enemies to weaponry and at times can feel like Super Stardust. Add in different game modes such as Boss Training where you can unlock and fight the big baddies and you get a well crafted game with some lovely eastern development concepts. Lots of replay value here.
PC: Darksiders 2
I played the first and did not enjoy it. I found it bland and derivative of Zelda games and although I felt it had potential, I found it barren. I kept an eye on the development of the sequel but was afraid to spend full retail. After it released I watched it on Steam but never saw it drop below $40 USD. Thank you Steam Holiday sale! When it hit 10 bucks I took the plunge and have been pleasantly surprised. The world here is more alive with a story that feels more like a fantasy universe with depth. I always enjoyed the premise of the franchise – the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the battle between heaven and hell – and this entry fills it out with richer lore. It won’t win any literary awards but it’s immersive and makes a compelling case to one day explore rpg territory. Gameplay is fluid 3rd person hack and slash that safely copies God of War with its own added wrinkles that don’t hinder the feel. The focus on puzzles remains a hallmark and they range from straightforward to mind bending. Mostly open world with ample side quests and exploration make it all in all a fun title that makes up for the deficiencies of the original. It is a worthwhile meander for a Sunday afternoon session.
Retro Corner: N64 Super Smash Bros.
My lord this game. It had been years since I played it to death in smelly, smokey college dorms. Years since someone had falcon punched me off a ledge. Years since some jerk did a Kirby brick drop on my head. I hooked it up with a few friends and we went back in time. At first the dated graphics were jarring but once we got acclimated we were locked in like it was 1999 all over again. We even argued over cheap tactics and accused each other of just button mashing with no skill. N64. Thank goodness we didn’t boot up Golden Eye or we would have remembered why the N64 is the console that triggered the most friendship rifts of all time.
That’s a healthy and well balanced gamer’s diet of a list for you. So what have you got for me? I can always use new suggestions so let me hear what you’re into in the comments section!
Feature image courtesy of Flickr