Sometimes, it feels as if certain games come to exist in my house thanks to pure fate. Most of my games I seek out myself, but Uncharted is one series I never once put my mind to acquiring, and yet, here I stand the owner of not one, but two, entries from the series. The main reason why Uncharted never really appealed to me was because I’ve never been a fan of games that are too…realistic, I guess? There’s just something about games that feature realistic-looking humans or even just good, ol’ planet Earth that don’t appeal to me. (I mean, the Sly Cooper series seems to take place on Earth, but it’s populated by anthropomorphic animals, which is okay in my book.)
When I bought my PS3, it was accompanied by Uncharted 3. I decided to play the game, since I had it in my possession, after all, and while it was pretty cool, I quickly forgot about it shortly after completion. For a short while, I considered checking out the first two games, and then that just never happened. And yet, that was certainly not the last I would see of the series, even if I didn’t know it at the time. It was with the recent purchase of my PS4 that another Uncharted game snuck its way into my gaming shelf once more, the fourth (and final?) entry in the series.
Fancy seeing you here, Nathan Drake. Long time no see. Continue reading Uncharted, We Meet Again
For those of you out there who have been following the Five Nights at Freddy’s series, either by playing through them yourself or by watching others do so on Youtube, you will know that a fifth game has recently been released that greatly diverges from the usual FNAF formula. While each of the original four games had enough new features to differentiate them from their brethren, they were all generally the same. You are largely stationary (or, in the case of FNAF 4, confined to a single room, even if you can move between four specific spots), and you must follow a series of rules to keep the animatronics at bay. Wind up the music box to keep the Puppet in its box. Listen for breathing in the hallway and hold the door shut if you hear anyone outside. Flash Foxy with your flashlight until he leaves. And the list goes on and on. You’re basically tasked with staying calm and keeping a level head under pressure because if you panic and forget the rules, odds are, a jump scare’s coming your way.
FNAF 5: Sister Location, however, is a huge departure from the original collection of games, and when I first watched the trailer and any videos speculating on what the game would be about, I was really excited. The game looked so different, and I really wanted to see this fresh take on the FNAF series. Would we get a new, interesting story that sheds even greater light on the confusing, but still very compelling, FNAF lore? Would we finally get to freely roam this new facility, employing even more interesting strategies in order to avoid the killer animatronics? Well, be prepared for spoilers (largely for the first half of the game), because I will be answering those questions and more in the upcoming paragraphs. Before we get started, let me begin by saying that FNAF 5 did some things very right, while other aspects of the game ended up being, well, disappointing. While I did not play the game myself, I believe my viewing of the series on Youtube proved more than sufficient to give me an accurate idea of what the game is like. Continue reading FNAF 5: Where Sister Location Went Wrong
“This already feels familiar!” That was more or less my first thought once I’d booted up the Yooka-Laylee Toybox and started roaming around. For those not in the know, Yooka-Laylee is a game currently being developed by Playtonic Studios as a spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie. Playtonic is an independent developer comprised mostly of 90’s era RareWare veterans who produced the likes of Donkey Kong Country, Conker’s Bad Fur Day, Golden Eye 007, and of course Banjo-Kazooie itself. It’s hard not to be excited about a project when these are gonna be the people behind it! As for the Toybox, it’s something that was made available to Kickstarter backers to give them a taste of the game to come, and I have to say: a taste just isn’t enough. I want more! Continue reading Diving Into the Toybox!
So far, Knee Deep is a game whose depths I’d like to continue to delve into. Developed by Prologue Games, Knee Deep involves players in a classic small-town mystery story. It’s a tale of murder, intrigue, and corruption, and it all begins with a suicide. Something’s rotten in the town of Cypress Knee, and it’s up to us to wade in and get to the bottom of it. Continue reading First Impressions: Knee Deep
After a long wait, the Ratchet and Clank movie has finally come out. Video game movies have a long history of being pretty terrible, but after watching the trailer (um…several dozen times), this one looked like it would be the first video game movie to be of quality. Nevertheless, after its release in theatres, I watched as the ratings went down and down, from a high of 21% on Rotten Tomatoes down to a dismal 17%. I expect it to drop lower in the coming weeks. While I found this aggravating, it did not surprise me. People will never accept such a movie until they accept the medium that inspired it. Why mobile games like Angry Birds gain such widespread acceptance, while console and PC games continue to thrive only outside the mainstream population, I know not, but alas, that is not the topic of this post. Suffice it to say, us gamers are a very special group indeed, and it appears we will remain that way.
I knew the reviews would only annoy me, but I skimmed over a few anyway. Critics complained of an unoriginal storyline and flat characters, among other things. They even claimed many elements were stolen from more recent movies. I was baffled because these statements were unfounded. How can a movie based on a game from 2002 steal elements from movies that came out far after the game’s original release date? This is not just my opinion; it is logically impossible. Likewise, the Ratchet and Clank series has a history of fun, but well-developed characters and interesting stories. I find the characters from this series to be among the best in video games, and how characters I have formed a deep bond with, from the naïve, but intelligent Clank to the arrogant, but well-meaning (after his redemption, anyway) Qwark…how they could be described as flat, well, I’m astounded. They might as well state Mario is not an icon of gaming or Sonic is not Sega’s most famous character. Continue reading The First Good Video Game Movie is Here
As the years go by, our tastes change. We grow out of cartoons and toy cars and dolls, and we become, well, more sophisticated, in a way. Video games are no exception. For many of us, we end up looking over our game collections years later and finding games that, while we loved them as children, we’d be embarrassed to admit to owning now. And then there are those very special games that still speak to us as adults. Those games are truly successful, for they have the ability to gain a whole new charm as we grow older that only endears them to us even more than when we first played them. As I revisit my favorite games for this month’s challenge, I focus on the role that time plays in determining whether or not a game is a true favorite or just a passing fad.
I recently revisited my Nintendo 64, and I found games from both of these categories. From the more positive end of the spectrum were Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, two games that easily stand up to the test of time. I’ve been playing these games for the past 15 years, and while I have changed a lot in that time, the enjoyment I get from these games hasn’t. On the other end of the spectrum was a game even nostalgia couldn’t save…Donkey Kong 64. Continue reading Growing Up as a Gamer and Why I Don’t Enjoy DK64 Anymore
After spending the last several hundred hours of my game time playing RPGs (no joke), I needed a break. The only games currently in my backlog at the moment are Final Fantasy IV and V, so I decided I would instead need to revisit something I had played before. Being in quite a Rayman mood after replaying Rayman Origins, I decided to connect the good, ol’ N64 and replay some of my old favorites, Rayman 2: The Great Escape and the Banjo-Kazooie games. (Obviously, Banjo-Kazooie in no way relates to Rayman, but I may as well play them while the console’s plugged in.)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this game, but I didn’t find it one bit less enjoyable than every time prior. I mean it, I had a great time with this game, and there is one thing that always struck me about this game that really makes it stand out from anything else I’ve ever played. The mystery. Continue reading The Great Mysteries of Rayman 2