So I still like platformers, huh? Once again a great platformer is taking the month’s spotlight, and I’m pretty excited about that. This month was pretty surprising for several different reasons. Another great platformer from a developer I didn’t know before the month began. A great first-person shooter that bucks the trend of boring combat fests with non stop action and no characters. A Kentucky Route Zero game that didn’t immediately draw me in, but I’m still gonna have to get back to that at some point. Mario Kart, which wasn’t really a surprise that it was so good, but more of just a comfort that it’s just as good as it ever was. These Summer months are usually pretty slow for new games, but good stuff has been coming at a pretty consistent pace. Let’s hope it stays that way.
With some great level design and lots of secrets to keep you guessing, 2 will keep surprising you over the course of a few hours. What starts as a seemingly innocent Metroid style thing quickly spins off into a darker world, and I never knew what to expect until I reached the credits. When you’re a few hours in and start playing a Flappy Bird clone built into the environment to solve a puzzle, let me know if you’ve seen anything like that before.
I’ve been pretty disappointed with first-person shooters lately. A genre that I used to be pretty excited about waned much more quickly than I expected, mostly due to half-assed cash grabs to take advantage of a growing genre. This isn’t one of those. One of the smartest and most entertaining shooters I’ve played in years, Wolfenstein: The New Order is magnitudes better than I ever expected from a sequel in a franchise that’s been almost forgotten. The gunplay is satisfying, there’s a story being told that worth seeing through, and there are some surprisingly good character moments to be found in between the action setpieces. If more shooters learned how to pace as well as this one, maybe we’d see some love heading back in their direction.
Tons of characters, customization, unlockables, and the first Kart game in HD, Mario Kart 8 is just as fun as you’d expect. If you’ve enjoyed any game in the series that began in 1992, this one’s about as good as they’ve come. It’s incredible to see these tracks look better than they ever have before, and the small touches are what make Nintendo’s development teams so consistently impressive. Characters now react to one another while racing, and the replays the game saves for you at the end of the race are almost as enjoyable as the races themselves. Grab some friends and throw some turtle shells; it’s still just as fun as it ever was.
While I still haven’t had time to finish this one, it has yet to grab me in the same way the first two episodes did. I plan on starting this one over and trying it again soon. It’s still good, I just haven’t clicked with it yet.
As simple and accessible as it gets, you click once and watch the results. It’s like Peggle, except with swords and death.