Games

Games of the Month – March 2016

I’m late, but I’ve been playing Dark Souls 3 so it’s cool.

March had a lot of stuff! Thanks to Hyper Light Drifter being very good, and coming out on literally the last day of the month, that pushed this post back a bit, too. I liked The Division a lot more than I care to admit, and replaying Twilight Princess was fun, but probably also not the best use of my time. But I have Dark Souls now, and it’s all over for everything else for a while. So let’s see what games I’ll be coming back to once Souls fever has died down again for the year. (I’ll still be playing a lot of Clash Royale because I’m weak. I’m so weak.)

1. Salt and Sanctuary

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Alright, so Souls fever was already going strong last month, too. If you haven’t heard of Salt and Sanctuary here’s the elevator pitch: It’s the missing link between Dark Souls and Symphony of the Night. 2D Dark Souls, if you will. And, at least from the first dozen hours or so, it’s good enough to earn that title. It’s not perfect, and doesn’t quite nail everything that makes Dark Souls special, but it comes way closer than anything else I’ve played. Close as in, well, it pretty much rips off Dark Souls wholesale. From the near-replica menus, to the weapon choices and upgrades, everything feels like Souls run through a 2D engine. Whenever I’m done with Dark Souls 3, I’m glad this will still be around to keep me satisfied.

2. Hyper Light Drifter

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I’ve not finished this one yet either, but wow is it an impressive start. The first hour is frustrating as hell because the game refuses to spell anything out for you. But as soon as everything clicks? Oh wow, does it all click. This is another game that wears its inspiration on its sleeve. Hyper Light Drifter is what Zelda would be if it were stripped down to its basics, and then the combat was overhauled into something much faster and more satisfying. You’re exploring dungeon areas to find treasures and shortcuts, but the extreme difficulty is what the game prides itself in. At first it feels like way too much to handle, you have a dash move that can be comboed into other dashes or sword swipes, a 3-hit sword combo, a gun that only refills ammo once you’ve done melee damage, and then other systems are thrown in later once you’ve acquired a few upgrades. You’ll dash around enemies who could take off huge chunks of your health in one blow, and time your lethal finishers just when they’re at their most vulnerable. Then you’ll spin around and fire your last bullet into the guy you barely saw taking aim at you from across a bridge. Once you’ve mastered your skills, it’s hard not to feel like the world’s greatest ninja at the end of every fight. It’s immensely satisfying when it all comes together, and I can’t wait to jump back in and explore this harsh world some more.

3. Clash Royale

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Ugh.

Honorable Mentions

Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight – A stylish Metroidvania that satisfies through most of its short run time. There’s a definite Souls influence here, and a wide world worth exploring to find its many secrets.

Peter Panic – It’s a WarioWare-inspired broadway musical with funny writing and cute minigames. More please!

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD – The new art gives this game the personality it deserved the first time around. And it’s probably way better than you remember.

The Division – I had to get rid of this game because I put so many hours into it the first week it came out that I didn’t feel comfortable seeing where my life would go if I kept that up. 6/10.

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