I’ve been busy, okay!
I’m finally making my way through some indie games that I’ve not made the time for in the last month or so, and yes, I feel bad that it’s taken me so long. But I lived through another semester of school and work, and now maybe I can take some time and get back on track. Like, you know, life and stuff. But I’m not sure that it’s all just me. This is a bit more end-of-year-wrap-up-talk but has it felt like 2016 just hasn’t had those really, really good standout games that get everyone talking? Maybe Overwatch is that, but I fell off that wagon a month or so after hopping on. Hyper Light Drifter is awesome, and so are SUPERHOT and Pony Island. But are they what I want to represent this year as a whole with? Maybe. I’m not sure! Pokemon GO is still something I play and enjoy having around friends…but how much of a game is it? It’s something I enjoyed, for sure, but it feels almost as much as a chore to get into sometimes. There wasn’t a Shovel Knight, there wasn’t a Last of Us, there wasn’t even a Mario Maker or an Undertale. What’s the big thing that everyone talked about this year that’s a memorable game at its core? This has just been a super weird year in a lot of ways, and I’m ready to get a fresh start and leave a lot of this behind. Arbitrary calendar markings are the soul of my existence.
1. Final Fantasy XV
I think this turned out better than anyone could have expected, storytelling be damned. The character interactions are on point. I feel like I’m on a road trip with a group of very close friends, and I want to see and hear every tiny thing they do together. It really sucks that so much of their character building is done in the Brotherhood anime, (required viewing if you want to get 100% out of this…also it’s just great on its own!) but the game is so much more than the sum of its parts regardless. The combat is satisfying enough even when you don’t know what’s going on in some of the more chaotic fights, and exploring towns and juts seeing the world this team build is way more rewarding than it should be. There isn’t anything about the game that’s perfect, but its weird individual pieces compliment each other so well it’s impossible for me not to be charmed as hell by it as a whole.
2. Pokemon Sun and Moon
More Pokemon! I liked X and Y a lot and this feels like a lot more of that. Not a whole lot better or worse, but just more of something that feels comfortable and understandable. Sometimes that’s what I need.
3. Watch Dogs 2
I know, right??? They took the boring glibness of the first game, injected it with a nice big shot of Saint’s Row DNA, and pumped up the nonlethal stealth emphasis. Turns out that’s exactly what this goofy hacker series needed.
Bomb Squad Academy (demo) – Defuse complex bombs while a timer ticks down and the game laughs in your face. Trust me, it’s not stressful at all! Yeah!