Free / Horror / Indie / iOS / PC / PS4 / Xbox One

Games of the Month – January 2017

We’re back in this thing, huh?

While January was an epic garbage pile for a handful of reasons, the games weren’t one of them. A huuuge surprise came in the form of this month’s #1, and second place wasn’t too far behind. I wish I liked the Gravity Rush games but am glad that apparently a lot of other people do. In terms of indies…I don’t know! A few decent ones here and there but no early Pony Island like last year. AAA’s have my attention for the first time in a while this year, so I hope there are enough great indies to keep up.

#1. Yakuza 0

snazzy

So whose job was it to let me know Yakuza was 100% my jam? It’s all I’ve been able to talk about this month. If you’re as new to the series as me, it’s tough to explain what exactly what this is. So let’s hit the questions:

Is Yakuza a serious crime drama? Yes, much of the game’s main story is focused around typical crime story scenes of family betrayal, honor, and that kind of stuff. It’s pretty good. Once a jumped through a window and punched a man into a toilet.

Is it a comedy? Yeah, it’s that too. Once you’re outside of the “main story” missions, the open world allows you to roam around and take on side quests. Hilarious side quests. Without spoiling anything, Yakuza 0 stands up as one of the most genuinely funny video games I’ve ever played.

Open world? Side quests? …Is Yakuza an RPG?  Huh, I guess it kind of is. Yakuza 0 blends so many different things together that it’s hard to pin it down and give it a label. There are random encounters, multiple skill trees, side quests with branching dialogue options…so yeah, I guess. Yeah it is.

Is there good punching? Yes, the punching is very good. Sometimes you can punch someone while holding a bicycle. That is also very good.

I like punching, but what if I get tired of punching? Go sing one of the many songs and play the rhythm based karaoke mini games. Or the disco one in the dance hall. Or go win prizes in a crane game. Or go to an arcade and literally just play some other games made by Sega. Or go to the bowling alley or the Shogi with the old people.

Is there any reason not to play Yakuza 0? If you refuse to do anything other than the main story and you also hate melodramatic crime fiction. Otherwise, no. Not at all.

#2. Resident Evil 7

re7-spooky

Attempting to play Resident Evil 7 in Virtual Reality with headphones on is the scariest video game experience I’ve ever had. You tiptoe through a claustrophobic house fully aware that awful things are going to happen to you, and when they do it’s not any less terrifying. If you’ve yet to try horror in VR, this is the end-all be-all of the genre so far. I’ve barely scratched the surface of the first hour after playing for nearly a month. It’s that rough. I swear I’ll see more of it by the end of the year…but man, it’s something you’ve gotta see for yourself to believe.

Honorable Mentions:

I didn’t like anything else enough this month to have a solid #3… but here are the good ones that are still worth your time!

Hidden My Game By Mom 2: A sequel to an original puzzler that has me hoping for a third one sooner rather than later.

It’s 2:51A.M. Can You Fall Asleep?: A return to form for ClickHole. This gives me hope that 2017 will have a good set of top tier adventures from some of the funniest people writing games.

ARACHNAFOE: A pretty simple dual stick shooter about wrecking shop on some spiders. They deserve it.

Ninja Spinki Challenges!!: Flappy Bird creator, Dong Nguyen, is back at it again with a mini game collection. Not quite WarioWare, but it’s a set of fast-paced challenges that kept me coming back all month long.

 

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