Do you know how hard it is to control a dragon with WASD? Well let me tell you it’s freaking ridiculous.
I spent the weekend testing out an early access game on GameJolt, called Spyro: Myths Awaken. Dealing with technological issues (my phone took a bath), so my research has been limited to late hours after work and I felt this was something people should keep an eye on so Monday’s article will touch briefly on this indie developed sequel to the Spyro The Dragon trilogy.
Developed by GameJolt user Cyreides, who has been working on MA for what looks like a year according to his devlog on the game page. While it doesn’t seem like too much of a challenge working with old school PS1 graphics, which is great and keeps with the continuity of the original trilogy, it is a labor of love for them. I’m not trying to take lite of what Cyreides is doing, because I know how challenging game design is and even preexisting engines and graphics don’t make the road any easier but they do seem to be getting the hang of it.
Spyro, Winter is Coming
On the game page, the Spyro Myths Awaken Holiday Adventure Demo is available to play as it is now. To say the least, I spent a couple of hours trying to reach the end of the demo, which requires to you collect enough gems to gain access to the next area in under a certain time limit. Each time I tried, I got closer and closer to the next area before I stopped.
The game holds the old school nostalgia that I know and love and actually handles surprisingly well with computer controls, it took a while to learn how to move to improve my timing but I got it down. Enough so to know that once this game drops or gets further into early access with other playable demos I’ll be able to play it relatively easily.
There are some bugs, but again as an early access title, there will always be issues and they can always be ironed out in the final version.
Spyro Myths Awaken is free on GameJolt and definitely could use more eyes upon it as the possible Spyro Trilogy remaster coming out later this year. Go and try the demo as well as keep an eye on this developer.
Sorry about the short post, but with technological issues and some issues pushing research so I missed Friday’s post. Buuut I will have more time to research for next Friday and hopefully it will be a worthwhile post.
Cyreides GameJolt page is in the link right there to look at the dev and the Spyro game page. Give some love and give the game demo a play.
When was the last time anyone could say a game about romancing various anime girls in clubs changed their life?
As of this past week, I can officially be one of, what I can only assume is a handful of people not fully immersed in anime based games, who has said that. And no, I’m not saying it ironically either.
So if you aren’t aware , or been living under a rock, the game Doki Doki Literature Club designed by Team Salvato, has taken the internet by storm. DDLC was developed by a man, who made tournament friendly mods for Super Smash Bros, by the name Dan Salvato. As far as I can tell, he hasn’t done any other video game related work, and based on his Reddit AMA he left a desk job in 2016 to work on projects like DDLC so I just assume he hasn’t done anything more.
That being said, his intro onto the video game scene being DDLC has to be one of the most fantastic ways to get attention. Before the five of you who read this try to reach for the “But Jay…” comment sticks, let me tell you all why this game happens to be a diamond in the rough of the free game/indie environment and how simple concepts can make a major impact on any given person.
Only Scratching The Surface
DDLC starts off simple enough, and we’ll start at the beginning of the Steam Store description. The Steam page for the game comes across as a happy go lucky anime dating game, that is until you reach the bottom where the text reads in bold text “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.” I mean how can cute looking school girls cause any kinda of disturbing imag-
Anyway, other than that, the description just talks about the various girls in this literature club, and just that we should spend time with the character reading the description, Monika, when we play. Now that wouldn’t raise many eyebrows because, many video game devs like to play the “Ooooh how meta it is that our character is upselling our game?!” So we don’t look at it too closely and download the free game.
The first run is rather benign, up until I’d say the final act. Throughout the run, you feel the love (as well as poetry) in the air, getting to pick the girl you wish to woo out of the three choose-able girls. Natsuki, Sayori, and Yuri. You get to interact with the previously mentioned Monika off and on but oddly you can’t actually date her. Most people wont think much of it and just brush it off as marketing once again.
Each girl and their respective interactions seem lighthearted enough, you catch a glimpse at some of their inner demons or home life but it’s easy to brush off. “Maybe I will be the change she will need and her life will be better for me coming into it.” This thought could easily dismiss any of the possible disturbing ideas lurking beyond these text boxes. Then… we hit the final act.
Ahead there be… SPOILERS
As the game goes on, you realize your good friend, Sayori, has two things going on with her. 1) She isn’t just a friend, she has feelings for you 2) She has major depression. One scene towards the end, just before you finish you three “dates” with the other girls, she confesses the latter. You offer your help and basically tell her you will help her. You go on with the other girl and afterwards she comes forward again and confesses her true love, which you have the option to reciprocate or friendzone her. Either way the game plays onto the next day and you go to school, the club president, Monika, talks about what went on between you and Sayori and simply hints you should have checked on her. At this point you start seeing that Monika has known things that she truly shouldn’t know. You also get a peak at Sayori’s poem for the game’s penultimate School Festival. It’s a long stream of “Get Out, Get Out, Get Out” then a blurb at the bottom that seems more ominous than anything else you’ve encountered thus far. Terrified for Sayori, the MC rushes out the door and back to her place, and like the day before, you enter her house, knock on her room door. With no response, you enter to find….
Sayori hung herself, obviously giving into her depression. The text that follows basically holds a huge amount of weight, talking about no do overs, it not being a game, and that somehow it was your fault. After a moment of taking the blame, the game suddenly starts getting weird, then subsequently it just ends. You get redirected back to the main menu to find an oddity or two. Where Sayori once stood on the screen, her sprite is now glitched and noticeably has pieces of Monika’s sprite glued on hers. You can start a new game, albeit through the weirdly coded new game button.
To fast forward, the second playthrough is glitchy and dark, some of the interactions that were once lighthearted soon become something menacing, where all the while Monika serves as the instigator, she also seem safe from the broken game, but the remaining two girls are constantly acting weird, insulting one another, saying dark and creepy things, and sometimes speaking in programming codes. Then inexplicably each one has their worst qualities amplified, resulting in Natsuki openly shouting about her dad beating her, then ending her story line with a desperate attempt to get the play to help her and Yuri but only told in a poem form, to then only revert back after the poem is read before she demands you only “play” with her, glitching pixels over her eyes and then breaking her own neck and charging the screen. Yuri, well she “accidentally” reveals she cuts herself, the game rewinds to have Monika cover the section up, then Yuri becomes obsessive and will start becoming lewd and dark. Soon she confesses her love, which you can reciprocate or deny, either choice results in her stabbing herself and you stuck in the club room all weekend with skippable gibberish that in the history tab shows the Steam page description of the game.
In the end, you find out Monkia has orchestrated it all, that she began to tweak with the programming because she didn’t get to spend time with you. However it isn’t because she was programmed to rebel, or designed to fake sentience because it would be cool plot wise (well i mean technically….), but because she had been aware she was in a video game the whole time, that she was aware of the player outside the game and felt it wasn’t fair that the other girls had options to date but not her. And yes, it sounds like the feigned sentience is just used as a cheap gimmick but you’d honestly be surprised at how deep Team Salvato worked on this idea.
Dan Salvato designed a simple game, it is a basic game on the surface and could have simply been a romance sim with no tweaks. But then you start looking closer at the game and all it’s associated files and you start seeing a dark and intricate lore that spans not just DDLC but a possible Horror tie in to be released this year.
The best place to start is when Monika starts to take control and delete the other girls from the game. Actual DOS code shows up the top left corner showing her actually going into the files and deleting their character files. But the character files are label as a type of file that can’t be read, unless you use different means in which to open them. One of the girls requires a text editor which reveals a code written in Base64 which when translated shows a creepypasta written by Dan. The other reveal images, all of which require backwards hoop jumping to find hidden meanings, one of which reveals odd imagery of white haired women who look practically monstrous, another leads to a website that acts as a medical examiners chart about a girl and activating a “Third Eye” power, and the last one, a note.
This note talks directly to the player, assuming they know who is writing the note (Most assume Monika), and talks of how the other girls and her had interactions in “other worlds” and how this isn’t her “only story”. The note details how the other girls are dead but they don’t have to be and mysteriously mentions the Third Eye. It starts to become more of a mantra towards the end, basically Monika stating she can save everyone and well the last quote seals the deal.
Yeah. I really think this might be possible. But it’s up to you.
I’m sorry for always being…you know…
Never mind. I know that’s wrong.
This is my story. It’s time to be a fucking hero.
Both of us.
The thing with hidden easter eggs, random files with code that just so happens to translate the same continual theme over and over again? It’s never just a coincidence.
The Third Eye is not only mentioned in these hidden files, it has a place holder in the actual game. Yuri, the more disturbed after being tweaked, during both playthroughs mentions and gives the player a book titled “Portrait Of Markov” and is described as having a ominous singular eye in the center of the book. The Third Eye symbol is tied to another hidden Base64 translated poem from Yuri during the breakdown of the game, which when translated talks about Opening Your Third Eye.
I could go into more detailed theories people have already made online, but all signs point to a much, much darker game coming from Team Salvato and that this isn’t the only run for the girls.
Truly Deceptive and I like it
Games are a perfect way to tell stories, the perfect medium to get ideas, feelings, and other assorted messages across to people of any mindset, if you allow it to anyway.
Dan Salvato knows this, and put love and effort into DDLC to craft a much larger, probably over arching story that will take place in another game very soon. The switch up from simple romance sim to nightmare fuel was subtle at first, and then once it did hit you in the face, it did so with class and grace. Getting you invested with the characters in a short space of time and then dropping the floor out from under you does wonders, and all the while leaving breadcrumbs for you to follow, leading you deeper and darker down the rabbit hole till you find yourself putting pins on a cork board going from a picture of Monika to a picture of all the other girls.
DDLC made me think, it kept me moving, and it gives me hope for the game that may possibly come sometime this year.
It also got me interested in learning coding/programming, because if the theme of something so simple slowly unfolding into something you could never expect kinda gets me excited. Excited to both see more of the same and to try my hand at making something bigger than myself.
Dan Salvato, you got me thinking, and now I just can’t stop and I have to thank you for that. So it is safe to say, Doki Doki Literature Club Changed my life. And I feel all the better for having the chance to play this game. No.. I’m better for having the chance to experience this work of are.
Once Again Thank You.
Always Need References
All information was gathered by Reddit User MitHost, so if you feel the need to look as deeply as I did, follow the link here
Also I’d take a gander at The Game Theorists who made videos diving SUUUUPER deep into this just as much as the Reddit page with the following videos.
Also note I am trying to keep a regular posting schedule of Monday’s and Friday’s. Hopefully I will be able to stick to it by coming up with decent enough content. If you come up with any ideas you’d like explored, tweet me @ReedicusRex
Sometimes a warrior’s only way to prove their worth is through a tough fight. So this begs the question, does this warrior stand up to the challenge?
The short answer: Yes but that’s not why you came here is it? The short answers are never what readers come for, so let me explain just how Dragon Ball FighterZ fares in its introduction to the fighting stage.
ArcSys Certainly Know’s Their Way
ArcSys, the developer behind the BlazBlue and Guilty Gear games, took the reigns of this entry in the Dragon Ball franchise and many people were exceptionally happy to hear that. Being someone who has never played a fighting game and walked away feeling good about myself, I couldn’t have cared less about who was developing it. That was until I saw the game in action, and then once again when getting my chance to play the Beta.
I was excited, I was blown away even though I had little chances to actually play the beta when the servers were constantly full, and after playing it myself, I know that was because the game was that fun to play.
So naturally, I slapped down some cash on a preorder and made sure to get my hands on a copy.
I go into this review willing to fully reveal I was expecting to be full of anger, quickly running back to my notes with scathing quotes about how irritating and frustrating this game was and yet, I sit before my laptop admitting… I highly enjoy everything (maybe not everything) about this game.
I can’t say how fighting games normally work, mechanics seem fairly simple to understand, I’ve brushed up on fighting game terms and watched as much as I could before realizing I still am completely new to the whole thing. But I do know about story progression, graphical and audio quality just the same as any other game so with that old knowledge and the new knowledge I picked up along the way, I can give an honest impression of FighterZ.
This is to go further beyond… enjoyment
I’m trying to use the least amount of meme worthy Dragon Ball Z quotes, since most people reviewing FighterZ, fans or not, have pretty much milked the cow dry on the subject. However, since I know the subject matter closely, I can’t help put use it when it fits.
That aside, FighterZ is very enjoyable, down to its core. It goes from just a simple fighting game with basic mechanics, and jumps up to a cinematic adventure which happens during and between the cut scenes. Its beautifully crafted graphics, cel shading and 2.5D works well with Dragon Ball surprisingly, it makes everything pop out during each clash.
Outside of cut scenes, the look and feel can make the fights come across as personal fan fiction material, living out your fantasies of Vegeta finally putting down Goku, or having a moment where Piccolo takes down Frieza all on his own. It doesn’t force it down your throat, it just gently dances in front of you allowing you to piece the scenes together yourself. The special dialogue still holds onto the perception that the power levels are lower, as if they were canonically taken from the show. It still feels pretty damn good to take down some of the toughest baddies, with just Yamcha (our lord and savior).
The environments are gorgeous to look at, ranging from every DBZ set you could imagine, accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack that just gets you in the right mood. My current favorite is the island theme, it’s catchy, upbeat, but still gets you buzzed to fight. All of the voice actors reprise their roles in FighterZ and it does well to serve the gameplay, as it wouldn’t feel like I was playing Vegeta if I was sounding like someone who’d be better suited to play Peter Parker. Though, since taking a liking to the subbed version of the anime, I can admire both the Japanese and English voices.
Though, that’s when the trouble begins to start with the game.
That’s the trouble with…
Localization of the game, at least that’s how I am taking it, seems to make the English voice over and the subtitles out of sync greatly with the characters lips. I’m sure the game, just like when the anime dubs its counterpart, can’t just replace the lip flaps without tremendous work and effort. I give them the benefit of the doubt in this area, but when hearing Goku say something and then his mouth keeps bouncing up and down as if he’s eating right after the fight.
I get that it would be difficult to fix, but I can’t help but feel this takes away from the immersion, which I know it isn’t a huge part of a fighting game but I still have to consider while looking at the game as whole.
The translation error on some of the lines, pointed out by Twitter users, in which some of the more comedic lines were actually spoken in its truest form. Making the joke of Yamcha praying to Kami and Piccolo saying “I can see why Bulma pick Vegeta” instead of its actual translation having Piccolo pointing out he’s praying to Dende. It’s rather aggravating to dishonor the original script, while I can enjoy the hilariously burn worthy jokes, it still stings to know that script is being ignored.
I also can’t help but say that this isn’t the only issue with the game itself. noticeably with the server issues kicking people out, or lagging with the inability to keep matches together due to people’s connection to the server and etc. Sure some of these bugs were worked out by the buggy beta experience, but it seems that many of the bugs that were found were left in. I’ve been kicked from multiple lobbies since I grabbed the game, and all because I went into a training match or something else. I also been plagued by laggy intros and mid battle hiccups.
I can’t explain why the bugs persist but I know I am not the only one to experience them. Many people became up in arms about not being able to play Ring Matches with friends online. It became known by AcrSys and Bandai Namco and yet we still deal with it.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a great game to have in any collection, and this is coming from a fighting game novice. I usually hate fighting games, usually I do well enough to get by in the Story mode and then toss the game aside but with this one I find myself going back and playing multiple matches over and over again. So I can safely say I have reasons to like this game and it is WAY outside my wheelhouse.
Everything from the Story (minus the third act which I have to say is the slowest paced and least interesting), to arcade modes, and online matches, just brim with personality and fun. I can honestly turn on the game and find more and more reasons to play, even if it is in-between other games. I enjoy learning the characters all their different combos and styles to see which ones work well with me and how I would play, even if I’m getting my ass handed to my by someone putting tons of pressure on me from the get go. I learn something new each fight.
I don’t feel like this game could offer too much more than the standard fighting experience however. And it shows in many of the features that honestly I don’t think need to exist in the game.
The Want Nots
Things like the replay system, which sure is great for some people who like to show off, or stream replays for people, or for those wanting to hone their skill by seeing their mistakes but honestly the announcer isn’t necessary and I don’t feel the feature is honestly needed. I don’t know many fighting games well but no idea if the replay feature is a thing. I personally don’t like it but to each their own, I suppose.
The other feature that I don’t think is needed, but isn’t necessarily a fighting game mechanic but a staple of modern game. The Z-Capsule system, or rather the Z-Loot Boxes, just a glorified system to gamble/spend your zeni and win lobby avatars, icons, and etc. Which isn’t wholeheartedly a bad thing, seeing as how you really can’t spend the earned zeni doing anything else, but it can be really addicting. I know from experience, but really is a pointless effort for the game if you only spend but a moment or so in the lobby. I can’t say I should take away people’s joy for the sort of thing, but I could honestly do without it.
My Final Verdict
Dragon Ball FighterZ just so happens to be a great game, and while yes it has its flaws and it may just end up being only a fighting game as it was intended. Which isn’t a bad thing at all, and I wasn’t expecting any more substance than a simple brawler. I went into playing it knowing I wasn’t any good, I also knew that I loved Dragon Ball as much as any fan could and was hoping for a non-canon adventure that hadn’t been explored before. I ended up on the other side of things knowing more about fighting mechanics and feeling more skilled than I anticipated, I also came to love the story presented to me (like I said minus act 3). I could say such horrible things about the people who play fighting games, and how they secretly have an extra thumb or two to be able to pull off some of those combos, yet I can’t because FighterZ has made me feel an interest in a genre I thought I’d never touch again.
So good job ArcSys and Bandai Namco, you turned someone new onto fighting games, I might even go out and try the other games made by the companies.
Speaking of genres I didn’t expect I would be playing, I already have a setup article for next time regarding a certain Anime Literature Club and how it changed my perceptions on gaming and even reality itself.
And as always, follow me on twitter at @ReddicusRex to keep up with my weird photoshop adventures and odd tweets. Just saiyan… heh
First and foremost, let me say I’ve never been great at fighting games.
I always button mashed and hit the d-pad any which way I could, hoping to make some kind of impact on the other player. Generally that wouldn’t work and I’d be known for years as the Spamming King, because I would wind up just getting someone in a corner and just cheese the punch or kick button till I won.
Yeah, I was that guy…
Needless to say, I haven’t picked up a fighting game since probably Tekken 3, and occasionally at arcades throughout the years. I can’t remember the last time I tried to learn the in’s and out’s of fighting games as much as I have with the upcoming Dragon Ball FighterZ. As most of you probably know, the Open Beta was just this past weekend, and besides a bunch of server issues, it was an awesome experience.
I probably didn’t sink as much time as everyone else did, but I still hit the 3 hour mark and having a handful of matches with randos around the world. I felt that I fell in love with a genre of gaming that I once held so much contempt for.
It may have been the fact that I love the Dragon Ball franchise, from the original to the current run of Super. It could have been I always imagined what it would be like if I could fire off a Final Flash in Frieza’s smug ass face. Or maybe, just maybe it’s the fact that FighterZ looks and feels so fantastic, even though it’s still in Beta, and it handles so well. No matter how you slice it, Arc System Works seems to have helped me expand my horizons and test the waters on a genre I could never really get into.
And before you ask, yes I grew aggressively more frustrated as I attempted to play. I played through the available tutorials, which eased me into the controls, which I still couldn’t quite get when trying to perform Super moves. I got to enjoy the small amounts of banter/dialogue in the intros and outros, including one that really reminded people of Dragon Ball Z Abridged (you know the one). It felt authentic, it felt smooth, and it was just all around fighting goodness.
I got the chance to experiment with most of the characters, I touched all of them but Cell and No 18 only to find I was better with Kid Buu, Nappa, and Frieza. Second only to Vegeta and Goku, maybe Gohan but I wasn’t exactly as thrilled playing with him. Getting to see all of the special attacks (when I could pull off the button timing) looked badass on my tv, instead of just watching videos on my phone. I did encounter Spam Kings, some who had gotten the hang of the system enough to juggle me in the corner (which I only slightly forgive) to those who boxed me in with energy blasts. Yeah I was enraged, the learning curve for me was a bit steep but the button combinations were not these long drawn out string of button presses like Tekken or Street Fighter. At least that was there to comfort me, anyway.
My only real issues with FighterZ were the matchmaking wait times, the server issues, and the lip sync on the English voice acting was noticeably off. Then again, I can’t take any of my complaints seriously because… well.. it’s a beta and it was mainly just opened to stress test and fix issues before the main game releases in a week. Though that didn’t stop many of the idiots online from complaining/feeling a sense that they were owed more from the game. I wont name names but seriously guys, you were given it for free to help the devs, stop being dicks and just enjoy what is offered if you can.
Hell I almost missed out on testing it in general, but even 3 hours was worth the hassle because it sold me on my preorder.
With that said, I just need to get my fighting game skills up to snuff. I can’t wait till FighterZ drops so I can try out more characters to see who I play better with. Variety is the spice of life, afterall. But before my time with the Beta, I at least won enough matches (and lost considerably more) to rank up once. Not a proud achievement for most people, those who reached Namekian level but hey I can live with my low power level until I can train when the final release hits shelves on Jan 26.
PS. I also had a biiiiiit of fun merging hairstyles with the bald lobby characters. Like a weird “bad fusion” generator. I leave the images below so you can see how bored I can be.
In Many Ways, a New Year is the previous Years hard mode.
Sure, some people have it easier than others, already having a path carved in the direction they want to go, not truly having a care in the world. While for folks like me, we struggle constantly to make it to the next paycheck, let alone another year.
Each year, I look at New Years day as me selecting which game mode I want to keep playing in, just on the hope I choose a path I have a higher chance of survival. So as is the tradition, I started 2018 with a gleam of hope I am selecting the best path for me. To my surprise, it hasn’t completely kicked my ass yet, given that it’s only been 7 days, time can only tell just how long that will stay that way.
What You Do At Midnight…
I’ve heard the superstition that what you are doing at Midnight when the calendar flips back to the beginning is what your year will be filled with. So besides a NYs kiss with my wife, if the superstition is anything to be believed, I will be playing video games and watching Youtube videos. So… just like every other year then?
I typically have to work, I have a family that deserves attention and care, and I have friends (which I hardly get to do), and then whatever downtime I do have is just a spare hour or two just before I need to sleep before starting this process over once again. Honestly, the idea that I will get the chance this year to play more and enjoy more of other people’s content is exciting but also highly unbelievable. I haven’t found the magic formula in which to manage my time effectively. I don’t know if Time Management was a skill I put points in when I leveled up in previous years.
I also have told myself I want to dedicate this year to finding a career and getting into that battlefield has always been a tumultuous effort for me. Adding that into the equation that is 2018 and my standard life, I’m not seeing much time for anything other than responsibilities.
I can be hopeful though.
Games of 2018
Within that hope, I can dream big as this year many of the titles being released I’m super excited for. I can even rate my Top 10 of the year, and unless the dates change due to delays or cancellations, this way they’ll stay.
10. We Happy Few: I’ve been waiting a while for this, and to finally have it comes out makes me giddy.
9. Vampyr: The first good looking Vampire game in a while, ’nuff said
8. Anthem: Not holding my breath that it will blow me away in the final product but I am excited for it none the less
7. Travis Strikes Again: No more Heroes: Only reason this isn’t in the Top 3 is because I don’t Own A Switch, otherwise, this belongs on the list
6. Code Vein: Idk why, but this game just intrigues the hell outta me.
5. FarCry 5: Obligatory FarCry game on list since… ya know… I’m weirdly obsessed with these games
4. God Of War: Yeah… well I’ve kinda wanted a new GoW game since the last title so this new twist on the idea is absolutely welcome
3. Red Dead Redemption 2: I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a western centered… anything. I mean I like the concept of wild west movies but I’ve never been overly excited. The first RDR made me actually interested in riding horses, hunting outlaws, and old school bar brawls. Also I just love six shooters so being able to use one was a plus.
2. Metro Exodus: I love the way this series has been presented over the other installments and seeing it’s reveal trailer made me weak in the knees
1. Dragon Ball FighterZ: I have not been this excited for a fighting game in years. Being a Dragon Ball fan and loving the way this game looks, I can tell I will probably be sinking a hell of a lot of time into FighterZ
So hopefully with this years prediction, I’ll have some time to actually play some of these titles. I mean if somehow I can afford even half of them then maybe I can say 2018 wont be such a hard year after all.
So, while I planned this article, I realized in a sense… I already vocally picked a GOTY
Yeah my part 1 pretty much stationed Destiny 2 in the GOTY slot, at least in the experience it helped create for me this year. Now I KNOW that people have more venom for this one Bungie title than I think they have for 343 Studios for taking the Halo franchise and losing the magic the first Halo’s had. Though I want to say here, for the world to hear.
Destiny 2 Is NOT my GOTY
Destiny 2 is great and all, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it for what it is and what it has potential to be in future installments but I would never place my vote for the Game of The Year from me. I, however, cannot just solidify a single vote since I have only played and completed 4 of the titles released this year, and only played small amounts of 2 or 3 other games. The rest, vicariously living through the youtubers I watch or friends telling me just how amazing certain games are (“OMG, Skyrim in VR is cooooool Jay” Oh I’m sure).
So in prep for this part, I concocted a the idea to have a few categories on which games I throw my collective hats behind. These categories are Games Played in 2017 but Not Released in said year, Games Half Played from 2017, and then a pick out of my 4 finished titles that will be the end all be all GOTY for me.
So if you’re not already headed to close the tab and for some reason you want to know just how these convoluted categories are going to work, READ ON!
Game of Years Past
Now this one seems to be an interesting choice for me, deciding to pull from all I’ve beaten this year that weren’t released this year, and for someone who hasn’t had the best luck with money to buy games in questions, I’ve beaten enough of them to make the decision a little harder for me. But I did manage to narrow it down to the Top 2
2. Day of The Tentacle
Yep, this year I beat down on a LucasArts and Double Fine game that I kept myself from playing it because I couldn’t manage to find a copy. Luckily PS+ gave me the gift a while back for this title for free. So after it sat on my digital shelf, I dipped my toe into the zanny world of Day of The Tentacle.
I am so sad that I never played this as a kid. Sure it was ridiculously easy, some of the puzzles still kinda stumped me but it definitely wasn’t something that vexed me for hours. It was the humor that made the game so great for me, it was crazy, off the wall, and had references that, obviously, were a big deal at the time it was initially released. It also doesn’t hurt that a bunch of the game was a trippy time travel comedy game with sentient tentacle monsters bent on taking over the world. I love this game, so much so I did everything to platinum it and went back and played it a few more times.
1. Watch_Dogs 2
A huge hit from 2016, the follow up to a game that was super hyped but kinda dropped the ball. Then again, this is Ubisoft we are talking about so that isn’t all that surprising. However, Watch Dogs 2 is a game I would have given this my 2016 GOTY… well I say that but I don’t know for certain what I gave GOTY last year so don’t quote me on that.
This game had it all, the quirky attitudes based around internet memes/culture, computer hacking, drones, and an underdog story. It has basically everything I want in a modern age set game. Sure it has it’s downsides, the game as a whole didn’t make me want to throw it out the window followed by my screams of “FUCK YOU, UBISOFT!!”
This game felt human, like it had a personality that we all wanted the first time around and had all the handy dandy toys that made everything a hacker could do more enjoyable while conveying a story of a corporation taking over the world in a pretty plausible story-line that could take place in our own lifetime if we aren’t careful. It was beautiful, with it’s own amount of bugs, so it was flawed but well made.
So that’s my pick for 2017’s Game of Years Past
Games of Years Present… But so far away
I’ll make this one shorter than the other section because I haven’t beaten either of these two, yes I say two, because I have yet to pick up the console in the highest demand at the moment, the Switch.
I’m talking about Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey and as with the last section I’ll just choose my favorite pick, which should be obvious for many reasons.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild
I choose BotW over Odyssey because the pure and simple fact that you could start the game in underpants and even beat the game without so much as put on a single piece of clothing. Ok… now that everyone is calling me a fucking idiot, let me finish.
I find that BotW is a great open world adventure game in which there is so much you can do and achieve and you don’t even have to resort to tackling the main story for the longest time. It gets back to the roots of Zelda, like the original NES LoZ. Freedom, seeking to take down the bad guys in a world that doesn’t hand you a instruction manual and just says “Hey…. just…. go out and do”. The videos I’ve seen impressed me enough to start leaning to get a Switch when I can afford it. The desire was made worse when I got a chance to actually play for a little bit, simply content with setting grass on fire and then smack the Old Man with a stick.
I was content with this, just this smacking him, and that was enough to justify me owning a Switch. I’d just have to convince my wife that I am making progress because I upgraded to a burning stick instead of a basic stick.
Mario impressed me too, but no matter how much it reminds me of Mario 64, how open it is and how quirky, yet a bit disturbing if you look too much into the possession shtick. I just feel that BotW gets a top slot over Mario, though you can bet your ass I want both games when I finally buy one.
And for the finale….
My GOTY for 2017
MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA!!!
Ok ok… I am just kidding because as much as I like ME Andromeda, I don’t think it would, with it’s flaws, place it in my top 5, if you know I had played 2 more games from this year. But I can however place a GOTY, for real this time.
Horizon: Zero Dawn
That’s right, the post apocalyptic world where animals are now mainly robots and humans have regressed to that of vikings. The world that looks so beautiful and so tantalizing it could rival The Last of Us and had enough emotional power to make me weep over people that were already dead… the future… if you can follow that congrats because I’m fuckin’ lost.
With a return to a basic level of combat, giving us a hunting aspect that FarCry wishes it could have without adding in acid trips, giving us a bow and arrow and this ‘magical’ staff which can make most these creatures bend to your will. It is an amazing feeling, knowing you aren’t the biggest thing on campus, and being small and having these fierce robots that have pretty much taken over the planet hunting you with everything they have to stop you from encroaching on their territory.
It’s like the Colossus from Shadow of The Colossus but on a smaller scale, but still just as fierce. One misstep, one blade of grass not covering your hair and bam you are robo chow. The game increases in difficulty, the armor and weapons improve as you progress as well. Trip arrows, elemental weapons, and the end all, be all super armor you have to work to get.
Everything about this game screams perfection, sure nothing is perfect but it’s flaws are few and far between so I don’t really fell the need harp on. Though… those faces though… sometimes those character faces just don’t sync up and look soo.. buuuuuhhh.
I wont go into the game more, as if you haven’t played it and with the complete edition being released, I’d recommend picking it up. I know when I grab enough money I will be shooting for the Frozen Wilds DLC when I can because I can’t wait to dive back into it.
So there you have it, my game(s) of the year, no matter how convoluted this article might have been. Here’s hoping that 2018 can be a better year for me so I can narrow it down a bit more so we can avoid these triple categories. Unless people actually enjoyed this, then I guess I can do it again because, as usual, I will probably stand as the Poor Man Gaming.
Like I mentioned in Part 1, I am not an affluent man.
My pockets are never truly flushed, I always just barely get by and, on an occasion or two I have chances to buy a game or two. This doesn’t mean I don’t get to have fun as often as everyone else though, there are free ways to game or enjoy watching someone else playing. Yeah I like watching Let’s Players acting insane, laughing maniacally, freaking out at jump scares much more than they should, and all that blah blah blah.
This year, and a little bit of the past 2 years, I’ve enjoyed mindlessly editing pics with Photoshop, while listening to (and maybe getting more distracted than I should) by having Let’s Players play in the background, like Markiplier, FX Gamer, and even just Game Theory. I can’t help but enjoy in-depth analysis while either playing the game itself or even after months of research and random math equations *shivers*
So for Part 2, I’d like to look at some of the most influential, to me, Youtubers. Kinda odd, I know but with a lack of an actual plan as far as what to do for GotY type content I am flying by the seat of my pants. Woooo!
In These Corners…
First up Asynchrony, the guys who make the Raiders episodes existing in the Fallout 4 game engine. If you know these guys by just the episodes alone, you’d know that they are fucking insane. Balls to the wall insanity in each episode, no doubt about it. The same can be said about their livestreams while playing games like PUBG or even VR games.
Dirty jokes, hilarious voice flexing, and weirdly crafted stories ensue with each livestream. I find myself laughing way more than I should at these guys as work on my projects, or quickly have to pause it or mute them when my kids run in the room. Yeah I have a potty mouth but these guys are fucking Super Potty Mouths and my kids would just end up repeating things they’d say.
That aside, they have kept me very occupied and entertained during some of my longer writing sessions when I could get them in. Absolutely amazing folks over at Asynchrony, if you haven’t heard of them, go subscribe to them.
Not sure if that is his official name, but he starts every video “Hey Guys my name is FX” so I’m just going to call him FX.
This bloke is hilarious, a bit loud, but asks all the right questions in the random ass situations games put him in. He runs plenty of popular game series as well as some games I hadn’t heard of at the time (Beholder for instance). He may play a lot of the mainstream games, but he adds his own flair to the experience. It’s enjoyable, fun, and can make the bus trips to work all the more interesting.
Again, he’s a bit loud but I love it, it adds a sense of excitement and I can’t help but feel peppy while trying to get out of my bad moods, and there were plenty of those in 2017. If you haven’t seen his vids or subbed to him either…. well… do it!
All of the Other Reindeer
I wont go into great details about why I love these other guys, I mean their sub count, their influence on media, and all the videos plastered all over Youtube can tell you why they are good at what they do.
I of course mean, Markiplier and Game Theory.
These two channels/people have inspired many changes in people’s lives, including mine. They are ground breakers, while still doing the same song and dance as everyone else. The reason why I have to thank them as part of my greatest moments of the year, even though I’ve been watching for years, is because this year was one that was very transforming. I’ve been diving into writing and editing, and just all around being social on such a large scale in comparison than in previous years.
I have to say that the inspiring messages, the heartfelt speeches, and for the countless numbers of videos were enough to give me hope for the future for someone like me. I’m a content creator… or at least I kinda like to think I am. I want to inspire and make others think, so they help me raise the bar based on their actions. This year kicked me into overdrive, fair to say.
So That’s Part 2
Hopefully it makes you understand me a little be more and hopefully you get to look into the other two channels/all 4 (if you haven’t already). Otherwise stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon to see an actual GOTY pick. Maybe a bit more.
As always follow me at @ReedicusRex as well as sub to the Youtubers mentioned above, links will be left below.