Good evening! Thanks to a public menace, called the Omicron variant, many people are remaining indoors whenever possible. Fortunately, video games can keep us safe and entertained while everyone waits through the surge. I took the time to whittle through my gaming backlog from 2021 again. Hopefully, I can be done with the 2021 gaming slate by the end of March. That's my goal, but we'll see what happens. Here's a handful of short reviews to help you narrow down a huge abundance of video games. Enjoy!
Let's start with KeyWe, a speed run game with co-op gameplay and puzzles. It features two kiwis who are running a post office. You might think it’s a game for kids, but don’t jump to conclusions. KeyWe is way too difficult for younger kids. It’s a surprisingly difficult game because the missions have a limited amount of time with many tasks. Despite some frustrating elements, KeyWe is very entertaining and a lot different than most games. It’s oddly addictive with variable missions and a highly competitive spirit. Losing a mission isn’t a particularly big deal. You’ll just repeat the mission and try again. Plus, the kiwis are super cute and you can give them different outfits in the form of hats, backpacks, sunglasses, colorful feathers, and other accessories.
Should you bother to purchase this game? I recommend it on the Nintendo Switch. KeyWe plays really well in handheld mode and it might look impressive on the new Switch OLED model. You don’t have to be an expert with puzzles, but a decent amount of patience is necessary. Keep in mind, the game doesn’t have consequences for repeating a mission. Amazon and GameStop are selling KeyWe for $20, so this might be a good opportunity to grab it on sale.
If you're searching for a new take on the horror genre, Apsulov: End of Gods might be a good choice. It’s a unique horror game that takes elements from Norse mythology in a sci-fi setting. Apsulov is a mixed bag with positive and negative components. It’s quite scary with an unusually disturbing spin on the Norse Gods with bizarre creatures and phenomenons. The story includes a fascinating mystery and a handful of twists that will keep players guessing. Overall, stealth mechanics work effectively and it doesn’t have annoying inventory management from other horror games. However, the controls and combat are frustratingly clunky. You’ll probably die several times because traversal and command prompts are unresponsive. Also, this game probably won’t be a good idea for people who have seizure disorders or photosensitivity. It’s full of dark rooms with remarkably bright lights.
Absulov might be a decent horror experience for gamers who want legitimate scares, but keep your expectations in check because objectives are unclear and the gameplay isn’t perfect. It’s only $29.99, which is pretty reasonable for a modern release.
The Star Wars Jedi Knight Collection is a retro throwback to the early 2000s. It includes Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Knight Academy. Both of these games are fun hack and slash adventures from the Star Wars extended universe. However, neither game holds up very well on today’s standards. As expected, the animation looks outdated and the gameplay doesn’t feel particularly smooth. You can use cheat codes, but I wouldn’t say they improve the overall game. Basically, this duo suffers from a common issue of their generation. PC games from the early 2000s don’t adapt well to consoles. They’re buggy, clunky, and unimpressive on a visual level.
Even if you’re a Star Wars fan, I don’t recommend this collection for current gen consoles. You might be able to play it reasonably well on a PC, but I wouldn’t guarantee anything.
Mystery games are sparse and the latest Hercule Poirot title is a notable release from last year. It covers his early years as a PI, which is why it’s called The First Cases. This game is primarily a point and click adventure with dialogue boxes and some character movement through the environment. It doesn’t have any combat. Players have to find clues, hidden objects, and other quest items. The First Cases has potential to be refreshing in a world that’s stuffed with first person shooters and RPGs, but it has too many problems. It’s a broken game and I’m not sure if anyone can reach the end. I encountered numerous errors that stopped my progression through the story. That means I had to delete my save file and start at the beginning again. Eventually, I gave up.
This game has interesting mystery elements, but it’s barely functional. I can’t recommend a broken game. Mystery fans will need to find something else. The developers should have delayed this release. Gamers feel inconvenienced by delays, but they serve a purpose.
Chernobylite is a post-apocalyptic game that takes place in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Gamers might feel vibes from the Metro series and the upcoming S.T.A.L.K.E.R. sequel. This game includes a combination of exploration, combat, and life simulator elements. In general, Chernobylite is underwhelming in nearly every way, shape, and form. I would say it’s one of the most disappointing games from 2021. The environment is barren, the combat is awkward, the missions are repetitive, the plot is confusing, and the simulator elements feel like chores. For some reason, it wasn’t optimized for the latest console generation and that might be a red flag.
Overall, you can skip this game. I don’t feel good about being negative, but gaming isn’t free and this product doesn’t match the competition.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the latest remakes in Nintendo's lineup. Lately, every new Pokémon game is controversial among the hardcore fan base. I don’t care because the remakes of Diamond and Pearl are pretty good. They’re fun, charming, and a laid back excuse to take a break and explore the environment. Besides, who can resist all of those adorable pokémon? Usually, I hate turn based games, but the formula always works for the Pokémon series. I must admit, this remake duo is somewhat weaker than Sword and Shield. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl require considerably more grinding, which feels like an outdated style of gameplay. Also, the chibi style characters look a bit alarming. It’s a strange choice in art direction. Ultimately, the new Pokémon games remain a strong entry in the franchise and they should please mainstream audiences.
Should you spend valuable time and money on these games? Of course! Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are a blast! Do you need both copies? I’m not sure about that part. You might want to look up the list of exclusive pokémon for both games. I played through both copies and the second time felt like a repetitive grind. By the way, don’t be ashamed of guides and walkthroughs. I recommend using guides and YouTube videos to get through some of the locations and puzzles. It makes the experience quicker and less confusing.
Many gamers waited twenty years for a new entry in the Metroid series. Samus is back for one more treacherous adventure in outer space. I have a controversial take on this game. Metroid Dread was a strong contender of Game of the Year, but I find it totally overrated. Granted, I don’t have a talent for metroidvanias. This game has really interesting animation and a sprawling environment, but the gameplay is downright frustrating. The map is useless, many of the boss fights seem impossible, the platforming requires exact precision, and the new E.M.M.I robots are super annoying. You’ll probably die frequently and backtrack a long ways. Good luck, everybody!
I don’t believe mainstream gamers will enjoy Metroid Dread very much. It’s just way too hard. Competitive gamers who really enjoy difficult challenges are the target audience for this release. If you prefer the most difficult setting on most games, then I recommend going for it.
Tales of Arise is a popular JRPG that came out in 2021. It appears to take place in a Medieval fantasy world. I have mixed thoughts about this game. On the positive side, it has an expansive open world, a really good skill tree, and a unique style of combat. However, the characters and story feel pretty weak compared to the gameplay. This JRPG runs anywhere between forty and sixty hours to complete and I felt burned out after a while. I think gamers are going to feel divided about this one. Some people will probably enjoy a deep dive into the lengthy campaign. Other gamers will become disinterested after several hours. It’s completely fine, but I didn’t feel compelled to keep playing past a certain point.
Here’s the hard part. Should you bother to play Tales of Arise? I suppose it depends. You definitely need to be a huge fan of JRPGs and open world settings. Maybe watch for sales. I don’t think you need to spend $60 on this game. If fifty hours sounds too long, I recommend playing something else.
There you go! I played these games to help you narrow down some choices. After all, nobody has enough time and money to play every game in a given year. What games are sitting in your backlog? Are you looking forward to any new games this year? Leave a comment. I’ll give you another round of game reviews in February. For a while, 2o22 is going to be a slow year for gaming. Horizon Forbidden West is coming out next month and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is the main release in March. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was supposed to release in April, but it’s undergoing delays. So, this might be a good year to whittle away at the 2021 backlog. Be really careful, guys. This Omicron variant is the most contagious strain yet. Take care of yourselves and come back again next week. Cheers!
Welcome back! It’s a brand new year, which means we have an entire film schedule ahead of us. What’s coming out in 2022? Are we going to see more delays and will studios move some of their movies to streaming platforms? We’ll find out throughout the year. Most of these films have release dates, but I’m not going to list them because changes will be inevitable. Let’s see what’s coming out, so far.
It’s been a long time since Scream 4 came out. I’m a huge fan of the Scream franchise, but it might not be a good idea to resurrect this IP. Studios brought back Halloween, Friday the 13th, and a streaming show based on I Know What You Did Last Summer. It rarely works when filmmakers bring back really old franchises. Hopefully, the new Scream movie can be a fun and nostalgic experience without a bunch of complications.
Recently, I watched the trailer for this film. Moonfall appears to be a disaster flick in the vein of Geostorm, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012, and similar releases. It’s basically a campy post-apocalyptic movie with big budget VFX. I’m keeping my expectations low for this one, but it has potential to be entertaining.
This film is going to be 2022’s action flick with Liam Neeson. Do you need more details? It seems like Liam Neeson always has a midrange action movie in January or February. Blacklight is going to be 2022’s entry. Most of his action films follow the same formulas. He’s a tough and experienced renegade who needs to take down terrorists, gangsters, thieves, or whoever is filling in the bad guy role. Don’t expect more substance than his most recent action movies.
Ton Holland is starring as Nathan Drake in Uncharted, Hollywood’s most recent video game adaptation. I must admit, video game movies are usually terrible. Uncharted is similar to Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, and other adventure films. The marketing doesn’t look very good, so maintain realistic expectations.
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Netflix is resurrecting the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series. I’ll give them credit for being ambitious. Truthfully, I didn’t mind the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the remake. I assume this film will be another reboot. Most likely, this movie will be brutally violent and gruesome, which means it won’t be suitable for squeamish viewers. Netflix isn’t afraid of violence and some of their horror films are decent, so I have faith in them.
Here we go again with another Batman reboot. It seems to be following a similar formula to Christopher Nolan’s trilogy with a realistic setting. I don’t find this one comic book accurate, but hardly any of the DC movies are faithful adaptations anyway. Honestly, I’m getting weird vibes from this Batman film, but it will probably be quite popular. Most Batman movies are huge commercial boons.
Sony appears to be releasing a number of movies that feature Spider-Man’s villains. It’s a very unusual strategy, but they might be trying this method because Spider-Man is tied up with Marvel. Basically, Morbius is a living vampire. It might be a little bit like the Blade movies, but we’ll see. I cringe every time Jared Leto stars in a film, so Morbius could be pretty good or downright bad. The quality could go either way.
I watched a trailer for this small action film and it looks promising. A criminal hijacks an ambulance, including the paramedics, and takes them on a dangerous trip. I believe it will stream on Peacock after forty-five days of theatrical release, which is a decent arrangement. This movie seems more like a streaming option anyway. I understand studios are hoping to drive audiences back to theaters, but it seems like half of their content belongs on streaming.
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Let’s judge this movie for its quality instead of the drama with J.K. Rowling. She made a lot of foolish mistakes, but the Wizarding World is still a promising IP with significant potential. I’m not sure what fate holds in store for the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The previous Fantastic Beasts film wasn’t great and The Secrets of Dumbledore needs to leave a strong impression. Warner Bros. needs really good luck with this movie.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Despite having ups and downs in 2021, I assume Marvel will have commercial and financial success this year. The new Doctor Strange film looks quite unusual, but that’s probably the point. I just want it to be more interesting than the original Doctor Strange movie. Also, I don’t want it to warp the MCU into a confusing mess. Most fans of blockbuster films are probably looking forward to this release, but I’m staying on the cautious side.
Top Gun: Maverick
Do you remember what I said about old IPs? I don’t think anyone is asking for a new Top Gun movie. The marketing looks promising, but I’m not sure if this story makes a lot of sense for the modern era. For example, I’m pretty sure the military is phasing out this type of aviation. However, I could be wrong. The original Top Gun holds up really well today and I hope the sequel is a worthy successor.
Jurassic World Dominion
I need think we all need a healthy dose of man eating dinosaurs. The third entry in the Jurassic World series is finally coming out in 2022. It should be an exiting blockbuster adventure and the setting will be somewhat different with a post-apocalyptic theme. Several original cast members from Jurassic Park are returning, although I expect their roles to be small. Actually, Dominion is one of my most anticipated films this year.
The Black Phone
This dark horror movie had a convoluted release, due to the pandemic. The Black Phone was supposed to come out in 2021 and it was screened for festival critics. Some viewers might feel squeamish about this film because it features a serial killer who has an obsession with children, but it’s a Blumhouse feature and very few of their releases are overtly disgusting. 2021 was a big year for art house horror and I’m ready for more traditional scares. After all, most art house horror movies aren’t scary at all.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Marvel is taking a lot of risks in the post-Endgame period. The fourth entry in the Thor series is featuring Jane Foster as an alternate version of Thor, the God of Thunder. This version of Thor had a major story in the comics, but I’m not sure if the MCU will go with the original plot. Most likely, the multiverse will play an important role in this movie. Regardless of the story, I hope Love and Thunder will be another entertaining superhero flick.
I’m putting this film on my list because it’s a mystery and action movie rolled into one viewing. Five assassin’s are on a bullet train and their assignments have a major connection. I doubt it will be a huge blockbuster or financially successful, but the premise sounds interesting. Hopefully, the writing will be halfway decent.
It seems like Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam movie had constant delays. Maybe 2022 will be the year when we finally see it in theaters. After all, Warner Bros. is done releasing their films simultaneously on HBO Max. However, Black Adam and the rest of Warner Bros. releases will air on streaming forty-five days after their theatrical premiere. I’m curious and skeptical about this movie because Black Adam is traditionally a major villain for the Shazam family. Is he going to be an antihero? I don’t know, but the film will probably have a lengthy backstory.
I never know what to expect from Stephen King’s adaptations. Years ago, Salem’s Lot was a tv miniseries, so a two hour film will be a condensed version of the novel. I’m not sure if a movie will have enough time to tell this story, but they can try. Luckily, modern VFX and makeup could make the experience a lot scarier. If you like vampires, this film might be a good choice.
Here’s another horror movie with endless delays. I would say this film is a blend of Pumpkin Head and Children of the Corn. I like rural horror movies, so Dark Harvest might be up my alley. It’s a rare MGM release and I’m not well versed with their horror films. Maybe 2022 will be a better year for horror, considering how disappointing 2021 was for the genre.
Don’t Worry Darling
I don’t have a lot of sci-fi releases on today’s post, but this film seems like an homage to The Stepford Wives. It’s about a married woman who lives in an apparently utopian neighborhood, even though her husband and other residents are hiding a dark secret. I hope it’s not just a rehash of tropes and movies we’ve already seen, but time will tell. I’ll give it a chance.
Mission Impossible 7
Some of the Mission Impossible films are better than others, but I really enjoyed the most recent installment, titled Fallout. The next Mission Impossible movie could be great or disappointing. Either way, Tom Cruise is still killing it in this franchise and I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Sorry guys, but I don’t like the Halloween revival series. The first one was just another bad Halloween movie and the most recent entry was considerably worse. However, I’m curious to see how the trilogy ends. Maybe the third film will be the strongest installment in the series. You never know. I hope Jamie Lee Curtis can end this franchise on a high note.
Honestly, I expect this film to be a total mess. The DC universe lacks continuity and I don’t believe a Flashpoint adaptation will change anything. Warner Bros. will try to eliminate what they don’t want and keep the best parts through this Flash movie. That means the studio will eliminate Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill, but keep Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa. It might be one of the worst films this year, but Warner Bros. could prove me wrong. The new continuity might actually work.
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
I would say this movie can’t fail, except Marvel is having some drama behind the scenes. Fortunately, this sequel has the same director from the first Black Panther film. I feel confident in Ryan Coogler’s directorial skills, despite the untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman. May his soul rest in peace. Replacing the lead character in a budding franchise is difficult, so let’s hope for the best.
Look, it’s another old IP that’s coming back from the dead. The Avatar train ended a long time ago, so it seems really strange to see a sequel at this point. Plus, a video game is also coming out to accompany this new film. It’s really weird. However, James Cameron made good movies in the past, so there’s plenty of hope. I just want the latest Avatar film to have more substance and originality than the previous one.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
I really enjoyed the first Aquaman movie, but this one makes me feel troubled. Seriously, I think every film in 2022 has endless drama. Warner Bros. kept Amber Heard in this movie, even though controversy follows her everywhere. Despite the onset drama, this sequel appears to be a highly ambitious project. I hope the director can get the job done with flying colors. The DC universe can’t afford another bad year. They might need a hard reboot if the next few movies flop.
There you go! 2022 might be one of the most unpredictable years to date! I hope a lot of these films come out on time with high quality. It would be really unfortunate to see another year with awful releases. With all due respect to filmmakers and crew members, 2021 had one of the worst film schedules in recent memory. Also, you can’t blame the pandemic for everything. Delays happens because of the pandemic, but poor filmmaking, acting, and writing is a choice. Make me proud, Hollywood! You have a lot of work to do this year! Are you looking forward to any movies this year? Have you returned to theaters yet? Are you sticking with streaming and digital for while? Leave a comment. Thanks a lot for visiting my blog. I’ll keep you well fed with new posts every week. Good night!
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