Good evening! It's time for another round of game reviews! Truthfully, my most recent batch of games wasn't particularly impressive, but I'll explain more info below. Happy reading!
Believe it or not, Weird West was one of my most anticipated games for 2022. It's a top down RPG that takes place in a sci-fi horror version of the Wild West. Even though I didn't click with this game, it has quite a few positive elements. Weird West has an interesting cast of characters and gamers play as five different protagonists in separate chapters. The art style reminds me of old fashioned comic books and the game has a big variety of enemies, including several types of monsters. You can also explore the map for side missions, extra resources, and opportunities to level up.
Sounds great, right? Well, the controls are really weird and floaty. I almost find this RPG unplayable because the controls are difficult to handle. I also find the RPG elements pretty weak. Many of the unlockable abilities are lackluster and progress is a slow grind. The runtime is easily forty-hours long and I find it excessive for this type of game.
Don't be fooled by the marketing. I don't recommend spending money on Weird West. However, you should try it on Xbox Game Pass. It's getting solid reviews from critics, so you might appreciate the experience better than I did.
For those of you who enjoy movies like The Ring or The Grudge, Ikai is a survival horror game with similarities to those titles. I'm always going to be honest with you guys. Ikai has very few redeemable elements. The atmosphere is scary enough, but that's about it.
In short, this game has antiquated VFX, slow pacing, cheap jump scares, a lack of direction, and elements that are really funny instead of scary. I actually laughed a lot. For example, you have to paint sigils to ward away demons and evil spirits. I used the joysticks on my PlayStation controller and the lines were squiggly, kind of like something a toddler would draw. Most importantly, this game isn't fun to play in any way, shape, or form.
Perhaps, we'll get a really good Japanese horror game or a successor to Fatal Frame and Siren, but Ikai isn't the right answer. You can definitely skip this one without guilt.
Tiny Tina's Wonderlands is my favorite selection on this post. Actually, it's probably one of the best games in 2022, so far. We have a long ways to go before the end of the year. It's a spinoff from the Borderlands series, but I like the gameplay a lot better in Wonderlands. This FPS has frantic gameplay with guns, magic, melee combat, and solid RPG elements. The humor is priceless, the inspirations from Dungeons & Dragons are endearing, the weapon selection is amazing, and you can equip two separate character classes. It's a great way to beef up your character. You can also participate in side missions, treasure dungeons, and other chances to find better loot or methods for leveling up.
I have very few complaints about Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. The story definitely isn't the main reason to play the game. After a while, the gameplay and missions become repetitive, but it's still entertaining. Seriously, it's better than any of the Borderlands titles.
If you don't mind paying full price, this game is worth the money. It's a terrific looter shooter that doesn't fall into the category of long and bloated campaigns. Have fun, guys!
It seems like I’ve been waiting years for a new Evil Dead game, but this asymmetrical co-op game doesn’t feel like the right answer. On the plus side, the developer made a great effort to include faithful elements from the Evil Dead franchise, ranging from playable characters, demons, weapons, and the overall atmosphere. Each character has a pretty impressive skill tree and map is ripe for exploration. This game provides a number of options to players, including online multiplayer, local co-op, and single player with bots. Four survivors fight against a demon who can raise the dead, possess trees, and manifest in the form of challenging boss fights. It also includes a handful of short, yet useful single player missions that unlock additional characters.
Despite having some positive elements, Evil Dead: The Game has messy gameplay, unclear maps, and a ton of repetition. I’m sure this game is far more entertaining with friends, but the general experience feels underwhelming. Unless you have a team of players who are really skilled with asymmetrical games, the demon is going to win. Time is very limited, which means you won't have a chance to search for useful items, like health, ammo, better weapons, or matches. Your fear meter will grow rapidly and the map has a handful of cars that are designed to make traversal quicker, but they flip over with the slightest bump. The map is huge to a fault and the environment mostly looks the same from one corner to the next. It's just a rough and disappointing experience.
Honestly, I don’t believe this game plays well enough to warrant a purchase. If you’re a big fan of the Evil Dead franchise, wait for a decent sale.
Trek to Yomi is another indie game that released during the first quarter of 2022. It has a really interesting concept, but the finished product doesn't work very well. Trek to Yomi is a side scrolling hack and slash game that takes place in Feudal Japan. The animation is unique and really cool in black and white, just like classic films. It's not very hard to learn the combat mechanics either.
Sadly, that's the end of my positive critique. The gameplay is super repetitive, combat is imprecise, and the overall experience feels like a slog. Trek to Yomi is a pretty short game, but I wouldn't say it's worth a player's time. The story doesn’t save the game either. Basically, the plot is a typical Japanese revenge story, similar to Ghost of Tsushima and Sekiro, except those games are better. In general, this release is completely forgettable.
Should you purchase Trek to Yomi? No, but it's available on Xbox Game Pass. You could probably skip this one entirely, but Game Pass is definitely the most economical way to play it.
I also tried a side scrolling metroidvania, called BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites. It's a remaster of the 2011 release with some improvements regarding graphics and difficulty settings. I'll bet most of you don't even remember Rayne as a character. She's a dhampir, aka a half-human and half-vampire entity. Rayne is also an infamous vampire slayer. The combat is quick and snappy with everything you would expect from a typical metroidvania.
It seems like I'm not suited for the metroidvania genre. BloodRayne Betrayal feels too difficult for casual gamers and not challenging enough for devout fans of metroidvanias. The combat is super repetitive, the environments are generic, and the enemy selection isn't very memorable. It has a handful of decent boss fights, but I wouldn't say they redeem the game. Unfortunately, Betrayal isn't the right title to bring back Rayne.
You don't need to play this game. I can think of many metroidvanias that are superior, including Hollow Knight and Infernax. I wish the market wasn't so oversaturated with this genre, but they're probably cheaper and easier for developers to make.
So, have you been playing any new games? Are you whittling down a backlog from last year? Leave a comment. A lot is going to change in the gaming industry as more acquisitions happen. It's inevitable, for better or worse. Take care of yourselves. I heard COVID cases are rising worldwide, so be careful. Come back for next week's post and have a good night!
Welcome back, gaming fans! Many high profile games are coming out during the next several years and we want all of them to be great, but realistically, there’s going to be a handful of stinkers. Any number of problems can wreck promising releases, including poor gameplay, hard crashes, repetitive missions, bugs and glitches, excessive micro transactions, underwhelming RPG elements, etc. Ideally, the good titles will outweigh the bad ones, but we’ll have to wait and see the outcome. Let’s take a look at twenty-five anticipated games that could be major disappointments.
Alan Wake II
I played the remaster of Alan Wake and it wasn't very good. It doesn't give me a lot of faith in a sequel, but the general idea seems interesting. I heard the next chapter in Alan Wake is going to be hardcore survival horror and the end product could go either way. Maybe it will be great. Alternatively, it might be a bold experiment that doesn't work. Between Control and the original Alane Wake, the franchise has a very shaky foundation and the first game's ending was downright ambiguous. Remember, it's an ocean! Not that I want you to feel confused or anything.
Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora
You're probably tired of seeing this game on my posts. Allegedly, an open world game in the Avatar universe is coming out before the end of 2022. However, we haven't seen any promotional material, except one cinematic trailer. We don't know anything about the gameplay, character customization, possible multiplayer elements, or anything else. I don't mind seeing a delay, but the developer might push this game along because Disney is releasing a new Avatar film in December. Honestly, Disney and 20th Century need this game to be great. I can't say audiences are excited for another Avatar movie and a bad companion game could make the situation worse.
Obsidian is taking their time with this fantasy RPG. That doesn't have to be a negative thing, but I'm a little concerned. Plus, it has a lot of competition with The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Lord of the Rings, and The Witcher. Do we really need another huge Medieval fantasy? It almost seems counterintuitive because Microsoft owns both The Elder Scrolls and Avowed, which means their IPs are competing with each other. This game needs to be impressive or audiences will become disinterested very quickly.
No offense, but I'm wondering if Contraband is ripping off Grand Theft Auto and Saints Row. Usually, I don't play these types of games. However, Contraband is coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one, so I'll probably make an exception. Like other games on this post, Contraband has a brief and minimal teaser trailer with zero gameplay footage or story points. It's just a huge mystery. At this point, I'm keeping my expectations very low until something impresses me.
Gamers need to be realistic about this remake. Hopefully, Dead Space will be amazing, but you never know with horror titles. It's also a major franchise revival, which means audiences will have bloated conceptions. Dead Space has challenging hurdles because it needs to be really scary, players have to kill the monsters in very specific ways, and it needs to stay linear in an industry that encourages open world environments. Furthermore, it’s releasing in January of 2023. I’m telling you, January is a dumping ground for bad games. If EA can make the remake of Dead Space work, I'll be delighted.
Dragon Age 4
It seems like the upcoming Dragon Age title was stuck in early development for a really long time. Now development is finally moving forward, but the team has an uphill battle. I imagine Dragon Age 4 will include another giant open world environment. The previous Dragon Age game was massive, so I don't expect this one to be any different. Unfortunately, many gamers are losing interest in huge world building. I actually like big RPGs, but modern audiences seem to prefer multiplayer games and single player narrative adventures. We'll have to see what happens.
The Elder Scrolls VI
I wasn't a fan of Skyrim. Call it blasphemy. It has cool mission designs and world building, but the gameplay is super janky. Any game with the letter six in the title is probably overstaying its welcome. Oblivion, Skyrim, and Elder Scrolls Online were incredibly successful, but I doubt Bethesda can bring anything new to this franchise. We've seen this universe many times and it's not going to change. That means gamers will expect something new and fresh, although it will never come.
Apparently, Everwild is going through a lot of turmoil in development. I heard the developer is starting from the beginning again. Reboots and major changes may prove to be messy for this unusual fantasy game. Some releases turn out really well when they go through many changes, but the majority are flawed at best. I just hope Rare can figure out what type of game they're making. That would be a good start.
Setting aside criticism of J.K. Rowling, Hogwarts Legacy appears to be a surefire hit. However, gamers have seen a number of guaranteed wins that became massive disappointments, including Marvel's Avengers, Mass Effect: Andromeda, and Cyberpunk 2077. Hogwarts Legacy had an impressive PlayStation showcase with fantastic world building, interesting combat, and everything you would expect from the Wizarding World. Sadly, bugs, glitches, awkward gameplay, and bloated mission structure could be a reality for this type of game. That would be a worst case scenario.
I'll bet you guys don't even remember this game's announcement. There's an untitled Indiana Jones game in development by the same creators of the Wolfenstein series. That sounds interesting, but I don't think Indiana Jones would operate very well as a first person shooter. Hopefully, it will be a single player narrative adventure instead. Also, licensed IPs are usually bad. It's a total curse, although MachineGames might take more time compared to most licensed releases. I don't even know what to expect from the next Indiana Jones movie. Harrison Ford is way too old for this franchise, but I don't think he'll ever quit.
Kingdom Hearts 4
Is anyone surprised to see this game on my list? Kingdom Hearts is a very strong and iconic series, but some entries are simply better than others. The new teaser trailer indicates a major shift in direction for the franchise and consumers should be weary of anything published by Square Enix anyway. This game is probably years away from release and I hope the developer spends enough time fine tuning the final product. Please, don’t disappoint us.
Little Devil Inside
This game appears to have a lot of inconsistencies. The gameplay and story are pretty vague at this point, but I’ve seen two dramatically different trailers. It’s almost like they feature two completely different games. The first trailer features a hack and slash style of gameplay, potentially with some soulsborne influences. A second trailer shows walking simulator and potential life simulator elements. Perhaps, Little Devil Inside went through huge changes during development. I’m not sure what’s happening to this game, but it’s supposed to come out in 2022. I feel very skeptical about this one for multiple reasons.
The gaming community can rejoice! We’re getting a remake of the first two Max Payne games. However, that doesn’t mean it will be a good release. I believe the remake will combine story points from the first two games, which means it might be overstuffed and rushed. It’s been a decade since the last Max Payne game released and it can be tricky to make modern gamers and the original fan base happy. This game might be a challenging project.
I’m primarily including the reboot of Perfect Dark because it’s going thorough a lot of turmoil. A ton of employees left The Initiative for undisclosed reasons. It’s a huge red flag when a developer can’t retain their employees. Microsoft added Crystal Dynamics to the team, giving Perfect Dark another chance to have adequate production. This situation is particularly distressing because Microsoft is supposed to be a positive company who gives developers more creative freedom. I think we’re always going to have issues with corporate America. Hopefully, Perfect Dark won’t be a causality of creative differences.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet
Sorry, but old school Pokémon fans are horrible. They’re on my naughty list with Star Wars, Harry Potter, and DC superhero fans. Some fan bases are impossible to please. It’s hard to judge the quality of mainline Pokémon games because quality is very subjective. Personally, I think the past handful of core Pokémon games were excellent, including Legends: Arceus. It’s time to bring a full open world experience to the franchise. I feel optimistic, but Scarlet and Violet are incredibly ambitious games that could face technical issues. Will the next Pokémon titles get too big for their own good? I suppose we’ll find out during the holiday season.
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
This game was supposed to come out in January of 2021, but now we're looking at something past 2023. Ubisoft recently moved The Sands of Time remake to their Montreal studio for major overhauls. We're looking at a really long delay that keeps getting pushed back. It's fine if the developer can clean up issues and release a great product, but I feel skeptical about this one. Usually, troubled development history and excessively long delays are poor indicators for future releases.
Here's another game that shows up on my posts a lot. Redfall was supposed to come out this summer, but it was recently delayed to the first half of next year. This title only has one cinematic trailer, which means we don't know anything about the gameplay. The story focuses on a post-apocalyptic world that's infested with vampires. That's all I know. At one point, it was promoted as a four player co-op game, similar to Back 4 Blood. Later, I read social media posts about a looter shooter style of gameplay, kind of like Borderlands. That means the developer is figuring out what type of game they're making. I think it's going to be a while before Redfall drops and I hope it's not a mess.
RoboCop: Rogue City
I've heard different things about the upcoming RoboCop title. Some people say it's a multiplayer game while others claim it's a single player narrative adventure. The developer isn't confirming or denying anything and I'm a little worried about that part. Again, most licensed games are pretty bad and Rogue City might not break through the mold. Either way, it's going be quite a while before this game comes out. Let's hope for the best.
Honestly, I have a lot of faith in Ubisoft's ability to make a stellar Splinter Cell game. Unfortunately, linear stealth games don't have much prevalence in the modern era. It can be challenging to resurrect older gaming models and sell them to the public. Ubisoft is notorious for making giant releases with too many missions, busy work, and empty landscapes. An open world remake of Splinter Cell simply won't work. I'm sure it will be years before this game releases, so let's see what happens.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Many gamers probably believe the remake of Knights of the Old Republic can't possibly fail. You've been proven wrong many time with AAA games. I certainly hope it will be great, but Sony hasn't released much promotional material yet. So far, we've seen a brief cinematic teaser and that's all. Most likely, the developer will eliminate the turn based mechanics and that’s not a loss for someone like me. Granted, some gamers will want everything to remain the same from the original release with the exception of modern graphics. I could picture Knights of the Old Republic being an astounding success or a huge disappointment.
If Microsoft is going to compete with Sony and Nintendo, they need Starfield to be one of their most successful titles. However, it could also be a massive flop. You just never know. Microsoft has a shaky history with their exclusive IPs, including Halo and Gears of War. Some of their games are huge hits while others fall through the cracks. I'm definitely rooting for Starfied, but gamers still need to keep realistic expectations. Bethesda pushed Starfield back to 2023, which means they have more time to work through the game’s weaknesses.
Vampire: The Masquerade- Bloodlines 2
This game probably has the most troubled development on my post. Bloodlines 2 was in and out of development since 2019. It's already 2022 and this game isn't coming out any time soon. Now the game is under production of another developer, which could be either positive or negative. Clearly, something was going seriously wrong until this point. I hope the new development team can fix the game's issues and make forward progress.
The Witcher 4
CD Projekt Red needs a comeback with their next Witcher game. People lost faith in this studio after Cyberpunk 2077 was released in embarrassingly poor condition. Granted, they also created The Witcher III: Wild Hunt; one of the best RPGs ever made. So, I definitely think CD Projekt Red can make a terrific release. The upcoming Witcher game is probably in pre-production, which means it's going to be a long time before it hits retailers. CD Projekt Red can't afford another flop, so they need to take adequate time and care with this release.
Maybe I'm wrong, but Wolverine seems like an easy character to screw up in video games. Actually, the X-Men Origins: Wolverine game was infinitely better than the movie. The main problem is his regenerative abilities. Wolverine is virtually un-killable and he can savagely tear through multiple enemies. Gameplay could become very repetitive and laughably simple with this type of character. Fortunately, Insomniac is working on this game and their Spider-Man titles were excellent.
It's probably going to be years before the Wonder Woman game comes out. I find mixed results with their games, including Batman: Arkham, Middle-Earth, Mortal Kombat, Back 4 Blood, Mad Max, etc. Personally, I'm not in love with any of them. Does that mean Wonder Woman is in trouble? Well, I believe she's another tricky character to adapt for gaming. Wonder Woman's powers are remarkably different than the standard hack and slash model. Seriously, how are we going to use her magic lasso? Maybe this release will open doorways to fresh gameplay styles.
There you go! I sincerely hope all of these games are incredible, but a few of them are bound to be duds. What upcoming games are making you feel excited? Are you still having trouble buying a PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X? If you don't mind paying a little more, you might want to try StockX. Their prices are definitely better than eBay. Best wishes to you guys. There's a lot of political and social drama happening, which won't get better any time soon. The truth is, we just need to be a lot nicer to each other. Those are my two cents. Thanks for checking out my blog and I'll see you again next week.
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