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!
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