Welcome back, my fellow gamers! I'm still working through my backlog of video games and trying to figure out the best releases on modern consoles. Many people are living frugally during the pandemic and there's only so much cash to go around for something like video games. Should you invest in new releases or older games that might be on sale? Here are my findings with a group of random selections.
Let's start with Tekken 7, a fighting game from a popular franchise. This game reminded me why I never appreciated the Tekken series. I suppose it's all right for hardcore fans of the series, but it seems mostly inaccessible to everyone else. Your character will always have a huge disadvantage. The computer tries really hard to make the game an uphill battle. For example, the player character moves slowly, blocking is ineffective, and a lot of moves don't even work. My fists literally went through opponents with no effect, dozens of times with several characters. On the flipside, opponents move very quickly, break through your blocks, and are impervious to many attacks. Maybe people have to play this game a certain way, but I think it has a lot of issues.
Just skip this game unless you're a huge Tekken fan. It's a popular series, but most franchises have their share of strong and weak titles.
Resident Evil Village is one of the biggest releases this year and I'm happy to review it. This entry might not be a traditional Resident Evil game, but it's an impeccable example of survival horror. I really enjoy the weapon selection, enemy variety, environment, inventory management, and voice acting. It's a real scream fest with a nice balance of haunting ambiance, classic monsters, jump scares, tension, and some action to make the game a little more exciting. Village has an interesting cast of villains and a unique spin on European folklore. The story is quite bizarre, although it will maintain your attention from beginning to end. Some fans of Resident Evil might feel like this game changes too many elements, but let's face it. Resident Evil is a really old series and we need some fresh ideas.
So far, Resident Evil Village is my game of the year and it's a survival horror game with very high quality. It’s definitely not a good choice for people who can’t handle scary games. Village made me jump out of my skin many times. Regarding every0one else, give it a shot, even if you’re waiting for a price drop.
New Pokémon Snap is a spinoff from the original Pokémon series. Basically, you’re only taking pictures of wild pokémon. This game doesn’t include any combat and it’s not truly an open world environment, despite the marketing. You can alter the pictures and use them for research, but don’t expect a lot of variety. Personally, I find this game completely boring, even though it’s cute. The gameplay allows players to entice pokémon with treats, but it’s mostly just a tour on a trolly in different environments. I’m saying not saying the game is bad. It’s just super niche.
I believe New Pokémon Snap is a good choice for people who really enjoy photography. Honestly, this game probably won’t satisfy the majority of Pokémon fans. It’s a full priced game without a lot of incentives, so most gamers can probably ignore this one.
Hades is an innovative roguelike game and one of last year’s contenders for Game of the Year. It should be the gold standard for roguelike games in the foreseeable future. The graphics take a lot of influences from Japanese anime and the combat is amazing with fluid controls, different weapons and fighting styles, intense dungeon encounters, and a big variety of upgrades. Dying is an important part of the story’s progression. You’ll lose temporary upgrades and retain permanent ones that will make runs easier and more satisfying. Hades includes a wide cast of fascinating characters and a well developed story with a unique twist on Greek mythology. Each time my character died, I couldn’t wait to start all over again. It also includes a number of side missions and challenges that add extra variety.
Hades should be part of every gamer’s library. It’s a lot of fun and a fantastic twist on the roguelike genre. This game is also cheaper than most high profile titles. I suggest making this game a priority. You can even play it on Xbox Game Pass.
Donut County is a satisfying and humorous indie puzzle game. Believe it or not, you’re a gaping hole in the ground that moves around and swallows everything in the environment. Sometimes you’ll have to solve puzzles to swallow certain items and it’s a fun experience with a delightfully silly story. Donut County isn’t very difficult and it doesn’t feature a lot of combat. However, the story, unique gameplay, and reasonably short length should make the experience worth your while. There’s just something really satisfying about gobbling up everything in sight.
Some gamers might say this title is a glorified cell phone game, but I believe it has a decent amount of substance. Donut County is entertaining, inexpensive, and available on Xbox Game Pass. Definitely check it out if you want to try something different and funny.
Mortal Kombat XL is another entry in a long running and bloody fighting series. It includes all of the DLC and full character roster. I have divided thoughts about this game. Mortal Kombat XL is entirely fine if you’re a big fan of the series. This game is very intense and players already need extensive knowledge about the combat system. It’s not great for gamers like me, who only play M0rtal Kombat occasionally. You need expert knowledge about each character’s move sets, which is really annoying. It gives you the chance to spend time training and memorizing skill sets, but that process takes hours or more accurately, several days to complete. But if you’re already a master of Mortal Kombat, this game should be a very exciting and satisfying experience.
I think gamers belong in two categories. Buy this game if you’re a huge Mortal Kombat fan who’s familiar with everyone’s move sets. Other gamers will find Mortal Kombat XL frustrating, so avoid this one. I would say Mortal Kombat 11 is more accessible to the general public and gamers who don’t play as many fighting titles.
Biomutant is a post-apocalyptic RPG with critters who are skilled in combat. This game has a unique premise, but the overall product wasn’t put together very well. The missions are repetitive, the combat is wonky, and the environment feels really small for an open world. On the positive side, it has a strong character creation tool. Players can customize their critter with various attributes, such as strength, agility, persuasion, radiation tolerance, and additional elements. You can also put together a vast arsenal of weapons with junk that you’ll collect from exploration. This game is tonally inconsistent with silly humor, deathly serious stakes, and a generally weird vibe. By the way, most of the humor isn’t very funny.
Despite having a decent RPG system, Biomutant is a small game that’s trying to be much bigger. The most important elements lack refinement, the graphics aren’t very impressive, and the gameplay feels like a slog. You’re not missing anything by skipping this game. If you’re super curious, wait for a deep sale.
Here we go with Doom 64; another entry in the original Doom series. It’s very similar to most of the retro Doom games. This game is a first person shooter with a big arsenal of powerful weapons and frantic pacing against hoards of demons. By now, most gamers realize this formula is the typical standard for the Doom franchise. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get lost because this game doesn’t have a map. I also found it difficult to find missing keys that unlock doors and other essential components for story progression. Due to brisk walking and the camera angles, it’s also really easy to get motion sickness. Naturally, this game doesn’t have much of a plot, but I don’t think anyone plays Doom for the story.
I couldn’t get into Doom 64. It’s a bit confusing and the movement gave me nausea. I don’t think Doom 64 is a particularly important release for gamers who enjoy first person shooters. It’s fine for lovers of the overall Doom series and that’s all. However, this game is very cheap on the digital market. I saw it on the Microsoft store for $4.99 at one point. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass.
That wraps up another round of game reviews. I’ll probably post more reviews in a few weeks. Most of these games aren’t brand new, but high quality doesn’t change over time. Generally speaking, games are either good or mediocre. They’re worth your time and money or a total waste. Unfortunately, a lot great video games fall through the cracks because people forget about them. What are your favorite games of 2021, so far? Do you think a lot of good games aren’t getting enough recognition? Leave a comment. I would love to read your thoughts. Keep watching for other topics, such as movies, writing, sports, streaming, etc. The Delta variant is still running amok, so be careful. Best wishes and come back again next week.
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