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Year of Living Gamegerously, Part 3

the-last-guardianAnother game that wasn’t on my dirty 30 list because I didn’t own it when it was initially created, but this one is in need of being talked about. Christmas money kept my budget clean enabling me to pick The Last Guardian up, so thanks dad for the cash!

So I wasn’t anticipating this game like many other people were; I loved Shadow of the Colossus back in the day so I really wanted to play it even with the negative press it was getting. So lets start off with the bad; the boy that you control feels like he’s drunk all the time, and doesn’t have much precision in his movements unless running in one direction for a bit. Also when jumping backwards from ledges the camera has to be in the right position or he won’t make the animation preparing for the jump. Speaking of the camera; it rotates rather slow at points and will get stuck at others, and the screen goes black and when it comes back you can get quite disoriented.

Now for the goods parts of this game. The soundtrack for this game was beautifully created and adds some real emotion throughout the game. Probably one of the best things about this game is how Trico feels like a true pet; Trico feels so much like my own dog Snow (if she had wings and could shoot lighting out of her tail) in the curious look I get, the demolishing of food, the constant need to follow me around, and not doing what I tell them to! I would find myself talking to Trico the way I talk to my dogs as well trying to get their attention. I felt bad when pulling spears out of Trico because of the wince/yelp he would do, and would start petting him to comfort and calm him down. The sentinels that show up periodically throughout the game were more annoying than actually feeling menacing, but every time I’d finish a puzzle to let Trico through it was a pretty amazing feeling with how Trico wanted to protect me. The story of this game was done very well with the narration from the boy  once he’s grown up, and it helps you get the feelings of what he’s going through as you play. The end of the game had me going through every emotion between the end segment, the final cut scene, and even after the credits. I can’t give this game enough praise because all the good that came from it far outweighs anything bad that it had.

I am so glad I didn’t wait to play this game. It may not have been the masterpiece everyone was hoping for, but it is definitely a beautifully created world and experience to immerse yourself in.

Amras89 YOLG List

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The Gamesmen, Episode 150 – Seventh Level of Ubisoft Hell

tgm150Join Hardlydan, Amras89 and AwesomeRob029 for game talk and fun! This time, The Gamesmen talk about Nintendo Switch details, the cancellation of Scalebound cancellation, and the results for the game of the year. Games discussed are Rocket League, The Last Guardian, Bioshock Remastered, Sword & Sworcery, INSIDE, Abzu,  Final Fantasy IX, Everspace, Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China, and Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past.

Featured Music:

Sword & Sworcery “Dark Flute”
Splatoon “Main Theme”

Show Notes:

Find more of AwesomeRob029 at TheDigiKast

Download | iTunes | RSS | YouTube | Stitcher (02:26:13)

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Year of Living Gamegerously, Part 2

shtddSo this game isn’t on my list of games to complete this year, bur I figured I’ll do a write up of all the games I complete. I am a huge fan of the games in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series by Frogwares, and I need to shout out Hardlydan for picking it up for me.

To start off, you’ll get the best experience playing this if you play Sherlock Holmes Crimes and Punishments first. There are multiple reasons for this; the very end of C&P seems to take place shortly before TDD. Also the mechanics like the deduction board, archives, and makeup/wardrobe are used in this game as well. One of the off-putting things from the start was that they changed the voice actors for Holmes and Watson for the fist time, and they also changed Watson’s character model to look more like Jude Law from the newer movies. I really enjoy how these last two games have been created so you solve multiple cases instead of one longer story. Now I wish that there would be more puzzle elements like they had in previous games; but finding clues, piecing information together, and making your own conclusion of the culprit and how to deal with them makes up for the fewer puzzles placed in the game. Scene recreation is also a nice touch to give you the “Sherlock vision” sense making you feel like a real pipe smoking, violin playing master detective. They also place a story intertwined throughout this game concerning Holmes’ adopter daughter, I suggest playing The Testament of Sherlock Holmes to understand her involvement. The climax at the end of this game is very powerful and was giving me a feeling of urgency. This game in the series is one of the best I have played because they are getting better voice actors for even secondary characters, and are getting better using the Unreal Engine for a smoother experience.

In the end this game may not be for everyone, but I have enjoyed the entire series and can’t wait for the next one.

Amras89 YOLG List

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Year of Living Gamegerously, Part 1

headerSo the first game I was able to wipe off my dirty 30 is Bastion. I’ve been trying to complete this game for the longest time and I’m so glad I was able to dig in and finish it off.

This game has a fantastic story to it all being told to you by the narrator. The way they voice over the levels you go through with him explaining areas and groups of people/enemies gives you all the points you need to truly understand what’s going on. Next up is the soundtrack to this game. Darren Korb did a phenomenal job putting this together, I can and have listened to it all day; if you wondered what the outro music to the podcast is it’s Mine, Windbag, Mine. The combat to this game is great as well. The variety of main and secondary weapons gives you so many ways to go into a level and bash, snipe, burm, etc. enemies through the levels. The Bastion (or hub world) is a very nice area you go back to between level and build a small town of useful things you’ll use in the game, and you can increase the difficulty to your taste with the Shrine. Did I mention the story? The end of this game is well done with a choice to be had (no spoilers) which chooses how the end of the game can go.

Overall this game is fantastic and if you’ve waited as long as I have to complete it than don’t wait any longer. Another game on my dirty 30 is Transistor by the same team and I’m excited to get into that one now.

Amras89 YOLG List

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The Gamesmen, Special – Switch Presentation Commentary

switch-tgmJoin Amras89, Hardlydan and Jsslifelike as they provide commentary for the Nintendo Switch Presentation.

Show Notes:

Just start the video and the podcast at the same time and they should sync!

Video: Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017

Download | iTunes | RSS | YouTube | Stitcher (01:06:32)

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The Gamesmen, Special – Switch Presentation 2017

nintendo-switch-presentation-960x426Join Amras89, Hardlydan and Jsslifelike as they talk about the details revealed during the Nintendo Switch Presentation.

Show Notes:

Download | iTunes | RSS | YouTube | Stitcher (00:33:47)

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Top Games of 2016, Amras89

It’s been another year of playing video games, 56 completed to be precise. To make up for the lack of a list last year and the fact I’ve played so many this year, I’ve put together the top ten games I enjoyed over the past year.

Unravel

unravel

We all saw the love that Martin Sahlin had for his creation back during E3 2015, and that’s what made me want to follow this game in the first place. Once I started playing Unravel I got sucked into this little yarn character traversing these different environments; from the warmth of a beautiful spring day in the front yard, to an extremely gloomy trudge through a blizzard, this games shows immense amounts of emotion without needing voices behind it. The puzzles are well put together as you make your way through each level; and the use of the yarn unraveling to show Yarny’s frame is sad, but also has a sweet tone when you find more yarn to replenish him. I highly recommend giving this game a shot.

Battlefield 1

battlefield-1

War is Hell. Battlefield 1 lets you know that right from the get-go. From the trenches to the sky this game takes you everywhere to give a tour of what it was like during The Great War. I loved the way they put the story mode together giving you short stories of different characters playing their parts during the war. The shooting felt good, the planes controlled well, and the parts of the game you could play stealthy worked really well. I’m not a big multiplayer fan but I had a blast when playing with a few friends.

Oxenfree

oxenfree

I wasn’t sure what to make of Oxenfree when it came out, but the price was right so I jumped on it and I’m glad I did. Starting off with a party on the beach this game quickly goes weird and you’re dragged in with it. Traveling around the island and finding the other members of your social group is very interesting, and the back stories of each character have a real relationship to their feelings towards Alex. The use of the radio is well done and the crazy supernatural mystery bit to the whole story is exciting and also down right creepy at times. The whole experience is well worth the price asked.

Pony Island

pony-island

It’s not what you think! This game went places and it still held up for the entire year. Pony Island is about a malevolent force trying to steal your soul through an arcade machine, and the effect Daniel Mullins used worked really well for the machine itself. It is a simplistic runner game that starts to turn quite dark, and the game play changes at a nice pace so you don’t get bored with just doing the same thing repeatedly. All the way up to the end this game is just a lot of fun to play.

Firewatch

firewatch

The opening of this game hit me personally with all that my wife has gone through over the years. After making it to your tower there is a fantastic interaction between Henry and Delilah throughout the rest of the game. Using the map to navigate to areas made me feel like a Boy Scout again, and the views seen are quite beautiful. I also really enjoyed the whole mystery you unravel. This was just an overall great experience this year.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past

dq7

This would be my number one if only I had completed it during the year. To start off, Dragon Quest games have always had some of the best soundtracks and this one is no different. It is a turn-based JRPG experience that I haven’t had in quite a while. Not only are the enemies always good in these games, but the variety in attacks, spells, and abilities give a great diversity to ways through the battles. Not only do you level up, the characters can also take on jobs to further their abilities, and mastering different jobs unlock higher tier jobs for you to take on and master as well. My biggest love for this game though is the different stories you discover as you make your way through the game. You’ll meet new interesting characters in each area you go to; but not only that, you’ll also find out the end of these characters legacies in the world. It is one of the best games I have played in a very long time and would love everyone to experience it as well.

Superhot

superhot

SUPERHOT is the most innovative shooter I’ve played in years! The level design of this game is great and you feel like a total bad ass when you watch the replay of something that took you minutes to figure out shown to you in seconds. The whole meta aspect of this game is crazy and I would have been in it completely if I was actually playing in VR. Each level is a ton of fun to plan your path to kill all the enemies, and the last few ramp the difficulty up quite a bit but I was in the mentality of not wanting to quit. This was just too much fun to play.

The Turing Test

the-turing-test

This game is on the Portal level of mind blowing. There is a twist in this game that just makes you sit back and think what if. The puzzles are fun to work your brain through and the side puzzles piece even more of the story together and it’s fantastic. There isn’t much to say without spoiling this one so just take my word for it.

Inside

inside

The world can be a dark place, and INSIDE is the darkest. There is a WTF moment at the end of this game that doesn’t stop the climax until the very end. Traversing the different areas in this game can be terrifying in the most dismembering ways; you thought the boy from Limbo died in some brutal ways just wait. My anxiety was up at points to let relax for a bit and then right back up there not long after. Truly one of the bests to come out this year.

Titanfall 2

titanfall-2

This jewel unexpectedly became my favorite game of this year. After not having a story Titanfall 2 doubled down and had a well paced and diverse single player campaign that had me on the edge of my seat. The relationship between the pilot and BT is just one of the reasons the story was so good. The environments were incredible and a certain mechanic brought into the game was amazing. The Titan battles were fun in the different areas/arenas and the free running felt extremely smooth. Titanfall 2 redeemed itself in the best way and I’m glad they created this masterpiece.