Puzzles and an existential crisis!
Developed by Croteam, most notably known for their work on the Serious Sam series, The Talos Principle is a first person puzzle game for the PS4 and computer released in 2014. You play as a robot who solves these puzzles to try and figure out why you exist.
- Gameplay: You are required to use your critical thinking skills to solve each puzzle by using items found in each area. Items vary from using boxes to activate switches or using wind turbines to jump over obstacles. As you solve each puzzle you receive a tetris piece which you use to unlock new areas. Also, as you solve puzzles you use terminals to ask questions about where you are and who you are to progress through the story.
- Graphics: The game has an amazing realistic art style that brings out the detail in each puzzle. Each level is bright and vibrant with varying themes such as Egyptian and medieval.
- Sound: Most of the noises are ambient sounds or background noise like insects and birds. The music that does play is ominous yet inviting which makes the world a more mysterious place to be in.
Overall, The Talos Principle is a complex puzzle game with an even more complex story. Every puzzle feels unique and always gives that sense of gratification when beat. I would highly recommend this game to anyone who wants a good and challenging puzzle experience. You can purchase the game for the PS4 or download it through Steam.
I give The Talos Principle a 9/10.
It’s bro time!
Final Fantasy XV is the newest console Final Fantasy game for the PS4 and Xbox One created by Square Enix. It is a real time action/adventure J-RPG that takes place in the world of Eos. You play as Noctis and travel the world with your three friends Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto to find the ancient weapons called the weapons of Lucii and reclaim the throne in Lucis.
- Gameplay: Combat has a mix of being fast and slow action. Fast in the sense that you rush in and do several attacks quickly then slow to back off and dodge attacks. Sadly the game likes to be more slow than it does fast. This mix works well but sometimes makes the game feel sluggish and tedious.
- Graphics: Environments are breath taking. Combat is visually complex and bright which makes combat amazing to watch even with the occasional slow downs. Some boss battles are so intense; I personally wanted to stop playing to simply enjoy the incredible detail that went into these fights.
- Sound: The ambient sounds of the world make the world feel alive and huge. Every large step from an enemy feels powerful and feels like a large battle. The music is calming yet makes you ready for an epic adventure. Mixed with the jukebox which lets you listen to many different songs from previous games; you will have hours and hours of epic songs and nostalgia.
Overall, Final Fantasy XV is a pretty game that has some shortcomings in combat that can slow the game down but still makes you want to play just to discover more of the gorgeous world Square Enix has created. You can purchase Final Fantasy XV for the PS4 and Xbox One
I give Final Fantasy XV an 8/10.
Will the Nintendo Switch be successful?
The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s newest console that will be released March 3rd 2017. Its big selling point is the portability of the system much like a PS Vita or a Nintendo 3DS. The system is playable on a docking station that will charge and put the screen on to your television screen that will run at 900p at 60 fps, but has the power to run at 720p at 30 fps while off the docking station. This would allow for you to play a powerful next gen console anywhere on the go. Of course, this doesn’t come without some downsides.
While playing off the dock, Nintendo has stated that the Switch will be usable for up to 6 hours. Specifically for the launch title, Zelda the Breath of the Wild, it will last approximately 3 hours. This gives us an idea of how the battery longevity is in use compared to not running anything. To give some perspective the newest 3DS model battery life is around 3-7.5 hours while playing 3DS games depending on if the 3d is enabled or not. Depending on how often you plan on playing your games this could create problems. For local travel or events this is not much of a problem but for traveling longer it starts becoming harder to use without a portable charger. So the battery life is good but the greatest in the world; however, what about the games?
Nintendo Switch will have ten launch titles that will release on the day. The two big ones will be 1-2 Switch and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Starting with 1-2 Switch, this is a two player game that uses the Switch’s Joy-Con controllers attached to the system. Each player has a controller and does some action the game calls out, you can see the gameplay here on the official Nintendo Youtube channel. 1-2 Switch is meant to show off how the Joy-Cons work and a start to how multiplayer games can be created with the system. Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s trump card in games for the Switch. The Zelda series is one of Nintendo’s staple games and the last major console Zelda game was released in 2011! So you can see how many fans are excited. With its fascinating graphics and open world environment the new Zelda game will show the power the console is capable of. You can see gameplay here at the official Nintendo Youtube channel.
With all that said, will the Nintendo Switch be successful? Before I answer that I want to define what I mean by successful. Success can be measured in several ways, such as, the company made a profit, if the console was well received from consumers, and so on. The measure of success will be about how well the console will be received as a whole; based on the launch titles, announced future games, and what the system can offer in terms of portability and power.
I believe the console will be very successful throughout its lifespan. This is because not only are the release titles and near future titles already being well received, the amount of 3rd party developers is staggering. So far there have been over 50 different partners that have announced development of games for the system! This gives the consumer more of a reason to consider purchasing the system early. Even with the possible issues that may arise with the reduced battery life I predict people will figure out ways to easily charge anywhere. I personally plan on purchasing a Nintendo Switch when I can. I have high hopes for the Nintendo Switch and I believe it will bring Nintendo back to the forefront of gaming with Sony and Microsoft.
You can purchase a Nintendo Switch here.
Minecraft in 2D
Created by Re-Logic in 2011, Terraria is a 2D action survival game, which can be played solo or with friends through multiplayer. It is about building your fortress and finding the next great item!
- Gameplay: Terraria is a game that revolves around combat and building your own fortress to survive the world as you travel through it to find new areas which are called the biomes. Each biome has its own distinct features such as a forest or a castle or the underground. Your main goal of Terraria is to find and discover these new biomes and to discover their secrets. Each biome has its own unique armor and weapons you can discover. Unlike similar games, such as Minecraft, Terraria has an “ending” where there is a final boss to the game. However you are able to continue playing but does not introduce anything new to the game.
- Graphics: Terraria has the aesthetics of a 16-bit game. Each biome has a very distinct look that gives the whole world a lot of character and makes the world feel more alive. Weapons, spells, and armor all have varied looks to please any kind of player.
- Sound: The music is unique for each individual biome and enemy you face. This allows you to instantly recognize where you are and who you’re fighting before you even see them on screen.
Overall, take caution when playing Terraria, it is very easy to sink many hours into this diverse game. The game will always have replayability with new ways of playing solo or with friends. You can check out the game for PC on Steam.
Team Based Fun!
Created by Blizzard Entertainment, well known for games like World of Warcraft and Hearthstone, Overwatch is a 6v6 team based first person shooter where you play as one of 23 different characters, each with their own unique role.
- Gameplay: The game has fast combat which requires quick reactions. There are multiple different roles such as a damage dealer who dishes out consistent damage, a tank character who helps block incoming enemy fire, a defensive hero who has traps or deals support damage, or a support character who provides healing and utility for the team.
- Graphics: Characters are realistically drawn but with a cartoon style much like Team Fortress 2. Maps are also made with a cartoon like style with great detail in each area which gives each area unique and varied designs. Character abilities are flashy and interesting that show off the power of each one’s unique skills.
- Sound: Music is heroic which gets you ready to save the world! In-game sounds such as footsteps and firing weapons are clear and distinct to allow for good surround sound gameplay.
Overall, Overwatch is a addicting to play both solo and with your friends. With the amount of characters and play styles you will always have new experiences and new ways of fun every time you play! You can purchase the game here at the Official Blizzard website.
Dark souls in Japan
Nioh is an action RPG set in 15th and 16th century Japan. You play as William as he travels to Japan to save what he lost.
- Gameplay: Fast paced gameplay with tight controls requiring constant attention to dodge and attack enemies. The game’s brutal single difficulty makes the game challenging for anyone who wants a casual experience, however, offers great accomplishment at every boss defeat.
- Graphics: Visually impressive with fluid character animations and atmospheric environments. Each level has its own unique dark theme that shows your transition throughout the world.
- Sound: Dark foreboding music mixed with an old traditional Japanese style makes an interesting combination.
In conclusion, Nioh is a hard and satisfying game for anyone who wants a fun and exciting challenge while beating the crap out of Japanese demons. You can purchase the game here.