- Mass Effect
- Gears of War
- Dragon Age
Shenmue III deserved something better. The developers should have found a way to meld what makes Shenmue distinctly Shenmue with bringing the game mechanics into 2019. I’m all for remasters of old games and keeping those same clunky mechanics with those old games, including the punishing difficulty. However, I want my sequels to old games to adapt and grow with the times.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince definitely lives in a story gamer's wheelhouse, but there's plenty here to satisfy those who may not care about a story in games. But I bet you will care about this one by the time you reach the end.
I had my doubts about this game, as I already mentioned. I never once thought there was a way Square Enix could live up to the hype the company has built up for this game. But bravo, it has done it and then some. The developer has refined and perfected the combat. It kept its silliness in tact. It kept in the darker themes and deep moments of self-reflection that we all need every once in awhile. It's, quite frankly, the best Kingdom Hearts game Square Enix has ever created.
If you've been a fan of the LEGO DC titles in the past, then chances are you've already bought the game and aren't reading this at all. If you've never gotten into the LEGO genre before, then LEGO DC Super-Villains isn't a bad dropping-in point. The collectibles are easier to amass, the puzzles have some challenge, and the character creation is enjoyable. If nothing else, you get to hear Mark Hamill's sillier version of the Joker. That alone makes the price of admission worth it.
Ubisoft set out to create an Assassin's Creed game worthy of Odysseus' name, and bravo, they have done it. It's certainly as long as one of Homer's poems, but every minute of it is entertaining, and, well, fun. It never gets old Sparta kicking an enemy off a cliff. Clearing out Locations is always satisfying, especially when they require setting things on fire. Talking to Sokrates will make you question everything about your life and the game itself. Some of the choices you make will have a similar effect. You can't come away from Odyssey without feeling like you were actively part of that great journey, from the highs to the lows and all of the incredible twists and turns in between. This is a voyage you don't want to miss.
Technical issues aside, I greatly enjoyed my time in the Heretic Kingdoms. The hack-n-slash combat with puppeteering strategies always felt fresh, the enemies always presented a challenge on the Normal difficulty, and I never got tired of the vast exploration and puzzle solving. Playing again is inevitable for me, as I'm really curious how much choices affect the puppets and the world around me. I played the goody-two-shoes route this time, by not making pacts with other demons and offering to help everyone under the sun. But I can't help but wonder how differently the game would go if I played as Vlad the Heartless. How would that help me unlock puppets I missed this time? How would it change the already chaotic world? Does it have as many ending varieties as Dungeon Siege III? I also can't help but wonder about the backstories for the other soul puppets I didn't choose. With all of that replayability bubbling under the surface, it's nigh impossible to not recommend Shadows: Awakening to all hack-n-slash RPG fans, especially those who never tire of the tried and true Diablo III formula.