RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Sep 6th 2019 at 08:00:00 AM by (Addicted)
Posted under Game Diary, Hidden Gems, Games of Summer 2019

It's been a busy summer and I've been playing a lot more than shmups so I thought it would be fun to write a small report or ramblings on what I played over the summer.

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night (PS4, Switch):

I finished both versions and I like the game overall but two things stand out. First, the flow of the game is crushed under its own ambition. It feels like nothing was left on the cutting room floor and what is there is placed without being though out. Instead of grouping everything into a single massive castle it would have been better to split things up so the player has a journey to the castle and then the castle itself. This problem is exemplified during the train sequence as it feels out of place from what you've been doing and makes you wonder why a train is inside a castle in the first place. Second and this only applies to the Switch port it runs dog slow. The game is playable but everything on the screen moves around 25% slower than on the PS4 version. If you're thinking about buying it on the Switch wait until it is patched. As we near the holiday season I say pick it up if you can find it sub $30.

Wolfenstein: New Blood (PS4):

Wolfenstein New Blood is a co-op first-person shooter mixed with a MMORPG. You play as one of two twin daughters of series protagonist BJ Blaskowitz who are trying to liberate a Nazi-occupied Paris in 1980. There are three main areas to liberate and each is protected by a stronghold. I enjoyed the six to eight hours I played this game but it has several issues. First, the enemies level with you and this causes a lot of headaches when you attack a stronghold as you're constantly fighting enemies that are above your level. There were several times it was easier to run past enemies than fight them. Second, the game is short as in 4-8 hours short. Bethesda put the game out at a $30 price point but it should have been $20 or less. Third, the combat is monotonous. The combat in Wolfenstein 2 wasn't great but the variety in the level design and locales helped. Doing the same thing over and over again in the same locales with the same weapons and setup gets old quick. If you haven't played Wolfenstein 2 yet play it over this game and save yourself $30.

Yakuza: Judgement (PS4):

I've played all the Yakuza games and have finished most of them so I was hyped for Judgement. The game starts out slow but picks up steam after the second chapter. As the narrative unfolded I found myself engrossed. You play as Yagami a detective who finds himself drawn deeper and deeper into the seedy underbelly of Kamurocho. There's a killer on the loose who has been gouging out the eyes of his victims and it's up to you to find out why. One of the highlights of the previous Yakuza games was their rock-paper-scissors combat. It kept things fresh as you had to change up your play style depending upon the situation. Judgment trims the combat down to two options and as result combat became rote. Since Yagami is a detective he naturally has to tail people, pick locks and search for clues. These mechanics are a welcome change at first but quickly become tiresome as there is little variety and you end up tailing what seems like every person in town by the end of the game. Yakuza games are known of their side content and Judgement has it in spades. It's well worth it too as all side quests give you a good amount of experience that you can use to upgrade Yagami's health, fighting styles, or detective skills. I've been playing over 50 hours now and I've enjoyed the twists and turns of the story and can't wait to find out what happens next. If you're looking for a place to start the series play Yakuza 0. For those that have already played the Yakuza series Judgement is a good Gaiden.

Control (PS4):

I wasn't sure what to expect but I'm pleasantly surprised at how this game turned out. It definitely has frame rate issues when there are a lot of things on screen but it hasn't become game-breaking for me. For those of you who haven't heard of Control its a 3rd person action/Metroidvania game where you're trying to regain control of a secret government agency from an unknown mist like enemy called the Hiss. As you battle back the Hiss you gain abilities or psionic powers such as telekinesis, barrier, and super speed. You also have a gun called "the piece" that can change forms. Its initial form is that of a pistol, but can later change into a shotgun or sniper rifle. Combat is fast-moving as you run from cover to cover switching between your psionic abilities and firing bullets. It reminds me of Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy or a John Woo film as objects are flying around making you feel like you're in an action movie. It's very satisfying to rip a piece of concrete off the floor and throw it at your enemies. If you have an Xbox One X or PS4 Pro grab this game. If you don't rent it and see if the framerate bothers you.

Hollow Knight (Switch):

I had heard good things about this game and was pleasantly surprised by what I played. Hollow Knight is a Metroidvania that has you investigating the remains of a once-bustling city. The city itself is a maze of corridors that are well thought out and unlike Bloodstained push you to understand your abilities and how to use them. Boss fights are challenging without being punishing and traversing the world is fun and exciting. I had to stop playing due to time constraints but I'm looking forward to playing again.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3  (Switch):

I was looking forward to Ultimate Alliance 3 and came away disappointed. The main loop is solid but you quickly hit a wall with damage sponge bosses. These require you to grind and grind and grind your way to victory. The game tries to encourage changing up your group of heroes by rewarding more experience for underdeveloped characters but I found it easier to farm the challenge rooms as I could gain double or triple the experience in half the time. If you can put up with the constant grinding and can find it for under $30 buy it.

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Thanks for the heads up on the Switch version of Bloodstained.  It seems I rarely read reviews these days, so it was nice to hear about the issues.

Funny thing about your pic, it is from a Japanese games called, Boku no Natsuyasumi, and that game (and its sequels) are normally what I play on my summer vacation.
I definitely need to look into Control and Hollow Knight. Judgement sounds cool. MUA3 is one I'll probably wait on, until it comes down in price. I'm also waiting on the patch for Bloodstained before I jump in. Wolfenstein as a MMO? Sounds interesting.
I just remembered I also played and finished Rage 2. The fact that I forgot about it until know should tell you everything you need to know about the game.

@bombatomba: You're welcome. Bloodstained is a good game but feels like you're moving through the mud on the Switch. I'm sure it's nothing a patch can't fix. Thanks for the heads up about Boku no Natsuyasumi. I'll have to try them out!

@MetalFRO: Control is great but has framerate issues. It's short enough to finish in 12-16 hours. Judgment is worth playing but play Yakuza 0 first. Wolfenstein Youngblood has a lot of issues. I'm sure you'll be able to find it for $10 during the holiday season.

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