Yes folks, we are at that halfway point in 2018. Time sure flies I know, this year has already put one foot in the books of history with the next six months looking to fly by just as quickly. E3 has just come and gone, the hype train has done the same and we are now left putting teaser, trailer and expectations of our most anticipated titles together based on the game genres we love. With that in mind I figured it would be a good time to talk a bit about some of the games that came out this year that impacted me, and possibly yourself.
God of War (Dad of War) has definitely made a huge impact for me this year. Without a doubt it is the best game I have played for 2018 and the enjoyment of the title still echoes through my mind. I love it when studios nail a genre down like this. It not only throws me back into a nostalgic all day all night gaming cycle but reminds me of why I wanted to choose games as a career in the first place. Many of us in this industry get tired, fed up or just burned out on the job. But ever so often there comes a title like this that makes us realize why we make the games we do. We all may not be making the next God of War, but it certainly refreshes our love for the industry. It revitalizes our will to stay and work harder, our decision to enter this industry years ago and just makes us enjoy the fruits of labor. Well done Sony Santa Monica; you have given us all memories we will cherish forever.
Shadow of the Colossus (remake) has also left a mark for this year. Sure it is a remake but what a remake it is! Bluepoint Games have done what we all wanted from this game and have set a bar regarding expectations of remakes going forward. We are no longer satisfied by paint overs of games but prefer the game being rebuilt to the visual expectations we want to see today. This game left quite a mark on us during the PS2 era. I remember having the giant fold-out poster on my door when I was in college. A giant world with just yourself and these mountain sized enemies to slay. As someone who loves being a lone wolf especially in the games I play this one hits all the right points. Everything is on you and up to you. Failure and success is based on your puzzle solving skills for these giant beasts. A great return to a great game. I hope to see more like this in the future.
Dragon Ball FighterZ had people excited the second it appeared at E3 2017. Bandai Namco and Arc System (who is just masterful with their fighting games) have taken a stab at the Dragon Ball genre. This is exactly the kind of fighting game fans wanted. I have to admit I wasn’t particularly a huge DBZ fan. It wasn’t because I never liked the genre, I just never got into it. I think I spoke about it in my Episode 0 of the podcast. Very few people in Trinidad watched the show at the time so few of us would understand or speak about it. It just never aired in our country. However with Dragon Ball Super spinning up and reaching an incredible climactic ending the timing for FighterZ could not be better. I admit I was very excited for the game, it came out and I started playing and was enjoying it quite a bit. However, moving to the campaign I started seeing aspects of the game that reminded me of when I worked on the Transformers Prime game.
Typically during the development of a game that runs parallel to a show you are only privy to what the shows studio is willing to divulge. You may have a little more knowledge of the next season but using it in the game itself may not be ideal. The reason why is that it is always subject to change. Immediately starting DBFZ’s campaign I see the same issue. There is no mention of characters outside what we say almost a year and a half ago when the story for the game was conceptualized. So we are missing out on some of the epic fighters of the different universes that we were currently engaged with during the time of release. With that being said it was not surprising, but was still disappointing, if not alone for the reminder that as developers we cannot see the future (unfortunately). The reveal of Android 21 however at the end is a nice addition. Good on Arc System Works for pulling this together and keeping the game going and securing three titles on the Evo 2018 stage this year.
Darkest Dungeon only came out on Switch this year. I had already owned it for PC but never got into it as much as I have now. My brother has spent countless (and I mean that) hours playing this game. We both always talk about encounters, things we like or hate (Crimson Court expansion is quite frustrating) and always have amazing stories to share about how we avoided or survived an encounter. Talk about a game that just keeps on giving, this is it. It fits perfectly on the Switch. The console has definitely become not just the “filler” console but the “I want it on Switch” console. Sonic, Battle Chasers, Ys VIII are all at home on the Switch for me.
I have a friend I worked with during my time at The Coalition who is now at Red Hook. What a great team with a brilliant idea. Reading further I noticed that this engine is proprietary opening up the doors to some great ideas or system they may want to add further down the road to this game or others planned in the future. Color of Madness is the most recent DLC that is available on PC so far. The second this is out on Switch I will be purchasing it. It is expected to be out this summer.
I get it. This is quite an odd list. No Monster Hunter? No Mario Tennis? No Detroit? Not even Ni No Kuni 2? What’s going on here? Truth is I haven’t started these games as yet, some of which I have not bought as yet. These were more the games that I was first drawn to but I will definitely be checking others out (as we all are). Time is the biggest problem for most of us, we just have to pick and choose what we play, but so far these four titles have a special place in my mind for 2018 so far.