Mini Impressions: February Humble Monthly

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These days months just seem to fly by. It feels like New Years was a couple of weeks ago, but here we are coming up on March already. Soon it will be summer and we can all bitch about how damn hot it is. But for now, let’s focus on the newest round of Humble Monthly entries. I did this post last month and figured it’s a good way to keep me trying out newish games and writing about them. This month I don’t have nearly as much to share, but I’ll explain why. Let’s take a look at the list of games included this month:

X-COM 2
Ryse: Son of Rome
ABZU
Steamworld Heist
Okhlos
Project Highrise
Husk

Just like every other month since I started subscribing to the service (since May of last year), there are some titles included that I already own, and some that I’m just plain not interested in. This isn’t something new, but only slightly annoying as most months there is at least one game worth my time where I feel like I got my $12 worth for the month. Honestly, I pay the same amount for other monthly services (like my bank that likes charging me a service fee to hold my money and use it as they see fit until I want it back) so it’s always worth the investment despite having some dry months where I’m completely unimpressed. This month would have been fantastic, had I not already owned the two best games included (this is my opinion at least). That seems to always be the case though, so again I’m not upset about it.

X-COM 2 was the early unlock for the month, and I picked it up rather early in January, mainly because my Dad’s birthday was coming up and it’s a great game that I figured he would enjoy. I already have it along with all of the DLC so it was great as a gift and it served its purpose. If you haven’t played X-COM 2, it’s more of the same as the first game that re-started the series a couple of years back, but improves the formula in a number of ways. It’s been out for over a year so you probably have already heard all you need to hear, but I’d recommend it again anyway.

Ryse: Son of Rome is a pretty typical action game. It reminds me of games like God of War, those that I’ve not really played or enjoyed since I was young. I played plenty of beat-em-up games throughout the years, and this feels like a natural 3-D and more “mature” version of those titles from yesteryear. I’m just not really into these types of games. Sure, a title like Uncharted or other games that are shooters are essentially the same time of game, but I prefer the stories and nature of shooting over the wonky button mashing of games like Ryse. I didn’t play it much, and probably will never play it to its end, but it’s a bit on the meh side. If that’s your thing, or if you have a teenager who thought 300 was the best movie ever made, you might get some value out of this.

I didn’t even redeem the code for ABZU. I remember Eri talking about this one when it released and we were still doing the podcast, but looking at the store page on Steam I could tell it’s a game I just wouldn’t play. Not my cup o’ tea. With that said, you might enjoy it, so I’d recommend looking it up. I should also notate that the same went for Project Highrise, which is one of those building management games I have never really been into. Sim City was a title that never really grabbed me, save to just build a city and hit it with natural disasters. So again, I’d use your own discretion when looking up these two titles. My opinion is nil.

Okhlos was a weird looking title that actually tickled my fancy a bit. You basically start off with one character, gather up a mob, and let the mob do your dirty work for you. Mobs get balanced by collecting different types of people hanging out in the level. You’ll eventually be able to trade some of those mob members in for heroes that provide different buffs. It’s a random and weird pixellated game that was fun to play, but nothing that you’re going to play for years.

Steamworld Heist is the other game I already owned. I picked it up once it was available on PS4 and nearly completed it before being distracted by other shiny new games. It’s a pretty awesome turn based strategy game with familiar characters from the Steamworld Dig title that came before it. I’d recommend this one to anyone who likes strategy games… it’s pretty long and very entertaining.

Lastly, the game Husk. I don’t really even know what to say about this one. It’s trying to be a first person horror game, but it starts slow and feels unfinished. Apparently the devs have had similar feedback from those who bought the game and they are “working on fixes and improvements.” I don’t think I’m going to wait around for that day. You might like it, but it did not impress. Resident Evil 7 is definitely worth your time in comparison.

The early unlock for March was Total War: Warhammer, and I’ve had that on my wishlist for a long time. Was just waiting for the right sale to hit, and $12 for the game is a smoking deal as it’s still $60 on Steam. However, there are multiple DLCs out, and no sort of package that brings them all together. I’ve nickled and dimed them all to this point, which felt like a bit of a rip-off, but it is what it is. I have enjoyed what I’ve played so far, and it has definitely made March a better month than February without even seeing the rest of the bundle.

That’s my two cents at least.

What I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

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The New Year is here, and now that the holiday festivities are over, we can get back to focusing on the next wave of great games that will be releasing. Over the past month the blogosphere (and Internet at large) has been listing off its favorite games, moments and stuff of 2015 but why stop now? Let’s kick off 2016 with a list of games I’m most looking forward to, and some titles that I’m hoping for more information about.

Coming This Year:

Street Fighter V (February)

I’m a Street Fighter fan boy. Always have been, always will be. The mechanics required to play the game are superior to that of any other fighting game in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to the next title in the series, as I enjoyed Street Fighter IV, but I think there are some better characters in this iteration. I also love the fact that you don’t need a bunch of friends to be able to have people to play against (like we used to back in the day), you can just hook up with people online. Many fighting games die out over time, but Street Fighter tends to have staying power in that department. I hope to get this one on release.

XCOM 2 (February)

I loved XCOM back when it was a 2-D pixellated mess, and I especially loved the reboot of the series. I played the game on both console and PC, and look forward to seeing how the battles and grand strategy will play out this time. Apparently the aliens run Earth in the sequel, so you’re in charge of reforming the XCOM program and taking back earth. It’s not a huge twist, but it should be interesting enough.

Uncharted 4 (April)

I’ve talked about Uncharted 4 a few times over the past couple of years. It was announced at E3 year before last, and was on the last two of my E3: Most Anticipated lists, but it deserves a slot here as well because it’s actually coming out. The multiplayer beta was running a couple weeks ago and I really enjoyed that as well. It took the best elements of the multiplayer from 2 and 3 and ditched some of the stuff I didn’t really care for. The addition of the grappling hook adds a new element to an already vertically-minded game. I can’t wait to see how the story shakes up as well, in what will likely be the last entry into the series. I’m also hoping that we hear what Naughty Dog has up their sleeves in the way of a new series. Or perhaps we’ll be hearing about The Last of Us 2? One can only hope.

Doom (Spring)

DOOM, as it’s being called (but was at one point referenced as “Doom 4”) is sort of a reboot of the series. It’s taken the fast-paced, hip-firing action of the originals and paired that with today’s graphical capabilities. The campaign looks to be solid, carnage-filled fun, and the multiplayer reminds me of Quake III Arena. I managed to play some of the multiplayer Alpha on PS4 and it ran beautifully. I had technical hiccups when trying to play it on my PC though, so hopefully that won’t be the case once it releases. Either way it had an old school feel that was very welcoming and I look forward to it!

No Man’s Sky (June)

Provided this game goes off without a hitch, and is as grand as the vision I have of it, this will likely be my GOTY for 2016. I’ve spoken about it many times on the podcast and on this blog (it too made the last 2 of my E3 Most Anticipated lists), but it’s supposed to be out this summer. Originally I was under the impression that it was a Playstation exclusive, but it appears to be launching on PS4 and PC simultaneously. Either way it still looks fantastic and I can’t wait to go exploring. I’m torn as to which platform I should buy it on, because I’m hoping to have a PS4 with my tax return this year. I suppose we’ll have to wait and see what the multiplayer situation is going to look like. I have far more friends on Steam than on Playstation Network.

Mass Effect Andromeda (Q4)

This is slated for a quarter 4 launch but it’s a possibility that the game gets delayed. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. That doesn’t stop me from being very intrigued. I loved the Mass Effect games, though I still need to get ahold of the first title, as it wasn’t ported until much later (originally an Xbox exclusive). I’m sure Bioware is going to have a whole new world with familiar ideas prepared for us, and I can’t wait to dive into another worthy Sci-Fi RPG.

Divinity Original Sin 2 (December)

I’ve honestly not played enough of the Original game, but I know that I rather enjoyed what I did play of it. Since this isn’t launching until December, I have the year to beat the original and be prepared for the sequel. I’m sure that it will be just as good. I’m a bit of a fan of the isometric RPGs of old, so I might be biased. Here’s hoping it doesn’t suck.

Final Fantasy IX PC (TBA)

Final Fantasy IX released back in 2000 on the original Playstation. One of three main-series Final Fantasy games to debut on the system, for some reason this one isn’t available on PC yet, despite pretty much every other title being on Steam already. Besides VII, this is my favorite in the series but I never got to finish it because my Playstation was stolen when my apartment got broken into. I’ve though about buying the downloadable classic version on my PS3 a few times, but now that it’s coming to PC I’ll likely just pick it up via Steam. I’m starting to toy with the idea of playing through them all, but I’d have to start collecting them from the beginning, as I currently only own Final Fantasy Tactics, and that’s it.

Dark Souls III (TBA)

Another fantastic game series that I’m too far behind on. I played through and completed Demon’s Souls, the first of the Souls games to come out as a Playstation exclusive on PS3. Dark Souls soon followed, and I own that one on PC, but haven’t beaten it just yet. I have Dark Souls II on my Steam wish list, and Bloodborne is a title I can’t wait to pick up once I grab my PS4. Dark Souls III will likely be a PC purchase just to keep that series all on one platform. As this one is still “to be announced” it’s possible it won’t release this year, but I think it will pop up. I’ll just have to dig into the older titles or it’ll end up in the backlog.

Allison Road (TBA)

This is one of those under-the-radar titles. Remember PT, the Silent Hills demo-thing? That whole deal got nixed when Konami and Kojima parted ways, but apparently the PT demo got some fan attention. Enough so, that a fan-created full-fledged game is coming, and it’s called Allison Road. Honestly, it looks equal amounts of creepy and awesome, and definitely has the same feeling to it that PT had. I just hope that they manage to keep things compelling. It’s supposed to release this year, but we’ll see.

Overkill’s The Walking Dead (TBA)

I didn’t hear about this game at all somehow. I’m a huge Walking Dead fan, including the show and the comics, but the only game that’s really hit the mark when it comes to that IP was TellTale’s two seasons that were mostly based on the comics. There have been other titles, but they were pretty meh. This one is also supposed to be based on the comics and looks more like The Last of Us, in that it’s a mixture of survival horror and gunplay. If I hadn’t been doing research for this article I wouldn’t have heard of this game at all (yet) so I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

Want More Information:

Final Fantasy VII Remake

This is the second trailer to have come out since E3 last summer, and it shows more in-game footage, but we still don’t have a total picture for the game. I feel like it’s going to be fantastic, but I’m not sure that it will make it out this year. As my favorite of the series, I can’t wait to see this in action and I hope that it holds true to the nostalgia while eliminating some of the dated annoyances coming from old-school mechanics.

Resident Evil 2 Remake

Another great classic title that is being remade. Capcom has gone pretty crazy with Resident Evil remakes lately, as many of the older titles have received HD upgrades. The original had a remake from top to bottom though, and it looks a hell of a lot better than it did back in ’95. This looks to be something of the same, where it’s not just an HD (resolution) upgrade, it’s supposed to be reworked from the ground up. If they preserve the storyline but give it a new coat of paint it should be pretty good. Time will tell, but it’s likely we won’t see this one release in 2016.

Crowfall

The game that still remains my MMO of the future, the next MMO I plan to play, the only MMO I’m looking forward to. Crowfall. There has already been some pre-alpha testing, and it’s likely they’ll be into either deep alpha or early beta testing by the end of the year. This latest video from the devs focuses on new systems added to the game, crows and vessels, which is a brand new concept in an MMO world, and looks to tackle some of the issues present in the current crop of titles on the market. Honestly I’ve been hating on MMOs for a long time, but I still love them. I just don’t love what’s on offer (even if I dip my toes in them once in a while). Crowfall is the only game I’ve ever backed on Kickstarter, and there’s a good reason for that. They are trying new things and sound like they’re going to hit the nail on the head. I can’t wait to see what further developments occur and I hope that it meets expectations.

Indivisible

Finally, a game that came out of left field for me. I happened to get Skullgirls packed in with a Humble Bundle, and as a result caught word of that developer’s next project, called Indivisible. The Kickstarter page had a downloadable alpha demo that was surprisingly fun and unique. The game combines platforming and turn based RPG mechanics with some elements from 2-D fighting games like Street Fighter. It’s hard to describe, but cool to play with. They were successfully funded but the game isn’t due until 2018, so I’m just hoping for more information before year’s end.

So there you have it. What games are you looking forward to the most in 2016?