Checkpoint: Banff Edition

Here I am watching episode 3 of Neon Genesis: Evangelion in a hotel in Banff. It’s an older hotel that radiates old wealth. I can see appreciate it for what it is but it isn’t my idea of an impressive hotel. I like my hotels modern.

At least I have adequate complimentary Wi-Fi to entertain me during the down time. The down time isn’t much but it’s enough to catch an episode of Evangelion on Netflix or Billions.

Banff is a sight to behold. Being completely surrounded by mountains and trees should be awe inspiring but there’s something about its abundance that I find conflicting. I feel like it’s unnatural to humans like myself. This isn’t where I belong. I somehow find a small piece of green space carefully curated by man to be far more fascinating than the vast forests and mountain ranges stretching across the landscape.

There’s also the clash between all this nature and all these people milling about trying to capture epic vistas for their social media pages. At least in a crafted garden, the touristy reality of the spot is apparent — I felt those spots were more honest to their nature. I find there’s a lack of authenticity to Banff. Many of the locations were operated by foreigners who hailed from other Commonwealth nations. All of this feels like I am paying a lot of money to breath in cleaner air and have beautiful background for me to wake up to. I’m neither fascinated nor engrossed by any of it.

Canada Day is coming up and there’s still much more to see. Maybe there’s still something out there that will make the hours of driving worth it.

Game of the Year 2018 Day 3 of 3

  1. God of War
  2. Astro Bot: Rescue Mission
  3. Marvel’s Spider-man
  4. Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII
  5. Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee
  6. Yakuza 6
  7. Forza Horizon 4
  8. Dragon Ball FighterZ
  9. Monster Hunter World
  10. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

How many franchises can pull these kinds of drastic changes between games? God of War’s formula was working. It was getting stale but it was working. Sony and Santa Monica Studio didn’t have to shake things up but they did, it worked, and I loved it. 

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission sold me on PlayStation VR. It was a fantastic fusion of 3D platforming and virtual reality gimmicks. By the end of it, I felt it validated my purchase of the PlayStation VR. 

Marvel’s Spider-man is easily the best Spider-man and rivals some of the best superhero games of all time. It’s also my favorite adaptation of Spider-man and that includes the movies. 

I didn’t buy a Call of Duty title since Call of Duty: Black Ops III. I initially skipped the two Call of Duty games that featured single player campaigns. I eventually picked up Infinite Warfare on sale for it’s campaign but I realized that I was just here for the multiplayer component. And it’s worth it. 

The Kanto region has never looked as good as it did in Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee. It’s the ideal blend of old and new. 

Yakuza 6 did right by Kiryu Kazuma. Coming from the heights of Yakuza 0 was never going to be easy but this grizzled yakuza still managed to entertain despite the age.  

Forza Horizon 4 was my first foray into the Forza spin-off and I had a great time. I didn’t see it until the end but I still enjoyed what I played. I’m not the biggest fan of open world racers but Forza Horizon 4 won me over. 

Dragon Ball FighterZ was a childhood dream come true. I just wished I dreamt of solid single player and online modes as well.  

Monster Hunter World showed there’s a lot to like about this long running franchise. Capcom built a solid foundation for the future and I look forward to the sequel that allows me to play co-op without jumping through cumbersome hoops. 

There’s a lot of love of video game history in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I have yet to sink my teeth into it but what I tasted was enough to keep me wanting. 

Game of the Year 2018 Day 2 of 3

2018 was the year of PlayStation VR for me. My library wasn’t vast and yet it somehow produced my most surprising and disappointing games of 2018.

Most Disappointing Game

Winner: Moss 

It’s a bit unfortunate that Moss and Astro Bot: Rescue Mission were bundled together with a PlayStation VR headset. My expectations for Moss were a bit too high coming from Astro Bot: Rescue Mission. The little robot showed me the best of PlayStation VR’s sit-down experience while the little mouse reminded me that not everyone has this VR thing figured out yet. 

Runner-ups: N/A 

Most Surprising Game

Winner: Astro Bot: Rescue Mission

Astro Bot: Rescue Mission convinced me it was possible to fuse a traditional 3D platformer with virtual reality to produce an awesome experience. It was like playing Super Mario Galaxy for the first time. The technological gimmicks worked and only served to enhance my enjoyment. It’s certainly possible to play the game without VR but a lot of the fun was pulling off those traditional platformer moves from weird and unorthodox perspectives. I felt like I was playing an intricate part in helping my little robot friend find his buddies.  

Runner-ups: God of War, Forza Horizon 4 

Game of the Year 2018 Day 1 of 3

There’s just not enough time in the day to play all the video games that I want. As a result, some games get bumped out of the 365 day window for these game of the year awards. Here’s some of the best from last year that I played and some of the most desirable titles that I just didn’t get around to in 2018. 

The Game I Wish I Bought & Played in 2018

Winner: Tetris Effect

I enjoy Tetris. I also enjoy Rez and own a VR headset. But I don’t enjoy paying $50+ for a Tetris game so that’s why I don’t own Tetris Effect yet. It looks marvelous and I’ve heard enough praise touting it as an amazing VR experience. I can’t wait to try it for myself! 

Runner ups: Dragon Quest XI, Red Dead Redemption 2 

Best Game of 2017 

Winner: Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle was such a weird collaboration but it works! I really enjoyed my time with this wacky game and grew to find the Rabbids endearing. It resembled XCOM: Enemy Unknown but it was pushed far into the puzzle side of things. I was encouraged to play with efficiency in mind and I enjoyed that added challenge. It also featured an excellent soundtrack by Grant Kirkhope! 

Runner-up: Life is Strange: Before the Storm, Horizon: Zero Dawn 

1 2 3 4 168