Game of the Year 2018 Day 3 of 3

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  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. 

Monster Hunter World PS4 Review

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My fiancée and I started several games together in 2018 including Destiny 2 and Monster Hunter World. We didn’t finish either of them. The former was a rather boring if I’m being honest. It felt great to play but we didn’t feel engaged to the story or whatever narrative Bungie cobbled together. The latter, we actually enjoyed but well documented issues with its co-op setup made it just a tad too annoying to get back to. (She also doesn’t have her own PlayStation 4 but that’s another issue) 

Monster Hunter World had the two fist bumping and celebrating after each triumphant hunt. The fundamental rules and mechanics of Monster Hunter World were simple to learn. We both took time trying out several weapon types in the training area before committing to one. I gravitated towards the hammer with its thunderous hits while my fiancée eventually settled on the long sword with its flashy finishers. We practiced our moves, checked out YouTube tutorials, and before long, we were on our way to skinning and gutting monsters to satisfy our vanity. 

The hunts were fun. Figuring out how we could tackle each monster or monsters was exciting and rewarding. It was everything else in-between that felt lacking and needlessly convoluted. The main story missions required each of us to have viewed the cutscenes before we could team up. That ludicrous requirement meant that one of us had to jump through the rigmarole of: starting mission, triggering the cutscene, quitting, and waiting for the other person to finish doing the same before we finally unite. I wouldn’t mind it if the cutscenes were worth a watch but they were awful hokey time wasters that added little entertainment value. 

Discovering new hunts and challenges were always welcomed. It forced us to revisit our gear, get into the crafting mechanics, and examining our options. Less thrilling or engaging were Capcom’s attempts on creating cinematic hunts. They asked us to load cannons, shoot spears, and other one-off gimmicks in an effort to bring down these mountain sized monsters. It wasn’t thrilling; it was annoying to jump through these hoops to get back to the real meat of these games.  

I can’t even enjoy those cinematic moments as a voyeur of pretty graphics. To be frank, Monster Hunter World on the PlayStation 4 Pro was not what I consider pretty. The monsters genuinely majestic and awesome but the everything else – particularly the lighting – left a lot to be desired. An uncapped framerate was ideal but it was playable. There were slowdowns but framerate was relatively consistent enough to allow for predictable action.  

The technical issues would have been alleviated by switching to the PC platform where 60 FPS, and sharper visuals would have been possible but my that would have only polished up the technical issues. The various design issues surrounding the excellent core Monster Hunter experience still needs refinements and no amount of PC power could make up for that.  

We can all agree that Destiny 2 is the more polished experience but it didn’t grab either of us like I thought it would. We actually want to spend more time with Monster Hunter World and as evidenced by its monstrous sales, we are not alone. Monster Hunter World was a major step forward for the franchise and when they ironed out the peculiar design decisions in a sequel, it could reach even greater heights.  

Verdict: 
I liked it 

Ratings Guide

Checkpoint: Year of the Dog 2018 Edition

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Happy Lunar New Year!

The Lunar New Year weekend is upon us and it’s filled with being lazy and playing video games for me. It’s also a weekend to take stock at my gaming year thus far. Although I’m still playing Persona 5, I’ve slowly accumulated a slew of new games including:

  • Monster Hunter World
  • Dragon Ball FighterZ
  • XCOM: Enemy Within
  • Civilization VI
  • Owlboy
  • A bunch more stuff from Humble Bundle

Then there’s still the matter of Horizon: Zero Dawn, Super Hot and The Witness all which I acquired last year but have yet to play. And maybe Dragon Quest VIII [3DS], Final Fantasy XV and XII: The Zodiac Age? Maybe?

Too many games.

But even with all those games, I’m carving out time to watch my girlfriend play XCOM: Enemy Unknown. She’s never played a game like this and after watching Giant Bomb’s The Exquisite Corps, I was inspired to introduce her to this wonderful game. We’ve only played one session but I hope we’ll continue playing this on a regular basis. Watching her play is entertaining so I hope she will grow to like it and we can continue this couple activity.

Another game that I hope we will be able to enjoy together is Monster Hunter World. Neither of us ever played these games before so I think it would be entertaining trying to figure it out. 

Why Aren’t My Friends Playing Dragon Quest IX?

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The iPhone has turned everyone into hardcore handheld gamers. But if you ask them,”Are you a gamer?” most of them will deny it.

However, if you ask them if they’ve “Three starred every level in Cut the Rope?” or “Did you perfect every level in Angry Birds?” They’ll say “Yes! It was awesome.”.

On several occasions, the lunch lounge at was turned into an iPhone gaming lounge. It reminded me of the stories people tell of Japan, but instead of Dragon Quest IX on Nintendo DS or Monster Hunter for PSP, it’s Angry Birds on iPhones.

So why aren’t they playing other portable games like DQIX? I don’t believe it’s because of the game itself — it’s the platform. The iPhone 4 is cool; it doesn’t have the social stigma of a Nintendo DS or a PlayStation Portable. You could play Civilization Revolution or run a virtual game development company without fear of ridicule when it’s on an iPhone.

But what about the fact that those dedicated handheld devices cannot browse the net or make calls? Isn’t that the reason why people are using the iPhone 4? As actual smartphones?

I don’t see it like that. Especially with the iPhone 4 owners I know. Out of all the smartphone owners I know, only one pulls theirs out to dispel arguments based on misinformation. And he owns a Blackberry. In the meantime, others are watching a piece of candy swing on a rope. I’m willing to bet that some of these folks spent more time playing games on their iPhones than talking.

However, don’t get me wrong. I welcome this new platform. The more people who play games, the better! I do wish the games were more involved than the ones offered on a touch screen, but that may take more time. Or perhaps another platform. Maybe one with more traditional controls?

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