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. 

Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee

Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee was made for people like me. People who only played the first couple of games and believe the original 151 are the most memorable Pokemon to date. I’ve tried Pokemon Sun/Moon but found it too slow and too talky for a Pokemon game. All I wanted to do was to drop in, set out, and catch Pokemon. Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee gave me that and then some. 

I felt it was a satisfying remake of the first generation Pokemon titles (Pokemon Yellow specifically), it evoked the classics while making smart improvements along the way. The most notable alteration was replacing the random wild Pokemon encounters with Pokemon Go styled catching. Catching them required me to run into them in the world, sedate them with berries before using the right Pokeball and throwing technique to catch them. Fortunately, there were still a handful of Pokemon which required the classic style of weaken before catching.  

I found the visuals to be simple but very charming. I don’t know if it was a conscious decision to not push the Switch to its limits but I and the Switch’s battery welcomed it. Playing the game in portable just felt right. It was nice to see the game hold up on the big screen but Pokemon will forever be a portable title first for me. It was also strange that the Pro controller wasn’t a viable option. I get the appeal of playing one handed with a single Joy-con but sometimes I just want to relax with a proper controller.  

New features like two on two battles, categorized bags, and expanded stat pages were welcomed additions. I don’t know if those were taken from the recent games but they didn’t overcomplicate or deviate too far Pokemon Yellow. It’s that smart blend of old and new that made Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee a joy to play.  

Verdict: 
I liked it 

Ratings Guide

Checkpoint: Autumn Chill 2018 Edition

October is here again but I’m not quite ready for that crisp autumn morning just yet.

I haven’t been keeping up with these check-in posts because I’ve just been spending more time playing video games with the girlfriend. With a blink of an eye, we’re experiencing our second October together and it’s been good fun.

October also means the arrival of new video games. These are the pre-orders that will be making their way to me:

  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Super Mario Party
  • Pokemon Let’s Go! Eevee
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Forza Horizon 4 will be available to me via Xbox Game Pass. It’ll be my first Forza Horizon game and the first racing game in quite some time. I’m looking forward to giving it an honest go on the Xbox One X.

Super Mario Party will be my first Mario Party game ever. After seeing the shenanigans, the Giant Bomb guys endure, I look forward to checking one out with friends and family.

I think I would have cancelled Pokemon Let’s Go! Eevee if I didn’t get back into Pokemon Go. I own a copy of Pokemon Sun and have yet to put double digit hours in to that so the idea of getting another Pokemon title would have been ridiculous to me 3 months ago. But alas, lots of friends at work got back into it so I reupped.

I don’t know why I am getting Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I own Melee, Brawl, and the Wii U’s release but I don’t think I put nearly enough time into any of them to justify their price tags. And I got Melee as part of a GameCube bundle that I bought of a high school friend.

Those are the games that are coming but I still have games that need to played like Spider-man and Crypt of the Necrodancer: Switch Edition.

What I’ve been playing? Rise of the Tomb Raider for Xbox One X which has some terrible performance hiccups and equally wince inducing moments by Lara. I’ve also been playing a lot of Overwatch (on PC and PS4), and too much of the FIFA 19 demo.

That’s about it for now.

Since it’s October, I’m thinking about returning to Until Dawn to see how many of the delinquents survive. We started it in October of last year but fell off it. Maybe this year, we’ll see it through.

Checkpoint: Fitness Edition

I have this weird relationship with fitness. There’s a clear cut “best route” to take but I refuse to embark on it. I know what I want to achieve and there are superior ways to achieve it but I just refuse to simply go out and jog, follow a P90x routine, hit the gym, lift weights or just go down the well worn path to success. It’s not that I don’t believe those methods are not effective — they just sound incredibly mundane, boring and too much work for me. I needed to buy into a system that worked for me.

I needed a system that worked for me and on my schedule. I started to do push-ups and crunches while watching Pardon The Interruption on TV. It was a 30 minute program and so I would do alternating sets until the program ended. Then I saw a Wii Fit U on sale for $25 or so and was reminded of the benefits of Yoga and I thought to myself: “Why not?” I really enjoyed using it because it provided instantaneous feedback. It was up to me to be honest in my efforts and it required some careful calibration but I genuinely enjoyed using the balance board to measure my improvements.

Now my daily workout shifted from being a 30 minute thing to 50 minutes. I’m watching daily video content from GiantBomb and other Youtube channels of interest. I was going to watch these anyways so why not watch/listen to a few videos while I’m working out.

I also purchased a pull up structure a couple years back in order to do some weightlifting. My goal was to be able to lift my own wait comfortably and I figured this was a great way to see the progress first hand.

As you can see, there are common themes and trends throughout my workout regiment. It had to be relatively easy to work into my daily life without dedicating a lot of time to it. There has to be some form of feedback or progress tracking. And finally, it had to be relatively affordable.

This brings us to my latest purchase: a fitness band. I noticed my brother toning and losing weight after following the activity tracker on his Apple Watch. I don’t like the look or price of the Apple Watch but I wanted the fitness benefits so I looked at fitness bands.

After looking around I landed on the Garmine Vivosmart HR which was a nice blend of features and price. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of smart watch so something like the Vivosmart HR’s screen and notification features fit the bill nicely. So far it’s done everything I wanted but if I were to do it all over again with what I know know, I would have picked up the Fitbit Alta instead. The only criticism I have with the Vivosmart HR is its bulk which can be attributed to the inclusion of the heart rate monitor. While nice to know, my heartrate isn’t something that I need to know to get healthier. If I continue follow the daily activity goals, I’m going to see an improvement regardless.

I’m used to it now but I would have liked to see the Vivosmart HR 5mm thinner. Thankfully it’s light because if it wasn’t, I would have sent it back. It’s supposed to do sleep tracking as well but because of the bulk, I remove it every night before going to bed.

But how has it been as a fitness tracker? I’m well aware of the fact that I didn’t move around nearly enough throughout the day. The regular reminders to get up and move was welcoming and gave me an excuse to just get up and do a lap around the floor to clear the “move bar”. I’m finding excuses to take less efficient routes in order to “get my steps in”. I’ve also forgone sitting around at my desk after eating lunch for a 30 minute walk outside.

Am I seeing the benefits? I’ve owned the fitness band for about a week and half now and I would say yes. I’ve lost about 2 lbs and have the nicest tan in years because of all this walking.

The Pokemon Go app sucks. It’s a bad app that drains my phone’s battery and heats up the case like no other app I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t help that the servers are wonky. But the game itself is fine for what it is. I try to capture some Pokemon while I do my walks but that’s about it. I haven’t done any battling because I don’t care about the battling or claiming territory in this game. I’m trying to keep my phone from dying before the end of the day so it’s not wise to invest so much time in Pokemon Go.

Other than checking out that phenomenon, I’ve been playing daily rounds of Overwatch. What a great game.

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