Looking through my 2018 history, I did zero video game reviews…

Let’s change that.

These are games I completed in 2018, some of which may not have released in 2018. I’ll put the initial release date in parentheses.

Mafia III (2016): Mafia 3 has a really solid story. Upon release it was hindered with game breaking bugs. This hurt sales and reviews. I got the complete edition on discount which included all the DLC and it was worth the price of admissions.

Quantum Break (2016): I bought this game in 2016 and then sat on it. This was a mistake. One of the better games I played this year. Mechanics were really cool and story was interesting, with live action episodes spaced between the game chapters.

STEEP (2016): I waited on this game until it was cheaper. This was a good decision. It is a very cool snow sport game, but not worth full price. Olympic’s DLC was too expensive but it did add a rocket powered wing suit.

Mass Effect Andromeda (2017): I rarely, if ever abandon games mid-playthrough. Mass Effect Andromeda falls into this category.

Need For Speed Payback (2017): A solid racing game through and through. One of the first games that got to utilize my Xbox One X and 4K TV. This game made news because of how poisonous the video game community can be towards developers sometimes, when they don’t get what they want. Like the delayed release date for the Skyline dlc car. (See: Dissapointed in the community – needforspeed – reddit)

Far Cry Primal (2016): I sat of the fence with this game, because although I’ve always enjoyed the Far Cry games (from 3 on…), the concept of this one made me apprehensive as it was a close quarters combat (no guns) game taking place in 10,000 BC. Story ended up being really good. I did miss the long range options, but spears turn out to be pretty brutal weapons.

The Witness (2016): A very intriguing and smart puzzle game. Too smart for me.

Sea of Thieves (2018): What’s bad about being a pirate in the open sea? When there’s nothing to do and you don’t have many friends. On launch this game struggled with repetitious grind and lack of content. They’ve added more but the content requires more crew members. Like, more than 2 which is a shame.

Injustice God Among Us: I don’t typically pick up and play fighting games. But this one really impressed me. So much so, that I got Mortal Kombat X and Injustice 2.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (2018): This game is a shorter, intense story game (6 hours) focused on mental health and multiple personality traits. Gorgeous visuals and puzzle and combat gameplay. Recommended to play with surround sound headphones 🎧 to fully experience voices in your head.

Mortal Kombat X (2015): after playing and being impressed with Injustice, I figured I’d get NetherRealms’ other fighting games. I was not disappointed.

A Way Out (2018): A very story focused mandatory-co-op game with some unique elements. Both players are shown on the screen at all times in a split screen format. The game also comes with a guest pass so if you are playing online, the other party doesn’t need to buy a copy.

Injustice 2 (2017): See Injustice 1 and Mortal Kombat X

Tekken 7 (2015): Thinking I might like other fighting games, I tried Tekken 7 while it was free for a 72 hour weekend. I beat the story in one night. It’s awful. Don’t play it.

Mirrors Edge Catalyst (2016): Nice looking but wasn’t able to recreate the uniqueness and identity of the first game.

Destiny 2 (2017): Again like Mirrors Edge, this game is gorgeous compared to its predecessor. But wasn’t able to recreate what made it Destiny 1 special. Still, I played this solo, and really enjoyed the new story and gameplay changes. Played both the expansion packs but haven’t gotten to Forsaken yet.

Ori and the Blind Forest (2015): A stunning side view platform game. Difficult at times (where at one point during the final level escape my game crashed when I was able to finally succeed.)

No Man’s Sky (2018): Originally released on PS4 and PC, I waited for it to be released on Xbox after a big, big update to the game. The game has good ideas but many issues. They added coop which I appreciate, but still can’t grab my interest.

The Crew 2 (2018): Better looking and with more variety than Crew 1 (See: Boats and Planes and Hovercrafts and Bikes and Monster Trucks). But they did away with the story and they added fast travel from the start which makes the map feel immediately smaller.

God of War (2018) PS4: Game of the year from a technical and game direction stand point (See: Video Game Award 2018). How they pulled off the whole game with a seamless, no-cuts camera still amazes me. More grounded than previous God of Wars and a more humanized story. Outstanding in all categories.

Forza Horizons 4 (2018): Best in the series, which is saying a lot because the series has been stellar since its inception.

Spider-Man (2018) PS4: My personal game of the year. Tell me I’m wrong. (Then See: You’re wrong).

Red Dead Redemption II (2018): I haven’t quite finished this yet but like God of War, this game is a technical marvel from game play to visuals. Rockstar has always paid incredible attention to the most mundane of details. It means their games take 5-6 years to make. But the time pays off.

Top 5:

Spider-Man

RDR 2

Quantum Break

Ori and Blind Forest

Mafia III

-iRogan

Advertisements
Posted in News, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

2 days till Extra-Life 2018

 

I’m on a mission to save kids and I need your help. My local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital treats thousands of children each year, regardless of their family’s ability to pay. These kids are facing scary stuff like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and injuries from accidents to name just a few.

On November 3rd, I’ll be participating in this huge worldwide celebration of the social impact of gamers of all kinds from video games to board games and tabletop RPG’s! Specifically, I will be playing video games for 24 hours straight!

I’ll be live streaming the event on twitch the entire night, for those who aren’t able to make it, or don’t live near by.

Last year, as a team Rogans Heroes raised an amazing $1275.00 USD.

My Page:
https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=308794#

http://www.twitch.tv/irogans
https://www.facebook.com/irogans

Twitch Stream is ready to go!

twitchpreview

-iRogan

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Agents of Erasing Game Save Data

Why would they put this menu option precariously on the game’s main menu?

Posted in Blurb | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Spider-Truck

Does whatever a Spider-Truck does.

Posted in Blurb | Leave a comment

Steep

I get it now. Steep is fun. I didn’t think it would be and I argued that it needed a campaign or something to keep me interested. But a game entirely made of challenges is quite addictive.

I got the season pass and snowboarding around in an inflated dinosaur suit is quite hilarious. But I prefer the banana.

I’ll probably end up getting the Olympics expansion when it goes on sale next.

Steep is not an $80 title. But for half that it’s a fun time.

-iRogan

Posted in Blurb | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mafia III Achievement Thoughts

Youd think you’d get both of these at the same time.

Technically you’re doing the former by doing the latter.

-iRogan

Posted in Blurb, News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

iREVIEW – RIME

RIME (2017)

Publisher: Grey Box, Six Foot
Developer: Tequila Works
Platform: XboX One
Availability: PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One

“RIME is a journey, but unlike Journey, it does have its share of problems.”

The first thing you’ll take away from the game is its gorgeous visuals. It’s actually appealing in sight and sound. You play the game as a lone hero; nothing super distinguishable about you save for your bright red cape. The world is rendered with beautiful cell-shaded environments, and it is very easy to get lost in the scenery and vistas, and overall scope of some of the architecture.

You start the adventure mysteriously landed on an island with no direction on what to do next. You can wade around in the water a bit, or walk along the sand scoping out the crabs. Or you can start climbing the rocks and cliffs to get your adventure started.

RiME

It’s what lays underneath this pretty face that lie the cracks.

RIME gives you no HUD or any real directions. But it will give you clever little hints as to where you’re supposed to be going, whether it be an ominous red cloaked figure off in the distance, or a light blue beacon shining into the sky. This will draw your attention in the right direction.

As the lone hero in this story, you really have no one to talk to, so there’s no dialogue, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be using your voice. Besides your hands, your voice will be your primary tool, as it appears to have some special abilities throughout the game. The game takes this “emote” mechanic right from JOURNEY, or ABZU.

Yelling as vases will shatter them. Yelling at torches or braziers will ignite them. Yelling at the little idol statues will activate them to reveal your path ahead. This is the main mechanic of the game besides platforming and exploring. If you try your voice when it’s not needed, you’ll just happily hum to yourself. At least that’s something besides silence.

At the end of the first area, after activating the necessary Idols, you will awake a Fox. This little guy is your exclusive guide for the rest of the adventure. He’ll run ahead to the next area, leading the way, and then happily yap at you when he needs to draw your attention. This mechanic doesn’t always work however, as he’s small and therefor easy to miss, and he’ll only yap at you when you’re in proximity. Sometimes he’ll vanish on you and appear at the next checkpoint, leaving you wandering around a large area trying to find out where that next checkpoint is.

RiME-screenshots-9

The puzzles themselves are fairly intuitive and straight-forward in design. Light is the primary theme for all of the puzzles, and when you yell at torches, they’ll ignite and these little blue orbs you’ll find in walls are the main mechanic for switches. These you can pick up and carry around, and these are what activate the doors, or passages. They’ll also explode into a ball of light and defeat any strange enemies, when you yell at it. You’ll use 2 or 3 light orbs on pedestals in a single room, and arrange them to create specific shadows. Some of the puzzles work quite well.

There are also a few mind-bending puzzles that had me scratching my head a bit. In the latter areas of the adventure, there are a few rooms with a twist. Picture a large, long room. On either side, there’s two floors connected by stairs, and there’s dark hallways attached, that go deeper into the walls. If you go down any of the hallways on the bottom floor, turn a corner and then exit, you’ll find yourself on the opposite side, on the top floor.

Another long hallway area found that if you ran in the same direction, with the camera facing forward, there would be no end to the hallway, just the same area on repeat.

In yet another, final area, there’s a tall mine-shaft that you have to scale up for quite a ways. At the end is a set of stairs, and this would have you arrive at the bottom of the room you just left. These puzzles were the most interesting aspect of the game, by far, and it’s a shame that these were so few, and so late in the story.

rime-january-screenshot-10-web-1483648033353_1280w

The game does suffer from a few problems. Visually, I mentioned that the game is beautiful. Lush and vibrant colours, clever use of tones for the game mechanics, and just the scale of the architecture and camera use is impressive. This does impact the frame-rate at times. When turning the camera too fast, or if there’s a mechanic in play that’s activating, the game will stutter. Doesn’t help that it feels like the game runs at a not so smooth 30fps generally. And this is on the Xbox One and Xbox One S.

Another issue is the lack of direction at times. The Fox guide helps, sure, if you can find him. And there are a few different colour cues, or beacons to follow. But other than that, there’s not a lot of direction. Some of the areas are quite large, and a few large underwater segments as well, where you’ll need to find water bubbles just to stay under and navigate. This does encourage exploration, but as I was playing, I felt discouraged as I was quite anxiously worried that I might get lost and not know how to advance. So whenever I was given any semblance or direction, I would follow it explicitly, and not risk getting sidetracked.

Thinking about it now, this is the first time a game has ever made me feel stressed in an environment, where I didn’t want to explore for fear of getting lost. Most games I’m quite the adventurer, always willing to turn down the wrong corridor in hopes of finding come supplies.

///

Tequila Works has done a great job in creating a believable world, and beautifully rendered it. Considering it was built on the Unreal Engine, I was hoping for a little more fluidity in the gameplay and animations, but that could just be chocked up to a smaller development team. The puzzles are sufficient, but nothing trulely new or inspirational. Nothing we haven’t really seen before in similar games, however the mind-bending rooms were a pleasant addition  that had me stumped. Navigational cues could use some work, but that could also be a patience issue with the player. At 5 hours or so in length, depending on how much exploring you do, its not that long, but if you can make it to the end, you’re in for a heart-wrenching finish, and I hope you enjoy the ride.

///

The achievements are pretty standard affair. Story-based achievements, plus some hidden areas. Some scattered collectibles as well. A lot of them are easy to miss as there’s areas that become inaccessible after you pass that area. Now that I’ve completed the story once, and I’m a little more comfortable with the layout, I’ll probably go through it a 2nd time to explore more and unlock some more achievements. First play through only netted me 325/1000G.

Notable achievements:

Careful Steps (Don’t smash the eggs) – 25G
Dark and quiet (Complete the labyrinth without making a sound) – 25G

iRogan

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments