I’m not sure about everyone else but TV has kind of dominated most of my time for the last month or so but I have still managed to carve out some time for some games, both old and new.
Sniper X: Glu has been making decently fun, free shooting games like Dino Hunt and Deer Hunter for mobile platforms and Facebook and their newest game, Sniper X, is more of the same, with the significant exception that Jason Statham is your backup. The gist of the game is that you are a sniper for an elite organization taking down terrorist threats. You pick a mission and have to eliminate a certain number of enemies, a specific target or some variation on that while leveling up your weapon with cash or gold you get on the mission. It is a “freemium” game, so there is some slightly annoying attempts for you to buy things with actual money but it’s worth checking out, especially for Statham, who is shockingly not just the face but recorded tons of dialogue and gives non-stop quips in the game.
Marvel Future Fight: Speaking of freemium mobile games, I’ve gotten really into Marvel Future Fight recently, which is easily the best of the various Marvel games I’ve played over the years. It feels a bit like Ultimate Alliance, in that you form a trio of Marvel heroes and fight your way through levels, take on bosses, level up and get new heroes. The game is actually surprisingly generous with heroes, I’ve got a roster of at least 20 heroes so far that includes characters like Blade, Ghost Rider, Punisher, Rocket Racoon, Deathlok alongside the regular characters like Cap and Iron Man. It’s also pleasantly not in your face about buying things and you earn lots of free items for beating missions and fighting other players in the arena. If you’re a Marvel fan, definitely worth checking out.
Marvel Puzzle Quest: Marvel Puzzle Quest recently arrived on consoles, dumping the various things you needed to pay for in the free version now that you pay for it up front. If you’ve played any Puzzle Quest game in the past, they haven’t messed with the formula, as you are still trying to match 3 or more gems on the board to build up energy for the powers of the various Marvel heroes you have put on your team. What’s a little strange is that the console version goes back to the original Dark Reign storyline from the comics, that immediately followed Secret Invasion, but plot is not really the most important aspect of a puzzle game and the core gameplay is still a fun timekiller but I would recommend checking out the mobile version for free first before diving in and paying for the console version.
Extreme Exorcism: Even though Halloween just past, you can still have some spooky fun with Extreme Exorcism, which I checked out on the PS4. It’s an old school arcade style shooter where you must clear out the various areas of a haunted house by blasting the ghosts with various weapons. A new ghost is added for each level and the newly added ghost will follow your movement from the last round, which starts to get insane when you have to take on 5 or 6 ghosts that are copying you. There’s not really any in-depth plot but if this game feels like it would be right at home in an arcade cabinet and is a lot of fun in short bursts.
Broken Age: Broken Age was the PS4 PS Plus game for October, so I finally was able to check out Double Fine’s old school adventure game which made almost $3.5 million. You play as two different characters whose adventures seem completely separate from each other at first. Vella is trying to find a way to stop the monsters who the various villages of her world sacrifice young girls to in “Maiden Festivals” while Shay (who is voiced by Elijah Wood), is getting the chance to have an actual adventure on the spaceship he’s been raised on since he was baby, which has an overprotective AI “mother”. It is definitely is very old school, especially compared to more modern entries in the genre, like the Telltale games, as you talk to people, collect items and sometimes combine them to solve puzzles. It feels a little bit easier than some of the classics of the genre (you never have to put a pulley inside a rubber chicken, for example) but the writing and art style are fantastic.
Tales from the Borderlands: Speaking of adventure games, the masters of the new school, Telltale, have finished their Tales from the Borderlands series and I got the chance to check out the whole series. I have only played the first episode but it is as fantastic as any of the other Telltale series, even without having played any of the Borderlands games. Tales picks up after Borderlands 2 and follows two pairs of characters: Hyperion company men Rhys (Troy Baker) and Vaughn (Chris Hardwick) and con artist sisters Fiona (Laura Bailey) and Sasha (Erin Yvette). The pairs eventually form an uneasy alliance after a deal involving a Vault key goes south and they attempt to recover a briefcase with $10 million in it. Along with the usual great dialogue options and quick time action sequences there is a new twist for each of your main characters in that Rhys has a cybernetic eye that you can use to scan and hack into various things and Fiona gets additional options depending on how much money she has. The voice acting is stellar and it’s hilarious and I can only imagine how much better it would it be if you were a big Borderlands fan.
Animal Gods: The only game I didn’t really get into since the last Gamebox 2.0 article, Animal Gods was a pretty big Kickstarter success and is an homage to A Link to the Past with the art style of something like Transistor. I’m not sure if it’s just early bugs but I encountered numerous times a bug where your character disappears and you basically have to forfeit all the progress you’ve made in the dungeons. The enemies are also not very interesting, as all of the ones I encountered were just blocks and your movement and weapons don’t feel great. You get a different weapon in each area and then eventually have to use it at the end for a boss fight. I would say it’s only for really hardcore fans of that Legend of Zelda style gameplay but even then, there are have been other recent games that have done that style better.