We are deep in the midst of the annual dry season that occurs before the torrential downpour of Q4 video game launches, and while the stream of new content is trickling fairly slowly, it’s giving us a chance to get on top of all those titles we’ve been meaning to get around to or replay. I find it’s always the time of year where we all have the most interesting selection of games on the go, as we aren’t tied up in the latest and greatest of the AAA world.
So what have you been into these past few weeks, or what are you playing now?
Personally, I’ve been on a bit of an indie buzz lately, but here are a few of the titles I’ve been into recently.
Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
I downloaded Guacamelee! originally when it was featured on PS Plus a couple of months ago. I loved it, just so much. The platform beat’em’up is incredibly rich with theme and colour; since it draws on traditional Mexican folklore it has all of this artistic liberation that has developed into an incredibly unique aesthetic. The game features so many nods to, and easter eggs for, other games – an 8bit Mario in a brick wall, a Mexican Castle Crashers poster, it’s really hard to not love it. Finding them all is almost a game within the game. The luchador style combat is ridiculously fun, super simple and satisfying – I really don’t think you can beat hitting enemies, with other enemies in games.
Naturally, once the upgrade to Super Turbo Championship Edition was released on PS4, I had to snap it up. Guacamelee! doesn’t exactly push the console’s graphic capabilities to their limits, but the colours are an incredible demonstration of how rich and depthy the PS4 can get.
If you haven’t played Hotline Miami yet, firstly, ask yourself what you think you are doing with your life? Secondly, go and get it.
It’s a top down action from Devolver Digital that you really cannot overlook. The game is very simple – kill fucking everybody. It’s inspired by neo-noir cult movies like Drive, and the intensity of the themes are palpable in the atmosphere of the game. It’s notoriously stressful, frustrating and violent, and while it played great on PC, I’m actually loving it even more on the Vita. I only got my PS Vita last week, since I felt like it’s been pretty unsupported and neglected, but so far just replaying Hotline on it has more than justified the purchase. It’s somehow even more difficult on the Vita, and the sheer anger that game will inspire in you is at least half of the fun!
I’ve heard a lot of negativity about the Vita port of the game, although my experience so far has been really great.
System: XBOX One
I love pups and so naturally I haven’t really stopped crying since I started playing Valiant Hearts. Everybody will remember’s its amazing critical reception following its post E3 launch, and it really deserves every 9-10/10 review it got. The game has a way of striking you with it’s simplicity. I find a lot of the time, war games really skate over trauma of war and for me, it makes them feel a little shallow at least. With every inch of Valiant Hearts I feel emotionally drained. It’s papercraft-esque art style is especially sweet given the themes.
This one goes without saying, it’s a must play title.
If you haven’t invested in any of these titles yet, I highly recommend them before we hit September and see a flood of AAA titles. Everybody has at least something they’re dying for this final quarter, so check out what everybody else has been playing and get in some new experiences while you have the time!
Let us know what you’ve been playing yourself, and help someone else find a cure for their gaming dry season.