Gamers are increasingly turning towards the growing indie games market for fun, affordable games. Unfortunately, for every diamond indie game, there’s a lot of rough.
Quick disclaimer before I get into this review: I’m a huge Persona fan. I’ve loved the Persona series since I first played Persona 3 in high school, and I’ve played every game in the series since. What makes Persona games great, in my mind, is three things. They all have excellent plots, incredibly complex/detailed character development, and they each have their own unique sense of style unlike anything else – past Persona games included.
Nier Automata earns every bit of high praise that it receives. Honestly, Nier Automata was a game I expected nothing from, being an indirect sequel of Square Enix’s unsuccessful Nier. There are many standout features, all of which work together to make it a great game, but let’s start with my personal favorite: the plot.
The first Shadow Warrior title released in 1997, and is considered by many to be one of the best games of its decade. It is best known for its implementation of role playing game (RPG) elements within the first-person shooter genre. Shadow Warrioralso had something of an unusual and compelling plot, which helped make it a crowd favorite. The newest entry in the series, Shadow Warrior 2, attempts to create a successful, modern game from this classic hit, and, at least in my eyes, it succeeds with flying colors.
Final Fantasy is one of the longest running series of Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPG’s); the fact that the core series just released its fifteenth title is testament to this. Each numbered Final Fantasy title takes place in a unique world, with new characters and plot elements, yet most titles have a number of features tying them together. Final Fantasy games are all fantasy titles, typically rife with magic and arcane technology; recurring elements in the series include powerful magical crystals, Chocobos (birds which are ridden like horses) and the idea of a “hero of light” (the player character who brings salvation to worlds plagued by darkness).
Final Fantasy XV is a game I, and many others, have been waiting to play for a very long time now. The game was originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII way back in 2006, it spent about seven years in development before many elements of its core concept was scrapped and the title changed to Final Fantasy XV. FFXV released in Nov. of 2016, 10 years after it was announced. I guess at this point, the big question is, was it worth the wait? My answer would be yes, Final Fantasy XV is the core series first masterpiece since Final Fantasy IX.
Assuming one knows nothing about Pokémon: Sun and Pokémon: Moon, the most recent additions to the wildly popular Pokémon series, one might first ask, ‘what’s new?’ Well, Pokémon gyms are gone, mega-evolutions were put on the back-burner in favor of z-moves, the map is a collection of islands, the Pokémon professor is a tanned, ‘shirtless-stud’ who lets Pokémon test their attacks on him, and the new bad-guys, Team Skull, are a bunch of pun-cracking, delinquent, good-for-nothing kids who no one takes seriously. Pokémon Sun and Moon are certainly great games, however, I personally feel that this has little to do with any of the aforementioned changes, and more with the fact that they’re Pokémon titles.
Indie survival games are an excellent option for consumers, particularly in terms of affordability; however, with the recent No Man’s Sky debacle, some might be feeling a little wary of the indie games market. No Man’s Sky, and indie/survival title, turned out to be an excellent example of all that’s wrong with the indie games market; the game was incredibly overpriced, it released in an under-developed state, and it employed deceptive marketing strategies. Steam has actually changed its store policy as a result of No Man’s Sky; there is a new rule that screenshots must represent footage captured in-game. Despite the disaster that was No Man’s Sky, consumers should not allow themselves to be turned off of the indie market by a single game. There are a number of other titles that offer both affordable prices and immersive gameplay of survival sims.
Anyone who’s ever played the board game Risk would understand the basic premise of Civilization VI gameplay, and that of 4X strategy games in general. Civilization VI (or Civ VI) is the latest entry in the Civilization series of videogames. Like its predecessors, it belongs to the 4X subgenre of strategy games. In a 4X strategy game, the player is put in charge of a faction which they control through turn-based gameplay. Typically the goal of this is advancement/development of the faction despite competition from other factions. In the case of Civilization VI, players control a nation, like America or India, as a historical figure/leader, such as Teddy Roosevelt or Gandhi. What sets Civ VI and most other 4X games apart from Risk is the amount of overlapping in-game systems, which add complexity to the title.
Mobile games, such as ones on cell phones, have somewhat of a bad reputation, and in my opinion, largely deserve it. Mobile games are plagued by the pay-to-win business model that typically results in the death of PC or console games. Unfortunately, this model has somehow managed to thrive on mobile devices. What exactly pay-to-win is and why it should be avoided is something that every mobile gamer needs know. If you know what to look out for it is quite possible to enjoy quality games on your cellphone, specifically iPhones, even if the deck is stacked against you.