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Uncle's Weekly Yackety-Yak
First of all, I'm much obliged to each and every one of you, who gave any kind of feedback on the first issue. Now, I'm feeling more confident on bringing the weekly piece while not being afraid to spit a thing or two from my harum-scarum head. Huge thank you for that!
While many gamers out there are beyond-hyped for the new Smash Bros., I can't feel anything but sympathetic with them (had a blast with Brawl myself, back in the day). However, there's another sweet darling I'm deeply anticipating next week. Gone Girl by David Fincher. Yes, I'm both a cinephile and a gamer. Crazy, right? This isn't about me being such a cool cat, by the way. It's all about the ill-fated hype. You may think you've heard this one before and predict that I'll end on the "fellas, be good to each other and don't follow the hype" note. If so, you're pretty much off the road.
Hype is one strange beast, yes. It could be sweet, cruel or just plain misleading. However, what I find particularly strange about it is its nature. People love to get hyped, that's obvious. But as we're hopping from one stuff to another without ever looking back, I wonder why we give it so much attention. It just looks like we stopped living the day and always wait for that sweet, better tomorrow now. That's a good feeling, a feeling of having a goal somewhere along the line, yet it prevents us from truly enjoying something. Some of us don't even play the games, they just wait and wait some more. Hype becomes even more enjoyable than actually experiencing something you've craved for a long time. Is it an issue? I guess it's just a logical progression of our childish habits projected onto the digital age. Remember that feeling of anxiety when you're week away from Christmas? Or when you're waiting for them heartwarming summer holidays at your grandpa's place?
The thing is, hype isn't so bad. People make it look bad. It's all because of our uncontrollable desire to experience something as soon as one can. It fullfills our emotional needs, but you've gotta tame the beast and not let it control you. Otherwise, it could become some sort of addiction. And that's not a good thing to have, trust me.
Anyway, what you think about the hype and its nature? If you have anything interesting to say, shoot them thoughts in the comments and let's have a genuine discussion!
Some rules, concerning the list:
1. No “Early Access” stuff. Only finished products (and yes, swarmed-with-bugs games destined to be patched kinda count, too).
2. No DLCs, unless they could be considered “addons”. So, yep – no Dead or Alive costume coverages, you adorable fapping nerds you.
3. Last week's games only. That way, we could have some time to weigh in on our experiences and let the hype train rush past our station.
4. No Japan releases, sadly. For two reasons: firstly, Japanese isn't one of my strong suits; and secondly – you wouldn't want to get teased by funky games that we may get but probably wouldn't (for various reasons, including “Eff' you, West!”), right?
5. Underlooked stuff is top priority. I'm not completely unbiased, but I do know when some game gets a lot of attention and when it doesn't. However, that doesn't mean I will skip big releases. Just not gloss over them so intensively.
Onto the games then! The gems we deserve and the ones we need right now.
Uncle's Personal Picks
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter (PC, later on PS4)
Developer: The Astronauts
Publisher: The Astronauts
When I first heard that the people involved in creating Painkiller and Bulletstorm were developing first-person adventure in the same vein as Dear Esther, I remember it looked... strange, at the very least. Back to the now, they not only managed to succeed, but, according to reviews (both critics' and users'), also outdid themselves by making an immersive Lovecraftian detective story with wonderful photo-realistic views, nice investigating mechanics and amazing story to back it all up. There are even some tentacles in the trailer (that's ancient gods for you, dawg!).
The Notable Stuff
Hyrule Warriors (WiiU)
Developer: Omega Force, Team Ninja, Nintendo
Publisher: Tecmo Koei, Nintendo
Reviewed by Chris Carter
From the guys who gifted the world with a "man of peerless might", comes a great tornado-fueled action in The Legend of Zelda universe. To be frankly, it's a combination of Zelda's charm and Musou games' unabashed enthusiasm. That's a win-win for me. If you're not a fan of both (blasphemy!) and still feeling mixed about it, check out Destructoid's piece by our review machine, Chris Carter.
Neverending Nightmares (PC)
Developer: Infinitap Games
Publisher: Infinitap Games
As with Murasaki Baby last week, we've got a bleak, thoughtful game about personal struggles more than nightmarish creatures (though, there must be some, of course). Heavily inspired by the art works of Edward Gorey, it takes a minimalist approach to guide your through one's depression. It's an interesting premise, realized beautifully.
Developer: Arrowhead Game Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed by Chris Carter
Fun times return! Gauntlet, top-down hack 'n' slash from the 80's, is back in action. It may be simple in terms of graphics and mechanics, but you know what they say - sometimes the simple way is the best way. There's also co-op (online and local) up to four players. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some buds and go mow them goblins!
Defense Grid 2 (PC)
Developer: Hidden Path Entertainment
Publisher: 505 Games
Tower-defense reinvented. That's what many people have said about the first game. If you don't buy the whole "revolution" thing, don't worry. Defense Grid 2 could be a fun time-waster that you wouldn't be ashamed to play. It's slick, gorgeous and have insanely addictive mechanics. Some may say sequel is a step-left from a previous one, though.
Ar nosurge: Ode to an Unborn Star (PS3)
Developer: Gust Co. Ltd.
Publisher: Tecmo Koei
Your weekly dose of JRPG is here! Ar nosurge, a prequel to Ar tonelico series is going to please you with its cute visuals (and girls in bikinis, cause Japan!), lovely music and not-so-simple battle mechanics. If you're still not interested, here's some hawt art to soften your heart (and heart only).
Frozen Synapse Prime (Vita)
Developer: Mode 7
Publisher: Mode 7
Reimagining of 2011's indie hit, Frozen Synapse Prime is a thinking man's fast-paced action. It may look strange and complicated at first, but if you dig deeper, you would find an incredibly creative combination of turn-based strategy and Rainbow Six type of strategic planning. Either way, descriptions don't do the game justice. But once you've embraced its spirit, it's addictive gameplay and amazing soundtrack (fusion of new age, trance and classic RTS music) that'll keep you immersed.
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, WiiU, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Developer: Avalanche Software, Ninja Theory
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Reviewed by Chris Carter
Update of a kids-friendly Disney adventure experiment. Now with your favourite super heroes (and villains), Samuel L. Jackson's badass charisma and Black Widow that looks suspiciously similar to Kim Possible.
Stronghold: Crusader II (PC)
Developer: Firefly Studios
Publisher: Firefly Studios
Long-awaited, not-so-glorious return to form from Stronghold franchise. It may not be the best one at that, but everything's better than Stronghold 3, right?
Also, on this week:
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance - get them nanomachines, son! Now on Mac.
Fenix Rage - cute platformer in the vein of Super Meat Boy. Nothing revolutionary but fun. On Steam.
Arcana Heart 3: LOVE MAX!!!! - an adequate remaster of an adequate 2D fighting. Adequate! On PS3.
Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies - free-to-play MMOFPS based on original Counter-Strike. Now with 100% more zombies! If you need it, you've probably played it already. On Steam.
FIFA 15 - well, it's FIFA. Available everywhere.
Flockers - Team17's unnecessary remake of "Lemmings" with sheeps. If you could get past similarity, you're in for a treat.
Grid 2 Reloaded Edition - another Grid this week. Only with cars instead of towers. On Mac.
Slender: The Arrival - Slender erm... arrived on PSN and XBLA.
Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL World Duel Carnival - card battling game in Yu-Gi-Oh franchise. On 3DS. Without online multiplayer. Yep.
And another week has passed, folks! As always, any critique and other sorts of feedback will be highly appreciated. I want to be sure that a project like this is a welcoming addition to Destructoid cblogs. So, feel free to speak your mind. We'll meet again next Sunday.
Until that... So long, kiddos!