Game Completion 2018 #31 – Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn

  • Game: Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Big Deez Productions
  • Publisher: Mad Dog Games

I can see why they gave this away to early adopters of NBA Playgrounds on Switch, because after playing it my advice is to not pay money for this.

It’s mechanically fine if mindless and annoying in places, but is overshadowed by offensive, juvenile humour, and a barmy plot that was reaching for ‘so bad it’s good’, but just languished in ‘so bad’.

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Game Completion 2018 #30 – Sonic Forces

  • Game: Sonic Forces
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Sonic Team
  • Publisher: SEGA

I started this in-between games merely out of morbid curiosity and ended up finishing it in one sitting.

What a weird fucking game. Not great, certainly not bad – hell, it’s even fun in places – but it’s absolutely forgettable.

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Game Completion 2018 #29 – Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

  • Game: Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Omega Force
  • Publisher: Nintendo

When I played the original Hyrule Warriors on Wii U over one public holiday weekend, I thought it a terrific celebration of the Legend of Zelda franchise, and what a terrific celebration it still is the second time around.

I won’t bore you with the finer details as it’s been out a while, but I talked about it at length in Episode 32 of the Switch Focus Podcast.

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Game Completion 2018 #28 – God of War (2005)

  • Game: God of War (2005)
  • Platform: PS Vita
  • Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony

Context: I’m doing a quick playthrough of the God of War series before I tackle the newest one, as I’d never played them originally.

And thus I found the original to just about hold up okay mechanically (some fiddly Vita controls aside), but it really pales in comparison to the likes of Bayonetta or DMC. Hoping for more from the follow-ups.

The story is incredibly juvenile, absolutely the sort of thing I would have loved and thought was dead grown-up back in 2005, but fell flat in 2018. I did enjoy the way it unfolded, however, in spite of its issues.

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Game Completion 2018 #27 – The Banner Saga

  • Game: The Banner Saga
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Stoic Studio
  • Publisher: Versus Evil

A terrific mix of The Oregan Trail, turn-based strategy and Bioware-style decision trees, crossed with gorgeous art and wonderful music.

A couple of bugs to report, which saw switching between handheld mode and the dock cause both audio issues and crashes during loading screens, but it was the final battle’s difficulty spike that nearly soured my experience right at the death. Turns out I just hadn’t figured out the right strategy.

For more on The Banner Saga, I talked about it in-depth on Episode 32 of the Switch Focus Podcast.

Looking forward to playing the sequel in a few weeks.

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Game Completion 2018 #26 – Persona 5

  • Game: Persona 5
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: P-Studio
  • Publisher: Altlus/Deep Silver

As a huge fan of P4G, I had super-high hopes for Persona 5, but unfortunately it didn’t resonate with me at release. I wasn’t enjoying the story, the characters weren’t as interesting, and I shelved it for other shorter games I could knock through quickly.

Leaving it unfinished bothered me massively, though, so I was always going to return to it at some stage. Turns out, if I’d have just stuck with it for a little longer originally, I would have fallen in love with it. Everything gets real interesting just after I’d quit.

152 hours later and it’s finally beat. So glad I went back.

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Game Completion 2018 #25 – Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

  • Game: Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Retro Studios
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Another solid b-tier Nintendo game that, in retrospect, shares a lot of its DNA with modern day Rayman games. Really enjoyed this one.

You can hear me talk about it more in depth on episode 31 of the Switch Focus Podcast.

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Game Completion 2018 #24 – LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2

  • Game: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Traveller’s Tales
  • Publisher: Warner Bros.

Not much to say other than that this is absolutely a LEGO game.

Also, I think I’m done with LEGO games.

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Game Completion 2018 #23 – Dying Light

  • Game: Dying Light
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Techland
  • Publisher: Warner Bros.

As a spiritual follow-up to Techland’s Dead Island series, Dying Light treads its own path as something of a Mirror’s Edge with Zombies.

It’s an improvement on Dead Island, for sure, while never quite hitting anywhere near ‘great’. What I found interesting is the difference in design philosophies; how tough things are at the opening, and how they become far easier the more skills you unlock. No enemies with scaling levels here; you get tougher, more skilled and that makes it feel a lot more rewarding as you progress.

The story is mostly throwaway, sadly, and though I’d heard that side-quests were the real star of the show in terms of writing, I found them mostly uninteresting or at worst, punching down toward some of its cast.

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Game Completion 2018 #22 – A Way Out

  • Game: A Way Out
  • Platform: Xbox One
  • Developer: Hazelight
  • Publisher: EA

Can’t say too much because of spoilers, but A Way Out is a fun as all heck, hammy, dumb action movie told in the style of a TellTale game. The co-op game mechanics are easily its best element, seeing you interact in ways that push the plot forward, rather than just having two players exist in the same space and doing/shooting the same things.

Smart and stylish, even if the story lacks the substance to back it all up.

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