Quick Review Round Up: What Have I Been Playing?

I won’t lie, I don’t have nearly as much time as I once did. It’s the sad truth as I’m faced with many more adult responsibilities. As such, I’m just not able to cover each and every game in extensive detail. First world problems, am I right?

Still, I do play as many games as I can and while I may not get a chance to talk about each one, I wanted to take a moment to offer a few thoughts on some of the games I’ve been playing recently. I have been playing Assassin’s Creed Syndicate as well, but I’ve covered that in greater detail via another post, so if you want me thoughts on the Frye twins, have a look here. So here’s my quick review round up for you all.

If you’ve played any of the following games, let me know your thoughts down in the comments as well.

Halo 5: Guardians
Microsoft’s major release for 2015 sees Master Chief getting moved out of the way a bit for newcomer Jameson Locke. The gameplay is buttery smooth and it’s nice to be able to work alongside new Spartans like Olympia Vale, Fred, and even Buck (of ODST fame), but lets be honest here, Halo 5 is and was always set up to be the middle story in a three game arc. So for better or for worse, the story ends on a cliffhanger in order to set you up for the inevitable Halo 6. Disappointing, but I had a good time getting there even if the story didn’t always flow together so well. Multiplayer is pretty much as you’d expect, fast and skill based. Warzone is the new addition, essentially replacing Spartan Ops and Firefight from previous games. Pitting 24 players on a map filled with enemy AI as well, it’s a frantic and fun time which also provides a different experience from the traditional Arena modes. It’s not my go to game currently, but Halo 5 is a lot of fun.

Mega Man Legacy Collection
An absolutely faithful collection for fans of the original Mega Man games, you’re getting all 6 games in one package along side a challenge mode, and a museum featuring artwork, concept art, and a jukebox. It’s a solid collection and if you’re a Mega Man fan like me, you probably already own this. Personally, I would have loved to have the entire original series included here, but I realized that by using the term “Legacy” in the title, they intended to restrict the offering to only the original NES titles. Sorry Mega Man 7, 8, 9, and 10 fans.

Fallout 4
This is a game I plan to cover in more detail, I mean, this massive title deserves as much. At this time, I’m about 15 hours in and I feel like I’ve barely made a dent in it. While the story hasn’t really kicked in all that much outside of the main event during the tutorial level, that’s really not what the experience is about. The gameplay has everything players expect including a massive sprawling landscape to explore, a billion quests to finish, and now a greater focus on base building and crafting. Fallout 4 can be a bit obtuse with how to do things sometimes, but the core gameplay is rock solid and it’s a ton of fun exploring the wasteland. Plus, I’m a native New Englander, so seeing sights I’m familiar with in Boston (albiet with a Fallout-style makeover) is incredibly cool as well. More on this one later.

Mad Max
This one surprised me mainly because the reviews for it were kind of mixed. I had a great time in the world of Mad Max as Avalanche managed to really capture the look and feel of that world, trying to survive in a harsh environment. The gameplay was rock solid if not a little familiar. Essentially, as Max, you perform actions in the wasteland which reduces the threat there. These include things like taking down War Parties, eliminating the local stronghold, and simple stuff like knocking down weird statues. The car combat and driving segments feel great and is a definite highlight for me. It’s almost like Burnout meets Mad Max. If you’re looking for a solid game in between playing some of the bigger games this year, Mad Max is a great candidate.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Another massively expansive game, Kojima made sure to go out with a bang on this one. As someone who only has cursory knowledge and who has almost zero experience with the franchise, the biggest surprise for me was how much I really enjoy playing this game. Sure, the characters and plot lines don’t have a huge impact on me as someone who’s been with the franchise since the beginning, but it’s the gameplay that pulls you in and hooks you. The maps encourage you to play how you want to, with Snake having access to an absurd amount of gear and weapons. Plus, the fact you can call in a supply drop anytime you want means you can switch play styles on the fly. I will say though, using the Fulton system to extract people, gear, equipment, and anything else in order to build up your home base is massively addicting and a fantastic addition to the game. I’m really happy with my purchase in this game.

Super Mario Maker
The biggest thing that surprised me about this game is how much Nintendo lets go of, allowing players to really get creative. Nintendo has added so much content and unlockables that making levels is hilariously fun. There’s so much you can do as well that you’ll still be picking up new tricks for a while and the community is absolutely thriving so there’s a never ending supply of levels to explore as well. With new content and new ways to search for “official” Nintendo levels, Super Mario Maker looks to have a long life ahead of it. If you’re a WiiU owner, this is a game you have to own.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition
If you’re starving for Gears of War content, then The Coalition has you covered. Featuring technical updates, new engine enhancements, and a refined multiplayer experience, the Ultimate Edition is a great homage to an already great game. Seriously though, you may want to jump in on this game sooner or later because if you play before the end of the year, you get the rest of the Gears series for free thanks to the Xbox One backwards compatibility feature which just went live.

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8 Responses to Quick Review Round Up: What Have I Been Playing?

  1. Hatm0nster says:

    I was really psyched for Halo 5: Guardians. I expected it to become my go to multiplayer game once it came out…except that isn’t what happened. I played through a couple of missions, but it hasn’t grabbed my attention yet. So, I’m still bouncing back and forth between Destiny and Fallout 4.

    Speaking of Fallout 4, my impression of it is kinda mixed. It has just about everything I loved about Fallout 3 and New Vegas, has improved on the gun combat, and I love the idea of crafting my own weapons and armor, but…something is off somehow. I’ve enjoyed the time I spent with it so far (and I’ve spent more than a few hours on it), but I feel like something is off. I guess it’s just a matter of getting used to the new streamlined progression system (no more skills 😦 ), and dealing with feeling guilty about ignoring the settlements I’m supposed to be tending. I want to be out there exploring, not sitting back at home base tending crops!

    • Man, I am in the same exact boat as you. I enjoyed Halo 5 much more than I did 4, but for some reason, the multiplayer hasn’t grabbed me like I thought it would.

      I was fully expecting to fall head over heels with Fallout 4. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy it and have fun playing it, but strangely enough, I don’t find myself obsessing over it like I would some newly released games. Like, I don’t think to myself, “Man, I can’t wait to get home and jump on Fallout 4 later today!” It’s surprising and I can’t quite figure out why that is.

      • Hatm0nster says:

        That really is it, isn’t it? For some reason it’s not inspiring that strong desire to play that a game of its caliber should. It’s a hard game to sit down and start for some reason. It’s fun and keeps you invested once you start, but making that initial push to start it up is…difficult. Very strange.

        As for Halo 5, I agree that it’s multiplayer feels better than Halo 4’s did, but it’s got the same problem as Fallout 4: there’s no drive to play it. I’m thinking it might be because of a few things. First, everything is really small on the screen. I find it much harder to find my targets because they’re so much smaller on my screen than I’m used to, it’s a weird feeling. Second, progression really doesn’t mean all that much. All the unlockables are tied to those card packs now, so why should I care about reaching the higher ranks? It’s not like I’m going to get anything for my skill and dedication. Not I would have in Halo 3, 4, and Reach. Sure the armor options were fewer in those games, but when you saw somebody with the Recon armor or Inclement Weather armor effect, you KNEW what they had to do to acquire it!

        I miss that.

        • Oh man, the progression system in Halo 5 is wacky. Granted, I haven’t put a ton of time into it, but the after match reports have like a ton of graphs, numbers, and stats that it makes it tough to figure out. Plus, it seems like most items are locked behind the REQ system so what do you actual gain when you progress?

          • Hatm0nster says:

            That really is the question isn’t it? I suppose it will be clearer after spending more time with the game. For now though, to me it looks like the rank progression is just “window-dressing” and doesn’t really have all that much meaning in-game. At least, that’s how it looks from the outside anyway.

          • From this past weekend, it seems like each level you get a REQ pack and not much else. That’s what I noticed anyway, but perhaps there’s something else behind the scenes. Either way, it seems somewhat pointless at best.

          • Hatm0nster says:

            It would be a shame if that were the case. Although, it was similar in Halo 4 come to think of it. They ditched actual ranks in favor of “SR” and playlist “CSR”.

            I really do miss the ranks from Reach and Halo 3. They made you feel like you accomplished something and actually carried a bit of prestige with them. Working towards that high rank was a huge part of wanting to keep up with the game.

            To this day, some of my “proudest” gaming moments were achieving high ranks in Halo 3 and Halo: Reach.

          • 100% agree.

            For me at least, the need for progression is through earning enough credits to unlock new packs…but even then, the pull isn’t very strong like in other progression based shooters.

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