Now Arriving: Games of February 2018

Compared to years past, February 2018 isn’t as robust with big name releases as we’re used to. Last year gave us gems like Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh, and For Honor to name a few, but this year the pickings are a little slim. Gives you a chance to work on that backlog though, right?

For me, February begins and ends with one of the most iconic and legendary video games ever made: Shadow of the Colossus. As I’ve said before, I’m in awe of what Bluepoint Games was able to pull from this PS2 title. The team basically went through and recreated everything from scratch, which is likely why it looks incredibly gorgeous on the PS4. As someone who missed out on it the first and second time around, I’m excited to dive in.

The Nintendo Switch also comes out strong this month with a bunch of releases sprinkled throughout. For many though, the appeal will likely be around the dual pack re-release of Bayonetta 1 + 2. Gotta catch up on the series before number 3 eventually arrives, right?

Normally, this is the area where I’d say something about how there are plenty more games to check out for this month. I mean, there’s certainly more game son the list, but in terms of more big AAA games, you’re going to have to wait for March.

Still, make sure to click below the jump to see the complete list of February 2018 games, won’t you? Enjoy!

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Rejoining The Division One Year Later

Ubisoft has gotten into a groove over the last few years, keeping their games alive and well long after release. When most studios move on to the next thing a year or so after launch, Ubisoft has managed to evolve and continue finding success for games like Rainbow Six Siege and Ghost Recon Wildlands. Well, we can now add The Division to that list.

The Division Hello Sign

I played and loved my time with The Division over the course of the first year though other game releases and overall fatigue pushed me away. Ultimately, the game went back on the shelf and there it stayed throughout most of 2017.

Late last year, however, update 1.8 arrived and really transformed the experience. It got my attention not only because it was a free update, but that it added an insane amount of content, fixes, and re-balances. Not only that, Ubisoft brilliantly lined up the release with a free weekend, letting everyone get a taste without needing the game. Consider your plan a success Ubisoft, because you hooked me again.

One year later and I’m immediately noticing a vast amount of changes to the game. I’ll give the team credit because they spent a lot of time fixing, changing, and adding content during the first year. It’s fantastic to see that the team has continued that trend and the community still so engaged.

The Division Night

For those of you like me, here’s a short list featuring some of the major free additions to the game post-launch:

  • Players can create and save multiple loadouts.
  • A brand new area of New York to explore called West Side Pier.
  • Global Events – week-long activities that offer unique rewards and special modifiers for PvE.
  • Dark Zone 2.0 – an overhaul and improvement of the PvPvE area of the world.
  • Optimization station – lets players improve the quality of gear
  • New PvE mode called Resistance.
  • Commendation system
  • Classified Gear Sets, Exotic rarity level gear, and added loot like face masks
  • New gear sets
  • World Tiers, complete overhaul of time to kill and

I’m going to stop it there. Obviously, that’s not everything but as you can see, the list is sizable and significant. This list also doesn’t cover the mountains of bugs and quality of life improvements that have been made along the way as well.

The Division Cleaners Echo

At first, I was overwhelmed. Not only getting back into the game in a general sense but coming to terms with everything that changed since I last booted it up. New gear, rebalanced weapons, new features, etc etc. It was a fun challenge at first, though I’ll still fully admit that I’m still trying to optimize my agent by navigating my way through the mountains and mountains of loot that the game bestows upon you. A good problem to have if you ask me.

Though I’m still iffy on the best loadouts or gear to roll, I’m having fun just taking it all in once again. The new West Side Pier is a fun and challenging place to explore, and running the newly revamped Underground has been a blast as well.

With all the new changes and the revitalized player base, I’m rediscovering my love for the game all over again. The most recent Global Event called Ambush just wrapped up, which added a nice little twist on top of existing missions while also bestowing a ton of new loot. I’ve been having a lot of fun running through old missions as well as taking on new challenges like the Dragon’s Nest incursion.

Frankly, I’m thrilled that Massive and Ubisoft have continued to refine and improve the experience so long after launch. In my opinion, if you’ve since given up on The Division, the game is more than worth revisiting. A lot of the elements people weren’t a fan of originally have been either updated to make it more player friendly or outright removed. In this slower release season, perhaps The Division can help get you through these cold and long winter nights.

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Sunday Video Round Up: Jan 21 – 27

Just like that, it’s time once again for a brand new edition of the Sunday Video Round Up! We’ve got another fantastic line up of trailers and videos from the past week, ready for your eyes. So kick back, relax, and press play. Here’s a small sample of what’s waiting for you below the jump.

Arguably, the biggest trailer from the past week belonged to Sony as they finally revealed the release date for God of War. Not only that, the trailer has plenty of story moments peppered within, giving fans just a small taste of what they can expect once the game launches. Certainly a different look for the typically violent action game.

Even with all the recent fighting game releases, Bandai Namco doesn’t want you to forget about Soul Calibur VI. A new trailer for the long running franchise reveals characters both new and old joining the launch day roster.

I’ve also got new videos for Call of Duty: WW2, Dragon Ball FighterZShadow of the Colossus, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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The Best of the Rest: Cool Games I Missed in 2017

Like many people I’m sure, I have a larger than expected backlog of games to get through. It’s the same thing each and every year. Just not enough time in the day to get through everything.  That’s one of the disadvantages of becoming a functional adult human being.

If you read my annual Gamer Crash Awards (catch up with this handy link if you missed anything: HERE), I’m sure you picked up on the fact that some of your favorite games were not represented on any of my lists. As unfortunate as that is, it wasn’t a mistake. I pride myself on only including games that I’ve played during the year because frankly, how can I judge something if I haven’t played it? It wouldn’t make sense and frankly, I don’t want to betray your trust in me.

Gamer Crash Awards

With December being a light month thanks to the holiday season, I managed to come across enough time to actually play a number of games that missed the cut off date for my awards back in December. If I had a time machine, I’d definitely have some additions to each of the lists.

Unlike previous versions of the Gamer Crash Amended Awards, this year I’m doing something a little different. I’m going to be talking about specific games in general, rather than how I would have changed the various awards. Hopefully, that way you can get a better idea of the game itself and where I felt like the game succeeded.

So without further adieu, here are my award amendments:

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Sunday Video Round Up: Jan 14 – 20

The winter hiatus is now over and the Round Up is finally back for 2018. The release schedule is starting to get a little more full now that we’re halfway through January and that means the videos have started to hit more often as well. I’ve decided to throw a few bonus videos from the periods of time the Round Up was on hiatus as well. Here’s a small look at what’s waiting for you below the break.

For many Dragon Ball FighterZ is the game to get for the month of January. With less than a week before it releases, why not get hyped with three more character videos for the burgeoning roster?

Want to know how to get the most out of your Nintendo Switch? Add Cardboard! If that sentence doesn’t make any sense to you, you’ll need to check out the announcement trailer for Nintendo Labo, a new way to play for Switch owners coming in April. It’s 100% Nintendo: quirky and an idea that’s way outside the box.

I’ve also got new videos for Call of Duty: WW2, Dragon Ball FighterZFornite Battle Royale, and so much more after the break, so come check out this week’s batch of trailers!

The full list of videos awaits you after the jump…

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Nintendo Labo Introduces a Secret Weapon for the Switch: Cardboard

I’ll be honest here. When I heard Nintendo was announcing a new way to play on Switch, I wasn’t expecting much. They already did a Nintendo Direct last week, so I was pretty sure there wasn’t going to be any revolutionary game announcements.

nintendo labo

And then they revealed cardboard props. At first, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Cardboard? I laughed it off initially, ultimately confused at what all the fuss was about. Then I read more about it. Then I watched the announcement video.

I think I’m on board with this plan.

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Competing in Dragon Ball FighterZ as a Dragon Ball Novice

I can see why Dragon Ball fans are so in love with Arc System Works upcoming fighting game, Dragon Ball FighterZ. With a roster full of fan favorite characters from the anime, attention to detail, colorful visuals, it’s basically a Dragon Ball fans dream come true. Now you can settle those long debated argument of who’s better.

dragon ball fighterz

I am not a Dragon Ball fan however. In fact, I have almost zero knowledge of the series, the characters, or what exactly a Dragon Ball is. I mean, I certainly know of the anime, but I’ve never sat down to watch the show or play any of the previous games. Yet, I’m oddly excited for this game’s impending launch.

I’m a sucker for versus style fighting games, originally made popular by the Marvel vs series of games back in the day. These games focus more on the action side of fighting, typically pitting two teams of three against one another using flashy/over the top abilities, tag-ins, assists, and more. Dragon Ball FighterZ definitely ticks all of these check boxes.

While the game is a 3 on 3 fighter at its core, it looks like an episode of the anime come to life with a fantastic sense of style layered on top. For example, taking out a character with a heavy attack sends them flying outside of the stage, crashing into a mountain or slamming into the side of a building. Other times, characters like Goku fires off a massive fireball stream which KOs the opponent and pushes the camera back to reveal this massive blue light seen from miles away. It seems like many characters can perform these destructive finish moves and I just love how flashy they are.

That said, the beta was fairly bare bones. Outside of an online match, players could participate in training segments. While it was good to learn the mechanics of the game, the mode wasn’t really intended to let players learn the ins and outs of the available characters. You were pretty much limited to Adult Gohan. I would have loved a simple practice mode or a way to spar against the AI. Learning characters while fighting another human online isn’t the best way to get things done.

It’s been well documented that the beta suffered from connection and server issues. While it sucks, I’d rather have these issues crop up now instead of on day one. Hopefully Arc and Bandai Namco can resolve these issues prior to launch in a week.

Overall, for a Dragon Ball n00b like myself, I had a lot of fun. I can’t say if this game will push me towards the franchise or make me care about what’s going on, but the gameplay was immensely satisfying. Considering the limited scope of the beta, I’m definitely curious to see what the retail version of the game is like.

Did you get hands on time with the beta? Feel free to share your thoughts below. 

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