Yakuza 0

It’s been a while since I’ve played a Yakuza game — the last one I played was the 4th one, and I didn’t finish it — but with the release this week of Yakuza 0 and seeing screenshots from what friends were seeing while playing (as they share them on Twitter), I got the itch to enter that world again. I started playing it this morning, and had such a blast — I was transfixed enough to play straight through the first chapter (and only stopped then because I had to go out to run errands). I think it was good to take a break, and now I’m back to loving this series, and I’m absolutely wowed by how it looks on PS4. Makes me excited for the upcoming Yakuza 6 as well.

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for the Nintendo DS is a game I absolutely loved — and so did my wife. I never knew a sequel had been released, and part of the reason is because it never came out in North America — an English version was made and released in the UK though (I learned all of this thanks to this article on Waypoint). After I mentioned really wanting to play it, someone (thanks, Dan) was kind enough to send me their copy. I’ve played about an hour or so, and so far I’m absolutely loving it. It feels like I’m back in that Hotel Dusk world, and I had the biggest smile on my face the first time I heard that familiar audio cue when I did something correctly.

Shadowverse

First off, yes, this is absolutely a Hearthstone clone, but one I’m really getting into. Produced by the makers of GranBlue Fantasy (and I think it’s set in the same world) what initially grabbed me more than Hearthstone is the fact that it has a campaign, and also just the general art of the game – I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of Warcraft’s cartoony fantasy world. As far as playing, yes, it’s incredibly similar to what you’ll have experienced in Hearthstone, but with a few slight differences here and there that although I can’t say necessarily make it better, do make you strategize a bit differently. Since it’s free-to-play and I’m still new to it, who knows if I’ll soon get to a point where it won’t be fun unless I start buying card packs, but for now I’m having quite a bit of fun playing it.

Erno & Rubi

This is a nice little bit of interactive storytelling (more than a game) and well worth taking the time to check out, especially since it’s free. Taking inspiration from the movements of a Rubik’s Cube, you move aspects of the scene around, creating a story for the two characters that are represented within. It features great art, and is fun to experience for a few minutes.

Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Just like The Next Penelope, this is another gorgeous and colorful game that first drew me in on a superficial level. It really is beautiful to look at, with a fun design aesthetic throughout. The gameplay itself is fun at first – and a super neat idea – but playing alone I did start feeling a bit stressed when I was getting surrounded by a lot enemies, and was frantically trying to control both characters to the various stations on the ship. I’m sure this game is a million times better when you do play it co-op, but I do appreciate that they still included a way to play it solo. I’m not done with it yet, but we’ll see how long I last.

The Next Penelope

I played a bit of this the other day on Steam, and really like a lot of it, although aspects of it make me feel like I won’t really have the patience to keep playing a lot. The overall look is fantastic, but the racing itself, done in the style of “track racers” where you just move your joystick left or write to change direction, can be fun at first, but when things get fast and you’re trying to shoot other racers at the same time, I find myself having a really hard time to stay in control – it’s the same reason I don’t tend to like combat driving games. But because I like the aesthetics so much, I do want to try and play it a bit more, see if I can somehow get better at it.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

I haven’t played a Call of Duty game in years (I think the last one was the first Black Ops game), but I kept hearing really good things about the campaign on this, and I did quite like the sci-fi setting I saw in the trailers, and so I decided to give it a try. 1-2 hours in, I gotta say I’m having an absolute blast playing this. I do quite like the setting – feels like a refreshingly more grounded sci-fi environment, not sleek and smooth like we usually get – and I do believe the space shooting segments are the most fun I’ve had in a space shooter in what feels like forever. I’m only playing this for the campaign (have no interest in the multiplayer), and it’s certainly satisfying so far on that end.

Duelyst

I came across this for the first time when I was browsing through Glixel’s top 50 games of 2016 list. Since it’s free-to-play, I took it for a spin at lunch time, and had a pretty good time even just going through the tutorial fights (and then a few practice matches). It’s got a great look to it that mixes pixelized characters (all the creatures you summon when you play) with very slick interface and environments. It’s a turn-based battle game that plays like a card game (you draw a hand of creatures and spells, and cast them on the battlefield), with a tactical map overlay. I don’t know if it’s going to keep my interested for a long time, but I definitely want to play it a bit more.