The popularity of MOBA games is undeniable. What started as a custom map in Warcraft III has blossomed into a multi-million dollar industry complete with full-time professional teams, competitive seasons, and giant pools of prize money. I tried to get it on the ground floor playing games like DotA and League of Legends in their infancy but, frankly, I wasn’t that good. About a week ago, I decided to dip a toe back into the pool with Vainglory, the “MOBA perfected for touch” that released about two and a half years ago. I’m not so sure about it being “perfected”, but there are enough improvements and unique spins on the formula to make Vainglory fun, challenging, and enjoyable on the go.
Games with lightning fast combat are a bit of a vice of mine. Titles like Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance and the Devil May Cry franchise may not tell the best stories but the flashy, high octane style always draws me in. Nier: Automata boasts a similar combat system and is one of the most unique games I’ve ever played mixing genres with ease on its way to 26 different endings. It’s a hell of a ride.
Rhythm games defined by their unique spin. Crypt of the NecroDancer combines tapping to the beat with roguelike elements. Thumper requires your undivided attention as it assaults your senses with speed, light, and sound. Aaero divides your attention between tracing ribbons of light and gunning down enemy ships to the pounding beat of electronic music. It’s a tight, well-crafted experience that will leave you tapping your feet and coming back for more.
The ~150 hours I’ve put into the Mass Effect trilogy are probably on the lower end of the scale but man did I love those games. My version of Commander Shepard was a renegade to the core with a soft spot for his squad members. The fact that I couldn’t save both Tali and Legion in Mass Effect 3 because of a single choice I made in Mass Effect 2 still bothers me all these years later. It’s easy to see why Mass Effect: Andromeda made my most anticipated games of 2017 list.
I’ve poured a little over 40 hours into Bioware’s newest addition to the franchise and I have to agree with Alex’s first impressions. Mass Effect: Andromeda is a good Mass Effect game that reaches too far at times but still hits enough high notes.
Nintendo’s latest push has been into the world of mobile gaming. Players from all over have been searching their surroundings for Pokemon since the summer while a smaller, more ravenous fan base has spent the last two months trying to craft the perfect Fire Emblem units. The most well known character in gaming, Mario, had his first mobile game come out in December with Super Mario Run and the recent Android release has allowed me to play it. It’s a high quality game with the polish that an official Mario game deserves but not enough content to warrant its $10 price tag.
Horizon Zero Dawn was touted as the PS4s next big exclusive. I had it as my most anticipated game of the year. The descriptors sound like a perfect storm: open world, post apocalypse, robots. I’ve spent the better part of the last three weeks playing Guerilla Games’s latest release and all the hype is deserved. Horizon Zero Dawn is the best game I’ve played in a long time and easily my current game of the year.