What I’ve Been Playing
Haven’t written about any video games here in a while, so while I got a bit of free time on my hands figured I’d drop some game suggestions to some games I’ve played recently. All of these are available on Steam and most likely also available on consoles as well. Each, of course, is worth looking into if something about it catches your eye. So, here are a bunch of random games that are pretty great and stuff.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
This is the first game in the Call of Juarez series I’ve played and it is the most recent offering from, going by reviews, a very hit or miss series. If anything, you don’t need to have played any of the other games in the series to enjoy this one. And if you are a shooter fan and don’t enjoy this, you probably don’t like fun.
Basically, take the scoring system from Bulletstorm, the graphic style of Borderlands, and the narration of Bastion and you get Gunslinger. Seriously, this is the most fun I’ve had with a FPS in a while (barring the next game on this list). I love how as you run around the map the narration of an old bounty hunters tale gets told to you and some cool effects when he decides he told something wrong.
Bonus modes include a New Game + mode as well as a super-fun arcade mode where the cool combo chaining system from the campaign gets beefed out and you get to go for runs for high score and best times. There’s also a shootout mode which focuses on the 1v1 shootout portions of the campaign, but I didn’t spend much time with it as I thought the shootouts were the weakest part of the game. For the price tag you are getting a lot of quality and content to play with and I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon
I quite enjoyed Far Cry 3 regardless of the fact I really didn’t care for any of the other games in the series. I think it is a bit over-rated, but then again, how many other games let you use a tiger to wipe out your enemies? Well, Blood Dragon, a stand-alone DLC (Far Cry 3 is not required to play this one), does FC3 one up and lets you use a fucking dragon to kill your enemies. And you rip your enemies hearts out to make bait to direct where dragons go and make murderous mayhem. Sounds fun, right? It is. IMO, Blood Dragon outdoes it’s core game in every way.
And that’s just one small piece. If you grew up in the ’80 with heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dolph Lundgren, Van Damme, etc. you’d be pleased to know the over the top 80’s sci-fi neon cheese is capped off with THE Michael Beihn voicing all the quips and one-liners of the lead character, Rex Power Colt. Everything about this game is a love letter to that bygone era (complete with a great Krull reference that made me squee with glee) and besides being a nostalgia trip, some fun gameplay is underneath. Well worth your time and credits.
Speaking of nostalgia romps, Shovel Knight is also a love letter to 80/early 90s gaming. Pretty much equal parts Mega Man, Zelda 2, Castlevania, and the NES version of Ducktales, Shovel Knight is a retro gamers dream. The level designs are outstanding and devilishly difficult (not punishing though 😉 ), the characters are charming, the retro graphics are stunning, and the music is some of the best chiptunes you can get this side of Mega Man. You also beat shit out of everything with a shovel, if that’s not enough to sell you, maybe you were smacked with one as a child.
Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death
Best $1 game I’ve ever bought (though it was on sale, so it may be a couple bucks more now). Basically, it’s Bro of War. That is, God of War with some bro instead of Kratos and a tad smaller budget. Equally as fun though. Lots of explosions, big combos, and cheesy dialogue, that’s about it. Good fun.
South Park: The Stick of Truth
I’m a huuuuuge South Park fan. I have been literally watching the show ever since the dude from the local rock and roll memorabilia shop pulled me to the side and made me watch a VHS tape with The Spirit of Christmas on it (wow, now I feel old). I’ve seen every episode multiple times, can quote more than enough of them, have a good amount of merch, and etc. all that other fanboy stuff. If there’s been one area that South Park has ever let me down in, it’s been their video games. The Stick of Truth changes that. This game is everything a South Park fan ever wanted; a chance to play an episode of the show. Seriously, if you didn’t have a controller in your hand, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
Presented as a turn-based RPG, you take on the role of the new kid in town and engage in a Lord of the Rings style quest filled with poop, tampons, aliens, magic, and Lemmywinks. Every character from the show at least makes a cameo and since series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone worked very closely with the dev team, everything is undeniably South Park. As with anything SP, this isn’t for kids. There was one part where I shoved a kid up a man’s ass while exploring a man’s ass…
Seriously, if you like South Park and haven’t given this a go yet, you’re really missing out on some great SP cannon. Euro buyers beware, because of of shitty laws, the console versions of the European versions of the games needed to be censored, get the PC version on Steam and you’ll be good to go (I got mine in Italy, and no censoring whatsoever).