Category Archives: Video Game Review
Hey, guys. A few days ago Xbox did their presentation for the new upcoming Xbox Series X. This showcase was meant to rival what Sony was doing with their Playstation 5. At the end of the day, Xbox did show off a great number of games to get excited for. Here’s 5 that really grabbed my attention.
(I do not own any pictures used in this blog. All rights to their original owner.)
Watch Microsoft’s full conference here: FULL Xbox Games Showcase – July 2020
#5 EverWild: Admittedly, I haven’t played too many games by the studio Rare. I loved Golden Eye and DK 64 back on the N64. However, since being acquired by Microsoft, I’ve missed most of their Xbox exclusive games. Still, I can recognize the powerhouse that once was Rare even if they are a far cry from their former glory. With all that said, I am excited to see the next chapter of their game making story unfold. This game has the potential to be 1 or 2 on this list by the time it is actually released. The reason it is here at number 5 is the same reason that is holding back so many of these games. There was no gameplay footage. Now, this is something you’ve probably heard if you have watched any of these Xbox Conference reviews, either in written or spoken format. It is not a deal breaker. Trust me, I am excited to see what Rare does with a open world sandbox game. The simple fact is some of the games on this list are just further along and it is easier to get excited for those games.
#4 Grounded: I really thought this game was going to secure the #1 spot a month ago. I had heard some big name franchises tossed around and even some announce trailers for one game. But without a doubt, Grounded was one of the furthest along games in the Xbox’s catalog. Heck, I think Obsidian has been teasing a demo this month. Grounded is developed by the studio Obsidian. An up-and-coming juggernaut in the field. They got their big break working with Bethesda to make Fallout: New Vegas, an absolute gem. Then they secured their reputation with last year’s smash hit, Outer Worlds. They are currently working on their next big blockbuster in Avowed, but they are giving us a hold over in the form of Grounded. A game that looks like Honey I Shrunk the Kids set in a Fallout universe. The player will take control of 1 of 4 kids and try to survive the dangers of the backyard while also discovering plenty of secrets along the way. This game looks like it will be a great addition to Obsidian’s arsenal of titles.
#3 Fable: I may be lying to myself here. in fact, this game has played musical chairs with the top 3 spots. Honestly, if I did this list tomorrow there’s a chance this game could be number 1. Fable was the first Xbox franchise I fell in love with. I played Fable 1 as a kid and then grew up with Fable 2 and 3. It is arguably my favorite Xbox exclusive franchise. It was completely omitted from the Xbox One’s library. Needless to say, I have been craving more Fable in my life. As of right now, I think Fable is the closest thing Microsoft has to a console seller. Why is it number 3? Simple. Numbers 2 and 3 have gameplay footage.
#2 Balan WonderWorld: Looks simply amazing. When the first two years of the Xbox Series X’s life is over, I think Balan has a legitimate shot at being the best game on the console. Created by the same man who created the Nights franchise, you can rest assured that this game will have plenty of charm and character. It’s at number 2 over juggernauts like Rare and Obsidian because it actually had plenty of gameplay and a release date. I got a vibe of what this game wants to do and be. I can visualize myself owning this game and playing it and getting lost in it’s worlds. Something I can only say about a few games shown off earlier this week.
Halo Infinite- I like Halo but I am not a Halo nut. No one is praising this game even though Microsoft seems to think it will be it’s big hit. It just falls flat compared to Sony’s Spiderman, Horizon Zero Dawn, and even this gen’s The Last Of Us 2.
Tell Me Why- This game actually looks pretty solid. I would definitely check this game out if it came out on Gamepass.
Avowed- A 10 second snip pretty much tells you this game is quite a ways away. Still, should be amazing when it finally comes out.
#1 Psychonauts: I think the clear head and shoulders front runner. As of right now, Halo is pretty much a joke to the internet even if it manages to come out strong. Fable and Avowed are a good bit away from release date. Even Everwild is still probably a ways away too. Leaving the question, what do Xbox players get excited about? I think Psychonauts is that answer. It had plenty of game play footage leading me to believe it is probably one of the closer games to launch. Psychonauts 1 is a cult classic and the sequel will look to expand upon its already established reputation. Today’s age has shriveled up the 3D Platformer well, especially if you aren’t on the Switch. If you like the genre, Psychonauts looks to be a must own. It is the game I am most excited for as of today.
So that’s my thoughts. On the surface, Xbox’s showcase seems quite weak if Halo isn’t up to par. It is important to remember that Xbox has already revealed other games such as Cyberpunk 2077, Scarlett Nexus, Yakuza, and Assassin Creed’s Valhalla.
Let me know what games you guys are excited for?
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
Want to see my thoughts on the PS5’s showcase? Read here: Reacting to the PS5 Announcement Stream!
A little less than a year ago, Gears for Breakfast released this little gem for the world to enjoy. And enjoy it I have. If you’ve never heard or seen A Hat in Time before, it is a 3-D action platformer made in the same vain as other classics such as Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. The game is full of colorful level, giant worlds to explore, an overabundance of collectibles and some of the most engaging characters I have seen in a platformer.
My style of review is like having a casual conversation, so lets discuss what the game does right and wrong.
Exploration– This is one of the most important factors to me when determining the fun factor of a game. The game features 4 massive worlds plus a fifth level that is linear instead of a sandbox. Yes most games feature 10+ worlds, but the worlds you’ll find in A Hat in Time are vibrant, unique, and full of charm. Mafia Town is still a world I’ll load up and run around in to this day. The freedom of movement only aids this category as well. Featuring double jumps, aerial dashes, and wall climbing, the open worlds are super fun to traverse. It never gets old dashing around the levels.
Characters- I don’t always expect much from the supporting cast from platformers, however almost every character in this game is memorable and just adds to the personality that is A Hat is Time. The Snatcher is probably my favorite character, but the conductor and DJ Grooves rivalry, the alien-fearing Mafia, and the interesting antihero Mustache Girl, form a rainbow of charm that help carry the game.
Collectibles- Collectibles. You either love them or hate them. I think Gears for Breakfast absolutely nailed the collectibles that are hidden throughout the game. The collectibles are the Time Pieces (think stars from Super Mario), Pons (think coins from Super Mario) and Rift Tokens (I don’t really have a comparison, but its a second currency). Not collectibles per se, but there are several hats she can equip to give her powers. For example, she has a sprint cap that lets her move faster while say, the brewers cap gives her the ability to launch projectiles. There’s also dyes that change her costume color and style. I find this to be the perfect blend. There’s enough collectibles to help cover the level and motivate you to explore without making it feel like a chore. This really goes a long way in a game styled like this.
It is short… for now. 5 worlds and a nice hub world means the game is of fair length. However, as a gamer, you never want a game to end. However, the next wave of DLC/update says it roll out 2 new worlds. Of course I am looking forward to this. This small blemish may soon be erased.
Untapped Potential– When I was reading about the game, I remember reading about using the Time pieces to turn back time and such. It comes up from time to time, but it seems like its mostly in the background. This seems to be a story element and not a gameplay mechanic. I could be misremembering something, but it will feels like there were some time alerting mechanics they could have expanded upon.
Really, these are my only real complaints. The game is just a perfect blend of elements I love in video games. Anything else I say from here would just be reiterating earlier thoughts. If you played early platformers from the N64/Gamecube, PS1/PS2 era, you owe it to yourself to get this game. A Hat in Time is available on the steam store for just $29.99 and the PS4 and Xbox One for $29.99 as well. I’m not going to assign a score but just know this game is close to perfect. I keep fluctuating somewhere between 9 out of 10 to 10 out of 10. Yeah, it really is a great game.
Be on the look out for my youtube review on channel in the near future.