At the end of last month, I’d been looking into games that I’d be happy to stream, having recently started doing so over on Twitch. GTA V would be an obvious one, showing off the races I create along with those of others. And of course, I wanted LEGO City Undercover to be my first full playthrough of a game.
As usual, I found myself looking at the latest eShop updates over on Nintendo Life, where the title of Mask of Mists jumped out at me. An action-puzzler within a world of magic, I jumped over to the eShop to give it a look. I liked what I was seeing, as the game had a nice art style that complimented the world.
It looked a relaxing game to spend a few hours with, and while I did jump to the extreme of calling it a small-scale Skyrim, the description is still fitting. Across my play of it on that first stream, I did feel that description was certainly jumping to the extreme, but it wouldn’t be until the second stream I featured it that I found a better comparison.
After the trailer that showed off what gameplay elements will be within the new game, I set to writing about it and realised I had never posted this article. This one, set to have been the finale of my concept articles, changes the outlook from general to specific, as I target specific portions of two of the movies to give details of how I would have seen them play out.
I’m looking at the story, using what we’ve been told about the game as well as my own concepts I’ve been crafting for it, to give that rundown of how I would progress the story. There’s been no changes to this article since the new trailer dropped, so some of the things I talk of here could already be disproved. I don’t mind that, as this is purely to show my own concepts just like those other articles.
The first film I’ll look at is Attack of the Clones. The story here splits the two mains of Anakin and Obi-Wan, with The Complete Saga having followed Obi-Wan to Kamino and Geonosis. There’s story elements with Anakin that get skipped there, but can be given time to shine with this new game bringing more importance to the freeroam elements.
The second is from the latest film. The Rise of Skywalker might be fast-paced, with plenty of locations seeing screen time, but that just offers plenty of exploration within the freeroam. In terms of story, I’m putting focus on Kijimi, as the Force-dyad between Rey and Kylo Ren gives a great opportunity to craft a level almost as trippy as the visuals within the film during that fight scene. But that’s not all I’ll focus on when I get to it.
If you’ve been following me with my articles over the past year, you’ll know that I’ve been talking up LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga. From E3 last year, from reading of impressions to the closed demo and everything that TT Games has been saying about it, I’ve felt that this could be the greatest of all LEGO games, and even become one of the best Star Wars games.
Now, at Gamescom, we have the one thing we’ve been waiting for. A true look at how the LEGO formula is about to be evolved. No raw gameplay footage, just the trailer, but that trailer gives snippets of various gameplay elements we can expect to see within the game. Space battles, open world exploration, in-level exploration, boss battles… There’s just one thing that strikes me about all this, though.
All the gameplay we see takes place from one perspective. That’s fine, since it’s meant to be showing the improved gameplay and camera elements, but at no point can we see a second character that the player might be able to take control of – even in the background. The only time a follower character can be seen is during the battle with Rey and Ren on the destroyed second Death Star, with BB-8 rolling toward the battle in the background.
Power Rangers has been going strong since Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers first graced television screens in America. While I might not have started on the train until Dino Thunder was all the rage (then lapsed after SPD for a number of years), I’ve enjoyed going back to the start to watch all the way from that starting series to the current end. I’ve been less impressed with the few games I’ve played, though.
There’s been a few that managed to at least be okay, but not a single one could be considered truly great. Then Legacy Wars came, a mobile hit that celebrated the franchise with its simple rock-paper-scissors fighting mechanics. From that came Battle for the Grid, a console 3v3 2D fighting game that attempted the same tactic of celebrating the franchise (though leaned heavily in Mighty Morphin’s favour at launch).
Across these last few years, we’ve had some great content that has added to the franchise. The comic series that expanded on the Mighty Moprhin’ Rangers, bringing with it a host of alternate versions of powers and a new set of Rangers in the Solar Rangers. The 2017 movie that, while not the greatest, gave a new interpretation upon the original team. The Hyperforce RPG series that also introduced a new team, incorporating them into the lore of Time Force.
With Hasbro now holding the reigns of the series, bringing new life to the franchise with Beast Morphers and hopefully repeating that success with Dino Fury, as well as another movie coming soon and more comics in the pipeline, the franchise certainly looks to be on top form. With expansion coming from all these forms of media, it’s time for the one remaining link to get in on the fun.
This What I’m Waiting For is set to add a few new games to the Waiting For list, but there’s only one removal. With Watch Dogs: Legion yet to release, and LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga still remaining in the shadows, there’s not much I can do to remove them from the list. New Horizons, though…
Yes, the latest Animal Crossing has been a great new addition to the series, bringing a lot more in terms of customisability than ever before. All items that previously could only be housed inside can now be placed anywhere on the island. New things are always coming to the game, giving a lot to experience. While 170 hours since launch might seem small, it has quickly become my second most played game – closely fighting Farming Simulator 17 for that spot.
It has also overtaken the previous game of New Leaf to be my most played in the series, though some of that has to be from the always accessible nature of being digital only. More than that, though, is the connection that comes with having built and continuing to build the island that you want. New Leaf might have made you mayor, but you were still stuck with how the island looked and only a select number of furnishing in which to personalise it with – and no chance to get them lined up how you wanted.
With New Horizons, everything is under my control, and as I find new furniture in stores or balloons or even recipes, I’m thinking of whether they would fit the island I’m designing. While the games I’m adding to my list might not give me absolute freedom to do what I want, I am confident they will give some good opportunities to explore the scenarios they set out to deliver.
The time was E3 2011, where Nintendo were showing off the Wii U for the first time. Among the games revealed was something under the name of LEGO City Stories. Awesome, I thought. A LEGO game based on something original using the familiar template of the well-regarded TT formula. I’d already enjoyed the delights of the Star Wars and Harry Potter games, so something original without the restrictions of the licences would make for an entertaining game.
Then in 2012, the game had seen a rename to City Undercover, and more was known about it. Soon after, Batman 2: DC Super Heroes released, giving me a taste of the additions and improvements that would be within the Nintendo exclusive game. A true open world experience full of secrets to discover and unlock with the right powers, along with the standard levels that every TT LEGO game includes to push the story along.
With a release set for 2013 for City Undercover, it wouldn’t be until Christmas where I’d get to experience it – and the Wii U – for myself. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more, full of the typical LEGO humour and bursting with references to plenty of characters and scenarios from various films. But that story wasn’t just an excuse to jump between funny bits, as the plot had a clear narrative and knew exactly how it wanted to get there.
Two years ago, I had an idea. An idea to merge racing and RPGs together to create a concept that provided a new way to experience both. Within it, I outlined a few of the details such as how players would start and the overall narrative of the story. Paying homage to my history – to one of the stories from my original era – I had labelled the concept Zincite Storm.
As I was looking back on it, I did indeed have something, but I’d focused a bit too much on the racing side of things. Or at least there was little in the way of RPG elements aside from the experience system. If this was to be a combination of both, it needed a few other RPG elements to really make it.
For this Racing Month, I thought it would be good to bring the concept back, loaded with a few new ideas and changes to what had been seen before. I’ll also dive into some of the details I’d touched on before. The first thing to note, though, is that the world as I’d described it last time is changing, or at least evolving.
At this point in time, there are twenty videos on my Youtube channel showing off a variety of my custom designed races across both the PC and Xbox One versions of GTA Online. Ever since I first got onto it in 2015, one of the first things I had done was get into the Creator and make a few races.
I sought to use a wide range of areas within the map, though even I can’t deny there were a few areas that I liked to return to. With Rockstar adding a greater range of options to build races, such as a wealth of props that easily allow players to take the action away from the limitations of the map, creations could get a lot more wild, as I started to experiment with.
New vehicles to play around with and a Transformed race mode to allow vehicle swaps mid-race brought even more options to the table. I can’t claim to be one of the best map makers, but I always try to find new ways to create a race that makes it unique from other creations. While I’m not going to detail a complete history here, I do want to talk some highlights.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Microsoft don’t really care whether you buy a Series X or not. With xCloud set to release in September and become a part of the Game Pass Ultimate subscription, Microsoft are set on gearing Game Pass as the number one place to be for anyone interested in the Xbox ecosystem. xCloud will make that access even easier, since you’ll no longer need to buy a console to join in.
That’s not to say Microsoft aren’t interested in selling consoles, but their intent is to give people choice in where they play. And that also includes Windows 10 PCs, with xCloud currently in testing for the OS. Such means you won’t even need a gaming rig to play the wealth of games supported on Game Pass. Why would I be talking about this, though, when the article’s about the latest showing of games from Microsoft?
It's all connected with Game Pass, with every game shown at the Games Showcase coming to the service at launch. That means new Rare game Everwild, Obsidian’s new game Avowed, and even third party hits such as Tetris Effect. There were plenty of games shown off, with a few new announcements shown off during the Summer Games Fest pre-show.
The F1 series is designed to be a technical simulation racer. Its very core is to appeal to fans of a certain type of racing. But what if you wanted to attract a different type of gamer to the series? Ones who are put off by the technical aspect? Codemasters recently saw to that in F1 2020 with the casual mode, but almost a decade ago they went beyond expectation with a new type of F1 game. A kart racer.
It might have been an odd combination, but it worked. And it worked because it was different. The items are still here in full force, and while they might not fully draw from the F1 theming (I guess the bubbles come from the champagne?), they still provide plenty of chaos on the track. Gone is the drifting, however, which brings a greater need to use the brakes.
But also, there’s the KERS system. On certain corners of the tracks, there’ll be striped blue and while panels on the ground, which will accumulate a boost level of up to three upon hitting the accelerator that number of times. Then once you hit the end of the panel, the stored boost will be unleashed. Some are placed near shortcuts, so if you can get the highest boost level, and get the positioning right, it’s possible to use those shortcuts without a boost item.