I haven’t exactly been the longest fan of the series, having been one of many people who played a demo of a previous game and struggled to get the hook of it. With 4 Ultimate and the lure of a second stick, the demo of that game finally got its hook into me, and so it was I upgraded to a New 3DS and bought 4 Ultimate with it.
That game is what got me into the series, but then arrived Generations Ultimate on the Switch. I could forgive some issues with the 3DS game, but a 3DS game on the Switch (which Gens Ultimate technically was) made it harder to overlook such issues. Four years from when the Switch launched, a truly new Monster Hunter has arrived – building on from what World – the powerhouse console game – delivered.
I’d played the demo, but too much Hyrule Warriors had made me lose the Hunter edge. The commitment to any move you made. As such, I was failing very easily (and while live), but with time I relearnt what it was to be a hunter, and so when the full game released and I was back on the GRcade Twitch channel for a first play, it went a lot better. Too bad I never got much chance to show that, but I’ll be returning this Friday for a second play of it live, having now progressed to three star quests.
When I saw that this game was coming, I knew I’d be getting it. From way back on Harvest Moon DS, I’ve loved the Farm Story games with their business management-like gameplay as you aim to build up a great farm that can earn hundreds of thousands per month. And maybe get to know the townsfolk along the way. Since I knew what I’d be getting into with the new one, I stuck only with the one trailer that showed off some gameplay until the Japanese release.
That was when Marvellous had been kind enough to give early access codes to streamers of the full game in English so the rest of the world could at least get to experience some of the game. I’d tuned in to watch KattStrike tackle the first few days, where she had fun getting started with her farm. It was a fun stream, and whenever I do tune in to watch whatever she’s playing, there’s always a good time had.
Back on track, and the release arrived, where I had my own fun with streaming the game. Even after that stream had concluded, I continued playing well into the night. And the same again on Sunday, and then again on Monday. It had got me invested, so that’s a great start for it. But what exactly is getting me invested?
I hadn’t really known what to expect with this one. All I do know is that it seems to have been overlooked. And honestly, that’s probably for the best. Seems a bit harsh to say, but compared to the giants of this type of game, it’s easy to see where this one falls short and the failings it makes. But that’s not to say it’s a bad game.
As a background, you’re training with your uncle to become a truck driver to help the local community. With the training complete, you are introduced to the first member of the community you will be accepting jobs from. A fishmonger by the name of Charlie. As you head to new places while doing jobs, you can find other people to get to know and help.
The writing for these cutscenes – told through text messages – is basic and very casual. And despite the fact you’re meant to be getting to know these people, they seem to be able to read your intent pretty much from the off. Now, sure, you could say they already know each other, but that doesn’t come across in the writing of these conversations. Could be I’m just missing something, but fortunately if you do just want to focus on the driving, these text conversations can be skipped.
Breath of the Wild was absolutely huge not only for The Legend of Zelda, but also Nintendo. It was the game that impressed plenty, and Switch sales rocketed thanks to it. Even those who had never played a Zelda game before were enjoying it, with some of those no doubt checking out previous games in the series. It was such a huge hit that it’s somewhat common to forget that the Switch launched with several other games.
So how do you capitalise on that success? Well, a sequel for starters, and that’s what Nintendo eventually did announce. But when there’s a rich history and lore built into the world that was created that the audience only ever get glimpses of, you could always capitalise on the success by using that. And in this collaboration with Koei Tecmo, that’s exactly what Nintendo have done with this Warriors spin-off.
Now, in terms of the story, let me get this out there right away. Upon seeing the first cutscene, I felt it would be a story about bringing forth the danger by trying to combat it. Trying to defy the prophesised future and instead bringing it about. This is very much a story contained within an alternate reality, however, and I will say no more on that. The story doesn’t suffer from being within an alternate reality, as these are still the characters and world we got to know from Breath of the Wild.
I’d had little experience of the DiRT series before this game, but its reveal at the Inside Xbox of May interested me enough to take a look at some of the previous games. DiRT 4 was on Game Pass, with me also during that time finding myself with DiRT Rally 2.0 for free from a promotion from Fanatical. Those were good experiences, so it heightened my confidence the new game would be great.
And I can say it is indeed as great as I expected. There’s a range of tracks that offer variety, with forests, quarries, cities, and even a snow sports resort. Each of the tracks look great, with some excellent lighting providing realistic weather effects. When it gets dark, it really gets dark, and combined with rain or snow it makes for some dangerously slim sight. That just adds to the thrill of it, though.
There’s a good range of vehicles here, split into categories. Each track will have a number of these categories that can be used on it. The handling is very arcade styled, with a few settings that can be toggled to make things easier should you wish, with the first race dropping you into things to allow you to feel that handling and whether you need to toggle things.
I’m happy with how the driving feels, with differences between the various power ranges being noticeable when on the track. Various surfaces such as mud and ice also affect those driving physics, but only to a small degree. Being an arcade racer, that’s not a bad thing.
I’ve been watching this one for more than a year. Ever since the announcement at E3 2019. The ability to explore London as a realistic open entity in its modern form for the first time in… well, forever it seems. And doing so in a way that allows you to explore on foot and be free to do whatever you want.
There was interest in the core mechanic of the game, as well. The ability to play as anyone is something I’ve got a taste of from the Director Mode within GTA V, and while this game doesn’t allow you to choose any and everyone right from the off, the work you put in to recruit them to the cause and gain the ability to play as them gives them a bit more character and personal connection. If you invest in who you play as, you care for what happens to them.
It’s a story told through the interactions rather than a strict plot, though that is also here. Not that I’ve played through any of the missions, yet. I’ve been too busy exploring London and finding recruits. That story is about building a resistance and clearing the DedSec name from the bombings that occurred by someone going by the name of Zero Day – who had been posing as a DedSec member. Since that’s all I know, I’m not covering any of that here.
When this was first announced just before the EA Play Live of 2020 (with more info coming during it), I was ready to get into it. Fleet Battles looked a lot of fun, like Supremacy from Battlefront up in space. The story also felt like it might be interesting, with the flipping between New Republic and Empire during the events of post-Endor. While I’m not the best at flight combat, I still enjoy it and wanted to get into it with this game.
The prologue of the story felt good in mission execution, with it taking place just after the events of A New Hope. Starting as the Empire, it runs you through basic flight manoeuvres and combat options, then at a certain point swaps to the Rebels as they jump to the same location to act as backup, and both forces come together in a clash of lasers as the Rebellion completes its mission.
At that point the game asks if you want to continue or jump back to the menu. Fleet Battles was the main reason I’d got the game, so into some multiplayer against AI I go. Before getting into that, though, I have to say that the flight mechanics are top tier even if they can feel a bit floaty with a controller. Everything feels as it should, with the ability to divert power to a specific system giving a bit of strategy in how you fly.
While I might enjoy a great range of racing games, there’s usually a type of racing I always try to avoid. Whether Forza, GTA, or any other, I tend not to take the powerhouses. The high speed vehicles that offer greater speeds but at greater chance of making mistakes.
Such a person would be a perfect fit to be dumped into the cockpit of an F1 car, then. Clearly, the answer would be no, especially as there’s a greater technical prowess to handling one of these beasts. The chance of errors that much higher in a sport of pinpoint precision.
But here I am anyway, with the latest in the official F1 game series, purely because I wanted to see if I could handle one of these vehicles and make it through a season with the new My Team mode. So far… I’ll be lucky if I manage to even finish a race of the season.
Before I jumped into the new mode where I would manage and drive for my own team, I wanted to try a few single races. Doing so is easy enough, with the ability to create a custom setlist direct from the Grand Prix option. Changing the conditions of the race and the various assists is handled through this setup screens, and then it’s into the race.
From the first day this experience was teased, I knew I wanted to go. That September, where we got another contender within the Super Smash Bros. fighting league, was one of the happiest. I knew I would lose myself whatever happened. I dreamt of what the experience could be, and knew that when it was finally revealed in full I wouldn’t be able to hold my excitement in check.
Then the Island Getaway Package was unveiled at the largest gaming event of the world, and I was beyond happy with what I was seeing. We might not have seen much, but the island felt larger than any previous town – despite their being very little within it.
Over the months since that reveal, more has been revealed about the overall Package that has proven the people building it have been focused upon an evolution of the place we’ll be going, with plenty to keep anyone occupied.
Now, with the date having come and gone, I’ve been here a few days and can say exactly what I think of this new experience. And it started before I even got on the sea plane to head to the island.
When it comes to mystery dungeon games, there’s only been one series that I’ve ever looked at, and that was back during the third generation of Pokémon. With Red Rescue Team on the GBA, I played through the story, enjoying a different take on the mechanics for the franchise. It might have been the usual turn-based affair, but this time positioning was critical for battles.
I played it through to the end, with the interactions between characters and the ever-unravelling mystery of why you got turned into a Pokémon and the natural disasters that were ripping through the world keeping me with it. It might have been standard RPG fare, but the writing was good enough for it to not matter.
When new games in the series released, I wasn’t much interested, with the only other being Gates to Infinity – which only saw around 14 hours of play when I bought it in 2015. So with the remake of the original announced in January, would it manage to hold me enough to keep me going until the end?