(I couldn't upload a more recent picture thanks to GIO's odd limitations on picture size.)


With another semester in the books, I’m back home with all of my sweat gaming glory. Numerous systems, over a thousand games, and dual TVs all help to make my favorite hobby a little more pleasurable. The past week was a relatively light one and while it’s not as indie heavy as usual, there is still plenty of hipster-esque snark to be had.

Number 1


Fuse (Demo)-PS3- I can’t help but to find myself drowning in a sea of ever perpetuating, uninspired games these days. Thank the gaming gods for tossing out life-savers like Monaco, Thomas Was Alone, and Bioshock Infinite.

What I mean by this is that we see far too many games aping each other but rarely improving on any of the borrowed aspects. I’m not saying innovate for the sake of innovation, but innovate for the sake of making something other than palette swapping clones. From my experiences with Fuse’s demo, I’m left thinking Insomniac Games is one of the guilty parties in this insipid merry-go-round from creativity hell.

I shot guns, I hide behind conveniently placed chest-high walls, and I co-oped. Fuse does all of these things with an incredible inclination for being incredibly average. I originally played single-player and thought maybe co-op would help spice things up. I was wrong. While Insomniac promoted  Fuse as a game that would require teamwork, there isn’t much to talk about when it comes to the subject. Everyone running around gunning down anything in sight isn’t exactly a groundbreaking concept.

I’m not saying Fuse is going to be terrible, but the open-arms of a 6-7/10 are waiting to warmly embrace it.


(It should come as no surprise that finding the soundtrack to an unreleased game isn't easy.)



Number 2


Star Wars: Dark Forces-PC- As I continue to give the Empire a proper beating, Dark Forces is rapidly growing on me.  The levels still provide a lack of direction but there is something to be said for games that don’t forcibly hold your hand like your second-grade field trip buddy. No one is behind the scenes, peeling my eyelids back saying “look at this awesome thing we did! Isn’t it great!” I like being tossed into a level like an unwanted child, while the developers speed away screaming “Good luck, you’ll need it!”

I would however like to point out there is no way of looking at the controls via the menus in the Steam DosBox version. Having to pull them up on my phone is a minor inconvenience though. Considering the release date, 1995, I’m willing to cut Dark Forces some slack.








Number 3


Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine!-PC- With a bit more free time on my hands, I conned my way back into Monaco. Get it? “Conned my way back in.”  Sorry... I’ll stop now.

What I love about Monaco is how failure can turn the game into something entirely different. Your inability to avoid the guards doesn’t cause instantaneous mission failure or numerous almost unbeatable guards to come down on your head. No, failure to sneak your way through a mission brings new opportunities and experiences. I’ve never been able to enjoy the more mechanical stealth games like Mark of the Ninja, where you’re expected to solve puzzles masquerading as a stealth game. Rather than predictable ways of avoiding and defeating  predictable enemies, Monaco encourages you to have fun above all else.

With that said, now that I’m on the final missions of the second campaign, playing alone can be an extremely challenging experience. When you are detected- and trust me you will be- the chances of escape are slim. Those chaotic moments are now only survivable if you’re playing co-op. Change isn’t inherently evil but this specific change removes one of Monaco’s greatest strengths.


(Still no soundtrack on Youtube since release. Lazy Youtubers.)



Number 4


Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3-PS3-When I brought up this series in the past, I’ve mentioned how little I care for the fighting genre. I’ve also mentioned the Naruto series as being the only fighting game series I can take any enjoyment from. Are the games perfect? No. Are they fun, especially if you’re a fan of the anime / manga? Indeed they are.

The last game in the Ultimate Ninja Storm series was Generations, and to be quite honest, I didn’t enjoy some of the alterations to gameplay CyberConnect2 had made. A handful of characters were outright broken, while others had extremely overpowered and aneurysm inducing moves. Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 is far from balanced but combat isn’t as plagued by cheap tactics as before. Sure, characters such as the Jinchuuriki are the video game equivalent of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime but there are ways of combating the situation. Character selection is far better this time around too but for some ungodly reason there are duplicates, triplicates and so on. CC2, why do you insist on having four Narutos in every game? No one ever asked for this.

On a side note, if you’ve never watched the anime or played the games before, do yourself a favor and make sure you do so in Japanese.Trust me when I say your ears will bleed if you attempt to watch Naruto in English. BELIEVE IT!



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