Top 10 Games I Played in 2016

This is not a list of the best games that came out in 2016. Because I now have a full-time job and live in Japan with a handful of gaming machines, it’s a list of the games I most enjoyed playing this year. Got it? Good! Here we go!

10. Parappa the Rapper 2 (PS4)

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I didn’t quite appreciate this on PS2, especially as a follow-up to the original. While I did buy the soundtrack long ago on a trip to Japan, I gave it a meh 7.5 score when I reviewed it in Game Informer magazine. Playing it again – and completing it multiple times – I see how it was designed to facilitate freestyle gameplay and on-the-fly changeups of lyrics. Kinda cool, even if it makes the songs less catchy as a result. The competitive HORSE-esque component is interesting if poorly implemented.  Continue reading

2015: My Year in Gaming

Every year, I like to look back upon the games I played. While I’m getting pretty far removed from my time covering then working in the game industry, games are still a big thing to me.

In 2015, I played 86 video games: 44 on PlayStation platforms, 25 on Apple devices, 14 on 3DS, 1 on Wii and 1 on PC. I’m not going to list them. I hope you don’t mind.

I completed 22 video games in 2015. Those I will list, in the order in which they were completed: Continue reading

Putting The Bands Back Together: Guitar Hero vs. Rock Band

I am fascinated that both Guitar Hero and Rock Band have actually returned after a multi-year hiatus, much less that both have come out within weeks of one another! On top of that, both take such different angles in their comeback special!

Let me state first that I have yet to play either either franchise’s newest entry. But I’ve kept curiously up on news and features, and find so much of this compelling. As such, I felt inspired to write about it. Wanna read it? Here it go.

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Early preview for 360 port of Guitar Hero 2

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Sucky Sony Customer Support

In the latest console wars, I chose PlayStation 4. Late last gen, my PS3 was the preferred gaming device (PS+ and my 360’s loud-ass fan were contributing factors), and their first-party stuff interests me more. So when they went on sale at Target in December of 2014, I bought one. Had I known what kind of customer support I was going to receive, I may have bought a different console.

Playing Bloodborne (an awesome game), I noticed at times my character stuttered when I was pressing up on the left analog stick. It was intermittent so didn’t really bother me. However, the issue kept getting worse. And as I was getting further in the game, those hiccups became costly. Then it became noticeable in Batman: Arkham Knight (another awesome game).

bloodborne

Great game (as long as you can move up)

I had no choice but to contact support. After all, new controllers are freaking $60 – the price of a big-budget, new-release game – and I’d only had mine for about 8 months. And some Googling showed that it was a very common problem, so I assumed Sony was well-equipped to fix their faulty hardware. Continue reading

My Hate Letter to Amiibo

Dear Amiibo,

I know you’ve suffered a loss in the family recently (Satoru Iwata RIP), so I’m a little reticent to bring this up now. But damn it, I have to get this out of my system.

Amiibo, I hate you.

I wish you’d go away and never return. And this is not a baseless hate. Allow me to explain. Continue reading

10 Games I Loved With Predecessors I Didn’t

Sequels aren’t just commonplace in video games; they’re practically the standard. More now than ever, new ideas are risky so developers stick to well-worn themes and franchises to give them the best chance at keeping the lights on. The results are often disappointing, however. Going to the well multiple times, one may find the well dried up. At times, new teams are brought in who struggle to keep up with the vision of previous games, much less surpass them.

However, there are some games that completely overshadow their predecessors. They fix whatever was wrong or add tweaks to perfect the formula. These are the games I want to shine light on in this article. These are some of my all-time favorites, which are sequels to games I played but didn’t get into for whatever reason – be it design flaws or my impatience. Continue reading

Dave & Buster’s Has Giant iPhone App Arcade Machines. Why?

I’ve never been to a Dave & Buster’s. I like the idea of a Chuck E. Cheese (or Showbiz Pizza) for grownups. It’s certainly a great idea that stands alone, save for hipster bowling alleys. But being a vegan who doesn’t drink alcohol, it’s not really my scene – much as I love video games.

Dave & Buster’s isn’t shy about advertising, and I’ve seen my fair share of commercials for their restaurant/pleasure palace. Something I’ve noticed as a trend in them, which is rather disturbing: They often advertise arcade versions of video games that are under a buck on my phone.


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