Doesn’t it suck when you really want a game but don’t own the console that is required to play that said game? Yes, it does. I’m talking about great-looking games that pique your interest at E3, only to find out later that they’re console exclusives that you won’t be able to play, or maybe your rusty PC can’t run the latest game you want because it’s old and slow. Here are some of Gaming Respawn’s Casualties of the Console Wars.
As someone who has stuck with PlayStation since the first one was released way back in the 90s, I’ve never had much of a desire to buy myself any of Nintendo or Microsoft’s consoles. Due to how much consoles cost, as well as the fact that PlayStation exclusives generally appealed to me more than those for the other platforms, I just stuck with Sony’s great series of machines and never regretted it. That’s not to say that I’m entirely uninterested in exclusives for the other consoles. Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series has always appealed to me, and having beaten only Ocarina of Time, I certainly wouldn’t mind trying out Twilight Princess, The Wind Waker, and Skyward Sword, but I can live without actually playing them. The Xbox has never really had any games that I was especially interested in. Admittedly, the Crackdown games do look entertaining, Sunset Overdrive looks like fun, and even the Titanfall games are somewhat intriguing, but those are all games I can easily live without playing (plus Titanfall 2 is coming to PS4 anyway). But in the near future, the Xbox One will be getting a little ditty called Scalebound…and as a result, for the very first time in my gaming life, I find myself feeling quite jealous of Xbox One owners.
Scalebound is a game where you play as a dude who looks like he’s cosplaying as Nero from Devil May Cry 4, complete with a sword, headphones, and a mutated right arm with which he can unleash strong attacks upon his enemies. He can even perform a Devil Trigger-like transformation where he changes into some sort of dragon/human hybrid (Dragon Trigger?) to kick further ass. But the best thing about this game is that the main character has a big dragon buddy to help him out in fights against other warriors and monsters. This dragon will attack enemies on its own, but you can direct which enemies it targets and how it attacks them. You can’t just sit back and let your dragon buddy do all the work though. Should your dragon become incapacitated in battle, you have to revive it, and if you take too long to get to it and let it die, you die as well. I like this feature, it’s bound to create a strong sense of kinship and teamwork between players and their dragon buddies. You can even customize the appearance and coloring of your dragon, how awesome is that?!
Furthermore, Scalebound is being developed by Platinum Games, so you know it’s going to have awesome combat. This being Platinum’s first action RPG, I’m curious to see how well they pull off a game in that genre. I’m not willing to buy an Xbox One just for this game, but dammit all, I am supremely jealous of those gamers who own Xbox One, which is a first. This sucks for me; Scalebound looks like it will be my kind of game. Perhaps I’ll get (really) lucky and someone else I know who owns or will own an Xbox One will buy Scalebound, that way I can borrow it or steal it if need be. Until then, I shall remain envious.
I haven’t owned a console since the PS2, after which I decided to concentrate my time and money solely on a self-built gaming PC. That doesn’t mean there haven’t been moments where I’ve regretted not having a console. Rockstar San Diego’s 2010 classic Red Dead Redemption is one such occasion.
As a fan of Rockstar and a lover of spaghetti westerns and Clint Eastwood films, RDR naturally caught my eye. The GTA series has always stood out for its coherent, believable, and enjoyable open game worlds, while Rockstar games in general are well-known for their cynicism, brutality, dark humour, and incredible attention to detail. So, what better place to transpose this approach to than the American Frontier? Throw in some Sergio Leone-inspired cinematography and an Ennio Morricone-esque soundscape and to me this sounds like a perfect marriage.
Excitedly, I watched the trailers and my mate playing it on his Xbox 360. And boy, did it look good. How I wished to roam those vast and rugged landscapes, taking in the stunning views of canyons silhouetted against fantastic sunsets. I wanted to explore its rich and dynamic world of bustling towns and isolated farmsteads, hangings and posses, bandits and snake oil salesmen, and dangerous wildlife. Most of all, I had a hankering to cheat at poker, kill desperadoes, and terrorise the local populace. I sat patiently waiting for it to come to PC. After all, the Windows versions of the more recent GTA games had always lagged well behind the console releases. Sadly, it was never to be.
There was plenty of speculation, but inexplicably it never made it to PC. This despite it being developed in a Windows environment and perfectly suited to the platform. According to former Rockstar employee Kris Roberts, a PC port was never seriously considered. Maybe I should have just bought a second-hand console. However, with rumours of a possible remake and/or a sequel, there’s still a faint glimmer of hope that one day I may get to play RDR on my trusty and much-loved PC.
So, for this, I am going to pick Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis. Now, I could have easily picked Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, as it is hard for me to find them. However, it’s likely I will find a way to play them in the future. The reason it is harder for me to play Final Fantasy VII: Before Crisis is because it was only released in Japan for certain phones. That means not only would I need to find a phone capable of playing it, but then I’d also need to learn how to speak Japanese. Sure, not impossible but highly improbable.
The game revolves around the Turks and their dealings with AVALANCHE; and features many characters from the other titles in the Final Fantasy VII world, including Cloud, Sephiroth, Aerith, and Zack. It was released episodically, with there being 25 episodes in total.
As this is a phone game and an early one at that, it is not a groundbreaking game. The combat is real-time action RPG with controls that would get annoying quick. So, I don’t want to play this because of the quality of the game, I want to out of love for the series. What makes it harder for me to just give up on it is the fact that it’s set around the same time as Crisis Core, which I adored and was the first Final Fantasy I played.
Sure, there are many great games that I’m yet to play as I don’t own the consoles, or they are so old and hard to find. Yet, tracking down any of those titles feels far more feasible than ever getting to play Before Crisis. There were supposedly plans for an English adaption, but that disappeared. So, all we can hope for is a remaster of Crisis Core where this is included with it.
At this year’s E3, we were introduced to many new and great-looking games, as well as reminded of the upcoming blockbusters to come. Overall though, there weren’t many games that got me excited, and this year’s E3 will probably go down as one of my least favourite E3 events. But with all the games on show, the one that stood out to me and became my ‘Game of the Show’ was State of Decay 2. Unfortunately for me, I don’t own an Xbox One system, and my PC isn’t great so it may not run the game at launch without an upgrade.
The first State of Decay is in my favourite top ten games of all-time list, despite the fact that it runs and looks like crap. Even though the game is broken and buggy with many flaws, the game is FUN, and that for me is what gaming is about, so I was able to look past the negative parts. So, what with the game running poorly and being extremely flawed, as well as revolving around zombies, one of my less favoured videogame themes, State of Decay being in my top 10 favorite games list speaks volumes about my love for it and the amount of fun you can have, especially if bashing hundreds of mindless zombies is your thing. The game features a great cast of characters to play as, and boasts fun survival and base-building mechanics that all come together nicely and make you feel like you’re building a nice community of people that are trying to survive during a zombie apocalypse.
One of my favourite things about State of Decay is that, if you have a wild imagination and a love for role-playing, you can give your own backstory to the characters you come across and fill in other blanks and scenarios over the course of the game, making it feel like your world rather than something thrown together by a bunch of anonymous developers. This is a throwback to a lot of older generation games when using your imagination to get the best out of a game was necessary to get the best experience.
State of Decay 2, judging by the trailer, looks to have added co-op elements and vastly improved graphics, refined combat that looks as brutal as ever, and more base-building options to give me the opportunity to pretend I’m playing my very own episode of The Walking Dead. Therefore, it looks like I’m going to have to shell out and buy an Xbox One or upgrade my shoddy PC.