A bad year for gaming?

Well folks, we’ve come to the end of another year, and what a year it’s been! With political tension and climate concerns at a high, video games have been a welcome distraction. Some would say 2019 was lacking in good gaming titles; Chris Atkinson is taking the opportunity to rectify this by briefly reviewing every game that he played that was released this year and giving them an appropriate rating out of ten. Let’s get started!

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Or more than twice, if you are as bad at games as I am. Software’s latest release showed that they could successfully take a formula they have perfected and put it in a new setting. Going from western, medieval fantasy to a fictional version of Japan in the Sengoku period, Sekiro focuses on stealth, swordplay, and using special tools to get around challenges, as opposed to the slow, shield centric rhythms of the Dark Souls. While the developers kept the difficulty that their games are infamous for, I found that it soon became frustrating instead of challenging, far more fiddly and unfriendly than the Souls games. It is still a fun experience, it is less accessible than titles like Bloodborne, which kept that Souls flavour in a different setting – You Died/10

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

Okay, I will admit it: I am cheating a little with this one. This is a port of a

collection of games released between 2001 and 2004, but a really good one, and a fantastic game. As the titular attorney, it is your job to ensure that you can defend your clients from the vicious murders they have been accused of. The games have tons of great characters and fun stories. There is an issue with how contrived some of the logic is behind the trial sections, but that can be easy to ignore. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to give the series a try! – OBJECTION! /10

Kingdom Hearts III

Go on a magical adventure with Donald Duck! The latest instalment of the series that combines Final Fantasy and Disney was released this year, after a brief wait of fourteen years since the last main title in the series. While the gameplay is fun, the characters enjoyable, and the music and world design top-notch, the story was very difficult to understand, even as someone who has played most of the prior games. Be aware, new players might have a hard time enjoying this game without resorting to YouTube story recap videos – Goofy/10

Apex Legends

I will be honest, I did not play this one much. While it was a surprise release and was interesting from a design perspective, I am not a huge fan of either battle royale games or twitch shooters; unfortunately, this is both. While the squad-based gameplay is, again, interesting, you need friends to play with to get the most enjoyable experience. If you have two friends who are interested, or like battle royale games, I would recommend it. It does give me high hopes for Titanfall 3 though – Adorable Robots/10

Devil May Cry V

Big, loud, campy, fun. These are all words that can be used to describe Devil May Cry V. Demons fall in droves as you switch between different characters; slicing, shooting and commanding magical beasts against the devilish hordes. Unfortunately, while the gameplay in the Neo and V sections is interesting, making the player switch between different prosthetic arms and magical powers respectively, these characters felt difficult to play properly. In addition, a lot of the levels feel repetitive in design and tone. With series main character Dante inaccessible until several hours in, it feels like the game is missing part of its charm...until he shows up and turns a demon into a motorbike that is also a sword. This game is still a blast to play regardless. If you are a fan of the series or want to be, do not be afraid to check it out – Smokin’ Sexy Style/10

At the time of writing, we still have the new Pokémon games and Jedi: Fallen Order on the horizon. There are loads of exciting releases coming in 2020, from updated releases of Persona 5 to The Last of Us 2. With a new console generation almost upon us, the releases that are coming our way are going to be bigger and better than ever. So, here’s to 2019. By all accounts, it has not been a great year. But it has had some amazing releases.

This article is part of our one-off edition of IQ Magazine, out from November the 29th 2019. Pick up the magazine on campus in our InQuire distribution bins in Keynes, Co-op, the Templeman library and other locations on campus.

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