Wednesday Night Stream | Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon

BenStained

Join me for some legally dis­tinct from Castl­e­va­nia action at 11pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play!

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ESH | Moss Review

Vir­tual real­ity has often been used to insert play­ers into sit­u­a­tions that would oth­er­wise be impos­si­ble. Moss, one of the newest PlaySta­tion VR titles, goes about this in a slightly dif­fer­ent way. Instead of mak­ing the player the focus, each stage of the game is a sort of inter­ac­tive dio­rama. Con­trol­ling the adorable mouse pro­tag­o­nist Quill, play­ers can make their way envi­ron­men­tal puz­zles by inspect­ing every nook and cranny of the tiny world set in front of them. It cre­ates an expe­ri­ence that feel unique to VR and facil­i­tates a new sort of immer­sion that is the breath of fresh air that VR needs right now.

Moss1

Check out the rest of the post on the main ESH page!

Wednesday Night Stream | Shadow of the Colossus: Remastered

BenColossus

Join me for some colossus-stabbing action at 10pm EST! Feel free to com­ment on this post directly or head off to my Twitch Page to chat with me as I play!

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ESH | The Fall Part 2: Unbound Review

Crash­ing down on us in 2014, The Fall was a fas­ci­nat­ing adven­ture game with some admit­tedly clunky com­bat. The story mainly con­sisted of a com­bat suit with arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, named A.R.I.D. search­ing for med­ical atten­tion for the passed out human inside of it. In a major twist, stop read­ing here and go play The Fall if you haven’t already, the suit turned out to be empty the whole time and her whole pur­pose has been made null. As you might expect, I was eager to see where the story went from there and The Fall Part 2: Unbound does cer­tainly go in some inter­est­ing directions.

TheFall21

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GOTY 2017 | Number 1 — The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

The hype was real for The Leg­end of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but no one could have seen just how inno­v­a­tive and rein­vig­o­rat­ing the game would end up. Nin­tendo had been play­ing it safe for too long with the Zelda series and vowed to go back to its roots for Breath of the Wild. The suc­cess they found with this new for­mula will likely go on to influ­ence the series going for­ward and likely the design of open world games in gen­eral. Many open world games rely on point­ing the player in the direc­tion they want them to go, for fear of them get­ting bored. Nin­tendo expertly solved the issue that other devel­op­ers didn’t even see here, by rid­ding the world of developer-laid icons and allow­ing the player to choose their own jour­ney. Stand­ing at the top of a tower, you might see some­thing that looks inter­est­ing and decide to inves­ti­gate. Nearly every time, you will be rewarded for your curios­ity with some­thing, even if it’s some­thing small. This is what sep­a­rates Breath of the Wild from other open world games. It allows play­ers to cre­ate their own sto­ries and explore the world at their own pace, while pack­ing every nook and cranny with fun things to find. Hours melted away while I was play­ing Breath of the Wild as I got lost in the gor­geous world. The Leg­end of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is one of the best games ever made and eas­ily deserves the spot as the best game of 2017.

BenoftheWild

GOTY 2017 | Number 2 — Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

It was easy to lose heart after the garbage fire that was Res­i­dent Evil 6. Thank­fully, Cap­com stepped up and deliv­ered a brand new Res­i­dent Evil expe­ri­ence that is both brand new feel­ing and upholds the roots of what makes the series fun. Bring­ing the series into the first-person per­spec­tive was bold move, but it paid off with Res­i­dent Evil 7. Even though the point of view changed, every­thing about the game­play like man­ag­ing ammo, find­ing keys, care­fully nav­i­gat­ing cor­ri­dors and even open­ing doors still felt uniquely like it belonged in the series. Play­ing the game in vir­tual real­ity is one of the most intense expe­ri­ences I’ve done in gam­ing. Many parts of the game are very scary and being put into that world through a VR head­set only makes it that much more ter­ri­fy­ing. The story is self-contained enough that folks who are new to the series can eas­ily join in now, with some sly easter eggs for series vet­er­ans. The char­ac­ters, espe­cially the Baker fam­ily, are inter­est­ing to learn about and the story goes to some cool places by the end. Many peo­ple have crit­i­cized the lat­ter por­tion of the game for becom­ing more action heavy, but if you look at pre­vi­ous games in the series, it actu­ally fol­lows a sim­i­lar pat­tern in that regard. I played through this game four times in 2017 alone and will likely go back for another round in 2018. In any other year, this would have been an easy top spot, but I reluc­tantly call Res­i­dent Evil 7: Bio­haz­ard the 2nd best game of 2017.

BenBaker