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.
Mindlessly blasting baddies is always a good way to wind down when you’re not in the mood for something a little heavier. Demon’s Crystals is a twin stick shooter that’s not looking to break any new ground, but the mechanics are just good enough that it’s suitable for some short bursts of fun. Boasting a simple main campaign and six multiplayer types, Demon’s Crystals doesn’t have a lot of depth, but for the five dollar price tag, you’ll get enough silly fun to last you and your friends a few nights.
Atmosphere, in my humble opinion, is one of the most important things a game can create. Back in 2010, Playdead introduced us all to a puzzle platformer than oozed atmosphere and created a surprisingly tense 2-D experience with Limbo. Since then many developers have tried to recapture the magic of this game by mimicking its aesthetics or gameplay. Coming from this standpoint, Lukáš Navrátil created Toby: The Secret Mine as a solo project. While it doesn’t quite recapture the tense feeling of the game it was inspired by, there are some good moments to latch onto here.
The foundation of the Legend of Zelda series was built upon exploration. Wandering the scenic hills of Hyrule in search of secrets has always been the thing that made the best games in the series so fun. Nintendo allowed me to explore the diverse lands of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in the E3 demo for quite a while, so instead of listing off the features I noticed in this breathtaking, pun completely intended, adventure game, I’m going to take you through the story of my exploration of Hyrule. Come join me as I stroll the the lands of Nintendo’s next epic.
One of the best developers out there building games for the PS Vita, Drinkbox Studios has yet to release a game that has not been a slam dunk for me. This year’s release, entitled Severed, keeps to this trend and proves that when done smartly, great PS Vita games can certainly be made. For those who are not insane enough to continue backing the Vita like I have, Drinkbox Studios has got you covered. They are releasing Severed to both iOS and Nintendo consoles this summer.
Online retail giant Amazon announced yesterday that they will be offering a hefty discount on new video games for members of their Amazon Prime service. Slicing 20% off the top of any preorder or game that has seen a release within the last two weeks is sure to draw some gamers that have been on the fence about Amazon Prime. Pair that with the release date guarantee the service offers and they make a reasonable case for signing up. This is, however, not the first company to offer a similar discount. Best Buy has their Gamer Club Unlocked service, which will also get you that hot 20% discount, but which one offers the better value is certainly up for debate. Let’s take a second and compare some of the specifics of each service.
Building custom Super Mario Bros. levels sounds like a great idea on paper, but there was plenty of room for doubt as to whether Nintendo would nail it in practice. Thankfully for Super Mario Maker, Nintendo did the franchise justice with their level builder and created a game I still boot up on a daily basis. Let’s face it, the Super Mario games are fun and having a nearly unlimited supply of new stages to try can only be a good thing. From the terrible levels to the clever and devious ones, I enjoy hopping into Super Mario Maker every time.
Competitive multiplayer shooters and I have had a rocky relationship over the years. I’ve never been very good and it doesn’t take long before it becomes impossible for me to keep my skill up to par. Splatoon negates this by creating a new main objective for matches that doesn’t even involve shooting one another. While you certainly can aim your ink at other players, you’ll do much better remembering that, in the end, you should be mainly focused on covering the arena in your color.