Bayonetta 2 / Smash Bros. Wii U / The Evil Within

Joined: October 14th, 2010, 7:21 pm

December 31st, 2014, 3:46 pm #1

Bayonetta 2

A spiritual successor to the Devil May Cry series, Bayonetta 2 is a spectacular action game that improves on the already fantastic original. The sequel’s exceptional controls, along with stylish and intuitive combat, are among the best the genre has ever seen. The set pieces and boss battles are wonderfully extravagant, while the streamlined pacing and decreased reliance on frustrating platforming segments boost this sequel to the level of legitimate game of the year contender.

The story is silly and nonsensical, but the Bayonetta character is a lot of fun, and when a game is this wild and entertaining, the story is really inconsequential.

One of the best elements of the game’s outstanding combat system is the ‘Witch Time’ mechanic, which allows the player to slow time by dodging enemy attacks at the very last instant. It’s extremely satisfying and essential for mastering the game’s seamless, visually-stunning action.

The game also comes bundled with the original Bayonetta, making it a great value for those who may have missed out on it. These games are absolute must-plays for fans of combo-based action titles, and might be good enough to convert those that ordinarily aren’t.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

On the topic of game of the year contenders, here’s another one. Nintendo’s brawler continues to be a love letter to their fans, featuring a gigantic roster and all the nostalgia a gamer can handle. To say this game is loaded with content is an understatement, as I haven’t even tried all of its modes yet. Add to that: outstanding visuals, excellent stages and customization, and a music library that is overwhelmingly extensive.

The core of the series will always be its chaotic multiplayer battles, however, and this game gets it absolutely right. The characters are outstandingly balanced, with each being unique enough as a rewarding, varied experience, while also being simple and intuitive enough to pick up and play.

This game is the definition of fun. I don’t think anything in recent memory comes close as local multiplayer experience is concerned. The game also supports up to eight player brawls, which is absolutely ridiculous.

This is a wonderful, lovingly-crafted game that lives up to every bit of its massive hype.

The Evil Within

From Resident Evil creator Shinji Mikami, The Evil Within attempts to reclaim the survival horror genre from irrelevancy. Following Mikami’s departure, the Resident Evil series became an embarrassingly dumb action series, without a shred of its former terror and atmosphere. The last game Mikami worked on was Resident Evil 4, which found a great balance of thrills and chills.

The Evil Within plays similarly, while moving a bit closer to true survival horror style than even RE4. Ammo is always in short supply, and encounters will constantly have players finding creative ways to conserve their inventory.

The game takes a while to ramp up, and the story is pretty terrible throughout, but a few hours in things really start to come together. When it does, we are treated to a very engaging and intense title that hopefully serves to reinvigorate the genre, or at least inspire a sequel to build on this strong foundation.

I also have to mention that the art direction is fantastic, with the kind of wonderful creepy locales that are essential to the genre. One chapter in particular finds the player inside a creepy old mansion that delighted this old Resident Evil fan.

While certainly not a perfect game, The Evil Within is definitely recommended for anyone who wished they still made horror games like they used to. Just don’t give up on it.

Joined: February 27th, 2012, 1:15 am

January 3rd, 2015, 11:58 pm #2

You know what makes Smash Bros. really fun? When you beat the owner of the game. Twice.