The transition from March into April brought with it many things, including me forgetting my three year anniversary (much to the chagrin of my girlfriend), several cases of school work fuckery, and, most importantly, a hearty serving of “have fun choosing your GOTY this year.” I haven’t even found time to play Majora’s Mask 3DS yet, and that came out in February. I’ll get to it eventually (he says, as he scrolls down the 200+ yet-to-be-playeds in his Steam library).
At the moment I have been really enjoying a couple games that have come out in the last couple weeks. Pillars of Eternity is the big name that’s been commanding most of my attention. Inane “bigotry” controversies aside, their is a lot to like about this game. The lore is absorbing and has really drawn me into the world; I think the last time I was so eager to learn more about a game’s world was playing Oblivion back in 2007. The writing is top notch and is a high water mark for recent fantasy RPGs. I never played many of the old isometric classics of the early 2000’s, but I can see why Pillars became one of the most successful crowdfunded games of all time; this a type of game that still translates beautifully in 2015 and is likely going to remain a favorite by the end of the year.
Eastside Hockey Manager made a surprise return to action after over seven years as a dead franchise, and I am ecstatic to finally have a good hockey management sim back on the market. It’s only in early access, and their is no official licensing yet with the NHL, but there are easy ways to circumvent that with already strong mod support. I’m definitely glad I picked it up. BoxBoy is the newest handheld that I have been messing around with. From HAL Laboratory (Smash Bros, Kirby), it is a simple yet charming side scrolling puzzler that introduces some elements I hadn’t yet seen before in this type of game: your character (who is shockingly a box) has the ability to generate interconnected rows of boxes that can then be used in a myriad of different ways to traverse the hazards of each level. It is a really clever concept and, mixed with the black and white theme and some great animations, gives BoxBoy a ton of style and a very strong recommendation for anyone looking for a couple hours of cheap 3DS fun.
On the opposite side of the handheld spectrum, I’ve still been picking up some regular hours in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. I’ve been a huge fan of the series since Freedom Unite 2 on the PSP, and MH4U is definitely the best game in the series. I just wish I had more amicable bandwidth here at the good ole’ Uni. DOTA 2, Mass Effect 3 ($8 bucks used for Wii U and I hadn’t played it yet) and Pokemon Alpha Sapphire have all been picking up a couple hours here and there, but most of my gaming time has been devoted to Pillars, EHM and MH4U. These three games are probably a perfect example of my taste, and they all offer very specific experiences that I don’t think are replicated in most other games. Definitely check them out if you have any interest in these niche, yet wonderfully realized genres.