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Gabe / on Mon, Jul 7 2014 at 10:23 am

VIDEO GAMES!!

I played some video games this weekend.

Fates Forever

This is an iOS MOBA game that has been out in other regions for about a year but just hit the US a few days ago. I’ve tried a few of these and I think Fates Forever does the best job of taking the MOBA genre and tweaking it to make sense on an iPad. First of all the game is stunning. The character designs and arena are just absolutely beautiful. I’m a sucker for great art and Fates Forever is overflowing with it. The game itself plays really well though too. They have simplified the traditional three lane arena down to two lanes but the rest of the game packs in all the stuff you’d expect from a full fledged PC MOBA. It has an intimidating store, last hits, interesting characters and neutral mobs. I’ve played a few rounds and I really like it. It’s a free game so there’s nothing stopping you from grabbing it and at least playing through the tutorial. If you’re like me you’ll be hooked by that point.

Dungeon Gems

I know Gameloft takes a lot of shit for making clones but I really like their games. The production values are always off the charts and they usually work in some unique mechanics to make their version more than a straight copy. There must be a million Puzzle & Dragon style games in the App Store but This one really hooked me. It’s just super polished and their “freemium” mechanics are refreshingly humane.

Mario Kart 8

This game gets a lot of play at my house. There’s something really special about a game that I can play with my wife, my 4yo and my 9yo and everyone is having fun. Say what you want about the viability of the Wii U but the Nintendo magic is real. I went online for the first time this weekend and put my skills to the test against humans other than my immediate family. The online experience is like something from another dimension. You can’t actually voice chat with players unless they are “friends” so you end up having to choose from predefined chat options like “I’m excited” or “good luck!”. The result is an online experience completely devoid of the normal bullshit. It just felt like playing Mario Kart with a dozen incredibly nice people from all over the world. When I was done I actually felt better about humanity. I’m not sure that’s ever happened before.

Shovel Knight

I grabbed this on the Wii U and had a really good time. It’s a modern game designed to feel like an 8 bit classic. Plenty of games try to go for this vibe but Shovel Knight really nails it. From the music to the visuals to the storytelling this game took me right back to my NES days. Gameplay wise it manages to feel familiar and fresh at the same time. It’s challenging in a very unforgiving old school way that makes you pump your fist when you complete an especially difficult section. Give this one a try I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

-gabe out


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