GP Picks 10-4-13
This week’s GP Picks is brought to you by the United States Government. Or rather it isn’t because it shutdown this week. However, just because we don’t have a sponsor doesn’t mean we aren’t going to keep going. We’re going to keep on keeping on and we’re not going to shut the whole operation down just because we didn’t get our way. Thinly veiled criticism to recent events.
Welcome, gamers and players, to GP Picks and this week needs some help. Not only is the government shut down but Grand Theft Auto Online isn’t working. Want to rob a convenient store with your friends? TOO BAD because Rockstar’s servers can’t handle the multitude of people trying to get online. Rubbing salt in the wound is the fact that not many good games were released this week but NEVER FEAR! I’ve got you covered this week with an update to a recent classic, a water drenched platformer, a RPG from a baseball player, and some good old fashioned beat-em-ups.
This week is going to be a little different as I’m actually only going to recommend one new game this week. That game is Rain for the PlayStation 3. Now fair warning: the gameplay, while competent, is not really anything that good. You’re going to be platforming, running from monsters, and solving very simple puzzles. However, I’m going to recommend this game solely on its story. The interactions between this little boy and girl trying to survive in a city where it’s perpetually raining and has roaming monsters is an engaging thematic tale.
The main mechanic in the game is you can only see yourself when you’re in the rain. If you take cover under an alcove or inside a doorway, you’ll become invisible. This makes it rough to see yourself and what you do but monsters won’t be able to see you. Eventually, you may be able to tell where you are by splashes in puddles on the ground. It’s a interesting premise that also has a realistic yet stylized art design and a calming soundtrack. Sony continues to churn out these great smaller, artier games and this is the latest.
Since there’s nothing new to play except for Rain, lets play some older games! First up is Terraria. The PC version just released its version 1.2 and it has a butt ton of new content and features. Five pages to be exact. New items, new hairstyles, new dye slots, darker midnights, improved graphics, more customization options, new material types, new music and so much more!
In case you don’t know what Terraria is, it’s kind of like Minecraft but in 2D. You go around killing monsters and building various structures by mining materials from around the world. The purpose of the game is just to explore and look around and gather materials so you can make whatever you would like. Add in its 16-bit style graphics and it also has a charming aesthetic. Terraria is available on the PlayStation Network for PlayStation 3, Xbox Games Store, iOS, and Android but the PC version is the only one with the new content so far.
To celebrate its release for free on PlayStation Plus, I recommend everyone pick up Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It’s a western-style action RPG with a lot of various quests and tasks to do that bring to mind The Elder Scrolls or MMOs like World of Warcraft. However, the experience is all from a third person perspective and single player only. In the game, you are the Fateless one and do not have a pre-determined fate unlike everyone else. After you come back to life, you now much help the world of Amalur with the war in the east against the corrupted Fae race known as the Tuatha.
Admittedly, movement in the game feels a little too imprecise and loose and the presentation, while colorful and well designed, feels unpolished. The combat is really liberating though and regardless of which race you pick, you can equip a numerous array of weapons, two at a time, as you are not forced to use just a few types. Various magic skills are also available on the fly. It’s really easy to get lost in this world and especially if you’re a member of PlayStation Plus, get this game as it’s completely free. It’s also available on the Xbox 360 and PC.
Finally, the Wii U has gotten a trilogy of great old school SNES games. The Final Fight trilogy is now available on the Wii U eShop. That includes Final Fight, Final Fight 2 and Final Fight 3. Final Fight Guy is missing but that game is just Final Fight 1 with the character Guy replacing Cody. Now, full disclosure, the SNES version of Final Fight kind of sucks as it’s missing a lot of features. However, you can get a great version of the game on XBLA and PSN, which I’ve recommended before. However, Final Fight 2 and 3 are worth your time, 2 especially.
I’ve always been of the opinion that as far as early 90s beat-em-up titles go, Final Fight is a little stiff compared to other titles like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games and the Streets of Rage series. However, that’s not the case for Final Fight 2 and 3. Those really do feel better than the first game and unlike the first game on the SNES, have a co-operative two player mode. Each game costs $7.99 and if you buy one, you can get a Street Fighter SNES title on the eShop for 50% off.
And there you have it. Another week, another collection of games to spend your money on. Each Friday, I’ll recommend games for you all to play. As always, these aren’t reviews so much as they are suggestions, as I won’t weigh pros and cons of the game. These choices will be new games released that week, but sometimes I will choose games with new downloadable content. I’ll also recommend older retro titles because sometimes you need to retreat to move forward! Be sure to check out GP Picks every week to see what’s worth picking up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get back to work because I don’t get to shut the site down if I don’t like something about it!