Friday Favorites: 2018 Games to Finish

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday everyone!

Did everyone have a good new year’s? It’s hard to believe that we’re in 2019 now! This is a time that most people try to finish up tasks that they’ve accidentally left behind so they can start the new year with a clean slate. Going through our 2018 Game Reviews page, I’ve realized that there are a few games that I started last year that I would love to finish up.

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Undertale

I know the story of Undertale, I know the gameplay and probably many of its secrets. I’ve watched quite a few playthroughs of the game through YouTube and Twitch, after all, playthroughs that prompted me to try it myself. Yet, while I’ve played and completed Deltarune, the “sequel” of Undertale, I haven’t finished a playthrough of Undertale just yet.

Batman: The Telltale Series

I’ve finished the first two episodes, I believe, of this game, and it definitely held my interest to want to play the rest. Considering the game has a sequel, I would love to finish the next couple of episodes before exploring the next one.

Octopath Traveler

This is a major game that I want to finish. Honestly, with the other newer Switch games out, I cannot remember where we’re at in this game. From what we’ve played, it’s one of my favorite games from 2018, with its gorgeous graphics, music, and battle system, but we’ve yet to finish it.

Stardew Valley

Although this isn’t a game to actually “finish” considering how open-ended it is, I definitely would like to return to the world of Stardew Valley. I’ve accidentally abandoned my farm on our Steam account, but I’m also hoping to rope Rachel into doing a co-op farm with me at some point in the future.

What are some 2018 games that you’re looking to finish?

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[Review] Batman: The Telltale Series

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Title: Batman: The Telltale Series
Developer: Telltale Games
Publisher: Telltale Games
Platform:
PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Category:
Graphic Adventure
Release Date:
Original episode was released August 2016
How we got the game:
Bought it on Steam

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Batman was one of my first loves when I was introduced to the Geek Life. With the comic books and the animated series, Batman turned into one of my favorite superheroes. Seeing the release of the Telltale Series, I was always interested in the point-and-click graphic adventure. After having it downloaded on Steam for… longer than I intended, I finally got around to sitting down and playing it.

gameplay

I’ve never played a Telltale Series game before and, considering all of the titles they have out, I was interested in seeing how they pulled it off. Part action, part graphic adventure, Batman: The Telltale Series was definitely fun with its gameplay.

The game is split evenly between Batman and Bruce Wayne, with the player taking their roles during the game. While the game looks similar to a visual novel, the player’s input in the many critical choices affects the branches of the game’s narrative.

Part of the gameplay involves the player making quick decisions, whether it is during an action sequence or when speaking with NPCs of the world. Case in point were the multiple choice responses peppered in throughout the narrative. When responding to key points in the story to the NPCs, you are given only a few seconds, measured by a bar beneath the response choices. If you failed to respond, it was taken as mere silence, which is also a valid response to these situations. The first few questions I had to answer, I nearly panicked that I couldn’t try to carefully think through and pick the best response. Instead, I had to answer quickly and let the chips fall where they may!

The action sequences generally involve the player reacting quickly to hitting a certain key or button, a mouse-click, or even a combination of keystrokes to perform actions. Successfully performing these actions during a fight scene will fill up a Batman symbol found in the bottom-left corner of the screen — once the symbol is filled, Batman can perform a final move to completely take down the opponent he is facing to move onto the next scene.

During investigative scenes, you check evidence and the surrounding area, using a technique called linking to “link” pieces of evidence together to help piece the story of what went down in the area. I was actually really impressed with this part of the gameplay, finding it intriguing as we moved around as Batman to investigate. Seeing his gadgets do their thing was fun, too!

It’s not combat-heavy and relies more on quick reflexes and thinking, allowing you to manipulate the story and enjoying the narrative you help to weave.

graphics-music

The graphics aren’t bad at all. The semi-realistic graphics of the people and the settings are pretty good, even if sometimes the faces of the characters can look a little… derpy. I really enjoyed the images of the Gotham, the settings of Wayne Manor, City Hall, and the other scenes. I thought they were well done.

The music was fun as well, the tunes fitting into the story well. Fight and investigative scenes were accurately punched up with the music, keeping you focused and getting you amped up when necessary.
storyThe game begins with Batman investigating a break-in at Gotham City Hall. Aside from mercenaries, he meets Catwoman stealing a drive, which Batman takes before she can escape. He returns to Wayne Manor as Bruce, hosting a campaign party for D.A. Harvey Dent running for mayor against the current, corrupt mayor of Gotham. Among other party guests, the infamous mobster Falcone makes an appearance, who offers Bruce a spot in his crime family in exchange for “help” in getting Harvey elected.

This prologue effectively introduces the major players to episode one.

The story does well going back and forth between the Bruce Wayne and Batman personas, giving equal play time for both “characters.” While Batman is focused on decrypting the drive that Catwoman had attempted to steal, Bruce Wayne is stuck playing politics for Harvey Dent and Falcone. During the investigation, Falcone appears to be the link between the two faces of the titular character.

With this link, accusations against Bruce’s parents come to light, accusations that painted the Waynes not as benevolent benefactors to the city but as one of the biggest crime families of Gotham. While Batman confronts Falcone for his part in stealing and delivering a chemical weapon, Falcone delivers evidence of the Waynes being involved with Falcone and his crime organizations. Episode one ends with Bruce demanding answers from Alfred, his closest confidant and the Wayne family butler and friend.

The story continues with episode two, with Bruce digging up the secrets of his family’s past. The Telltale Series does well playing in Batman’s universe, but the story itself does not tie in with any other existing Batman lore. I’m definitely intrigued by the beginning of this game and am looking forward to continuing the story of this game with the next episodes!

replay-value

Batman: The Telltale Series had great replay value, especially if you want to exhaust all the different important choices you can pick throughout the game. Not only are the episodes themselves different due to the choices, choices in previous episodes can affect the outcome of future episodes.

That, and it’s Batman. What’s not to like?

Batman: The Telltale Series gets…
5-lives
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Friday Favorites: Missed 2017 Games

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday, everyone!

While we played a good chunk of games this year, there are plenty of games that I wanted to play but, for some reason, was unable to do so. Here is a simple list of games that are still stuck on my to-play list — here’s hoping they make their way off of that list next year!

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Batman: Telltale Series

We’ve honestly had this bought and downloaded on our Steam account for quite a while now… We just haven’t booted it up. Batman in a story-driven game that takes your choices into account sounds like a perfect game, and I can’t wait until we actually get a chance to sit down and play it!

Monster Hunter Generations

I really don’t know much about this franchise, aside from you creating a character to go out and, well, hunt monsters. A couple of the YouTubers that Rachel and I watch regularly enjoy the series and, upon seeing a few Let’s Play videos from them, it seemed interesting enough to try our hand at it. However, the 3DS game has just been chilling with my other games, having not been touched yet.

Has-Been Heroes

We got this action, strategy video game with our Nintendo Switch bundle, and it has unfortunately been shoved aside in favor of Breath of the Wild, Snipperclips, 36 Fragments of Midnight, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Mario Odyssey, to name a few. We still have the little cartridge waiting patiently for us to stick it in the Switch console, and hopefully we won’t forget about it next year.

Yooka-Laylee

Technically speaking, this just came out for the Nintendo Switch, but it has been available on Steam since April. It’s been hailed as the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie, which… was not my favorite game as a kid. Still, Yooka-Laylee never looked bad to me, and it’d be interesting to see how the developers grew on the Banjo-Kazooie nostalgia.

Cuphead

This game won two Game Awards and we were really invested in a Let’s Play done by a couple of our favorite YouTubers that it made me itch to see how well we could play the game. It may be one of the first games that we download from Steam next year!

Have you played any of these games? Were there any 2017 games that you missed that you wanted to play?

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Batman and Harley Quinn

Double Jump Kris MiiThe last few days of May… Where is 2017 going?

I hope everyone has a lovely Memorial Day this week! Amid video games and comic books, please enjoy some time with your family and good friends.

 

This summer, there is a new direct-to-video animated Batman movie slated to be released.

I grew up watching the animated Batman series due to my uncle having taped the majority of the episodes on VHS tapes. When I wasn’t bothering said uncle to play Ocarina of Time or Super Mario RPG, I was probably wearing out the VHS tapes in order to watch Batman and Robin.

Aside from the fact that it’s Batman, this movie also brings Kevin Conroy and Loren Lester back as the voices of Batman and Nightwing, and I’m so excited! They’ve done some of the best work as their voices, in my opinion. Melissa Rauch, from The Big Bang Theory, will be Harley Quinn and, while she’s obviously not the original voice actress, I don’t think she sounds too bad as the character.

Seeing the animated series again not only brings about a wave of nostalgia, but it also reminds me of the Batman video games out there. Rachel has played Arkham Asylum, but our XBox decided to call it quits before I could get a chance to do so. I have also yet to play Batman: The Telltale Series that is chilling on my Steam account. I definitely need to check out that game soon!

Are you interested in the Batman movies? Who out there remembers VHS tapes?

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Steam Haul

Double Jump Kris MiiWe’ve been getting so much snow this past week! I hope everyone else who may be getting hammered with snow are staying safe and warm.

On the bright side, snow days are one of the best excuses to play video games!

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My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and I was graciously given a few gift cards for Steam, a platform that delivers tons of PC games right to your desktop. It’s a great place to find new games to try, with plenty from indie developers and a good handful even free to play. With the gaming laptop that we had bought off of a friend a few months ago, we figured it was about time to really get used to Steam.

I used up my gift cards to get three games that I’ve been looking forward to playing for a while now. The first was Batman: The Telltale Series which, lucky me, was half off for the weekend. Yay for video game sales! I haven’t tried out the visual novel just yet, but I’m excited to find a good hour or two to really get invested in the story.

The second was Stardew Valley, finally! The entire game — art, music, mechanics, characters, plot — was created by one person, and it utterly blows my mind. I played up to about a game’s week, and I’m enjoying the simple farming game. It’s reminiscent of the older Harvest Moon games, the ones where all you had to do was take care of and raise a farm, maybe get married if you wanted. The newer Harvest Moon games, while still enjoyable, are more goal-oriented, such as restoring entire towns and islands. Stardew Valley brings me back to the fun, simpler games that originally had gotten me into that franchise.

The third game is Death Road to Canada. It’s a zombie apocalypse survival game where the player controls a car full of people with different quirks and strengths on their journey from Florida in the U.S. to Canada, the last country standing against the zombies. Rachel and I made ourselves and, while we didn’t do too badly on our first run, we did end up dying before reaching Canada. I died first, then Rachel, and eventually the random NPC that we had picked up and a dog character croaked as well. It was entertaining!

Do any of you use Steam? Any favorite or recommended games? Have you played any of the three that I’ve mentioned above?

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Friday Favorites: Anticipation

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s still Friday, right?

Rachel and I have a good friend who was looking to sell her one-year old, only-used-for-six-months gaming laptop for a very reasonable price, and I offered to take it off her hands. While Rachel and I have a desktop that’s supposedly dedicated to gaming, it’s mostly used for art projects. As such, I’m excited at the prospect of having a gaming laptop, and am looking forward to the games I’ll be installing on it!

 

3. Overwatch

I had been intrigued with this game since it was first announced, and am still intrigued after seeing plenty of play-throughs and streams of it. I’ve not really played many shooter games, but this one looks pretty damn good, and I’m itching to try it.

2. No Man’s Sky

This particular game I’ve heard plenty of interesting… things. It looks gorgeous from every trailer I’ve seen and the idea of it is amazing, but there have also been many negative reviews thrown at it as well. We shall see.

1. Batman: The Telltale Series

I gushed about this game a couple of weeks ago, and I’m positive it’s the first game I’m going to set up on the new laptop. I heard some very positive reviews about it, and it’s Batman. ‘Nough said.

What games are you looking forward to playing?

For the Love of Batman

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Monday!

It’s such a shame how quickly the weekend goes by, isn’t it? So many games to play, so little time… 

Can I fangirl for a moment over Batman?

I was introduced to the world of superheroes by my uncle (the same uncle who, incidentally, had introduced me to video games) with Batman: The Animated Series and a few of the older comic books. Batman himself is one of the most popular characters by DC, so it’s no surprise that there’s over 30 video games (and counting!) on various consoles starring the Dark Knight himself.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve played a Batman-centric video game. In fact, the last one I played was probably Lego Batman for the Wii with Rachel. Rachel has played and enjoyed Arkham Asylum and Arkham City for our XBox 360, and she wanted me to try them out, but the XBox 360 decided to stop working.

(On that note, if anyone has any advice or would like to share their opinions regarding whether or not Rachel and I should try buying another XBox 360, the XBox One, or just wait for the next generation. We have a slew of XBox 360 games, with not too many backwards compatible with the XBox One. It’s a dilemma.)

Now there’s Batman: The Telltale Series, the game that is being released in intervals as episodes. The first episode was released last month while the second episode is coming out tomorrow. Although the major platforms for the game are the Playstations 3 and 4, and the XBox 360 and One, it’s also available for PC.

Having a graphic novel-type adventure while playing as Bruce Wayne and his persona Batman (or vice versa, if you’re on the side of Bruce Wayne being Batman’s alter ego) sounds amazing to me. Compelling story lines and characters are so important to me in gaming, and this game looks as if it could deliver both.

I’m going to hunt around a bit for reviews before giving it a go, but I was curious if anyone out there has tried it out already? Any other thoughts and opinions on Batman: The Telltale Series?