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SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Colorful Colore’, ‘Timothy & the Mysterious Forest’, and Today’s Other New Releases and Sales – Touch Arcade

Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for January 22nd, 2021. I was met with some surprise after I returned home from my trip to the hospital today. The release schedule for today, which mere hours before had looked so very light, had positively exploded! Indeed, I barely had enough time to write all of the summaries. But I did, and they are here for you to enjoy. Ive also got the lists of incoming and outgoing sales for you to look over. Lets go!

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Hey, thats actually not a bad facsimile of Game Boy graphics. Getting that right is rarer than youd think. The dialogue boxes break the illusion, but otherwise? Well done. Adventure, exploration, puzzle-solving, and stealth are the main themes here, with a little bit of action on the side. A single hit will do you in, so taking a direct approach doesnt usually work in your favor. Basically, dont come into this expecting something Zelda-like. I know what it looks like, but its really got its own flavor. Its also a fair bit longer than you might expect if you want to experience everything it has to offer.

SwitchArcade Highlight!

Terrific, thats what this is. Seriously, if you like puzzle games even a little, go out and spend three meager bucks on this. The idea is that you have to get your little character to the exit on each stage, but you have to be careful not to touch any walls that dont have the same color as you. Your character can move in all four cardinal directions, zooming along until it hits a wall. There are tons of gimmicks and twists to make that simple concept sing as you make your way through the fifty stages on offer. Wrap all of that in a charming presentation and you have an absolute steal of a deal.

Ive definitely played a few games like this before on mobile, but I have no idea who came up with it first. At any rate, the idea is that you have to arrange the tiles such that they form a perfect color gradient. There are 400 puzzles in all, which will keep you busy for a long while. Indeed, youll probably get tired of the concept before you run out of levels to play. The game features touch screen support if youre playing undocked, and thats really the best way to go about it. Decent enough roughage for your puzzle diet, I guess.

Weve already seen one Rock N Racing Bundle, which brought together Grand Prix Rock N Racing and Rock N Racing Rally. This second bundle brings together Rock N Racing Off Road and Grand Prix Rock N Racing again. Hm. A bit odd, but okay. As with all of these bundles, make sure that the separate versions arent selling for a lower price before you get in on this. They go on sale quite often, so the odds are in your favor. Id imagine this bundle will also be discounted fairly frequently. Im not a big fan of either of these games, but theyve both been out long enough that you can probably find some reviews that will tell you what you need to know to decide for yourself.

Well, thats just Candy Crush. Match the cupcakes, deal with special gimmicks, and use power-ups at the right time in order to defeat more than 100 stages. I dont have much to say about this. Theres absolutely zero creativity on display here, so Im not going to bother my higher brain functions to try and come up with anything interesting to spice it up.

This low-cost puzzle game has you matching tiles to call your soldiers into battle. There are twelve different types of troops to upgrade and command, and special items you can use to help you through if you get stuck. There are sixty levels in total, which seems alright for the price youre paying. I dont think Id recommend this game with much vigor, but I could definitely see myself firing it up now and then and picking away at it until the end. Very mindless, but it will pass the time adequately if thats something you need.

This came out a few years ago on iOS (five years ago actually, oh boy the end is coming soon) and I remember enjoying it well enough even if it wasnt all that fresh. Well, here it is again. I enjoy it well enough even if it isnt all that fresh. Even less fresh now, I suppose. Its cute, colorful, and challenging enough. You get forty stages to play through, with extra objectives to aim for if you want to get three stars on each. If you enjoy platformers and missed this one on mobile, youll get your moneys worth from CATTCH.

Its Artifex Mundi time again, which means plenty of hidden object puzzles to unravel along with a passable plot. That plot in question sees you discovering and exploring an underwater city with an Art Deco style. No, its not called Rapture. Geez. Its Eden. That is totally different. Find the ancient evil resting within its depths, and do what all good heroes do to such things: solve puzzles to make it go away! Seems fine as these things go, but Im not much into them myself so I cant speak to where it ranks in the proverbial pantheon.

Some people are cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, but a select few suffer from a far more tragic malady: Dirt Bike Insanity. Like a lot of what Ultimate Games releases on the Switch, this is a years-old release from the PC that few cared for or about on that platform. It has relatively poor visuals, terrible controls, and very little content. Another awful racer on a platform with no shortage of them. Steer clear.

Oh ho ho, I love that title. Thats a splendid choice. Sigh, Im sure it can only go down from here. Lets see just how far. Oh well, thats not that bad. You play as a squire who cant even afford a horse and instead has to sally forth on his unicycle. Yes, this is one of those goofy games where half the fun is in how unintuitive it is to control. There are more than fifty levels, but the game is so hard that most probably wont even see a tenth of them. Its just something you pick at until you get aggravated, then come back to later after youve cooled down to see if you can make any further progress. Not bad. Definitely not for everyone, or even most.

If you were interested in training to become one of the more useless members of the Avengers, Adverse might be of interest to you. You need to run, jump, and shoot your bow through forty different obstacle courses where one wrong move will send you right back to the start. Its another one of those first-person platformers that demands a lot of precision, and Ill give you fair warning that it gets tricky very quickly. Frustrating, even. If you can deal with that, this is a good enough effort for the price its asking.

You might think this is some sort of Star Wars dating sim, and while that would be pretty awesome, I regrettably must inform you that the force" in question here is the police force. Its an otome visual novel from the experienced folks at Voltage, and it follows the story of a young woman who joins a police academy and meets an assortment of hunky dudes. There are five different men to meet, and they fall into the usual character types for this kind of affair. I dont know. It feels like some of the stuff these guys are doing will get them called to HR, but Im not the chief or anything. Note this is one of those otome games where the heroine is rather creepily lacking eyes in most drawings. Weird, please dont do that.

Wow, that lady is dangerously close to having a terrible wardrobe malfunction. Well, whatever. This is a deck-building roguelite that has had a pretty solid reception on other platforms, and with good reason. While its gameplay doesnt really do anything all that special, its functional and familiar enough to slip into if youve played a game like this before. And the visuals are certainly trying a little harder than we typically see in this particular category. Its not going to dethrone Slay the Spire or anything, but if youre on the hunt for another card-battler to kill some time with, this should fit the bill.

Hmm, I cant believe theyre asking twenty dollars for this. Its a very bland adventure game with some tacked-on horror elements where the puzzles largely consist of finding keys and diary pages. Things get dark at some point during each day, and youll ideally have found a flashlight to help you with that. Sometimes apparitions will appear and try to scare you, costing a portion of your life. Its not very interesting, not very scary, and just feels all-around like a poorly cobbled-together project.

This is from the same people as Pineview Drive, and its equally poor if not worse. Instead of spending 30 days in a spooky house, youre spending 30 days in a spooky diner built on a Native American burial ground. You have to appease the angry spirits by cleaning up after patrons? Just like in their other game, the tepid jump scares here arent very frightening at all. Ive heard people say they cant understand the popularity of games like Five Nights At Freddys or Slender, but if you spent some time with one of those games and then tried out this weak wannabe, the difference in quality will be pretty clear. Twenty dollars. Really. Not even on a lark.

Another game created using the Pixel Game Maker software, but this one is a little better than the last couple at least. Its a short Metroidvania-style game where you play as a cute witch who needs to collect 66 mushrooms for some reason that Ive already forgotten. Probably rescuing someone. Anyway, it works pretty well. The puzzles are challenging without being frustrating, and for the most part the gameplay is solid. For the price its going for, its a solid pick-up for those who dont already have fifteen Metroidvanias in their backlogs. Whoops! Well, its only a few hours long. Im sure its fine.

(North American eShop, US Prices)

With many of the biggest games finishing up discounts in the New Years sale, there really werent a ton of notable titles available for sales today. Capcoms got the Resident Evil games on sale to line up with the anniversary event, and FDG has some of their great games discounted as well. There are a few other decent titles in the mix, so check out the list yourself to be sure. The weekend outbox is short and sweet, but give it a look as well.

Select New Games on Sale

Chicken Police: Paint it Red ($13.49 from $19.99 until 1/28)Spitlings ($9.99 from $14.99 until 1/28)Super Crush KO ($7.49 from $14.99 until 1/28)Pix the Cat ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/29)Johnny Turbos Arcade, Assorted ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/30)Johnny Turbos Arcade: Heavy Burger ($2.49 from $9.99 until 1/30)Retro Classix 2-in-1 Packs ($4.99 from $9.99 until 1/30)Retro Classix 4-in-1 Pack ($7.99 from $15.99 until 1/30)Retro Classix Collection: Data East ($9.99 from $19.99 until 1/30)Real Heroes: Firefighter ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/30)Galak-Z: The Void Deluxe ($3.74 from $14.99 until 1/30)Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide ($4.99 from $19.99 until 1/30)Inversus Deluxe ($1.99 from $14.99 until 2/1)Forgotton Anne ($7.99 from $19.99 until 2/3)Oh My Godheads ($2.99 from $14.99 until 2/3)Octahedron: Transfixed ($2.07 from $12.99 until 2/3)

Fear Effect Sedna ($1.99 from $19.99 until 2/3)Ping Redux ($3.99 from $4.99 until 2/3)Kwaidan: Azume Manor Story ($12.49 from $24.99 until 2/4)Bunny Adventure ($2.10 from $6.00 until 2/4)Parking Madness ($2.10 from $6.00 until 2/4)The Office Quest ($4.19 from $10.99 until 2/4)Lyrica ($7.99 from $19.99 until 2/4)Gnomes Garden: New Home ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/4)Black The Fall ($4.49 from $14.99 until 2/4)Tower Climb ($2.10 from $6.00 until 2/4)Animated Jigsaws: Japan Scenery ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/4)Panzer Dragoon Remake ($6.24 from 24.99 until 2/4)Bossgard ($14.99 from $19.99 until 2/4)Up Cliff Drive ($2.10 from $6.00 until 2/4)Conarium ($16.99 from $19.99 until 2/4)

Resident Evil ($12.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Resident Evil 0 ($12.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Resident Evil 4 ($14.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Resident Evil 5 ($14.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Resident Evil 6 ($14.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Resident Evil Revelations ($7.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Resident Evil Revelations 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 2/5)Under the Jolly Roger ($13.99 from $19.99 until 2/10)Warhammer 40k: Space Wolf ($8.99 from $17.99 until 2/10)Cube Creator X ($11.99 from $19.99 until 2/10)In Celebration of Violence ($9.09 from $12.99 until 2/10)Nine Witches: Family Disruption ($12.99 from $19.99 until 2/10)Spiral Splatter ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/10)Where Are My Friends? ($2.39 from $5.99 until 2/10)Drift Legends ($4.99 from $9.99 until 2/10)

Save the Ninja Clan ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/10)Alteric ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/10)Urban Trial Playground ($2.99 from $14.99 until 2/10)Syberia ($2.98 from $14.90 until 2/10)Syberia 2 ($1.99 from $29.99 until 2/10)Oceanhorn ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/10)Blossom Tales: Sleeping King ($7.49 from $14.99 until 2/10)Slayin 2 ($5.99 from $11.99 until 2/10)Monster Boy & Cursed Kingdom ($19.99 from $39.99 until 2/10)Venture Kid ($5.00 from $10.00 until 2/10)Energy Cycle Edge ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/10)Loot Hero DX ($3.99 from $4.99 until 2/10)Goblin Sword ($1.99 from $4.99 until 2/11)Chess Royal ($2.39 from $2.99 until 2/11)

Sales Ending This Weekend

Blackmoor 2 ($4.49 from $4.99 until 1/23)Commandos 2: HD Remaster ($26.99 from $29.99 until 1/23)ELEA: Paradigm Shift ($1.99 from $7.99 until 1/23)Legend of Numbers ($2.09 from $2.99 until 1/23)Sir Eatsalot ($1.99 from $12.99 until 1/23)Super Space Serpent Secondary ($7.99 from $9.99 until 1/23)The Unexpected Quest ($12.75 from $15.00 until 1/23)Demons Tilt ($11.99 from $19.99 until 1/24)Deployment ($1.99 from $9.99 until 1/24)Pop the Bubbles ($3.99 from $7.99 until 1/24)Road 3 Pack ($2.99 from $7.99 until 1/24)Stikbold! A Dodgeball Adventure ($2.99 from $14.99 until 1/24)Sushi Time! ($1.99 from $4.99 until 1/24)

Thats all for today and this week, friends. Todays test results were good, but that only means I dont have the very specific bad thing we were looking for. My hospital adventures will continue as we try to figure out just what is wrong with me. At least I have lots of time to play games on those long rides, eh? I hope you all have a great weekend, and as always, thanks for reading!

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SwitchArcade Round-Up: 'Colorful Colore', 'Timothy & the Mysterious Forest', and Today's Other New Releases and Sales - Touch Arcade

The Last Of Us Part 2 has the best storytelling in a video game –

The Last Of Us Part 2 quite a story (pic: Sony)

A reader finally gets play The Last Of Us Part 2 and is impressed by its graphics, its storytelling, and its message.

Ive just finished The Last Of Us Part 2 and it was such a brilliant experience it has inspired me to write in with a few thoughts. Ill start by saying that I thought it was a really tremendous experience. An absolute thrill to play through but one which I very nearly gave up on before the game really started.

I play games late, after my family have gone to bed. And I play in bed, in the dark. So when a game has a particularly subdued start I tend to find the eye lids become that little bit heavier, and off to sleep I drift. Its a particular problem playing puzzle games Id love to finish The Witness, but as soon as the puzzles get vaguely non-obvious my body behaves like Ive had a Horlicks before I picked up the controller.

And so the start of this game went the first 90 minutes was mainly character introductions, a little walking along slowly while chatting (this is probably unfair but its how I remember it) and I got a little impatient with where the game was going to go and what Ellies motivation was going to be. It is in stark contrast to the beginning of the first game, which starts with that emotional gut punch that draws you straight into Joels world. But then it happens.

Now if youve played the game you know what it is. This particular event was a brave narrative choice and throughout the game I found myself surprised by how bold Naughty Dog were with the story and how it treated its main characters. Games are generally conservative with both their characters and what stories they are trying to tell in games. But yet the first real story beat here had changed my expectations of what I was going to experience and it made me feel like I couldnt make any assumptions about what was going to happen in the rest of the game.

This was particularly effective in the final scenes, where I had genuinely no idea how it was going to play out, and I felt every outcome was on the table. In comparison to other games, indeed all other story based media really, this is quite rare and a real storytelling skill.

I also admire Naughty Dog for developing characters with themes like gender and sexuality at the forefront of their personality. Importantly, these themes are not just lip service, but completely woven into the story and character motivation. Gaming can be a very toxic environment for the marginalised (well anyone that isnt a white male really) and to tackle these themes so brilliantly is something that I admired throughout.

Video games are generally violent, and this is no exception. The general rule of thumb though is there is glory in that violence. Particularly where some sort of retribution is being dished out. However, the difference here is the context in which the game places that violence. The game makes you see your murderous actions in a different way. And that was not only limited to Ellie and her victims, but also made me think about video game violence in general.

I felt there was a commentary on other games glorifying violent behaviour without requiring any thought or empathy on the part of the player, and even worse than that, you are having fun doing it. Just the fact that I have referred to them as victims alone is testament to how successful I felt the game was in this regard. It might just be the gaming hipster in me coming out though. Im also going to play Sniper Elite 4 next so I am not saying it has had some profound lasting effect on how I will consume games in the future.

The game deployed a few emotional tricks to help me, the usually empathy-less polygon slayer, develop some gaming empathy, but the most affecting for me was a very simple one. During encounters with human enemies, if a body is discovered the person will call out something like, Oh no, they got Shaun! and I would immediately think about Shaun, and his life outside of being a henchman.

The other big empathy punch, which I can probably talk about spoiler free, is when playing as Ellie you take out an unsuspecting woman who is playing a PS Vita (a great touch by the way). Then, later in the game (in a sort of flashback lets put it that way) you meet this character and she is given a name and you have this casual chat with her about her day and where she was going, which just made me feel absolutely terrible, knowing what was going to happen to her, and that I was a part of making that happen. And I even took a screenshot of what she was playing on Vita right next to her body. Shameful.

As for the gameplay, I agree with GCs review, it is both perfectly enjoyable and not particularly innovative although the innovation here really lies in the story that the game is telling, and how that story unfolds. For me, this sets a new bar in storytelling in a game that will be very difficult to match. There is also innovation in the world itself, which I found to be absolutely captivating throughout my playthrough. 25 hours later I was still marching through thick foliage in genuine amazement at how far above most other games it finds itself on this front.

Naughty Dog have managed to make even bland things like shop fronts, warehouses, and playgrounds, which are usually so cookie cutter in other games, have real personality and I felt this world was really lived in before the outbreak. I would wonder why all other games dont do their stories like this, but the other thing that really shone through for me is that it must have taken real talent to make a game like this.

It is talent that allowed them to marry their narrative, their gameplay and the bold character choices into a thrilling package full of fun, memorable set pieces, and a genuinely interesting, and affecting story. Talent enabled that and the huge budget and half a decade development time, which most other developers dont have the luxury of.

Anyway, I have so much more that I could talk about but this is probably getting well beyond TL;DR territory already so Ill just close by saying, if you got this far, thanks for reading and I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed the game as much as I did.

By reader Dan (grimwar85 gamertag/PSN ID)

The readers feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email and follow us on Twitter.

MORE : Why Ghost Of Tsushima was the best game of 2020 - Reader's Feature

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The Last Of Us Part 2 has the best storytelling in a video game -

Keep Calm and Stay Adapted – UMM News, Sports & Events

In Daehyoung DH Lees profession, he works by the motto, keep calm and stay adapted. Lee was recently hired as an assistant professor to help build UMDs newDevelopmental Adapted Physical Education minor, whichbegan spring semester.

Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE)is an inclusive way to improve health and well-being for all people. It makes physical activity more accessible and attainable by modifying activities to meet individual needs, enabling people with disabilities to experience quality physical education.

Lee explains that all physical activities can be made inclusive for people with special needs. No one has to be excluded because of their mental, physical, or financial abilities.

There is a teacher shortage in the area of Developmental Adapted Physical Education, which is federally mandatedin public schools for all students with disabilities. UMD is currently the only campus in the University of Minnesota system that offers the DAPE licensure.

Assistant Professor Daehyoung DH Lee

To be successful in this field, teachers must be creative, caring, patient, and have a passion for helping others.Students in the new minor program will learn how to empower people with disabilities and modify physical activities to promote their health and well-being throughout their lifespans. This includes teaching fundamental motor skills; physical and recreational activities; aquatic skills; and competitive adaptive sports.

With the help of UMD colleagues and students, Leecreated a videodemonstration of fun adaptive icebreaker games to illustrate DAPE in action forthe Minnesota Developmental Adapted Physical Education statewide virtual conference last September.

From Seoul, South Korea, to Duluth, Minnesota

Born and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Lee has had extensive field experience in a multitude of countries. After spending time as a Taekwondo martial artist in Seoul, he went to college to study athletic coaching. Although Lee enjoyed this field, his experiences helping a sister-in-law with a disability sparked his interest in pursuing a career where he could help people with disabilities.

Following acceptance into a masters program in adapted physical activity in Belgium, Lee was able to choose another European university as a part of his scholarship program. He chose a school in the Czech Republic and worked closely with people who have disabilities, even participating in the regional Special Olympics program.

Lee later attended Indiana University for a doctorate program in kinesiology and ran an adapted PE program for children with disabilities who live in Bloomington, Indiana and surrounding areas for 4 years as a program coordinator.

Having the ability to help improve a childs health and well-being is part of what makes Lee so passionate about this profession. It is inspiring to meet kids of all abilities and see their happiness when attending the PE classes, Lee says.

He notes that adapted PE is all about small victories and long-term improvement. When I was a volunteer teacher at the local YMCA in Bloomington, I was teaching an adapted Taekwondo class, he explains. I had a nonverbal student with autism spectrum disorder and during the first meeting, we didnt even know how to handle him, but as he progressed through the class, I saw him improve. By the time I finished my degree program, the kid was able to move, bow, and speak out.

Lee loves interacting with people of diverse backgrounds and seeing prospective adapted PE teachers grow and develop in the field. In the DAPE program at UMD, Lee is most excited about a new adaptive aquatics course to be offered in the pool.

A New App to Encourage Activity

Along with teaching, Lee is a researcher and application developer. He is developing a mobile app, calledPuzzleWalk, which is available on Google Play and in the Apple App Store, for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It is designed to promote activity and reduce prolonged sedentary behavior for people with ASD, he explains.

The app is a visualized puzzle game that uses evidence-based gamification and behavior change techniques to promote physical activity. In order to play the puzzle games in the app, the user must walk or engage in other physical activities. Their accumulated walking steps then determine the amount of puzzle-solving time and number of tokens they receive, which enable them to play more games. This motivates users to exercise more, as more steps equate to more play time.

Lees goal is to discover and design more affordable and accessible ways to improve physical activity for children with disabilities. PE isn't a medicine for all of the problems we have, but it is a great way to improve the overall quality of life, he says.

Keep Calm and Stay Adapted - UMM News, Sports & Events

10 Xbox 360 Games That Were Held Back By The Hardware – TheGamer

Some Xbox 360 games were good, but could have been great if only they hadn't been held back by the hardware.

The Xbox 360 had a good head start on its generation of consoles, beating both the Wii and PS3 to the punch a year before their debut. Not only that, but this system was the clear winner in the minds of gamers for this HD generation. That said, it wasnt all sunshine and rainbows for Microsoft.

RELATED: The 10 Best Games Added To Xbox Game Pass In 2020 (According To Metacritic)

They had their fair share of struggles even at the top such as the Red Ring of Death Fiasco. Also, a number of games were held back on the console for various reasons from buggy releases to developers choosing the wrong console to market on so lets take a look at some of these game-related blunders.

This is an unsung gem from Obsidian Entertainment. Not many have tried before or since to make a spy RPG. The trouble was it was super buggy and a lot of the game felt rushed. If the developers had only waited for Microsoft to buy them out then perhaps their dream project would not have been so held back on the Xbox 360 generation.

Dead Rising, at the time, was a showpiece for the Xbox 360. It demonstrated how much potential power this HD generation could had with it being able to show off so many enemies on screen at once.

RELATED: The 10 Best RPGs Added To Xbox Game Pass Games In 2020 (According To Metacritic)

That was impressive at the time but it also held the game back. It caused long loads because of this not to mention the generally buggy nature of it overall.

There is nothing inherently wrong with Blue Dragon on Xbox 360. It looks good thanks to Akira Toriyamas Dragon Ball style. It sounds and plays well too. What did hold it back was it being an exclusive. Microsoft wanted to hit it so badly in Japan that they locked down RPGs like this in the hopes of capturing the foreign market which it failed at time and time again. It probably would have sold better on a Nintendo or PlayStation console.

Catherine is another example of a game that might have done better on a Nintendo platform. At its core its part puzzle game, part adventure game. These type of experiences are best played on portables thanks to the pick up and go nature of them. Thankfully this games true potential was explored on Nintendo Switch. It was still good on Xbox 360 and PS3 but one wonders if it could have done better initially as a handheld experience.

To keep with the theme, this too would have made for a better handheld. At its core, this is a card game with a Monopoly-like board. It has multiplayer on Xbox 360 which works, but a bit clunkier than one would hope. There actually was a DS game that never came over along with a 3DS sequel that did. It seems like the lesson was learned from the developer to turn this series into a portable one.

This is an example of a game that was way ahead of its time. Like the game show of the same name, live Xbox 360 players could log in at a certain time to compete live with others in the hopes of winning it big. It ran for a couple of seasons before it was canceled. HQ Trivia, years later, sort of followed this idea making one wonder if 1v100 could have stuck around long as a phone experience instead. HQ Trivia did die out quickly too so maybe not.

In terms of dance practicality, Dance Central was the king of the dance revolution craze. Its moves were tracked better thanks to the Kinect even if it was fussier to set up. This is thanks to Harmonix who have always excelled at music games.

RELATED: 10 Hidden Gems That Came To Xbox Game Pass In 2020 (And Their Metacritic Scores)

That said, locking this down as a Kinect only exclusive means that it is hard locked out of any future backwards compatibility since that was quickly forgotten on both this console and the Xbox One.

This really should have been a Nintendo game for the Wii or some future console. Like the Japanese market, Microsoft also wanted to conquer the family-friendly vibe. From the original Xbox to this, it was always thought of as the bro console by fans and it never really escaped that. Thats too bad too since this was a good game for kids that just didnt get enough play.

This was one of LucasArts big projects before being shut down after Disney acquired them. The idea of being able to manipulate the environment was a good idea and it worked. It just wasnt as impressive as it could have been with the next series of consoles or even now on Xbox Series X. Maybe someone will at least take this idea for a better future game.

Mass Effect was, and still is, one of the Xbox 360s greatest exclusives. Theres just one thing that was joked about, the load times. These were disguised through elevator rides so at least there was some context. That said it didnt really do the game any favors. It also hurt the overall experience but just think how much quicker it could have been on say the Xbox Series X.

Next: 10 Games You Missed Around The Launch Of The PS5 And Xbox Series X

Next 10 Of The Darkest Things You Can Do In Genshin Impact

Tristan Jurkovich began his career as a journalist in 2011. His childhood love of video games and writing fuel his passion for archiving this great mediums annals. He dabbles in every genre, but hes particularly fond of RPGs and portables. Secretly he enjoys the Just Dance series a little too much. Aside from writing, Tristan also hosts a plethora of shows on his YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.

Originally posted here:
10 Xbox 360 Games That Were Held Back By The Hardware - TheGamer

Review: Ray’s The Dead – Movies Games and Tech

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Slightly kung-fused maybe

Rays The Dead is a 1980s-inspired zombie action-strategy-puzzle game developed by Indie developer Ragtag studio with an impressively meagre$50,000via Kickstarter and, after a turbulent 6-year development and repeated delays, was eventually released (or escaped) in October 2020.

This highly unique title has Ray, a brain-eating zombie, form and command an army of zombies to help him traverse the puzzle-laden maps of his 80s reference-filled world. Initially unsure why the nearest cranium always ends up in his mouth, he soon learns about his past through playable flashbacks, while an evil corporation unleashes a riot-inducing green mist on the town in the present.The dual narrative conveys the closeness of a group of friends that experienced a traumatic childhood, and its 2D hand-drawn feel of the characters on the smooth unity-rendered 3D backgrounds gives it a gruesome cartoon look.

Rays zombie army can be made up of 4 different types of zombie (standard, dogs, assassins and muscle-bound beasts) each with their own strengths and weaknesses and their own assigned button, allowing you to send them off to attack different targets at the same time. You can also group your team together when you need to stealth past guards and shield against oncoming attacks. This gameplay loop is relatively repetitive but deepens as you progress the story and unlock extra zombies for your army. It even requires some strategic thinking when you have to fight a map full of enemies and obstacles.

The action represents the largest part of the gameplay and is interspersed with puzzle and stealth sections. The puzzle sections generally consist of simple switch-based mechanisms and are integrated brilliantly into the levels, such as uncoverable areas that only dogs can discover or buttons that need to be pushed with a severed arm (ala Evil Dead) while moving along on a conveyer belt. Stealth, on the other hand, is unpolished by comparison with enemy detection distances different from the view distance line shown on the screen and bugs that revive a defeated enemy.

Unexpectedly, its the smaller sections of gameplay that give the title its personality. Scenes that use timing-based rhythm in a Karate Kid-esquetrainingscene has you karate chopping and blocking dodgeballs while another has you sending traders on a trading floor to buy or sell shares. Unfortunately, these and the 1980s characters, Mr.T and Aliens Ellen are utilized far too sparingly despite the games reliance on 1980s references. They would have also been great replacements for the standard-fare bosses currently on offer.

The games soundtrack is overflowing with addictive 1980s charm and largely excellent atmospheric tracks, but the tracks themselves are quite short, which means they start to lose their appeal by the 4th and 5th loops during long or repeated levels.

So pervasive and overbearing are the games faults, that it cant help but turn the overall experience into a negative one. The most immediate are in the form of the script and gibberish speech which are to put it bluntly awful. The script tries to be funny and tragic at the same time and often falls short in both. Combine that with the off-putting gibberish that doesnt even match the tone of the text and characters facial expressions and it makes going through the conversations far harder than it should be. A voice cast may have been too expensive for their budget, but even beeping sounds (aka Ace Attorney) would have been a vast improvement.

With a game that aims to be irreverent, its quite hard to tell whether inconsistencies are intentional features in a mish-mash of 80s glory or a lack of focus. Im of the latter opinion, however, as the game has too many competing ideas to achieve anything great. If you cut down on the story of Ray and his group of friends, removed the gibberish voices and added extra depth to the gameplay such as customizable zombies and playable 80s characters, then its key strengths might have shone through a bit more.

While its possible to dismiss the prior complaints as personal preference, youll soon come up against technical issues that even fans cant ignore the numerous progression-halting bugs, which force you to restart and do the level all over again.

So, while Rays The Dead has an interesting and unique gameplay mechanic, its hard to recommend it in its current state. And although its80s references and zombie themecaptured a niche audience on Kickstarter, its difficult to say whether this inconsistent effort could appeal to a larger group even when its issues have been fixed.

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Review: Ray's The Dead - Movies Games and Tech

Galactic Civilizations III is free on the Epic Games Store this week – PC Invasion

I dont know about you, but I had a blast quite literally with last weeks free game on the Epic Games Store. Epic offered up the 2017 release Star Wars Battlefront 2, which allowed for some sweet space warfare on Battlefield-sized levels. This week somewhat continues in that vein with a free RTS title called Galactic Civilizations III.You have from now through January 28 at 11 AM ET to claim this game, so dont dawdle.

The RTS genre is admittedly past its heyday in terms of popularity, but that hasnt stopped developers from making some excellent contributions to the ecosystem. Galactic Civilizations III isnt terribly old either, as it was released in 2015. Okay, thats a little old, but games from that time period still support a lot of great modern features and graphics, so if youre remotely interested in Galactic Civilizations III, you should definitely pick it up while its free. This particular game is from developer Stardock Entertainment, which owns a host of other popular RTS franchises including Sins of a Solar Empire, Ashes of the Singularity, Star Control, and more. These developers are no amateurs when it comes to real-time strategy games.

Galactic Civilizations III features some complex systems that give the game a great deal of life and immersion. You take on the role of a commander in a galaxy where humanity finds itself suddenly among competing alien races. Youll use a little diplomacy, espionage, and good ol galactic warfare to expand your empire and indulge in unchecked power.

This title totes a long list of selling points, specifically with its replay value and customization options. In addition to building your own ships to let you seemingly branch universes, the game also features a lot of recognizable nods to other popular sci-fi franchises. I noticed the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars in addition to a ship that looked right out of the UNSC fleet from Halo. Theres a lot to see and master in Galactic Civilizations III, so we highly recommend you download it and check it out for yourself. Youll only need a modest gaming PC to play this game and about 15 GBs of space to store it. If you like what you see, theres also a whole lot of DLC that Epic typically discounts during the giveaway weeks.

Theres no way youll come close to mastering Galactic Civilizations III in the span of just one week. However, you may still be wondering what free game will come next to the Epic Games Store. Dandara: Trials of Fear Edition is a complete package of Metroidvanian goodness that should satisfy any fan of the genre. You can learn a little more about it from our previous coverage, but well be sure to talk about it more when it becomes free next week.

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Galactic Civilizations III is free on the Epic Games Store this week - PC Invasion

The state of VR in 2021 – PC Gamer

VR may not have completely revolutionized the gaming industry, or forever changed the way we interact with each other, watch movies and TV, conduct meetings, do our jobs, or any of the other over-the-top predictions that arrived when VR tried to go mainstream in the early-to-mid 2010s.

The hype, as often happens with hype, didn't match reality (virtual or otherwise). If anything, we're still probably a decade away from VR being truly affordable and convenient enough to be a mass-market item rather than a fairly niche interest.

But just because it hasn't taken over the world doesn't mean it's a failure, and it's clear VR isn't going away. The amount of money sunk into virtual reality, billions from Facebook and Valve and Sony and other companies invested in making VR gear and software, means we'll keep seeing more advanced equipment being released, lower prices, more comfort and ease of use, and lots and lots (and lots!) of VR games in the future.

Plus, with the right headset and the right game, VR is a complete blast and a wholly different gaming experience than you get on a traditional monitor. VR could still have a bright and exciting futurethat future is just a bit further off than some people expected.

2020 was a big year for VR! While there's arguably still not a single "killer app" for VR yet, we saw the release of some of the most impressive VR games ever made, as well as an excellent new headset from Oculus, the Quest 2. But the games and the headset brought along a few major disappointments, too.

Probably the biggest VR event last year was the release of Half-Life: Alyx, the full-length VR game from Valve and the first Half-Life game since 2007. Half-Life: Alyx was a fantastic game and a triumphant return to the series, with the only downside (a rather big one) that the majority of Half-Life fans couldn't play it because it was VR-only. And most gamers still don't own a headset.

The run-up to the release of Half-Life: Alyx wasn't without its problems, either. There was a heavy demand for Valve's expensive (and excellent) Index VR gear, which quickly sold out both online and in stores. And the Index is still pretty hard to get ahold of even today due to supply problems related to the pandemic. But those who got to play Alyx (even on a tethered Quest headset or a Vive) were immersed in a thrilling return to the Half-Life universe: many fans bought VR gear for the first time just to play it.

Alyx wasn't the only great VR game of last year: Phasmophobia's co-op ghost hunting game was a perfect fit for VR, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners is a challenging survival game with lots of brains, Population: One is a solid VR battle royale, Star Wars Squadrons has VR support, and Microsoft Flight Simulator added support in December. Somewhat disappointing, however, was Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, another highly anticipated full-length VR game that, unfortunately, didn't quite deliver for critics or fans.

In terms of hardware, Oculus had a big year as well, though not all of it was good. The Oculus Quest 2 was released, and we've found it to be an excellent headsetlighter, faster, and less expensive than the original Quest (which itself is still great). The resolution, power, and fidelity isn't as advanced as Valve's Index or the Vive Pro, but The Quest makes up for it by being so dang easy to use, an absolute breeze when compared to the fiddly setups from other headsets. Just pop it on and you can be playing a game within seconds.

But Facebook dropped a bomb on that party back in August by requiring Oculus users to have a Facebook account to use the headset. This was extremely unwelcome news at a time when Facebook is facing heavy criticism for the spread of misinformation and hate speech, continued privacy concerns, and is under scrutiny by the FTC for anticompetitive conduct. (And that's just for starters. There's a damn long Wikipedia page about how much Facebook sucks in this regard.)

Needing a Facebook account just to use an Oculus headset for gaming hasn't been received well by the VR community especially since, even if you do have a Facebook account, there stillmight be problems getting it to work. That puts a big damper on what is otherwise a great and relatively inexpensive piece of VR hardware, and despite the uproar from the community we haven't seen any indication that Facebook is going to backtrack from that requirement. Booo.

It sure looks that way. Even without factoring in Half-Life: Alyx, Valve says VR games sales grew 32% in 2020 (and you can add another 39% when you do include Alyx). Valve also reports it saw 1.7 million new VR users on Steam last year, and a total of 104 million VR sessions, which is an increase of 30% in total playtime over the year before.

It's worth pointing out that those VR sessions, according to Valve, only average about 32 minutes, which may be due to the issues of comfort and convenience that still remain while using VR. Typically, that's about as long as I care to use it myself before I need a break, and many users still experience issues with motion sickness or headaches after even short VR sessions.

Facebook isn't quite as candid with it's stats as Valve is, but the Quest 2 sold more than five times as much as the original Quest headset. The original Quest was still in demand this year, too, and at times it could be difficult to find in stock. The Rift and Quest 2 also experienced occasional delays for those ordering it around the holidays.

As for games coming out in 2021, nothing on the horizon is quite as massive or exciting as Alyx or Medal of Honor, but there are still quite a few cool games to look forward to.

A sequel to 2017's acclaimed VR adventure Lone Echo is due out in 2021, a Sam & Max VR game was announced, there's Crytek's The Climb 2, Sniper Elite VR, and plenty of others on the way, with more sure to be announced later in the year. (Hitman 3 supports VR on PlayStation, but not on PC yetfingers crossed it'll get VR support at some point in the future, though). Not to mention the unending stream of smaller indie games, puzzle games, and VR experiences that flood onto Steam on a daily basis.

We're still waiting for the big breakthrough that will convince the majority of gamers to get a VR headset. And that breakthrough most likely isn't going to come in 2021, or 2022, or even in the next several years. It's not just the hunt for a killer app: cost, comfort, and convenience are the biggest hurdles for VR that keep it out of the mainstream and, while the technology is making steps in that direction, it hasn't yet made that one giant leap.

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The state of VR in 2021 - PC Gamer

Love Among the Shadows: Beautiful Puzzle Platformer ‘Eternal Hope’ Launches on PC – GamingLyfe Network

Going to the ends of the earth for love is one thing, but would you venture beyond them? Thats the question posed by the gorgeous platformerEternal Hope, which invites players on a darkly surreal journey into the depths of the Shadow World following its launchon Steamtoday.

Taking stylistic and gameplay inspirations from the likes ofOri and the Blind ForestandLimbo,the world ofEternal Hopeis richly detailed, utterly beautiful and yet fraught with quiet danger. Consumed by the quest to rescue his cherished love, protagonist Tibi steps into the purgatory-like Shadow World where deadly pitfalls and ancient mysteries lurk at every turn.

Using Tibis newfound ability to shift between dimensions, players will uncover secrets not meant for the eyes of the living as they traverse evocative landscapes and encounter the Shadow Worlds diverse cast of supernatural entities. Which are friends and which are foes? Who can help Tibi to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles, and who is out to hurt him?Eternal Hopeplayers will confront these quandaries and more as the games unique story unfolds.

Set across mystic forests and hidden caves, ancient cities and imposing mountains,Eternal Hopeis a truly stunning debut PC title from up-and-coming indie studio Doublehit Games that will resonate with all fans of sumptuous 2D artwork, eerie vibes and Ghibli-esque creatures.

Publisher Kwalee led by Codemasters co-founder David Darling alongside an experienced team, including those who have previously held senior roles at the likes of Ubisoft and Team17 selectedEternal Hopeto be the first externally-developed PC game released following the firms recent move into PC and console game publishing.

Indie studio Doublehit Games initially self-publishedEternal Hopein 2020, earning plaudits from both players and critics. The game was also awarded the Best Brazilian Game prize at the IGN Brasil Game Show.

The qualities ofEternal Hopeshone through from the first time we saw it, said Kwalee CEO David Darling, who knows a thing or two about identifying great titles having previously launched classic gaming series such asDizzy,Micro Machines, Operation Flashpoint and DIRT(formerlyColin McRae Rally) during his time at Codemasters. The team at Doublehit Games have created an excellent game with a wonderful sense of style and were excited to be working with them to publish it.

Angelo Parodi, co-founder and artist at Doublehit Games, commented: Eternal Hope has been a real labour of love for us and were always excited and proud to see players entering its world for the first time. We believe thatEternal Hopeis a special game and with Kwalees backing, we cant wait for even more gamers to experience it.

To buy, wishlist or find out more information onEternal Hope, please visit the gamesSteam pagewhere it is discounted 20% throughout the launch weekend.

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Love Among the Shadows: Beautiful Puzzle Platformer 'Eternal Hope' Launches on PC - GamingLyfe Network

Doom Eternal: The most overlooked game of 2020 – Sportskeeda

2016 marked the return of id Software - the fabled game-makers behind 1993's Doom. With the 2016 title, the studio brought back speed and ferocity to a stagnating genre.

Doom (2016), in many ways, was a return to form for id Software, who announced to the world that the Doomslayer was ready to dominate the genre again.

Instead of being a reboot, Doom (2016) was a continuation of the series, and it didn't rely on users knowing the older games or the lore attached to it. The result was a fast-paced and violent video game that could have easily alienated younger audiences who are more attuned to the formulaic arena shooters.

Instead, Doom introduced all gamers to the roots of the FPS genre. Fans immediately hailed the game as a breath of fresh air in a style that had grown stale. Doom (2016) took audiences on a visceral and adrenaline-fueled ride through its hellish world.

To top the success and gameplay of Doom (2016) and catch lightning in a bottle again would be a monumentally difficult task. But that is precisely what id Software did in 2020.

After 2016, fans knew that id Software had a winning formula. The quality of the sequel was all but assured. However, id Software wasn't satisfied delivering more of the same. Instead, the studio chose to experiment and introduce new elements to the game and take even more risks in pacing and combat systems.

But the game was released to overwhelmingly positive reception from critics and fans. Many were happy to see the studio reject a formulaic approach and praised the game as a jolt of energy that, even though it harkened back to the franchise's heyday, introduced plenty of new and original elements.

From an almost arcade-like aesthetic of item pick-ups and a deliberately in-your-face approach, Doom Eternal blended the rebellious streak of the early 90s with the modern gloss of the 2010s.

Here we take a look at some of the key areas in which Doom Eternal excelled and how exactly it could.

Players have a decent idea of what to expect from Doom Eternal because of Doom (2016). Fast combat returned, with Doomslayer practically bouncing around the arena at a blisteringly fast pace.

Every attack by the player has a visible effect on enemies, with skin and bones peeling off their bodies with each hit. Making for an extremely clever yet visceral visual representation of the enemy's health.

With the Grappling Hook addition, traversal was made even more fun and added plenty of fresh elements to the platforming section. More than that, the Hook made each combat sequence even more fast-paced, with the Doomslayer being able to zip across areas in a blinding flash.

By far, the most genius design choice was the scarcity of ammo, which ramped things up in terms of difficulty and encouraged players to play differently.

This time around, players would have to switch weapons always to have ammo at hand constantly. This worked on multiple levels, as on the one hand, the player would have to gain mastery with each weapon and exactly how to get the best out of it in any given situation.

Moreover, players must rely on other methods to replenish their ammo outside of Glory Kills. That is precisely where the Chainsaw is useful.

Sawing weaker enemies with the Chainsaw results in easy ammo drops and ensures that a player always has the right tool at hand to tackle each combat sequence. Combining the Flamethrower's abilities and the Chainsaw to replenish both ammo and armor represents a kind of synergy that is unmatched in modern gaming.

Also, setting hoards of lower-level enemies on fire using the flamethrower is cathartic.

While that statement might raise eyebrows, it might not be too far from what Doom Eternal feels like on greater difficulties. Right off the bat, there is no reason for players to experience the game on lower difficulties. The challenge is precisely what opens the game up to experimentation by the player.

Although the combat scenes are challenging, Doom Eternal provides players with the tools they need to get past every stage. Developers have ensured that players can complete the levels with the resources provided in-game.

Each combat encounter is a puzzle-solving game that involves making rapid decisions with escalating difficulty. Each enemy type can be eliminated with one bullet because their weak spots are comically highlighted.

For example, Arachnotron's tail is practically begging for the player to take a shot at it at all times. Once the tail is gone, the Arachnotron can't lob all sorts of projectiles at the player. The Doomslayer can move in for a quick kill.

Similarly, every enemy telegraphs its weak point, and it is up to the player to discover and exploit it. This is where Doom Eternal truly shines, as it not only encourages users to play fast and smart but also promotes weapon-switching.

For instance, the Possessed Soldier's enemy type's shields are easily destroyed when players use a Plasma Rifle. This type of weapon's effectiveness is spread across almost every enemy type, making for an intense combat loop that never gets old.

At all times, the player must be aware of the tools at their disposal and how to get the best out of them in each situation. Killing lower-level enemies in a flash of violence and shotgun shells wouldn't be the smart choice. The better option would be to let them stay alive until the player desperately needs ammo and shields.

This kind of synergy between each gameplay system leads to Doom Eternal feeling like one of the most effective all-time games. Nearly every gameplay element is utilized in each combat sequence, effectively taking away all sense of fatigue or repetition.

To quote Joe Rogan, Doom Eternal can be boiled down to "high-level problem-solving with dire physical consequences."

As the player strafes and dodges the many projectiles on the screen, the sense of synergy never fades away. Each system leans carefully on each other to create one cohesive gameplay loop that gets better, faster, and stronger with each combat sequence.

No conversation about Doom Eternal is possible without mentioning Mick Gordon's excellent soundtrack. Despite the controversy post-launch, the soundtrack itself is a good reason why Doom Eternal works on so many levels.

Rather than simply settling into the background, Gordon's 9-string guitars, powerful synths, and ear-shattering drums are always in the player's face. Doom Eternal sounds exactly how one would imagine it to be - pure metal and electronic cacophony.

The soundtrack is as brutal as the violence on the screen. No words can do justice to the feeling a player gets as they clear an entire arena of demons with "BFG 10000" playing in the background.

It becomes virtually impossible to put down the controller because it pushes a player to fight aggressively until the last demon has been stomped into the ground.

One would wonder, with so many things to love about Doom Eternal, why did it not bag the coveted GOTY award, getting more publications and award shows. The short answer is that 2020 was possibly one of the most stacked years in gaming regarding quality.

One must remember that Doom Eternal was one of the first big AAA game releases of 2020 and already set a high bar. As the months passed, players got to experience instant classics like Ghost of Tsushima, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, The Last of Us Part II, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake.

Therefore, Doom Eternal not winning Game of the Year is not a statement of its quality itself. But rather, a reminder of just how many great games players were witness to in 2020.

While some would choose to consider that if Doom Eternal had a later release date, maybe perhaps more close to November, it would have stayed more fresh in the public's eye and stood a better chance.

But as it stands, all of that will remain conjecture and an endless series of "What could have been?" At the end of the day, what does Game of the Year mean apart from a public acknowledgment of the game's quality? Therefore, Doom Eternal need only be a player's own personal Game of the Year for it to be every bit a masterpiece that it is.

Note: This article is subjective and reflects the opinion of the writer.

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Doom Eternal: The most overlooked game of 2020 - Sportskeeda

What The Critics Are Saying About Nuts – Looper

Jupiter Hadley of Indie Games Plus also discussed the repetitiveness of setting up cameras. Hadley encountered an early version of Nuts as well, and she explained that she "couldn't shake the feeling that something more was going to happen." The growing mystery of Nuts serves as the driving force behind the game. The official description of Nuts notes that as the game progresses, things "get weirder and weirder," suggesting that the game holds a secret that earlier versions may not have fully included.

Heather Alexandra at Kotaku encouraged gamers to pick up Nuts and give it a try. "The process feels like a genuine hunt and there's a sly sense of satisfaction that comes getting closer to victory," Alexandra explained. Though Alexandra also reviewed an early version of Nuts, the observations stand, as gameplay remains relatively unchanged.

In theIGN review for the full version of Nuts, Simon Cardy admitted "Although I enjoyed the flow of methodical and relatively unchallenging puzzles, by its final chapter I was left wanting more variation." Cardy's criticism did not overshadow their enjoyment of Nuts, and they dubbed it a "relaxing puzzle adventure with an intriguing mystery inside its shell."

Nuts is available now on Apple Arcade and launches on Steam and Nintendo Switch Feb. 4, 2021. Much like Firewatch and other atmospheric puzzle games, Nuts might just win a spot amongst the indie greats.

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What The Critics Are Saying About Nuts - Looper

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