Games from June
July 03, 2021

Scarlet Nexus (PS5) - I'd been looking forward to this since it was announced. Really cool action RPG with fantastic & stylish combat. Basically plays like a simpler Devil May Cry with RPG stats and abilities. As you progress, you earn more abilities & powers to further expand your toolset. You can share party members psionic abilities for a brief time, and it's especially fun once you unlock the ability to combine them. It's gorgeous in 60fps too. Unfortunately the game has issues. Namely it's pretty padded out likely due to budget constraints. You end up revisiting areas often in the main story, and the full experience is split into 2 character campaigns that largely feel like remixes with a small amount of unique content. The side content is not good and mostly unrewarding (the squad bonding being an exception). The story is also unfortunately average at best, really goofy at times and filled with played out anime tropes. Even worse 75% of the cutscenes are still shots with talking character portraits. More flashy, animated cutscenes would have mitigated the lacking script. Namco hired a pretty well-regarded Japanese artist to do the creature designs and they're awesome. Took me about 20ish hours for my first playthrough and 10 more to finish the second character in NG+ Hard Mode. I would have preferred one story with better cutscenes and less filler, but you know the games media would have complained the game was too short. Well worth playing if you're into RPGs and character action. One of my favorite releases this year.

Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart (PS5) - Being hailed as the first TRUE PS5 game (I thought that was Returnal). I was NOT hyped for this at all. I've played the Ratchet and Clank remake only and wasn't impressed, and I'm not really big into platformers or shooters. It's entertaining and there's nothing overtly wrong with it. The presentation is amazing - basically playable Pixar. Level design is solid and has fantastic set pieces. It feels like a tech demo at times - jumping to different environments instantly through rifts was impressive at first, but it gets used too much. I get it - the SSD is fast. I literally had no clue who half the characters were, but the story was surprisingly endearing. Good for what it is but I'll likely never play it again.

Bloodborne (PS4) - I did a run between the latter two's release dates. Went with the Amygdala Arm as my main weapon. One of my favorite games but I seem to be rusty. I died about 13 times in my run - I can usually do better. A bit of a culture shock to go back to 30fps and long load times after playing some PS5. A remaster for PS5 has been rumored for the last year and I'd welcome it. I'd rather this game than Tsushima and Death Stranding. I've wanted Bloodborne in 60fps since PS4 Pro was announced. There's an unofficial mod for Pro, so it's not like it's impossible (it does cause glitches, so I can understand why it'd need a new release - it was never intended for higher framerates and From Soft are not the best programmers). Dualsense features and 3D audio would be really cool.

Resident Evil CODE: Veronica X HD (XBOX 360) - I forgot/didn't realize this HD remaster existed and recently learned it was backwards compatible with XBONE. I was a huge fan of classic Resident Evil growing up and Code Veronica was the one I have the least experience with. The last time I finished this, it was on the SEGA DREAMCAST when it was a relatively new game. I recall finding it disappointing and underwhelming namely because the story was really goofy (i.e. Matrix-inspired cutscenes, hammy villains, super Wesker, that goober Steve and his lust for Claire's flat polygonal booty), and the fact it was lacking mechanical enhancements from Nemesis. I actually had much more fun this time mainly because of nostalgia for this style of game and not feeling the need to directly compare it to RE3. It's very reminiscent of RE2 but just not as good. It does have issues - map layout can be a bit backtrack-heavy, very easy to miss good weapons and items in general or softlocking yourself with the inventory system during character swaps. Fun but probably the worst of the mainline classic games. I'd rather play this over RE6 though. Capcom must HATE this game. The PS4 version is upscaled PS2 emulation - couldn't even be bothered to port the HD version over. I wouldn't hold my breath for a remake.

honestgamer honestgamer - July 05, 2021 (01:15 PM)
It's funny how most people I know who write about games are always going on about how they don't have time for the bigger games and all that padding, but then when they sit down to write critical critiques, they fault games for not having enough content. It's not all the same people, of course, but I feel like there is some overlap. The old mentality that a $70 game should provide 70 hours of entertainment is probably never going to die off completely, even though it makes a lot less sense in an era when there are now way, way more games than anyone can ever hope to play. Time is the new premium, not money.

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