In this overview we discuss the best games you can play this late summer on your Xbox One (X), PlayStation 4 (Pro) and Nintendo Switch. This overview includes The Last of Us: Part II, Paper Mario: The Origami King and Ghost of Tsushima.
Best games – The Last of Us: Part II
AAA video games (games from major developers) are not listed known for their good stories. How different is that with Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us franchise. The exclusive PlayStation 4 title The Last of Us: Part II is the sequel to the first part that was released for PlayStation 3 at the time. In both games the story is the most important element and the gameplay takes second place. Without revealing anything about the story: the characters are more human than ever. And you can constantly wonder out loud who the bad guy actually is.
Context is key. And that is very true for the situations where you end up in The Last of Us: Part II. It provides more than enough tension, and it is badly needed. Because the gameplay is subordinate to the story and you notice that in all kinds of aspects. The way you play has barely changed since the first part and sometimes you literally walk your face against the wall to see where to go (or when you are looking for resources). Players also get little or no freedom of movement with regard to tactics or other options.
Because the story is so important (and quite extensive and well-developed), and the direction is tight. you also have little freedom of movement in a literal sense. But that’s the nature of the bug. Nevertheless, it feels strange that you initially get a large game world that you can explore at your leisure and then switch at a much faster pace between (often dark and oppressive) locations. But the gameplay is not deep enough to carry the parts between the story on his shoulders, unfortunately.
Part II tries very hard to transcend the typical nature of a video game. And sometimes it passes itself by when protagonist Ellie suddenly has trouble killing important characters, but just before throwing a Molotov cocktail into a group of enemies. In addition, there are also some bosses (the most video gamey part), which often amount to trial and error – not very exciting. In terms of story, humanity and production value one of the best games ever, but the gameplay here leaves something to be desired.
Paper Mario: The Origami King
The Paper Mario series has passed its peak for some time now. The GameCube version, called The Thousand Year Door, was so good that it was hard for developers to get over it. Super Paper Mario on the Wii therefore already took a different direction and with the 3DS and Wii U versions the fate was sealed: the series is not what it once was. It is now also clear why that is. The developer is not allowed to add unique and characteristic features to Toads, so that much of the charm is lost.
In addition, it was determined by higher that the story in Paper Mario is not that important and that the new games, from the 3DS version, if possible. must lean on characters from Super Mario World (from the SNES). That has had a negative impact on previous titles, an impact that is still visible with the Paper Mario: The Origami King on the Nintendo Switch. There are some unique Toads, but they are roughly all based on previous iterations. You can feel that the experience is no longer what it used to be.
Paper Mario: The Orgami King feels a bit blasé because of all those decisions. We miss cool and unique teammates and we miss the creative iterations of existing characters. In addition, the “rpg” part has been virtually removed from the game and nowadays the series feels more like an adventure title where you walk from point a to point b while being transported through the story. There are few things you can influence: you can only make a few adjustments for tools and some properties for the combat.
Looking at Paper Mario: The Origami King as a standalone game, there is a lot to love. . Graphically the game looks beautiful, the dialogues are very humorous and the puzzle element in the fights ensures that you are constantly on the edge of your seat. You’ll visit cool locations, solve contextual puzzles and face enemies we’ve never seen before. Paper Mario is a series that always delivers cool games, but it is clear that the games are getting a little more shallow.
The official F1 games have been released annually for a few years now. This can sometimes mean that there is not much new, but with F1 2020 there are many novelties added that make the game feel fresh. One of the biggest changes this year is the new My Team mode, in addition to the usual Driver Career. In My Team, in addition to racing for your team, you also have to run your own team. This new mode is a big reason the game feels like new and in our opinion is an extremely valuable addition.
It is really cool to be a manager of your team and get the updates to your team good (or bad) see grab. For example, at the start of your career you have to choose sponsors, liveries, motorcycles and second drivers. These things can of course all change during the seasons as you progress. Of course you still have to pay attention to R&D to improve your car, but that is also more extensive. Gradually you expand various facilities with better equipment and therefore you can purchase better R&D upgrades.
In addition, the menus have also been improved, making F1 2020 a lot more accessible. The new tracks that make their appearance this year drive very well. The tight twists and turns through the Zandvoort dunes don’t seem very suitable for modern F1 cars, but they are very challenging to tame. Hanoi, on the other hand, has long straights and large roundabout, which isn’t a bad thing at all. If more developers would pay that much attention to their racing games, it would make us very happy.
In addition to these major updates, a few other things have also been improved. For example, the HUD has been adjusted so that it looks more like the real one. That gives a little more authenticity. In addition, you can finally enjoy split screen racing again in F1 2020. A fashion that we had to miss for a few years, but is fortunately back (and as far as we are concerned is just mandatory in a racing game). The official F1 games get a little better every year, but with the addition of My Team, the game takes a big step forward this year.
Ghost of Tsushima
The PlayStation 4 has got some cool new games the past generation. In any case, Sony is doing much better in terms of exclusives than Microsoft (the largest competitor), but that does not mean that they are all of the God of War (2018) level. There are also games that are really worth your time, but that you can play in between or every now and then for a few hours. Ghost of Tsushima is one such game in which you take on the role of one of the last samurai from the year 1274, as a defender of Japan.
In Ghost of Tsushima you take on the Mongol Empire, which the island Tsushima invades and makes life miserable for the local population. It’s up to you to take on the army that is wreaking havoc. Not by being honorable, but by working from the shadows. You must leave the samurai traditions for what they are and take the path of the Ghost to reach your goal now. That all sounds very cool in design, but in fact the game doesn’t do much with it. But you know, it doesn’t matter.
You could say that Ghost of Tsushima is some kind of old-fashioned Assassin’s Creed in Japan. And by that we mean the era of Assassin’s Creed 2. There’s nothing wrong with that, since it’s a fantastic game. But you are doing the game a bit short, as there are cool battles that really did not occur in the old Italy of the fifteenth. Moreover, and it has to be said, this game looks amazing, especially when you play on a PlayStation 4 Pro and an OLED television.
Ghost of Tsushima is the best game that developer Sucker Punch has made. There is a lot to do, there is a great fighting system with swords and the gameplay remains quite satisfying. Nevertheless, you should also take into account that there is little depth in the game and that there are also few really interesting locations, so you may quickly get bored of it. But if you just keep it short, Ghost of Tsushima can keep you busy for hours, really hours.
51 Worldwide Games
Nintendo DS owners will probably remember the game: 52 Game classics. The title of the game is quite literal, given that on one cartridge you got access to, well, 52 game classics, which somehow took advantage of various features of the DS. Years later, and two generations of handhelds on, Nintendo is trying to repeat this success with 51 Worldwide Games for Nintendo Switch. This game offers 51 board games, ranging from thousands of years old to modern classics.
The game offers a huge variety of board games, all of which you play in tabletop mode. So you have to put the Nintendo Switch on the table, while you operate the games in different ways. There are board games, strategy games and games where you can relax. Each game is also very nicely designed. The developer has paid attention to all kinds of details, such as the rolling of dice and the way marbles shine. It is not lifelike, but it is clear that there is a lot of love in it.
You can of course get the old and trusted card and board games, but with 51 Worldwide Games you also get to know games where you might still never heard of it. And that guarantees an evening of fun. In some cases, up to four players can participate on one Nintendo Switch. The biggest disadvantage of this game is that you cannot play on TV, but fortunately the Switch offers other titles for that. Also some games are sometimes very easy, but therefore also easily accessible.
Best games – Dungeons 3
Sometimes games are released that really are not intended for every gamer. They are specific games within a certain genre that only appeal to a part of those enthusiasts. And apparently they are often successful enough to generate a new sequel. One such franchise is Dungeons. It’s a quirky dungeon management simulator in which you – you guessed it – are tasked with designing your own dungeons. Instead of the player, this time you are the designer; you control what happens in your dungeon.
As a dungeon builder, you control the monsters and the devious traps you park in it. This way you can influence what adventurers experience in your world. That’s not the only thing you can do here, because you can also explore and take over the overworld just because you can. The icing on the cake is the cooperative mode, where you complete challenges together with a friend. Especially gamers who are still familiar with titles like the old Dungeon Keeper will feel extremely at home with Dungeons 3.
It should be noted that the game sometimes has some performance problems. Moreover, artificial intelligence does not always seem very smart. However, they are not elements that really get in the way of fun and dry humor. What can get in the way is the operation via the controller; it does not seem to be optimized. However, the gameplay is deep enough and is rock solid. So if you want to know what it is like to be at the controls of a dungeon, this is now the game you want to play.
Assetto Corsa Competizione
Assetto Corsa Competizione is the fan’s spin-off -favorite simulation racing game Assetto Corsa. But where the predecessor had a much wider range of cars, Competizione is only focused on GT3 cars. Assetto Corsa has been out on consoles for a few years now, and Competizione is now joining its older brother. You can see it as a disappointment that Assetto Corsa Competizione has less content. Because the shift to a single racing discipline means that Competizione will lose many redundant races and racetracks.
But the focus on this one school of virtual racing has been a good choice. The GT World Challenge races, formerly known as Blancpain GT, are a fantastic challenge. They can be long races, but when you get into the flow of racing they are over in no time. With all those long GT races, the handling of the cars and the overall feel of the races must of course be good. And as you would expect from a game called Assetto Corsa, Competizione is all right.
The racing is authentic and gives you everything you need to keep you busy. keep up with the busy work of a GT3 race. There’s a virtual spotter to help you with traffic, a range of gauges so you can keep track of all the important things and dynamic time and weather conditions so you have to fight conditions and the rest of the field. The audio also gets a nice mention. It is really cool. The noises coming from the cars give goosebumps every time.
Unfortunately, there is one flaw to be admitted. Of course you prefer to play these kind of racing sims with a racing wheel, but Competizione has great difficulty recognizing most racing wheels. It is possible, after a long trial, to find a good setup, but that should work out well in a game like this. Despite that downside, Assetto Corsa Competizione on consoles is a great racing sim that, if you work well for it, will give you a big smile. Recommended for all racers looking for a challenge.