In this overview, we discuss the best games you can play this winter on your Xbox One (X), PlayStation 4 (Pro) and Nintendo Switch. In this overview you will find Final Fantasy VII Remake, Moving Out and Moto GP 20.
Final Fantasy VII Remake
Many fans of the RPG genre agree that Final Fantasy VII is one of the best role playing games was ever made. Whether or not you’ve played the PlayStation 1 game, chances are you’ve heard of it. The fact that publisher Square Enix officially announced the remake years ago was one of the best surprises gamers worldwide could wish for. Their favorite game, but in glorious 4k and high dynamic range. The big question now is: did this become the game we had in mind?
To make Final Fantasy VII work in modern times, a lot of things had to change. This is how the fighting system has been overhauled: you don’t fight in traditional turn-based battles, but actively participate in the action. That is to say: you control the character directly. There is still something of the old system in it. To use special attacks or magic, you must have (up to two) filled bars. You fill it by attacking. This system is not new, but it remains inventive, intuitive and a much appreciated part.
In addition to the graphics, the story has also changed considerably. The original game, which came on three CDs, had a story that would keep you busy for hours. Final Fantasy VII Remake lasts about 40 hours and basically embodies the first few hours of the original video game. Sometimes the story feels a bit smeared. There are also many gameplay parts added that are funny in themselves, but generally take the momentum out of the story. Also, some characters, like Jesse, have been assigned a much larger role.
It’s not that we’re here to edit those purists who claim Final Fantasy VII is perfect. It is and remains a fantastic game that needed little to be changed. We are happy with the changes in the combat system and graphics, but the additions to the story and the extra gameplay do not always add something in our eyes. If Square Enix had stayed a bit closer to the core, we might have seen much more of the original narrative. Now we are left with a black hole after the game.
Moving Out is a funny physics-based puzzle game packed with action. You take on the role of a group of movers (or you work on your own, of course that is also possible) and you are tasked with lugging all kinds of stuff from your home. No, this doesn’t sound like something we like to do in our spare time, but we still have a lot of fun with the game. Because the environment, the characters and the stuff are physics-based (and therefore respond to each other as it would in real life, for the most part then), the gameplay feels nice and rough.
The goal is to move everything as quickly as possible. It is therefore important that you work as efficiently as possible. It is best to do this on your own, but then you may have to spend a little longer. When you are with your friends, it goes much faster – but then good coordination is important again. It’s like moving in real life, but in this case nobody gets tired, you can drink beer in the meantime (that makes the game even more fun) and nobody has to pay for the TV and window that just broke, Erik.
Trials of Mana
A lot of RPGs appeared in the second quarter of 2020. Trials of Mana is one of them. And this is a special release. Trials of Mana was originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3 in 1995. This third installment in the classic Mana series was first released in the West earlier this year as part of Collection of Mana for the Nintendo Switch and includes the full, high-definition remake. The game now features real-time combat, stunning 3D graphics and updated gameplay.
The game tells the story of six heroes battling the evil forces that threaten a world where the Mana power is weakened. You shape your own adventure by putting together a team of three unique characters, with whom you can go on an adventure together. This video game also comes from the stables of Square Enix, which has recently focused on nostalgia. That doesn’t mean the game is as drastically different as Final Fantasy VII. No, instead Trials of Mana remains fairly true to the original.
For some players, this probably means that the game is a bit boring in some areas. But that is really personal taste. It is clear that Square Enix has also given a lot of love and attention to this. The combat system takes some getting used to, but ultimately satisfying. There are some problems. For example, the camera does not always work well and sometimes we come across boring dialogues, but otherwise this is an RPG that you do not want to miss. Leaning on nostalgia doesn’t really work, because the game was not released here in 1995, unfortunately.
The MotoGP game series has been released as a fixed series for several years now, just like some other sports games. Developer Milestone has also become the expert in motorbike racing in games and MotoGP 20, the latest in that list, only confirms that. The engines can be controlled better in this latest iteration than in previous years. The way you can attack corners now feels better than ever before. This means that the learning curve for novice drivers is slightly higher, but that is not a problem.
Fortunately, the novice driver can also indicate how much assistance the game provides. During career mode, you can also upgrade the bikes by exploring new parts during free practice. You can then do various tests and thus expand your research department with new managers and technicians. Every employee has a different quality, so choose them carefully. It’s a nice system and it makes it seem like you’re a real team. And you have to think a bit more while playing.
The graphics have also improved a lot on the track, but unfortunately not next to the track. The bikes and racers in suits look a lot better. Every detail on the bikes is clearly visible and the racers move well on the bikes. But the environment next to the track has not yet enjoyed a graphical upgrade. But that should not spoil the fun, because you are much more on the track than next to it. Plus, you go down the road at a natural pace, making it somewhat less important too.
Then there’s also a historical mode, which lets you take control of countless famous riders in a series of challenges that are refreshed every day. . Winning these special races will earn you an in-game currency, which can then be used to unlock more riders and teams. Fans of the sport are sure to enjoy collecting everything. Except for a few graphic points, MotoGP 20 is again a top title to race with. The engines steer better than ever and there is now plenty to do.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
Shulk may only know many gamers as characters from the Super Smash Bros .series from Nintendo. But the character thus comes from the Xenoblade Chronicles game originally launched on Wii. If you missed all that back then, you now get a second chance to play the amazing Japanese role playing game on your Nintendo Switch. In the game, you are tasked with taking on an unstoppable mechanical monster. You do that of course with the sword with which you can see the future.
Xenoblade Chronicles is a fantastic RPG that also has some demand from players. You need some strategic insight and must be able to visualize all kinds of menus. In addition, you should also have time to explore the giant world and complete the story. Lovers of the genre are undoubtedly mouth watering because of this reissue and that is fully justified in our opinion. Developer Monolith had one task and that was: don’t ruin this. And we can say that the game really isn’t screwed up.
In Xenoblade Chronicles, you don’t just take on the mechanical evil called Mechon. You can also take on wild life. The creatures in the big world range from the dead to the dead. If you do not want to fight against those monsters, because they are simply too strong, you have to make sure that you do not take striking steps. Furthermore, you can go wild with the members of your party when it comes to equipment, weapons and other improvements. It is a Japanese RPG as it was once intended.
If you are still unsure whether you should pick up this game or not, we can recommend that you just do that. Also for the players who played the original on Wii at the time. There are not only small improvements that make the game more pleasant, but the graphics have also improved considerably. In addition, there is even extra content that you have not found before, so that there is more than enough for new and old players to enjoy. Moreover, it is impressive that the basis of the game is still solid.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens
Shantae is a game series that we already have previously covered on Homecinema Magazine. It is a so-called Metroidvania game. In these types of games (the name is derived from the game series Metroid and Castlevania) you explore levels in which you keep walking back and forth, in which new areas open up after finding new properties. The Shantae series may look colorful, but the franchise is known for its challenge. But also for the fun you have while playing – just as important.
Also Shantae and the Seven Sirens has a large, non-linear, connected world in which the half-spirit can show her new tricks. She has new dance moves and can transform right now, thanks to Fusion Magic. You visit different villages, crawl through many mazes and take on bosses who are not for the cat. This time there is also a system for collecting cards. With those cards you give Shantae different powers, so you can adjust her playing style.
Keep in mind that the adventure is not very long. However, there is a very cool adventure with some replayability. You can use other powers to challenge yourself. Shantae and the Seven Sirens has very nice visuals, a pleasant soundtrack and offers players quite a challenge. The game may not be at the level of predecessors Pirate’s Curse and Half-Genie Hero, but it is certainly an adventure that you as a fan of the series should not miss.