Oh how I love Animal Crossing! This is a franchise that I stumbled across on the Gamecube, and I am so happy to say that it has only got better and better as each new game has come out! As fans of the series find themselves counting down to the release of the next title, NewHorizons, I thought I should take the time to talk about my favourite game in the series so far: Animal Crossing: New Leaf.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Animal Crossing franchise, the games act as a sort of life simulation game. You are a human moving into a new town, which you will quickly notice is populated by sentient animals! There are 100s of different villages in Animal Crossing, but you can only have a small number of villagers at once. Some do decide to move away, leaving room for a new character to make an appearance!
There are many activities to keep you occupied in the games, such as fishing, bug catching, fossil collecting, donating exhibits to the museum to expand their collection, earning money to pay off your mortgage and expand your house, befriending your neighbour, and even connecting with friends and visiting their towns, or having them visit you! The game follows real time and has a full calendar year with all manner of events for you to take part in. No other game can claim to show off such a great spirit of community!
New Leaf challenged the conventions of the series by saying goodbye to Tortimer, the long-time mayor across the series, and instead you end up becoming mayor! As such, you will have a lot more control over what your town looks like, through the use of Public Works Projects. You will have a list of available projects, and these can range from something as small as a lamppost to something as big as a café!
Are you thinking that the burden of being mayor sounds like too much? Well don’t you worry about that! New Leaf introduced one of the nicest, sweetest characters in the world of video games – Isabelle! This adorable pooch will be your assistant, and she takes care of running special events in the town, helping you figure out where to put your Public Works Projects, and just generally being a lovely character to interact with!
Another thing that I really love about the franchise is how self-referential Nintendo is. There are so many different wallpapers, floors, furniture pieces, and clothing options that are a reference to other Nintendo games and characters! Even some of the villagers themselves are references! Keep an eye on Ganon the pig …
This game has been put into the Nintendo Selects line, which means that it’s standard retail price is £14.99, but I have seen it even cheaper than that in some places. This is a game I can’t recommend enough if you’re just looking for some casual fun, especially at such an incredible price! (It could also be a Christmas/birthday idea for any younger gamers in the family, as it is very easy to understand!)
Democracy 3 is a politics simulation game where you are the leader of the country (finally a chance to see what all the fuss is about)! When you set the game up you will get to choose which country you want from a number of options, and you’ll set various other options before you jump in.
I will be the first to hold my hands up and say that I know very little about politics, much less than I should know. Despite this, something about Democracy 3 makes me keep coming back for more.
You will spend most of your time staring at the same screen, which shows you all the laws that are in place, all the problems you suffer, all the situations that are happening, as well as your popularity with the various demographics. To me this screen is reminiscent of a mind map (going back to my primary school days now) where there are the different sections; transport, law and order, public services, tax, economy, welfare and foreign policy.
How it works is that you have a set amount of “Political Capital” each turn, which you then spend on implementing new policies, or changing/cancelling existing ones. This is going to be a true test of your management skills, as you will find at the beginning of your term in office that the country is facing plenty of problems for you to tackle. As well as that, you also need to be wary of your funds – the economy will take a serious downfall if you allow the country’s deficit to get too out of hand!
Each turn will show you how the state of the country has changed following your policy changes, as well as informing you of any situations that arise. And you will also be informed by any potential plots that might be underway … it’s impossible to keep everyone happy, and some groups may resort to extreme measures if they are displeased with your leadership.
On top of this, your cabinet members may decide they don’t like the way you’re leading the country – something you’ll want to keep an eye on! Your cabinet members are the ones who generate your Political Capital, and they will generate less for you as they get more displeased with your actions. Each one has loyalties to different demographics, and if they don’t like you, then the cabinet member won’t like you either. If you can’t satisfy them, you’d better get someone else in who is more suited to your play style!
It can be very tricky to keep everything perfectly balanced – there will almost always be something that comes out of no where to throw a spanner in the works! I could be running a perfect country, and yet someone (usually capitalists…) will still see fit to plan my assassination.
Election day is the other possible way for your leadership to come to an end – as important as it is to make changes that are beneficial to the country, you also have to bear in mind what the voters think! Implementing too many policies that annoy the public will spell disaster for you once election day comes around.
So all in all, this has become one of my favourite simulation games – and I daresay it’s even managed to teach me a thing or two about politics!
This game will always have a special place in the gaming vault that is my heart.
It was the first game I ever played from the Zelda franchise, and it was the first game that I truly loved, securing the title of my favourite game ever (until Breath Of The Wild stole the title!).
As a child I was unable to complete the game, so I didn’t see the whole plot unfold until I tackled it again in my teens. Watching the credits roll felt like the perfect end to the perfect game, with a beautiful track and a gathering of all the characters you met on your journey. It was enough to bring a tear to my eye as I completed my favourite game for the first time, particularly as it took such a long time for me to actually accomplish this! I always find it quite upsetting to see Navi leave Link to return to the forest – it seemed bizarre and quite heart-breaking that after their incredible journey together, Navi would just disappear.
Speaking of Navi, it’s very possible that I’m the only person who has played this game that actually likedNavi. I thought she was a good companion character, and I suppose I found her to be a very helpful guide as a child. I thought it was nice to have a companion with you on such a long and perilous journey through Hyrule. Without Navi, Link would be completely alone until he visits the likes of Kakariko Village and Hyrule Castle Town.
Ocarina of Time gave me (and many others) my first taste of an open world, and it felt so good to explore. Travelling across Hyrule to see all the different areas there are to explore, trying to get to Hyrule Castle Town before they raise the drawbridge and night, fighting off hordes of Stalchildren if you’re caught out in Hyrule Field at night (or spending the night in the river where they can’t reach you if you’re not feeling up for a night-long fight), meeting all the locals of the settlements and seeing what they have to say, or what you can do for them. It actually holds a lot of parallels with modern day open world RPGs.
Ocarina of Time is split into two parts. The first part of the game where Link is still a child, and the second part which takes place 7 years in the future after Link is sealed in the sacred realm until he reaches an age where he can wield the Master Sword to defeat Ganondorf, the main antagonist.
This also adds an interesting element to the gameplay, as you have different tools available to you depending on your age. For example, Young Link has access to the boomerang and the slingshot, and can crawl through small holes to reach new areas. Adult Link has more advanced tools and weaponry such as the hookshot, the bow and arrow, and the megaton hammer.
The game also features a host of dungeons to be completed, some as Young Link and some as Adult Link (and one dungeon requires you to enter it at both time periods!). The dungeon format is fairly standard for the Legend of Zelda series. You explore the dungeon, fight enemies, solve puzzles, fight a mini boss which will get you a new item, this item will help you progress to new areas of the dungeon, and ultimately help you fight the boss at the end of the dungeon.
The bosses steadily get harder as the game goes on, and personally I think they’re satisfying to beat. They’re not too difficult, but provide a fair challenge.
In 2011, Nintendo gave us the 3DS remaster, and it is such an unbelievable treat! As good as the game was, it only got better with beautifully updated graphics, some tweaked controls such as the ocarina (which you will use frequently) getting it’s own touch screen button, instead of having to take up an item slot, and filled out environments! The game world had a complete rework with all sorts of environmental items being added in to make the areas look like they are truly teeming with life.
What else is there to see about this game? My love of video games stems from this masterpiece, and as such it will always be a special game to me.
Platform: Nintendo 64, Nintendo Gamecube, Nintendo 3DS
Now, I’m not here to get into the politics of the best Peter Parker portrayals … but if I was, I would tell you that this game gives us the best Peter Parker I have seen! (Closely followed by Tom Holland!)
I can’t get enough of Spiderman, I think he is an excellent superhero in every way, his awkward humour is second to none, and his personality is strong enough to make you forget he is just a character!
What I’m basically getting at, is that a Spiderman game is TOTALLY MY JAM.
This is by far the best Spiderman game that we’ve had so far in my opinion, featuring a slightly older Peter Parker with all the fun humour and awkward geekiness that we have come to expect from the web-slinging hero!
The gameplay here is phenomenal, the web slinging is very satisfying, and gradually gets better as you gain speed through level ups. You also have a a large choice of new moves and upgrades available to unlock as you gain levels.
As you can imagine, there are lots of things for Spidey to do around the city! There are lots of enemy bases to be cleared out, crimes to be stopped, referential collectibles to find, challenges to complete, and plenty more. As you complete these various tasks, you will also be able to unlock new suits that you will most likely recognise if you are a fan of Spiderman.
Honestly, there isn’t a single part of this game I haven’t enjoyed. I just love swinging around New York City as Spiderman, I love watching the startled pedestrians fall over as you land next to them from a great height, I love watching the story cutscenes unfold with all of the familiar faces we know so well, and I love tackling the Spiderman’s various enemies with his assortment of gadgets and skills!
You might hear a familiar voice as you’re swinging through the streets … None other than the infamous character J. Jonah Jameson! You can expect to hear him shouting about his ludicrous thoughts and opinions about Spiderman on his podcast – provided you haven’t turned it off in the options menu! Personally I find it hilarious, listening to the callers talking about how Spidey saved them and does so much for the city, and Jameson tried to put his negative spin on it.
As of yet, I have not played the DLC, so I can’t pass comment on how that is. I do know that it is definitely DLC that I will be getting though, if the rest of the game is anything to go by, then it will most certainly be worth it.
I’m not sure what else I can say about this fantastic game without making myself sound like some star-struck goof (did I successfully hide my unending love for Spiderman?) so I’ll just say this. FULL RECOMMENDATION.
Protagonist’s are pretty important. More often than not they will be the one on a game’s box art, and they’re the ones who you will be spending most of your time with in-game. Getting a protagonist right is a pretty crucial part of designing a video game – who wants to play a game where they hate the main character?
So I thought why not share some of my favourite protagonists, and the reasons why I love them!
10. Jonathon Reid
Vampyr’s Jonathon Reid is an intriguing character. Besides his devilishly suave fashion sense that puts my wardrobe to shame, and his cheek bones that are sharp enough to be used as a weapon, he has an internal struggle that he must come to terms with as you progress through the game.
As a doctor, he is sworn to cure the sick. But as a vampyr, he is thirsty for human blood. This rather different plot point means that you have the option to decide what the good doctor will do, and how he will react to the various opportunities that are presented to him.
In general, I just really like Dr Reid’s character design, and he would probably be among my top picks for potential cosplay ideas … if I could actually grow a beard as slick and suave as that!
9. Max Caulfield
I find Max Caulfield way too relatable. Awkward? Yep. Geeky? Yep. Takes too many selfies? Yep.
Because of this, I feel like I developed a quick connection with Max as I played through Life Is Strange. I found myself feeling incredibly sympathetic towards her choices and problems, making the gameplay all the more impactful for me.
In particular, there is one scene which destroyed me, the end of Episode 3. It was so heartbreaking, because I knew that I would want to do the same thing for my friends, as she did for Chloe. Seeing the consequences of these actions was devastating, and it was enough to make me cry (a rare occurence – kudos to you, Life Is Strange).
So the main reason why Max finds herself on this list is for using her relatable personality to build up our connection, only to tear me apart with phenomenal story-telling.
The Villager. He/she doesn’t have much to say (or anything … at all), and yet they’re full of personality!
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the villager is in fact the mayor of the village! And what a good mayor they are! Pulling weeds, planting flower bed, bringing in new and exotic fruits, investing in the development of the town, donating bugs, fish, fossils and artworks to the museum, and still finding the time to wander about the village, greeting the residents and checking in on them, doing the occasional favour for them and forming lasting friendships… what? That doesn’t sound familiar to you?
That might be because you know the villager from Super Smash Bros. Ultimate! The villager has brought a lot of tools to the fight, like an umbrella, a watering can, a pot, balloons, and even an axe!
Even when the villager is brawling with enemies, they still manage to maintain their sweet disposition!
7. Squall Leonhart
Squall Leonhart of Final Fantasy VIII is my favourite protagonist from the franchise.
He is cold and unfeeling on the outside, but inside he is surprisingly insightful, and even somewhat sensitive. His voice is trapped in his head as he struggles to express himself, so he remains silent and stoic.
As the game progresses, Rinoa Heartilly and others eventually manage to pull him out of his head, and we get to see Squall finally express himself and grow as a person.
On top of this I really enjoy Squall’s design. His appearance meets what you would expect when you think of a “cold, uncaring mercenary”, and his weapon of choice was quite unique for the time of the game’s release – the gunblade!
6. Commander Shepard
Well, why wouldn’t you love Mass Effect’s Commander Shepard?
First, thanks to the Renegade/Paragon system, Shepard can actually be portrayed as two very different characters, who make very different choices through their space journey.
I’m a goody-two-shoes, so Paragon is my preferred option, but I have played a Renegade Shep, and that can be just as fun.
Shepard is also quite the romancer, but then I suppose if you were trapped with the same people on a spaceship for so long, it might be difficult to not want to jump into bed with the person in the next cabin.
With all the different paramour options, it leads to lots of different cutscenes and romance plots which help build Shepard’s character even further.
A galactic hero who is known across the galaxy for his deeds, and can pretty much have whoever he wants. As a certain Cerberus agent once said, “Shepard is a hero, a bloody icon”.
Aloy, the protagonist of Horizon: Zero Dawn, is another character where I don’t have anything bad to say about her.
She has a spectacular design, with stunning details to her player model. She has a good heart and always wants to help the people in need who she comes across without so much as a second thought.
She is strong and intelligent, and empathetic, with a quiet dignity – she truly is a remarkable character.
4. Peter Parker
Anyone who has read my Spiderman post will know how I feel about this rendition of Peter Parker – I love him.
He looks good with an excellent character design, he has access to a whole wardrobe of Spidey suits (once you unlock them), and he has the goofy sense of humour and awkward social skills that we all expect to see!
I have honestly never enjoyed Spiderman as much as I have whilst I have been playing this game, and that is really saying something.
3. Arthur Morgan
Red Dead Redemption 2’s Arthur Morgan is another character that can be played in a number of different ways.
His appearance can differ so much thanks to the huge variety of customisation options that we have been given, so you can dress him up as a roguish cowboy, or a suave gunslinger, or however you want him to look!
Arthur will be presented with a great deal of moral choices as he progresses in his journey through the West. Sometimes it can be difficult to see exactly what is on Arthur’s mind as he makes these choices … or rather, as you make these choices. Thankfully, Mr Morgan keeps a rather detailed journal, where he writes about all the people he meets and what he gets up to, and even jots down a quick sketch of wildlife and flora as he finds them in the world!
The journal is what truly bonds you with the character, as you read his innermost thoughts about what is going on around him. My first play through I ignored the journal, my second play through I read it as I progressed. The difference in how you perceive Arthur as a result of reading the journal is huge.
By the time you reach the final mission, you know there’s only one way that it’s going to end, and you find yourself not wanting to start the mission. That’s how I felt anyway!
2. The Inquisitor
Again, we have a character that is shaped however you see fit.
With intense character customisation, and things like your race and class affecting the story in various different ways, there are lots of different ways to play as the Inquisitor.
Once again you will have many opportunities to show what kind of character you are through dialogue options and important quest decisions.
I have had several play throughs of Dragon Age: Inquisition, and each one feels so vastly different based on the choices I make, it really makes it feel like each decision you make is important.
Much like Commander Shepard, the Inquisitor has a number of different romance options, and I feel very much the same way about how these pan out – excellent character building, and not just for the inquisitor, but for the romanced characters too!
Also if you’re anything like me, you spend a lot of time crafting the best armour and weapons for the Inquisitor, and tinting them as well so that you truly look the part!
Link … which Link?
Link from Ocarina Of Time was the one who got me into the Zelda franchise in the first place, and by extension video games in general. In my eyes, this Link made the famous green tunic truly iconic across the franchise, as he was the first Link to have such a strong character design in game.
Link from Breath Of The Wild has to take top spot though. The Zelda team outdid themselves when designing him! With a huge assortment of clothing options to choose from, including classic green tunics for those who are lucky enough to own the matching Link amiibo, Link can truly look however you want him to look!
This version of the hero also has a lot of skills that have not been seen so far in a Zelda game! He’s a strong climber, able to scale sheer cliffs! And put him in the right clothes, he’ll even swim up a waterfall for you! He can even surf his shield down slopes! If you want a less intense way down, why not just jump and paraglide down?
Link even takes on cooking in this adventure, and he must love it if his little hum is anything to go by! And he loves his food too, with a satisfying tummy pat whenever you eat a meal!
Make sure to watching his temperature though, he’ll need to wear special clothes or drink elixirs to survive in some of Hyrule’s more harsh climates. But the clothes and elixirs won’t stop Link from having rosy red cheeks as he traverses through the extreme temperatures!
One skill he still has not picked up, is one of the most basic skills of all. Speech! I know that Link is mute to allow you as the player to better assimilate yourself as the protagonist in your head, and I guess it works because I have no problem imagining that!
Switching the lights off, getting the snacks in, and sitting on the edge of the sofa, heart pounding as you anticipate a good jump scare …
So with that in mind, it will come as no surprise to hear that I absolutely love this game.
The game starts with a gathering of friends in a mountain cabin, but events then lead to the tragic death of the twin sisters Hannah and Beth. One year later the friends return to the cabin, and that is when the story truly begins…
There are so many intricacies to the design of this game. The most interesting feature is the butterfly effect, where various choices you make throughout the game will affect the story in different ways later on. Some of these can be trivial affects .. and some of them can be catastrophic!
Another of these intricacies is the relationships between the characters, and their own individual stats. Many of the decisions you make will increase or decrease these stats, and again this can affect certain plot points of the game. For example, if the relationship is not high enough between two characters, someone may be more concerned with saving themselves, and leaving the other person to whatever fate may befall them.
As an intermission to each chapter, you will be treated to a brief session with Dr. Hill. These visits will become gradually more disturbing and seemingly unhinged, and some of the choices that you make with him will actually affect what you might see in the game, which is just another little thing to add to the atmosphere of the game.
You better make sure your fingers are prepared for this game, as you will face plenty of Quick Time Events to keep you on your toes! I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that failing these could prove to be disastrous…
It is possible to have all the characters survive the night, but it is also possible for each and every one of them to die! The game does provide you with incredibly vague hints if you can find them … There are a number of collectibles for you to come across, some of these being miniature totems which will show you a brief glimpse of the future for one of the characters. They may help you avoid an untimely end if you can figure out what the totem is showing you!
You will also find collectible clues scattered around the mountain as you play – each clue bringing you closer to uncovering the mystery of the mountain.
If you’re anything like me, then you’ll find yourself very quickly deciding which characters you like and which ones you don’t, and that will probably affect how you react to decisions and conversational cues. There’s one character in particular who I would actually prefer if she did meet an untimely end … (I’ve no doubt that many of you will feel the same way)
I cannot express how impressed I was with this game, and now we are expecting another of it’s type from Supermassive Games – Man of Medan! This is definitely something that I will be getting at some point, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about that once I’ve had the chance to complete it … assuming I survive.
This game was another of my all time favourites as a child. My first memory of this game is my mum renting (YES, renting!!) this for me as a random little surprise – I simply was not able to stop playing it until we had to take it back! Although at that age, I wasn’t very good at it and so didn’t get very far!
The main protagonist is called Toan, and he is a classic mute, sword-wielding character (I wonder if you can guess who he reminded me of as a child ..). During the night of a festival in his village, the world is attacked by the Dark Genie, and this is what kicks off the game.
You are saved by a divine power, who also saved all the other inhabitants of the world, but sealed them away I’m spheres for you to collect and then rebuild.. this isn’t as complex as it sounds!
Each village has it’s own corresponding dungeon where these spheres will be found, and the dungeon mechanic itself is quite simple but enjoyable.
Your weapons have stats which will go up as you level them up with certain stat-boosting attachments, as well as elements which you increase in the same way. Eventually your stats will be high enough to “build up” your weapon into a new one, which is key for surviving in the later dungeons.
You will gain allies as you progress through the world, until you eventually end up with 6 playable characters – all very unique with their own weapon of choice and special abilities which will be used to help progress in the dungeons.
The dungeons themselves actually hold plenty of challenges. First there’s the obvious, the monsters. Then you actually have to be wary of your thirst meter – once it depletes you will start to gradually lose health. Certain monsters can inflict status effects on you which will be detrimental in different ways, you will need to either leave the dungeon or use an item to remedy the status.
The layout of the dungeon will change every time you enter, so although the enemies found on that floor will be the same, you will still be finding your way around the floor. Each dungeon floor will also have an access point to the “Back Room” … these are darker areas of the dungeons where the monsters have buffs, but give extra experience for your weapons, and great treasures can be found in these areas.
The last major challenge is the “Limit Zones“. Certain floors of the dungeons will have special restrictions put on them, such as only a certain character having access to them, not being able to change your weapon and losing experience points on your weapon, and thirst occurring at a rapid pace.
There is also a post-game dungeon which is particularly gruelling, and it takes a lot of high end weapons for all your characters, and a lot of skill to be able to make progress here. It is not something I have completed, but it is certainly on my gaming bucket list.
I really recommend this for anyone who enjoys a dungeon crawler, and it’s very easy to get these days! It was originally a PS2 game, and has since appeared on the PSN store for both PS3 and PS4. I frequently see it half price, so it’s easy to get this great game at a low price!
Platform: Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4
I would day that the only fantasy RPG that has had more of my time dedicated to it would be Skyrim, and this is bearing in mind that Skyrim is currently 8 years old.
I had never played a Dragon Age game before (or even heard of the series to be quite honest!), but my friends were quite excited when this game was announced, so I looked into it. The premise seemed like something I could get behind so I decided to give it a go, but I was not prepared for how much I was going to enjoy this game.
The story is phenomenal, and there is a huge amount of story to get through, and with so many side missions as well, you are not going to run out of things to do any time soon.
The character creation is mostly good – you will pick your race, gender and class, and then you will create your character, and while the creator does have a fair amount of choice. Unfortunately one thing that I don’t like is the green atmospheric setting that the creator is in. I have sometimes found that when fiddling with various skin tones, hair colours and complexion options, the end result can sometimes look different when you get into the game.
The characters are all so wildly different, there will no doubt be characters that you like and dislike, as they all have such unique personalities. You are given conversational choices when speaking with your party members, which will often shape what they think of you, and this is also the case with many of the in-game actions and choices that you will make. Everyone will have an opinion on what you do, and you will find that some party members like your way of thinking more than others.
You also have the option to romance certain people, as long as you fit the bill with regards to who they like .. for example, one character will only be interested in human or elvish females. There isn’t a romance that I haven’t enjoyed so far, all the ones I have attempted have been well-crafted, and display a different side to the characters in question, a vulnerable side which you would not get to see otherwise.
Crafting is a big deal in this game. You will not be using a lot of the armours or weapons that you find in this game – not if you’re a thing like me. There are many resources to be found and gathered in the world, which can in turn be used to craft equipment for you and your party, and this is the best method of kitting yourself out as you can create something that best suits your playstyle, as different materials give different bonuses.
The game has several different provinces for you to explore and journey across, with your base acting as a hub world for you to do all your crafting, socialising, and choosing which province to head off to. All of the provinces you will visit are vastly unique, each one acting like a separate open world, without too much restriction on where you can go besides the level of the enemies in that area.
I have created many characters on this game to play different options and styles, as there is certainly a lot of replay value here. There are a lot of variations within the story and the social aspects between different races and classes, a testament to how much thought has gone into creating the mindset of the characters.
Something I must mention is the soundtrack – there are very few games that have a soundtrack as excellent as this. Dramatic battles, heart wrenching cut scenes, vast open worlds .. all of these things are perfectly complimented with the corresponding tracks.
The DLC for this game is possibly the best that I have ever played, Trespasser in particular. I frequently see the GOTY edition for sale for less than £10, and I always think about what a ridiculous bargain that is. If you haven’t played this game and you’re fan of fantasy worlds, you should definitely give it a go.
Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC
Now this is an interesting one. Like many avid gamers, I bought the very first Assassin’s Creed game, and I really enjoyed it, it felt very different to anything I had played before. Then with Assassin’s Creed 2, I felt that it was even more enjoyable, with a more interesting main character, but there was a point where it felt like it was just the same game in a different setting with no huge changes or innovative features. I believe Brotherhood was the last one that I played. By this time, I felt like I had played enough of the franchise, and lost interest in it.
For some reason, after all this time Assassin’s Creed Odyssey caught my eye. I do enjoy Ancient Greece and their mythologies, so that was already enough to pique my interest. It features a huge open world which is another massive plus for me, and it also has an equipment setup that you would expect to see in an RPG. All these things put together were more than enough to make me want to check this out and see what it’s about, and I ended up making my first Assassin’s Creed purchase in a long time.
For me, it is such a breath of fresh air compared to the older games – the format has been completely rejigged, and it really has paid off. You can pick to play as either Alexios or Kassandra, so having the choice to play as a male or female is another nice change to the series.
There hasn’t really been an element of this game that I haven’t enjoyed yet – the story that I have completed so far has been interesting, the actual gameplay is excellent, I like the changes that have been made to the combat since I last played Assassin’s Creed, and I do love the seafaring so far! Having your own ship and crew and sailing around Greece, bombarding pirate ships, boarding them and plundering their treasures – it’s all good fun! The game world is simply stunning, it really is something to behold.
This is the kind of game that makes me want to take my time to slowly make my way through the story and various missions, so I can really take in the world that has been created for us gamers. It has certainly restored my faith in the series, and I shall be keeping an eye on future releases from now on.
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch (Japan only), PC
Well, this is some serious nostalgia for me. I have very fond memories of playing Theme Hospital with my older sister as a child. We both loved the game so much, the challenge of each level, the sense of humour of the illnesses, cures, and even the tannoy announcements. I believe it may actually be the very first simulation game that I ever played, and easily cemented my love for the genre.
When I found out that the same people were making a spiritual successor to the game, I knew instantly that it was something I would be buying.
I can safely say that they have not let fans of the old game down as Two Point Hospital has perfectly captured the spirit of Theme Hospital, leaving nothing behind but adding plenty which only improves the experience. It still has the same sense of humour, but with all new illnesses and cures. There are new issues and challenges to think about – for example, the hospitals are all in different regions, some of which are either hot or cold, and you must regulate the temperature inside the hospital to keep the patients happy.
For those who are unfamiliar with the original game, the premise is pretty simple. You’re given an empty hospital and your starting funds, and you start building rooms and hiring staff members to run the place. Patients will arrive, check in, and make their way around the hospital getting a diagnosis and then hopefully a cure! You will need doctors and nurses to run the various facilities, receptionists to check the customers in, and janitors to clean any messes and repair machines as they deteriorate.
There are different hospitals for you to work your way through, and the challenge increases as you make your way through them with new illnesses, facilities and emergencies.
The game has a lot of replay value as there are plenty of different areas, and each has three stars for you to achieve, which will unlock different objects for you to use around the hospital.
One other small thing that the modern age brings is comparing your progress to your Steam friends – you can see when they have done a level, and how well they did!
I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys simulation/management games, and particularly those of you who played and loved Theme Hospital the way I did.
Platform: PC (Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch release expected)