April showers keep us indoor playing games! At least, that’s the excuse I’m giving for all the time we spent gaming last month. We hit up some old games, but also played lots of games that aren’t out yet at the PAX East Expo. Read on to find out what the Warp Zoned crew was busy with this month of April!
April didn’t know whether it wanted to usher in Spring or spend a few more weeks with Winter this year, so it’s fitting that my gaming decisions gazed back on the past and looked to the future.
Last month, I picked up Contra III: The Alien Wars again for my annual replay, and it is still my go-to pick for best side-scrolling shooter of all time. There are no bad beats in Konami’s Super NES classic, and even the wonky overhead levels have their charm. If only they could get their shit together and produce a proper sequel, I’d be very happy. But that’s asking a lot, I know.
On the other hand, Bethesda’s upcoming Doom reboot might just be the sequel to that series we’ve all been hoping for. I got my hands on the Multiplayer Beta in April and I was very impressed with what I saw. While I plan to do most of my Dooming in single-player, the classic feel of the franchise was certainly there in the multiplayer test.
Finally, I headed down to Boston to sample the pre-release demos on display at the annual PAX East expo. I put together a pair of diaries (one for Friday and one for the weekend) detailing my adventures within the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, but I can’t believe how great Cuphead (which has a strong Contra III vibe), Streamline, Tooth & Tail, and Inversus were. It’s no wonder they all made the Best of PAX East list.
I got two Platinum Trophies this month – one for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls and the other for Persona 4 Golden. It was a lot of hard work, but it was worth it!
Afterwards, I went back to Fallout 4, where I’ve been really digging into Automatron, which has been awesome so far. Other than that, I started playing both Risk of Rain and Hotline Miami, and I was playing Final Fantasy Explorers, but gave up on it about halfway through the month. Anthony Amato and I have been playing a ton of Broforce, and Miitomo has kept me busy in my down time. None of that includes all of the time-themed game jam games I got to play at Penn Play, including Re:wind, Fruit Jedi, Awful Cards, Dokidoki Supa Fun Times GTX 980, Counterstruck, Dead Too Soon, and Dinner Thyme.
But I barely got to play anything at PAX East this year… just Graceful Explosion Machine and some Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End multiplayer.
I started the month finishing Wolfenstein: The New Order, which I thought was great fun. I then moved on to Bloodborne, but, after a couple of hours, I wasn’t really feeling it, and was slightly confused. Was this really the best game of last year? I found it quite repetitive and samey. No doubt I shall return to it and defeat the boss that kept tearing me apart like a pinata, but not for now.
Instead, I am playing what I think was the best game of last year, and which I was saving until I had some time off. This might be the Wii U’s last year, and for many the console might be seen as a failure, but I hold Xenoblade Chronicles X as one of the best games, not just on the Wii U, but of this generation. I have clocked over 70 hours of playtime, and I’m still nowhere near the end. The world of Mira is a vast natural wonder to behold and explore, and while the characters are a little on the quirky side, I have found it a truly immersive experience.
This month, I played a lot more Destiny. I’m finally getting closer to level 40, and just started diving into the Crucible. I also spent some time with Miitomo, and learned things about my friends that I really wish I hadn’t.
To round out my month, I played some more online matches in Street Fighter V. I’m proud to say that this is the first fighting game I totally didn’t suck at. I may be a Bronze in the rankings, but my win/loss ratio is like 3:1. Bring on Evo!