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Category: Gut Check

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Gut Check: Core

No one is quite sure how video games are actually made, with many scientists believing them to be the result of some sort of dark magic or inter-planar phenomenon, but I’m here to present my latest findings on the matter. All of my evidence suggests that people make video games on their computers, utilizing software like Unity or the Unreal Engine to accomplish the laborious task of crafting a game from nothing but bits and bytes. Then there are the people who are using Core to make bad versions of much better and more popular games, except these versions are loaded with micro-transactions and terrible controls. Sounds fun, right?

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Gut Check: Outriders Demo

Recently a demo for the upcoming Square Enix game, Outriders, was released to the public in what I can only assume was to get people like myself to finally stop asking, “what the hell is Outriders?” Seriously, I had no idea what this game was or when it was announced or who was making it, but ads for started cropping up everywhere so I figured I’d just try the demo and seek out the answer for myself…

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Gut Check: Tastemaker

I recently spent some time playing a little restaurant management game that I found thanks to a post on Reddit by the creator themselves. Normally I don’t take game recommendations from the infinite void that is Reddit, but it was interesting and cheap enough for me to take the chance on this early access title. It’s called Tastemaker and it needs a lot of work, but there’s definitely something there that’s got me hopeful enough to keep an eye on its progress…

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Gut Check: Immortals: Fenyx Rising

When talking about Immortals: Fenyx Rising, it’s impossible not to bring up 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, an excellent game that was bound to inspire other developers to build upon its success. Enter Immortals: Fenyx Rising, a game that’s so clearly inspired by Breath of the Wild that at times it feels like plagiarism. However, for better and worse, Ubisoft did not make a carbon copy of Breath of the Wild, because that would be an insult to one of the best Zelda games out there. What we have on our hands is a louder, less subtle, yet still solid facsimile of a modern classic…

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Gut Check: Fuser

Somewhere between my first and fiftieth Smash Mouth and Carly Rae Jepsen mashup, the comedic flair that initially attracted me to Fuser faded into the background and was replaced with a genuine desire to make a song that actually sounded good. While Fuser isn’t much of a “game,” it is a pretty powerful and accessible piece of software that’s capable of generating some genuine ear-worms of songs in an easy and accessible way…

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Gut Check: Watch Dogs Legion

When I think about my time with 2016’s Watch Dogs 2, I’m reminded of its many ups and downs both in terms of gameplay and story, but at the end of the day it’s a game that had a lot of heart and charm that managed to make it a memorable and satisfying experience. Watch Dogs Legion however, lacks any of the joy and fun that its predecessor had, contains repetitive and frustrating missions, and also runs like hot garbage…

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Gut Check: Solasta Crown of the Magister

Not so long ago I wrote a lengthy piece about my issues with the state of the early access release of Baldur’s Gate III. Without rehashing that entire article here, the main crux of it focused on the mechanical liberties Baldur’s Gate III took with the rules of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. My initial thought was that translating the rules of D&D into a video game would naturally require a ton of concessions, however another CPRG named Solasta Crown of the Magister recently entered early access and proved that theory wrong…

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Gut Check: Hades

When I finally gave in to all of the peer pressure I felt from the deluge of praise people were hurling at Hades and begrudgingly bought it, I felt this immediate wave of buyer’s remorse wash over me. After playing a little of it however, I can honestly say that it’s one of the most fun action games I’ve played this year. I can also confidently say that I won’t be seeing it through to the end because I’m bad at it…

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Gut Check: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2

It’s rare when something that’s so clearly playing off of your nostalgia actually delivers and makes good on all of those memories you have of a game instead of just reminding you how flawed your brain is. It turns out that the original Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series was phenomenal and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 brings everything you loved about the series into the modern era extremely successfully…

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Gut Check: Fall Guys

Approximately 17 years ago at the last E3, the folks over at Devolver Digital had their annual conference(?) in which they revealed among other things, Fall Guys. Looking at that initial trailer, I had no idea what to expect and immediately shrugged it off as some sort of Mario Party clone. Fast forward to just last week when it finally released on Steam and as a “free” PlayStation Plus offering, and it’s completely blown up to the point where the servers couldn’t handle the amount of people trying to play it. It turns out Fall Guys isn’t a clone of a bad game from a bad franchise…

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Gut Check: Ghost of Tsushima

I went into Ghost of Tsushima knowing very little about what the game was outside of it being an open world action-adventure game set during a Mongol invasion of Japan during the 1270’s. A cool premise to be sure, but a cool premise alone wasn’t able to change the fact that I wasn’t having much fun with the game itself…

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Gut Check: Among Trees

There is no denying that Among Trees is cut from the same cloth as the countless other survival games that have existed over the years, but leaving it at that would not only be dismissive and reductive, but fairly inaccurate as well. While Among Trees is one of “those” kinds of games, it sands down some of the rough edges of other titles of its ilk that usually lead me to avoid the genre entirely. But there’s something about this particular early access survival game that has me so fascinated and eager to continue playing it…

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Gut Check: Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardspace: Shipbreaker is a game that might have been made with me and my proclivities in mind. In Hardspace: Shipbreaker, you play as an unnamed “cutter” for a company that dismantles and salvages derelict space crafts for various clients, while making sure to pick through everything in an effort to get a little extra bonus cash. It’s currently in early access which is reassuring considering its various and completely understandable technical issues, that hopefully will be fixed as time goes on…

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Gut Check: Neversong

Neversong is a spooky little side-scrolling game that tries to blend so many elements together, but ultimately doesn’t succeed at most of them.  The spooky action, adventure and puzzle game has an interesting enough stylistic and plot hook to grab your attention, but many of the gameplay decisions are just dull…

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Gut Check: Beautiful Desolation

Beautiful Desolation is a point and click adventure game that puts you in the shoes of a gloriously mullet-ed man who is investigating the presence of a mysterious triangular object that’s appeared in the sky.  Through a combination of puzzle solving, dialogue trees and aimlessly wandering around gorgeously rendered landscapes, you start to peel back the cosmic mystery that’s upended your life…