Tag Archives: Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order

2023 Seems Cool So Far

While malformed and incomplete, 2023’s release schedule is already looking pretty impressive full. In the first few months alone we’re getting highly anticipated titles like Forspoken, the Dead Space remake, Atomic Heart, Octopath Traveler 2 and Destiny 2: Lightfall. While I don’t necessarily care about those games, other people seem pretty jazzed about it. But hey, let’s take a look at the announced titles that I actually am looking forward to thus far.

Hogwarts Legacy

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of the Harry Potter films or books, but even I can appreciate the atmosphere of the source material enough to want to play a game set in that universe. Considering Hogwarts Legacy is set around 100 years before the events of the film, I feel like I can get away with playing this game and not feel like a sucker for not being a diehard fan.

Based on the trailers, Hogwarts Legacy is visually impressive and certainly nails the feeling of kicking it in that old, wizardly castle that we all know and love. It also looks like its got a speedy and mechanically satisfying combat system coupled with some cool in-world RPG trappings, mostly surrounding making and learning new wizardly abilities by taking their respective classes, which to clarify all sounds pretty rad to me.

Outside of a trailer or two, I haven’t really kept up with much of the marketing blitz or promotional materials which has allowed me to live in blissful ignorance about whether or not Hogwarts Legacy is actually going to be the game for me. The one thing that does worry me and give me pause about actually buying the game surrounds J.K. Rowling being a miserable transphobe who monetarily benefits from my purchase, along with the fact that the lead designer has a history of being a shithead. I’ll wait and see how this one reviews when it eventually launches on February 10th, 2023, but I don’t know if I can justify a purchase.

Wild Hearts

On paper I really like the main conceit of the Monster Hunter franchise, but in practice I’ve found them to be clunky and unsatisfying to play. I know that I’m in the minority with those complaints but they’ve always been obstacles that have kept me from enjoying this wildly popular franchise. I’m hoping that the upcoming Wild Hearts can scratch that long unattended monster-hunting itch for me with what looks like much faster and more action-oriented combat.

The idea of teaming up with friends and setting out to hunt down some monstrous prey is extremely tantalizing as is, but Wild Hearts looks to blend in some light tower defense elements into the mix which if done well, could be a real game changer. In my mind I’m imagining a game that isn’t just about tracking creatures down, but also setting up traps and acting on what you’ve learned about said creature to use its natural instincts against it. I assume that’s something that happens in Monster Hunter, but I’ve never played long enough to know for sure. I also am well aware that this being a game about hunting legendary beasts, there might be less natural instinct to work against and more ancient magic or whatever.

If the combat and the tower defense mechanics actually deliver on their promise however, Wild Hearts might be the first monster hunting game I end up enjoy playing. Lastly, and this is a minor quibble, but if the menus in this game could be more straightforward and less of an Eldritch mystery that requires a damn cypher to decode, that would be huge for me. Wild Hearts is slated to release on February 16th, 2023, potentially becoming the second video game I end up buying in a six day period.

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor

While not perfect, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was one of the best pieces of Star Wars media I’ve consumed in the past few years and a fun game to boot. The characters were likeable, the gameplay was tough but satisfying, and the story, while underdeveloped, was still filled with interesting and surprising moments filled with nods to deeper Star Wars lore for the hardcore fans.

Hopefully Star Wars Jedi: Survivor will build upon its solid foundation, adding in more variety in both lightsaber and force power combat, the latter of which in my opinion should resemble the Stormtrooper flinging simulator that was Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. Judging by preorder bonuses, it also looks to address the pitiful lack of customization options of the previous entry by offering more character skins that aren’t just color swaps of the tunic you’re wearing.

My only real fear here is that Star Wars Jedi: Survivor leans too much into its ‘souls-like’ or ‘masocore’ inspirations, tweaking the difficulty curve to be more inline with other games in the genre. Hopefully with it being a licensed game of one of the most popular franchises ever, the game will boast a wide variety of accessibility and difficulty options that’ll let even a casual like myself enjoy it. Guess I’ll find out when it releases on March 17th of 2023.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom

I feel like I really shouldn’t have to explain why I’m excited for The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom considering its predecessor is probably one of the greatest games of all time, but I’ll give it the ol’ college try.

I’ve never been a big Zelda guy, but Breath of the Wild was such a phenomenal experience that dropped you into a painterly version of Hyrule with the simple goal of ‘stop Ganon.” You could always look toward the castle to see wisps of his menace swirling around and encompassing it just begging for you to come and square off against the horrors within. But before you’d even attempt to tackle that, you could see seven other interesting places to explore, all of which led to several more.

Breath of the Wild represents the pinnacle of motivating the player to explore their surroundings and all I can hope for from a sequel is more of that. More places to see with more tools at my disposal to explore them. I’d also super love to not have to worry about weapon degradation anymore. I know that’s a common complaint and hot debate topic amongst fans, but for once I’d like to see Nintendo give a shit about their players and offer some accessibility options, specifically one that lets me use the Master Sword as much as I want without having to go through hell to do it. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom allegedly comes out on May 12th of 2023, but I won’t hold my breath.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League

I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that I’m a big fan of the Suicide Squad or anything, but I’ve certainly been won over by what little I’ve seen Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. Granted, there hasn’t been a ton of gameplay or anything for me to reference, but I trust Rocksteady Studios’ ability to make compelling gameplay so much that I’d play a game solely about Calendar Man if they made it.

In Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, you play as one of 4 members of the Suicide Squad, Harley Quinn, Deadshot, King Shark, or Captain Boomerang, as you square off against a Brainiac controlled Justice League that’s doing some real nasty shit. I don’t know too much more about it other than it’s cooperative, but will fill in computer controlled allies where you need them which will come in handy when you can’t find anyone to play as Captain Boomerang, a character I know nothing about aside from his dumb name.

I’m excited to play this game because I’m a big fan of the Arkham games and trust that Rocksteady is going to make something that’s fun to play. As long as they don’t add some boring but mandatory Batmobile-tank battles to Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League like some other Batman games, I think it’ll be a great time. They say it’ll be out on May 26th of 2023, but I’ve been lied to before.

Baldur’s Gate 3

This one’s interesting because I’ve already played Baldur’s Gate 3 back when it released into early access approximately 14 years ago and liked it despite its rough, buggy busted-ness. I made the conscious decision to not play it until its full release because every major update brought with it a wipe of save files and I didn’t want to deal with that, so I just put it back on the digital shelf so it could marinate longer.

But now Baldur’s Gate 3 has a projected release window for August of 2023, and once it does I’m fully anticipating losing a lot of hours of my life to what might become the best Dungeons & Dragons video game of all time, depending on who you ask. I for one have high hopes for Baldur’s Gate 3 because it represents the first real turn-based RPG I’ve ever really enjoyed, which is a colossal feat in itself.

The biggest thing for me about Baldur’s Gate 3 is that it’s using the 5th Edition rules, and since I’m fairly well-versed in those I’ve had a much easier time playing this genre of game without essentially having to learn two games at once. I just want a good way to play D&D without having to be a DM or even finding a group, and Baldur’s Gate 3 seems like it’ll fill that void for me.

Marvel’s Spider-Man 2

I really enjoyed both Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, so being excited for their inevitable sequel doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch. Insomniac Games already proved that they know how to make a mechanically sound Spider-Man game that can also deliver a compelling narrative, and that’s kind of all I want out of a sequel.

A lot of folks are clamoring for some sort of cooperative play between Miles and Peter, which would be cool for sure, but isn’t something that I need from Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. All I want from the sequel is a little more variety, both in terms of main story missions and side quests. Sprinkle in some new abilities and costumes, and you’ve got yourself a solid follow up to one of my favorite games of 2018.

But therein lies the exciting part, cause I don’t know what Insomniac could do outside of the things I’ve already listed in order to top themselves. I’m sure they’ve got something wonderful cooked up for players, but I’d sound stupid even attempting to predict what that could be. Sure I could theorize payoffs for the last game’s cliffhangers, but I’m more excited about what mechanical changes are implemented. I suppose I’ll find out at some point in 2023.

Mina the Hollower

For those unaware, Mina the Hollower is the next title from Yacht Club Games, makers of the tremendous Shovel Knight series. If Shovel Knight was their Mega-Man, then Mina the Hollower looks to be their Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, which an incredibly exciting concept to me.

Full transparency: I backed Mina the Hollower on Kickstarter because it not only looks dope as hell, but is being made by a studio I trust. What really sold me in its initial pitch was the core mechanic of digging through the earth as a quick means of transportation, hence the ‘Hollower.’ That coupled with the variety of weapons, enemies and zones in the world made it really easy to throw 20 or 30 dollars at this unfinished product.

As I’ve mentioned, I’m not really a Zelda guy, but as I’ve essentially screamed at the top of my lungs twice already, I think Yacht Club Games could be the ones to finally make that math work out for me. It doesn’t have a concrete release date just yet, but they’re aiming for 2023 at the moment, but something tells me that date wont stick.


Call it wishful thinking or misplaced optimism, but I really hope that Starfield is good. My feelings about Bethesda as a competent game maker aside, I would love for a good sci-fi RPG cause I haven’t had one of those since Mass Effect was set in the Milky Way. I guess The Outer Worlds was pretty good, but it didn’t really leave a lasting impression despite really enjoying it at the time.

What excites me about Starfield is the fact that it’s a fresh start in terms of lore. Despite enjoying some of the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I could not tell you much of anything about that world because of how dense the lore was. I can’t say for certain, but it definitely felt like I was missing a lot of context for the universe by not following the series since its inception. Starfield represents a chance to get in on the ground floor and have Bethesda introduce not just myself, but everyone to this new setting.

Aside from lore, I just hope that Starfield isn’t as buggy and busted as some of its predecessors, a thing that most fans seem to find endearing for some reason. I also wouldn’t mind if the shooting was good. I get that it’s an RPG first, but there has never been anything less satisfying to me than shooting a character in the head being met with them just losing slightly more health. I mention this because as a sci-fi game, I would expect Starfield to rely more on gunplay than Fallout did, which I would hope would result in weightier combat, but what do I know? Those and other questions are bound to be answered when it releases sometime in 2023.

This list could have been a dozen or so more entries long, but these are kind of the big ones that I could think of from where I’m at in 2022. I’m sure a bevy of things will be announced and released as the year progresses that I’ll be equally excited for. There’s also the possibility that something on this list will slip into 2024 which would be insane considering most of these games already have been delayed. But hey, I’m sure we’ll talk about that stuff as it comes up during the year.

Game of the Year 2019

Man, 2019 has been a weird one for me.  Normally by this point in the year, I have a pretty clear idea of what a top ten games list looks like, but not so much this time around.  That isn’t to say it’s been a bad year for video games, in fact, I bet there’s people out there who were spoiled rotten by many of the releases.

The problem wasn’t a lack of quality games coming out, it was just an issue of those games managing to keep me engaged long enough to power through them.  So with all of that pretext, here are the top 10 (11) games that I played this year.

Red Dead Redemption II Screenshot 2019.11.24 -


Before we dive into the list, I gotta pour one out for the PC release of Red Dead Redemption 2.  Granted, it was an abysmal launch of a port in an age where PC ports have been pretty good, but returning to the old west that I fell in love with last year has been wonderful.  Especially now that it isn’t running like utter garbage.

Technically it came out last year, so I can’t in good conscience put it on the list.  Just know that it would probably be top 3 if it was.


Later Alligator wasn’t a long experience, but it was a fun one.  The hand animated, point and click adventure game that’s chock full of diverse mini-games really won me over this year.  The writing was funny, the story and characters were all charming in their own ways, and the premise itself just oozed with ridiculousness.

Desktop Screenshot 2019.11.15 -


Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is a tough game to talk about because I feel so conflicted about it.  On the one hand, it’s scratching that Star Wars itch so well for me, telling an interesting enough story in a world that I absolutely love.  Yet on the other hand, it can kind of be a trial in tedium the further in you get.

That isn’t to say I didn’t have a good time with Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, because I really did.  It’s just unfortunate that as you progress further into the game, it starts to feel very repetitive and uninspired.  It also suffered from a lot of performance issues which consistently made themselves apparent.

But even through all that, I managed to find joy in the world and story that Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was doling out.  The satisfaction of chaining together all of your force powers and light saber abilities is a delight, and gave me those rare moments of fulfilling a Jedi power fantasy.


I’ve never played a game that physically hurt me, but Ring Fit Adventure is a game that’s left me sore while rubbing in the fact that I haven’t actually done much.  In case you aren’t aware, Ring Fit Adventure is the latest in Nintendo’s attempts to make you healthier.  It comes with a Pilates ring that houses one Joy-Con controller, while the other goes on a strap around your thigh.  You then do exercises to progress through levels, fight battles, and sweat profusely if you’re like me.

Even if we set aside the exercising aspect of  Ring Fit Adventure for a moment, it’s a pretty fully featured game with various modes including a full on story mode, mini-games and custom routines.  You also do things like upgrading your gear to make your workout attacks and defenses better, as well as crafting different smoothies which will give you certain buffs in battle.

Oh yeah, also you battle monsters in this pseudo turn based workout fight.  Each enemy is color coded to match a type of workout that you can do.  For example, a blue monster is weak to leg based workouts, so selecting squats or knee lifts will damage the enemy more.

It is wild that I’m describing the RPG mechanics of a workout game, but it’s actually a lot of fun and really effective at what it does.  Ring Fit Adventure has been my go to for working out, not only because I can work up a sweat with it, but because it’s actually fun.


One of the first new games I played this year ended up being one of my favorites.  Pikuniku was a delightful little game in which you stumble through a world besieged by an evil corporation that’s trying to take over everything.  Through a light mix of puzzle solving and platforming you make your way across the land, solving all the problems you can in service of overthrowing said corporation.

It’s oozing with charm, it’s light and breezy, and it’s weird as hell.


Control is a weird one for me.  Early in the game I was completely enthralled, exploring every nook and cranny, reading every note and memo, and watching every video log I came across.  Control does world building better than any game I played this year.  But as I got further and further into the game, I stopped doing a lot of the side quests and stopped reading every piece of paper that wafted past me.  The tension and intrigue that drew me in from the beginning began to feel rote and tiresome, and none of it because of any inadequacies in the story or world.

No, the real issue I had with Control was the combat and how frequently you had to engage with it.  Every encounter became a chore that ended with me having to hunt down the one last enemy who got trapped behind a corner, or buried under some rubble.  More importantly, the boss battles were the thing that eventually broke my back with Control.  The difficulty spikes that usually centered around the bosses eventually made me stop playing the game all together for a while.

Eventually I came back to it and powered through to the end.  The story manages to hold up its end of the bargain, but the combat never gets any better, even when you get some of the late game powers.  It’s a real shame considering when it came out, I was ready to place it at the top of my list.  Still though, Control is a hell of a ride despite its failings.

That being said, there’s a sequence at the end of the game that is absolutely incredible.  Look up the “Ashtray Maze” if you’re curious.

My Friend Pedro - 20190620151614.gif


My Friend Pedro is one of the few games I felt compelled to actually review this year, mostly because it’s just so damn cool.  In another example of style over substance, My Friend Pedro isn’t the most elegant game to play, but it provides such an awesome power fantasy that I still will occasionally pop into just to get my Matrix fix.

It’s a game that really only has the one, slow motion, bullet-time gimmick, but it does it really, really well.  It’s because of how well it does that gimmick, that I find myself coming back to it every once in a while, just to get that action movie feeling again.

The controls can be a little weird and cumbersome at times, but when it clicks, it just looks and feels so good to play.


I’m pretty sure I pissed myself once while playing Heave Ho.  It’s a game that’s so utterly absurd and preposterous, that you and the people you’re playing with can’t help but crack up.

Heave Ho is a physics based platformer, I guess?  You and your buddies are these creatures with a face and two arms, each controlled using the triggers on the controller.  You navigate levels using “teamwork” and your incredible climbing skills in an effort for everyone to make it to the goal.

It’s the kind of game that you need to play to really understand it, because describing it doesn’t do it justice.  Do yourself a favor, get some friends and a copy of Heave Ho, and you won’t be disappointed.


Super Mario Maker 2 along with its predecessor, managed to tap into this primal horror that lurks inside of me – making people test their might in the crucible of my own design.  I normally don’t engage with level creation based games, but with Super Mario Maker 2, I already knew the language of how everything interacts with each other from years of playing Mario games.  I know what kind of blocks a shell with break and bounce off of, or what a super mushroom does, or that music blocks are evil.  Knowing all of that just makes it so easy for me to dip into the creation suite and have a great time.

On the flip-side, I get to play near infinite amount of new levels, some of which are well designed, whenever I want.  While the creation tools aren’t as easy to work with as they were on the Wii U, Super Mario Maker 2 has a permanent place on my Switch.


It’s really odd that I enjoyed The Outer Worlds as much as I did considering my general apathy and dislike of the games it so clearly is building off of.  Where The Outer Worlds succeeds as opposed to games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls is in its refinement and focus.

The Outer Worlds isn’t about the scale of the world as much as its about packing it with (mostly) meaningful and interesting things to do and see.  From brilliant writing, excellent gameplay, interesting characters and a well thought out and engaging setting, The Outer Worlds is a complete experience that doesn’t waste your time.

I’ve heard some people grouse about how this game is too easy or too streamlined, striping away some of the deeper RPG elements they love, but they can huff my shorts because this is the first time a game in this style has ever won me over.

Honestly I’m shocked that The Outer Worlds is a game I enjoyed, let alone put this high up on my list.  I would’ve never believed you if you told me this earlier in the year.


Okay, so hear me out.  Untitled Goose Game isn’t the best game I’ve ever played, in fact, it isn’t even that good of a stealth game.  But, what it did was bring me a ton of joy and made me laugh.

I’ve had more fond memories playing as a nasty goose than any other game this year.  Untitled Goose Game constantly kept me smiling and laughing as I fought against the purposefully cumbersome controls in an effort to throw a rake in a lake.

The truth is that Untitled Goose Game is just pleasant.  Even when you’re traumatizing a kid who clearly is terrified of geese, or stealing a mans crops, or getting a guy to break his neighbor’s vase, the game still manages to just be fun without being overly complicated.

I genuinely enjoyed my time being a nasty goose and come back to it pretty regularly to try and sweep up the additional challenges that unlock when you beat it.  It may not be what you’d imagine a traditionally good game looks like, but this game made me happier than any other game I played this year.

It’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s my game of the year for 2019.

So that’s it everyone, Game of the Year 2019 is in the books.  I hope you enjoyed the articles that went up this week, because they were a lot of fun to write.  This is the last post going up in 2019, so I just wanted to thank you for sticking with me throughout the year.  You have no idea how much your support and readership has meant to me.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year everyone.  See you in 2020.

Blog: Reevaluation – 11/20/19

For the past year or so that I’ve been running The Bonus World, I’ve tried to provide coverage on all of the games I’m playing to the best of my abilities and shed some insight on the latest games.  Lately, that’s proven to be pretty overwhelming.

It’s not that I don’t want to write about games anymore or anything like that, quite the opposite actually.  I love writing this stuff and would continue to do so even if nobody was reading it.  I just enjoy this whole process too much to give it up.

But it’s been hard trying to cover all of these games with my limited amount of time and money.  Along with that, there are games that I want to play more of that I end up feeling guilty about when I do.

Desktop Screenshot 2019.11.15 -

For instance, Red Dead Redemption 2 recently dropped on PC, and while it’s functionally busted, I’d rather spend more time with that than any of the other new releases this year.  I’ve played that game to death on console when it released last year, but I just want to experience it again.

Alternatively, I’ve got Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order installed, and while I’ve dabbled in it and put a few hours in, it hasn’t grabbed me in a way that’s made me eager to hop back in.  It almost feels like I’m playing with the hopes that I’ll have something to say about it for an article.

And that’s kind of the issue.  I fell into this trap years ago when I did more video work and had a YouTube channel.  I would always try to find games that would translate into good videos, and rarely play the things that I really wanted to.  I don’t want to do that again.

Desktop Screenshot 2019.11.12 -

So I’m reevaluating some things about how I run The Bonus World, and might try to narrow the scope of what I’m doing.  I can’t say there’s going to be a hard cutoff point, or some massive difference in content, but I have to think about myself and what makes me happy too.

But none of this means the blog stops, or features like reviews and The Master of Disaster stop either.  It just means that there might be other things on this site that are easier for me to write instead of me trying to scoop up every game I can in order to write small features on.

Regardless, thanks for hanging with us for as long as you have.  Or if you’re new to the site, thanks for dropping in, I hope that no matter how you got here, I can keep providing you with reasons to come back.

Blog: A Mild Year – 10/23/19

Since starting The Bonus World, I’ve always tried to get some sort of end of the year wrap up article together for game of the year season.  Usually by this time in the year I can start constructing some loose amalgamation of a top ten list.  2019 happens to be the first year in a while where I’m having a tough time building that list.

That isn’t to say that the games I’ve played in 2019 have been disappointing or bad, I just found that a lot of what came out this year didn’t really resonate with me.  Things like Kingdom Hearts III and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice were received positively, but once again, not my kind of games.  Then we also had some real clunkers like Crackdown 3 and Anthem release early in the year and fade away into obscurity.

I think a lot of it has to do with developers gearing up for the next round of consoles along with the fact that early next year we’re going to be blitzed with some big titles like Doom Eternal, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Dying Light 2 and Cyberpunk 2077 to name a few.  2019 just feels like the gap year between the bombastic 2018 we had with Marvel’s Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption II to cherry pick some of my favorites, and the swan-song, end of the generation year of 2020.

Like I said, I don’t think it was a bad year for video games, but when compared to last year and what’s coming up next year, it’s definitely lacking something.  But hey, the year isn’t over yet, so I could eat my words on this.  We’ve got The Outer Worlds and Call of Duty Modern Warfare dropping this Friday (10/26), and games like Luigi’s Mansion 3, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokemon, Death Stranding and of course, Shenmue III in the very near future, and any of those games could be great.

But let’s be real here, I’m probably just gonna play Red Dead Redemption II on the PC obsessively and let the other games just slide into the background.

Blog: Coming Up Next – 07/17/19

We’re over halfway through the year and I’ll be honest, there haven’t been any releases this year that have really blown me away.  That’s why we’re going to look forward into the infinite void that is the remainder of 2019, and see what games are in store for us.


It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that I’m a big fan of those ladies and gentlemen that parade around in the colorful tights.  I believe they’re called superheroes in some circles.  I’ve never been the biggest fan of the Ultimate Alliance games, mostly because of the very repetitive, brawler combat it boasted.  It’s been a long time since I’ve played an Ultimate Alliance game, so maybe this time around I can find something to really sink my teeth into.


On top of being one of the only games I can think of that have ever dealt so directly with the concept of evolution, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey just looks so delightfully weird that I can’t help but want to play it.  I have no clue if there’s going to be any depth to it, or if it even will be fun, but I need to know how it shakes out.  In my mind, there’s a version of this game that is 99% the same, but has the creature creator from Spore so I can make nightmarish visions in a game that isn’t absolute trash.


Nothing like a bit of telekinesis, guns, and psychedelic shifting environments to really get the blood pumping.  Or at least, that’s what they say.  Control looks like a game that could easily become a sleeper hit this year.  With people coming away from demos of it celebrating not only the aesthetic and gameplay, but some more surprising aspects regarding the story and the agency you have, my excitement for Control has gone from none to some, fairly quickly.

NBA 2K20 – SEPTEMBER 6, 2019

Look, this isn’t something I expect most of my readers to give a shit about, but I do.  The NBA 2K series has proven to not only be the games I play when I don’t want to play anything else, but the spark that got me back into following the league in earnest.  There will be nothing monumentally different about this game, but I’ll take a slightly shiner version of the game I already own for sure.  Besides, I’ve gotten way more than my moneys worth out of last years entry.


Look, I’ve already said my piece about Borderlands 3 and how Randy Pitchford is doing his best to tank the game before it comes out, but it seems like the best candidate for a game that my friends and I can play together.  I am a little disappointed by some of the changes, or more accurately, the lack thereof, but Borderlands games are mindless fun, and if this one can nail that, then we’re golden.


The Zelda series has always been a weird dark spot in my gaming history.  I’ve played the original along with A Link to The Past, but outside of those, I never really gelled with the traditional top-down Zelda games the way I did with the 3D ones.  But once again, I’ve been somewhat taken with an adorable graphic style despite my spotty history with these kinds of games.  I will buy The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening when it is released, the only question is if I’ll regret it or not.


I’m so curious to see what a reboot of Call of Duty 4 looks like.  I can’t imagine that they’ll manage to recreate the magic of the initial 2007 release, but I’d love to see them try.  I think what I’m most interested in seeing is how this release is received both critically and commercially, and how the next Call of Duty game shapes up because of it.  Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare casts such a big shadow over the franchise itself for being such a monumental step forward in terms of online shooters, it’s easy to see why you’d want to go back to this particular well once more.  We’ll see how it all goes down when it comes out.


So let’s get this out in the open:  I don’t like Bethesda styled RPGs.  There are a myriad of reasons why, but let’s just truncate this thing by saying the word “bugs” and leave it at that.  So imagine my confusion when I saw the trailer for The Outer Worlds and was actually into it.  Maybe it was the setting that piqued my interest, or the possibility that this game engine might actually be able to sustain the weight of the game, but I can’t be sure.  All I know is that I’m cautiously optimistic about The Outer Worlds and hope it isn’t too broken.


I only really got to play the first Luigi’s Mansion in short bursts thanks to me never actually owning a Gamecube, but it was easily the game I was most curious about playing on that console.  Now that I own a Nintendo Switch and the third game in series is finally coming out on it, I can make up for that lost time.  I don’t actually know what to expect from Luigi’s Mansion 3 aside from busting some ghosts with what I think is literally a vacuum cleaner, but hell, I’m up for it.


I remember being a kid and playing Pokemon Red when it came out.  After that I got Pokemon Yellow and was just as into it as the first one. Fast forward to 2018 when I played Let’s Go Pikachu, and we’ve just covered my entire history with Pokemon games.  My experience and love for the Pokemon games are very low, but after enjoying the Let’s Go games as much as I did, I’m at least curious to see what all the fuss is about.  I enjoyed the more streamlined version of Pokemon I played last year, and I know that this isn’t going to follow suit, but I’m still interested enough in it to possibly try it out.  But man, when I hear things like “Dynamaxing” and “EV-Training,” my eyes start to glaze over, and my interest suddenly runs dry.


It’s a Star Wars game.  I like Star Wars.  I like lifting fools with my magic powers and slicing my way through everything with my laser sword.  I’ve heard that this game will allow me to do both, and then some.  It’s been a while since we’ve gotten a real Star Wars game, now only time will tell if this one is good or not.  I’m a big fan of everything I’ve seen in the footage they’ve revealed, but I’m curious to see more of the game.  This might be one of the few games this year that I’m actually excited about.


There’s no need for me to explain myself here, just watch the trailer.

We’re only halfway through the year, and this isn’t a comprehensive list of any kind, but I’m still hoping that something between now and the end of the year manages to really blow me away.

E3 2019: Microsoft

Microsoft took the stage at this year’s E3 with what might be the most exciting and interesting lineup of games, hardware and services.  With so many of their initiatives coming to a head, between streaming services, announced games from purchased studios, possibly new hardware reveals, and the fact that their main competition isn’t attending the show, Microsoft has nowhere to go but up.

Preamble aside, this is what they brought to the biggest stage in gaming this year that caught my eye.


They opened the show with some new footage from The Outer Worlds, the Obsidian, Fallout style first-person RPG.  Personally, I’m not a big fan of the Bethesda style game, but the setting and scope of the game itself was a very attractive prospect.

The sci-fi trappings of this first person action RPG looks right up my alley aesthetically, and the gun play looks like it didn’t suck, which would be a nice change from every Fallout game. Also, I watched the player just shoot a quest giver in the chest, so this game looks like a blast.  It comes out October 25th of this year.


Next up was Ninja Theory’s, Bleeding Edge.  It’s a 4v4 melee focused competitive multiplayer game.  It looks like a blend of Borderlands, Overwatch and For Honor.  There wasn’t much in the way of details, except that it has attitude.  Gnarly.


The sequel to the very good Ori and the Blind Forest was once again, shown off, boasting it’s signature beautiful art style and tight platforming.  In this short trailer, there wasn’t much in the way of information, but if it follows in the footsteps of it’s predecessor while iterating on some of the more irritating aspects of the game, then this could be a homerun.  It’s out February 11th of 2020.


Next we were onto that Minecraft game that’s a dungeon crawler, apltly named Minecraft Dungeons.  It’s a 4 player coop dungeron crawler that looks neat.  I think the art style works with the isometric camera, and I gotta hand it to them, it’s a fairly cool concept that works well within the world of Minecraft.  It’s due out next spring.


We got to see more of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, but there wasn’t much in the way of new footage.  Instead, it looked as if it was made from the full demo they showed yesterday at EA Play, chopping it down into a more bite sized and exciting package.  There were flashes of new footage, but nothing that really expanded on what was shown at EA Play.  It releases November 11th of this year.


They showed off this spooky trailer with a dude running into a shack in the woods, where he was definitely going to die.  There was also an adorable dog that traveled with him, that I’m sure is going to die, which makes this game an instant pass and also it gets 0/5 stars for even putting that idea in my head.  That’s the official review for a game that comes out on August 30th.


The very anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 made an appearance in the form of what I assume is a cut scene in the game, it’s hard to know for sure though.  There were lots of half robot people with guns, a self driving car, a robo-fist-fight between two men, lots of bleeping out of the bad words, a woman who can hack with her mind, and KEANU REEVES.  And then Keanu Reeves, not content with blowing the minds of everyone for just being in the game, walked out on stage.

He was charming and wonderful and is precious and I love him.  The crowd was eating it up, and so was he.  Then he gave us the release date by striking an emphatic pose while pointing to the big screen that flashed to some more gameplay, quickly followed by an April 16th, 2020 release date.

I am very excited about Cyberpunk 2077 as a fairly recent convert to the camp of CD Projekt Red, and as you can probably guess, the grimy sci-fi aesthetic is definitely my jam.


Hell yeah baby, the Battletoads are back and they look like a Disney Afternoon cartoon.  It’s a 3 person co-op brawler that has no release date.  Hopefully, it’ll be as good as I remember Castle Crashers being.  Realistically, it’ll be the best Battletoads game, but that isn’t saying much.


A bunch of games were announced and highlighted in this ID@XBOX game montage.  A lot of the stuff looked really cool and up my alley.  I plan on investigating some of these games more in-depth at some point, but for now, just enjoy the trailer.

The montage was followed with the news that the games in the montage were all going to launch day and date on Xbox Game Pass.

They also announced that the entire Master Chief Collection is coming to game pass on PC, along with the news that the PC game pass launched today, and they’re bundling both Game Passes and Xbox Live Gold for $14.99.  Which honestly, is a pretty great deal.


Powered by Google Maps, there was a lot of pomp and circumstance around this iteration of Flight Simulator, and honestly, it looks absolutely solid and something that I could definitely see myself dumping an obscene amount of time into.

I’ve never been a big, “plane guy,” but I am definitely a, “seemingly mundane simulator game guy,” and this speaks to me in that regard.


With the announcement that Microsoft had purchased Double Fine, they celebrated their union by showing us a new trailer for Psychonauts 2.  The game itself looks just as phenomenal as I’d hope, and seems like it’s striking the right tone while boasting a fairly interesting story for the follow up to one of my personal favorite games.

Psychonauts is easily one of my favorite games based on it’s tight gameplay, and great humor.  Hopefully, almost 15 years later, the sequel can illicit similar feelings.


HELL YEAH SON, THEY SHOWED OFF THAT GOKU GAME.  It looks dope as hell, and it would be the ten thousandth time I’ve experienced the first 100 episodes of that show.  I know nothing about the game, how it plays, how progression works, how many sagas are represented in it, but I’m definitely getting this game.


Anapurna came to show a game that revolves around a time loop and an emotional and gut wrenching story.  It looks like you’re reliving the same time loop over and over in an attempt to get it right and not watch your wife die.  It’s being billed as an “interactive thriller,” which means I’ll probably really like it and confuse my friends by talking about it so much.  Or, it’ll suck.  Who knows?  It’s coming soon apparently.


So they started off this Gears of War 5 trailer with some slight body horror stuff that was very uncomfortable to look at, and I’m not sure if Bound By Blood is the subtitle or just a catchphrase about the game, but whatever.  After that profoundly disturbing sequence, it was clear that this presentation wasn’t about the story mode.

Instead, they blasted off some fireworks for a while and then zoomed in under the stage to show off a multiplayer mode that has you and your team plant a bomb in an enemy base and then escape from said base.  It sure seemed like a lot of production and effort to go into just to show off a new mode, but whatever.  Also, there were wrestlers under the stage who were gonna play the mode on Mixer, so that was bizarre.

Then there was a hip hop remix of Crazy Train that featured Lil’ Jon, I think?  There was also a character who pulled out an electric knife and stabbed a bunch of fools which looked cool, but since it’s a CG trailer, who knows how it’ll actually play?  From said electro-knife lady, I assume that this mode is a class-based affair, and one person is the gun-man, and there’s lady-knife, and probably bomb-dude or something.  But that could be just me projecting.

It’s a three player focused co-op mode that looks interesting, but didn’t seem worth all the effort they put into showing it off.  It all felt disjointed and weird and also if you preorder you can play as a Terminator.  So never mind about the disjointed thing, this entire sequence was never “jointed” to begin with.

It releases on September 10th this year and can be played a few days early by buying the expensive edition or playing via Game Pass.


They announced a new Elite Controller with more features, dongles, Bluetooth, a rechargeable battery and charging dock.  It all seemed like smart innovations and needed redesigns, but will probably also be expensive as hell.

I really want an Elite Controller, but cannot justify paying $150 for a controller, no matter how good it is.


A new trailer for the very exciting Dying Light 2 was shown off, focusing on choices and “remembering who you are” and other ethical quandaries.  I saw a zombie climb the player like a ladder, so that’s uncool and definitely not welcome.

I liked Dying Light a whole bunch, but I felt like I lacked any agency and also hated the weapon durability system, although, to be fair, it wasn’t as egregious as it could’ve been.  Still, I hate that mechanic in games, but for Dying Light 2, I can make an exception.

Also it’s out next year.


They rolled out a sports car made of Lego pieces to promote Forza Horizon 4 and their upcoming crossover with the toy manufacturer.  Yes, Lego.  Everything was Lego, people, cars, animals, fences, and other stuff were all made of those delightful little bricks.  Not since Forza Horizon partnered with Hot Wheels, have I been more curious about playing a Forza game.  It looks like a lot of fun and will be available on June 13th.


Bad.  All of this is bad.  It’s a mobile game in the vein of Clash Royale and looks terrible.  Seriously, it looks gross, and appears to be little more than an attempt to suck money out of people.  Also, Funko Pop figures are ugly and terrible.


For a long time, a lot of people have been clamoring for this MMO to finally get localized and get a proper western release.  I have no reverence for Phantasy Star Online or the MMO genre in general, so this doesn’t seem like anything I’d be interested in.  It comes out next year and is exclusively coming to Xbox.


I’ve made my thoughts on Borderlands as a series clear, and this trailer didn’t do much to change them.  It looks exactly like what you’d expect from a sequel to Borderlands 2, which I guess is what people want.  But in an age where games like Destiny and The Division exist, I’m curious to see how Borderlands 3 does against other loot shooters.  I just wish they would have tried to do some more interesting things as opposed to just doubling down on what’s worked in the past.

They also released a new piece of DLC for Borderlands 2 to link the stories of the two games, which I’m pretty sure is free.

It comes out September 13th of this year.


With no gameplay and just an ambiguous as hell CG trailer, it sure felt like something both From Software and Georgie boy would make.

I don’t have any love for either From Software or the throne man himself, Mr. R.R. Martin, and this detail-packed trailer did nothing to sway those feelings.


They were extremely brief and vague when it came to their streaming initiative, Project X-Cloud, but it sounds like it’s launching this year, and you can even use your Xbox One as a sort of home streaming device, allowing you to stream to other devices on the same WiFi connection.


There was a lot of hype and boasting about the technology and connectivity around the next Xbox console to kick of this next segment.  Focusing in on the more tech heavy bullet points like the processor in the console, ray tracing support, SSD inclusion, backwards compatibility and so on and so forth.  No real visual element aside from various studio heads talking about how powerful this technology is.

The way they’re positioning this next console seems to be a direct response to how the Xbox One was lambasted upon reveal.  Instead of superfluous features, they chose to focus on performance, and how it’s for games and gamers.  Nothing about TV or movies which, while it almost definitely will support other forms of entertainment, won’t be a focus at all.

Releasing holiday of 2020, we didn’t get a name aside from the code name, Project Scarlet.


Announced as a Project Scarlet launch title, we were treated to what I assume is a cut-scene from the game Halo Infinite.  All I can surmise from this trailer is that, once again, things are bad, and Master Chief got saved by someone so that he can save everyone else.  Also he misses he digital, blue, cyber-girlfriend who lived in his head for a while until she went bonkers.

And just like that, you now know the entire plot to all of Halo.

Then everything ended.  It all just stopped.  And not one mention of Fable at all!  Sure we got Keanu Reeves, but I really, really wanted the Fable rumors to bear fruit.  It’s all exciting stuff, but doesn’t solve the issue of big releases this year.  They’ve got Gears coming this year, but not much else.

It really felt like the entire Xbox brand is just going to lay low for a while, restructuring it’s offerings and services, so that they can come back next winter to release an incredibly, fully featured console.

But next year, it seems like Microsoft is gonna hit consumers hard and make sure people feel good about the brand by the time the next console drops.



E3 2019: EA Play

Despite the fact that E3 technically doesn’t start for a few more days, we’re here to kick off the whole shebang with EA and their series of live streams.  The beginning of this year for EA was met with promise and praise thanks to surprise hit, Apex Legends.  Soon after though, their tent pole release Anthem, belly flopped onto the scene and continues to be a tumultuous game.

With that said though, this is some of the more interesting things that EA brought to the table this E3.


EA kicked off the show with arguably, the most anticipated EA game this year, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.  Boasting 15 “uncut” minutes of gameplay footage.  From the jump, I they showed off some wall running to meet up with Forrest Whitaker, presumably playing his Rouge One character.  Some cool touches were things like seeing the character use his lightsaber and a light source in a dark area along with using force powers to clear platforming paths for yourself.

A lot of the combat encounters early in the demo looked like they were crafted specifically for presentation purposes, cause a lot of the basic storm troopers just kinda stood there, waiting to get stabbed.

Eventually though, a tougher enemy showed up, and there was this brief one-on-one moment that looked like something out of Dark Souls, which seems like a great way to represent and experience the gravitas of a lightsaber duel.

There was a lot of wall climbing and running, and frequent use of a time slowing power that I wasn’t aware Jedi had, but it looked cool.

Another neat thing was seeing the storm troopers face off against local wildlife.  It doesn’t seem like something that will happen organically, but it was nice to know that these guys aren’t just solely waiting around for you to kill them.

There was a “high ground” joke made in the demo, so that was fun.

It seems to be implementing aspects from a lot of beloved Star Wars games, notably Force Unleashed and what little people saw of 1313.  One of the cooler bits I saw was a storm trooper fired a laser bullet, the player slowed time, pulled the trooper closer to him, and put him in front of the bullet he fired moments ago.

What I didn’t get from the footage was a sense of scale in the game.  The level they showed off seemed fairly linear, without much deviation from the critical path.  I genuinely hope that isn’t the case and there’s something similar to how God of War handled it’s world.

The combat looked very interesting to me as well, also bringing up comparisons to God of War.  Everything seemed deliberate and calculated, and the post reveal interview revealed that everything we saw was done on the fly.  The example they used was when the player pulled an enemy close to them and drove his lightsaber through them, that wasn’t a canned animation, but rather the result of button inputs.

One of the more interesting aspects here is that there isn’t much in the way of variation of the story.  Star Wars games typically lean into the light and dark dichotomy, but in Fallen Order, you’re playing a tailored story.  That isn’t a negative or positive thing, I just find it interesting that a Star Wars game is foregoing that weird expectation this time around.

The game looks extremely satisfying to play.  I hate to keep drumming up this comparison, but it looks like they took God of War 2018, and injected it with Star Wars.  The game is set to release on November 15th, and I for one, am eager to get my hands on it.


People really like Apex Legends.  In theory, I do too.  But it just never got its hooks in me.  So who better than I to talk about what they’ve announced for Apex Legends than myself?

They started by announcing a new event called, The Legendary Hunt which I guess is a ranked mode for those who want to be even more competitive in this battle royale game.

They also seem to be finally leaning into the cosmetic angles of a free to play game, by showing off what I assume are new skins.

Then they pivoted into their season 2 plans.  It launches July 2nd and is called Battlecharge.  Touting a new legend, a map event, a mode, a new battle pass and some balance tweaks.

For all the hype of a new weapon, it looks like an SMG that shoots lasers.  I think it’s from Titanfall 2, but I can’t be sure.  It seems to be very powerful and the interviewer seemed very excited for it, as is his job.

The battle pass is undergoing a lot of changes, making leveling easier and streamlining its usage. There’s also a competitive season ranked mode, in the vein of Overwatch ranked mode coming.

There’s some additional skins, but to honest, they all kind of looked lame.  With the exception of the gun with a rhino head on the front of it.

And then they revealed a new character named Wattson.  She’s apparently very smart and French, so that’s cool.  She looks to be a defensive oriented character, capable of putting up laser fences and turrets.  She looks like a tougher character to play because her powers are so interconnected to herself and her teammates.

Then they started saying some stuff that I couldn’t understand cause I don’t play Apex Legends.  It’s hard for me to be excited for or properly report on what this stuff is about, cause I’m just not a huge fan of Apex Legends.


In an attempt to drum up some hype for their fledgling release from last year, EA marched out a half hour of Battlefield V news.  Once again, I’m not a huge fan of Battlefield these days, but here we go anyway.

They announced a new map that unsurprisingly looks beautiful and chaotic as hell and should be out sometime in July.  Shortly after, they showed a sizzle reel of some other, equally pretty and chaotic maps that are due out in July.

It’s always really interesting to me that in these demos, they never show off the true gameplay loop of Battlefield.  There’s always a lot of people mowing each other down in mid to close range combat, but in reality, the experience is more of you spawning in, and then immediately getting sniped.

This entire section of the presentation felt similar to the apology tour they did last year with Star Wars: Battlefront II.  Not that they were apologizing, but they hammered the point home that they were responding to community feedback in crafting the new maps and modes.

It’s nice to see that EA isn’t straight up abandoning Battlefield V despite it under performing for them, but rather, supporting the community they have.  It seems like a course correction in the public image issues EA has had for a while, where they appear to drop any unsuccessful game instead of supporting it.  It’s a smart move, and I hope it’s indicative of a more permanent change as opposed to a temporary solution.

Anyway, this wasn’t what I’d call a super exciting portion of the presentation.  It felt like they took a map pack announcement trailer, and spread it out over a half hour.


Man, I don’t know.  They’re doing some FIFA Street style mode which seems like it could be fun, but I really am not the target audience on this one.  I mean, I enjoyed the “street” series of games they once made, but it isn’t enough to make me buy a FIFA game.

Also, I should mention, for the first half of the time slot for this presentation, they just talked about the concept of street football (soccer) instead of actually showing any gameplay.  I get it, I do.  There’s a massive cultural relevance for this product and mode, but it really felt like they didn’t have much in the way of additional announcements for the upcoming FIFA.

At this point I started to zone out and stare into the background of the shots.  There were a lot of people with umbrella hats on, and I’m so thankful for that.  They must’ve been selling them nearby, and even if they were free, they were too expensive.  Also, a lot of people waving in the background and generally being a nuisance.


Anthem showed up for a cool 3 minutes.  Basically a short apology tour, saying things like “we’re responding to the community” and such.  It was just standard stuff about how they’re fixing things and working hard.


Welcome to football town folks, they have more umbrella hats here.  This year in football town, there’s a career mode for your created player, new playbooks, challenges for ultimate team stuff, and something called “X-Factor abilities” which seem to be superstar specific buffs that you can unlock in-game by completing player specific challenges.

I think I went to the restroom while this segment was going on.  I don’t know, it’s a shiny new Madden that I’m sure people will love.


Rounding out the 3 hour event was The Sims 4.  They started with an expansion pack called Island Living, which looks like exactly what you think it would be.  Lots of beaches, jet-skis, sandcastles, and coral reefs.  Cleaning up beach garbage and beach parties were also in the mix, as well as a mermaid.

You can have dolphin buddies, which seems pretty rad.  And I’m pretty sure they just implied that mermaids and dolphins fuck.  So thanks for that disturbing visual, EA.

Oh good, they decided to play a video from a YouTube content creator.  An influencer if you will.  But this person did announce that The Sims 4 was including gender neutral and LGBTQ pride items to the game, which is very cool.

And then they announced a magic themed pack that’s coming later in the year.  So, Harry Potter fans, get pumped.

EA Play is a weird thing.  It’s like EA is trying to do both the established E3 event thing, and the streaming to consumers thing.  It isn’t a bad way to do a conference or event, but when there was so little to announce, it just felt lifeless.

I will say that I thought every host they had on the show, teetered between enthusiastic, and supremely annoying, but hey, that’s their job.  Aside from that, the biggest news has to be at the very end when a man in an umbrella hat, holding a camera and an anime body pillow stood in the background and waved at the camera.  Great job everyone.