6 Recent Games That Put Crazy Effort Into Tiny Details
The average gamer online spends so much time complaining about video games that it's easy to lose track of the truly important things in life. Like other, better video games. So let's put the bickering on hold for a few minutes and appreciate some of the insanely cool little things that today's best video games didn't have to include, but did anyway.
You Could Never Even Come Close To Playing Every Combo In Smash Bros. Ultimate
The Super Smash Bros. series started out as a simple party game about Nintendo's most beloved mascots beating the crap out of each other, but that description falls short by now. Ultimate, the latest installment, is more like a massive gaming encyclopedia that also happens to be a fighting game (which is how all encyclopedias would work in an ideal world).
The game has so much content that 1-Ups would need to exist in real life to get through every possible match combination. The base game includes 74 playable characters, 87 items, 103 stages, 114 assist characters, and 1,200 spirits, which are basically gaming-related Google Image Search results you can fight with.
Every single stage is full of lovingly rendered little details that are easy to miss. For instance, if you pause and zoom out on Mr. Game & Watch's stage, you can see you're fighting inside an actual Game & Watch console from the '80s.
The Game Theorists did the math, and taking into account all the variants and such, there are over 1 sedecillion possible matches in this game. That's a number with so many zeros that if we tried to type it out here, it'd probably break the website, if not the Universe. Of course, we're just going to keep playing as Yoshi and poop opponents off ledges, but it's cool to know we have options.
Space Junkies Allows You To Do VR Without Puking
Sure, there are other VR titles that technically count as FPS games, but most of them are either A) short tech demos or B) existing games where they just tacked on the VR stuff because "Eh, might as well." So right off the bat, Space Junkies is noteworthy because it was specifically made for VR, making it less prone to the clunkiness that plagues "VR as an afterthought" shooters.
For instance, multiple reviews have noted that the game is immersive without making you feel like you're about to become immersed in your thrown-up lunch. In fact, Ubisoft even worked with French astronauts to prevent motion sickness.
We must therefore assume that everything else in this trailer is an accurate representation of the French space program.
Another thing setting Space Junkies apart is the fact that, in a time when the FPS genre is dominated by battle royales, hero shooters, MOBA, and QBORT BLTs (we may have made that last one up), these guys are bringing back the good ol' arena shooter. You know, the ones that put the focus on the actual "shooting" part (ask your granddad about Quake 3 Arena if you're not familiar). It's worth noting that the game was initially criticized for being kinda light on content when it came out this March, but it has already started offering free updates to make up for that.
Stealth Actually Makes Sense In Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Most stealth-based video games are less about learning how to move around enemies undetected and more about exercising your memory. You watch the baddies for a while, learn their patterns, wonder why their butts look so much better in those pants than yours does, and then jump on them with a weapon. Sekiro doesn't exactly make Skynet a reality, but it adds little things to make the stealth experience way more realistic than your average "crouch-run to the next distracted guard" game.
One example is compartmentalizing alert statuses. Unlike in other games, being caught by one or two enemies in Sekiro doesn't mean you'll suddenly have like 200 bad guys from all over the map chasing you down to kill you. This is a welcome change, because it means you don't have to throw the "stealth" part out the window and turn things hack-and-slash the moment you step on a creaky floorboard.
And if you do alert multiple enemies, they don't automatically go after you as a unit. Some chase you down vigorously, some are slightly slower and fall behind, and some eventually get tired of running and go back to their station (presumably muttering something about not getting paid enough for this crap). This allows you to fight enemies one by one, and ... still die on your first 5,000 or so attempts, if you're like us.
The Division 2 Teaches You The Joy Of Giving
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 sounds like a '90s computer game about a popular novelist teaching you math, but it's actually a looter shooter. That's a game where you shoot a lot of people, collect loot, upgrade your gear, and then rinse, shoot, and repeat. The problem with this format is that usually once you get a good set of gear, there's no reason to hunt down more loot. The rest just ends up as junk for dismantling or selling. The Division 2 makes an effort to fix this by giving you a more meaningful way to dispose of your unwanted garbage: charity.
See, the game takes place in a world ravaged by a smallpox pandemic (vaccinate your damn kids). As you progress in the story, you unlock settlements populated by scrappy groups of civilians who will give you important missions ... like when they ask you to get them a new BBQ grill. To be fair, if we were facing possible death in a pestilence-ridden world, we'd want to be full of ribs too.
But aside from performing missions, you can also donate your gear and be rewarded with useful blueprints, experience, bounties, or just the satisfaction of knowing that your trash is helping the needy. Many of these donation projects are repeatable in the postgame ... and who knows, maybe in real life too, if you get a taste for charity. Thoughtful details like these are why Mr. Clancy is our favorite developer.
Far Cry: New Dawn Remembered That Colors Are A Thing That Exist
You can usually tell a game is set in a post-apocalyptic world before any half-destroyed buildings even show up by just looking at the color palette. Most games in this genre tend to render the future as drab, with colors that range from gray to brown to grayish-brown. Far Cry: New Dawn stands out just by acknowledging that nuclear explosions can't wipe out chunks of the visual spectrum.
Even compared to non-futuristic games, New Dawn is still distinctive, thanks to its bright tones. The most obvious source is the purple flowers that litter this entire wasteland, but you also have the fluorescent graffiti left by enterprising vandals and the snazzy clothes worn by your fashion-conscious enemies. Heck, this could pass for a Nintendo game if it wasn't for the occasional splashes of blood here and there (which also liven up the environment in their own way). Incidentally, if Ubisoft and Nintendo are looking to do a follow-up crossover to Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, we think Far Cry Meets Splatoon would be a logical step.
Jump Force Lets Famous Characters Be Themselves
Video games based on anime often have a hard time finding a balance between staying true to the (often bonkers) source material and functionality. The crossover fighting game Jump Force took a different approach -- almost slavish devotion to the comics and cartoons, down to the smallest character details, even if it affects balance and gameplay mechanics -- and somehow it works.
While there is an attempt to level the playing field (otherwise Dragon Ball characters would pulverize everyone while screaming for 35 episodes), Jump Force makes an effort to stay true to its various sources, even if it significantly alters or limits the mechanics. Take Sanji from One Piece, a girl-crazy pirate with a strict code against hitting women. Most fighting games would ignore that (or, you know, not include him), but Jump Force remains faithful to the character by turning all of his offensive moves into wimpy defensive pushbacks if you try to make him fight a female opponent.
Meanwhile, Dio Brando from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is excluded from more than half of the game's stages because he's a vampire, and thus can only fight at night (he's never heard of hoodies, sadly). Then there's Gon from Hunter x Hunter, who in the original series performs an attack so powerful that it leaves him in a coma. So naturally, if you use that ability in Jump Force, it takes him out of the fight.
Things like that might put off or confuse novice players, but let's face it, putting off and confusing people is a proud anime tradition. Fans wouldn't have it any other way.
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