For topic 3 of the Kinda Funny Gamescast this week, the guys discussed some games they thought got overlooked or didn’t get enough attention. I haven’t played very many games this year, but I’ll take this opportunity to hype up some games I love that I think people should check out. Some games I’m including are pretty well known within the PlayStation community, but the casual gamer might not know ’em, and I feel like talking about ’em. I also plan on reviewing some of these games in full someday, so I’ll try to keep my explanations brief.
To the Moon/A Bird Story
So this is actually two games—To the Moon is an indie adventure RPG that came out in 2011, and A Bird Story is an indie adventure short that came out in 2014, and is set in the same universe as To the Moon. They are made by indie developer Freebird Games and they can be played on PC or Mac. I’ve combined them because I essentially have the same things to say about them, and I hope that anyone interested will play both.
To the Moon tells a fantastic, emotional story: two doctors attempt to fulfill the wish of a dying man by altering his memories, so that he may experience something he didn’t actually do in his life—go to the moon.
The game looks beautiful, the dialogue is really funny at times, and the soundtrack is phenomenal. Plus, it only takes about four hours to play, so it’s a great pick for those wanting something short and sweet.
A Bird Story is only about an hour long, but it’s worth playing for those who enjoy To the Moon—same beautiful graphics, and another great soundtrack.
Spec Ops: The Line
At first blush this game seems like any other third-person shooter—you play as an american soldier, accompanied by two others, as you fight your way through a war-torn Dubai. Super generic on the surface, right? Well, as you go about the regular business of shooting down anything in your way, events in the game start making you question your actions and decisions, and the experience is actually a commentary on war-time shooters.. Kinda meta. Released in 2012 for the PS3, Xbox 360, PC, and Mac
This is one of the games that most PlayStation gamers know, but I’ve talked to some friends who are casual gamers and they had never heard of it. So I figured I’d talk it up a bit to those who aren’t in the know. inFamous is an action-adventure game where you play as a bike courier who wakes up with superpowers after an explosion levels the city. Through your actions you discover what happened, how you got the powers, and you determine the fate of the city. Released in 2009, inFamous is a PS3 exclusive, and it has been successful enough to warrant two sequels.
As a kid I was a very casual gamer, and for the most part I just played sports games. I credit inFamous with showing me that the world of video games had so much more to offer than touchdowns and goals. The gameplay is fun and addicting, the story is told with these cool graphic novel-style cut scenes, and the morality system gives you two different ways to play. I’m definitely a late-bloomer when it comes to gaming, but thanks to inFamous I am no longer partially blind to the wonderful world of video games.
That Dragon, Cancer
I’ve mentioned this game a few times over the last couple weeks, and that’s because I can’t get it out of my head. And I haven’t even played it. Instead I watched a Let’s Play on YouTube and I was blown away—so much so that I still intend on playing it. I don’t want to give anything away so I’ll just say this: it tells the story of a young cancer patient from the perspective of his parents. A brutally honest, emotional story, that needs to be experienced (which feels weird for me to say given the heavy subject matter, but seriously, play this game). Just released on Jan. 12, 2016 for PC and Mac.
Emily Is Away
This is another short experience, about one hour in length, and it’s basically just a nostalgia trip. Journey back to the days of MSN Messenger (or in this case AIM) as you converse with a character named Emily. The story is interesting and will be relatable for many. It’s a cool little trip. Another newer release as well—Nov. 20, 2015 for PC and Mac. Oh, and it’s free to play, so no excuses.
Life Is Strange
Life is Strange is an episodic adventure game told in five parts. It’s centered around a teenage girl named Max, who discovers she has the power to rewind time. Another great story here, where the choices you make effect the outcomes in the game. If you enjoy the Telltale games, this one’s for you. Originally released in January 2015 on digital platforms, it is now available as a physical copy, and it’s playable on PS3/PS4, Xbox One/Xbox 360, and PC.
If you have played any of these games, let me know your thoughts in the comments. And definitely give me some video game recommendations, because I intend to play quite a few games this summer.