Hey folks, George here. I’m one of the editors of the Courier Gaming section for 2018/19.
On the surface, the games I played over the summer don’t seem particularly relevant to gaming right now. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a spin-off from a dead console, Enter the Gungeon and The Flame in the Flood are two-year-old indie gems and, depending on who you ask, Fortnite died back in April.
And yet, that’s what I’ve been playing. Why? It’s all down to the Nintendo Switch. While this console has plenty of fresh content directly from eager developers, it’s also the perfect place for giving old releases a second wind. It’s hybrid, portable nature also fits with my schedule, ready to use wherever I am (as long as I remember it) and regardless of how much time I have free.
It’s not all about the Switch though - PS4 has the freshly released Marvel’s Spider-Man and Red Dead Redemption 2 is quickly approaching. I’m hearing great things about them both, and all I need now is the time to play them. Which I’ll get. Eventually...
During dreary nights this summer, when many of my friends were away from Newcastle and I was over encumbered with revision material, I escaped into Infinite Fall’s Night in the Woods. Released in February 2017, this underappreciated indie title resonated with my homesick self.
Night in the Woods focuses on the misadventures of Mae, a college dropout who returns to her dilapidated hometown, her affable parents, and the complicated friendship dynamics every student wishes they left behind for good. Mae has trouble readjusting to this smaller, quieter life, relearning an instrument in Guitar Hero style mini-games and exploring a town that has slowly become quite unfamiliar to her.
Throughout the long summer days I lazed around for hours swiping through mobile strategy game Reigns: Her Majesty, a shockingly addictive sequel to Devolver Digital’s 2016 release, and rediscovered the breathtaking designs in Monument Valley (another mobile game).
As a lover of all things JRPG, my gaming summer mainly consisted of experiences designed to immerse the player in weird and wonderful settings for hundreds of hours. Kicking off with Level-5’s Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, in which I spent half of my in-game hours exploring, fighting and experiencing a rich narrative, and the other half simply gawking at the game's magnificent visuals and getting lost in the beautiful, orchestral score.
Further rounding out my summer line-up were the clunky but ultimately enjoyable Vampyr, and the exceptional Monster Hunter: World. On top of this was another few dozen hours spent with Atlus’ Persona 5, one of my favourite games of all time. This is all thanks to some brilliant writing, engaging turn-based combat, and a presentation so slick and cool I still feel unworthy just being in the same room as this genre-defining masterpiece.