To say that there are a lot of games out there would be the understatement of the century. So many games come out each year that it’s impossible to keep up with them all; meaning that many of them fly under the radar. There’s also the matter of older games being forgotten simply because younger generations of gamers were never exposed to them. This is an injustice; and although I cannot fix it, I can at least combat it. This is a series dedicated to showing some love for games that deserved more attention than they received.
First up to bat is an adorable little game from developer Queasy Games. “Sound Shapes” is a platformer centered around music. Every level has its own song, but unlike other games that just play background music, the song is orchestrated by the level itself. As the player progresses through each stage, they will encounter obstacles, enemies, and note coins that all build on the level’s song. It’s a very simple, but highly entertaining and relaxing experience, but the real highlight is the level editor mode. Using a decent-sized selection of music notes and styles, players can create their own levels with their own music. I’ve spent far too many hours cranking out my own creations. There used to be an in-game online community in which people could share their levels, but sadly the servers went down on Oct. 15, 2018. Despite this, the game is still absolutely worth a look.
11.11 PRVT01 TRACKLIST
“Einhander” is probably my favorite shoot ‘em up game ever. I’ve played a lot of games in this style, but none are as badass as this one. Crazy weapons, big explosions, and an awesome techno original soundtrack make for a game that is all about high octane sci-fi action. Playing “Einhander” requires a player’s full attention, as it’s a pretty challenging game that will keep people on their toes throughout. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the various boss fights. These things are where “Einhander” truly shines. Each boss offers a unique and difficult fight backed up by some kickass tunes, and a nice, big explosion at the end of the fight tops it all off. The game is very short, but that actually works in its favor as there are multiple secret areas and weapons that encourage multiple playthroughs.
This is a criminally underappreciated gem from the folks over at Capcom. “Dragon’s Dogma” is a fantasy game set in a fairly typical fantasy world, but it still manages to stand out from the crowd. Gameplay and exploration are the biggest draws here. The party and class systems allow for a lot of experimentation in approaching encounters, thanks to a bevy of fun, inventive abilities. The world of “Dragon’s Dogma” was made to be explored on foot rather than zipping around everywhere with fast travel. This makes the game quite immersive. Curiosity leads the way as players venture throughout the world, looking to see what’s around the next corner. This made it all the more exhilarating whenever I stumbled across one of the game’s many fantasy creatures, such as a cyclops or a hydra. Encounters like this made the world of “Dragon’s Dogma” feel alive, and it makes playing the game feel like an adventure. Admittedly, the game could be a bit more polished, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good game. My only real gripe with it is that this game doesn’t have cooperative play despite being a perfect fit for it.