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Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle (Switch)

Perhaps one of 2017’s biggest surprises, Mario in a XCOM-like game, holding a gun? One of the most enjoyable games for the Switch, something I never though I would say about a games starring the Ravin’ Rabbids.

The quirky humour is apparent from the start, mere minutes in you hear the signature BWAAAH!, and I can actually say that I enjoy the rabbids being rabbids throughout the game.

The world is colourful and beautiful

Mario and his unlikely companions balance out each other well. The classic Rabbid Peach bit with her taking selfies felt so right as it is a reflection on the contemperary. Rabbid Luigi is described as being crazy and thinking he is some kind of wizard, making him the most hilarious character in the ensemble.

One of the biggest downsides is that Mario always has to be in the party. Mario being the middle ground of everything makes him a bit boring, though very useful. Sometimes it might had been fun to use an other character to further play on the player’s strength and play style.

The score by Grant Kirkhope is fitting, and his take on classic Mario songs, especially the Super Mario 64 Castle theme, are very respectfully handled. The very Conker’s Bad Fur Day-inspired boss fight didn’t feel off-putting even though a bit cringey. Despite Grant Kirkshope composeing the music the score does not feel Banjo Kazooie-esque in a bad way like in Yooka-Laylee, where is just felt forced. In Mario + Rabbids every tune feels light-hearted and fun.

Even on the start screen the game is beautiful, though a bit crazy

The Xcom-like mechanics have been simplified, but that does not mean the combat is trivial in any way. Making the mechanics more streamlined avoids all dumb luck factors as missing a target eventhough the it said 99% for a possible hit. It is only possible to have 0%, 50% and 100% hit-rate. In addition to shooting the enemy rabbids, mario and company may also use slides and jumps in their arsenal to rid wacky world of the threat.

I recommend this game for everyone that can tolerate a bit of cringeyness and quirky humour, because behind all that is a shining game with tons of charm.

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Gaming writeups Newer games

Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

One of my favourite games for the PS4. Horizon Zero Dawn is a game I would’ve completely missed it if my girlfriend hadn’t bought a PS4 Slim early 2017. Also my brother-in-law persuaded me to play it. For that I am grateful. This was the second modern open world game I played, and afterwards I was hooked.

Horizon Zero Dawn offers beautiful sunny vistas

A beautiful game with a unique story and setting. The narration is formed the way so the protagonist and tribesman Aloy discovers the mysterious world together with the player which highly enhances the experience. Aloy, a young woman brought up as an outcast outside the warmth of the tribe goes on an adventure like you have never seen before.

A great number of robotic animals molded after real and now extinct counterparts roam the forests and riversides. Among these animals is what Horizon Zero Dawn is the most famous for, robotic dinosaurs like the raptor-like Watcher, the majestic Tallneck or the scary T-rex-look-a-like, the mighty Thunderjaw.

Aloy riding a Strider towards a Stormbird

Engaging story, combat and world filled with machines grazing, hunting and living amongst humans. Something has happened since the world is very technological sophisticated, yet humans live in tribes. It is somehow connected to Aloy in a way that makes it dangerous to not be on your guard. This makes the player want to find out more about this world, and why it is the way it is.

There are vast mountains in Horizon Zero Dawn

The visuals are striking and become even more beautiful in HDR. Guerilla Games has really done something special with Horizon, and I am really looking forward to the sequel.

IF you haven’t played this I highly recommend you to, as it is one of the most enjoyable experiences on the Playstation 4.

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Gaming writeups Newer games

Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)

Superheroes has always interested me. Even though I don’t read comic books myself, I have always greatly appreciated superhero stories in moving format. Doesn’t have to be movies, games work as well.

Among the best superhero experiences I have had besides the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Insomniac’s Spider-Man game for Playstation 4. Insomniac being a studio that I really like after playing games like Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive. The first being my first ever Platinum and the latter being my favourite game on Xbox One, which I would say is a very good track record for Insomniac when it comes to me.

In Spider-Man the similarities are striking to Sunset Overdrive, using the same engine, now running on a competing system, the tempo is the same and also the ease of manoeuvring in the big sandbox that is Manhattan. I would say that Insomniac was the perfect match for the Spider-Man franchise and I am very much looking forward to the sequel that is rumored to be in the works.

The game’s combat is building on the Batman Arkham game’s combat system and enhancing it with a plethora of possibilities of move to find your own play style. I opted for a lot of air attacks, which I found was very successful strategy for me.

Peter parker, ehum, Spider-Man perching atop a Avengers Tower

The story is also interesting, and the villain cast is brilliant. There are few things so telling of my enjoyment of the game than that I never used the fast travelling system. I find it so much fun swinging though Manhattan at a brisk pace, listening in on the police radio, helping the neighbourhood as well as I can.

Update:

After getting the PS5 I replayed Spider-Man but the Remastered version. The game was of course even smoother in 60 FPS even though it worked very well in 30 FPS on PS4. A perfect fit for the new system.

I didn’t import my save from the PS4 so I “had” to get all trophies again. I was just happy about it, since I totally adore this game. I did platinum this game twice. The new Performance mode with raytracing look and run amazing which is the mode I would recommend for everybody playing the remaster.