List of Video Games to try!

NBA2K21: With the NBA Playoffs in action, if you are a basketball fan, you might want to get on NBA2K21 and play with the real matchups a little bit. With the different game modes from MyCareer where you build a player or the Play Now game mode where you can play with all of the current NBA teams. This is my favorite video game and I suggest you try it. 

Madden NFL 2021: If you enjoy watching or playing football, I suggest you play this game because it is based off of the NFL. You can buy the latest version of the game which is Madden NFL 2021 at the moment, but you can also play the older versions like Madden NFL 2020 or Madden NFL 2019. If you want the current NFL rosters, you might want to play the newest edition, but if you are just looking for the Madden experience, I recommend Madden NFL 19 or Madden NFL 20. You can purchase them at a more reasonable price. 

Minecraft: Building, creativity, and survival are all different elements in this game. You can use your creativity to build different structures and homes, but you need to make sure to survive. I love to play Minecraft, especially with my sister. Playing solo is fun, but playing with friends is awesome! You can play in Survival mode, where you have to collect materials and craft tools, or you can also play in Creative mode, where the game is mainly based off of building. You have unlimited supplies, and can do anything you want without worrying about dying in the game. 

Tennis World Tour 2: If you are a fan of tennis or play the sport yourself, you might want to try this game. With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal headlining the players you can use in this game, there are many great options for you if you are interested in using your favorite tennis players. I recommend playing this game against your friends or family, but you can also play against the computer. Also, it is a fun way of learning the rules of the sport. 

Rocket League: This is definitely one of my favorite video games. You can customize your dream car and use it during matches. My sister and I also enjoy bringing home the championship trophy after a long season filled with competitive matches against the computer. It doesn’t end there though, because you can play online against others or you can play exhibition matches in your favorite Rocket League stadiums. 

The Golf Club 2019: If you have been looking for an incredible golf game, look no further than The Golf Club 2019. In this game, you can customize your character and you can choose if you want to start a career in golf. You can also just play a competitive exhibition match against your friends.  

These games are very enjoyable and fun to play. It might take some time  to learn the controls at first, but later, I am sure you will enjoy these games as much as I have. 

-Mert A.

Game Review: We Were Here

Two adventurers, stranded in the mountains. An ancient castle, full of secrets. And only a radio to talk with.

We Were Here is an indie puzzle game similar to an escape room. The two player game starts as both players are captured by an unknown entity. The players are separated, with one in a library and one in an enclosed room. This is one very interesting aspect of the game. The players are completely isolated from each other, with voice chat as the only way for players to communicate. The puzzles, which might be easy to solve normally, become much more difficult when neither player can see what the other is seeing. Good communication and descriptive wording are absolutely necessary if you want to make it out alive.

A friend and I played this together, and we had a blast. The puzzles were fun but not overly challenging. The changing scenery kept the game fresh throughout our play, and we both really loved the atmosphere of the game. We may have died once (or twice) but it never got boring. We were pleasantly surprised by this excellent game.

One thing I love about this game is that it showcases the potential shown by virtual escape rooms. When the escape room is fully digital, you can have all sorts of crazy scenarios, puzzles, and themes. Who cares if you freeze to death while playing a giant game of chess? Who cares if a murderous marionette ends your theater career early? It’s all just a game!

So, in conclusion, I’d definitely recommend checking We Were Here out. It’s a nice, simple game with a cool premise, and it’s loads of fun with a friend. Even, better, as I write this, it’s free on most platforms (Xbox, PS4, Steam, etc). So pick this up and give it a try if you’re looking for a fun cooperative challenge.

9/10

– Josh M.

Game Review: Eyes

The game eyes is a horror game that has the player navigate through a mansion in hopes to find twenty money bags. If you get the twenty money bags through the door your free, but there is a catch. The house consists of one spirit that wanders around trying to ensure that you do not leave.

There are three floors and to find the money bags you must search in cupboards, drawers, and shelves. 

This game is different from every other game because around the house there are symbols of eyes drawn on the walls and when you collect them they show you what the spirit sees. This can help you tell what floor the spirit is on and if it is safe to leave the room or not. 

When the spirit is within ten feet of you everything around you will start to rattle, you will start to hear heavy breathing, and rats will start coming out of the floorboards. 

Overall the CGI in the game is very well done and looks realistic. The plot and goal of the game are very intriguing. The game is very fun to play especially in the dark and I would recommend this game to anyone who likes jumpscares. 

-Sanjana S.

Game Review: Marble Duel Review (Xbox One)

Marble Duel on the Xbox One is a fun, competitive, indie game. Players take turns shooting marbles in order to match three or more rows together. A similar game would be Candy Crush one of the most popular mobile games. Players progress through a story game mode with hundreds of levels, each becoming progressively more difficult.

Every five missions or so, a new monster will challenge the players. Each Monster has a different play style, which the players need to adapt to in order to win the battle. In order to overcome these challenges, players can unlock new abilities and marble types. For example, I used up to four different marble types in my matches. The first two were pretty simple, red and white marbles that were the default marbles, used for attacking your enemy. The next marble I unlocked was the green marble, which gave me health on three marble stacks or more. The second to last marble type I used was the blue marble, which gave me a blue shield that would protect me from enemy attacks. The final marble type I unlocked was the purple marble, otherwise known as the power-boost marble. This marble does exactly what the name says, and boosts the players’ power.

I really enjoyed the variety in all of the marbles that players could use, it added a lot more strategy into the game. Players could also level up their character in the campaign, giving them more health, attack damage, etc. This was a perfect way to reward players for completing certain quests and missions. On top of the campaign, there also was a multiplayer game mode. However, I don’t think it was available on the Xbox version, because it would not let me get into a game. This might just be due to the lack of activity on the Xbox version. That brings up the problems I had with this game. After I unlocked the final marble, I wanted to keep playing the campaign. Unfortunately, the enemies became incredibly difficult to beat, they seemed to always get the right marbles, as well as knowing what is off-screen. After the enemies became more and more difficult, the missions also felt very repetitive and slow. If the producers of Marble Duel could just release the player vs player game mode, it would add so much variety and excitement. I feel like players should be able to choose their difficulty for the campaign, a new player will lose interest if it is too hard.

In the state it is in now, Marble Duel should remain as a mobile game. I feel like it is too early to release it on all of the consoles, as well as PC. I hope the developers can edit and add to this game because it is really fun! Overall, I enjoyed playing Marble Duel, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this game.

-Daniel C.

Minecraft Speedrunning

Nearly everybody who has ever played a video game has played Minecraft before. However, it turns out that less than 3% of people who have played Minecraft have ever beaten the game by killing the Ender Dragon. However, there is a somewhat small community in Minecraft called the speedrunning community, where the goal is to beat Minecraft in as little time as possible. Although a lot of skills can be applied to speedrunning, however, most of it is luck, as a perfect seed is required to beat the game in a short period of time. As of right now, the world record is held by a speedrunner by the name of Illumina, who beat the game in a whopping 13 minutes and 58 seconds. So how do they do it?

To start off, finding the perfect seed and a decent spawn is the most important factor. When hopping on to a speedrunners stream, you will commonly see them reset their seed and load up a new world. This is because people who are going for the world record do not have time to play a seed that is bad (ex. ocean spawn). Some ideal spawns include villages, natural structures, and other things that could save the player some time while still providing adequate resources. Next, skill and efficiency are key. This is where the skill factor comes in, as the player has to be able to defeat mobs and gather resources at a fast pace. Such only comes from practice and skill.

The speedrunning community, although does not have a lot of people who try and join in on the fun, seems to have a massive audience. One such speedrunner known as Dream (who turned out to fake his speedruns) is one of the biggest faces on YouTube today, and is one of the biggest Minecraft Youtubers. His famous Minecraft Manhunt series where he speedruns the game (not nearly as fast as world record pace though) with other players trying to hunt him down and stop him from beating the game, is one of the most popular series on Youtube, with each video racking up millions of views.

Although the amount of speedrunners in Minecraft is slim, the audience for it and the respect that the top speedrunners get whenever they make history is massive. It almost seems as if a new record is broken every week, and who knows how speedrunning may change with the next major update. However, no matter what, the community will stay strong and people will continue to speedrun Minecraft for years to come.

-Jeremy L.

Game Review: El Hijo – A Wild West Tale

El Hijo is a top-down stealth game, following a small boy as he explores his western town. Players will go through each level getting past different obstacles and enemies, such as bandits, wild animals, etc. I really enjoyed play El Hijo, the graphics were clean, the gameplay was smooth and exciting, and it kept me entertained for a long time. 

I really want to talk about the graphics in his game. With a clean and minimalist approach, the game felt fresh and exciting. It was very calming, and the relaxing music and nature sounds were a great touch. Here is a preview of the game:

I also liked the different character designs that helped add spice to the game’s look. For example, the main character has bright colored t-shirts and jeans, which allows him to pop out in the darker areas. As for the bandits, they wear all black, which allows them to blend into the darkness and surprise players at any moment.

The gameplay of El Hijo was exciting at certain points, and calming at others. The game started off peacefully, as you explored the church the boy lived in. Later on, you are being hunted and chased by bandits. I enjoyed both parts of the game, and I thought that this mix was really well done. The game kept me intrigued for a long time, and each mission had a different feeling to it. 

I usually run into small issues in most of the games I play, whether it is the controls are weird, the game does not run well, etc, etc. But El Hijo did not have any mistakes. The game ran beautifully on my computer, the controls were super easy to learn, and there were no glitches or bugs.

With both thrilling and relaxing gameplay, beautiful graphics, and 0 bugs or glitches, El Hijo was an amazing game. I really think this stealth game is underrated, and I would love to see the game grow. I think adding more missions and dlcs to this game would be a great idea, and I can not wait to see what the developers add. I rate El Hijo a solid nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.

GTFO Game Review

GTFO, an action-packed horror game filled with twists and turns. As you drop through levels and levels of zombie-filled rooms, players team up in groups of fours to try and survive. Choosing different weapons, strategies, and equipment, each team member must think hard about what they can contribute to the group’s survival. This game was extremely fun, and my friends had a blast screaming, shooting, and laughing together while playing GTFO.

I want to talk about the graphics and gameplay of GTFO. This game was insane. It had amazing graphics and was extremely realistic. When my friends and I were dropped down into the hot zone filled with zombies, the music and ambiance of our surroundings were amazing. The heavy breathing and rain sound effects really made me feel like I was the person being dropped down. The zombies and guns both looked very realistic and were very scary. When a player killed a zombie, there was blood that splattered onto the screen, and I really liked that small detail.

GTFO was both extremely fun and difficult. It took me a long time to get past the first couple of levels with my friends, but I enjoyed the challenge. I don’t think this is one of the games that should be easy, and I personally liked the tense situations that you were put in. Because of these difficult situations, our squad had to make very accurate callouts and we had to make sure our positioning was very accurate. I found playing GTFO with only 3 people was very difficult. You need to have a full squad of players in order to complete the levels. Luckily, you can go onto the GTFO discord and search for games to join. This allows players to get into games with other people, so they can have full squads to complete the levels with.

There were only a couple of problems I had with GTFO. I think the bad thing about GTFO was the difficulty. If someone did not have a full squad to play with and wanted to play with themselves or another friend, it would be very difficult to complete even the first level. Even though GTFO has a discord, a lot of the people on that server are very high level and do not help low levels. When they do, it is hard to follow along with the experienced players, and they tend to get mad at you. GTFO should try to add matchmaking with people of your skill level, so you could get through the levels much faster. Overall, GTFO was an amazing game. With amazing graphics, gameplay, etc, this game definitely deserves the hype it is receiving. Adding a matchmaking function would only improve this game. I rate it a nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.

Game Review: Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (spoiler-free)

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a popular game, primarily revolving around a “killing game” based on trials. It is the first main game of three, originally released in 2014. The goal is to solve the mystery of each trial and to find the killer. The game contains a wide cast of characters, including 16 students and one bear. Overall, Danganronpa is a very interactive game with a unique trial system that makes the user feel engaged while also learning about the large cast. 

One great part of the game is the art style and game design itself. The environment you are in is not only visually intriguing, but contains a wide variety of different areas. Each area is well designed and pleasant to look at. The art style also matches very well with the actual gameplay mechanics and design as the user interface contrasts the background. The art is also very unique compared to other games as the game is effectively a visual novel, making it a fresh experience. The characters in the game are also quite compelling. Every single character is a master of their craft and provides their own unique experiences. Their personalities and the way they interact with each other always brightens up the game. The characters and their designs were by far my favorite part of the game. Each invoked a certain emotion in you regardless of whether or not you liked them, making the game more enjoyable and entertaining as a whole.

In general, I would rate this game a 10/10. The game is absolutely worth the price point and the interactive visual novel is both entertaining and well written. The game may start somewhat slow but the gameplay itself and world overall make up for it. 

-Benjamin L.

Rocket League Game Review

Competitive games with cars playing sports, boosting up and down the courts and fields, kicking soccer balls into goals and shooting basketballs into hoops… Rocket League is a video game that transforms the impossible into the possible. With this video game, you get an exciting experience, playing against the CPU or against other online players. You have an opportunity to compete for a league championship against the Computer- Generated teams. This game is a game that shows that anything can be possible in video games! Rocket League is a game you will not want to pass up!

In Rocket League, you can customize your dream car and unlock different accessories to decorate it. Also, you don’t just have to change the car every time you want a new look, but you can make many different cars and use each one whenever you want to. Then, you can compete in a showdown against the CPU players or you can take it to the next level, and play online with other Rocket League competitors. Rocket League is a competitive game, but it is also very fun. You can score goals and baskets in the SOCCAR and Basketball game modes. You can also take it to the ice and play hockey with your cars.

This game is fantastic because you can play it online or offline. There  are many different online modes, as well as there are many different offlines modes. The online modes  include playing an online match with random people playing at the same time, or you can play with your friends in a club. If you prefer to play video games offline, you can play multiplayer with your siblings or friends simply by connecting another controller. In addition, you can play against or with bots. It is possible to compete in seasons against bot teams for the championship trophy. 

Another great thing about this video game is that whether you are a girl, boy, kid, adult, or senior, you can always trust Rocket League to make you smile and have fun! This game is for anyone with even a slight interest in sports or cars! 

Rocket League is a fantastic video game with great graphics and can teach you the game of soccer, basketball and hockey as you play. 

I would give this game a 9/10 rating because I believe that they could add daily goals and levels to the game to make it more exciting to play and beat the levels. But, overall, Rocket League is an amazing game and I would definitely recommend you to try it!

-Mert A.

Overwatch Experimental Patch Notes

In a competitive game such as Overwatch that has a large esports scene and general
player base, balance changes are often necessary to maintain a healthy game state and keep players interested in the game through changes in gameplay. In Overwatch, balance changes in addition to hero pools(banning of certain characters for a set period of time) at the highest level have a massive effect on gameplay overall. In order to test these proposed changes, the player base has access to the “PTR,” or a server in which you can play the game with the new proposed changes before they are official. Doing this allows them to gauge player interest in the changes and whether or not they make it to the live patch (which is the version of the game).

As a team-based game of healers, damage dealers, and tanks, Overwatch requires an
innate balance between the three roles, as each role has two players playing that role for a
team of six. In previous changes, tanks and shields created by tanks were nerfed severely,
significantly boosting the power of “damage” heroes and those meant to support them. As a
result of previous changes, this experimental patch focuses on reducing the overall power of
those characters and the healers that enable them. While changes such as this may seem
initially good for the game and characters, certain changes can have many implications on
competitive play. In this case, one of the changes was made to the primary “sniper” character in the game, called Widowmaker or “widow” for short.

The changes included increased ammo cost and decreased scoped damage falloff. What this means is that not only does she have to reload more, but at a certain point her impact in the game has much less value. Widowmaker is one of the few characters to be able to kill many other damage-dealing characters instantly, making her a valuable asset on certain maps (areas of play). On certain maps, Widow is a mainstay and very powerful in enabling team plays by killing important low health targets such as most healers. By removing this ability on traditionally long maps, her impact in those games significantly decreases as she has to focus more on tanks rather than sniping from a distance, which rewards skill. Mirror duels between Widowmakers on each team are even mainstays on the few maps she is viable on, as taking out the enemy sniper gives you the freedom within the team. Instead, you enable the character to focus on closer targets and remove them from the game as there is less of a threat of an opposing widow, making these changes worrying for how the meta will develop as barrier shields have been considerably weakened.

Overall, I would personally not like to see these changes make it to the main game as many other characters have been weakened significantly in previous patches, and reducing
effective counters to such powerful characters can be unhealthy for the game overall.

-Benjamin L.