Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Classics I Can Return To - Part Six

Last March we delved into seven more classics that I routinely return to. If you read the headline of this article, then you can probably guess that I'm about to do so again-- this time with seven new titles that I just cannot get enough of. From modern classics to games over a decade old, Part Six of Classics I Can Return To begins now!

If you missed a previous part of this long-running series and want to check past games listed, look no further than these links:

Splatoon (Wii U)

When it launched back at the end of May, Splatoon has a decent enough amount of content. However, over the past few months, the game has seen a steady stream of new content in the form of multiplayer maps, modes, weapons, and soon to be the ability to have private online matches with friends, a feature that I cannot wait to be able to try out. Along the way, Splatoon has surprised me with just how addicting the gameplay really is, and even when one is not winning, you're still making progress towards unlocking and purchasing new gear and weapons. Splatoon wasn't perfect went it launched by any stretch of the imagination, but now that it has seen so many continuous upgrades, it's darn close.

Rayman Legends (Multi)

While I don't hold it in as high of a regard as its predecessor, Rayman Legends is a fantastic 2D platformer that I enjoy whether at home on my Wii U for some local cooperative play or on the go with my PlayStation Vita version. Playing with my older brother is a blast on the Wii U version with him moving about the Murfy levels and me using the GamePad to arrange platforms and level quirks to save his bacon. The standard platforming levels where we're playing as Rayman and Globox (or whoever we decide on) are just as strong as ever. It's a game that I didn't know if I'd still be playing many years after its release, much more buying two versions of the same game!

Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

Even though Mario Kart 8 still gets a lot of playtime in the Stortzum household and with friends at their dorm rooms, Mario Kart 7 has started to suck me back in. It's amazing how much slower the game feels compared to the Wii U game, especially after speeding through the 200 cc expansion of Mario Kart 8. Regardless, I still love playing Mario Kart 7 with friends and family, and one of the most important reasons is because the amount of excellent, memorable, and fun tracks, both new and retro, is almost unmatched in any other Mario Kart. Mario Kart 8 might have the more interesting track design due to the anti-gravity portions of track, but Mario Kart 7 has more tracks that I absolutely love.

Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing (Multi)

I've covered Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing's successor, All-Stars Racing Transformed, on a previous installment of Classics I Can Return To. This time we're talking about Sumo Digital's first racing game starring Sonic and the whole SEGA crew. Having a much better cast of characters to race as, at least in this writer's opinion, a wide variety of well crafted race tracks, an awesome mission mode, and less bugs compared to Racing Transformed. Despite their being more content in Transformed, I've by far spent more time playing and enjoying the original Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing. Whether it's on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, or heck, even my iPhone (albeit the latter is a much different game), this kart racer remains one of my favorites to this day.

Batman: Arkham City (Multi)

There was a lot of poking fun at Nintendo, specifically Reggie Fils-Amie, the main face of Nintendo of America, regarding his "not the same game, not the same content" PR spiel regarding Batman: Arkham City arriving on the Wii U very late compared to the other versions. While for many there was no reason to return to Arkham City after they had already played in on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, or PC, I felt compelled to do so because I loved the game so much. I beat it on the PS3, and then I went ahead and jumped in to the Wii U version near launch. It remains my favorite Batman game to this day, and being able to make up an excuse to play it all over again was fantastic. Now, I think I'll go back to the PlayStation 3 version and tie up some loose ends by getting some more trophies...

Unreal Tournament (PC)

I got into Unreal Tournament really late. It'd be like me coming to my 2004 high school graduation in 2014. It was a long time before I finally got the pleasure to play UT, suffice to say. Starting out with the weak PlayStation 2 port (yes, I know, I know), I managed to enjoy my time against the game's incredibly smart computer opponents, learning the game's seemingly endless amount of maps, getting a grasp of the different weapons, and fragging all that I saw fit to frag. Moving to the PC version, I quickly adapted to the mouse and keyboard controls. Sure, I still totally suck when compared to other players, but I enjoy myself regardless.

TimeSplitters 2 (PS2, GCN, XBX)

The final game on this edition of Classics I Can Return To came from the minds behind GoldenEye 007, Free Radical Design, a core group of Rareware developers who left prior to Perfect Dark's completion. They took some of the aspects of those games and created this awesome futuristic first-person shooter. The amount of multiplayer content rivaled Perfect Dark, offering multiple bots, well designed arenas with plenty of hiding spots, camping spots, and points of contention, modes, and options. The single player offered so much replay value with the harder difficulties giving players more to do and longer levels to survive. Through my tour of the TimeSplitters series, TimeSplitters 2 is the one I recall fond memories of most.

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