Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Most Overlooked Current Gen Games - Part Eight

There's no shortage of great video games out there, but not all go on to sell millions or get a huge following. That's why SuperPhillip Central's "Most Overlooked" series of articles came to fruition. SuperPhillip Central once again puts the spotlight on some games that either fell through the figurative cracks or just didn't get as much attention as they may have deserved from the gaming populace. This edition's list features super speedy mascot racers, precision platforming with bikes, and one underrated series of b-ball playgrounds.

Before you leap in to this edition's five choices, check out past installments of Most Overlooked Current Gen Games with the following links:

Current Gen - Part One
Current Gen - Part Two
Current Gen - Part Three
Current Gen - Part Four
Current Gen - Part Five
Current Gen - Part Six
Current Gen - Part Seven

Team Sonic Racing (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

We start with the most recently released game on this list, and although Team Sonic Racing reached number one in its first week in the UK market, the competition wasn't all that taxing. In May 2019's NPD results for the U.S., Team Sonic Racing failed to make much of a dent on the sales charts, debuting at 19th place with all systems included. It's disappointing, as the game is considerably a great deal of fun with excellent and enjoyable track design, sensational speeds, and an engaging campaign mode that can be played alone or with help from a friend. The lack of SEGA's other all-star characters like previous SEGA + Sumo Digital racers and releasing a month before the more ambitious and hyped Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled certainly didn't do Team Sonic Racing any favors.

Trials Rising (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

The latest in the long-running Trials series, Trials Rising, came and went in its launch month last February without too much fanfare. Between the levels, which are the best in the Trials series, and the wonderful "one more time" gameplay, Trials Rising delivered an immense amount of thrills and--if you're as amateur a player as I am--spills. The added rider customization options brought forth a lot of creativity within the Trials Rising community, but things like loot boxes, inventory glitches, and slow progression put off many players and potential players-to-be. Still, even with the issues--and this isn't of course a means to excuse them--Trials Rising ended up being a raucously good time that encouraged patience and precision in perfecting levels, besting times, and hitting the top of the leaderboards.

NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

We go from one game with microtransactions and loot boxes to another with NBA 2K Playgrounds 2. No doubt the figurative taste of the overall unsatisfactory NBA Playgrounds put many players off of the 2K-funded sequel. However, if you don't mind the randomness of unlocking the particular NBA all-star you want to play as, as the game uses a system where you earn players randomly from purchased card packs (which can be bought with in-game currency or yes, real-world money), then you'll find a lot to enjoy about NBA 2K Playgrounds 2's most important part of its B-ball experience, the actual gameplay itself. Dunking the ball on your opponent and making a clutch half-court buzzer-beater will never stop being entertaining (unless you're the opponent, of course), and I happily spent dozens of hours engaged with NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 after overestimating how aggressive the microtransactions would be coming from 2K. (Note: They weren't a force to be reckoned with whatsoever.)

Super Bomberman R: Shiny Edition (PS4, XB1, PC)

Success on the Nintendo Switch does not mean success on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or Steam. At least that's the story of Super Bomberman R's debut on the latter three platforms. Not only did the players on these platforms get an exclusive character each, but they got the broken-in version of Super Bomberman R. Essentially, Switch owners were beta testers as the game added patches and updates to make for a better game. Said better game was what PS4, Xbox, and Steam players received right from the get-go with all of the AI difficulties balanced, camera issues worked out, and content like new characters and arenas added. Unfortunately, it's good luck finding anyone online to play Super Bomberman R with if you're searching for a random lobby to join, as the game's online scene is a ghost town.

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (NSW)

With the official E3 2019 announcement of No More Heroes 3, it's an opportune time to mention the side game that predates it and even hinted at NMH3 as well, Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes for the Nintendo Switch. Always destined to be a cult favorite at best and left to obscurity at worst due to its gameplay style and wacky, eccentric charm, Travis Strikes Again managed to be an entertaining ride from beginning to end. The isometric perspective and hack and slash gameplay wasn't always on point, but the style and sheer insanity of the story and intriguing characters more than made up for it. I always wanted to see what strange twist would pop up next. With the game announced to be arriving on more platforms, I hope more players will get to deep dive into Travis Strike Again: No More Heroes in anticipation for the third mainline installment in the No More Heroes series.

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