Monday, November 18, 2019

Most Overlooked Current Gen Games - Part Nine

SuperPhillip Central has been around for over 11 years, and some of the earliest articles on the site featured great games that did not quite receive due time in the gaming spotlight. These are the games that fell by the wayside in favor of other, more prolific titles by way of popularity, name, or stature. One of this site's passions is picking out those games that linger in the periphery of popular gaming and putting them directly as the center focus. That's why the long-running "Most Overlooked" series of articles on SuperPhillip Central was originally started. This particular edition gives us games from the minds behind games like Alan Wake, Armored Core, and Banjo-Kazooie.

Before you rush to check out the latest five "Most Overlooked" game selections, why not catch up on the past games picked in previous installments?

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
Current Gen - Part Eight

Control (PS4, XB1, PC)

From the makers of Alan Wake and Quantum Break came Control, a game that despite its unique gameplay hooks, Metroid-style structure (something not often seen created in a 3D game), and intriguing story, did not perform too astoundingly sales-wise. Regardless, Remedy Entertainment added an abundance of novelty to Control's gameplay through its use of main character--and Federal Bureau of Control's new director--Jesse Faden's supernatural abilities. Such act included being able to lift up obstacles and chuck objects like furniture into enemies, performing telekinetic feats, as well as taking over the minds of enemies, thus controlling their movements.

Through acquiring new abilities via Objects of Power, players could take Jesse to new areas of the mysterious Oldest House game world in true Metroidvania fashion. Between the elaborate world to explore in the game, showing off some insanely impressive, mind-warping sights, as well as the myriad of means both traditional and supernatural that Jesse can use to dispatch enemies and discover new ways to overcome challenges, Control is a super satisfying game that I urge more gamers to play.

Concrete Genie (PS4)

The first parties of the PlayStation brand performed well this past generation, and the Sony's arsenal of studios improved immensely ever since the company invested more into them. The quality over the PlayStation 4's lifespan speaks for itself, and while obviously the most significant exclusives take over the conversation--such as God of War, Uncharted 4, Horizon: Zero Dawn, among others--smaller projects--passion projects, if you will, added even more variety to the PlayStation brand's first-party offerings.

One such game was Pixelopus's Concrete Genie, released last month, and it exuded immense creativity, originality, and artistry. In the dismal town of Denska, a boy named Ash finds his doodling book stolen by a group of brash bullies who proceed to rip out the pages. With the help of a found magical paintbrush, Ash goes on a journey that sees him hoping to restore not only the pages of his book, but also hoping to restore the town of Denska to its former glory. This is performed by the player using Ash's paintbrush to turn their works of art into living creations used to solve puzzles based on how they painted the creation. From what colors they used to how they drew the creation, this all affects whether a puzzle is solved successfully or not.

Concrete Genie came and went for many PlayStation 4 owners, but like a fine work of art, it most likely will serve the test of time. It certainly serves as a great addition to the PS4 lineup and Sony's first-party efforts this generation regardless.

Daemon X Machina (NSW)

Mecha no mistake--Daemon X Machina isn't in a genre that would light sales charts on fire, but as a compelling Nintendo Switch exclusive, it served its purpose well at bringing exciting, fast-paced mech combat to the system. If you have any excitement for stuff like Gundam or Pacific Rim--or better yet as an example for video game fans, the Armored Core series--then it's quite likely you'll find something to love with the rush of battling other gigantic bipedal machines and foreboding robotic bosses, all while outfitting and customizing your mech and pilot down to the last, obsessive detail. New content continues to get added to the game, such as new online co-op missions, competitive multiplayer, and much more. Whether you're a lover of mecha movies and games that feature them or want a satisfying and intense action game to blow stuff to smithereens in, Daemon X Machina will provide you with plenty of explosive entertainment.

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (NSW, PS4, XB1, PC)

I'd be remiss if I didn't regale readers of SuperPhillip Central with a passionate plea to check out Playtonic's Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, especially since Black Friday deals include the game. Simply put, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a wonderfully done spirit animal in video game form to Rare's Donkey Kong Country trilogy. The game is quite clever with its level designs, especially the way the 3D overworld (which is also a fantastic, novel, and quite clever contribution to the DKC formula) can be manipulated to alter levels entirely. For instance, a formerly dry sewer-based level presents an entirely different approach when it's partway flooded, allowing for new areas of the level to be explored and familiar sights taking on fresh challenges. The eponymous Impossible Lair isn't quite so "impossible", especially not with the Bees that you collect in the game's levels that each give Yooka and Laylee and extra "hit" in this final, ultra-challenging level. It's still rather difficult with a full supply, but overall, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair remains one of my favorite games of the year and I wish more people would play it.

Crystal Crisis (NSW, PS4, PC)

Filling the hole in my gamer heart that was once occupied by Capcom's Puzzle Fighter series (which is currently on hiatus like many other Capcom franchises), Crystal Crisis takes various video game all-stars, but in this case, they're mostly from lesser known series to the mainstream video game audience. I'm referring to series like Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac, Code of Princess, 1001 Spikes, Azure Striker Gunvolt, among many others. Also joining these indie gaming all-stars are some notable anime characters, the most notable of which being Astro Boy.

Aside from the fancy presentation on display, the actual match-based puzzle fighting game finds itself endless addicting, having players match similarly colored blocks together and causing explosive reactions by combining them with falling crystals of the same color. Thus, this causes their opponent to receive a "gift" of blocks dumped on their board. The player whose board fills to the top with blocks first loses. Crystal Crisis may not bring much new to the table, as it's very much a clone of Capcom's Puzzle Fighter, but it's a well made clone all the same.

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