Week In Review (2019 #1)

In this new segment, I’ll be rounding up what I read/played/watched this past week, and ranking them! I call it… my Weekend Week-End Week In Review Round Up or WWEWIRRU for short. This week’s Week In Review is almost exclusively games, as I spent some holiday money on dirt-cheap Indie games via PS Store) Here is what I’ve experienced this last week:

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.16.27 pmThe first thing I did this year was play Limbo, and it’s likely to remain one of my favorite games for the next 360 days. Limbo was shockingly chilling, offering what usually is a basic kid’s game style (2D side-scrolling platformer) akin to Mario and other Founding Fathers of Gaming, and making it depressing, disturbing, and all-around as dark as possible. What I appreciated about this direction was how it made me wonder why this kid was going through all of this turmoil, and what reason he had for not giving up. At the end of the game, it seemed as though “metaphor” was the answer, and I think that it’s true to a certain degree. However, part of me just loves the fantastical elements and wants to think of this game as a dark fantasy. Either way, this game will stick with me for a very long time.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.16.36 pmNext up was the game Inside, which I played immediately after I played Limbo. From the same developers (Playdead), comes an equally dark story about a dystopian society that enslaves humans and hunts free-thinkers. Like Limbo, Inside takes the classic 2D side-scrolling platformer style and injects it with adult themes and atmosphere, even ending with the same thought-provoking tone. Using the same control scheme but adding new features makes this game feel like a new adventure whilst being a worthy sequel in every way.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.16.43 pmThe third game I played on New Year’s Day was Little Nightmares, which beautifully concluded my dark and twisted fantasy day. This game was a lot like Limbo and Inside in its tangibly disturbed atmosphere, and it’s (semi) side-scrolling style. However, this game added slight depth from foreground and background, giving me some flexibility but adding quite a trouble with depth perception…not that I was worried about getting the trophy for having 0 deaths. At the end of the week, this is my favorite game by far, and is the one that I most enjoy revisiting.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.17.26 pmI loved Little Nightmares so much that I had to go back into the PS Store and buy the additional DLC missions. I simply could not get enough of this world, and these three chapters did not disappoint in the slightest. Seamlessly weaving itself into the narrative of the main title, Secrets of the Maw gives us another character that says no words but is so easy to attach yourself to: playing as a little kid in a terrifying world is the perfect way to flood your system with fear and adrenaline. This game deserves to be thought of as a sequel of its own.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.17.36 pmThis game was the first on my list of (I hate this term) “Walking Simulators,” as it’s made by the same people who made the next game on this list. Expecting a *narrative-focused adventure game* but instead receiving a wonderfully abstract and breathtakingly unique fantasy was a wholly welcome surprise. I knew absolutely nothing about this game before playing, only seeing stills of gameplay that looked more like fan-art than gameplay stills. After playing the game, however, I can say for certain that, yes, they are gameplay stills. There’s simply no way to describe this game that would make sense to people who have not experienced it. It’s short, sweet, and entirely unmissable. This will change the way you see gaming, even if slightly nauseating.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.17.42 pmNow is when I started to get into the games that have been on my list for quite some time, mostly by title recommendation alone. I don’t mind jumping into a movie without seeing a trailer but I absolutely HATE watching video game trailers before (or after) playing. Since games are experienced so subjectively, trailers always seem dishonest. A game like this I feel is the perfect example for why you should avoid trailers: it takes away from the personal intimacy you feel with the characters. In my mind, I’m the only one who has spent time with Edith Finch and her family, and am the only one who experienced this incredibly emotional mosiac tale of familial history. There’s a beginning, and an end, but everything in between is up to you to figure out for yourself.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.17.50 pmI consider this game to be an unfair comparison to pretty much every other game I’ve played so far this year. I did not choose it by acclaim, as I did the rest; I chose it out of curiosity. I appreciated aspects of it, but I didn’t like playing it much at all. For all that I know, this is the best remake of all time. Nearly 30 years after the original was released, this remake may capture all of the elements that made the original such a classic. However, I didn’t care for this at all and have no interest in playing the 1989 original. Limbo and Inside are unfathomably superior to me, and even though this game has dialogue… it’s all in an alien language subtitle only to be unlocked by spending in-game points. Repetitive, annoying, pointless, and largely disappointing, Shadow of the Beast is currently my least favorite game of the year.

screen shot 2019-01-07 at 7.17.58 pmAnd the last game I played during the first week of 2019 was Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. This game took around 2-3 hours to beat, and (embarrassingly enough) I didn’t really understand the game until the 2 hour mark. When I say that, I mean that I missed KEY story points because I didn’t know how the whole controller-tilt mechanic worked (due to the prompt ceasing to appear), without understanding that the mechanic was still required. So, I’m going to go back and complete this game again (this time, going for the Platinum) in order to fully give this game the respect it certainly seems it deserves. I’m going to loosely rate and rank this game now with the right to change these later.

Of the stories I’ve experienced this week (games, books, movies, serials, etc) here is my ranking:

  1. Little Nightmares (game)
  2. Limbo (game)
  3. Secrets of the Maw (game)
  4. Inside (game)
  5. What Remains of Edith Finch (game)
  6. Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture (game)
  7. The Unfinished Swan (game)
  8. Shadow of the Beast (game)

Yes, it’s all games this week. However, I’m going to read some Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems, and hopefully a graphic novel or two… as well as movies. Many. More. Movies. As always, thanks for reading and I’ll see you soon!

Published by Blake Carson Schwarz

Indiana University graduate in Media and Creative Writing. I love to write my own stories as well as experience the work of others. On this site, I post reviews, essays, and other fun posts that I hope you have as much fun reading and I have writing. Please share any comments you have, I'd be happy to hear what you think! *Never a critic, always a fan*

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