Stewart 'Grave' Gibson is the fighting game loving, Doomguy worshipping, Motorhead listening maniac of DarkSpawn Gaming. When not ripping and tearing Stewart can be found riding the open roads or at the nearest Lucha Libre event.
There’s no real way to sugar coat what I’m about to say so I’ll just have to come and say it, 2018 was truly the year that Sony knocked it out of the park and no-one and I really mean no-one could come close to them. I don’t mean this in sales numbers or popularity I simply mean that when it came to exclusive games Sony smashed the competition into oblivion. Now, I know I’m known for my crazy over the top use of vocabulary but trust me when I say that these are the games that made this a truly spectacular year to be a PlayStation owner.
Dissidia Final Fantasy NT:
I know right? Not exactly the start you were expecting but there is a reason I bring up this underappreciated but visually insane fighting game. I am a huge fan of fighting games but not much of a Final Fantasy fan, the only one I ever played was seven. However, when I saw this game being played for the first time my eyes stuck right to the screen. The gameplay looked fresh, like no other fighter around at the time. My attention was grabbed even further by the fact that the camera was behind the fighter rather than the standard one on one fighters we are all used to. The moves were a mixture of all sorts of insane combos from one player while another was literally raining down meteors onto his foes from the other side of the map. To add to all this madness I went on to learn that the matches were three against three, all these ingredients added together seem to cook up a unique but fun fighter to me and that’s exactly what was delivered. While Dissidia Final Fantasy NT may not exactly have the fan base of Tekken or Street Fighter it has a healthy number of players still but not enough to ever get it into Evo or even the smaller tournaments but this could be due to the fact that you would also need six Playstations as there is no local multiplayer. Aside from that small issue, this is one excellent fighting game that any fighting fan or even Final Fantasy fan should give a go.
(So handsome it’s ridiculous)
God of War:
When Kratos’ return was first shown I will confess, I was a little ‘on the fence’ so to speak. I loved the original trilogy but the spin-offs had left a bit of a sour taste and so I was expecting nothing more than a lack-luster God of War with some Norwegian snowy mountains in place of the Greek deserts. However, within the first few minutes of playing this game, I knew that all my doubts were about to crushed quicker than Zeus’ head. The first thing that any God of War veteran noticed was the new style of gameplay, it was slower and deliberately so, making each battle feel like a real fight rather than just mincing fifty enemies into paste without really paying attention to any of them. Even the way game the game progressed had a slower feel to it, I myself believe this was done for two reasons. First, Sony Santa Monica wanted to let you see how incredible the world they had made looked and secondly, this was to go alongside the fact that Kratos himself was older, slower and calmer. Of course many will want to talk about the story itself but for those who have not played this masterpiece yet, I will say nothing so not to spoil anything. Of course, another huge change was the open world rather than the usual linear games of the franchise. This lead to a literal tonne of secrets and side quests, something that was always lacking in the previous games. It gave players a reason to go back and keep playing once the main story had been beaten and led to many hours being sunk into it after the ending had been seen. All in all, God of War was the shake up the series needed and hopefully we get to see more from the franchise.
(Go get ’em son!)
There have only ever been a handful of games based on comics that have truly been great. Obviously, the first that will spring to everyone’s mind is the Batman Arkham series made by Rocksteady. A few others though would be The Darkness games, the PS2 era Punisher game and strangely enough, the Wolverine Origins game. Insomniac games decided though it was time that ol’ web-head got a great game of his own and they gave us Spider-Man, a fun-filled ride through New York while really nailing down both what fans wanted and what made for genuinely great gameplay. First off then we have to get the big thing out of the way, the movement. Spider-Man has always been tricky to get done right due both his Spidey-Sense and his agility but most importantly is web-slinging. Most games made this boring or frustrating but Insomniac manages to make the web-slinging not only enjoyable but downright fun as well, sometimes I found myself losing track of time just swinging through the city seeing the types of awesome jumps and parkour I could do with Parker. The fighting was also great, once you mastered the timing of it all you really felt like this is how all future Spider-Man games should play, any games that follow this and don’t use this formula will feel like a step backward. Of course, Like God of War there was an awesome story to boot but again, I will say nothing to spoil nothing but there some great scripted moments amongst all the fun.
(Inset ‘not feeling good joke’ here)
With these huge hitters all being exclusive to the PlayStation you’d think that Sony would be happy to put its feet up and leave it at that but that doesn’t seem to be the case. 2019 seems to also have some massive exclusive games in the forms of The Last of Us: Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima and of course the return of the hero of Gallowmere himself, Sir Daniel Fortesque in Medieval. It seems that Sony has no intention of slowing down the gravy train and I for one, could not be more excited to a passenger on abroad.