Label Culture’s Arianna Rossi reviews her top 5 games for those looking for something different. Disagree? Tweet us @LabelOnline.
Undertale is a Role Playing Video Game (RPG) where you control a human who has fallen into a world of monsters. The aim of the game is to find your way out, unless you want to be trapped there forever…
Usually, I would be turned off by Undertale’s ‘indie-retro-graphics’, but the more I played this game the more I realised that those glamorised graphics serve a secondary purpose, something I can’t say often. Everything from the story to the art direction and mechanics of the game are the culmination of gaming fandoms throughout history, making it particularly unique. However, I wouldn’t call it ‘the best game of all time’, especially because the way Undertale plays with the formal aspects of RPG’s, simulation, text adventures, and even computer systems, requires a history of experience with gaming. But, with all that aside, Undertale’s story is the best I’ve seen in a while. Its endearing over-the-top characterisation works extremely well and its plot is so subtle that some aspects are actually hidden within the game files themselves. I definitely recommend it!
Life is Strange
Life Is Strange is split into five ‘episodes’. The game surrounds the life of Maxine Caulfield, a photography student, who finds out she can rewind time at any moment, causing all of her choices to catalyse the butterfly effect. The story line aims to revolutionise choice-based-story games, as throughout you can choose how to react to events, and in doing so each choice affects the storyline differently.
Life is Strange delivers one of the most cinematic and real experiences I have ever had in a game. The fact that this is only the second video game developed by Dontnod is insane, and makes me yearn for what will come next. The real strength of Life is Strange is the way its virtual world has been built, as it successfully gives players a realistic sense of Blackwell Academy (the school in which the game is set) and characters are second to none in both design and top-notch voice acting. In similar games, stories usually only develop for the main characters, however, this is not the case for Life is Strange. Not only do all the supporting characters have a very distinct sense of identity, they also don’t feel like they’re solely created to merely push the story along. It’s truly one of a kind.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is an action-filled RPG game created for Nintendo 3DS. The game lets its players take on the role of a hunter, undertaking quests to hunt mystical creatures that inhabit various locales.
MH4U is the latest installment in the Monster Hunter franchise. If you’re not familiar with Monster Hunter, it’s a game where in each level you fight a ‘boss’ character in a team of 1-4 people while monsters try and destroy you. There are a wide variety of weapons, and the game has one of the best loot and crafting systems I’ve ever seen. If you own a 3DS, your first priority should be picking up this addictively competitive game.
Super Mario Maker
Super Mario Maker is a side-scrolling platform game creation system (a video game in which the gameplay action is viewed from a side angle), which allows players to invent and create their own levels from the Super Mario series and publish them on the internet.
Super Mario Maker is the first creation game that has truly lived up to the standards for the creation game genre. It’s easy to operate by even the most novice user, but provides enough depth for people to get really creative once they get the hang of it. And when I say creative, I mean really creative. Just look at some of the stuff on YouTube, even non-gamers will be impressed. The game provides a creative outlet for anyone to apply good (or bad) level design, testing various skills on a challenging platform, or, if preferred, just to play casually. Mario Maker has taken up so much of my time, I’m not even sure if its healthy anymore!
Her Story, by the same creator of Silent Hill, is an interactive movie video game (meaning it features highly cinematic presentation and heavy use of scripting). It is based on a series of fictional police interviews from 1994, where a woman is interviewed seven times by the police. In the game, you can search the police’s video database and explore hundreds of authentic interview clips to discover the woman’s story. It is considered one of the most groundbreaking narrative games ever made. I can’t say much about this game without spoiling it, but if you are looking for a compelling story, this is the game for you.