It is hard to believe that this Spoiler Media platform has been operating in some capacity for two console generations now, but here we are! I am so excited to share my picks for greatest games of the PS4, Xbox One, and Switch/WiiU generation. While this generation brought about many wonderful experiences (outlined below), it is perhaps best defined by what is NOT on my list.
High profile sequels from both of Naughty Dog’s latest acclaimed series? The next release from the acclaimed creator of Metal Gear Solid? A long awaited, open world, cyberpunk adventure? They were all hotly anticipated and overhyped, and all not here.
Bugsnax is a fun and short campaign where you catch the Bugsnax on Snaktooth Island. If you want to “catch ’em all,” you will need to do your part using your tools, using the environment, and using your mind to solve problems.
That being said, a large part of the joy of Bugsnax is in solving these various puzzles. Similar to what I have done in the past with other games, here is a list of general, spoiler-free Bugsnax tips and tricks that will help in solving these mini-puzzles.
General tips for Bugsnax
- Remember earlier when I said, “using the environment?” In many cases, where I had difficulty with puzzles, the answer involved the environment itself, vs a tool or other Bugsnax.
- Bugsnax themselves are very good tools to use against other Bugsnax, even of the same species.
- The “Trip Shot” is pretty overpowered. Consider using it as a catch-all for grabbing many Bugsnax in the world, once you get it.
- While the Snakgrappler doesn’t EVER seem to work as you think it should, it is VERY good at grabbing far away Bugsnax that are already unconscious. Always remember to switch to the Snakgrappler to pick them up and save time on that 10 second countdown.
- While the rope of the Trip Shot is weak, don’t assume that the rest of the device is, compared to other tools you have.
- This should go without saying, but use your scope to determine weaknesses of enemies and bosses. I found that the “LOVE” and “HATES” sections of each tell a good story of how to catch the Bugsnax.
- If you find yourself creating a Rube Goldberg machine to catch a particular Bugsnax species, you are almost certainly missing an easier solution to your problem.
How to play Animal Crossing for virtual commute and some tips for making the most of island life.
COVID-19 has impacted people in a number of many different ways. I am fortunate to have a family that is well and a job that is workable from my apartment. I’m also fortunate to have an apartment.
However, there is still a problem. I am not good at the “stay home” thing. No matter how many tips I have followed, I have difficulty leaving work behind when I do it from home, and various virtual commute solutions haven’t worked.
Enter Animal Crossing: New Horizons
It has been stated across social media, but Animal Crossing really could not have released at a better time. This has changed my virtual commute for the best.
As I sat on yet another web conference call from my makeshift, home office workstation, my colleague asked, “I heard about people playing Animal Crossing. Then I learned there was a home loan and decided I was out.”
As I “left” my office to go to the wonderful island of “Coffee Cay” (my fictional paradise in Animal Crossing), I pondered that comment.
Why do I play a game with a home loan? Because you can pay it off in less than a week.
Why do I play a game where you pull weeds and cut down trees? Because it is relaxing and monotonous activity.
Why don’t you get some fresh air? I already take twice daily walks, but they weren’t cutting it! In the world of Animal Crossing, there is no COVID-19 and there is certainly no social distancing. Just ask your chipper villagers!
How to Play Animal Crossing while Working from Home
As for how to play during your virtual commute? I recommend playing for 15-30 minutes before and after your work for the day. This allows enough time to explore new things and take care of your daily deeds, while simultaneously leaking out new details day after day.
Experiment. Don’t min-max your way through your private island.
There are a number of Animal Crossing: New Horizon walkthroughs, but I don’t recommend following ANY of them. Sure, these walkthroughs are tremendously detailed and will get you where you want fast, but part of the joy in the game is the daily discovery and excitement.
Horizon: Zero Dawn’s greatest mistake is that it arrived only a week before Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It doesn’t help that Horizon: Zero Dawn is a relatively long game. I logged 45 hours of playtime before seeing the ending. But the primary reason I didn’t complete it until over 3 years later was the tidal wave of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Even though I enjoyed my short seven days with the game, it was replaced, shelved, and forgotten as newer titles released.
I did finally return to Horizon: Zero Dawn and was pleasantly surprised at how well the game has held up.
Horizon: Zero Dawn looks good
First, the obvious. The game is beautiful–artistically and technically. While there is a bit of uncanny valley to the faces, the environments and creatures look flawless, even on my base-PS4.
Why does this graphical fidelity matter to gameplay? Draw distances are good. Visual intrigue propels the player forward. The level of detail on the “machines,” the game’s primary enemy type, helps the user to pick apart chunks of armor and weak points in combat.
Welcome to the machines
The pinnacle of playing Horizon: Zero Dawn is in these encounters with the myriad of “machines.”
While I have never played a Monster Hunter, I have to imagine that this is a less level-based and more Americanized version of that concept. Through a series of events in the past, the world was overrun with these large, jurassic mechs. In order to progress through the story, female protagonist Aloy must take down these beasts through any means necessary.
What makes this segment of gameplay so fun is the focus on planning. Sure, you can brute force your way through a fight or two if you want to use all of your resources, but taking on a nest of the machines is more about careful planning than skillful execution.
Will you tie down the larger machine in the group with a rope gun and then pick off the smaller machines with arrows? Will you set up some shock mines in the path of a machine that is weak to it?
Horizon: Zero Dawn provides the player with many tools and elements and then throws different scenarios at them, like word problems in a math textbook. While Aloy definitely gets stronger as the game progresses, a majority of combat improvement happens in understanding of the different machines and how to best handle them.
People ruin everything
Unfortunately, to get to the machine battles, you sometimes need to slog through encounters with human baddies.
It’s fitting that the humans in many monster stories, Horizon included, are TRULY the cause of the problem, because man is not fun to fight these people. Where battles with machines take place over vast battlefields, featuring differing strategies and varied weapon use, fights with human enemies amount to the following process:
- Sit in a corner getting pelted by the absolute SNIPERS that comprise every single archer in the game
- Throw fire and shoot fire at them
- If a melee attacker gets close, roll and attack
- Heal every now and then
I’m glad that I finished the game, but, even without many game overs, I won’t lie that the sheer annoyance and quantity of human fights had me on the verge of stopping.
Horizon: Zero Dawn tells a compelling story
One reason I’m glad I finished Horizon: Zero Dawn was that I got to experience the entirety of Aloy’s unique setting and story. Post-apocalypse has been done more than the actual apocalypse, but never exactly in this way. I always felt excited to unravel more information on the overarching world and liked the pacing of the lore breadcrumbs.
Aloy’s story was less interesting to me, but not because of Aloy herself. I really liked Aloy as a character, along with the surrounding cast and their voice actors, but I just found Aloy’s origin story a bit underwhelming compared to the rest of the overall narrative.
While side quests are not at the level of a Witcher 3 (few games are), I would submit that at least Guerrilla Games made an effort on the side quests here. These treks typically feature multiple objectives and new characters who integrate into the larger story.
You should play Horizon: Zero Dawn
I wish that the quest was more focused, perhaps 10-15 hours shorter with less emphasis on human encounters. That being said, I really did enjoy my time in the lands of a dark yet simple future. If you are looking for a fun open-world title with big battles, you can’t go wrong with Horizon: Zero Dawn.
Picture that you walked into a federal building in the middle of New York City and were offered a job as an assistant custodian. An hour or so after accepting the offer, you are promoted directly to Director of the building, and things are not going well.
Such is the latest adventure of Control‘s Jesse Faden–sister to lost brother Dylan Faden. Finding Dylan, who was taken by the fictitious Federal Bureau of Control when he and Jesse were both children, has been Jesse’s mission since she was a child. Now Jesse finally vows to complete it.