On the journey to play 52 games in the year 2018, Week 3 features Tom Clancy’s: The Division and Mario Kart 8.

Chris: Mario KArt 8 logo

My third game of the year is one of my all-time favorite racing games, Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U. This is my go-to racing game when I’m looking for just a fun and competitive experience. It’s a game I can just pick up and play whenever, and have the same enjoyable time alone or with friends. This is this racing game that I’ll play for years to come until the next Mario Kart releases. So get your blue shells and mushrooms ready, for a thrilling and exciting drive.

 I’m still playing this game on the Wii U even though Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is out for the Switch. To me personally, I feel like there isn’t that much of a difference for me to pick up the Switch version since I have all the DLC. The core gameplay is still there in both versions, you just get a little more in Deluxe. Some extra characters, improved battle mode, dual items, and etc. The best part of the Switch version to me is that you can literary race anywhere. While I’m limited to my range on my Wii U, that doesn’t prevent me from having a great time on my TV or gamepad.

When Mario Kart 8 was released, it was a must-have game for the Wii U. The visuals and graphics look amazing for what the console can do. The tracks with their gravitational twists and turns added a creative and stunning experience. And the randomness is what sells this game to me. One minute you can be in dead last, and then in the next, you can be leading the pack. Plus the game gets really intense and chaotic when playing local or online multiplayer. It’s an easy game for anyone to pick up and have a great time playing.

So this game has been out for about four years, and it holds up very well in my opinion. I would recommend it to anyone and any age who’s just looking for a fun game to play. And the experience just gets better with friends. So ready up your engines, be cautious of banana snipes, and I hope to see you on Rainbow Road.


               The Division Logo

For week 3 I went with a game that I wanted to love but was never able to fully commit to, Tom Clancy’s: The Division. Most people know the long history and development cycle of The Divison. When this title finally hit store shelves after what seemed like a decade there wasn’t any way it could have lived up to the hype. I gave it a fair shake my first time out, but the unique aspects such as the Dark Zone didn’t feel finished.

I hoped back in after hearing about the latest patch adding some new free content and was hoping to check out the Xbox One X enhancements but the patch is still in development.  As well as hearing that back end and core mechanics had been tweaked significantly. I didn’t want to hop back into my original character because I knew I would have been so lost in terms of what the end game required.

I can say without a doubt The Division is a better game than when it shipped. After starting a new character and making my way through the campaign, the overall feel of the weapons and skills felt more finely tuned. The biggest gripe I remember being with the combat was the bullet sponge enemies. This has been tweaked to a happy medium to where the enemies still take some time to defeat, but the player won’t be behind the same piece of cover emptying clip after clip into enemies.

The end game originally felt extremely grindy which most loot shooters tend to be, but The Division fell into that Destiny and Destiny 2 territory where the end game felt like the grind had no significant payoff. Since revisiting the end game I found myself loving the Sets that had been added since I fell off. It reminded me a lot of Diablo 3 where a set can change the entirety of a build and force you to play the game in a completely different way. This keeps the Division feeling fresh for much longer than my initial run.

Unfortunately, I was playing solo which meant that I was missing out on what The Division has to offer, but that is no fault of the game. I can safely say that hopping into The Division now with a friend of two is a great idea.