This weeks’ 52 Games in a Year choices feature WWE 2K17 on Xbox One, and Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix, part of the 2.5 HD Collection on PS4.

wwek 2k17 logo

Cory: For week 2 I decided to revisit a series of games that was near and dear to my heart, the WWE series. Unfortunately, even before booting up WWE 2K17 I had heard the series took a huge nosedive in quality since THQ went under years ago. I had some hope though for WWE 2K17 since I had briefly played WWE 2K15 due to Games with Gold, and I remembered not totally hating it.

The biggest disappointment was the lack of any real game modes to keep me playing. What I realized was the 2K15 had the Stone Cold Steve Austin Showcase that played on my nostalgia for being a wrestling fan in the 90s. WWE 2K17 has nothing even closely resembling this mode, That leaves players with only two real modes to dive into, WWE Universe and My Career.

WWE Universe is something I just don’t understand. It gives me the ability to play any match I want that’s on the card. At the same time, it also gives me some options similar to the beloved GM mode from previous games, but not in any real capacity that resembles the GM mode from before.  There is literally nothing fun to do in this mode.

The My Career is the most barebones of a career mode I’ve ever seen. I thought I would have to fight my way through NXT. That amounted to me fighting Samoa Joe in the Training Center and being told I’m going to the main roster. Well, if you really think I’m ready I guess that’s what I gotta do? The main roster section saw pointless storylines with matches that made zero sense. I was told to make The Authority happy, I needed to slam my opponent through a table. Problem is, it wasn’t a no DQ match, so I lost the match, brilliant.

The 2K series also lacks any fun factor. WWE 2K17 is a game simulating a fake sport. Trying to simulate a fake sport authentically turns out isn’t a lot of fun.The controls feel like they are sluggish and the reversal system takes a lot of the randomness out of the equation. Randomness isn’t always a good thing in games but its crucial to making a WWE game fun, especially when playing with friends.

WWE 2K17 is the crown jewel on whats wrong with the WWE 2K series

Kingdom hearts 2 final ix logo


 My second game of the year is Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix on the 1.5 & 2.5 HD Remix collection for the PS4. I’m getting psyched for the release of Kingdom Hearts 3, that’s supposedly coming out this year. And I’m preparing by playing and completing all the Kingdom Heart’s games on the 1.5, 2.5, and 2.8 prologue collections. Playing all of the games brings back some good memories, and I’m excited to create some new ones with Kingdom Hearts 3.

 The last time I’ve played this game was about twelve years ago when it released on the PS2. And unfortunately, it doesn’t quite hold up in my opinion from what I remember. Maybe it was just my childhood love for the series that allowed me to bypass the flaws of the game. Flaws such as too many unnecessary cut scenes, the story taking forever to progress, leveling up, and learning abilities.

To gain certain abilities that effect movement and aerial techniques, require you to level up your drive abilities. Each drive is leveled up in a certain way, and I don’t remember having a proper explanation of this in the game. And lets not even start on anti-form. I’ve enjoyed my recently play through of Kingdom Hearts 1 because of the simplicity of the game. I feel like Kingdom hearts 2 just adds in too much detail that makes the game drag.

 On the other hand, I did really enjoy this game. It looks amazing in HD and runs pretty flawlessly on this collection. The Final Mix add-ons are a lot of fun. Exploring the cave of remembrance and the organization 13 fights add for fun challenges. I do enjoy the drive and limit mechanics, which can change the way you approach a fight. The game really picks up halfway through and becomes thrilling and exciting. I’ve definitely found great enjoyment from the boss battles, even while playing on critical mode.

Overall I have a love and hate relationship with this game. It has it’s flaws as well as it’s great moments. I do recommend it though, just simply because it’s a fun game when it actually let’s me “play” the game. But it just doesn’t quite hold up in my opinion from when it first released, but the final mix add-ons did keep the game fresh.  It just makes me more excited for the epic battle in Kingdom Hearts 3 with the 7 warriors of light and the 13 of darkness. That releases this year in 2018…I hope…possibly…Maybe?