Week 8 brings the puzzles of Rise of the Tomb Raider and the world adventure that is Super Mario Odyssey.
Rise of the Tomb Raider was a game I at one point said I didn’t care about. I wasn’t a huge fan of the reboot originally. I felt like it was trying a bit too hard to be an action game first and not a game about tomb raiding. It wasn’t bad by any means, I just wasn’t looking for another Uncharted. Owning an Xbox One when Rise of the Tomb Raider released was interesting after all the controversy and I needed to see what the fuss was all about. I immediately got sucked into the sequel and it became my favorite game of 2015.
This was the game I wanted the reboot to be. It’s still definitely an action game but it doesn’t blatantly wear the formula on its sleeve. The exploration feels unique from anything else in a long time. Then tombs are easily the best part of the game. Even though I’ve already completed them before, they were still a lot of fun to figure out my second time around. The story still felt a little off by the time the end credits rolled, but the game itself felt like a natural progression of Laura as a character. The Xbox One X support was also quite a treat as well. Even though this is a game that came out two years before the One X hit the market, it really is a showpiece to what the One X can achieve.
If for some odd reason you haven’t played this title you need to before Shadow of the Tomb Raider hits later in 2018.
My eighth game for fifty-two in a year is amazing and lackluster at the same time for me, Mario Odyssey. It is a must-have game for the Nintendo Switch. I would even say it could be a reason to pick up a Switch. It has everything you expect from a classic Mario game. It’s a game where you can find endless hours of entertainment, just by searching and collecting over hundreds of moons. Yet even know it is a phenomenal game, to me there is just something missing.
For some reason, I could not get into Mario Odyssey like I have for the other 3D platform classics. There weren’t a lot of memorable moments for me. Yes, the game looks amazing and there’re a nice variety of detailed worlds. But those alone didn’t hook me in. Maybe it is a lack of an overworld that made things feel disconnected for me. Also to mention finding moons in these worlds seem less satisfying since they are everywhere.
The music in this game is pretty sub-par for a major Mario title. I never had the urge to turn up the volume or even hit up YouTube to listen to the soundtrack. That is a major sore spot for me when it comes to a 3D Mario. There isn’t that moment like in Super Mario Galaxy when the first time you hear the music you just have the urge to listen to the theme on repeat.
These are just a few things that bother me, but overall it is a great game. I had a fun time exploring these new worlds and trying to find every single moon. That alone will give me tons of gameplay hours. The new costumes are an interesting and funny add-on. I got the most enjoyment out of the new “possessing the enemy” mechanic. Which added a fun way to complete puzzles and challenges. I have a love and hate relationship with the game. Simple enough it’s a great Mario game, but it’s just not my favorite.