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  • Writer's pictureNoah Yard

Three Games I Wish I'd Played Sooner.

I’m a shameless shopaholic when it comes to video games. I will always look at something shiny and new, over something that I already have. So I end up with a stack of video games that I have never played. I get them because they’re highly rated, or new, or because they look like something I would love. But then, as we all do with our favourite TV shows, I go back to my comfort games. Games I KNOW I love.


Recently, in an effort to finally try and save some money, I decided to look back at my large catalogue of unplayed games and found just tonnes of gems, and possible future favourites as well.  So far, I’ve found three that I adored across my X-Box and more commonly my Switch. Depending on my motivation and time I have enough games in my Switch library to do five or more of these posts as I work through the library of cult classics that I own but never played, but we’ll start with these three.


Here are just three games that I’ve been hoarding and finished playthroughs of recently.


ORI (Blind Forest and Will of the Wisps):


The first one is actually two, but I’m counting them as one. I bought Ori and the Blind Forest years ago and played maybe the first half hour? At that time I was very set on the types of games I liked to play, and I don’t like games I am good at generally. I’ve always been terrible at platformers because of my clumsy hands. And the Ori games are very tricky for a person with clumsy hands.


However, it was the first switch game I decided to pick back up on my new pre-owned adventure. I struggled a bit at first, so much so that I was going to quit it a second time. But I knew it was a classic, so on I pushed. And boy was I glad I did! Ori one is charming, challenging, heartbreaking and heart-warming. I really learned to love the fast-paced movement, it perfectly fit the switch, and I think I gained some dexterity while playing. The world is simple, as a 2D platformer, it’s so well rendered and created. Forests and swamps and beautiful canopies, a stunning world. The map is also enormous.


The story is simple, told essentially one sentence at a time, is beautiful, about a wisp spirit's journey to reinvigorate a dark forest, it’s hard to not spoil this story because of its simplicity. This would be another reason I stopped playing it the first time. I was frustrated with the lack of story, but there is beauty in the simplicity of a few words, and an intricate world.


I was so enamoured by the time I finished that I broke my no-game buying rule straight up to buy the second one. Will of the Wisps was even more heartfelt and added NPC’s which is something missing in game one. The cast of colourful characters and new mechanics and features elevated the series. Both games are now solid favourites.


Cyberpunk 2077:


This one I see as forgivable for not playing right away. The game was new when I bought my Xbox. So it was a mess obviously. Plus, the gameplay, mostly the Body Dance challenges, seemed so far removed from my simple farming simulator games. So, as I’m wont to do, I ditched it.


A few years later I had a hankering for something a little more raw and violent. It was just this urge to try something of a different calibre.


So I linked back in, and found a new favourite, again.


The highlights are what I have to write about because I really can’t write a whole review on this years-old game that most people have already played.


First, no bugs. I had a very smooth experience, maybe with some slow-to-load screens but other than that, there was no glitching or clipping out.


Second, Keanu Reeves?! Like his character is so brilliant his voice so beautiful, I definitely wish you had the chance to date him. But his integration into the story, as well as his pop-ins to say something sarcastic as Johnny, was brilliant. He’s the most fun game companion, that is someone who’s always around to give you advice, since Navi or Phi from the Legend of Zelda series.


THIRD, companions. There’s a brilliant ensemble of fleshed-out dynamic characters that help V on their quest. From friends of Johnny’s to new friends and enemies, you make along the way you build strong connections. I love Mass Effect so much because of the star cast and Cyberpunk’s companions (and romance options ;) ) are a pretty close second.


There are so many great things to do and see in the city of Cyberpunk, I could make its list.


But I will say I’m GLAD that I waited so long to play this one. It gave the developers so much more time to fix a broken game and create satisfying DLC (Idris Elba HELLO,) so I don’t feel too bad that it sat on my Xbox for so long.


Immortals Fenyx Rising.


There’s a theme in all these games. I didn’t give them a chance. It’s not just that I didn’t play, it's that I played maybe an hour and gave up. My biggest regret doing this was Immortals: Fenyx Rising.


I almost wasn’t even going to go back to it. The reasons include: Corny dialogue and bad accents, possibly TOO hard puzzles by comparison of, say, Zelda.


So I was reluctant but I LOVE Greek mythology, okay? My cat is named after a Greek goddess because when I got her I was a nerd. I just find the tapestry of myths so enticing and fun.


This game is a love letter to those myths. You work with the gods, each puzzle is connected to some kind of mythical character, or minor story, it’s brilliant. The dialogue I warmed up to, the puzzles you can just look up TBH (Stay tuned for my opinions on this).


I will say it’s similarities to Breath of the Wild are so obvious that it’s comical, but look at it this way, if you have a Zelda-shaped hole in your heart after playing Tears of the Kingdom, Immortals Fenyx Rising is definitely for you. I won’t go into the similarities, you’ll recognise them, but it’s still a worthy game.


So these are the three games I started with on my back catalogue journey! I plan to play many, many more so you might see some more top three/five/tens in the future. My advice to gamers? Go back to that stack of games you have. TRY new styles and systems. You might be surprised about what you find.

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