I’m Kinglink and it’s near the end of February. I know it’s late, but let’s do the Game Pass February 2022 review.
We have seventeen titles this month including a brand new platform. Two of these games came on Ubisoft connect. I believe you only get the two games right now, and you have to use their launcher, but if that’s a deal-breaker, there are enough other games to look at.. Now there were some issues this month and I’ll talk about that at the end but, in general, it’s another large month with tons of games.
Technically Game Pass also included Peggle Nights and Battlefield Bad Company 2, this month on Ea Play. Those games are over a decade old, I mean I enjoyed Peggle a decade and a half ago, and Battlefield Bad Company 2 is popular, that’s all the coverage they deserve.
So as always, I’ve played around three to four hours on each title and I’ll tell you what I think. Let’s get started with a throwback but maybe a remaster? I don’t know.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition. A dark high school version of Ace Attorney.
Danganronpa is an excellent visual novel with a decent amount of gameplay. Players are trapped in a school and that school has one way out. A student has to kill another and get away with the murder. From there, characters are knocked off, but the majority of the game is split between getting to know your fellow classmates, and then trials, in an Ace Attorney Style. It’s a compelling idea, and if you like darker content, this is great.
But not everything is great here. The first minor issue is that the Anniversary Edition is pretty much the same game as the original, with a small amount of unnecessary bonus content. I’ll also say I have some reservations about the very end of the game story, but at the same time, I still gave it the best of the year for its story and its sequel in 2018, which tells you that I was able to forgive it.
Pick this up if you want dark stories about high schoolers who die and kill each other. There’s a great style and atmosphere to this, and the stories are twisted without going too far. The puzzles at the core of the game are good, though sometimes annoying, but I still enjoy this title.
Nobody Saves the World. Quests, Quests everywhere.
Nobody saves the world is an adventure game where the player gets the magic ability to change forms between multiple characters, and you, as the Nobody in the title, have to save the world. There’s an interesting artistic style here, and while I don’t love the main form’s design, the rest looks good. There’s solid writing and gameplay as well.
This is a game that builds over time. In the beginning, you only have a few forms, but will earn more by completing quests, and dear god, Nobody Saves The World is quest central. Areas in the game have quests, the forms you turn into have quests to level up, Dungeons have quests, and each will slowly level up various parts of your character. Eventually, you even get the ability to mix and match your skills and intrinsic abilities. There’s just a lot here. My only issue so far is that enemies level up with you, which means you can’t come back later and stomp hard dungeons but in general this is a solid title.
Pick this up if you’re a completionist or love quests, I’m not kidding when I say this game is quest heavy, but I love that part of the game, and the fact that’s how you level up and gain power makes this fun and rewarding to chase after all these small goals. There’s also a solidly written humorous story here, which is worth playing through.
The Hitman Trilogy. Not one, not two, but all three titles from a fantastic series.
Hitman follows Agent 47 as he tries to take down targets with stealth and skill, or just going on a murder spree, whichever way the player decides to go. While the original games in the series were mostly linear stealth games. Hitman in 2016 changed up the formula to make a puzzle box idea, where players could assassinate targets in almost any way, with the game tracking and rewarding many different feats and challenges, which in turn unlocks even more tools to help Agent 47.
This puzzle box approach is solid, it makes levels infinitely replayable, and the rules of the game are heavily in the player’s favor. The way the game is laid out gives numerous opportunities to players. If players need more help, there are guided stories that show players how to approach each level, but also players can avoid using those and get an immersive experience. Each of these games has only about six levels but players will want to play each level multiple times. I’ve spent around twenty hours per title, and even bought Hitman 3 on Steam, to support the devs, and because I want it in my library.
There is also Hitman VR, which I got a little time with, and appears to be on all three PC Platforms now, Epic, Microsoft, and Steam. It’s just part of the game. That’s also included and it felt very good, however, Oculus stopped recognizing my Rift headset so I can’t talk too much about it, but it’s worth a look.
Pick this up if you like puzzles, stealth games, or immersive worlds, this was a unique and fresh take on the series, and I gave the second title one of my games of the year for 2020. Hitman 1 and Hitman 3 are both of the same high quality, and worth checking out. I recommend this to anyone who hasn’t already tried these games out, they’re very unique. And I will be finishing Hitman 3. I’ve waited a whole year for that one.
Death’s Door. Don’t say Dark Souls Don’t Say Dark Souls.
Death’s Door is like Dark Souls. Damn. But in all honesty, Death’s Door is an easier version of Dark Souls. It takes much of what everyone enjoys about that genre, the exploration, the challenge, and the great character designs. There’s now an isometric view, instead of a third person and players don’t lose their souls when they die. There’s also a very interesting health system that replaces the Estus Flask but still retains the limited health system there. And all of this feels good.
But all those changes make the game easier, and so people who want ultra-hard games might be disappointed. A few bosses I was able to beat in a single attempt, while there are also arenas that took me far too many tries, like the one you’re seeing. There’s still the long trek back if you fail, but at the same time, it doesn’t feel as punishing on each failure either.
Pick this up if you enjoy challenging games but are willing to have a more welcoming experience. This is perfect for fans who don’t like the Souls-like genre for their difficulty, but I also think it will appeal to Souls-like fans as well. It won’t be for everyone, but I think the art style is good, the gameplay is enjoyable and the level design is well done.
Windjammers 2. Reviving a Neo Geo game, but I have to ask, why?
Windjammers is a new version of a classic arcade and Neo Geo CD title. In it, players fling a disc back and forth and score points when the opponent is unable to grab it. There are multiple arenas, each with different scoring systems and potential hazards in the way. Players have to move their characters around the court and can even use power shots. But beyond that… Windjammer lacks anything deeper than what the classic game offers.
Windjammers has enough of a following to have been played at Evo, a fighting game tournament, and I suppose that makes sense for a reason to make a sequel to an 18-year-old game now. But this feels like a game that could have just been made 18 years ago, with better graphics, and that’s fine, but it’s not exactly an exciting title. I did find the online modes to be better, as the AI is very powerful and a human player is easier to trick, but in general, I just don’t get this game outside of competitive play and see no reason to return.
Pick this up if you want to join the Windjammers league. It’s not a bad game, and I absolutely understand why it would be at Evo, but the arcade mode is decently hard with limited continues and in general, the gameplay is limited. It’s going to appeal to people who want to play it professionally and that’s about it.
Pupperazzi. Look at the cute doggie!
Pupperazzi is exactly what it sounds like. You take pictures of dogs and get rewarded for it, and that’s perfect. The main character is a giant camera, and check the shadow. I’m not making that up, you can even take selfies. On each level, there are multiple challenges of specific shots the game wants the player to take, and players can upload their shots to social media to try to earn followers, which happens on every shot. There are no penalties or negatives here, it’s just taking pictures of doggies or taking specific pictures of doggies and enjoying the experience.
And yet, ok, there are a few issues. First off, the game is short, you probably could speed run it in under an hour if you tried, though there is a lot of content even after finishing the game, after three or four hours you will probably have almost everything. There are also glitches, such as one that kept happening where the screen’s color got blown out and then I couldn’t quit the level or game, without hitting Alt+F4 and that happened multiple times, though the team does appear to be working on patches on all platforms. Hopefully, it’s fixed now. Also, this is a very focused game, if you don’t like the idea of taking pictures of dogs, there’s not much else here, but that’s also a strength.
Pick this up if you like taking pictures of dogs, I’ve said it multiple times, this is not a deep game, but it’s one that I enjoyed playing and gladly recommend to others. I like the idea of a simple concept well executed, and while the issues do bother me, it didn’t stop me from continuing to play the game. I enjoyed myself here, but again I like taking pictures of dogs.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege: Deluxe Edition. Five on Five tactical combat.
Rainbow Six Siege is the hardcore tactical shooter, that feels like a class-based version of Counterstrike. If you’ve played this you know what I’m talking about but if not, it’s set up where one team defends two bombs, and the other team tries to defuse them or kill their opponents. It’s the best of five matches, with the teams switching sides, and may the best team win,which was usually not my team. I played six matches and my team never won a single point. I’ll take the full blame for that. This is a pretty solid game, and I like the tactical nature of it, but this is also 7 years old, so there’s a lot of meta, classes, characters, tactics, and more to learn. There’s a lot here and apparently, it changes quite often, which can be both a positive and a negative depending on how you like your multiplayer games.
There are also a ton of microtransactions. I don’t understand why this game isn’t free to play, but there are now levels of microtransactions that put Gears 5 to shame. It’s a bit much as this is meant to be a paid title, and since it’s UbiSoft there are of course boosters. Not everything can be bought by in-game currency either. I don’t know, player beware.
Pick this up if you like tactical gameplay. I used to be a fan of Rainbow Six, but this one was hard. I could be talked into playing this again, but I’ll leave that for the fans, and this is still decently popular. There are at least 50,000 players on Steam, and I’m sure more on Ubisoft and other platforms as well, so it’s worth checking out. If you have a squad you will have a better time, but even without one, it’s worth a try, just hope I’m playing on the other team.
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction. Are horde shooters the new rogue-lites?
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction takes the gameplay of Rainbow Six Siege, which we just talked about, and makes it Player Vs. hordes of monsters while trying to retain the tactical feel. Players need to accomplish up to three goals on each map and extract. There are some clever and interesting ideas in this game, such as using different characters or if players die, they lose access to their current character until they rescue them. There’s also an idea that characters are injured and need to rest up which means players will use other individuals.
But for every good idea Rainbow Six Extraction is just an average game going through the motions. There’s a weak story, enemies that don’t feel that special, and gameplay that is repetitive, and I’m talking after only a few minutes. While there are difficulties and reasons to keep playing, it suffers from not standing out from the competition. This is a horde shooter, but there’s a lot of competition in this space, and I’d probably play Outriders or Back 4 Blood before this. Honestly, as a fan of Rainbow Six Vegas, this one hurts that it’s so average.
Pick this up if you’re a fan of Rainbow Six Siege and want to play with those characters. This is going to be the best PVE experience you get, but otherwise, play something else. I just don’t think this is a very interesting game. Also, it’s UbiSoft so before long there’s going to be a LOT of Microtransactions, that’s just their MO now.
Taiko no Tatsujin: The Drum Master. Drumming through the night.
Taiko no Tatsujin is a game where you can simulate playing a Taiko drum which is a traditional Japanese instrument. If you haven’t seen someone play them check youtube but they are awesome instruments. At the same time, this is a mixed bag. If you want to play this with a controller you can but you’re not going to get the authentic experience, however, I found it enjoyable. If you have a taiko controller though, you already know what this is about and it’s a great addition to the franchise.
The music here is excellent and well-chosen. There are several Bandai Namco properties, classic music, and even Japanese pop songs. There are even a couple of songs from Undertale which is a great choice, and the only American property I saw. At the same time, this is just a rhythm game and while it’s a lot of fun to play it’s a strange one especially if fans are used to Guitar Hero or DDR, but as a fan of this series, this feels like an authentic entry, rather than one geared towards an American audience, take that however you like.
Pick this up if you like Rhythm games. Playing with a controller is a little weaker, but I still had a weird blast playing this franchise and enjoyed this music. If you want the authentic experience be prepared because last I checked the drums for this is in the 90 dollars range, though maybe there are cheaper options somewhere.
Dreamscaper. I keep calling this game Dreamscraper, oops. .
Dreamscaper feels like someone had a checklist. Combat like Hades, check. Binding of Isaac style map, check, and art design based on dreams, check. Many companies would take that list and ruin the idea by thinking it was complete on it’s own , but Dreamscaper pushes past all of that and delivers a fantastic rogue-lite that should be checked out. I love the item descriptions that touch on pop culture, like referencing Donatello when talking about a pool cue weapon, and I dare any 80s kid to deny they ever did that.
But Dreamscaper had problems, with the past tense being stressed there. I lost about two hours of a save file and was so pissed at this game, but a patch has come out and I believe the issue is now resolved, which is good. The game itself is also pretty hard. The first area is more like a tutorial but the second area continues to kick my butt, though there are upgrades and an easy mode that I may end up using.
Pick this up if you like rogue-lites. Yes, this game is similar to Binding of Isaac and Hades, and those games are better, but I still like this one a ton, and want to get back to this and do a deeper dive. It’s one of the reasons I was so absolutely frustrated with losing my save file because I was enchanted, and I’ve gone back and played more and it’s still worthy of my time. .
Telling Lies. An FMV mystery.
Telling Lies is the follow-up to Her Story. It is once again made by Sam Barlow but is a larger, more complex story. In it, you follow the life of David Smith in a series of calls he makes to multiple people. Players have to find both halves of the same call and then watch them and try to piece the narrative together. The game is well-acted and looks great, and has an interesting gameplay style that is uniquely similar to Her Story.
But not everything works here. Because you’re seeing two halves of a long conversation you can’t match up the conversation and recreate it, you only see one person’s view at a time. In addition, the story comes together pretty early on. I understood the whole story about a third of the way through the game, so there’s a lot of extra footage. But the concept worked and it’s a unique idea.
Pick this up if you want to play something different. This is not your usual game, and it is a completely story-driven experience. The fact you’re searching a database of the clips based on what’s said is well done, and it forces the player to think about how to find the other side of a conversation, but it struggles to stick the landing, where Her Story still has me considering different possibilities almost half a decade later. I gave it an 8/10 when I originally played it and it deserves that.
Besiege. Let’s go blow up a kingdom, one building at a time.
Besiege allows the player to build war machines and use those machines to take on a variety of tasks, mostly blowing up a specific target, killing many enemies, or moving through a level, with or without an additional objective. If you’re a fan of bridge builders and similar games, Besiege will feel right at home for you.
But the building aspect is pretty strong with Besiege, and every level feels like it needs a unique build, and while it’s fun to come up with something that works, after about twenty levels I felt like taking a break. I’m not that creative on this stuff, and while there’s mod support through mod.io, I feel like that’s cheating. Still, the ideas and concepts are fun here, and if you like to build things, this will scratch that itch.
Pick this up if you like to build machines of death. This is a rather solid title, and I found myself interested in seeing what the game would have me develop next. And while I bounced early, it wasn’t an issue with the game. I wasn’t enjoying designing completely brand new vehicles at every level, but what I saw here is worth playing and if you want a solid challenge, there are a lot of interesting pieces here.
Skul: The Hero Slayer. Swapping heads like people swap hats.
Skul: The Hero Slayers is a rogue-lite where you take on the role of a skeleton fighting against the invading heroes to beat them back and kick them out of your land. Our skeleton hero can swap out his skulls for other skulls that give him another class’ skills and abilities. It’s a clever idea and a great design that works. The first bosses give a reasonable challenge. Unfortunately, that’s about all I can say.
You see, there’s a bad bug specifically for the Game Pass version. Every so often you get a black screen in a room. Not a black room, but you lose all visuals, you can’t even see the menu, and while you can quit and restart the runs, this happened three times to me not counting the time it happened on boot up. I thought it might be something with my system, but a lot of people are reporting it and complaining on Micrsoft’s reviews, as they should. This is a year-old game on PC and it has this on game pass? The developers are South Korean, but I tried to reach out to them on Discord and Steam’s forums and no response was given. It’s been over a week and there have been two patches, neither appear to address this.
Don’t pick this up yet. What annoys me is I was having a great time with this and wanted to see how the difficulty scales, which I hear can be pretty hard, but losing runs and being forced to restart after fifteen minutes because the game is broken ruined the experience. I think I’m just going to go play Dreamscaper to get my rogue-lite fix for now.
Edge of Eternity. What if Final Fantasy was Kickstarted by an indie team?
Edge of Eternity is unique. It is a game that takes on the size and scope of a Final Fantasy game that was kickstarted successfully seven years ago and was released episodically. This is a 40 plus hour game, from what was a team of 13 and potentially still is. Just on those stats alone, Edge of Eternity is interesting.
The final result though, I’m not sure about. The game is inconsistent, which makes sense when it was released over 3 years, in chapter form. The story is a mixed bag, and the early graphics are dated. My big issue in the opening chapters, the characters have awkward emotions, but worse, when the game left Early Access seven months ago, had scenes that made sense. The developers took them out to make the tutorial flow better, but the story suffers for that. And that means even after launching, the game is still being patched. There’s a lot of promised post-launch DLC as well, so I see this game continuing to evolve, which for a JRPG isn’t what I want.
But I still think this is a unicorn, small team, attempting to deliver a Final Fantasy scale project is a huge undertaking. Of course, there are going to be bugs and issues with that, but I also can’t deny I’m utterly fascinated with this and may even return just to see more. As I wrote this, I found out the developers are French, which was not even something I considered. It’s a very strange and unique title.
Pick this up if you’re as curious about it as I am. If you like turn-based JRPGs you can do worse. I’m not a fan here, but I also have considered playing more because admittedly I’m playing the oldest parts of the game, and people do say this one gets better over time. It just has a rough opening.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom. A kid’s cartoon with a great design.
The Last Kids on Earth is a cartoon on Netflix based on a book of the same name. I don’t know much more about it, though the cast has some major names. The Last Kids on Earth and the Staff of Doom is an action RPG with a bunch of open-world elements and takes on the extremely clever designs of cartoons and books. Almost every non-human character is visually interesting and unique and that’s pretty impressive.
As a game, it’s merely ok. There is couch co-op but when playing alone there was a lot of repetition. The bosses and characters here are great, but the average horde of enemies just was nameless zombies. The collectibles in the overworld just respawned, and while there is a crafting system and inventory, as well as tower defense mode… yeah this game has way too many modes. But all those modes don’t change the game too much. However, the game did get me interested in the series, which I might watch on Netflix once I’m done rewatching the Marvel shows there.
Pick this up if you already know the show, or have someone you want to play with. This isn’t a bad game, it’s just nothing that stood out on its own and probably would mean a lot more if I was already familiar with the television show. But the characters designs have me curious.
ARK: Survival Evolved, Dinosaurs!
As I played Ark, I was transported back to when I started Minecraft and had to learn everything about the game from a third party. There’s no real tutorial or getting started. You are dropped in a world told it’s a tutorial and then left to your own devices. Not exactly a friendly beginning and can be made worse because, on one of the four servers I played, I was unable to live for more than 30 seconds because the enemies just kept eating me.
Ark is a game that you’re going to have to learn, and while it is cool to be able to say you can tame dinosaurs and ride them, the opening hours here are brutal. Going on Discord I found out I could go to Gen 2 worlds instead of Gen 1, and had the opposite problem. I became a superman where almost nothing could affect me, as I was given strong armor, and a chance to survive, but still no tutorials. With this game in its seventh year now, that’s disappointing.
The art here is good, the world and animal designs are worth checking out but the learning curve is steep.
Pick this up if you like the survival genre, but I would recommend finding a community to join or a mentor to take you through those early patches because I’m not kidding, even in 2022 this game is brutal to start, but also there’s a lot here worth checking out including unofficial servers with mods. At least one company still believes that players can play their game as they want. Kudos to the team.
Infernax. This is how to do a retro game.
Infernax makes it pretty clear where it got its influence. It’s a mixture of Castlevania, particularly Castlevania 2 Simon’s quest, with a touch of Zelda 2 as well, but it’s done in such a way that the player doesn’t need to have played those original titles. Instead, this is a great classic adventure game with improved controls, an interesting layout, and rather major changes that only benefit the game.
Infernax revolves around the player getting five crystals from five bosses in relatively difficult areas. Players can explore a decent amount of the map without upgrades, and will be able to level up their character as the game goes on but never get rid of the challenge. I actually spent a lot of time in a single dungeon and while I was struggling I never felt that it was unfair, but rather I had made mistakes. Players are killed after only a couple of hits but that only adds to the experience.
Pick this up if you like retro games, or love those old NES titles. Again this does a fantastic job of modernizing it, without constantly imitating the original game, or making a game exclusively for fans of the original games, though it does have very strong influences which are better if you have that history with the games it’s based on. Particularly if you come to a cliff and kneel for ten seconds. Just try it.
And that’s what I have for February. Let’s deal with the elephant in the room. This month was rough. Four titles didn’t feel ready for the service. Dreamscaper lost two hours of my data. Pupperazzi kept soft crashing on me, requiring me to hit Alt-F4, Skul: the Hero Slayer is unplayable in my opinion, and Edge of Eternity has a bunch of glitches.
People will say oh, that’s just how launch titles are, and I hate that mentality because it absolves the companies of just general testing, but only Pupperazzi launched in the last month. The rest have been out on PC for at least half a year or more in most cases. Some people will say that Xbox Is a new platform even on PC, and while there is a small amount of truth due to integrating with the Xbox profile and achievements, these bugs probably should have been caught before now. I mean Skul is being hammered because of these issues.
I just hate the fact that it feels like no one at Microsoft even tested these games because they should have noticed some of these issues. I’ve talked about in the past how Kill It With Fire was a year old build, and Record of Lodoss War had a better version on Steam as well. I hope Microsoft will spend a little more time testing these games since they are spending the time and money promoting them as new additions to their service. Or otherwise say they’re in Beta or Early Access if they’re this rough.
This was also generally a weak month, and I know people are going to do backflips about Rainbow Six Extraction being a major game, and it is… it just isn’t a very good one. There were very few standout titles from the AAA space, but the indies filled in the vacancies as indies do.
Getting some Ubisoft titles is a mixed bag as well, you have to get the Ubisoft launcher to play them but I don’t believe they gave players Ubisoft plus, just those two games, which is a shame that I have to download a whole other launcher for them.
I realize this is the first month after the New Year, it always was going to be a bit slower and next month already looks different. But before we go into that, like always I found five games I think are worthy of checking out. Let’s go through them.
The fifth strongest of the month is a personal favorite. It’s Pupperazzi. This is a very light-hearted game, and the graphics might not appeal to everyone but I found it rather cute, and it’s a game that doesn’t overstay its welcome. If you like what you’ve seen here, this is easily worth a full playthrough.
The fourth strongest of the month is Infernax. I love the retro aesthetic here, and I feel this is a great game for fans of challenging games, or that classic feeling, but what I enjoy here is how much the game works outside of that. I’ve played enough retro games where the whole point of them is to remind players of a specific game or genre and it lacks anything new. Infernax feels like a great game on its own and one I want to return to.
The third strongest game of the month is Nobody Saves the World. Ignoring the strange name, this is an achievement lover’s dream. Just tons of quests and mini-tasks to do. There’s a solid game at the core here, but I will always love a game that can tie its quest system directly into the progression system and make a satisfying gameplay loop, and Nobody Saves the World succeeded at that.
The second strongest game of the month is Dreamscaper. I love Hades, I love Binding of Isaac, and I love the idea of dreamscapes, and this game has all of that and more. It’s created by three developers, at least that’s what they say but feels like a major accomplishment or any size team. It’s so good that I returned once they fixed the big issue I had and I’m excited to keep returning. The game does get harder after that first chapter, but I know even if I can’t hang on, there’s that easy mode just in case.
And finally, the strongest game of the month is… Hitman 3, or the Hitman Trilogy. I bought this game on Steam, even though I got it for free here, I just wanted to own it, and support IO Interactive. There is a bit of a price issue on its release on Steam, but this is a discussion only of Game Pass.
Seeing as you get all three games at once, there’s a wealth of content and each game here shines. I love the level design, the gameplay, and the cheesy lines once in a while. The third game has some of the most innovative gameplay, for good or bad, but this is one players should not skip. I don’t like the original Hitman games, but this trilogy made me fall in love with this series and I hope it can continue in some way.
And that’s what I have for this month. February is kind of a dumping ground of any game that missed the holiday season, and some massive titles are coming up but for Game Pass, it’s a little light. I’ve already covered Mass Effect and Lawn Mowing Simulator, so if you want to see those, check my back catalog. I will say I’m excited to see Total War Warhammer 3 even though I have kind of struggled a bit with the series before now, and Madden is interesting, Go Pats.
Let’s take a quick look at what’s leaving. I’ll be honest, I don’t know either of these games, but if you want to play Luna Nights or Hypnospace Outlaw, get to them.
Thanks for watching, this has been a fun month with a ton of games, and I’m enjoying this series, I hope you are too. Let me know which games sound interesting or that I should focus on in the future, or if there are any titles you’re currently playing through. I love talking about this stuff. If you want to talk more about games, check out the discord link in the description, and of course consider subscribing and ringing that bell if you’re new here.
I’m going to pop up my previous Game Pass video and my most recent Humble Choice, where they are including Borderlands 3.
See you next time.