Monthly Free Games (Jan 2016)

It's a new year, and a lot of new disappointment. There's a minor ramaster of a brilliant but dated adventure game in here, a good stealth game if you like that kind of thing, and a fantasy RPG that is well regardec but also pretty old. And then a bunch of crap.

Sacred 3 (XBox 360)

Hot on the heels of last month's Van Helsing is Sacred 3, another mediocre action-RPG, this time with a very odd tone, with weird jokes interrupting an otherwise straight-up epic fantasy. Anyway, this is absolutely nothing special in any way.

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising (XBox 360)

You're on your own with this one. There's a limit to what I'm going to do for this bit, and online tactical shooters are past that limit. Especially second-tier Codemasters ones.

Thief (XBox One)

This may be the third time I've gotten this game for free, and the first time I've gotten around to trying it. Anyway, the reboot of the prototypical Stealth game is a prototypical stealth game. It seems quite nice, but keep in mind I'm trying to extrapolate how nice it seems around, well, my deep and abiding dislike of prototypical stealth games.

Killer instinct: Season One (XBox One)

The XBox One's attempt at a launch-game, a freemium fighter based upon a remembered, albeit not fondly, Nintendo franchise, has finally hit an OK price point. Of course, "Season 1" only gives you eight paltry characters, and the fighting itself is really fucking annoying. It makes MOrtal Kombat X look like a tactics game. But if you enjoy hearing a dude yell "C-C-Combo Breaker!" over and over again, you can do it for free now.

DIRT Showdown (XBox 360)

Last month, Dirt 3 proved itself to be a competent but uninteresting rally race game. DIRT Showdown, on the other hand, is arcade you dirt racing and is SUPER EXTREME. It's like a Tony Hawk game with rally cars, which Sounds better on paper than it is in practice. It's fine, but the only thing that would have kept my interest is four-player split-screen, and diRT Showdown only supports two-player split.

Grim Fandango Remasterd (PS4, Vita)

sometimes, procrastination pays off. Never played the original because I wasn't a PC gamer when it came out. Didn't buy the console remaster when it was released. Didn't buy it when it went on sale. Now it's free. And man, I can see why it's beloved. The writing, the art design, the really unique and inventive worldbuilding.

Only problem is, it's still an adventure game from the late 90's, and while the graphics have been slightly remastered, the gameplay hasn't. So there's no indicators of what things in the background you can and can't interact with, there's no autosaving, and there's a shit-ton of walking. Thank fuck for the run button.

Hardware: Rivals (PS4)

It's a car combat game! It's online only! It has no local multiplayer! It's fucking deleted!

Dragon Age: Origins (PS3)

I have a complicated relationship with this, the first Dragon Age game. I loved it until the game kept making me play it. If it had ended maybe three quarters of the way through, I might have played Dragon Age 2, but by the time I was done with the first game, I chose the end-game option that heroically murdered my character because I knew I was never, ever, ever coming back.

I cannot imagine anyone being interested in this who hasn't played it before now, but if you haven't, it's good for a while.

Medal of Honor: Warfighter (PS3)

The Medal of Honor series started as a World War II FPS series trying to capture that whole Band of Brothers criitcal cache. Medal of Honor Warfighter is a big-budget, mediocre modern military FPS that tries to be a mediocre early-decade acion movie, complete with the lead character's father issues and a post-9/11 mentality towards villainy. Spent more time installing it than I did playing it.

Nihilumbra (PS Vita)

You want to lose me instantly, game developers? Put philospohical questions in text on the screen while introducing me to your basic platformer. Go ahead. I fucking dare you. If I see one more vague question of identity while I learn that I can jump up on ledges, I am going to take a hostage.

You know what doesn't ask vague questions of identity? Yoshi's Woolly World. It has yarn. Yarn trumps vague questions of identity every goddamned time. It also doesn't have long-ass loading times between incredibly short, simple levels, which Nihilumbra has in addition to its many other crimes.

Legends of War: Patton (PS Vita)

It's a tactical war game. You don't need me to tell you what you're getting.