Game Column: Three "leftovers" to dive into over the holiday season

Game Column: Three "leftovers" to dive into over the holiday season

CW / Jake Stevens

The end of the semester is finally here, allowing gamers more time to play through their bucket list of 2016 games. Throughout the year, there were a few games I picked up only to realize they wouldn’t quite recent or didn’t have enough to warrant a full column. Here are just a few "leftovers" I’ve played this year.

“Street Fighter V”

“Street Fighter V” has had a troubling year. Released in February, the game’s fighting mechanics were solid, but the lack of single-player content turned many gamers away.

I rented the game when it was first released and had a fun time playing with characters I had never touched before. I started to learn Vega’s move set and got matched up in some heart-pounding online matches that came down to who could break the other’s block for the final blow.

Nine months later, I’ve finally purchased “Street Fighter V” and its season pass of characters on a Black Friday sale. The additions made to the game are slim, such as a longer story mode, but the lack of an arcade mode or meaningful single-player content still makes me wonder about the game’s future.

“The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (Remastered Edition)”

I wasn’t the biggest fan of “Skyrim” in its first release back in 2011. After playing so much of the previous entry, “Oblivion,” I felt like the game hadn’t changed in the ways I wanted it to.

Dragon shouts felt like a neat idea, but the power behind them never felt like they did enough to warrant their use. Exploration in “Skyrim” felt like a chore, as locations would be scattered across the map, forcing players to take the long way around.

The Playstation 3 version was littered with glitches – some humorous, some game-breaking. Characters wouldn’t be in quest locations, mammoths would fly hundreds of feet in the air and the game would often crash mid-dungeon.

The Playstation 4 remaster feels like a step in the right direction, however. Outside of a graphical overhaul, the game now provides mod support to allow creators to craft the game into something completely new. With the addition of over 300 new spells to learn, fan-made quest lines and visual modifications to help guide the way, “Skyrim” is finally feeling closer to the game I wanted so long ago.

“Forza Horizon 3”

I have a love/hate relationship with racing games. The simulation aspects have never appealed to me, and making tight turns on a race track bored me to tears.

“Forza Horizon 3” strikes a fine balance, letting gamers speed through a racing-themed festival in a virtual Australia. The land mass is huge, making each site you unlock feel different as you race through jungles, city nightlife and sandy dunes.

Each environment has its own special challenge, with players racing against speedboats, trains and even helicopters while hitting massive jumps for style points. The game even incorporates its soundtrack into its scoring system, opening up an experience booster during specific songs. Smashing through trees and skipping across dunes while DMX’s “X Gon Give It To Ya” might just be one of my favorite gaming experiences this year.

Even if you’re not into car modification, “Forza Horizon 3” makes it easy, striking a balance between arcade racing and hardcore simulation. The in-game mechanic can upgrade your car to full potential for just a few credits, but racing fans can drill through in-depth menus to adjust the suspension, acceleration and more.

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