Highlights of the Month

FIFA 16

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I played an unreasonable amount of FIFA 16 this month, and I cannot wait to jump into FIFA 17 right now. With each new game the tactics of the previous year are patched out. I think I have finally figured out the optimal strategy, tactics, and lineup for my favourite team, Juventus, in the current meta. Trust me when I say that nothing feels better than demolishing the flood of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and PSG players online. Scoring all of my goals against Chelsea with Cuadrado comes a close second though. Let’s see if I can finally win the Division 1 championship before the end of June.

I think the marketing strategy of FIFA is getting more and more refined each year with the inclusion of EA Access and Games With Gold. They’re able to hit almost all of the consumers with an interest in FIFA games at various value and price points throughout the year with a targeted F2P model come the spring when the game is free. I wonder if the FUT packs sell well enough after it is effectively free to make a sizeable impact. Regardless, I think this strategy is great. It gives EA Canada a solid timeline to phase promotion out of FIFA 16 and start building hype for FIFA 17 when the playerbase should be at an all-time high. Can’t wait to see how they do it at E3.

Defence Grid 2

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I loved Defence Grid and I played it over and over again on my PC. Now that I don’t have a PC to play on, I never got around to playing the sequel. I was really excited to see DG2 pop up on May’s Games With Gold lineup and despite some obvious bugs and slowdowns, I enjoyed my time with it.

At first I thought not having a mouse might be an issue but it never did. I loved how tough but rewarding the first DG game was, and I was a bit disappointed to find that I blew through the majority of the game without needing to restart a mission to end with all of my cores. There seems to be a lot of different modifiers and options to replay it though, so I will probably jump back in at some point to see how those all play together. One thing that I wish was done more effectively was lead me through the campaign a bit more directly. I was constantly unlocking one variant of a tower or another, and I could never tell how I should be using them. Regardless, it was a great game and I hope Dracogen helps fund Hidden Path’s attempt at making another soon.

Honourable Mention

Smite

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It is impossible to stay up to date on current gaming trends without seeing the explosion of MOBAs lately. I thought Smite might be a good introduction but I could barely muster the will to get through the tutorial stage. Maybe MOBAs aren’t really for me.