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My PS4 backlog - games I wanted to play but never got the chance until now


So here we are at the end of the Playstation 4's life cycle, and it was a good run. And while it didn't quite reach the gaming highs I experienced with the Xbox 360 in the previous generation, I still enjoyed myself immensely. But during this time there were other games I wanted to try but never got the chance due to lack of finances and my attention being focused on other titles that had my interest more. Luckily, these select titles were now being sold at a bargain price so without too much hurt to my wallet I'm finally able to get to experience them.

Being a huge Tolkien fan, the thought of an open world game set in Middle Earth tickled my fancy. So I was hyped to play Shadow of Mordor, but what I got was something of a disappointment. Now I think this is a good game, but man does it have a lot of niggling annoyances that I take issue with.

- The Nemesis system. The true draw of SoM. Having an orc hierarchy to fool and play around is a brilliant idea. Figuring how to deal with and kill the many orc captains leads to many gaming approaches that the best wide open sandboxes are known for.
- The game is very lore friendly to Tolkien. Having Celebrimbor as the wraith, you expect the writers to know their stuff with regards to the history of the Rings of Power. There are numerous references to the Silmarillion and the Undying Lands, and Celebrimbor talks and acts like an Eldar (an elf of Valinor) as you would expect.
- The opening is brilliant. Alternating between Talion's flashbacks to his family and being caught inbetween the realms of life of death, all the while teaching you the basic mechanics of the game. It's a great way to open up the story and get straight to the point while bringing you up to speed to what is happening.

- The User Interface is TERRIBLE. Good lord. I'm not one to get bothered too much by UIs in open world games, but SoM has to take the prize for the most obnoxious one in existence. Do we really need to see all this shit onscreen? It's distracting and really hampers gameplay to a degree.
- Freeflow combat is terribly implemented in this game. Saying as someone who enjoyed the freeflow combat in the Batman Arkham games, I found it a chore to play with here in SoM. Perhaps I've been spoiled by how Ghost of Tsushima brilliantly handled sword combat in a open world game, and I was expecting the same thing here.
- Parkour is confusing at times. Monolith, if you're going to blatantly copy a movement system from Assassin's Creed, at least polish it up like Ubisoft did?

At first glance, it's easy to dismiss this game as a GTA clone set in Hong Kong. But it quickly establishes it's own identity and offers up it's own brand of gaming pleasures. I'm surprised that this solid game wasn't more of a success. It reminds me of the efforts of Sucker Punch translating a fictional genre from foreign shores (chambara or samurai film) into a great game (Ghost of Tsushima). In this case, developers United Front have turned the Hong Kong crime drama into a kickass title.

- Soiid and fun combat system. A way better aping of freeflow combat than in Shadow of Mordor mentioned above. And I like that melee is the game's main focus rather than shooting, which takes a backseat.
- Playing both a police and gangster. Numerous open world games let us play the bad guy, but it's nice in this game you get to do stuff as a cop (albeit one in deep undercover). Wei Shen is a character of conflicting loyalties, and the gameplay reflects that.
- Lots of stuff to do. The usual open world side content is there, but it's actually pretty fun to do this stuff.

- Driving gameplay needs work. It's not as deep as that of GTA's, and it was a struggle at times to maneuver your vehicle at high speeds, especially in races.
- Shooting could use some tweaking as well. Same as above, this game doesn't top GTA in terms of gunplay. It would have been nice to have an auto aim system in place. Thought vaulting out of cover to shoot in slomo was pretty cool.

The diamond in the rough. Among all the games I bought recently, this was the best by far. Being new to the series, I didn't know really what to expect. I know the series takes a lot cues from Shenmue, but this title by far is much more fun and enjoyable than any Shenmue game I've played.

- A compelling story. From the get go, Yakuza 0 hooks you in with it's narrative of betrayal, loyalty and the price one pays when dealing with the Japanese criminal underworld. It's a tale with a lot of twists and turns nd the acting from all the characters is top notch.
- A pair of great lead characters. Being that this is a prequel to the rest of the series, it's a good intro to a newbie like me to the likes of Kiryu Kazuma and Goro Majima. Kiryu is a great protagonist of stark contrasts. He's the baddest mofo in all of Kamurocho while at the same time being it's biggest dork. He'll be grinding one guy's head into the pavement and later helping out a young kid get back his stolen videogame. But as much as I like Kiryu, Goro Majima was a far better protagonist for me. Where Kiryu is straight up heroic, Majima is a much more grey character whose true allegiances are always shifting.
- Minigames galore. So much shit to do, so little time. And they're actually quite fun to boot! Well... some of them are. More on that later.
- The Cabaret Club rocks. Out of all the minigames, this was the most addicting and fun. Who knew managing a club full of sexy girls could be so awesome?
- A good argument for midbudget games. Yakuza 0 is proof that you don't need all your character's dialogue to be voiced and you only need cinematic presentation during the big story beats. I wish more game would follow this example and not be slavish to the AAA game model.

- Combat gets repetitive. Don't get me wrong, I thought the combat system was pretty deep. It's too bad we don't get to try it out an a variety enemies and all we're stuck with are the same random goons we encounter on the street.
- Rhythm games can suck my ass. I've never liked rhythm games and have never been good at them. It's a shame that the disco and karaoke are made of this mechanic because they offer some of the games most hilarious moments.

So that so far is the backlog of PS4 games I've tried. If anyone has any other suggestions feel free to reply. I may add more games here when I get them and give my thoughts.
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