What I'm Playing Now: Uncharted 4, Jetpac plus Jump Ultimate Stars 2017 images

Uncharted 4 has been on store shelves for nearly a year now, and I am proud to declare that I can confirm the validity of the reviews that were officially released for the title. I realize that my recognition of the game’s quality is what many players were awaiting before making the purchase! So I’ve been diligently playing this thing for over nine months now, and I can put my stamp on it.

Seriously though, as many have already found, Uncharted 4 is groundbreaking in quite a few different ways. I also made a quick trip back to Jetpac this week, and finally gave Jump Ultimate Stars, on the DS, a go.

Let’s take a closer look at the games that I played this week—and when I say let’s, I’m assuming that you’ll read on!

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Jetpac

In my last What I’m Playing update, I promised I wouldn’t mention any of the other titles in Rare Replay, but I’m so proud of my achievements in Jetpac that I can’t help myself. Nevertheless, I’ll keep it brief.

In a single try (between Uncharted sessions) I completed every level in the game and then some without using the rewind feature. All of my skills finally came together and paid off in impressive fashion; I know you’re just as excited as I am about my feat!

Alright, maybe you’re not, but Uncharted 4 is next so you might as well keep reading.

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Uncharted 4

A game this incredible and revolutionary may only come around once in a lifetime.

Fine, that could be a bit much. After all, history indicates that this won’t be the most game-changing (see what I did there) title to release for most gamers, but for now, it stands tall as one of the greatest technical achievements the industry has ever seen.

As is apparent within the trailers and gameplay footage, Uncharted 4 looks absolutely stunning. The graphics boasted by the software are crisp, clear, detailed, and breathtaking (that’s not an exaggeration), and I found myself carefully examining views, landscapes, and areas of levels that in other titles I would have simply appreciated and moved on from.

Uncharted 4 is the best-looking game to ever release on consoles.

Thankfully, the technical aspects of the title aren’t neglected either. Uncharted 4, like its predecessors, plays like a dream. The combat action is fluent and smooth, the platforming elements are all incredible, the driving is realistic and thrilling, and everything in-between is similarly top-notch. Some of the puzzles do become mildly aggravating—not because of their difficulty, but because of their core mechanics—but these instances are rare, very minor, and essentially effortless to look past.

What really ties the title together, though, is its writing. As film and video game fans of today know, a bigger budget doesn’t always result in a high-quality final product, and more development time doesn’t always make for a positively memorable experience. Writing is what provides each and every form of media with character and serves as its backbone and essence; luckily, Uncharted 4 is perfect in this regard.

The story itself is excellent (don’t worry, no spoilers are mentioned or even hinted at), its progression is similarly impressive, and perhaps best of all, the dialogue—both in cut scenes and during gameplay—is believable and fun. This is of the utmost importance.

As if the one-of-a-kind story mode wasn’t enough, Uncharted 4 also features solid multiplayer. Players can choose from several different game modes, and as was expected, team deathmatch appears to be the most popular.

This online play is free of lag, full of customization options, and is generally fun. Regular run-and-shoot mechanics would have become stale quickly, and although I will let players witness the specifics of the online modes for themselves, there are plenty of unique and thrilling weapons at the disposal of Uncharted 4 competitors.

The only real downside of the Uncharted 4 multiplayer—and it isn’t really a downside, but rather, a design preference—is that it relies heavily on the teamwork of players. Perhaps this is a bigger issue for me, as literally each of my gaming friends use an Xbox One as their primary system, but the reality of the core multiplayer gameplay is that it places a lot of emphasis on coordination; unlike Call of Duty, for instance, the odds of one player taking down two or more opposing players are very slim.

And when each of your teammates runs in a different direction against a cohesive opposing team, match results are usually pretty definitive. This system also makes catching up to teams that take a sizable lead very challenging.

The moral: Uncharted 4 multiplayer is best enjoyed with friends.

As a whole, Uncharted 4 is one of the best games ever released, and is about as close to perfect as a title can be. If you own a PlayStation 4, it’s your duty to the industry and yourself, as a gamer, to join team Uncharted.

Maybe “duty” is a bit much, but still, there really isn’t any reason to delay in enjoying Uncharted 4.

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Jump Ultimate Stars

The language barrier makes play initially difficult in Jump Ultimate Stars, but with the help of carefully written guides, you too can be rocking online matches in the Japan-exclusive DS game in a very short amount of time.

I don’t own very many Japanese video games—actually, this and the first Jump installment, Jump Super Stars, are the only ones that I have in my collection—but the idea of portable action featuring Goku, Yusuke, Yugi, and many, many other characters, in addition to solid mechanics, is incredible, and worthy of an instant purchase. I’ve had a fun time playing around with the title thus far.

This week in gaming was one of the best in some time, and although I have yet to play Doom, I’ll make it a point to find a good deal and enjoy the title as well, which has been generally praised by critics. Be sure to enjoy all of the recently released and upcoming games, and before long, E3 will be here!

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