Video Games With Unique and Innovative Gameplay Mechanics

With the beautiful games being released this past few weeks, we can’t help but wonder if they will also capture us with their gameplay or detach us from the immersion that the game’s graphics or story gives us. Most of these upcoming games are overly hyped and we don’t want another, for a lack of better word, disappointment. No man wants to see a sky of unfulfilled promises – I know, not the best wordplay out there. Heads up! Minimal spoilers ahead. I did my best to keep all the spoilers to the least while keeping the integrity of the explanation about the video games with innovative – or unique – gameplay. Here are video games that got us hooked with their gameplay. These games are not rated on which is the best; this is an unsorted list. *wink* Enjoy!

Superhot

Unique Gameplay. Simplicity truly is beauty
Simplicity truly is beauty

Minimalist graphics? Check. Challenging levels? Check. Innovative and easy-to-learn gameplay? You guessed it – Check. Meet Piotr Iwanicki, the game designer of one of the best examples of indie-done-right video games. And, no, I will not try to pronounce his name. Superhot started out as an entry in a 7-Day First Person Shooter game jam back in August 2013. It was then greeted with a lot of praise from gamers and critics alike. Finally, released into a full-blown game back in 2016, thanks to crowd-funding and a lot of great publicity.

The gameplay can be explained in one sentence and the developers did just that stating that, “SUPERHOT is the first person shooter where time moves only when you move.” – You can’t explain it any simpler than that. Yes, time stops when you do; you can see the bullets mid-air, you can stop playing and go do something else, and you can smack people in the head then take their weapons, which you can also see fly up in the air as the enemy falls to the ground. This unique gameplay truly makes you feel like Rambo or Jack Bauer, a hero to save the day. Well, not in 24 hours or less, because you will be playing this game for dayz just to get through the challenges.

Papers, Please

It's fun, you have my word.
It’s fun, you have my word.

Have you experienced travelling to another country? Did you ever wonder how the immigration officers do their jobs? If the thought crossed your mind, I suggest grabbing a copy of Papers, Please, a game made by Lucas Pope. He was a developer from Naughty Dog, the studio behind the award-winning video game series, Uncharted. He made this game with a thought in his mind that video games are a form of art.

In Papers, Please, you get to play as an immigration officer and you’ll get to experience how to stand on the other side of the window in the immigration office. The graphics for the game is simple, but the gameplay is unique. It starts simple, some basic rules will be laid out for you to follow. And these rules will be the basis  whether an applicant can pass through or not. Then as each day in the game progresses, new rules or requirements will be presented: additional paperworks will need to be verified, new tools will be introduced in order to asses the immigrant, and other additional actions which is very similar to how immigration really works. After playing this, you might think twice before unleashing your rage in the immigration office.

Monument Valley

The title doesn't spell "Challenging", right? Wrong.
The title doesn’t spell “Challenging”, right? Wrong.

Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles. We all thought that video game puzzles will always be the same: you will encounter an obstacle, then you’ll be asked to find certain objects or pieces then place them in or on a specific place, you’ll be asked to draw a line going from a point around the obstacle and to a certain end point, et cetera. Then Monument Valley came into the picture and it came in with a bang. With multiple awards, citations, commendations, and praises, this video game sets a mark for the next generation of more challenging and innovative puzzle games.

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen or at least heard of impossible objects. Those objects that we perceive as physically impossible or, at least, bothering. Monument Valley used it as the main gameplay mechanic of the game. The players are asked to control a silent protagonist, a princess named Ida through  various levels of optical illusions. You might be thinking that it’s simple, you just need to get through the whole “illusion” of the stage. Nope. There will also be tiny objectives like, activators, bridges, pathwalks, etc. that you need to activate and manipulate in order to get through the stage. If you’re the type of gamer who likes some excruciating mental challenge, you might want to give this one a shot. Thank me later.

The Elegy for a Dead World

Oh, writing. The act of materializing the wonders of the human mind – the adventures, wishes, dreams, visions, and other abstract or philosophical constructs of the human mind. This is what Dejobaan Games, the developers of the Elegy for a Dead World, used as their main gameplay mechanic.

You are a traveler whose ship was broken and who is tasked to record the history of the planets around you. The gameplay is pretty simple, you get to choose from three planets where you want to write about first. Then, you can start with a certain premise of the world or you can go wild with your imagination with the free writing option. This video game is now being used as a tool for teaching English as a second language or ESL in various schools and universities around the world. This shows that video games can be more than just a ‘game’.

Valkyria Chronicles

You will cry. Trust me.
The 7th platoon of the Gallian Militia

This video game is one of the games I’ve played (and anime I’ve watched) that delivers great story with astonishing twists, relatable characters, and an immersive gameplay. Valkyria Chronicles is brought to you by the developers of Sonic. Yes, that’s right – Sega.

Like most RPG/JRPG, character development is embedded in the core gameplay of Valkyria Chronicles. But, what makes this game unique is its turn-based battle system called BLiTZ or Battle of Live Tactical Zones. I know, sounds awesome, right? Well, that’s because it is. This battle system is composed of three parts or modes. The Command Mode, the Action Mode, and the Target Mode.

The first one puts you in an overhead map of the battlefield. This is the time when you can learn of the enemies’ whereabouts and plan where to position your units and where to strike. Then, you can select a unit to control, which brings the player to Action Mode. While in the Action Mode, you can control your character like a normal third-person shooter. Movement costs Action Points which varies for each of your units on the field. Lastly, when you’re finished positioning your units, you can enter the Target Mode. In this mode, the player has control of the unit’s aim, but you can’t move. This allows for headshots and other awesome kills.

During the player’s turn, each action – whether the control of multiple units or the same unit consecutively – depletes his/her Command Points. There are also different classes of characters to experiment with. The environment also affects the flow of the combat. Snipers can take the higher grounds for a vantage point, tanks can knock down walls, and many more.

This game is truly worth the try. But, I suggest watching the anime first.

Other Video Games with Unique Gameplay

  • Patapon – because of using different notes and rhythms for attack, defend, run, etc.
  • Her Story – because of using video footages of a real person
  • Portal – Handheld Portal Device
  • Eternal Darkness – due to the Sanity meter
  • Shadow of Mordor – Nemesis System, enemies remember you and yes – creepy.
  • Katamari – cute anarchy

These are just some of the games that I’ve played that I think has an innovative gameplay. How about you? Have you played a video game with a very unique gameplay that got you immersed for hours? Tell us in the comments down below. We like to hear more games that exhibits innovation.

The Future For Super Smash Bros

Always looking for more. The Smash community have just received their latest DLC  pack which included lots of new content from characters to stages. June 14th saw the roll out of fan-favourite fighters making their return to the brawl. This was Earthbound’s Lucas and Fire Emblem’s Roy. We also got the surprise reveal of Street Fighter mascot Ryu. All three characters are available to download now. To give Ryu his own battleground Suzaku Castle was added too. Alongside this we also got an updated level of Kirby’s’ Dreamland straight from the original Smash and a Miiverse stage.

To go with these levels there was a slew of Mii fighter costumes shown including Splatoon Inklings, Animal Crossing Characters and Virtua Fighter. Amiibo made their latest appearance in the shape of Ganondorf, Palutena, Dark Pit and Zero Suit Samus. So with the latest batch of content in full swing, it’s time peer into the future to see what Smash Bros Director Masahiro Sakurai has in store for the upcoming months.

“New” Stages – August 2015

Image 1

Well we say “new”. Having already brought Kirby’s Dream Land into 2015, Mr Sakurai has announced that two other veteran stages from the N64 version will be making a comeback. This included Hyrule Castle from the Legend of Zelda and Peach’s Castle (He must have an obsession with castles) from Super Mario. Slated for release this August.

Amiibo – September 2015

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The latest batch of Nintendo’s hard to find collectibles were revealed. On top of this there was also the promise that every fighter will gain their own unique amiibo. Yes that includes Ryu! Available to purchase now with due for release in September are:

Bowser Jr.,

Pikmin & Olimar

Dr Mario

ROB

Duck Hunt Dog

Falco

Mr Game and Watch

Mii Brawler

Mii Gunner

Mii Swordfighter

Tourney Mode – August 2015

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One of the best modes from previous iterations seemed all but lost however this is no longer the case. Due for release this August Tourney mode will finally be making its way online for the Smash community to enjoy. Features are to include new Community Tourneys where you compete for the biggest accumulation of points in the allotted time as well along with the classic style. For the time being it seems Tourneys are becoming an online exclusive as their was no evidence of offline presence however this remains to be seen.

Youtube – 2015/2016

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A common trait amongst video games these days is ability to upload your gameplay to the internet; namely Youtube. Nintendo are joining in with this trend by adding the feature to upload your replays directly to Youtube. A Google account however will be needed. Currently no date has been given yet for this release.

Smash Bros Fighter Ballot – 2015/2016

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Remember a couple months back when Nintendo asked you to vote for who you would to see join the roster. This process is still ongoing with the deadline for voting finishing on the 3rd September 2015. Now there is no early news about who and when any new characters will be released so we can only speculate. Nevertheless I believe if there is a far runaway winner then the development may have already begun therefore we may end up seeing new characters as soon as October.

Image 6

That covers everything that is in development for Super Smash Bros Wii U/3DS. There is a lot more that could be announced in the future and if sales of previous content is anything to go by Nintendo would most likely take advantage if this. There will never be enough for us Smash fans so we can only hope they keep contributing for years to come.

What would you like to see next in Super Smash Bros? Leave us a comment below and tell us why.

Lucas, Roy, and Ryu DLC Now Available for Super Smash Bros, New Amiibo Revealed

Super Smash

Three more characters have joined the cast of Super Smash Bros for Wii U and 3DS.  Lucas from Mother 3, Roy from Fire Emblem, and Ryu from Street Fighter are all available for purchase now.  Lucas and Roy make their long awaited returns from Brawl and Melee respectively with all of their familiar techniques intact.  Ryu is the first entirely new character released as DLC and he is easily the most unique character to join the roster yet.  While his special moves can be performed with the simple Smash inputs, using the more complex inputs from the Street Fighter games will result in much more powerful attacks.  Performing a Shoryuken with SF inputs and hitting at just the right point can be an almost guaranteed kill.  He can also perform light, medium, and heavy variants of all of his attacks based on how long you hold the button down.  Finally, he is the first smasher to have two Final Smashes.  Performing the Final Smash directly next to an opponent will perform the incredibly powerful Shin Shoryuken.  Otherwise, he will fire of a massive Shinku Hadouken projectile.  Ryu definitely looks to be one of the most insane and powerful characters yet.

Along with the new characters, there are also three new stages added to the game.  The long-awaited Miiverse stage is available for free to all players.  The stage is essentially a reskin of the the Battlefield stage with the addition of Miiverse messages from players all around the world appearing in the background.  The brand new Suzaku Castle stage is based on Ryu’s stage from Street Fighter II and comes included with the purchase of Ryu.  The stage has two layers of large, stable platforms to the right and two smaller platforms to the left.  Finally, the Dream Land 64 stage from the original Super Smash Bros returns.  It’s not the only stage to return from the first Smash Bros as Hyrule Castle and Peach’s Castle 64 are also set to be released as DLC, but they’ll both come at a later date.

Plenty of new outfits have also been released for the Mii Fighters.  Along with the previously announced Splatoon outfits, there will be costumes based on Isabelle from Animal Crossing, Zero from Mega Man X, MegaMan.EXE from Mega Man Battle Network, Akira and Jacky from Virtua Fighter, and Heihachi from Tekken.  Ironically, the recently revealed K. K. Slider costume is nowhere to be seen.  The Mii Fighters will also be receiving their own amiibo figures.  The figures themselves are based on the default designs used on the character select screen, but their appearances in-game can be customized to your liking.  Along with the Miis, amiibo for R.O.B., Duck Hunt, Mr. Game & Watch, and Falco have also been revealed.  The Mr. Game & Watch amiibo is of particular interest as it will include multiple poses that can be swapped out.

The Tournament mode is now in its testing phase and will be released in August.  Lastly, there will be updates made to the replay function with Youtube intergration, allowing players to directly upload recordings of their matches online.  You will need a Google account in order to use this function.  Which of these announcements has you the most excited?  What are you still hoping to see adding to Super Smash Bros in the future?  Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

A New Challenger Approaches!

Super Smash

Super Smash Bro’s was the fastest selling game on the Wii U last year, even managing to trump Mario Kart 8, which is a pretty impressive feat. During todays Nintendo Direct a lot of things were announced in regards to Nintendo’s premium Brawler, the biggest being new characters. Despite Smash’s ginormous roster of characters, fans from accross the globe cried for more, and Melee Veteran Mewtwo has been on everybodies list for what seems like an eternity. Nintendo, in their infinite wisdom as granted our request and Mewtwo will be added as DLC to Smash for both Wii U and 3DS on 30th April.

lucas.0.0

But that is not all, a surprise reveal was…well…revealed. Lucas, one of the most popular characters from Brawl will be joining the crew. Much more than just a pallet swap of Nes, Lucas will bring more Earthbound/Mother action to Smash. He does not have a set in stone release date, but he should be due sometime in May. New additions to the Mii Fighter are also inbound, with a handful of classic character designs to outfit your Mii with. These range from a Link inspired tunic, to Megaman X, although my personal favorite has to be the inclusion of Protoman from the classic megaman classic games. Each costume comes in at around 90p which is a fair price for some sweet swag.

The biggest shock of the show however, was Nintendo‘s dedication to pleasing Smash fans. They are opening a “voting” service, allowing you to submit your ideas for the next Smash character to be released. I for one will be putting in a vote for Castlevania star, Simon Belmont and Nintendo’s newest IP: Bayonetta, but I am a fan of vampire killing whips are creepy hair magic. For a company who has never really “done” DLC, Nintendo are quickly becoming the best of the bunch. Hopefully this trend continues well into 2015.