While it is possible always feels like “Video Game Day” for some players, today is actually National Video Game Day (not to be confused with National Game Day, which occurs in July and extends to all game types). If you need a reason to pick up a PlayStation controller today and spend some quality time on a game, that’s as good an excuse as anything, isn’t it?
While “national” days like these are ultimately a bit arbitrary, they do give us some time to reflect on the things we love. In particular, Video Game Day allows us to celebrate an industry that has played an important role during the pandemic as socially isolated people become socially connected players through games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Between us.
If you’re looking for something to play with today, here’s what the Digital Trends gaming team is playing to celebrate the occasion (OK, we’ll play it this way, let’s be honest).
Splitgate is the first person shooter of my teenage dreams. Back in my college glory days, both Halo 3 and Portal is a game of formation. One was a full social experience that helped me make new friends in an unfamiliar place. The rest is a more personal solo experience that feels like a revelation to the medium I love. So, to see those two games come together more than a decade later is a bit bizarre. Splitgate added more mind-bending physics puzzles Portal to Halo’s fine-tuned gunfight to create something that feels both familiar and completely new. It’s an especially perfect game to celebrate National Video Game Day, as it perfectly captures the level of industry success as developers engage with each other, iterating on ideas from other games to make the game even better. ~ Giovanni Colantonio
After a couple of rounds of waiting until Black Friday to buy the latest NBA 2K installment at a discount, only to be completely demolished by longtime players, I’m starting on the first day of this year. Pray that I pick a killer Jayson Tatum card on MyTeam to represent my Boston Celtics, but settle for the Blazers’ Damian Lillard if I have to. I haven’t tried MyPlayer in a couple of batches, so I’ll be building the final player this weekend (obviously, I’ll be at least 7′ 2″).
While I’m dancing on 2K22 release, I’m also playing some older titles recently. I just started a new save on Fables via Xbox Game Pass, where I still have the title “Chicken Chaser”. My plan is to play through all three allegorical games while I pretend Fables 4 coming soon. My partner and I also just started a series Black Pokémon and White this week. I’ve never played this, so starting a new Pokémon adventure is really exciting. ~ Sam Hill
I spent too much time looking through every collection in Psychonauts 2, so I’m willing to relax with something a little less tedious. Wasteland Golf Club Fits the bill perfectly – it has a lo-fi soundtrack, a story that slowly unfolds, and surprisingly fun golf mechanics that require you to come back to play another hole. I expected to find a quirky, animated mini-golf simulator, like those old Flash games that were all the rage a few decades ago. Instead, I’m discovering a great narrative adventure that’s especially relevant for 2021.
Whether you’re listening to in-game radio-told fantasy stories, reading level descriptions before each new course, or just scanning every location’s wallpaper, there’s a huge amount of content lurking beneath the surface. . Sure, you can play it as a simple mini-putt simulator, but you’ll be making yourself the villain. Wasteland Golf Club reminds me that a good video game isn’t just about how it is played – and that even the simplest concepts can tell a complex story. ~ Jon Bitner
As someone who missed the Xbox One generation (like many people), I spent a lot of time digging through games from that era, thanks to backwards compatibility on the Xbox Series S. A game that stands out. than the rest for me is Decay 2, a zombie adventure focused on exploration, base building, shooting, and survival. Maybe this is a game that hits at the right time for me, but it’s a game I just can’t put down.
The best thing about it is its game loop, which constantly rewards players for going out and exploring while scavenging. As you do this, your character, teammates, and base grow stronger, allowing you to go out and complete quests more efficiently. You can play it alone or with friends, it’s a good touch, applicable to all players.
It’s a bit rough around the edges, but what’s there is amazing. Decay 2 It’s one of the jewels of the Xbox One generation, and I hope more people can try it out on Xbox Series X/S. Best of all: It’s on Game Pass! ~ Joseph Yaden
I’ve been a huge fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles since I was a kid. I’ve collected some of their rarest characters, read all of their comics, watched all of their movies, and watched every one of their shows aired. So it’s no surprise that I’m super hopeful for the new beat of Dotemu’s Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge. To celebrate my hype about the game and take my time while I’m in what feels like Turtles monthly highs, I’ve decided to play through every TMNT game released (at least is that I can play, thanks to licensing issues for digital-only games).
Of course, this means starting with the infamous 1989 NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a game known for its difficulty thanks to the location of enemies and danger. Although I think it’s a bit too much as it is a very ambitious open world 2D cross-platform mash-up, similar to Zelda II. Even though I’ve acknowledged it, I’m still not sure I can beat it without saving status or cheating. At least I’ll wash away the stench of my failure in the TMNT NES with the legendary original TMNT video game, released the same year. ~ De’Angelo Epps
Look, I’m just a little obsessed! OK, maybe I’m obsessed a lot. Apex Legends has stolen my heart – and my evenings – since a friend convinced me to try again in February. I spent more than my fair share of time in Overwatch and Aura: CE, both are shooters with lots of character, pure fun, and value. Top is another entry in that category, which means it’s perfectly designed to help me spend all my time and money on it.
Sharpen my skills in TopBattle royale’s has been the perfect pandemic escape. Joining 20 or 30 other teams is a great way to stay in touch with friends and laugh for a long time at our melodramatic failures, despite the world’s struggles right outside my door. Even though I’m not very good at it, I still find myself going back to it over and over again hoping to find that ecstatic victory moment. There are a ton of titles coming out this fall and winter that will probably pull me away from it, not least of which are two upcoming Pokémon titles that I know will hold me back for months to come. But now, Apex Legends is a resident member of my household. ~ Emily Morrow
The MechWarrior brand has been almost inactive since its release MechAssault 2 almost 20 years ago. It’s a real shame, as smashing buildings and entering a 100-ton walking BattleMech never gets old. MechWarrior: 5 Vengeance came to Xbox Game Pass earlier this year, and in recent weeks it has become my current gaming obsession.
Picture it like this: You and your group of MechWarriors are mercenaries, free to fly wherever your ship and money will take you. You can negotiate for better contracts, earn money and save parts from your dead enemies. Over time, you build a growing steady stream of powerful Mechs and skillful pilots to take on ever-increasing missions, greater risk, and reward. It’s a loopy and fun as hell, especially when you’re playing with a lance (aka team) of friends. ~ Justin Koreis
National Video Game Day will be dedicated to accomplishing my personal goals in No Man’s Sky. After Border Launching the update, I found a lovely little planet filled with blue bioluminescent grasslands and rich red lakes. A perfect place to settle down. My day will be busy with settling disputes between settlers, welcoming new guests, and crafting enough aronium to complete the landing dock.
However, these quests are just to pass the time. You see, this planet is actually home to sandworms. The invertebrates aboard the Titanic were comparable in size to the cargo ships of the stars. The ground rumbled and shattered as these giant creatures pierced the soil like a terrestrial whale. Their roars can be heard from a great distance, and these huge beasts can be seen from a great distance.
Sorry, you cannot scan these Sand dunes– giant animals. My mission for our electronic entertainment anniversary will be to study this creature as best as I can. I’ve only had a glimpse of these worms, and thanks to the random animal generation in No Man’s Sky, I don’t know what they look like in their entirety. Do they have retractable front teeth or a toothed tube like the twisted garbage pipe in Frank Herbert’s dream? Does it have tiny fins or legs to help it pierce the earth on its own? I really don’t know, and I can’t wait to document them as best I can. ~ Andrew Zucosky
I’m a fan of the Yakuza series mostly from afar, just playing Kiwami and 6 personally, but I’ve always appreciated them for the way they blend deadly serious crime thrillers with completely unique side stories. Thanks to PlayStation Now (yes, I really think the service is better than most people for it), I was able to indulge for over 20 hours Judgement and only to chapter 4. There’s so much more outside of the main story to do, with even crazier settings for side cases, thanks to the new protagonist, Yagami, being a detective. The only mystery I haven’t been able to solve is whether I can finish this game before it leaves the service. ~ Jesse Lennox