Fun for Everyone on PS4

by Sammy Chan
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I remember back in the day when our parents bought my siblings and I our first console, a PsOne. My dad would help set it up with the abundance of tangled VGA wires, and then he would ‘give it a test run’ and proceed to play Tony Hawk for half an hour before letting the kids he had bought it for play.
Ah, those were the times. Now, 15 years from that point, the role of being the ‘fun uncle/aunty’ has fallen onto our generation. As your selection of games up to this point may have been tailored to your personal preference of graphics, art styles, and genre, you may have trouble deciding what Ps4 games are good fun for the relatives this upcoming holiday. Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s a short but comprehensive list of some fun Ps4 games for the whole family (kinda). Bare in mind, these aren’t necessarily the best of the best, but they are decent and get the job done for entertaining your unwanted company (let me get back to Senran Kagura!!)

  1. Knack

Honestly, this game is terrible in the eyes of a gamer who has seen the evolution of gaming throughout the years. It is mechanically simple, occasionally dips in frame rate despite having very sub par graphics, and it’s a chore to play with its unnecessarily punishing ‘normal’ difficulty. However, where it lacks, there are redeeming qualities. This game is PERFECT for bonding with the younger ones. It has a charming and fun story that focuses on the title character and its lore, but more importantly gives decent exposure about how adults think and feel. It will entertain children and even catch the attention of adults, thanks to its decent cutscenes and great voice acting. It has simple mechanics, however it is a great exercise for children as they can explore more than simple button mashing by timing out very easy to execute skills. The game is colourful, and not blindingly so. It has a multitude of settings and play areas which ensures you don’t get bored of your environments. Each level also has simple puzzles and decent platforming, so children won’t just be mindlessly whizzing through levels without developing some hand-eye coordination. Various optional secrets are scattered throughout game, encouraging the both of you to spot and investigate irregularities. Couch co-op can only be played on ‘Easy’ difficulty, but the only notable difference is the amount of damage you take, which is fine because ultimately, this is just a game where you can relax and enjoy the experience with a friend. The best part? There’s a sequel! If you somehow grow attached to this charming game. you won’t be left with a void in your heart.

  1. Kamen Rider Climax Fighters

Back in the PsOne days I used to buy all kinds of Kamen Rider games despite them being entirely in Japanese. As a Television franchise, Kamen Rider was amazing. It had edgy characters, compelling plots and portrayed human emotions such as anger and love and how adults dealt with these emotions. But of course, the main attraction of the franchise was its action sequences. Each rider in the Heisei Era had multiple forms they could unlock, and as the series progressed they kept unlocking stronger and cooler forms accompanied by cooler weapons and moves. All of this is faithfully represented in the videogames. You’d never buy a Kamen Rider videogame for it The games captured all the moves that you would see on TV and unlocking a ‘Final Form’ always exciting. In the present day, the Kamen Rider games have since evolved to a whole new level. Kamen Rider has upgraded to 3d arenas and the latest instalment, Climax Fighters, allows for 4 players to play on one PS4, perfect to settle sibling squabbles. This game isn’t a hit with the standard gamer, as the graphics are lackluster and its lack of match making settings makes the filled-with-potential online play seemingly non-existent and pointless. However this doesn’t mean the game isn’t an excellent homage to the television adaptation of the franchise.
Explosive moves are plentiful and each Kamen Rider has moves that are accurately reanimated from their respective television series, making it a very flashy and aesthetically pleasing game. Depending on how old you are, the nostalgia could really hit you as some of the voice cast is reprised by their television actors. In addition to that, it pays attention to detail from the television series with it’s Easter eggs and faithfully reanimated combat. Speaking of which, it also has a level of depth in its combat, so it’s not just mindlessly button mashing if you’re looking to take down your annoying cousin. In case you were wondering, it has received an English subtitled version as well, which is a first for the Climax Heroes franchise. Henshin!

  1. Plants versus Zombies, Garden Warfare 2

The hit sensation from 2009 has underwent a massive overhaul. The strategic free-to-play mobile app has evolved to a triple-A third person shooter with online multiplayer features. Aside from its diverse cast of playable ‘plants’ and ‘zombies’, a variety of game modes are available whether online or offline, meaning there’s always a reason to boot up the game and enjoy it. You can even play split screen with a friend! The unique and cartoon-y characters along with the vibrant and colourful environments make this an excellent game for stimulating the imagination of your young one, and who knows? Maybe it can serve as an escapade of hectic, nonsensical fun for you! Of all the games mentioned so far, this is by far the best game when it comes to overall quality and content. Despite the diversity of its cast, the game is actually quite balanced. Each character has unique skills and traits which makes no one character better than the other (there are complaint about the Rose though but I’m pretty sure those are just scrubs complaining). Each character is fun to learn and the missions in the game encourage you to step out of your comfort zone to try new characters. Basically, it’s kind of like family-friendly Overwatch minus the salt.
Even so, high octane and colourful projectiles with swerving camera angles are not for everyone as they may induce nausea, which brings us to an alternative entry.

  1. Broforce

Albeit a simple and relatively short side scrolling arcade pixel-art game, Broforce easily gets my vote as one of the top 10 party games of all times. It starts off a little like Mario, providing a level that allows you to familiarize yourself with the controls and objectives of the game. You’ll have different types of enemies chucked your way, allowing you to experiment with the variety of the casts’ (which are all from classic action cinema like Blade and Terminator) weapons and abilities. Five to ten levels down, you’ll start to notice the difficulty starting to rise and get a feel for which characters you like and don’t like using. There are prisoners scattered around each level, where rescuing them changes your character and earns you an extra life. Extra lives are somewhat necessary if you’re a casual player looking to beat the game, because there are various hazards such as land mines or oil barrels that might slip from your field of vision as the screen becomes riddled with explosions and flying bodies. If you’re currently using a character you like, you might pass up the extra life for the sake of comfort and better performance, but doing so adds the to the risk of dying and having to restart the entire level. This makes the game even more fun and compelling as even though you are mindlessly (and quite easily) blowing up enemy spawn points and oil barrels, you still need to keep an eye out for the details. If you’re playing co-op, you can revive your teammates by rescuing prisoners, however you won’t be switching characters unless all your teammates are alive. There are a lot of characters and each of them play differently, and though some of them are noticeably weaker than others, they all have unique and explosive special moves that are a hectic joy to execute. Though it is colourful and visually spectacular with its pixel art, the colours aren’t too overwhelming to the point I felt eye-strain, thus making it easier for me to enjoy the game with my friends. It allows for up to 4-player co-op, making it the perfect game for frantic fire frenzies and hilarious accidental team kills as you blow up your friends with explosives.

  1. Overcooked!

This English game by English developer ‘Ghost Town Games’ is easily one of the best cooperative, if not the overall best game of 2016. The game is heavily based on multiplayer cooperation, as you and up to three friends work together to cook your way through the colourful and dynamic levels. It is very much like the average simulation game where you provide commands in order to ensure that business proceeds smoothly while satisfying your customers. Except it’s not average. You and your friends will be laughing hysterically as you struggle to cook on an open trailer divided by four ON A HIGHWAY. This is one of the special traits of Overcooked!, while it stimulates thinking and planning that is achievable by most audiences, it throws in a factor of absurdity that results in hilarious and quality family time moments. It is highly rated by several gaming personalities and even got a Switch port just last year. It is a perfect game for your child just starting kindergarten, to your lover who has had a long, tiring week from work, all the way up to your aging parents, who probably like to keep their fun simple as long as they get to spend their laughs with you. Make sure you get the Kodak.
Those are some of the games that I would recommend for a good time with friends and family. Once again, they aren’t necessarily the best of the best, but they can most definitely get the job done. If you’re still struggling, try and think of the person you’re trying to bond with. Take their interests and dislikes into consideration, but don’t strain yourself thinking too hard. I’m sure if the game you choose clicks slightly with what they like, being able to connect with their friends will do the rest of the hard work for you. Good luck, and til’ next time!!

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