January 1, 2018

The Best Games We Played 2017: Snipperclips

Posted on January 1, 2018 by Kirk Williford

To say Nintendo had a strong year in 2017 would be an understatement. The launch of their new handheld-meets-home-console-hybrid not only brought newfound success for a company whos previous foray into the living room underperformed, but it brought arguably one of the strongest launch year lineups for a game console — ever. But when I look back at the Switch’s legendary 2017, it’s not Splatoon 2, ARMS, Super Mario Odyssey or even The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that I was most impressed with – not to take anything away from those titles, which are all incredible in their own way.

It was the charm of a small puzzle game called Snipperclips that left the largest impression on me. It’s one that might have fallen to the side in terms of coverage due to it launching the same day as the Hylian goliath, but Snipperclips is the first game I always find myself recommending to anyone who picks up a Switch for the first time.

The basic concept in Snipperclips is simple – you have to cut shapes of 2-4 characters in order to accomplish your goal, whether that be matching a shape or getting an object from one side of the stage to another (to name a few). The entertainment comes in the communication it encourages when you play through with friends – and the hilarious scenarios that result from miscommunication. It’s a ton of fun and extremely satisfying when you manage to finally accomplish your goal as a team.

One of the main things that makes Snipperclips one of the best games I played in 2017, however, was simply how approachable it is for gamers both old and young, experienced and new. The game is playable with the Joy Cons that come with the Switch console and the controls are so simple that just about anyone can pick the game up and have fun with it. As games become more and more complicated with layers-upon-layers of different systems in them, it’s quite nice to find a game that manages to entertain as well as Snipperclips does with an easy learning curve.

Snipperclips provides enough entertainment to easily justify it’s small cost. Levels can get quite challenging later on, but those who spend time working together with the game are sure to enjoy figuring them out. Those looking to extend the fun for even longer can check out the PLUS DLC for even more stages to tackle.

The Switch has blown away all expectations I had when it comes to its appeal to gamers of any age and experience level. When you find yourself needing a break from an epic journey through Hyrule, or an intense match in Splatoon 2, do yourself a favor and give Snipperclips a shot – especially if you are interested in playing with friends and family. There’s even a demo available!


The Best Games We Played 2017: Nier Automata

Posted on January 1, 2018 by Meghan Kass

As 2017 comes to a close, it is a time to reflect on the year, both the good and the bad. While there were many downs and it can be easy to focus on the negatives in a year, especially one as rough as this, we need to remind ourselves of the positive things that came out in a year and how they affected us. There were so many great video games that came out this year that all deserved to be recognized, but one that really stuck out to me in many ways was Nier: Automata from Platinum Games and Square Enix.

Nier: Automata, to me, was more than just a game, it was an experience and work of art. All the beautiful surroundings of the world, the characters, the fluid and fun gameplay, and the story suck you in and leave you begging for more, which made its multiple endings all the more desirable to get to and see, it all just sucked me in.

What really affected me though, was the message and that message was stated beautifully in the game with one quote:

“What is it that separates machines from androids like us? The machine has gained emotion…Consciousness. The final screams they summon on the edge of death…They still echo within me”.

What makes something alive? What makes something different from being human? What does it take to have a soul? I love and media that makes me question what makes us different from other beings and where the line is between using a tool and abusing a being with feeling and sentience that deserves dignity and respect and even love. Even more, is war, pain and causing hurt really the right thing in the end? Do the ends really justify the means? Your enemy might be more like you than you think.

We need as humans to take a step back and reflect on messages like this. We need to see how we affect one another, how we affect the world and how we need to show respect, tolerance and even love more. What a better time to do this than as the year comes to a close? Maybe we could all use the message of this game and make 2018 just a little less painful and be just a little more mindful of how we treat others, even those we may not be able to relate to.

That is why Nier: Automata is one of my favorite games of the year. Cool, fun to play and most of all, poignant. It is really the type of game that really shows how games have evolved from simple “toys” to works of important art and made me think just a little harder of my effect on others.


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