Besides chronicling my favorite games from last year, I enjoy downloading game demos. It helps me control my urge to buy games right when they come out and at their most expensive. I appreciate that demos made a comeback recently, and even better, many of them let you carry over your save file to the main game. Read below for my thoughts on the best demos from 2020.
Trials of Mana
This remake to the sequel to my favorite video game! The original release, while not perfect, remains one of the highlights of the Mana series, and the new gameplay changes make it even better. First, the graphics look gorgeous and don’t feel cheap, like the Secret of Mana remake. Second, the more detailed map alleviates the frustration of getting lost in the original release. Lastly, the core combat controls feel so much better with the improved 3D controls and expanded combos. I am looking forward to playing this one more to see how it compares to the original.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
I enjoyed the first Hyrule Warriors, which offered Legend of Zelda fan service in spades. This time the gameplay mirrors The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and the graphics look fabulous. I appreciate the focus on the story, and the ample voice-acting helps bring typical modest TOZ story dialogue in a new way. The Hyrule champions and fan favorites like Impa make the combat feel fresh and give the usually repetitive Mosou games some much-needed variety. Another pleasant surprise includes the ability to play as the divine beasts for epic large-scale battles. If the entire game offers enough variety shown here in the demo, then this looks like one Zelda spin-off you won’t want to miss.
Final Fantasy VII: Remake
One of my most anticipated games ever! I’m so happy Square Enix didn’t go the safe route with this game. They took liberties to put a new spin on Final Fantasy VII while remaining faithful to the original. The real-time combat mixed with turn-based commands, along with the stagger mechanic from Final Fantasy XIII, works great. Just from playing the demo, the voice acting and strong production feel leagues above the original. If Square Enix strikes a balance between remaining faithful to the original while modernizing the gameplay, this looks like one of the best videogame remakes yet.
Resident Evil 3
Reviews seem divided, but I enjoyed my time with the Resident Evil 3 demo. The RE Engine continues to do wonders, and the graphics look amazing. I enjoyed the nearly-hour demo and savored playing cautiously. Gathering supplies and eliminating enemies one by one makes taking on multiple zombies more manageable.
The original RE3 struck a nice balance between action and horror, so I’m glad to see a faithful remake. However, I’d like to see some more creative risks similar to the FF7 remake, which doesn’t seem like the case based on reviews and playing the demo.
One thing, though, that holds up well remains The Nemesis. Who feels as terrifying as ever and made this demo close strong.
Thanks for reading, and be sure to give some of these demos a try later.