Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: May 2014

May came in like a lion and… well, it was pretty heavy on games I wanted to play throughout. A stark contrast to an April that saw almost no new games and gave me ample time to work on my enormous backlog. Luckily, most of May’s releases were cheap Virtual Console Mega Man games, so I didn’t have to choose between video games or paying the bills.

But yeah, May 1st saw one of the best eShop updates in a long time, and then the new Kirby and Mario Golf came out on the second. Also there was that massive Humble Store spring sale. Needless to say, I’ve been keeping very busy, which is great because the wait for Smash Bros would be killing me if my 3DS (and PC, I guess) weren’t so jam packed with games I want to play.

~ Now Playing ~

Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS) – I never got into Mario Golf on N64, but I played the stuffing out of the GameCube entry. I waited very impatiently through several delays for this one, and it was so worth it. The Castle Club “story” mode is a bit confusing and overcomplicated, but a free play mode exists, so ignoring that business is pretty easy.

Golden Sun (GBA) – It’s no wonder I never got far on replays, this game starts out so horribly slow, and it doesn’t pick up for a long, long time. Everybody in this damn game wants to just chat your ear off. God damn the music is good though. Oh and also it’s got that stupid, stupid thing where if one of your dudes kills a monster and the next dude to go was also going to attack that monster, he just does nothing instead of attacking a random other monster. IT’S SO STUUUUUPID! AARGH!

Costume Quest (PC) – I’ve only played for an hour, but already I’m thinking that it’s going to be a typical Double Fine game. That is, I like everything about it except for the actual gameplay. *sigh* The bobbing for apples minigame is weirdly addicting though.

Rage of the Gladiator (3DS) – I skipped this one on Wii because the safest way to approach WiiWare was to assume that anything not by a major studio was trash. Then I also skipped the 3DS remake, but read some good reviews that made me consider it but briefly. Then a couple weeks ago it went on sale for three-fifty and I shrugged and gave it a chance. It was worth it! A pretty decent Punch-Out!-styled game, and also it has level-ups and a store. I like when games have those things!

Final Fantasy IV DS (DS) – I’m in the moon. I’m going to meet Zemus. I’ve fought most of the optional bosses but I don’t feel prepared enough to do this. This game is haaaaaard and there’s no damn way I’m going to be able to beat it.

~ Game Over ~

Picross e4 (3DS) – Duh, Picross. While the first three came out in fairly rapid succession, this one took longer because “???.” Probably because they threw the first three together all at the same time and wanted to see how they sold before committing to more. That’s entirely speculation, by the way. If it turns out to be the truth, you owe me a Pepsi.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe (3DS) – I will always buy a Kirby game because Kirby games are always a ton of fun. This one is wonderful, with beautiful graphics, a soundtrack to die for, and plenty of extra goodies. Kirby’s abilities have broader movesets than ever before, and the boss fights are probably the most elaborate in the series. Here’s the real kicker though: the mini-games in the one are actually a ton of fun to play on their own! I don’t think that’s ever happened before!

XCOM: Enemy Unknown (360) – Welp, that was fun, if a little anticlimactic. Probably shouldn’t have played on Easy Mode, but I don’t think I could have beaten it on anything harder. It was really tough, but then the final stage was a piece of cake thanks to my massively OP snipers. What are you gonna do?

Mega Man III (GB) – One of the very few Mega Man games that I’ve never played before. It’s probably good that I never played this in my youth though, because it’s considerably harder than the average MM game. A lot of that difficulty feels fairly cheap, too. Like, you need to learn the levels before you can pass them. You can’t get through on twitch skills alone. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. I just wasn’t expecting to see the game over screen so many times. It’s a lot like Mega Man 9.

Mega Man IV (GB) – Somewhere in between the pathetic simplicity of MMII and the bewildering difficulty of MMIII lies Mega Man IV. It is beautiful, it is perfect. It’s easily my favourite Game Boy Mega Man, and makes me sad that I’ve never played most of these games until now. I could have been enjoying this game for the past two decades!

Mega Man V (GB) – The only Mega Man on Game Boy not made out of recycled bits from the NES games, and the second best of the bunch. Some may argue that it is the best, but I’d say that on average I had more fun with MMIV. This one is still really great though. Plus it has a weapon that steals your enemies’ life!

Doom (360) – Put this one down briefly to focus on… To tell you the truth, I have no idea. Rogue Squadron, maybe? Anyway, I forgot about it for a few weeks, and now I’ve gone back and finished what I started. Loved it. Loved every moment of it. I especially love the BLEUUEGHEUGH sound that cacodemons make when they die. Easily my favourite death sound effect in all of video games.

Quest 64 (N64) –  This one… It put up a heck of a fight. Not because it’s a terrible game, but rather because I don’t own a working controller pak, which means that I couldn’t save and therefore had to complete the game in one sitting. Not many RPGs allow for that kind of thing. It was very convenient, as I would have had to abandon the game otherwise.

Fieldrunners (PC) – I’ve spent far too much time on this one. I’ve cleared every stage on classic mode, so I guess I can count it as beaten. But then I kept playing because I wanted to get all the cheevos. Which was silly because a lot of them are the time sink type of achievements, rather than awards for doing cool stuff.

Super Smash Bros Brawl (Wii) – Six years later, I feel perhaps even more strongly that fighting game physics do not work well in a side-scrolling platformer. Even if it’s a silly Nintendo fighting game. Whatever the adventure mode in Smash 4 turns out to be, I can’t imagine it’d be worse than The Subspace Emissary. I don’t hate it, but it’s a big pile of wasted potential.

Blowfish Meets Meteor (iOS) – It took me three months to beat a block-breaker game. A really good, really elaborate block-breaker, but a block-breaker no less. Mostly because a) I don’t play games on my phone very often and b) the game crashed every time I tried to play a particular stage and I had to wait for a patch to make it past that point. The lesson? Don’t play games on your phone. BMM is super great though, you should play it on your iPad.

Hands On! Tangrams (DSi) – It’s a game where you solve tangrams and look at some shabby, shabby doodles. I could have produced better art than what’s on display here…

10000000 (Android) – A mix of runner and match-three puzzle games. It’s a lot of fun, and more engaging than most games that only fit into one of those genres. I cleared it in just under three hours, but stayed long to do a little extra grinding for all the upgrades.

They Breathe (360) – A tiny little indie game that only takes about half an hour to play, but is really cool. It’s all about the atmosphere and the horrible revelation that waits about halfway down. The gameplay is simple, but fun and frantic enough to get you to the end.

Final Fantasy: All The Bravest (Android) – Terrible, terrible game. There’s barely even a game there. It coasts on nostalgia and exists to trick you out of your money. Technically I didn’t finish it, but I was two levels away from the end and my save file wiped itself. So we’re just going to call this one done. It’s not worth the time it would take to play it again.

~ Reruns ~

Mega Man Xtreme (GBC) – I remember playing the ever-loving crap out of this when it came out, and now that I’d spent my time with the Virtual Console re-release… I have no idea why. It’s perfectly fine if you don’t have access to actual Mega Man X, but I do. I have like seven different versions of it. The only advantage Xtreme has is that Super Nintendo emulation doesn’t work on the 3DS.

Mega Man II (GB) – This is the first Mega Man game I ever beat, and having replayed it, I now know why: it’s essentially Baby’s First Mega Man. Not that it’s a terrible game or anything, but it lacks any sort of challenge whatsoever. Pretty much the polar opposite to Game Boy Mega Man III.

3D Classics: Kirby’s Adventure (3DS) – I don’t play many 3DS games with the 3D effect turned on. This one though, it looks marvelous in 3D. There isn’t much else to say. It’s Kirby’s Adventure. It’s one of the prettiest NES games. I play it at least once a year.

Kirby’s Dream Land (GB) – What do you do when you’ve only got 20 minutes left in your lunch break? There are many worse ways to spend that than playing Kirby’s Dream Land.

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