Another Nintendo Direct today! Though it seems like it really hasn’t been that long since the last one…
Anyway, like last time, instead of typing out a sentence of knee-jerk reactions about every game like I used to do, here are some more in-depth thoughts about the two new Mario series games announced during this Direct:
Princess Peach: Showtime! isn’t quite the sequel to Super Princess Peach that I’ve been longing for, but it is the princess’ first starring role since then. I think. I also think that this looks like it could be a pretty good game! I’m still not sure what kind of game it is (platformer? adventure? mini-game collection?), but I’m certainly interested by all the different transformations.
It’s also worth noting that this one is really about Peach getting her actual own adventure. I particularly like the fact that there’s a new villain and Peach is getting to be the hero to a different kingdom’s people. Yeah, the story will likely have the depth and complexity of a kiddie pool, but at least there will be a whole bunch of new characters! Saving Toads from Bowser should be reserved for the traditional Mario platformers moving forward. At most.
I like how some Nintendo remakes will add an “HD” or “Remaster” or whatnot onto the titles, and some don’t. That’s how you know that the remake is there to actually replace the original game. What that actually means… I have no idea. I’m just typing nonsense as it enters my brain at this point.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a continuation of Nintendo’s best effort to revive their GameCube library at the highest price points possible. Following the (somewhat expensive) ports of Metroid Prime and Pikmin 1 & 2, I’m actually surprised that this game is getting a full remake. Especially since the original Paper Mario never got that treatment. Of course, I’ll absolutely buy this and enjoy the heck out of it. It’s Paper Mario; even the bad ones are fun. (But this is a very good one.)
As always with remakes, I’m hoping that there will be more than a simple audio/visual upgrade here. There were plenty of things I didn’t recognize in the trailer, which seems like a good sign, but it’s likely just because I haven’t played the game since 2004.
Last week, Capcom released a video game called Mega Man X DiVE Offline on Steam. It’s a bit of a weird title, because… Offline?
The story behind that little oddity is simple: it used to be a mobile game, now it’s been released as a standalone PC game. All the monetization elements have been stripped out, and all of the game’s content is free to unlock for every player, no matter how often or when they play. Oh, and it’s $40 now instead of free-to-play.
I’m a huge fan of this model. I would say that I’d like to see more free-to-play games sold as complete packages like this, but in reality, a lot of the jank associated with mobile games still exists, so it’s still not really an ideal experience. You won’t ever have to pay for gacha pulls to get that character you want, but you will still have to grind for it.
Anyway, I could write more, but I already recorded and posted a whole video of the first 45 minutes of gameplay, so you can sort of see how it all works below. If I recall correctly, I was initially kind of on the fence about this one, but spoiler: it ends up being pretty fun once you get past the boring first couple of worlds.
I’ve always followed the Wario Land series of video games with a great passion. Whether they end up being good or less than good, every new release was met with great excitement from me. Sadly, Nintendo stopped making them some time back, and similarly, I don’t tend to revisit most Wario Land games after a first playthrough. And even if I do, it’s much less often than some other games.
I’ve been playing through all the Game Boy games available on Nintendo Switch Online, and recently made it to Wario Land 3. Strangely, it’s the only one of the trilogy that is currently on the service. But that’s fine. One Wario Land is still better than no Wario Lands, right?
Final Fantasy XVI (PS5) – While I don’t think it’ll make the list of my favourite FFs, I did thoroughly enjoy this one. The combat is exciting, the story is great, and it’s easily got the best Cid in the franchise. Also, Torgal! Can’t forget Torgal!
Paper Mario (N64) – I sometimes wonder if the reason that I hate the modern Paper Marios less than most people is because I’ve never really revisited the original. Now I have! And, well… I think I get why people want a “true” sequel. It’s got an excellent foundation, but I did get annoyed by a lot of little things throughout the journey. Like how slow Mario is, and the limited inventory, and the booooring Peach segments.
Dr. Mario 64 (N64) – It’s weird that I’ve never played this before, right? Anyway, it’s Dr. Mario. Played the classic mode a bunch, and story mode twice.
A couple of weeks ago I was introduced to a new horde survival game called HoloCure: Save the Fans!, and it’s been something of an obsession for me since. It’s exactly the same game as Vampire Survivors, but with a bunch of additional features and improvements. Oh, and also it’s all about VTubers. I’m not so crazy about that part.
Akane the Kunoichi (PC) – I remember playing the demo of this waaaaay back on Xbox 360. It’s a very 2011 indie platformer. Which is to say that it’s very simplistic in both visuals and gameplay. Not bad, but nothing special.
Peglin (PC) – Peglin a while, Peglin forever!!
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom (Switch) – What an incredible ride. In my opinion, there’s absolutely no competition for Game of the Year 2023.
I wrote about some things that I like about Final Fantasy XVI a few days ago. Here’s another thing:
While travelling around Valisthea, Clive will have a number of party members cycle in and out as the story dictates. For just about the entire duration of the game, though, Clive is joined by his loyal companion and fine hound, Torgal.
As a dog, Torgal doesn’t contribute a whole lot to the story, but he’s a big help in combat and Clive will even talk to him when no human party members are around. No matter what Clive says or asks, Torgal’s response is simply:
I’ve been playing Final Fantasy XVI a lot lately. I haven’t been completely absorbed in it like I was thatother big fantasy game from a few months ago, but I’ve been putting aside roughly an hour a day to plug away at it. It’s a very good game! The combat is pretty fun, the story is wild, and the soundtrack is incredible. It is also shockingly linear, which I understand is a divisive trait, but I’ve been fairly happy with FFXVI keeping me (mostly) focused on the task at hand. Remember, Final Fantasy XIII is my second-favourite in the series, so linear isn’t a problem for me.
However! Clive’s adventure isn’t so set on rails that you’re only ever barreling toward the next objective. There are side quests to distract you! And, yeah, of course there are. Can you imagine the uproar from the internet nerds if an RPG was made in the modern day and did not include side quests? “Refunded!” I can hear them chanting. Side quests are great and all, but what really got me going was when the hunt board was introduced… I don’t know, a third of the way through the game? And yes, I know that hunts are effectively just side quests without the NPC chatter. But they’re more fun! And rewarding!
Peglin (PC) – Well, it’s a roguelike. And therefore highly replayable. Especially since it’s got a mode that adds a new handicap every time you beat it.
Inhabit (Switch) – A cute puzzle game about taking care of yourself. It took less than two hours to beat, so it was really just a li’l appetizer of a game, but it was fun. Also, I recorded my playthrough for YouTube.
Gargoyle’s Quest (GB) – An action-RPG spin-off of the Ghosts ‘n Goblins series, and much more enjoyable in my opinion. While it’s got blind jumps and cheap deaths for sure, I did have fun revisiting this one for the first time in well over a decade.