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Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: August 2014

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: August 2014

Hey so summertime is drawing to a close, not that that means anything for adults. I guess if you’re a teacher, it’s good times, but for the rest of us it just means that you’re covered in sweat after your commutes to and from work. Hooray.

I had another vacation week in August, so I put it to good use and cleared off a few half-finished games from my backlog. But then I started up a whole new series of games, so it’s all been moot. It’s not like I had anything else worth doing. I got my yard work done too, at least.

~ Now Playing~

Saints Row: The Third (PC) – I don’t know what to say about this yet. I’ve only completed the intro missions, and I’ve mostly been driving around the city at random, collecting stuff and doing assassination missions. I’ve done a few story missions, and unlocked a sweet penthouse base. Also an unlimited supply of fighter planes!? This is absolutely the most fun I’ve had with an open-world game of this style. But somehow it’s missing fast travel. Lame. I hate having to hoof it all the way back to base when my aircraft inevitably explodes.

Watch Dogs (360) – On the other side of the “crime sandbox” spectrum; playing this one at a friend’s house, and mostly goofing around at that. I didn’t think I’d like it after hearing so many people say how lackluster it is, but I’ve grown surprisingly fond of it, and I’ll probably end up buying it if the Wii U version ever comes out. Stupid Ubisoft.

Solar 2 (PC) – I’m a real sucker for “mash into things and grow bigger” games. This one’s got a lot of twists, as you grow from an asteroid into a planet that an support life, into a star that can attract planets into its orbit. There’s probably other stuff you can grow into, but I haven’t been able to get that big yet. Also there are missions, but I have no idea how I’m supposed to complete them. As far as I’m concerned, the game is about growing satellite planets, and then eating them to grow my star. And then crashing my star into another star by accident and having to start the process all over again.

Kirby’s Dream Land 3 (SNES) – I had a buck fifty lazing about in my eShop account, so I upgraded my Virtual Console version to Gamepad compatibility mode. And then I started playing it because Kirby. Honestly though, probably my least favourite Kirby, despite being beautiful and featuring the beloved (to me) animal helpers. It just feels so slow. I cleared out the first two worlds, and I intend to finish the game, but I don’t necessarily believe that I’ll follow through.

Sacred Citadel (PC) – Act One was fun enough. Act Two is where you learn that the game is not balanced to be played solo. I slogged my way through 2-1, dying multiple times (I died maybe once in Act One) and gaining a handful of levels, because it was so much harder than all of the previous stages combined.

Game & Wario (Wii U) – A better party game than single-player experience, but a couple of the solo games are fun enough. “Patchwork” especially, which is sort of like tangrams, but a little more complicated. If nothing else, I keep playing for those precious Cluck-A-Pop tokens. There are so many little toys and hint cards to collect; I kind of want to do another article on them in the vein of what I did with Wario Ware: Touched! Because that’s apparently my thing now, writing the same things over and over again.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy (3DS) – I haven’t really been playing this again, but I did spend a whole afternoon with it. I was a little surprised to learn that I hadn’t even unlocked all the characters, despite having spent a great many hours with it when it was new.

Demon King Box (3DS) – The press release claims that this one “mixes real-time strategy with classic RPG gameplay,” and for only $4, I figured it was worth a shot. Yeah, that press release lied. There’s no classic RPG gameplay aside from navigating a bunch of menus, and the “real-time strategy” is barely that. Still, it’s got a certain level of depth to it, and it’s fairly engaging. Just not at all what I was hoping for.

~ Game Over ~

Borderlands (PC) – It took me forever to finish this game, but for some reason, my instinct upon finishing it was to start a new game+. I don’t know, I guess there’s something wrong with me. I didn’t actually do it though, so I suppose it’s moot. This is a waste of a paragraph.

Costume Quest (PC) – I can’t believe how much not-fun this game is. It’s a present-day RPG, and also it’s Halloween themed. How did it end up being so bland? Well, at the very least, there’s an Arrested Development joke tucked away in there. Good on them for that.

Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned (PC) – Does it deserve is own spot as a completed game? Maybe, maybe not, but I’ll say that I was pretty impressed by it. This is the most elaborate DLC I’ve ever seen, though it should be said that I don’t really buy much in the way of DLC to begin with. It was an entertaining add-on no less. So good in fact, that I’m toying with the idea of getting the other Borderlands DLC packs.

Bomberman 64 (N64) – If you didn’t read the article yet, spoiler: it’s kind of sucks. 3D Bomberman isn’t impossible to do well, and it’s not a terrible first attempt, but it just does not hold up very well. Also my controller’s analog stick was noticeably wearing out and caused me a bit of frustration here and there. Shouldn’t fault the game for that, but I will anyway.

Yoshi’s Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (GBA) – It’s funny, I’d say that Yoshi’s Island is one of the greatest SNES games ever made, but I’ve never really enjoyed playing it all that much. The GBA port has just been sitting on my 3DS for years now, though, so I decided to just get it over with. I still feel pretty much the same about it as I did before. Next time I’ll just watch an LP.

Jetpack Joyride (iOS) – I don’t know if one could really consider the game beatable per se, but I’ve taken it about as far as I can. I have most of the achievements, enough of the goods from the shops, and the high score on my friends leaderboard. That close enough to done for me.

Joe & Mac (SNES) – Retronauts made me do it. Most of the game was easy enough (though slightly cheap at times), but I had to savestate like crazy to beat the final boss. Might have been more fun with a player two, but I guess we’ll never know for sure.

Offspring Fling! (PC) – A very fun puzzle platformer, but I really cannot be bothered to unlock the final twenty levels by meeting the insane time requirements in the 100 “regular” levels. Still, I’d recommend playing it.

Proteus (PC) – I don’t even know what the hell happened here. I got this in a Humble Bundle at one point, and then spent half an hour chasing frogs and chickens(?) and star vortexes(???) until it booted me back to the title screen. At one point everything went all red and horrifying and I still have no idea what that was about or why it happened.

Braid (PC) – Ugh. I want to like this game, but there’s just something about it that makes me not like it. I usually relish puzzle platformers like this! But… I dunno. The obscurity of the puzzles? How ridiculous the hidden stars are? The incredibly pretentious stoytelling? I finished it, but I totally used a guide for the last few puzzle pieces because I just didn’t care enough about the game to solve it on my own.

Turtle Tale (3DS) – Not the worst three dollars I’ve ever spent, but it certainly wasn’t a great investment. The absolute most basic platformer you’ll ever see, the only thing at all notable about it is that your Super Soaker shoots in a bit of a downward arc instead of just going straight ahead. Otherwise it’s literally “walk forward and jump over holes” until the end. At which point you fight a hot air balloon-riding pirate who may be some sort of sentient gourd.

Aeroporter (3DS) – One of the “Guild” games, this one is something of a puzzle game where you have to sort luggage at an airport. It’s unexpectedly fun at first, but by the time the airport upgrades to five luggage carousels, it was far too difficult for me. I kept going back to it every once in a while, and my airport has finally become a spaceport, which I guess is the last upgrade you can get. I’m going to consider that the end, even though it never actually ends.

The Starship Damrey (3DS) – Another “Guild” title, and a very good one at that. A sci-fi/horror adventure where the puzzles all make perfect sense? Driving an adorable little robot around a spooky spaceship? Ghosts, aliens, space leeches, and cookies? Yeah, it’s pretty much perfect.

Mario Kart 7 (3DS) – The greatest flaw of Mario Kart 8 is that I have to be home to play it. So I popped MK7 in the ol’ 3DS and very quickly remembered why I didn’t play it very much. It’s one of those 3DS games that make my hands cramp up super fast, so it’s hard to play for more than one Grand Prix at a time. I claimed the last couple gold cups I didn’t have in 150cc, and I’m calling it done.

Final Fantasy II (PSP) – Apparently I sold my copy of Dawn of Souls, so I actually had to acquire a new copy of FFII. I wanted to get the PSP edition, but had to settle with DoS again, as I couldn’t find the PSP game anywhere. I mean, on eBay, sure, but I wasn’t going to wait. I like how leveling works in this one, and the “key word” gimmick is kinda neat. It’s a miracle that I started and finished a Final Fantasy game within the same month. Probably because it’s fairly short and really easy to break.

~ Re-runs ~

New Super Mario Bros U (WiiU) – Most of the fun of Mario games is going through all the levels and experiencing their unique obstacles and challenges. Yet for some reason, I lament that there’s no half-hour solution to this game like there is in Super Mario World. Is it really considered beating the game if you only play a handful of levels and then skip right to the end?

DuckTales Remastered (WiiU) – I still haven’t beaten the game on the Extreme difficulty level, and I doubt I’ll ever bother. It’s just more fun to take a leisurely tour through the game on normal. I like a challenge, but sometimes I just want to experience the game.

Musashi: Samurai Legend (PS2) – I more or less bought my PS2 for this game and Katamari Damacy. I was really into it at the time, but this replay did not start off so well. There are a number of really annoying camera issues, and the first couple bosses are frustratingly difficult. It evens out at the third boss, and the game does get better as you go. Those first couple hours are really rough though, and might be hard to get through if you’re not motivated to work through the tough stuff.

Kingdom Hearts (PS2) – After hacking my way through Birth By Sleep over the last couple months, you might get the impression that I’m on a quest to play through the Kingdom Hearts games in chronological order. That is in fact false. I actually just played through this one again to quell my desire to buy the HD version for PS3. Good call, me.

Shovel Knight (WiiU) – I said I was going to put it down for a while, but we both knew that was a lie. I just needed to finish that New Game+, you know?

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