Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: November 2020

~ Game Over ~

The Void (PC) – Artsy horror-ish game that I may have liked if not for three factors: 1. Gesture-based commands that don’t work very well. 2. Overcomplicated gameplay systems that make no sense. 3. Your character moves slower than molasses – at running speed. Into the bin with ye!

Stories Untold (Switch) – A text-based adventure game anthology that takes place over four separate mini-episodes. Each one introduces some new gameplay element and a new scenario. While the gameplay can be a little tedious, the stories are great and go off in wildly unexpected directions. I bought this on sale for $7 and I kind of want to give the developer the difference because it was fantastic. Likely to be on my 2020 GOTY list.

MIND: Path to Thalamus (Switch) – First-person puzzler that was not at all what I expected. It started strong with an exciting intro and then became a walking simulator for five minutes. The puzzle elements are simple: mainly consisting of putting objects on “buttons” to change the environment, and being lost in large environments covered in think fog. It was okay, but I was not engaged or interested enough to search out all the hidden story bits.

The Stillness of the Wind (Switch) – A narrative experience about an old farmer lady, wherein the story is that of your relatives, literally delivered via daily letters. I get that the tedious daily routine of collecting eggs, milking goats, making cheese, etc, is a core part of what the game is trying to communicate, but… it’s still really tedious. Fortunately, the last hour or so is thick with emotional weight and really made it worth playing.

Affected: The Manor (Oculus) – Reached one of four possible endings. I want to go back to see the rest of what this haunted house has to offer, but at the same time, I absolutely do not want to see what else this haunted house has to offer. Because it’s all terrifying!

Habbo Clicker (iOS) – Remember Habbo Hotel? No? Well anyway, they have a clicker game for your phone now. You can play infinitely, but really it’s only five levels long and thus quite easy to complete. Also, super boring.

Super Mario World (SNES) – Full playthrough as opposed to the usual “Star Road to Bowser” replays I usually do. Also, 2-players mode, which is another thing I don’t normally do.

Eyes: The Horror Game (Switch) – Words words words.

Five Nights at Freddy’s VR (Oculus) – Somehow managed to conquer my fears and plug away to the end. Despite the trouble I’ve had, you know, playing it, I truly adore this game. While the tension is sometimes more than I can handle, it makes for a very fun experience. I very much look forward to the DLC’s release.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (Switch) – Finally tackled the Future Connected expansion. It’s… more Xenoblade. Which is to say that it’s really great, but there was nothing particularly special about it. The story provided some nice development for a few characters, and I appreciated the themes, but the actual plot fell a little flat for me. Also, infuriating that the full party is four characters, but you can only use three in battle.

Oniken (Switch) – Retro side-scrolling shooter, which as I understand it, is strongly inspired by Ninja Gaiden. Luckily, it’s neither as broken or frustrating as Ninja Gaiden, so it’s actually fun! Slice foes in twain! Defeat huge bosses! Battle a robot polar bear! What’s not to like?

Mario’s Super Picross (SNES) – I appreciate the nostalgia, but miss the quality-of-life improvements from modern picross games. Also, man, this one just keeps going and going. Every time you think you’re done a new set of puzzles appears. It’s great!

~ Progress Notes ~

Pokémon Shield (Switch) – Puttering through the Isle of Armor DLC.

SINoALICE (iOS) – Halfway through Act of Hated.

Dragon Marked for Death (Switch) – Completed a half-dozen quests.

Kona (PS4) – 10 minutes in.

Star Shaman (Oculus) – Made it as far as the third solar system.

Genshin Impact (PS4) – Adventure Rank 13.

Virtual Boy Wario Land (VB) – Up to Stage 6.

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity (Switch) – Finished the fourth chapter.

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