Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: September 2019

~ Game Over ~

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (PS4) – I’ve never really played FFX before, and I have to say… This is an excellent game! The story was fun and surprisingly emotional, and the battle system is really something else. Definitely a top tier FF. At least if you’re playing casually or maybe even speedrunning. The most important thing I took away from it is that going for 100% or really any of the post-game is a fool’s errand and nobody should ever bother trying. I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time grinding in any other single video game. Post-game content is not fun here.

Bastion (Switch) – This is another game that has a very good reputation but I’d never played it until now. I am less excited about this one. Not that it isn’t good… I just think I would have got more out of it back in 2011 before indie games got real big. I liked the unique storytelling, though the gameplay felt a little hollow and I can’t really articulate why.

Spyro the Dragon (PS4) – I guess September is like “discover beloved older games month” for me. And I’ve listed them here in descending order of how much I like them. Honestly I don’t really get why people dig Spyro so much. It’s fine, I guess. But really you mostly just walk forward and gather gems and dragons. It’s like if Super Mario 64’s power stars were just sitting out for you to collect at your leisure. Also the bosses are all really terrible. I really grew to enjoy the flight levels, at least. And it’s a spectacularly pretty remake.

~ Progress Notes ~

Pixel Puzzle Collection (iOS) – 90.2%

Super Kirby Clash (Switch) – Levelled to 59

Astral Chain (Switch) – Currently on File 07

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne (Switch) – Up to the Acidic Glavenus quest

Yoshi’s Island (SNES) – World 2-8

Pic-A-Pix Pieces (Switch) – 14/20 panels complete

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage! (PS4) – About halfway done, as the gems fly.

Zelda: Link’s Awakening (Switch) – Cleared Level 8

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: August 2019

~ Game Over ~

PictoQuest (Switch) – This picross RPG came out of nowhere, and I fell for it so hard. Like, so hard. Truth be told, it’s not really special in any way and is a little too short, but it’s a solid game. The RPG mechanics make things a little more exciting, but thankfully never come even close to getting in the way. Unlike Jupiter’s Picross games, it has more than three music tracks, and some of them are legit bangers. The graphics are cute and colourful, and the puzzle solutions have a vague fantasy theme. It’s good! But there are only like 100 puzzles and I devoured them in no time.

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Switch) – This may be a perfect sequel: all of the good stuff from the first stuck around, and everything less good was either fixed or removed altogether. Hammer durability is gone. You can unlock infinite stocks of common materials. Bosses are somewhat less tedious. Enemy contact damage is gone. I just wish I had more creativity, so that I could truly enjoy the free-build island and post-game. Alas, I don’t really have time for it anyway. Rest assured though, this is definitely one of the best video games of 2019.

Command & Conquer ‘95 (PC) – Remember when I started replaying this a few years ago? I randomly felt the need to pick it up again so I did. And then I cheated to get past the level I was stuck on, which I’m reasonably sure is impossible to clear legitimately (GDI mission 11, if you’re interested). I tried about 25 times, so I feel like I gave it more than a fair shake. Anyway, I went on to clear the rest of the GDI campaign, and I think this marks the first time I’ve finished any C&C campaign. Don’t plan on playing NOD; I may just go into a sequel.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4) – I’ve never had even a slight interest in the Uncharted series, but here we are. I’ve now played through the last one. It’s… perfectly fine. Needed more puzzles. I’m kind of over the “follow-the-grips” style of climbing gameplay these days. Breath of the Wild ruined me by letting me free-climb everything. The shooting parts are also… fine. It seems like trying to stealth your way through is not an actual viable strategy, but rather a way to take out the first two guys of an encounter without getting shot at. It’s like The Last Of Us, where stealth exists, but the developers really just want you to shoot everyone. AMERICA! GUNS!

Peggle (PC) – Technically I only played around half the game, as it was a co-op run, switching off after beating or failing a stage. And… I failed a lot. I’m not great at Peggle. Though I have to say it’s a surprisingly good casual time-waster. We sat and played for four hours straight. Might have been longer if it hadn’t been a work night and I had to go home to bed. 

~ Progress Notes ~

DOOM II (Switch) – Got brickwall’d on “Tricks & Traps”. SO MANY Hell Princes.

Pixel Puzzle Collection (iOS) – 75.6% complete

Pic-A-Pix Pieces (Switch) – 10.5/20 panels complete

Final Fantasy X HD Remaster (PS4) – Sidequesting before entering Sin.

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (Switch) – Just plugging away at quests.

Kindergarten (PC) – Completed two storylines.

Superbeat XONiC (Switch) – Did the first planet of mission mode and a bunch of free play.

Bastion (Switch) – Did maybe like seven or eight levels.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: July 2019

~ Game Over ~

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (Switch) – I have now technically finished the multiplayer component, having defeated the final boss and removed my HR limit. But of course there are still tons of quests left to complete, and even a handful of monsters I haven’t fought yet. How much more will I actually play? Probably at least once a week or so until the current season of The Bachelorette wraps up, at least, since that’s the night when my brother and I get together to play.

Detroit: Become Human (PS4) – While I didn’t really like the previous QuanticDream games (Heavy Rain was legit bad and Beyond: Two Souls just felt like work), Detroit was a lot more enjoyable for me. I’m still not into the QTE gameplay style and the plot was just a mountain of tropes, but the characters were interesting and I enjoyed their stories. Also, it achieved that rare feat of making me feel like my decisions actually meant something. It may just be because there are flowcharts of all the possible story branches for each chapter, but I’ll give Detroit the point for it all the same.

Detroit: Become Human (PS4) – A second run was conducted… for science!! That is to say, I played again and made a lot of really bad decisions in an effort to make life terrible (or end) for as many characters as possible. And it was BRUTAL.

Picross S3 (Switch) – I completed all of Mega Picross mode. Which makes it the first Picross S title that I’ve actually finished to 100%. Neat! I’d feel more compelled to do these Mega puzzles if they were unique, instead of being slightly harder tweaks of the regular puzzles.

Kid Tripp (Switch) – Picked it up on sale for 80 cents, on a recommendation from Talk Nintendo Podcast. Even for less than a dollar, it didn’t really jive with me. It’s a side-scrolling runner, which is fine, but it’s also quite hard and has limited lives for some reason.

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Switch) – I was really getting into this, and then about an hour away from beating it, I got Dragon Quest Builders 2, and all that momentum vanished. But then I picked it back up just before the end of the month and powered through. It’s a very good game! Though also very rough around the edges. I’d love to play it through again and try out some different powers (I found some I liked and just stuck with them), but I just can’t see myself being able to make time for it anytime soon.

~ Progress Notes ~

Pixel Puzzle Collection (iOS) – 59.6% completion rate

Dragon Quest Builders 2 (Switch) – Cleared Skelkatraz

Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch) – About 50% castle built in story mode

Secret of Mana (Switch) – Next destination: Pandora Ruins.

Fishing Star! World Tour (Switch) – At the boss of “world 3”

Pic-A-Pix Pieces (Switch) – About halfway done? I think?

Dr. Mario World (iOS) – Haven’t even finished the tutorial, tbh

Pokémon GO (iOS) – Shoutouts to the new Team GO Rocket mechanic.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (PS4) – Solved a Jesus-based light puzzle

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: June 2019

~ Game Over ~

Castle of Heart (Switch) – I wrote a full review of this one.

Refunct (Switch) – I liked the screenshots, and decided why not spend the $2.50? Well, it’s… an incredibly simple game. Jump across the platforms to the beacon. Watch more platforms rise out of the water, and then jump to the new beacon. Repeat a couple dozen times until complete. It took me about half an hour to 100%, but it was a nice, relaxing game. I’d happily buy a sequel with a stronger focus on puzzles.

Mutant Mudds Super Challenge (Switch) – It’s Mutant Mudds again, but this time it’s hard as nails. More spikes than you can shake a stick at, and way more situations that require pixel-perfect movement and/or timing. Also, bosses that actually get easier as you go. And a fancy new death counter. I died just under 250 times before completing the game. Though I didn’t manage to find even one hidden character. *shrug*

A Hole New World (Switch) – An alright game that I bought because it looks (visually) a lot like Shovel Knight. It plays kind of like a linear Mega Man, where you get a new power from each boss, but you are forced on a track from Stage 1 to Stage 7. Levels are huge and ripe for exploring, but all of your attacks (until the last stage) have weird trajectories, which makes dealing with monsters more cumbersome than it needs to be. Also the final boss has so much life and you have so little life that it feels really unfair, and I could not defeat him. In the end, I’m glad I got this for like 75% off, as I really didn’t like it as much as I was hoping to.

Final Fantasy Adventure (Switch) – I rented this once, waaaaaay back in grade 7, and I think I got to somewhere around Medusa? All I remember about it was walking an infinity symbol around two trees in the desert to make a cave open. It’s a somewhat obtuse game that doesn’t always direct you all that well, and having to constantly switch weapons was annoying, but I would say that I actually quite enjoyed my time with it. It’s a very ambitious Game Boy game, and certainly a lot longer than I expected. 

Final Fantasy IX (PS1) – I really like this game, but am honestly a little disappointed by how linear it is. You don’t get even a boat until halfway through disc three! Glad I got around to replaying it, as I’ve never gone back after my first run. I like the chocobo treasure hunting mini-game, but the chocobo hot-and-cold minigame is so tedious if you don’t cheat. The final boss track is so good but I would very much like a version with the weird moaning removed please.

Dragon Quest Builders (PS4) – This is more or less the game that convinced me to buy a PS4, so it makes me sad that I took nearly three years to really dig in and finish it. I played the first two chapters at launch, and then it got lost in the shuffle somewhere. But now I’ve gotten to the end, and what a spectacular ride it was. In fact, I liked it so much that I kept playing for all the trophies, which meant completely replaying three of the game’s four chapters. The in-game speedrun challenges for each chapter are surprisingly fun, and I’m thinking that if I were to try doing a for-real speedrun, this would be my game. But I lack the motivation, equipment, and free time for that kind of thing, so.

~ Progress Notes ~

Pixel Puzzle Collection (iOS) – 45.0% complete

Dauntless (PS4) – My guy is level 22, however much that matters.

Secret of Mana (Switch) – Working through Elinee’s castle

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (Switch) – Apparently I’ve barely played G-rank

Detroit: Become Human (PS4) – On chapter “The Stratford Tower” (about ? of the way)

Picross S3 (Switch) – A little more than halfway through Mega Picross mode

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night (Switch) – 22% map completion.

Super Mario Maker 2 (Switch) – Made one stage and played through 50 on infinite mode.

Rocksmith (PS4) – Back on the guitar now that school’s out for the summer.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: May 2019

~ Game Over ~

3D Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (3DS) – I don’t really know what to say. It took me probably just as long to get through Chemical Plant Zone as it did every other level combined. Plus, despite all my efforts, I just don’t find Sonic very fun. Almost thirty years I’ve been trying to like Sonic games, but I can’t get there. Sonic 2 in particular has excellent art and great music, but it’s just not fun. #SonicWasAlwaysBad.

METAGAL (Switch) – A blatant Mega Man ripoff, but it’s actually pretty good! While the key art is a bit ugly, the in-game visuals are really nice, and the controls are surprisingly tight. METAGAL is also a few stages short of a full Mega Man, but makes up for that by being unexpectedly difficult and ranking you on your performance to encourage replays. My only major complaint is that special weapons are all tied to the same (very short) energy bar, and while it refills automatically, it harshly limits your use of anything but your basic shot.

Picross S3 (Switch) – It feels like ages since the last Picross (it was October of last year), so it was nice to have a new set of puzzles to hack away at. It’s more or less exactly the same as the last two in the S series, but this one has a cool new Colour Picross mode where you solve puzzles with multiple colours. And it comes complete with animated solutions! I don’t think Jupiter has done those since the Super Famicom days! Though why they’re only in Colour Picross mode, I’ll never know.

Mutant Mudds (Switch) – I bought the Mutant Mudds Collection. Again. For $4. And then I proceeded to play through all the first game’s original content in a single sitting. Then I did all of the “Deluxe” version content in another (Ghost and Granny levels). I really like Mutant Mudds, but I hate those few jumps where you have to fall then jetpack in under an overhang to a tunnel that is exactly your character’s height. I don’t know if I described it very well, but if you’ve played the game, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

My Lovely Daughter (Switch) – A game about giving life, and then taking it away in the most macabre ways imaginable. Well, sort of. I wrote a whole big thing. Go read it maybe?

~ Progress Notes ~

Final Fantasy IX (PS1) – Cleared Ipsen’s Castle (w/ gold chocobo!).

BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! (Switch) – Up to World 12.

Castle of Heart (Switch) – Finished Chapter 1.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) – Handful of shrines, started Zora quest line.

Pixel Puzzle Collection (iOS) – 18% complete

Dauntless (PS4) – I don’t even know how to gauge progress here.

Mutant Mudds Super Challenge (Switch) – Completed World 2

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: April 2019

~ Game Over ~

Pokémon Ultra Sun (3DS) – I took to playing this on the very long bus rides home from school, and finally finished up the main story. Let me tell you: limiting your team to poison-types makes the game much harder than it needs to be. There’s a bunch of post-game content to play, but I may just put a bow on it here, as I wasn’t even really feeling the main game to begin with.

Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch) – While it seems like everyone I listen to on the internet thinks this is the best Yoshi game since the original Yoshi’s Island, I still like Woolly World more. You can’t have Yoshi wear a Mega Man costume in Crafted World. But Crafted World is great! I played it far longer than necessary, breaking my rule of not attempting to go for a 100% clear in a Yoshi game. It’s just so much more possible than ever before.

Mega Man 2 (NES) – Played through during a retro gaming get-together evening. My reputation was tarnished by requiring three continues, but I did make it past the disappearing blocks in Heat Man’s stage without Item-2 for the first time in… forever? Also I had no idea that using a continue takes away any E-Tanks you’ve collected, which is super lame. Just another argument for why Mega Man 3 is a better game.

Universal Paperclips (iOS) – I was looking for recommendations on good idle/clicker games, and this is the first one I went for. Bad news first: it will not serve as a good way to while away a few minutes here and there, as I finished it in a day. Good news: It is in fact a very cool clicker/idle game. It changes up a lot as you play, and makes you think about managing your resources in different ways all throughout. I also like that it does have a definitive ending, it just came a little too soon (that’s what she said).

Labo VR (Switch) – I purchased the basic kit, which comes with the VR Goggles and Blaster. There’s only one real game there, and then a couple dozen neat little toys. The Blaster game is a fun rail shooter and it takes some applied effort to score all the gold medals. The real draw of Labo VR, however, was using it to play Breath of the Wild in VR (which is really just 3D mode).

~Progress Notes~

Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) – Cleared Vah Rudania.

METAGAL (Switch) – Cleared the 4 initial stages.

Final Fantasy IX (PS1) – Up to the start of Disc 3.

Mechstermination Force (Switch) – 7 mechs down out of ???

Resident Evil 4 (PS4) – Up to Chapter 2.

Picross S3 (Switch) – I’ve done maybe half the puzzles?

BOXBOY! + BOXGIRL! (Switch) – Completed the first 5 worlds.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: March 2019

~ Game Over ~

Super Mario Bros 2 (NES) – Came out on Switch’s NES Online service last month. Several months too late, I might add. Because I just like playing a little Mario 2 here and there, I took both warps to skip pretty close to the ending, and finished in like 45 minutes? Then I watched a warpless speedrun that took under 25. I felt so much shame. 

Resident Evil 2 (PS4) – Did an easy-mode Leon B practice run for S+, and actually took longer than I did on Claire A, which is weird because the B scenarios are shorter (but tougher). Clearly I needed that practice run to study and learn the remixed route.

Dragon Quest XI (PS4) – I got to the end! But then it turned out that “the end” is only the end for those who seek to put in the minimum required effort. The post-game is absolutely crammed with things to do and actual significant story content. It’s wild, and it’s where DQXI actually becomes moderately difficult. The main story is probably the easiest DQ has ever been; my party didn’t wipe once, and it was rare that any characters even died (stupid Whack). But the claws have come out and there’s still so much more to go, I guess I’ll keep at ‘er…

Deer Man (PC) – A game that I purchased for a dollar, because the promo image made it seem spooky. It was, ever so briefly, but then quickly transitioned into a short story about protecting wildlife. Not the worst way to spend a dollar and twenty-five minutes.

Blaster Master Zero 2 (Switch) – A terrific follow-up to what is still one of my favourite games on Switch. I don’t know that it’s better than the original, but it’s certainly at least as good. It feels like the top-down segments are less important this time around, but I really like the game’s overall structure and how there are a dozen little planetoids that act as self-contained challenges. I fully intend to write a review of this one too, so stay tuned for that.

~ Write-offs ~

Cosmic Cavern 3671 (PC) – It’s kinda like Dig Dug and/or Boulder Dash (full disclosure: I’ve never played Boulder Dash), but not really fun at all. I played it for literally three minutes before chucking it in the Steam equivalent of a trash bin. Although, now I am left with the mystery of where it even came from. Probably one of those IndieGala bundles.

Cloudbuilt (PC) – I last played this in August of 2016 and deduced that it was too hard for me. Also it doesn’t run quite well enough on my machine. I don’t know why I didn’t uninstall it and write it off back then. Although 2016 was a very different time. Long before Switch and the Curse of Too Many Games.

Chiptune Champion (PC) – Now that I have a guitar and Rocksmith, other rhythm games seem so… empty. I really like the chiptune soundtrack to this one, but my keyboard is not designed to be held and strummed like a guitar. Putting this one in the bin.

Glittermitten Grove (PC) – The follow-up to Frog Fractions that just didn’t have the same pull. If Steam is to be believed, I played this thing for ten hours, but never finished it and spent most of that time waiting for it to click for me. Better off just playing Frog Fractions again.

~ Progress Notes ~

Downwell (Switch) – I can get to level 2 now, but those ghosts are tricky and relentless.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) – Picked up my half-complete Master Mode run.

Final Fantasy IX (PS1) – Played up to Burmecia (end of Disc 1).

Pokémon Ultra Sun (3DS) – Picked up to finally finish it. Collecting Mina’s flower petals.

Fitness Boxing (Switch) and Rocksmith (PS4) – Assume I’m always playing these.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: February 2019

~ Game Over ~

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes (Switch) – While it is a little very different from previous games, it’s still very much No More Heroes: rough and somewhat tedious gameplay, a completely insane story, and more style than the rest of the video game industry combined. I adore Suda51’s work, and this game is no exception. It’s a great love letter to/takedown of video games, the people who make them, and the people who play them. Plus it suggests that No More Heroes 3 is in development as explicitly as possible without actually saying so. Hooray!

Resident Evil 2 (PS4) – I think this is a very good remake, about as good as I could have hoped for. But it’s just so darn hard! Monsters are unbelievably resistant to bullets, especially bosses. RE games usually like to scare you into thinking you won’t have enough ammo to go around, and this is the one that delivers on it. What kind of zombie head doesn’t explode after seven or eight bullets? And friggin’ Mr. X who appears in the A games this time and follows you around mercilessly. After clearing Leon A and Claire B, I spent a lot of time watching speedruns to learn tricks and strats, and managed to get an S+ on Claire’s A scenario. Nice!

Reverie: Sweet As Edition (Switch) – The gameplay is very reminiscent of early Zeldas, with a visual style and sense of humour somewhat reminiscent of the Earthbound series. It’s pretty good! I was having a very good time up until the final dungeon, where I found that I could get stuck in puzzles very easily, and had to save and quit at least a dozen times to warp back to the dungeon entrance. A little more QA time could have gone a long way. Also the post-game bonus dungeon was just a battle gauntlet. Weak.

Daemon X Machina: Prototype Missions (Switch) – Technically speaking, this is a demo, probably just the first four missions of the full game. But it has its own icon and subtitle, so I’ll act like it’s an independent thing. People seem to be strongly disliking it, but I had fun. It’s a bit rough, but that’s why they released this demo and are asking for feedback.

Kirby’s Adventure (NES) – It finally showed up in Switch’s NES Online library, and I have a sworn duty to play through Kirby’s Adventure every time it’s re-released on a new Nintendo machine. So I did that. I recorded a whole Let’s Play series on this a few years ago. I don’t think there’s anything left for me to say about it.

~ Progress Notes ~

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! (Switch) – Picked up briefly to catch Mewtwo and battle Green.

Dragon Marked For Death (Switch) – Cleared about a dozen quests. V little story content.

Star Ocean (SNES) – Defeated what I thought would be the final boss, but wasn’t.

Downwell (Switch) – A very fast little roguelike where I can’t get past level 2.

Tetris 99 (Switch) – My best placing is #7. Not too shabby considering I’m bad at Tetris.

Dragon Quest XI (PS4) – Collecting magic orbs, have four of six.

Rocksmith (PS4) – One day I will be good at guitars. Maybe.

Fitness Boxing (Switch) – Continuing to keep a pace of at least 4 days per week.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: January 2019

~Game Over~

Mega Man X (SNES) – I play this game at least once a year. Usually I like to have it as the very first and/or very last game that I play in a year, just so I can have one nice, consistent bookend. In 2019, it would be the first, just like in 2018. I was also trying to finish it in under an hour, and I was on pace to be very close! But then I whiffed in the Wolf Sigma fight, got killed, and ended up taking about 1:10 instead. Boo.

Bomb Chicken (Switch) – I was pretty excited about this when it was first revealed, but opted to wait for a time when it was more financially feasible. For example, during the eShop holiday sale while I was swimming in eShop gift cards. As for the game itself, the best way I can describe it is “sideways Bomberman”. That’s not exactly right, but I feel like it gets the idea across: solve platforming puzzles and collect gems as a chicken whose only verb is to poop out bombs. It’s tight, challenging, pretty, and exactly the right length. Aside from the somewhat frustrating final boss, it was a very good way to start the new year.

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Arrival of the Fitness

As everyone who read my write-up of the demo likely expected, I did end up purchasing the full version of Fitness Boxing. I was on the fence all the way up until the night before release day, when I randomly noticed that the Government of Canada had graciously sent me a free $100 GST refund. What better way to spend it on than software for improving my physical well-being? (And also that way I can get around taking the cost out of my video game budget.)

Before I go any farther, I just want to take a second to express my disappointment that my stats from the demo didn’t carry over into the full game. It’s not really a big deal and not at all worth getting upset about, but I pouted about it for a little while anyway. End sidebar.

When I wrote about it last time, I mentioned that Fitness Boxing has a bit of a limited song selection. That’s definitely still an issue, but the sheer variety of other options almost makes up for it. The demo’s daily workout was always just one or two 5-minute routines, but the full game gives you many more options. You can choose the duration of your workout, what part of your body you’d like to focus on, if you’d like to do a guided stretch before and after, and whether you’re out to burn off extra calories or just maintain your current level of fitness. The daily routine has definitely been good for me so far; a 35ish-minute workout that mixes around routines and songs enough that even though I’m just shadow-boxing at my TV for half an hour every day, it hasn’t started to feel repetitive.

I haven’t really explored all of the other options, because one is just to choose a song and/or routine and then have at ‘er, and the rest is two-player stuff I’ll never touch. I have been swapping out trainers every day, though! They all have the exact same lines and basically just differ in physical appearance and voice, but I still haven’t been able to settle on one. I’m leaning toward just sticking with Lin, because all the other girls have larger breasts (or Lin is the only one who wears a proper sports bra) and their unusual jiggle physics weird me out. Can I take a moment to wonder why this exercise program even has boob jiggle to begin with? Was that particular omission going to be the thing that ruins players’ immersion? I guess there are a couple male trainers to choose from as well, but… no.

Something else that is proving to be an issue is that the game uses your weight to help track your progress, and by extension, customize your workouts. But it doesn’t support the Wii Balance Board and I don’t own any other scales. So I guess I actually do have to go buy an accessory to get the most out of Fitness Boxing. (That or boot up Wii Fit U once a week to weigh myself. Nah.) On the other hand, all the extra physical activity I’m getting is great for helping to expedite egg hatching in Pokémon GO, now that that game imports data from my phone’s activity tracker. I’m definitely punching my way to more kilometers “walked” than I’m getting from actual walking these days. I blame winter.

Yes, I still play Pokémon GO. Wanna fight about it?

One fun thing I noticed is that they mark unlockables on the calendar at the estimated date you’ll earn it, and each one is earned through a milestone number of punches. At the outset, I had rewards reaching all the way into 2020, but after two days of vigorous workouts, the game had recalculated my last unlock to be in June 2019. And that was before I upped my daily workout from 25 to 35 minutes. Regardless of how long it’ll take to earn everything, I like the idea that the game is always giving you that little incentive to keep going.

Overall, I’m having a great time with Fitness Boxing. I described it as “the best mini-game from Wii Fit, turned into a full game” before, but now I think that a better comparison might be “DDR, but with punching”. Sure, I’ve only had it for two weeks and it’s still got that new game smell, but I think I can stick with this one for a while. I know that eventually it’s going to get dropped by the wayside, but I hope to keep it up at least until winter goes away and I can start getting outside and running again.

If absolutely nothing else, it helps me feel better about myself and gives me another excuse to avoid going to an actual gym. And that makes it worth every dang penny.