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Zombies – Page 2

Return of Vintsevych

When I decided -a couple weeks ago- that I was going to play Gynophobia on stream, I had no idea that it was from the same developer as Shadows Peak. You don’t have to watch very far into the video below to hear the contrasting delight and terror in my voice as I boot up the game and learn this fact.

Gynophobia didn’t imprint on me nearly as strongly as Shadows Peak, and it’s clearly the older of the two games, but I do have some appreciation for it. Gynophobia played with my expectations more than a little, though it’s definitely a lot more straightforward than its younger sibling. Still, a fun, wild ride – and my playthrough is much more watchable at a brisk 42 minutes.

Honestly I can’t wait to crack into Andrii Vintsevych’s most recent game, Witch Hunt, at some point. But it’s not in the cards for tonight’s stream. No, this week is going to be something a little more special…

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: June 2020

~ Game Over ~

Nirvana Pilot Yume (PC) – Part visual novel, part high-speed space racing. Except the “racing” was actually just straight-line obstacle courses where the camera was too close to the ground to see half the obstacles (holes and very short barriers) until it was too late. It became more of a frustrating memorization challenge than a test of reflexes and/or skill. Soundtrack was bumpin’ though.

Shantae and the Seven Sirens (Switch) – After the last couple of Shantae games deviating from the formula a bit, it’s nice to see the series go back to a more standard Metroidvania setup. I really liked that the transformations are all button presses now, instead of powers you have to turn on and off with dances. Music was a step down because it wasn’t done by virt. I’d like to play it at least once more in NG+ mode, but… I don’t think there’s time.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: June 2020

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: April 2020

~ Game Over ~

Mega Man Zero 2 (GBA) – I played it again, this time using cyber elves to blow through the game like it weren’t nothing. Also I finished getting all the styles, except the one for collecting all the cyber elves. Because… I just don’t care enough.

Resident Evil 3 (PS4) – Fantastic remake. I never really got into the original RE3, but this one is just made for me. Yeah, it’s a little linear, and yeah, it’s a little more action-oriented, but those are things I like! At least, they make for less of a headache when you’re trying to route out your S-rank runs. Anyway, my first run was far from S-rank, and I died a spectacular number of times because this game is ROUGH.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: April 2020

Report on the RE3

It’s common knowledge that I’m really friggin’ into the Resident Evil series, right? Okay, good. What might be less obvious is that Resident Evil 3: Nemesis never really clicked with me. I’ve played it through, but only like once, ages and ages ago. All that said, I am having an absolute blast with the remake that released just a week ago.

Released a week ago, and I’ve already finished it four times. It’s basically all I’ve been doing between work and sleep. If not actually playing the game, then watching speedruns to try to learn some sweet strats. Of course, I’ve been absorbing as much of RE3 as I can this week because it’s sure to be forgotten whenever my copy of Final Fantasy VII Remake arrives.

Having not been a big fan of the original game, I guess I can’t really weigh in on whether the changes made to RE3 are for better or for worse. All I can really say is that there are a lot of them. For as close as Resident Evil 2‘s remake tried to stick to the source material, RE3’s remake goes way off the rails. It’s kind of nice to not have the anchor that is nostalgia weighing me down, so that I can purely appreciate this product for what it is.

I mean, I’d try to do that anyway. I take pride in not being the kind of nerd that gets all butthurt when a remake doesn’t adhere strictly to the original.

Something that I’d heard reviewers complain about before release is that RE3 is too linear. And you know what, they’re correct in that it is pretty linear. You do get to run around freely and explore each area, but there’s definitely a visible track that you should be following, and there are lots of “hallway”-style segments between the larger areas. I actually kind of like this design, though, since I have to spend less time finding keys and then remembering which doors each one opens. I think that kind of design is great – but only on the first run. It’s more of a hassle on replays. the more linear style that RE3 adopts is perfect for replays, because it keeps the momentum going and allows you to focus on execution, which is a lot more more fun to me than zig-zagging through a giant maze of locked doors.

I’m also a really big fan of the shop system in this game. There are so many bonus items to unlock, and you can use them all without any penalty to your rank. I’ve heard at least one speedrunner grouse that this is bad design, but most people don’t play that obsessively and develop that kind of skill. Allowing players to use shop items to help them through the game just makes RE3 accessible to more people, which is a very good thing. This is already a game that doesn’t pull any punches and you have to beat the game once to unlock the shop in the first place, so it’s nice that Capcom put in a feature that gives the 99% a fighting chance.

So yes, I’m really into the new Resident Evil 3. I think it’s a super fun game to play, and I like to imagine that I’ll be going back to it fairly regularly. After all, a successful run takes under two hours. That’s shorter than most movies. There’s really no reason not to try to squeeze in a quick replay here and there.

Top 10 Video Games of 2019

Here’s a fun piece of trivia for you: I played 99 different video games throughout 2019. If you averaged it out, that would mean I spent 3.69 days playing each one. That’s obviously inaccurate and meaningless, but it was a way to introduce the real topic: The Top 10 Video Games of 2019.

Like last year, I’m using more traditional criteria again: for a game to be given nominee status, I have to have beaten it, and it must have been released in the calendar year 2019. The fact that I have to have beaten a game to count it is harsher than most critics, but really, if I couldn’t be bothered to finish a game, would I have counted it anyway?

After whittling down the list of 99, I came out with a rather surprising 26 nominees. That’s actually a lot more than I expected. Mostly because I felt like I left a lot of big 2019 games unfinished. That said, TOP TEN, GO!

~ Honorable Mention ~
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

Here’s the thing: as much as I enjoyed Iceborne, I don’t think it qualifies. It’s a 2019 release, and I beat it, but… it’s just a DLC expansion. I know that I make the rules, but I don’t know if I can allow this. I can certainly allow it an honorable mention, though!

All that aside, I think that Iceborne is really great. It adds a ton of value to Monster Hunter World, though it also has a price tag to match. There’s a whole new campaign, with tons of new monsters, and just as many new features. I already wrote a whole article about this one, so you can go and check it out. Iceborne is a little more difficult than I would like in my old age (it is called Master Rank, after all), but it was a lot of fun to dive back into MHW for a while.

~ 10 ~
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

You know it’s a weird year when a Zelda game shows up on the bottom of my top ten list. There’s a reason for that, though. This Link’s Awakening is more or less a carbon copy of the Game Boy original. Yes, it looks and sounds different, but it’s almost exactly the same otherwise. And that’s fine, because the original is my personal favourite Zelda of all time, but I still would have liked to see a little more new/changed content.

Let’s put that behind us and talk about why I like this game. Link’s Awakening is my favourite Zelda for a reason: It’s got one of my favourite worlds ever. For my money, Koholint has more personality per square inch than any other Zelda. No part of the island seems sparse or boring, everything has a place and a purpose. The dungeons are probably my favourite set in the series as well; they’re all complex but very rarely tedious. Plus, it’s just completely weird, and I love that. Oh, and I guess the remade graphics and music are pretty astounding, too.

~ 9 ~
Pokémon Shield

True story: Pokémon Shield was under contention to get on this list for a long time. It was actually going to be number ten, and might have been ousted by Iceborne if I hadn’t relegated that to an honorable mention. But then I remembered that Max Raid Battles exist and suddenly it became a lot easier to place those last few titles.

Pokémon Shield (and Sword) are… They’re very standard Pokémon games. While they’re the first HD games in the series, they still feel a lot like handheld games. There’s the Wild Area, which is completely open and cool (and super laggy when you’re online), but the rest of the game is very constrained and limited. However, the new Pokémon introduced for generation VIII are generally really great, and the previously mentioned Max Raid Battles are super fun. Pokémon’s campaigns are usually very easy, and I’m not hardcore enough to stand a chance in mulitplayer battles, but Max Raid Battles split the difference by letting you and three other trainers (CPU or human) fight it out against a single super-powered Pokémon. It’s literally the only time in any Pokémon game that I go into a battle not knowing whether I will win or lose and I am so thankful for that. Sadly, I’m sure it’s a one-time feature and will go away next generation, so I’m going to really enjoy it while I can!

~ 8 ~
Yoshi’s Crafted World

There has been some contention online regarding where Yoshi’s Crafted World places in the ranks of Yoshi games. Lots of people seem to think it’s better than Yoshi’s Woolly World. I think those people are absolutely nuts because everything about Woolly World is excellent. But Crafted World is still a very good Yoshi adventure.

In a very general sense, Yoshi’s Crafted World is exactly what you’d expect from Yoshi: walk around, eat up enemies, chuck eggs at things, and find secrets. Only this game has a really creative and well-executed theme of being made entirely of crafts. Everything looks like it was assembled out of household objects and stationery. Not only is the aesthetic unique and enjoyable, but it also allowed for the designers to come up with all sorts of fun new stage gimmicks. Even the boss battles are all designed around what kind of material each boss is made out of. There are a few things that hold this game back from excellence (bad soundtrack, tedious collectibles), but I genuinely enjoyed the time I spent with it.

~ 7 ~
Dragon Quest Builders 2

When I played the first Dragon Quest Builders, I didn’t really feel it right away, and let it sit for like two years before picking it up again and beating it. When I played Dragon Quest Builders 2, I basically did nothing else with my free time between the start and end of it.

DQB2 is an incredible game. If you need a quick primer, it’s a Dragon Quest game that plays sort of like Minecraft instead of your typical JRPG. The first game is great as well, but DQB2 improves on it in basically every way and stands as a shining beacon of pure delight. What I really appreciated about it is that it does something that few games do: it makes NPCs feel important. For one, DQB2 gives you an AI partner who will help you collect materials and slay monsters. More importantly, building up the towns on the game’s islands will increase their populations. The people who move in will then have needs and wants of their own, but many of them will also contribute to the town by cooking, crafting, or fighting off invading monsters. Each town also has a major construction project central to the plot, and ultimately all the townspeople will rally together to help build it under your guidance. It’s really satisfying and provides a unique sense of community that you don’t typically get from single-player games. Oh and also it’s just really fun to be able to explore a Dragon Quest world in a more adventurey style. More, please.

~ 6 ~
Luigi’s Mansion 3

At their core, the Luigi’s Mansion games are very simple. Go here, suck up ghosts, go to next place, suck up ghosts, repeat until win. But what really makes them shine are all the little details in between those basic steps. And Luigi’s Mansion 3 absolutley nails those moments.

The first thing you’ll see when booting up Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a surprisingly long cutscene of Lugi, Polterpup, and all the rest going to a grand fancy hotel. Please note that the visuals are incredible; it is significantly better looking than any video game in the Mario franchise has a right to be. It’s also important to note that the characters are absolutely bursting with personality, everyone has these fun little character quirks and they’re all so entertainingly cartoony. There is a constant stream of gags that are consistently funny. All of these things persist for the duration of the game, and make it probably the single most charming video game I’ve played all year. That’s not to discount the gameplay by any means. While the ghost-to-ghost suck-’em-up business is repetitive and does get a little tiresome after a while, the boss ghosts were refreshingly unique, and I was constantly engaged by all the little environmental puzzles scattered throughout. Spoiler: the real reward for finding all the collectibles is the sense of satisfaction you get for figuring out how to collect them all.

~ 5 ~
Blaster Master Zero 2

Blaster Master Zero was one of my favourite early Switch games, a classic 80’s title that was thoroughly refined to make it more dynamic and playable. So when I heard that IntiCreates was making a sequel, I almost literally jumped out of my chair in joy.

You have to wonder, what could they do to make Blaster Master Zero better? Well, this sequel is really more of an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” kind of thing. The game is generally the same as before: a side-scrolling exploration platformer with top-down shooter levels mixed in for flavour. The one major refinement is the world map: now you don’t have to truck through every single area when you need to backtrack; you just choose a planet from a menu and you’re off! And that’s the other thing that really stood out to me: around each world are tiny little plantetoids that each host their own challenge stage. They’re all quite short, but tend to be tougher than anything on the main path, and it’s a lot of fun to figure out and conquer them all. Otherwise, BMZ2 is basically more of the same, and in that case, that’s a very good thing. Except for the waifu robot and plant woman with literal giant melons. Could’ve done without those.

~ 4 ~
Tetris 99

Everything on the list up until this point has been pretty well on-brand for me. They’ve literally all been sequels (and a remake) in long-running franchises that I’ve been crazy about forever. So here’s something a little different. A little.

Sure, you could call Tetris 99 a sequel. But that’s not the point. The point is that someone (Nintendo) finally made a Tetris game that has truly made me excited about Tetris. And how did they do it? By turning it into a battle royale game, where 99 players square off to see who will be the last one standing. It’s unexpectedly brilliant, and while I don’t put aside nearly enough time for it, I always have an absolute blast when I do sit down with it for a while. It’s got that insidious “just one more round” thing going on, where I always want to play another match because maybe this will be the time where I finally win. Did I mention it’s free to play? Sure, you can pay some money for a couple extra modes, but all the important content is free (though you do need a Switch Online subscription), so there’s really no reason not to play. All that is to say, while Tetris 99 is the game I’ve spent the least time with on this list, it’s made an absolutely huge impression on me and I’ll definitely keep going back to it until the servers die.

~ 3 ~
Fitness Boxing

If Tetris 99 is the game I spent the least time with, maybe I ought to talk a little about the game I spent the most time with in 2019. Well… is it really even a game? Certainly it has some game-like elements, but really it’s more of an exercise app. And yet here is, at Number 3.

There’s no doubt that this is the real wildcard entry on this list. It is in fact an exercise program of sorts, and more often than not I dreaded having to boot it up. But hear me out, there’s one thing about it that really makes it stand out from the rest: it worked for me. Fitness Boxing has been out for over a year now, and I am still using it regularly. Less now than I did through most of 2019 because reasons, but it still gets loaded up once or twice a week. Maybe it has more to do with my mindset for exercise being better than ever before, but I’m giving the software at least partial credit here. I still hate exercising, but I’ve found that (shadow)boxing is really my thing. It’s the exercise I hate least, and I find it engaging enough to keep me coming back consistently. I may not always be having fun while using the software, but Fitness Boxing has definitely helped me become happier on the whole by playing a huge role in improving my physical fitness level. Though it could really use a DLC pack to help freshen it up a bit.

~ 2 ~
Shovel Knight: King of Cards

Looking back, I am completely puzzled by the fact that I didn’t include Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment on my Top 7 list for 2017. It is, to this day, my favourite chapter in the Shovel Knight Treasure Trove. Perhaps I should have made that a Top 8 list?

So that was a weird tangent. I’m talking about the Shovel Knight campaign that came out in 2019, here. King of Cards! It’s really good! In fact, it’s excellent! While it doesn’t quite satisfy the same way that Specter of Torment did, it’s definitely my second-favourite, which I suppose makes it perfect to be slotted in at spot #2 on this list. To justify this placement: let’s talk gameplay. King of Cards is a 2D platformer like all the other Shovel Knights, but he’s got a unique tackle-and-bounce move that makes it feel appreciably different. It’s a bit hard to wrap your head around a first, but once you get going, it’s makes for silky-smooth gameplay that I’m sure would be an amazing speedrun to watch (spoiler: it is). Couple that with dozens of micro-stages, each with their own gimmick to test King Knight’s abilities, and you’ve got an absolute master class in game design. To top it all off, this is by a wide margin the most entertaining story in the Shovel Knight oeuvre. It’s legitimately funny, and I couldn’t help being totally charmed by King Knight, despite the fact that he is an insufferable dick.

~ 1 ~
Resident Evil 2 (2019)

And so, on this list that is almost entirely made up of sequels and remakes… Of course we have a remake of a sequel at the tip-top.

I know that you’re not going to believe it, but the honest truth is that I just don’t get especially excited about very many video game releases any more. But RE2 Remake was an exception. A huge exception. I was so very eager to get my hands on this game, and I was so very relieved when it turned out to be pretty much all I could have wanted. This is more a re-imagining than a straight-up remake, changing a few story beats here and there, messing with the locations of items and the way you progress. The gameplay also changed dramatically, going from static camera angles to the over-the-shoulder view that RE4 pioneered. Despite that, it doesn’t feel like it’s morphed into an action game, as the zombies are still generally slow and most players are going to find that ammo isn’t quite plentiful enough. I like just about every change made to this game, which is an amazing feat since the original RE2 is my sentimental favourite in the series. Capcom did a fantastic job reconstructing a classic video game, and I really hope that the magic works just as well when the RE3 remake releases this spring.

Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: December 2019

~ Game Over ~

Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon (PS4) – So, it’s really weird that the final boss battle (and then the real final boss) had absolutely no fnafare at all. You just walk in the door and then the fight begins. No cutscene, no dialogue, nothing. Very jarring considering how much “story” the rest of the game had. Also, now that the trilogy is over, I think I’m happily done with all things Spyro for the rest of my life. 85% of my enjoyment with these games was watching the scoreboards fill up with 100%s.

Trover Saves the Universe (Switch) – I think I would have liked this more if I had played it in VR, because then it would look really good next to all the shallow mini-games. Like when you find that exceedingly rare mobile game that’s legitimately good. But compared to the other games on my Switch? It’s merely fine. But it’s a great barometer for measuring how long you can stand an unfiltered Justin Roiland. I can go for a little over an hour and a half.

Shovel Knight: King of Cards (Switch) – What an excellent way to close out the Shovel Knight series. King Knight takes a little while to get used to, but once you figure out how he works, it’s so much fun. Couple that with some of the best and most varied stage design in the series, and you’ve got an absolute treasure. It’s just too bad that the Joustus card game is no fun at all.

Continue reading Monthend Video Game Wrap-Up: December 2019

Nintendo @ E3 2019

It’s that time of year again, E3 time. The time when all the big video game companies (and small video game companies too) come out to show off their upcoming wares. The most hyped week of commercials in all the year.

Like I always do, I’m going to write up a list of my thoughts on all the stuff that Nintendo showed off in their big presentation. “Why just Nintendo?” you ask. Because that’s where my heart is. Other companies show off neat stuff from time to time, but when it comes down to it, I always get the most excited about the new Nintendo games. And I find that this gets more true with each passing year, as video games in general become less and less exciting to me.

To be 100% honest, the most exciting non-tendo announcment for me so far has been the FF8 remaster. Because of course it is. So let’s get on to the show.


DQXIS – I have it on PS4, no need for a re-buy. Even if there is more content. The last thing DQXI needs in more content.

Bowser Mix-up – That was a fun skit

Luigi Mansion 3 – Down To Play… You can never leave…? is it the Hotel California? I like the Gooigi angle. King Boo is in the trailer… So is he not the main villain? No release date is weird.

Dark Crystal Tactics – I like the look of this strategy RPG, but man I strongly dislike The Dark Crystal

Link’s Awakening – Just hook it to my veins! Releasing in September!?!? Whaaaaaat I had it budgeted for December! And it now has some sort of custom dungeon builder? Weird, but it could be cool.

Trials of Mana – HOLY FARTS all I wanted was an official translation of Seiken 3 and SquareEnix gives me THIS instead? What have I done to deserve something so beautiful??? I’m not worthy!

Collection of Mana – Oh hey it’s that official translation of Seiken 3 that I wanted. Plus two other games. Neat! Wait what… AVAILABLE TODAY!?!?

Witcher 3 – I want to care, but I don’t have the time (see the last three bullets)

Fire Emblem Three Houses – I don’t even want to care about this one. Sorry, Fire Emblem. You’re not for me.

Resident Evil 5 & 6 – Neat. I might buy 5 again, when it goes on sale. I really like RE5. Six, less so. I don’t know why there was a bit about making some actors play RE1 in a spooky house, though. Why should we be more excited to play RE on the go than anything else?

No More Heroes 3 – YESSSS  (less so to the 2020 release date, but I can wait)

Contra Rogue Corps – I’m happy that there’s a new Contra game… But it’s not for me. Because it looks bad. Really bad.

Contra Anniversary Collection – Meh. But I would rather have this than Rogue Corps.

Daemon x Machina – Yep, still hype for this. Even after the demo failed to impress most other people. But how can this also come out in September?

Panzer Dragoon – You’re not Star Fox. Looks lame.

Pokemon Sword and Shield – Pokeball Plus functionality… I don’t care. Nessa is cute tho.

Astral Chain – Extradimensional attack.. That’s enough for me, I’m sold. It looks so sweet. I absolutely can’t wait for this one. So it’s good that it comes out in August!

Empire of Sin – Nothing about this is appealing to me

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 – I’d like to play this, but I think the rest of my 2019 video game budget has been allocated already. And it seems like it would lose a lot to play it all by my lonesome.

Cadence of Hyrule – It looks cool, but I’m going to wait on reviews for this one.

Mario and Sonic Olympic Something – Feh.

Animal Crossing – I was done with Animal Crossing after New Leaf. This isn’t looking like it’s going to change my mind. So I really don’t mind the delay.

Sizzle Reel – I think the only thing in there that I’m legit interested in is Doom Eternal. And I am VERY interested in Doom Eternal. Maybe the Crystal Chronicles remake. Stranger Things 3 still looks lame 🙁

MORE Smash DLC – Banjo and Kazooie! This is ALMOST as good as the DQ heroes! It just makes me sad that there are no BK games on Switch.

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.