My “theme” for 2021 was playing through all the main games in the Legend of Zelda series. But somewhere along the line I also got completely hooked on the Ys series, and am now through five of the ten games in that franchise.
Most recently was Ys: Memories of Celceta, which, to put it in simpler terms, is a remake of the fourth Ys game. But then I was looking into the original, and… it’s not quite that simple. Apparently, there were two similar but distinct games bearing the mantle of “Ys IV”, one for PC Engine and one for Super Famicom. There was even a third version in the works for the Mega Drive, but that one got canned. And then a PS2 “remake” happened that deviated quite a bit from both of the previous versions. And now we have Memories of Celceta, which goes even farther out from the source material and probably is more of an original game that was inspired by the previous games, rather than an actual remake. Also it’s the canonical version of Ys IV, since it was the only one fully developed by Falcom.
See? It’s a bit messy!
But I have good news for you: Hardcore Gaming 101 has an unbelievably thorough write-up on everything related to Ys IV. It’s a very interesting story, and quite honestly, the whole history of Ys is pretty well worth looking into, if just for the sake of seeing how many console ports each title got and how different they all ended up being.
I don’t know if I’ve ever plugged HG101 before, but it’s an amazing website, and you owe it to yourself to check it out if you have even the slightest interest in video game history and/or localization.
It had been over a month since I last played and/or recorded an indie horror game. So that’s what I did last weekend.
Shutter is a tiny, little, bite-sized horror game where you drive a tiny, little, bite-sized drone through a haunted house. It’s not very long and could use a little polish here and there, but it wasn’t bad. If absolutely nothing else, it very literally offered a new perspective on the haunted house genre. My only real gripe is that it’s not always clear what you’re supposed to do next, and even that’s not so bad because there really isn’t a lot of real estate to explore or actions you can take.
So there’s a single paragraph that pretty well sums up the 56 minutes of words that come out of my mouth in that video up there. You don’t need to watch it now. Good for you! Bad for my YouTube analytics!
I don’t often play dating simulators. There are a whole host of better ways to fill that need. But yesterday I “played” Beach Bounce for a short amount of time. I noticed it in my Steam library, and like most games in my Steam library, I wasn’t quite sure how it got there. I’m also not sure why I decided to install and play it, to be entirely honest.
As I understand it, dating simulators are games in which which you are tasked with making choices to seduce one or more potential mates. This is exactly what Beach Bounce is. And while I did not care for the narrative that was loosely draped over the one-dimensional “gameplay” I may have played it for slightly longer if not for the rather unsavory story path that I ended up going down.
Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks are now in the outbox, and I get a nice, little Zelda break until my copy of Skyward Sword HD arrives later in the month. I know that I suggested in one past blog post that I wasn’t too interested in buying SS again, but… I’m a consumer whore!
Not that I haven’t been taking breaks between Zeldas anyway. I mean, I spent a little more than an entire week playing nothing except Subnautica. Actually, outside of work and sleep, I barely did anything other than play Subnautica that week. For a game so broken, it really got its claws into me, and I still can’t stop thinking about it.
Ys: The Oath in Felghana (PC) – The remake of Ys III, which is the game that made me want to learn more about the Ys series, after having randomly watched a speedrun. Wildly different from the original, but also very similar to Ys Origin, a game that I liked so much that I played it three times in a row. Felghana was… also very good in general, though it was a heck of a lot more grindy than I would have preferred.
Crooked Silence (PC) – A PS1-looking, horror-themed FPS that I purchased on Itch.io for seventy-five cents. It’s shockingly good, at least for that price. Needs some polish, but I had a good time with it. Plus it came with three extra DLC mini-games that were all fairly unique and fun as well. I’d recommend this one.
Picross S5 (Switch) – Completed all modes. So much picross!
It’s been a while since there was a post that doesn’t fall under the “you-know-what” category, so here, have a review of a Tim Horton’s donut that I speculated had become a permanent menu item, but in reality was pulled from the menu like the day after I filmed the review.
The worst part about it, is that since the donut in question was removed from the menu, I wasn’t able to find a clean promotional image of the thing for the thumbnail. And so my big, dumb face had to be plastered in there, instead of the usual cartoon Ryan that I like to have in the thumbnails. It bothers me so.
Over the last few days, I’ve been completely obsessed with Subnautica. This is a video game that released in 2018 and completely missed my radar. I’m playing it now because I got it for free thanks to Sony’s “Play at Home” initiative, when they just gave out a bunch of free games back in March.
The plot of Subnautica is simple: your spaceship crashed on an uncharted planet and you now have three objectives. One: survive. Two: find other survivors. Three: find a way off this rock. Nothing too unique here.
The twist here is that the world of Subnautica, if you hadn’t guessed by the title, is (almost) completely underwater. Given that most people loathe the underwater levels in video games, this may seem like an odd choice, but it absolutely works here. The massive world beneath the waves is pure joy to explore, and taking the action underwater provides a much appreciated change from the usual landlubbin’ action of open-world games.
For the last few years, I’ve been doing the same sort of thing for most of Nintendo’s digital presentations: listing each game that is shown and typing my knee-jerk reactions to them. For the E3 presentation that they did today, it’s going to be a lot simpler:
I want to buy all of the games.
But in all seriousness, the three games that I was most impressed by are curiously all strongly connected to the Game Boy Advance.