Now Playing March ‘14

The best thing about my new job is that is doesn’t really cut down on my video game playing time.  Also, that I don’t have to deal with moronic customers.  So even though I am again employed, I still have the time to power through a ton of handheld games.  This month, I put most of my time into Valkyria Chronicles.  Because it is about my favorite thing just now.  I’ll save the gushing for another day, like tomorrow or next Monday.

Beaten

Valkyria Chronicles: I’ve got a full post about this game coming soon. Here I’ll just say that this easily the best game I’ve played in the PS3. It is just stupendous.

Final Fantasy VI: Another game that I’m putting together a post for, as well as a game I’ve already written about. I hope to replay the whole series this year, and this game is my favorite of the bunch.

Kirby Squeak Squad:

ss

I’m glad I tracked this game down, even if it did turn out to be one of the lesser Kirby games. On the surface it seems no different than most of the series, but everything seems kind of loose and sloppy. Not really bad, but definitely not on the same level as games like Kirby’s Adventure or Super Star Saga. It does feature some good new powers. Like the magic power; it gives Kirby a top hat from which he releases doves to attack. It is hilarious and fun. I hope that it escapes this lackluster title and becomes a standard power up. It feels like I’m being a little too rough on this game. It’s is not really bad. It is just lacking the polish that better games in the series have. Also, the collectathon treasure system, where each stage has a handful of treasure of which Kirby must find a certain number to progress, is not really a welcome addition. The series got by without that for a long time, it was not really a positive addition. Still, a decent little game that is worth at least a look.

Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams:

giana

I wanted to like this game. I like platformers, I like the look, and I liked the world switching mechanic. But this game feels like a rough draft. I had tons of problems with this game, some minor, some major. There were small problems, like levels and boss battles that go on a little too long or the kind of terrible music. Those are problems, but ones that can be worked around or ignored on their own. Then there are bigger problems, like the general floatiness of the controls and the annoying level design. Those problems are harder to ignore when added to the smaller problems. The controls are the worst part. There were tons of times that I seemed to bounce off of platforms I was supposed to be landing on. Then there is fireball boost ability, an ability that sends the player shooting across the screen, which never seems to send you the direction you want to go. It get frustrating quickly when you have to shoot off at a diagonal because the game is terrible at recognizing them. With the level design, the player is rated on how many of the crystals strewn throughout the stage they find. No a big deal, but there are numerous points of no return, where the player can cut themselves off from a large number of crystals without realizing it until it is too late. And the levels seem to go one forever. It just adds up to an experience that is more stressful than fun. Not because of the difficulty, but because the game is sort of janky. The thing is, it does plenty of other things well. A lot of the exploring puzzles are great and it removes lives from the equation, letting the player attempt hard parts as often as they like without any real penalty.

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy: I’ve already written about this game here.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons:

brothers

This is about the perfect download title. About, it is not quite on the level of Journey, but there nothing to complain about. It is an adventure game where two brothers go on a quest to save their father. The player controls each brother with one of the sticks on the controller, with a shoulder button each used to interact with things. It is simple in theory, but the solutions to the environmental puzzles can get complex. Sometimes you have to use the big brother to boost the smaller brother up on a ledge, sometimes they have to work in tandem to clear obstacles. The game also looks great. The best part is likely the length. Many of these games have a tendency to run long. They explore and exploit the mechanics that they set up, then keep going, either breaking things down or just repeating the challenges the player had already faced. Brothers is about 3 to 4 hours long, and each challenge is something new and different. It is great, refreshing.

Ongoing

Devil Survivor 2: I played through most of the third day of this game, but got stuck on the boss. I should be able to get by it with a little work, but honestly it wasn’t grabbing me. I really like the first Devil Survivor and so far this one has been good, improved in some ways if lacking the newness of the original.

Bravely Default: I am souring on this game after greatly enjoying the first half. I’m having trouble making myself play the second half. There are a lot of good things about this game, but it has some balance and pacing issues.

Batman: Arkham City: I can’t imagine a worse looking take on the Batman universe. This is a grossly ugly version of most of those characters. Still, it’s a lot of fun. If the game looked like the animated series or the 60’s TV show it would be my favorite Batman thing ever. I am having a lot of fun just zipping around Gotham and doing sidequests with lesser villains. I should have it finished up before too long, since I think I am coming up on the end of the game pretty soon.

Upcoming

Pikmin 3: I’ve had this sitting around since it came out last year. I just haven’t made time to play it. As soon as I finish up with Batman I plan to change that. I had held off because I wanted to play the first two first, but I’ve only been able to track down Pikmin 2 and my brother borrowed that one.

Inazuma Eleven: I downloaded this a couple of weeks ago, but I haven’t managed to finish off Bravely Default and make time to play it. But BD should be finished up soon and I should be able to move on to this.

Advance Wars: This, as well as a bunch of other GBA games, are coming to the WiiU Virtual Console. Most of the others I’ve played, but Advance Wars is one I missed that I always wanted to play.

NES Remix 2: NES Remix was a delight, and this one looks to be more of the same but with more actually good games this time. I am pumped. I hope Nintendo keeps it up with these. I want Gameboy Remix and SNES Remix. As long as this comes out when it is supposed to , April 25, then I will spend the last week of the month playing this extensively.

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask: Honestly, I’ll get to it this time. I swear.

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