Now Playing in July ‘14

I spent a lot of July beating a lot of the games I’ve downloaded to my 3DS and WiiU. I also learned to love classic Castlevania and beat two Zelda games. It was a good month, though nothing I played this month was as out and out amazing as Shovel Knight or 1001 Spikes. Still, there was a lot of good stuff I played this last month.

Beaten:

Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition:

gstce

Wow! This game is amazing. It has the whole Metroidvania thing going on, along with an interesting Mexican Lucha Libre/Dia de Muertos theme and an excellent combat system. It really nails the pace exploring, getting a new ability and exploring more. I didn’t quite 100% it, but I might. It is just a lot of fun. It is more skill based than most games of this ilk. It is not an RPG, where you can grind to make your numbers bigger; to really conquer this game you must master using all of Juan’s special moves. Plus, you can play as a wrestling mummy. Everything about this game is great. I don’t know what else to say about it.

Final Fantasy Tactics: wrote about it here.

Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap: find my thoughts here.

Legend of Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass: wrote about it here.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood: ditto.

Super Castlevania 4: I didn’t love this game quite as much as Rondo of Blood, but I still enjoyed it a lot more than I did in my first attempt to play it. It lacks some of Rondo’s improvements to Belmont’s move set, but it also features some additions that that game lacks. Like a separate button for subweapons and the ability to swing the whip around however you want. Super Castlevania 4 is a great game, but at times it feels more like a showcase for all the new things that Konami could do with the SNES than actually making a game. Not that it is a bad game by any means, but SC4 clearly wants to wow the player with technological tricks that simply don’t have the impact in 2014 that they would have had in 1991 (92?). Luckily, there is still a fine game underneath all mode 7 tricks.

Kung Fu Rabbit: A cheap little downloadable platformer that is surprisingly addictive. It is simple, but solid. It is a little like a light version of some of those “masocore” games that are all about difficulty. This game is a series of small levels filled with traps, like 1001 Spikes they are more puzzles than levels, though this game lacks that game exactness.  Much of the difficulty is based on the slight floatiness of the controls.  It is enough to be annoying, but not enough to ruin the experience.

Toki Tori: This game is simple. You have a very limited set of tools and abilities and must use them to navigate some tricky puzzle rooms. It isn’t flashy, it isn’t complicated. It is a near perfect puzzle platformer that pushes its tool set to the limits without breaking everything apart. For 1.99 there is no reason that everyone shouldn’t already own this game. It is excellent.

Armillo: This game is so close to being great. It has all the ingredients, but there is just something slightly off. Mostly the problems are in the controls. The player character rolls into a ball to move and the rolling feels slightly imprecise. Otherwise, it is a varied and interesting 3D platformer. It clearly has aspiration to be Super Mario Galaxy, but it just can’t reach that plateau.  Good, but not great.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D:

dkcr3d

I played the Wii version of this game and loved it. The 3DS version doesn’t look quite as good, but the difficulty has been lessened as well, which a good change. This is a great game. It is hard, but excluding the rocket barrel stages is fair. I got it as my Platinum Reward from Club Nintendo. Everything I’ve heard from the internet has been complaining about how the games are a poor substitute to some crappy physical rewards. I don’t get it. If there wasn’t a game in the list of rewards that appeal to you, what are you doing playing games? I guess I can understand being upset it you already owned them all, but I doubt that many people actually bought all of those games.

Ongoing:

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Shadow Wars: This is a perfectly excellent strategy RPG. Not perfectly balanced, but still a ton of fun. Really, Banshee just tears the middle part of this game to shreds. The story line is equal parts ridiculous and prescient. This game came out before the current troubles in Ukraine started, but does feature a Russian invasion of the country. I should be finishing this shortly.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: I’m not going to say too much, because I have a full post ready to go as soon as I beat this, which should be in the next couple of day. I’ll just here that this game really deserves its reputation. This is a game that a lot of care went into making and it shows. I wish there had been a Castlevania to get the care and attention that this game did since its release.

Ittle Dew: I’ve just started this Zelda clone. It is charming and enjoyable, but I do have a problem with the length of the protagonists sword swing. It is just so short that I end up getting hit trying to get into position to hit something. I’m sure I’ll get used to it as I play, but it is a great annoyance at the start.

Pikmin 3:

pikmin3

I finally got started on this. It is great. I am having some trouble picking a control scheme. Stylus and Gamepad controls seem like the best option, but they are emphatically not for lefties. So I have had to revert to wiimote and nunchuk controls. Still, it is a lot of fun. I think I am already nearing the end of the game, but it has been well worth it so far.

Pushmo World: I am still hacking my way through these puzzles. There are a lot of them, but I’m in no hurry to get through this. I love Pushmo and I am savoring this WiiU version, at least until some new games start coming out.

Resident Evil 5: My brother and I are playing this co-op, but finding time has been a struggle. We’ve only cleared the first two chapters. It’s not RE4 so far, but it is still good.

Resident Evil Revelations: The big problem I have with this game is that I am a giant baby and putting even the slightly scary stuff from RE about 3 inches from my face it too much for me. I am about halfway through the game, but it is slow going. It is just too much for me.

Persona: I’m done with this for now. I am kind of starting to hate this game, so I am going to put it down and play something else for now. Maybe I’ll come back to once I finish some other SMT games.

Strange Journey: Progress is slow, but it is happening. I am still enjoying this game, despite how hostile it is becoming in the second half. I keep putting it off by playing other games on my 3DS, but this one is never far from my mind.

Baldur’s Gate:

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This game is great; easily my favorite PC RPG. I’ve never beaten it, though. I have made it right to the city of Baldur’s Gate, but crashing computers and the like have kept me from going further. I got the Enhanced Edition from Steam and rolled a new character to try to finally see this game to the end. This time I am playing what will be a Fighter/Cleric. According to the research I did, it should be a solid build. So far I’ve only made it Nashkel, but I am still playing.

Suikoden 2: check here.


Upcoming:

Double Dragon Neon: I want this game to be great, being both Wayforward and a beat-em-up. So far it looks really hard.

Earthbound: I need to get back to this.

Zelda 4 Swords Adventures: I didn’t get to it last month, but it is still on my radar

Yakuza 4: It is time.

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