Now Playing in Feb 15

I finished up a few short games in February, and one big one. Most of my gaming time was spent with Mario and Luigi Dream Team right up until I got Monster Hunter 4, then that was all I had time for.

Beaten

Gunman Clive 2 – The first Gunman Clive was an amazing surprise. It had a really low price point, but it played like a love letter to NES action game, like Mega Man with a muted color palate. This game expands everything, especially the colors. There are some rough spots, like the flying and horse riding portions, but for the most part it is just more of the same goodness from the first one. This is just a really great little action game. It doesn’t try to do too much or go on too long, it is just a perfectly sized romp. Buy it if you have a 3DS.

Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty – This is a pretty DLC campaign for Ratchet and Clank. It is just a small version of the real games. Everything you want from the series is here, but there is just very little of it. Only a few areas and a small handful of weapons. Still, it is a lot of fun. There really isn’t a lot here, but is perfectly fun. The biggest change with it is that Clank doesn’t appear until the very end to set up R&C A Crack in Time.

Star Fox 64 3D – Thank you Club Nintendo for handing me this remake of a classic. It is slightly improved from the 64 version and now portable. I don’t know that I would pay full price for it, but if you can get it cheap, or free, it is completely worth it. It has gotten me somewhat excited for the upcoming WiiU game. I remember why, at one point, I was really excited for new Star Fox games. Of course, three straight disappointing games kind of killed that. But maybe, if it can be a little more like this I can love the series again.

Chariot – When I first started this game, I was delighted. It is a simple physics based platformer about a princess pulling her father’s coffin through the Royal Sepulcher to find the perfect resting place, being hounded constantly by her father’s ghost. For the most part it is wonderful. You push and pull the coffin through twisting caverns, using a rope to pull it places you couldn’t normally get it. After a few stages the troubles start to show. One big trouble really. Each world gives a new challenge, from icy platforms to pools of lava to ghostly barriers that won’t let the coffin through. Each of these are nice twists on the initial obstacles. The trouble comes from the sheer length of the stages. Each stage takes 25 to 40 minutes to complete. It is simply too long; by the time you reach the end of a stage the game has worn down all the joy anyone might have found in it. I almost had to take a day off or so in between each stage to cool down. Shorten each of those stages by about 25% and the game would be about twice as good. I still really liked it, the game itself is good, but those really long stages are just killers.

Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword see here.

Dragon Age 2 – see here.

Ongoing

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – The changes from Monster Hunter 3 to Monster Hunter 4 aren’t that great, but they make the experience just a little smoother. I’ve already had more fun with the 3DS version of this game than I did with the previous one. The biggest change is getting rid of swimming and there is no downside to that. Swimming sucked and was the worst part of the previous game.

Mario and Luigi: Dream Team – As much as I like this game, it seems like I play it forever and never make any progress. I am almost 30 hours into this game and would guess that I am somewhere between halfway and two thirds the way through. Mario RPGs tend to work best when clocking in somewhere between 20-25 hours. This game is already past that and doesn’t seem like it is coming to an end anytime soon. It feels like too much of a good thing.

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment – This has been some really slow going. I like the game, but Monster Hunter 4 stole most of my portable gaming time and I’ve kind of lost my place here. In a couple of weeks I’ll get frustrated with MH4U and this is what I’ll turn to.

HarmoKnight – I don’t have rhythm, which makes playing rhythm games rather frustrating. This game is super charming, but I am terrible at it.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis – I’m still not sure that I’m a fan of adventure games. I never seem to have as much fun playing them as I remember the games being once I’m finished. There always seems to be a disconnect between what I want the game to do and what I am actually telling it to do. For example, there is a point early on when Indy has to melt a wax statue in a furnace. I figured out what I needed to do quickly, but it took me a long time to realize I missed a step. I couldn’t but the statue in the furnace because I hadn’t opened the furnace. Indy was just sitting there jamming the statue into the furnace door.

Upcoming

Ratchet and Clank: Into the Nexus – Quest for Booty was just a tantalizing taste of the full course of a R&C game. Into the Nexus is that last one I have left to play and it feels like time to finally get to it.

Mario vs Donkey Kong – I’ll likely pick this up for the WiiU when it finally releases. The Mario vs Donkey Kong games have the problem of not actually being much like Donkey Kong ’94, despite kind of looking like it. Still, once that disappointment is gotten over, the games are generally pretty fun. I am trying to keep to a fairly restrictive gaming budget this year, so I am having to ration my purchases pretty tightly. So no Majora’s Mask and maybe no Codename STEAM. But this likely budget priced game is right up my alley.

Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic – I guess I’m playing all of Bioware’s games this year. I’ve played through Baldur’s Gate, then instead of taking a break from them like I intended, I sort of randomly picked up and started playing Dragon Age 2.

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