Now Playing in April 2015

I beat a lot of games in April; most of them download titles on my 3DS. Many of those titles were free games I got from Club Nintendo. For some reason, I thought it necessary to try and beat all the unbeaten download games I had. I got pretty close. I have cut it down to just 6 titles, two of which are retail games that I got for free. I also played a lot of Mass Effect. Next month will probably see fewer games on the list, since I am about out of 3DS games.

Beaten

Mass Effect 2 – wrote about it here.

Boxboy

bobx

Hal Laboratories took a very simple idea and explored it in delicious depth. It plays out a lot like an indie title, and does it with more skill than just about any of those indie creators. You play as a box that can make more boxes. The game forces the player to do all sorts of things with that simple idea. Just play it, it is great.

Affordable Space Adventures – wrote about it here.

Attack of the Friday Monsters – wrote about it here.

3D Classics Kirby’s Adventure – I’ve played this a ton, on the NES and on Virtual Console. Kirby’s Adventure is one of the greatest NES games. This 3D version is still really great. It’s Kirby’s Adventure; I don’t know what else to say about it.

3D Classics Kid Icarus – This is an NES game that I haven’t really spent much time with. I have played it enough to know that the small tweaks in this version turn something downright cruel into something actually fun and playable. Kid Icarus has a great look and world, but it frontloads the difficulty horribly. It is harder to get through the first two stages than to beat the rest of them combined. Once you get past that initial hump, though, it is a lot of fun. It does make me years for a Super Kid Icarus that never happened.

Mighty Gunvolt – this was a fun little freebie. It is a combination of Comcept upcoming Mighty #9 and IntiCreates Azure Striker Gunvolt. As a backer of MN9, I got it for free. It is neat, a handful of NES like stages and with a trio of playable characters. Unfortunately, MN9’s Beck is easily the least fun to play as. This isn’t anything substantive, but it was fun.

Wizards and Warriors – While trying to figure out how to get streaming going, I ended playing through all of this game. It is good. Not great, but good. The jumps are floaty, the enemies can be unfair and some of the power ups are worse than useless. Still, it is plenty fun and infinite continues makes it one of the easier NES games to beat.

Siesta Fiesta

sifi

This is a side-scrolling Breakout game. It is a very interesting idea, bouncing the ball as the level moves along. It ends up playing something like a puzzle platformer, balancing how to hit the ball with which power ups and special blocks to hit. It is addictive, though I am terrible at it.

HarmoKnight – The makers of Pokemon got to try something new here. Their opportunities outside of their landmark series have mostly been very good. Drill Dozer was one of the best original games on the GBA. HarmoKnight is not quite as good as that, but it is still a charming game. It is a rhythm platformer, a combination that works very well. At least, it does in except for the boss battles. Those are not fun, especially because the timing doesn’t feel quite right. It also doesn’t get quite as much use out of its side characters as it could, since they have somewhat interesting differences from protagonist Tempo’s playstyle. Still, it is a solid game.

Broken Age – More than a year after the first half, the concluding Act of Double Fine’s Kickstarted Adventure finally hit. I have some minor quibbles with it. The story doesn’t quite live up to the promise of the first half. It felt like maybe there was something profound coming, but there isn’t. Still, the story is quite enjoyable. Some of the puzzles are a little unfair, forcing the player to have knowledge from the other half that the character would not. Still, I greatly enjoyed it. It is filled to the brim with wit and charm. It is one of the few times I’ve played an adventure game that never made me feel like I was doing something wrong. The puzzles could still be difficult even though the reasoning behind them is perfectly clear. Really, it is everything I wanted out of it.

Ongoing

Zombie Panic in Wonderland – It was on sale. I didn’t realize that this was mostly the same game as I got for my Wii years ago. It is still a fun little time waster. Harder than is necessary, to sure, but it is some good old fashioned arcade shooting. There is plenty to unlock, but I think I’m about done with it.

Pokemon Shuffle – Nintendo trying out free to play junk. I got to about stage 80 and decided I’d had enough. I had some fun with it and didn’t spend any money, so I can’t complain, but I don’t feel the need to spend any more time with it.

Stealth Inc 2 – I had forgotten I’d purchased this. I was about halfway through when I put it down and after beating Affordable Space Adventures decided to give it another go. I’d call it good, not great, but I’ve enjoyed my time with it. Hopefully I finish it up before too long. The hubworld metroidvania stuff isn’t as tight as I’d hoped it would be, but the levels are pretty great pieces of puzzle platforming.

Super Mario 64

m64

It only cost me $2 to upgrade this for my WiiU and I couldn’t help but try it out. Mario 64 is still a thoroughly excellent game. I’m not sure I’ll stick it out until the end, but it is a blast to play even after nearly 20 years.

Fluidity Spin Cycle – This started out so great, a puzzle platformer with the player controlling a puddle of water. Soon, though, each stage started to feel like a slog. Controlling a puddle of water by tilting your 3DS can get very frustrating. I will likely push myself through it, but I went from loving the game in the first world to being barley able to stand it by the end of the second. Maybe it will rebound before the end.

Mass Effect 3 – I’ve started, but I am not blazing through it like I did with ME2. My biggest early complaint is that missions are much longer. ME2’s missions were generally pretty brief. The game kept moving and kept things interesting. ME3’s missions have all felt really long so far. Also, the DLC for this game is ridiculous. If I just want storyline DLC, it would cost me about $50, half again as much as I paid for the while trilogy of games. It is ridiculous.

Etrian Mystery Dungeon – This is a surprisingly effective combination of two very different kinds of dungeon crawlers. It is set up like an Etrian Odyssey, with the player building a party of different classes, but the dungeons play out like the Mystery Dungeon series. One is based on permanence, the other on impermanence, but they manage to combine quite well. I hope to have a full write up ready soon, just after I finish the game.

Smash Bros – I got sidetracked from this faster than I expected, likely thanks to a spotty internet connection of wearing myself out with the 3DS version. Still, the addition of Mewtwo to the roster of fighters was all the incentive I needed to get back to it. I like Mewtwo as much as I did in Melee, which is very little, but still I am glad to have him back. More fighters are always welcome. This game is still great, as well. I am eager to see who else makes the DLC cut.

Mario Kart 8 – More DLC came out. I might complain about DLC is certain games, like ME3, but Nintendo has done it right, so far. The DLC for Mario Kart 8 has added half again as much game as it started with and it wasn’t exactly lacking in content to begin with. 8 new tracks, as well as a trio of new racers and a handful of karts and parts is pretty big haul for about 8 dollars. The Animal Crossing stuff fits right in with the Mario game, which was not as true for Link, as welcome as his addition was. I wouldn’t mind seeing Mario Kart becoming full Smash Kart, though I would hate to lose some of the lesser Mario gang.

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball – This is another of Nintendo’s free to play experiments. I have to say I quite like it. It is certainly a very Nintendo game. It is a collection of baseball themed mini-games all tied around a down on his luck ex-player and his run down shop. You can get demos of most of his games, but in order to get the whole thing you have to buy them from him, using real money. The point of the game is haggling the price down as low as possible, by offering him items you find playing the games to help solve his personal problems, using coupons and simple wearing him down. I only bought two of the games and I liked them, but I don’t really want to spend much more money on this. Still, it is very interesting and a decent chunk of game that should only cost the player about $15. I can’t tell if the real life haggling is brilliant or diabolical.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate – still plugging away.

Upcoming

Paper Mario – New to WiiU virtual console, this time I play to actually finish this game. I’ve started it several times, but never made it more than halfway. I like it a lot, but somehow I get distracted.

Knights of the Old Republic – I think this will be June’s Bioware game, though it could still change. I will finish ME3 before too long and want to get right on to the next game.

Yoshi’s New Island – My Club Nintendo Platinum reward, since I couldn’t get anyone to buy a code for the truly excellent Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze. I don’t think I’m as big a fan of Yoshi’s Island as most people, but it still looks to be pretty good.

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