Now Playing in Jan ‘16

I only beat a few, short SNES games in January, but I should be able to finish a few games that I’ve been playing all month on other systems. There are a ton of games for the 3DS hitting in the next few months that should keep me busy for most of the year. I hope to speed through Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam and Final Fantasy Explorers in time to get to Fire Emblem Fates before the end of the month.

Beaten

Super Punch-Out!! – see here.

Radical Dreamers – see here.

Super Bomberman – see here.

Ongoing

Prince of Persia – There is a lot I like about this game, but at about the halfway point there is one fundamental problem that will stop me from calling this game a favorite. The controls are simply loose. There are large windows for button presses needed while parkouring all over this game’s world. It does make the game easy, which I don’t necessarily consider a bad thing, but it causes at least as many problems as it solves. That window is so big that I’m not sure the game responds or that I pushed the right button, so I push another button and screw it all up. It is really frustrating.

Yakuza V – More Yakuza, and this time it’s better than ever. This one starts better than Yakuza 4 if only because it starts the player with Kazuma instead of making you wait until neat the end to get to play as the character you really want to. I haven’t made it more than a few hours in, but I am loving it so far.

Pokemon Alpha Sapphire – Something about the main game (ie the single player storyline) in this edition of Pokemon stymies me. I struggled to get through it when it first came out, struggled again when I played Emerald around the time that Diamond and Pearl came out and now I am struggling with it here.  I simply don’t care much for the Pokemon available and the map kind of curls around on itself in unintuitive ways.  In many ways this is the most mechanically pleasing Pokemon game, but this region is easily my least favorite to explore. It is tedious in a way that the other games rarely are.  I am nearly through with it, though.  I will finish sometime, but the deluge of 3DS RPGs coming in the next few months might mean that it happens later rather than sooner.

Lara Croft Go – I had this recommended to me after gushing about how much I love Monument Valley. After playing about half of this I see the similarities.  Lara Croft Go is slower and more complex, but like Monument Valley it is a game made with the strengths and limitations of mobile in mind.  I am really enjoying it. Maybe not as much as I enjoyed MV, but still it is really good.  I’m not even going to add for a mobile game to the end of that, because this game is simply really good.  It looks like a sort of turn based platform game, but it is really just a puzzle game.  And it has some doozies for puzzles.

Codename STEAM – There is so much good about this game that the problems make it all but impossible to really enjoy it are just heartbreaking. The big one is the camera. It is hard to play a strategy game when you can’t form a strong picture of how the battlefield is shaped. This one is going on the backburner for now.

Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations –

npj2

I played through the previous two games in the original trilogy last year and now I’ve started this one.  The first case is set in the past and has rookie Mia Fey defending young Phoenix from murder charges. It works as a decent case, an effective tutorial and an essential set up of all the cases that come after it.  It is pretty much exactly what the first case of an Ace Attorney game should be.  If I remember correctly, the rest of the game is nearly as good.  I’ll be busy with Paper Jam and Final Fantasy Explorers, but I hope to have this finished by the end of next month.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam –

npj1

I wasn’t the biggest fan of the most recent games in either the Mario & Luigi or Paper Mario series, but through the first ten or so hours this combination of the two has been really good. The heavy handed tutorial and chatter overload from Dream Team had and the mix of the regular and Paper Mario crew makes up for Sticker Star being drained of all personality. Really, it has been pretty delightful so far. My only complaint would be with how the Toad Hunts are handled, and that is really more of a nitpick.

Upcoming

Final Fantasy Explorers – It looks like a FF themed Monster Hunter or maybe just an update of the Crystal Chronicles styled games. Either way, I am very intrigued by it. I expected it to arrive in time to start it this month, but it came late. I guess I’ll see next month how good it actually is.

Fire Emblem Fates – I am still undecided on which version I’ll play (I’m buying both, one for me one for my brother) but I am more than eager to play this. Awakening was a big reason I got a 3DS when I did and it has been too long since I’ve had new Fire Emblem to play. Plus, it looks like Nintendo has wisely excised most of the excruciating otaku bait from it, so it won’t be so embarrassing to own.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – This game was recommended to me as something similar to Prince of Persia and Ico, but I was unable to find it for a long time. Luckily for me, I noticed it was on sale on PSN for a little over $5 so I jumped on it. I have to get through the rest of Prince of Persia and Yakuza V first, but this game is next on my list.

Lufia & Super Mario RPG – I guess both of these could have gone in ongoing, but I’ve barely started both of them. I need to finish at least one to keep on my 25 SNES pace and I feel confident that I will do that.

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