Now Playing in November 2016

Beaten

Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice – read about it here.

Wild Guns – read about it here.

Strider – I played all the way through this thinking it was Strider 2, thanks to a combination of Capcom’s stupidity and my own. The PS1 version included this with Strider 2, but labeled the CD with Strider 1 on it disc 1. I should have realized what I was playing earlier, but I didn’t. Playing it through the lens of a late 90’s action game makes this one seem primitive. There is a lot of good action here, but it seems to require a high level of play to make it seem like anything other than a somewhat stilted action game. Of course, it is a game from about a decade earlier and I’m not as familiar with the arcade games of that time. I had a decent amount of fun with it, though I can’t say I like it all that much.

Strider 2 – This was more of what I was expecting.  Not that this is necessarily a better game than the first Strider, but it definitely looks more like a PS1 game, with higher resolution sprites and 3D backgrounds.  It is still a style over substance action game that seems to be more about looking cool than providing a smooth gameplay experience.  It is a game for mastery, and that isn’t really how I play.

DoReMI Fantasy – My post about this game should be going up soon, but for now I’ll just say that this might be the best game I’ve played in my exploration of the SNES’s second tier. Right now I would call this one of my favorite 2D platformers, ever.

Ongoing

Yakuza 5 – npy5

It just kind of dawned on me that I bought this game at the end of last year and never really played it. Since I was hiding from my family during Thanksgiving, I thought I’ve fire it up. It is really, really good. This time the game lets you start as Kiryu, who everyone wants to play as anyway. It opens a full city up to him and lets the player just go free almost immediately. I ended up spending a lot of time doing Kiryu’s ridiculous taxi missions, a combination of driving challenges that force the player to follow the rules of the road, conversations where you have to entertain or inform the customers and races. Yes, somehow being a taxi driver gets Kiryu involved with a group of underground street racers that just so happens to include his coworkers at the taxi service and their tragic backstories. They are a delight, especially with the purely aesthetic modifications you can make to the taxi. That is about all I did for the day or two after Thanksgiving. I don’t think I will be so relaxed on my way through the rest of the game.

Secret of Evermore – I think this game might be better than Secret of Mana. I’m not done with it, and that might be sacrilege, but it is more compact and solid game. It lacks Secret of Mana’s highs, but also lacks the lows. At least through the first two time periods, anyway. I will hopefully have it finished up before too much longer, but I’ve been saying that for months.

Jotun –npjo

I’ve been distracted with 3DS and SNES games, but the little of this I’ve played have been a delight. It feels a little slow at times, but it looks great and the slowness seems deliberate rather than a failure somewhere. Hopefully I’ll have more to say when I get further in.

SMT IV: Apocalypse – nps4

I’m really just not in the right mood for this game right now. It is essentially more SMT IV, a game I really liked, but for some reason it just isn’t doing anything for me right now. I’ll likely give it another go once I finish with Pokémon, but I’ve learned that trying to force my way through SMT games is a recipe for having a bad time. When they are the game you are looking for they work like nothing else, but when it isn’t the right flavor there is just no breaking through the series aesthetic. Still, through the first five hours everything seems mechanically sound at the very least.

Pokémon Moon – I am nearing the end of this and it is the most fun I’ve had with a Pokémon game since White, I think. That game kept things fresh by only letting the player’s use the new Pokémon through the main game. Moon does it by changing up the rhythm of the game, eliminating formal gyms and gym leaders for a more free form set of challenges. I also like a lot of the new forms of Pokémon, which are largely interesting twists on the originals, though some are just goofy, like the super tall Eggxecutor and the Garfield-ass looking Persian. Still, electric Geodude is neat and I like the Ice Vulpix. The game also just looks really good. The graphics have never really been a big part of Pokémon’s formula, but this is a pretty good looking 3DS game. I’ll have more complete thoughts coming soon.

Upcoming

Lufia 2, Terranigma, Robotrek, Actraiser – These are the last four of my SNES games I intended to beat this year. I won’t manage to finish more than maybe two of them before the year ends, but I will do my best to get as much played as I can over these last few weeks. Hopefully I can get a least one of these posted.

Back to the Future – I played the first episode of this game a year or so back, but now I’ve downloaded all the games that I’ve bought on PSN, including the last 4 episodes of this, as well as the Telltale Monkey Island game and the third collection of Sam & Max. Come to think of it, I still need to play the second volume of Sam & Max. I’m going to have to have a Telltale marathon.

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – This should be coming out soon and I will play it immediately. The previous Shantae games have been varying degrees of excellent; I expect this one to be no different.

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