Now Playing December 2016

Beaten/Abandoned

Pokémon Moon – read post here.

Shantae: Half Genie Hero – read post here.

Mighty No. 9 – read post here.

Yakuza 5 – read post here.

DoReMi Fantasy – Read post here.

Never Alone –

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It makes me feel bad, but I didn’t like this game. It is a game that clearly had a lot of effort put into it and it is exactly the kind of game I tend to enjoy. It is a story heavy puzzle platform game. It goes to great length to get details of the Inupiaq folk tale right and is filled with great details. However, the gameplay is floaty and imprecise. Maybe it is just the WiiU version, but I encountered numerous bugs and glitches. I got stuck right at the end because the game simply didn’t work right until I shit it off and started it over again. When things work right, the game is solidly satisfying, though still unspectacular, but too often it didn’t.

Uncharted Waters: New Horizons – I’ve got a slightly longer post about this game coming up, but I am abandoning it. Not that it isn’t a solid game, because it is, but because it is drowning me in complexity. I have played it long enough that I have a feel for how the game works, so I will write it up, but I feel like I could play this game for another 30 or 40 hours before feeling finished with it.

Ongoing

Secret of Evermore – I’ve passed the point when this game is a delightful romp and into the part where it becomes a slog. The spell system is the biggest offender. Needing to level up spells, like in Secret of Mana, was bad enough. Now those spells are also limited in number of charges available by spell ingredients. So you have to go find ingredients to cast the spells to level them up so they are useful, then go get more ingredients so you can actually cast the spells against current enemies. The whole rigmarole is sapping all of the goodwill the game built up in the first half dozen or so hours.

Pokémon Picross – Free to play, but I’ve cleared the portion of the game that is actually free. Picross in general is great and this version is highly enjoyable. Enjoyable enough that I am thinking of dropping the $5 bucks or so that would keep me playing for another dozen hours or so. Really, this is a full-fledged release that Nintendo with a disguised demo. Also, kudos to Nintendo to limit the amount of money someone could spend on this game to $30, the cost of a retail 3DS game. I don’t intend to put that much money into it, but the addictive nature of picross puzzles has me wanting to unlock another few dozen or so more stages. Good thing Nintendo hasn’t left players short of picross options.

Runbow –

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This game is a delight. I’ve only cleared about a dozen of this games many bite-sized stages, but that has been enough to make me a big fan. It takes on central mechanic, with color changing backgrounds and platforms that disappear when the background changes and combines with a ton of small, specific challenges. Sometimes the world flips upside down, sometimes there are spikey enemies. They are just the right length to keep players trying out just one more until the next thing you know you’ve been playing for three hours. I will definitely be playing as much of this as I can.

Elliot Quest – I got back into this game when I was trying to finish up some download games that had built up on my WiiU. It is still Zelda 2 done right, but getting back into it after leaving it sit for a few months is rather difficult. Right now I am lost after finishing a fairly long dungeon, but it is a satisfying kind of being lost, not a frustrating one. It remains a charming little game.

Monster Hunter Generations – I wasn’t enjoying this game so much when it first came out. After another dozen or so hours I realized the problem wasn’t the rather significant changes to the game’s combat, but that I was forcing myself to use weapons like the Gunlance and the Sword and Shield and not falling into using my natural love: the Hammer. I’ve tried all available options, but Monster Hunter only feels right to me when I am smacking dragons in the face with a chuck of boulder on a stick.

SMT 4: Apocalypse –

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Ten hours was enough for me to realize that while this game may be very good, it is just not what I want to play right now. SMT 4 was great and Apocalypse makes some subtle improvements to its systems that make things just slightly easier to play. The story is not an improvement, but so far it hasn’t been a detriment. It is rather dark and oppressive and I am in the mood for something more upbeat right now. I’ll get back to this before too long, but it is going on the backburner for now.

Upcoming

River City Tokyo Rumble – Christmas game 1. I was pretty pumped for this before it came out, but when I missed the opportunity to get it with the keychain I put it on the back-burner. The few minutes I tried out after my brothers got it for me for Christmas were really promising. I love River City Ransom and this looks to be the Mega Man 9 to that game’s Mega Man 2.

Paper Mario Color Splash – Christmas game 2. One of the few WiiU releases I missed out on, but I am really glad I’ve got it now. Unlike seemingly everyone else on the internet I liked Paper Mario Sticker Star. It wasn’t the game Thousand Year Door fans wanted, but I felt it succeeded on its own terms. This looks to improve on that.

Robotrek/Lufia 2 – I am still planning on finishing last year’s 25 Years of SNES project and these two are on the docket after I finally finish with Secret of Evermore.

Remember Me – I got this a few years ago with Playstation Plus and enjoyed the first few chapters. Then I let my Plus membership lapse. Recently I purchased the game in a Humble Bundle and I think I’m going to finish it up. I’ve heard a lot of great things about Dontnod’s other game, Life is Strange, but I don’t see a reason to buy that game when I’ve already got this on the play.

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