Now Playing in January 2017

Beaten

River City Tokyo Rumble – read about it here.

Monster Hunter Generations – read about it here.

Secret of Evermore – read about it here.

Super Mario Bros – read about it here.

Super Mario Bros The Lost Levels – post coming soon.

Runbow nojan2

This game is an absolute delight. I didn’t manage to beat the Bowhemoth, but I did see the ending for the campaign. It is a series of bite sized challenge levels. Each level has its own little challenge, like scrolling backwards or rising lava, but every level has the gimmick of the background changing colors, which reveals or hides similarly colored platforms. It works perfectly. It can be really tough, but stages are tiny, rarely taking more than a minute to complete, and numerous so even if you get stuck there is also a different challenge you can face. It is also jam packed with charm. Aside from the characters made for this game and their numerous outfits, there are also more than a dozen stars of other indie darlings like Shovel Knight or Shantae to play as. Everyone plays the same, though I do think there are plenty of unique taunts, but it really lets the play customize their experience. It also features up to 9 player multiplayer. I’ve only had the chance to experience 2 player so far, but it is also a lot of fun. I can see myself returning to this game for a long time, to finish unbeaten stages and go for high scores. It is really just a wonderful experience.

Aeterno Blade – This is a kind of janky metroidvania game. I’d hesitate to just call it bad, but other than a pavlovian enjoyment of filling out the map there really wasn’t much here I liked. There are a lot of combos one can do with battle system, but in order to make them viable it turns a lot of the enemies into damage sponges. The game looks like a PS1 game, a style of low res polygonal graphics that I can’t imagine anyone was clamoring to see again. I bought it on a deep discount and didn’t hate it, but there are much better games in this style available no matter the system you buy it for.

Ongoing

Paper Mario Color Splash – I’ve barely had the time to start this, but I like it so far. The dialogue especially has been impressive. Even the supposedly disappointing Paper Mario Sticker Star was a joy in its story sequences, so there was no reason to expect this to be any difference, but I am happy to see that it is just as good as I expected. It remains to be seen if the gameplay is as good, but it is promising through the first hour or two.

Remember Me – The more I play this, the more it becomes clear that this is a better idea for a game than it is a finished product. It is close to a good game, or even a great game, in many ways, but by the time I end each play session it feels like a chore. Hopefully it comes together over the second half; though that is usually the opposite of how game experiences go.

Dragon Quest VIII –nojan1

I’ve barely started on this game, but so far it is just as good as I remember it. There is something about the job system Dragon Quests that never quite clicks for me. I enjoyed DQ 6, 7 and especially 9, but my favorites have not been the ones to use a job system, like 4, 5 and, assuming my recollection matches the other 50 or so hours of the game, 8. Dragon Quest 8 is the most simple and straightforward game in the series since at least DQ5, maybe even further back than that. It is just a handful of characters on a quest, with twists and turns that don’t change the central nature of the story. Still, it does what it does very well and those characters as a lot of fun.

Elliot Quest – This game is a whole lot bigger than it seems. I thought I was near the end, but it turns out I was closer to the midpoint than the finish line. This game does have some problems, like the occasionally unresponsive controls and some punishing death penalties, but it is mostly really enjoyable. So far I would call it Zelda 2 done right. It plays much the same way as that second tier NES classic, but even at its most punishing it is more forgiving and overall just feels fairer. It helps that the player’s primary weapon is ranged, emphasizing avoiding enemies rather than toe to toe combat. I expect to have this finished before too long and maybe have more to say about it.

Robotrek – Its going, its going.

Upcoming

Enslaved Journey to the West – I stared this game last year, but barely got started on it before I got distracted. I intend to go back and beat it as soon as I finish with Remember Me.

Inazuma Eleven – I’ve got about 4 or 5 unbeaten games I bought digitally on my 3DS, and my goal this year is to try to finish them. Both because I have enjoyed what I’ve played of most of them, I am halfway through this one, but also as an excuse to not spend money on new games. I really intend to cut down on how much I spend on games this year.

Terranigma, Lufia 2 – These, along with the already started Robotrek, are the last of the SNES games I meant to beat last year. I will keep plugging away at them and hopefully finish sooner rather than later.

Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3 – This year’s project is the entirety of the Super Mario series, and a good afternoon should get me through both of these games. After that things start to take a little longer, but if I can get at least these two done in February I’ll be in a good place.

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