River City Girls —
This game is so close to being everything I want from a beat ‘em up. I feel like I say that with every new River City version. I really liked this game, but it has a bunch of small flaws that kind of grated on me as the game went on. One is that it requires a button press to move between screens. That button press is the same as attack, so if you end up fighting near the edge of the screen, be ready to jump back and forth whether you want to or not. Also, some of the boss battles try too hard to be different from the actual game play. It also has a twist at the end that I found narratively unforgiving. Not usually that big a problem in a beat ‘em up, but this one makes you spend a lot of time with its plot. Having the last impression the game leaves you with be pulling the rug out from under the player sucks. Those are the problems I had with this game. I have blown them somewhat out of proportion. River City Girls is gorgeous and fun. It is just a blast to play. It’s two (initial) characters have satisfyingly different movesets, making choice of character more than just a choice of look. The game is filled with fun references to other games in this series, as well as some fun general pop culture riffs. I will go back and do the new game plus before too long. I will try to get all the trophies. It is as good a beat ‘em up as I’ve played in nearly 20 years. River City Ransom is one of my all-time favorite games, when a game in that lineage comes out, that game is the mark I measure them against. River City Girls doesn’t quite meet that mark. But that doesn’t make it in any way bad. It is a delight.
Inazuma Eleven — I bought this game as soon as it was released in the US more than 5 years ago. I have generally enjoyed Level-5’s output, and a true sports RPG was an idea that I had long thought was a great one. The fact that I didn’t finish the game until now kind of says what I thought about it. I didn’t much like playing this game. I like everything about it in theory, but in practice it doesn’t quite work. I am glad I finally got around to finishing it, but I think I see why this series didn’t take off in the West.
Sonic Mania — I am taking this game at a leisurely pace. That, of course, means that I’ve kind of put it down and forgot about it. I still like it and will take the couple of hours I’ll need to finish it sooner or later.
Sega Genesis Mini — I bought one of these. I really like my SNES mini, even if I haven’t played it as much as I want to. I never managed to track down an NES mini. I bought a PSX mini when they got discounted to $20 and I feel like I got ripped off. After spending less than an hour playing it, I don’t feel like the Genesis mini is quite up to the standards of SNES mini, but it is certainly better than the Playstation one. One thing I don’t like, which is not really a problem with the system, is that I don’t really have the nostalgia for this specific system. I had the redesigned Genesis, with 6-button controllers. That just means that the aesthetics of this machine don’t quite hit my nostalgia buttons as hard as it could. I will get to the game sooner or later.
Monster Hunter World: Iceborne —
This hit the spot. I had to get my PS4 out of my house when MHW first hit because I was falling behind on my school work. Now it’s back, and with a sizable DLC campaign. I’ve cleared probably half of the new content. I don’t really know what to say; it’s Monster Hunter. It added a new area, some new weapons and armor, and a mix of new and returning monsters. Just the excuse needed to sink another 80 hours into this.
Persona Q2 — I might have hit the breakthrough point with this game, in a good way. I’ve cleared a couple of floors without a party wipe; I feel like I am gaining a better understanding of what strategies work in this game. I have also all but abandoned most of the characters. I’ve got about 7 I’m using, a base five and a few switch outs. Due to the structure of the game, that means a lot of the characters are from Persona 5, but since everyone shows up to blabber on in cutscenes, who you use in battle is 100% a building an effective party choice. Maybe I’ll actually start to enjoy this game soon.
Final Fantasy VIII Remaster — I didn’t get too far in this remaster, but plan to keep at it. This game holds a special place in my memory and playing it for the first time in about a decade has been interesting so far. One thing that has surprised me is how differently I feel about the characters. I used to think that most of the party members in this game were cool, but now I realize that none of them are. Good characters, but they are not cool.
Judgment — This game keeps falling off the ongoing list, but I am going to clear it before too long. It’s fun.
Sega Genesis Games — I’ve got the mini, I am going to play some of the games that came with it. I already started with Alisia Dragoon, a game I do not understand at all.
Elliot Quest — I feel a need to go back and finish up some leftover WiiU games, or maybe some Wii games. Elliot Quest is one that I got most of the way through, and really enjoyed, but never got around to finishing. Another one high on my list