Weekend Gaming Review – Black Friday Haul

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend has come and gone already! It was a nice long holiday weekend to relax at home with plenty of food and games. It’s also been a little while since my last post talking about what games I’ve been playing so I thought it would be a nice way to pick back up after the long weekend, along with going over my recent additions from Black Friday to already massive backlog of games.

I recently finished up my playthrough of Death Stranding and wrote up a few thoughts on the game, which I can say is probably the most unique experience I’ve had from a video game in 2019. I’ve been playing Pokemon Sword and working on finishing Luigi’s Mansion 3(another personal GOTY candidate). There’s also Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which I have been playing a fair amount of multiplayer, but haven’t started on the single player campaign just yet. I’ve been trying to sample as many different games released this year as I can, with the intent of doing a more in-depth look at my picks of 2019 a bit later.

In what has become a bit of a tradition since my childhood years, I went out after Thanksgiving dinner to pick up some cheap games marked down for all the Black Friday sales. I did have to feel a bit smarter this year as I put in a store pickup order at Best Buy in order to avoid the standing in the checkout line for what seems like hours. I also picked up a couple games at both Target and GameStop. The majority of games I played this year were purchased digitally, primarily due to space, but I was able to accumulate a smile pile of games over the weekend. Looking back, most of the games I bought over the earlier part of the year were Switch games as Nintendo had an amazing run of successful games in 2019(Mario Maker 2, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Link’s Awakening, Luigi’s Mansion 3 AND Pokemon Sword/Shield) so I used the Black Friday sales to catch up a bit on some PS4 titles that I didn’t have yet.

The games

  • Control
  • Borderlands 3
  • The Outer Worlds
  • Devil May Cry V
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Days Gone
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider(not a 2019 game, but still picked up)
  • Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • Dual Shock 4 Controller – Electric Purple( Very Nice!)
  • Undertale – Steam

Best Deal – Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair

I picked up a copy of Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair for the Switch at my local GameStop for a mere $10, which is 75% off of a game that I had been eyeing in the Nintendo eShop since it came out. I had heard some pretty good things about the game and was really curious after seeing the game is set primarily as a 2D side-scrolling platformer in the same vein as Donkey Kong Country, which makes sense, as some of the former developers at Rare are currently with Playtonic. I have only played the game for a half hour or so, but the game looks wonderful and the controls are nice and tight, just as you want in a platformer like this.

Most Excited To Play – The Outer Worlds

I have been excited to play The Outer Worlds for a while now, so I took advantage of it being on sale for $35 at Target. I’ve heard non-stop positive things about Obsidian’s newest release in how perfectly it scratches that Fallout “itch” after many were….rather disappointed with last year’s release of Fallout 76. I have spent about five or so hours playing the game and I love it so far, it plays like an amalgam of Fallout and Destiny. For me, playing The Outer Worlds feels similar to when I played through Dragon Age, not so much in gameplay but rather in the satisfaction of getting lost in an in engrossing story set in a far away world(s); I can already tell this game is something special.

Most Disappointing

Nearly all of the games I bought were for the Playstation 4, but that’s not to say there still aren’t games for the Switch I would like to pick up. I was mildly disappointed, but not entirely surprised that Switch titles like Astral Chain, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, or Daemon X Machina were not discounted over the weekend. The Switch games that were doorbuster or weekend sales were the mega-hits such as Breath of the Wild or Mario Odyssey. I still have yet to play aforementioned games and intend to do so eventually, I was really hoping Dragon Age XI S for the Switch would have been on sale, but alas, that was not to be.

Also…

The overwhelming majority of my Thanksgiving weekend was spent playing my PS4 as I would play one game for an hour or two, before popping another disc in. I did however take a peek at the Black Friday sale on Steam and just so happened to pick up Undertale, a game that I mentioned just a week or two ago in a post about games I was embarrassed to admit I’d never played. I got the game AND soundtrack for a paltry $7, so I’m pretty excited to finally make my way through and cross off another game from my list.

As for the rest of the year, I have been recently tagged in the Real Neat Blog Award as well as the Sunshine Blogger Award so I will be getting those out shortly. I also have a few ideas discussing the past decade in gaming which I’m excited to keep working on. That’s all for my show and tell for today, did you pick anything up over the weekend? What are you looking forward to playing? Thanks for reading!

Weekend Gaming Review – September

Well…it’s been another month and as I was away this weekend I thought I’d write up another review of some of the games I’ve been busy playing the last few weeks as well as any assortment of gaming-related thoughts(i.e. rambling). I was away from my home this weekend as we traveled to my in-laws, so naturally, I brought along my Switch and still got in some time to play some games.

Link’s Awakening – I was able to finish my first run through of the Link’s Awakening remake on my Switch several days ago. I finally began to notice instances of a slight drop in frame rate while playing, which is fairly unusual for a Nintendo title such as this. Hopefully this is something that can get ironed out with a patch or two. It didn’t hinder the gameplay in a very significant way, and is certainly less noticeable than the frame rate issues that would pop up from time to time in Breath of the Wild particularly while playing with the Switch docked. I can confidently stand by my initial thoughts of the Links Awakening remake and believe it will end the year as one of my favorite games of 2019.

Game Demos – Over the last few weeks I’ve played a few game demos here and there to get a taste of what a particular game has to offer, especially if it’s a game I’m on the fence about or a franchise I don’t have a lot of experience with. I also say this knowing full well there are games that haven’t exactly wowed me after trying the demo or beta but have gone on to provide a fun gaming experience and the demo/beta couldn’t convey an accurate representation of the full game within such a short timespan in the same way movie trailers can completely misrepresent the tone of a particular movie(Kid Rock’s “Bawitaba” playing during one of the trailers for Gladiator?).

Dragon Quest XI S: Definitive Edition – Over the weekend I was able to finish up the demo for Dragon Quest XI for the Switch. I really enjoyed playing it and have every intention of picking up the full game shortly. The DQ XI demo included the first 8 or so hours of the full game with the option to directly download the full game at the game and keep playing. The longer I played it the more fun I had and began to feel like I understood the combat and what to expect from playing the entire game. I’ve mentioned previously that I had no prior experience with the Dragon Quest series and felt this would be a good introduction to the franchise, the fact that your progress made in the demo can carry over to the full game is a nice feature too.

Daemon X Machina – Another game announced for the Switch back in February that looked intriguing as what’s not to love about giant mech battles? A demo was released after the September Direct which contains the Prologue section of the game which, like DQXI allows you to carry over any progress made in the demo to the full game if you so choose. I really enjoyed Daemon X Machina after a few missions when I feel like I got the hang of the camera and controls. The game was released on September 13 and has received generally positive reviews. I didn’t anticipate Daemon X Machina to quite get the hype around it compared to preceeding its release like Fire Emblem: Three Houses or Astral Chain and the fact it may get passed over because of a Zelda game being released the following Friday. I enjoyed the game, but don’t see it as being something going to have as broad appeal as other titles, especially as this fall is downright crowded with big releases. It’s a bit of a shame this game may get overlooked, as the art style is great and the controls seem to work well enough….and it’s piloting a mech fighting other giant bosses, definitely not a common gaming experience anymore.

Contra: Rogue Corps – I was cautiously optimistic when Nintendo showed the announcement trailer at E3 for Contra: Rogue Corps, a beloved franchise not seen on a Nintendo console since Contra 4 on the DS and decades since you could play a Contra game through your tv(on Nintendo at least…). I saw many people say how terrible this game looked after the announcement trailer, but I still held out hope that something good would come of this game. I mentioned above that for better or worse, your perception of a game can fall simply on playing a beta or demo, this demo however….ugh. I played through the short, uneventful demo on my Switch and had trouble figuring out exactly what the hell I felt after playing through that mess. I could not have been more disappointed with what I played, to the extent that I felt bad because I really wanted this game to be good and could already hear everyone who had talked about the game saying “See? I told you it looked terrible!”. I have read multiple reviews and watched a few different videos about the game and it seems I’m not the only one who played the game and were overcome with feelings of disappointment and disgust. The shooting is quite bad in the game, yes…the shooting is awful in a Contra game. For a game series comprised of non-stop running and gunning, it’s baffling how the core game mechanics could have gone so wrong. I haven’t even mentioned about an overheat meter for your weapons(which renders most of your guns barely usable for longer than a few seconds) or generic enemy and level design. A couple days ago as a palette cleanser, I downloaded Blazing Chrome – a game created by indie studio JoyMasher that looks and plays(wonderfully too!) far better than what Konami was able to create.

Sony State of Play – I watched Sony’s State of Play event this past Wednesday, mostly out of curiosity to see what surprises Playstation has in store for the upcoming months. I found the event to be mostly underwhelming, with a few exceptions. Arise: A Simple Story looks like an interesting indie-type game with a beautiful animation style and more laid back gameplay(from what we were shown). The long-awaited remake of MediEvil is releasing in a matter of weeks and the Short-Lived Demo was released after the presentation. This being another demo I was able to play through within just a few minutes, I guess “SHORT-Lived Demo” was accurate. I wasn’t overly impressed with the demo, but the game is still mildly intriguing, as I remember seeing and reading about it when first released on the original Playstation, though I never played it. And of course, the moment everyone was waiting for…..

The Last of Us Part 2 – The mega-anticipated follow up to Naughty Dog’s much lauded 2013 release – The Last of Us. I watched the trailer showing Ellie as she seems to be adjusting to life within a relatively safe settlement before what is assumed to be a tragic circumstance leading her to set off on a mission to exact her revenge on the perpetrators. The trailers conclusion also showcases Joel, the main protagonist from the prior entry who is tasked with escorting Ellie to safety to the Firefly settlement. The trailer also ends with the date February 21, 2020 indicating the release date of The Last of Us Part 2. While I don’t want to completely over-analyze what little was actually shown during the trailer, I do have a few thoughts about the game. The first is the fact that Joel’s inclusion in the trailer is meant to be a reveal of sorts, as if we thought Naughty Dog would actually NOT include him in the game. Joel’s “reveal” in the most recent trailer was also met with much surprise and joy. The way many fans see Joel as the “good guy” in the first game seems really….odd to me, given his actions in the final chapter of the game(No spoilers here 😉 ). Also, the tone of the next game is already looking to be even darker than the original(which was downright bleak at times), if what we have seen so far is any indication. In The Last of Us, you are able to dismiss much of the brutal violence as simply self-defense, our very humanity has seemingly crumbled along with our civilization due to the outbreak at the beginning of the game. From what has been shown of TLOU2, it’s implied Ellie is seeking revenge against those who are responsible for killing someone she loves. It feels like the tone of the story and game have taken an even more grisly turn, which I don’t have a problem with, but it has struck me as a bit unsettling so far(which is most likely the point). Creative director Neil Druckmann has stated the game is a story of revenge and the violence in the game is not meant to be a “fun” experience. I always felt Ellie was the more interesting character of TLOU, more so that Joel. I will definitely play The Last of Us Part 2 when it comes out, but I’ve had some feelings of apprehension about the dismal tone of the game.

Lastly, I came up with the brilliant idea of a “Halloween BLOGtober” where the primary focus of any blog posts will be games fitting of the Halloween season(original idea, huh?). I won’t be doing daily posts like with the Geek Out Challenge, but I do plan to have at least two posts every week with mid-week “Mini-Boss” posts featuring shorter games or a series overview and a longer, more in-depth post each weekend leading up to my glorious Halloween plans of watching Young Frankenstein and playing Luigi’s Mansion 3. It’s a Halloween countdown to Goo-igi! What are some creepy games you plan on playing for the Halloween season? Let me know in the comments, I think that’s enough rambling for now….Thank you and goodnight!

Weekend Gaming Review – August

The summer is coming to a close and the excitement is building as we near the autumn season and with that comes the primetime game releases through the rest of the year. With this year looking to be another great one, I usually find myself trying to hurry and finish up many of the games I’m currently working on knowing all too well what happens as we get into October and November. This year the gaming scramble begins a bit sooner as the remake of Link’s Awakening and Borderlands 3 release on the very same day. I’m also looking forward to picking up and playing a couple RPGs on my Switch that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet – Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Kuni. Because I’m the best there is at starting RPGs…and then never finishing them 🙂

In the meantime, I have been playing Fire Emblem: Three Houses and I absolutely love the game! I had been planning on picking it up for a while as I kept hearing about how impressive this game was going to be. I have stated in the past that while I’ve played started playing many Fire Emblem games, for one reason or another, I never end up completing them. This trend becomes especially true when it involves any game involved turn-based strategy elements; the genre of game I’m usually terrible at. Three Houses however, has been a blast to play and I fully intend to see this one through to the end. I love the combat elements within the game as the battles have become my favorite part of the game. I love the choice of picking one of the three houses at the Garreg Mach monastery – Blue Lions, Golden Deer, or Black Eagles. I decided on the Dimitri and the Blue Lions as my typical choice of combat in most games is close quarters combat with swords and axes over bows or magic. I love the soundtrack in the game and how it adds drama during the battles and cutscenes. I’ve played about 28 hours of the game, so I’m roughly half-way through, I think?

All the cats…

This weekend was another Tetris 99 Maximus Cup in which you earn a Fire Emblem theme to use in game. I’m STILL playing Tetris 99 fairly regularly and have collected the Splatoon 2 theme as well as the retro anniversary theme. I feel like I’ve played an excessively amount of Tetris as my Switch profile says I’ve put 55 hours into the game, but then I notice others after the round has finished who are 30 levels past me at 80+.

Over the weekend, I began the demo for Dragon Quest XI that was released a few days ago. Dragon Quest is another game franchise that I have been interested to play for some time as it’s loved and revered by many gamers out there but I’ve sadly never played any of the games. I remember seeing the box for the first Dragon Quest game on NES(listed as Dragon Warrior in North America) and have known of the games, but sadly just that it was another JRPG series similar to the Final Fantasy games. I have only played the Dragon Quest XI demo for a couple hours, but I really really like what I’ve played so far. The fact that I can keep any progress I make on the demo and play from there when I get the full game when it releases on September 27. That blue slime Switch-exclusive controller looks pretty cool as well, I’m a sucker for weird controllers…

I also began a play through of Twilight Princess on my Wii with hopes that I can finish that before Link’s Awakening comes out in a matter of weeks, I usually try not to have more than one Zelda game that I’m working on at any given time. I brought my Wii console out into the living room a couple days ago, and woke up this morning feeling like I wanted to play a Zelda game…so I sat swinging my Wii-mote and nunchuck around for about 4 hours today.

I haven’t been playing as many different games as I normally may be, but the ones I have been playing are the kind of games that you need to devote a certain level of time to. Fire Emblem has been consuming most of my time playing games and I can’t say enough positive things about it. What games have you been playing recently? Or what’s a game that you’ve been meaning to play for a while, whether first time or a replay? Let me know in the comments below. I’ve been keeping up with the Geek Out Challenge questions on a semi-daily basis and didn’t have much lined up for a weekend post, so I thought it would be fun to do a recap of what I’ve been playing recently.

Keep on playing…

Weekend Gaming Review – Small Retro Game Haul

Due to being out of town for most of the weekend, today’s post will be a summary of whatever games I was able to play over the weekend and any general video games related thoughts I had the urge to discuss. I also have included a few photos of some older games I happened to pick up over the weekend as a pat on the back for actually leaving my apartment 🙂

The past week…or few weeks, rather, I have spent the largest majority of my time spent playing games was my continuous march towards completing Breath of The Wild a second time WHILE finishing every shrine and collecting every Korok seed. I first decided rather impulsively to begin BOTW a second time and thought to myself, “what the hell…I’ll see if I can get EVERY Korok seed and shrine along the way”. To my surprise, I have been able to keep grinding away and am currently sitting at 64 of 120 shrines completed and 431 out of 900 Korok Seeds, and it’s only taken me about…um, let’s see here…50+ hours so far…I have been keeping some notes and screenshots while playing as I intend to go through and write up some of my thoughts and observations from playing through the game. I can already say that I have an even deeper appreciation for the game than after my first time through…just have 3 Divine Beasts, 56 shrines, and 469 Korok seeds left…not bad 😉

I did actually play a couple other games over the past week other than Breath of the Wild; I spent a few hours over Thursday and Friday night participating in the final Splatfest as part of Team Order against the Team Chaos’ agents of mayhem (You’ve doomed Inkopolis, you monsters!). Splatoon 2 is a great game and it’s a bit of a shame the online play can be a bit obtuse at times…like most other Nintendo online multiplayer games, sadly.

I also played a little bit more of The Witcher 3, which sounds like insanity, or I just have too much time on my hands that I would even think of juggling both Breath of the Wild and The Witcher 3 at the same time, but had the urge to go back in and play some more after I had spent the afternoon on Twitter reading about the upcoming Netflix series as well as seeing more pics of Henry Cavill as Geralt. Oddly enough, I had just mentioned in the comments below Hannie at The Hannie Corner’s post – Fifteen Games I’d Like To Beat Before 2019 Is Over that I am doubtful that I could finish both The Witcher 3 AND Persona 5 before 2019 is over. Funny how all it takes is to read about a related tv show or merely mention a game that creates the urge to play it (NOT easily swayed by outside influence at all, huh?).

My video game haul from over the weekend

This past Saturday I made a trip to my local used game store in town and picked up a few games I had been wanting to play. I bought a very nice copy of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages, a game I have been wanting to play for quite some time, even more so since I finished up Link’s Awakening on my Game Boy Color a few months ago. I haven’t seen a copy of Oracle of Seasons in a while, but I would like to get a copy of that so I can play through both of them. While there I grabbed a copy of The Force Awakens that was in pretty nice condition; I never completed the entire game after it was first released and intend to correct that in the near future. The store was also having a “buy two used games, get one free” sale over the weekend, so as my freebie I took a disc-only copy of X-Men Legends for my Gamecube. Legends being another game that I played a fair amount of on my Gamecube with my younger brother after its release, but never finished. My wife and I tried it out for a while earlier today and it plays just fine, those old hack & slash type games are still fun to play after all these years, even with the fuzzy 480p GC graphics. It occurred to me after buying the games that I had taken the “poor man’s approach” to newer games, with X-Men Legends being a predecessor to the newly released Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order and a good deal of the gameplay elements from The Force Unleashed will be used(from what I’ve seen so far, at least) in Respawn’s upcoming Jedi: Fallen Order that comes out in November.

A nice copy of Oracle of Ages

During my trip out of town, I happened to stop at a couple garage sales and someone was trying to sell a DS Lite that their kids had played on but no longer use. It seemed to be in decent enough shape, and the owner offered $15 for the DS Lite, case, and a couple games included – Mario + Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and a cartridge-only Donkey Kong game of some sort (the label on the card was scratched off and simply had “Donkey Kong” written on it). I had been wanting to buy a DS Lite, mostly as a cheaper, backlit means of playing Game Boy Advance games since I no longer have my old original “fat” DS. I gave the man $15 for the DS and everything with it and only upon inspecting and testing out the handheld I found out that the “Donkey Kong” game was actually the DS port of Diddy Kong Racing from the N64, pretty sweet :D. The DS itself is in pretty good shape as a result of the Cars protective case covering most of it; there is a bit of a scratch on the upper screen, but I believe I can buff that out when I go through and thoroughly clean it. I have seen people making and selling “replacement labels” for game cartridges online, so I can see about getting one of those so it’s not simply a piece of tape of the card. I don’t do a ton of retro game collecting anymore as I plain don’t have room for boxes and boxes full of old games…<sigh>…but it’s still fun to go and see what kind of treasure you can find. A few years ago, I stopped by someone selling a few assorted N64 games at a garage sale and notice there was Conker’s Bad Fur Day in great shape so I asked the guy standing there how much and he tells me “the games are $5 a piece”, obviously either not knowing or caring this particular game re-sells for $75+ online and at used game stores, probably my greatest find at a garage sale.

I was pleasantly surprised to find “Donkey Kong” was actually Diddy Kong Racing for the DS. You can see the scratch on the upper screen, but I think I can clean that up a bit.

That’s about it for this week, do you collect many physical copies of games, retro or not? What’s your best “haul” at a garage sale or used game store? Let me know in the comments. I’m off to try and collect a few more Korok seeds and make my way through the Gerudo and Wasteland regions of Breath of the Wild.

Keep on playing…

Weekend Gaming Review – June 2019

I’m still feeling the excitement from all of the game announcements from E3 which ended this previous Thursday, and got a chance to watch some actual gameplay from upcoming games, mostly from the Nintendo E3 Treehouse stream I watched on Tuesday. I stated in last week’s post how excited I am for the Link’s Awakening remake and watching gameplay from it only increased that feeling, I also got to see more from Super Mario Maker 2 and Animal Crossing which I already have on the “Buy List” in my head. Two other games I am really interested to try out later this summer/fall for the Switch are Daemon X Machina and Astral Chain which make my Switch Shopping List even more lengthy this year. Along with spending multiple hours between gaming news sites and spectating the elation of Banjo-Kazooie fans after being announced as a new Smash Bros. DLC characters( I thought I LOVED the game…) I still found time to actually play some games, including a few games I started for the first time.

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda – I wanted to play through this game to see if it’s really as bad as I remember hearing about when the game was released. I know that BioWare has made a number of updates to the game particularly with the character animations during cutscenes which was I guess something a significant portion of gamers couldn’t get past, along with the story not being as ambitious as the original Mass Effect trilogy. I have enjoyed what I’ve played of the game so far and plan to write up my thoughts on the game after completing.
  • Pokémon : Let’s Go, Pikachu! – I actually hadn’t started on this game since it’s release last year and I am somewhat disappointed in myself. I watched my younger brother play through Pokémon Yellow( and I had Pokémon Red) on Game Boy Color as a kid, so I was familiar with the game and just plain hadn’t gotten around to it; most of my time last November and December was spent playing Black Ops 4, Red Dead Redemption 2, and Smash Bros. Ultimate. I love kicking back and playing pretty much ANY Pokémon game as one of my “comfort food” games that I come back to if I ever get into a “rut” and find myself asking “Am I really enjoying this or am I just playing this game to clear it from my backlog?” I couldn’t help but notice that I happened to pick this up after watching a bunch of gameplay showing Pokémon Sword/Shield which comes out in November…probably a coincidence?
  • Doom 3 – I have been playing through this off and on for a few weeks as I was determined to actually finish the damn game as it was one of many games that I began so long ago that when I finally come back to it I decide to start ALL OVER again and play through from the beginning. You know when you start watching a tv show and just kinda fall off about halfway through it that when you yourself wanting to see it through to the end you feel like you need to being fresh from the beginning so it seems more cohesive….I’m not the ONLY weirdo out there like that, right? Anyways…I’ve been playing through Doom 3 with an extra determination to finish it; there’s only a few months before Doom Eternal comes out and I want to get another run through of Doom 2016 before that. I also, just picked up a copy of Doom 64 that I found at my local retro game store that I’m lucky to have in my hometown, so I look forward to finally playing that as I never played it back in 1997.
  • Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Another game that has been in my ever-growing backlog waiting for me to finish. I bought Dark Moon when it first came out on the 3DS as I was really excited for another Luigi’s Mansion game with the original being the first game that I played and loved for the Gamecube in 2001. Another game that I simply have not played to completion, I mostly attribute this to that I spend a disproportionate amount of console games to handheld games. I have nothing against the 3DS, I just never played it as much as a console I can play on my tv. The handheld games I have always spent the most time playing are the mainline Pokémon games, otherwise most games for my Game Boy Color/DS/3DS have been relegated to games that I would play should I ever actually travel somewhere(almost never…). By this point it seems that whether I realized it or not, the games I have been playing all have a sequel or simply another game in the series coming out the near future with exception of Mass Effect: Andromeda.
  • MLB The Show 19 – Yup, still grinding away for more cards on my Diamond Dynasty team…

I will most likely write up my thoughts about Mass Effect, Doom, and Let’s Go, Pikachu! in the future after making my way through them. I started this blog simply as an exercise in talking about video games – something incredibly meaningful to me and has always been a part of my life. I have a lot of different ideas for future blog posts to add a little bit of variety so I’m not just typing “I played this game today…” every weekend. I will still continue to write out my thoughts about games that I’m playing or would like to play, along with different topics involving video games in some capacity. Current gaming news or specific memories or attachments to particular games is another avenue that I would be interested in; there’s even plenty of video game movies that I think would be fun to talk about. That about does it for this week…I still have a little bit of time to catch a few more Pokémon 🙂

Keep on playing…

Weekend Gaming Review – Nintendo Switch

I didn’t have anything particular in mind for this week’s blog post as I admit the week seemed to rush by rather quickly, so I figured I would more or less discuss what games I have been playing over the past week as well as this weekend.

I started off the week by finally beating Cuphead on my Switch. I absolutely love the game! The gameplay is practically flawless and reminds me greatly of games from the Contra or Mega Man series. The game is certainly not easy, it is all the more rewarding when you are able to finally break through and beat a boss or level. I recommend it heartily to anyone who enjoys side-scrolling shooters….AND a challenge.

After beating Cuphead I had the urge to pick back up the Mega Man X Collection for my Switch and spent a good deal of time this weekend trying to beat Mega Man X, as I have played the game( SNES mostly) time to time from childhood but have never actually beat the game….an all to common thing, especially older and more difficult ones such as that. Mega Man titles have always been difficult but the satisfaction that comes from clearing a level and boss at the end is a feeling of “gamer euphoria” that is hard to match.

Who laughing now, huh?

As a bit of a changeup from the challenging side scroller games I have been playing, I spent several hours over the week playing Super Mario Odyssey. I have completed the “main story” twice and spent just over 90 hours acquiring all 999 Power Moons in the game, so I didn’t really intend on doing that all a second time, but there is something in the game that is just really relaxing in casually collecting power moons across the different worlds. I have said it before, but it really does remind me of the Mario 64 and the “collect-a-thon” games of the era including Rare gems Banjo-Kazooie, and Jet Force Gemini. These games will forever hold a very special place to me.

This past Friday, Konami released their Castlevania Anniversary Collection which had been announced as part of the company’s 50th anniversary. I promptly downloaded the collection on my Switch, as I have played many different Castlevania games but have never played Castlevania: The Adventure which was released for the Game Boy back in 1989 and hadn’t come across many physical copies of it around town. The game is enjoyable despite the terrible framerate slow-down that plagued many old Game Boy games that tried to push the limited technology of the day. The game only contains 4 levels so the game can pretty easily be completed in one sitting. There is also the first North American release of the NES title – Kid Dracula which is somewhat of a spin-off of the Castlevania series. I am really looking forward to digging into more games in the collection, as I have never played very much of either Castlevania 3: Dracula’s Curse and Castlevania: Bloodlines which I never played back after their original release as I was a bit young. The Castlevania series and similarly the Mega Man games serve to show us games that can age gracefully and still be fun to play – they are beloved by millions of fans due to this.

Castlevania: The Adventure is still fun to play, despite major slowdown issues.

I did also invest a fair amount of time over this weekend playing more Tetris 99( yes…still playing 😉 ). Nintendo announced the 3rd Tetris 99 Maximus Cup, which the goal was essentially to play enough to earn 100 points to get a customer retro theme to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Tetris being released. The theme itself is pretty cool, including the music and green tinted visuals found on the Game Boy 35 years ago.

That’s about it for this week! What were you playing this weekend or plan on playing this coming week?

Keep on playing…

What I’m Playing Now – Weekend Gaming Review

Having recently finished the mostly long, not so arduous task of getting the platinum trophy for Assassin’s Creed:Origins so I found myself once again asking myself “What do I feel like playing next?”. The platinum trophy for Origins took approximately 74 hours as I had started playing it back in January after setting out to actually complete an Assassin’s Creed game which I had only played a couple up to that time. Without spending too much time going over and discussing the game I will say that I really enjoyed the game, so much that I spent 70-plus hours completing everything and getting the platinum trophy. I don’t typically spend all of my energy(or sanity) trying to collect every trophy for every game, save for a relatively small group of games that I had loved so much that I was determined to accomplish everything within the game. Now that I had Origins wrapped up, I decided I would set my sights on another game. I am usually “juggling” several different games, on different systems at any given time. I have still been playing MLB The Show 19 pretty steadily since it released over a month ago and had just recently begun playing through Cuphead on my Switch, along with still playing a few rounds of Tetris 99 and Super Smash Bros: Ultimate on a routinely basis.

There are three games in particular that I have had in mind for a while now that I wanted to play through – Persona 5, Final Fantasy XV, and The Witcher 3(Complete Edition). All three of these games being somewhat intimidating as I’m not usually able to play a sprawling, epic (J)RPG game while still playing too many others so I decided I would finish up some other games before devoting myself to a more “demanding” game. I have played a good amount of RPGs over the years since first discovering how satisfying and addicting they can be, especially after finally “figuring out” the strategy in turn-based combat…thanks, Pokemon Red :)…but always had trouble finishing them as I would seemingly always just…not play them for a few days or a couple weeks and would have trouble getting “back into” the control scheme and story.

I woke up one morning and just decided to jump in and start playing The Witcher 3, which I am really liking so far and will make sure to keep playing consistently as the control scheme for the game is a little different and can seem more complex than some games. However, after a couple days I decided that I wanted to try Persona 5 as well and started playing that randomly one morning, the update for SSB: Ultimate in adding Joker to the roster may have “assisted” in that decision as well…I was a little hesitant to begin playing Persona as I was thinking the rumors COULD BE TRUE about a port of Persona 5 coming to the Switch and having a 100+ hour JRPG to play on my Switch to take around with me sounded fun. Well…a few days ago Atlus announced that they were bringing the Persona series to the Switch with Persona 5 Scramble – not a straight port of the game but more of a fighter-type game in the vein of the Dynasty Warriors games. So my decision to play Persona 5 on my PS4 was the correct one. I absolutely love Persona so far and have put about 15 hours or so into it already.

The last few couple days however…I felt like going back and playing through some of my childhood favorite games on my N64. I played Star Wars: Rogue Squadron – still one of my absolute favorite Star Wars games, along with some Star Fox 64 and I also dug out my old copy of Mario Golf which brought back tons of fond memories of summer days gone by. I am still in love with many games on the N64, even ones that my not have aged as gracefully like a lot of early 3d era games did, Goldeneye in particular. I do intend on bringing out my old Gamecube and original Xbox to play some of my all-time favorites like Halo(1 &2), Metroid Prime, and Eternal Darkness. I would like to also play through Timesplitters 2 as well as attempt to finally beat Viewtiful Joe which was more difficult than I could accomplish in past years.

I apologize if there doesn’t seem to be much more to this week’s post than a lengthy recollection of my weekend of playing video games(that IS pretty accurate). Part of my mission with this blog has been simply to sort out the endless rambling about “vidya gaemz”. What games are you currently playing? or what’s a game that you have wanted to play to haven’t gotten around to for one reason or another?

Keep on playing…

Here’s some Persona 5 Scramble news if curious – https://www.gamespot.com/articles/p5s-is-persona-5-scramble-a-warriors-style-action-/1100-6466463/