Omnivore Update – May 2022

It was during this time last year that I was in a bit of a rut when it came to any of my creative outlets, blogging in particular. I still had plenty of ideas that I would come up with during the day, but I’d usually get little more than a few notes scribbled in front of me as I was working during the day. I would later sit down in front of my computer and…nothing would happen. This continued throughout most of the year with the exception of being able to write something down about Returnal or Metroid Dread. This year has seemed noticeably better, for whatever reason, and I actually have felt pretty good(cautiously so) about everything here on WordPress and have been able to take advantage of the inexplicable outburst of inspiration(energy?). In continuing this momentum I wrote up a quick update post about what games I’ve managed to find in stores, as well as what I’ve been playing lately.

Bloodborne

Coming off the 100+ hours I’d spent playing Elden Ring, I wasn’t quite sure what I was gonna play next. However, as I spent hours playing the most recent From Software game, I had really begun wanting to replay the game that got properly got me to appreciate Souls-like games – Bloodborne. I just finished up the game and unlocked the platinum trophy again…yes, again(the first time was on my PSN profile I use for streaming). I also played through the Old Hunters DLC for the first time. After six years and a collective 200 or so hours of playing, I can still wholeheartedly say Bloodborne is among my absolute favorite gaming experiences on of the PS4 era and would likely be right up there will my all-time favorites. I began a series of blog posts detailing my playthrough of the game and am pretty satisfied that I was able to stick with an idea like that for…y’know, an entire three weeks. In the last couple days I’ve begun my first playthrough of a much more concise Alan Wake Remastered, which I’ve been pretty thoroughly enjoying as well…

In addition to binging my way through a few FromSoft games, I also happened to pick up a few backlog additions in the past couple months. I’ve been on the lookout for complete copies of a lot of GameCube and PlayStation 1 games in particular, starting with…

Pickups

Final Fantasy IX – While stopping at the used game store in town the other morning, I noticed there was a copy of FFIX in seemingly near-mint condition. I assume this was one of the many, many copies of the game(as well as Chrono Cross) that Square Enix produced in such quantities they are still routinely available brand new on their website. Either way, it was a pretty good price for a nice copy of my favorite Final Fantasy game.

Metal Gear Solid – I remember seeing commercials on tv for a new PlayStation game called Metal Gear Solid. I never played the game back in 1998 as my introduction to the series wasn’t until playing a rental copy of MGS 2 a few years later and I didn’t fully become a fan of the series until 2004 when I played the remake – Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes on the GameCube. Another PS1 game that isn’t very rare, but don’t find in this nice of condition often nowadays. Still love the old double-decker PS1 cases…

Demon’s Souls(Remake) – Demon’s Souls was the very first From Software game I ever played. I remember my brother telling me about a new PS3 game that was getting a lot of word-of-mouth attention and he had ordered a copy of the collector’s edition from PlayAsia. I ended up getting a digital copy of my own as a PS Plus freebie a year or two later and would say I liked what I played, but the game didn’t immediately grab my attention the way that something like…say, Bloodborne did years later. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Blue Point Games’ remake of the very first “Souls” game. The fact I got it for free as part of a weekend sale at my local place is an added bonus.

Shadows of the Empire – I’ve played Shadows of the Empire many times in the past; it was one of my favorite games at one point. I had been looking for a decent copy for a little while after realizing I didn’t have a copy of my own – one of the many aspects of having siblings who played games. I spent a fair amount of time playing the game after I picked this up and….I wish I could say I still feel the same way about the game as I did in the past. I still enjoy the game, but it’s aged pretty poorly and would be very difficult to recommend to anyone who DIDN’T play this as a kid…

Golden Sun – There’s always more RPGs to add to the backlog, right? Camelot’s beloved GBA title Golden Sun is a game I’ve only played for a handful of minutes, but have always been interested in returning to. The demand…and prices of GameBoy Advance games have been steadily rising alongside the GameCube(though still not quite as sharply), so I decided to finally pull the trigger and get a copy while I could still find one.

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike – I love the Rogue Squadron games. They’re my favorite Star Wars games, alongside Knights of the Old Republic. There’s usually one exception to this – Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike. I played this years ago and while the flying missions felt every bit as good as the previous games, the inclusion of on-foot missions seemed to drag it down considerably. I’ve been on a pretty big GameCube nostalgia kick lately, so I decided to give the game another shot…

The Conduit – Despite first-person shooters being the biggest genre in gaming back in 2009, there wasn’t very many of them available on the Wii. The Conduit had some decent hype around it before it was released, and was successful enough to get a sequel the next year, but seemingly faded into obscurity shortly thereafter. I’m still not the biggest fan of using motion controls, but I played a little bit of it back then and remember The Conduit playing pretty well. It was actually a solid FPS option on the Wii. It’s pretty interesting looking back at some of the decent Wii-exclusives published by Sega like The Conduit, Nights: Journey of Dreams, or the underrated Mad World.

WarioWare: Touched! – This was a launch window game for the Nintendo DS back in 2004 and I remember seeing it often. I had always meant to pick this up, but haven’t come across too many complete copies like this in the wild the past few years. WarioWare titles are always a joy to play and a change of pace from other games requiring a bigger investment of time and energy.

Wario World – I actually owned this one years ago and remember enjoying it well enough from what I played. If I recall correctly, I bought Wario World along with 2 or 3 other GameCube/PS2/Xbox in the some shopping trip, so I may have just been more invested in something else at the time. I ended up selling the game(along with a few others) as I honestly didn’t think that a first-party Nintendo game like this would end up being as rare(or just expensive?) as it currently is. I had been wanting to pick the game up and play again, so I finally decided to splurge a bit when I found a decent complete copy in town. I’ve been playing Wario World on stream the past week and realized pretty quickly that I didn’t play it nearly enough back then as it’s a really solid 3D platformer and I’ve been having a lot of fun playing it.

That’s all for now! What have you been playing lately? Are there any games you’re planning on picking up, old or new?

Thanks for reading!

Omnivore Update – April 2022

Greetings! It’s nearing the end of April and spring is here, at least according to the calendar and not the weather forecast. I’ve been attempting to write up a monthly(?) post simply going over what I’ve been playing lately and any other random thoughts I happen to have at the moment. I honestly haven’t been up to much the past couple months and have had trouble keeping any sort of consistent schedule – blogging, streaming, sleeping, etc. so, here’s a short update post to get back in the swing of things and miraculously raise my long-lost ambition from the dead…maybe?

Here’s what I’ve been playing lately…

Elden Ring

After finishing up Horizon: Forbidden West three weeks ago, I immediately jumped into playing Elden Ring and it’s pretty much dominated my entire life since. I don’t recall the last time a game captured everyone’s attention like this, gamer or not -Fortnite? Breath of the Wild? Skyrim? I was playing Returnal pretty obsessively this past fall, so being completely enamored by a game like Elden Ring feels familiar enough. Hell, even when I’m not PLAYING Elden Ring, I’m still doing research for my next play session after work or amusing myself with the endless amount of memes and gameplay clips across the internet.

I….honestly don’t know where I’d even begin writing about my experience with Elden Ring so far. The scope of the game is massive and so densely-layered with things to do, as well as piecing together the lore behind the lone Tarnished’s quest across the Lands Between to restore the Elden Ring. I’ve put some 90+ hours into the game and I believe I’m only about 2/3 of the way through as there’s something around nearly every corner of the sprawling map.

For as non-stop as the discussion has been around Elden Ring the past 3 years 7 weeks(for better or worse), it still doesn’t feel like everything to love about the game has been articulated completely. Gameplay, setting, story – everything feels like a natural evolution of what made From Software titles so great this last decade or so. It’s pretty rare that games live up to the hype around them, especially the absurdly high reaches of Elden Ring hype, but I believe Hidetaka Miyazaki and From Software have managed to do just that.

That’s pretty much it for now…what all games has everyone been playing lately or what are you planning on playing next?

Praise The Message and thanks for reading!