Gaming Vibes Playlist #4

Greetings! It’s been just over fourteen months since the last time I found myself sitting at my computer looking over blog post drafts before eventually thinking “I…guess I could list some of the music I’ve been listening to lately”. Music has the near-magical ability to transport myself outside my own headspace and provoke an array of emotions. This can be immensely helpful during times(right now?) when it feels like everything is going to shit. Here’s just a few game-related songs I’ve been listening to lately. Oddly enough, my last playlist post in December 2020 began with a track from the exact same game, so…nice?

Cyberpunk 2077 – The Rebel Path

I was pretty hyped to play Cyberpunk 2077 when it first released back in December 2020. Despite not encountering the plethora of issues others did in the opening six hours, I still decided to hold off on the game until I had a few other big, open-world games finished up. Now that the next-gen 1.5 update has been released I decided to give it another go last weekend and the game plays pretty damn well. This feels like what the game should have been at launch(if given the time it needed). I’ve been playing Cyberpunk pretty much nonstop for the past week; here’s one of my favorites from the soundtrack…

Death’s Door – The Crows

I played through Death’s Door a couple weeks ago now, and the game has managed to stick with me. The gameplay and art style are nearly perfect, as well as the soundtrack, which ranges from light and spirited to pensive and foreboding. I’ve spent quite a while listening to the game soundtrack while working at my computer. One of my favorites – The Crows manages to sound relatively dark and moody, yet still airy and delicate. The entire soundtrack is well worth a listen for anyone who appreciated the range of emotions showcased in Hollow Knight’s score.

Sonic & Knuckles – Flying Battery Zone(Act 2)

There’s been plenty of talk about Sonic the Hedgehog the past few months – celebrating the Sega mascot’s 30th anniversary in 2021 and the theatrical trailers for Sonic the Hedgehog 2 being released just last weekend. I was just a kid when Sonic & Knuckles was released and remember thinking it was one of the most awesome things I’d seen; just the innovative “Lock-On” cartridge allowing you to combine the game with your Sonic 3 cartridge and play what was originally meant to be a single game. I happened to wake up one morning this past week with the Flying Battery Zone music stuck in my head. I’m really gonna have to sit down and play through Sonic & Knuckles again…

Novo Amor – Haven

Life is Strange: True Colors is a game that I thought sounded interesting, but wasn’t sure how soon I would get around to playing it. The game came pretty highly recommended by a friend, so I decided to give it a try. It didn’t take long at all before becoming attached to the characters and storyline, almost surprisingly so. The setting of the game is a small town in the mountains of Colorado and the soundtrack captures the pervasive moods of the game perfectly, so much so, that I would often just sit at the title screen to take everything in…

Biting Elbows – Alone

Despite one’s feelings around the gameplay mechanics or overall….weirdness of Death Stranding, I still believe that if nothing else, the game had an AMAZING soundtrack containing both original scores as well as licensed music. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being completely unaware of Icelandic band Low Roar, whose haunting melancholic songs have become inseparable from the game’s otherworldly landscapes. The “Director’s Cut” of Death Stranding was released a few months back and included a number of new songs, all of which I love. Here’s one of my favorites from Biting Elbows – another band I had no knowledge of prior to Death Stranding.

That’s four weeks in a row! Keep on keepin’ on!

Thanks for reading!

Omnivore Update-February 2022

Greetings! It’s already the middle of February. The days are starting to get a little longer and the end of winter is slowly approaching, according to a few groundhogs at least. I’ve been working on getting back into the habit of writing somewhat regularly, so I decided to sit down and write a little update as to what I’ve been playing recently and a few other game-related tangents. I’ve also mentioned in the past that I wanted to come up with a better name for my (sometimes)monthly update posts than “Weekend Gaming Review”; for the time being, I decided to use “Omnivore Update”. Lately, I feel like I’ve played a little bit of everything, but not much of anything at the same time. I have a few games that I’ve been playing for a few months that I’d like to get finished up, especially before games like Horizon: Forbidden West, Elden Ring and Gran Tourismo 7 get released. There’s also a few indie games that I still want to sit down and play like Nobody Saves The World or Inscryption. There’s one game I was able to cross off the list a couple days ago…

Death’s Door

Last weekend I started playing Death’s Door, a game I’d had my eye on since it was released last summer. I fell in love with it almost immediately and seriously regret not playing the game sooner. The gameplay, art style, soundtrack….I love it all. It’s pretty clear the game takes much of its inspiration from The Legend of Zelda in terms of gameplay, but much of the story, visuals and beautiful soundtrack remind me of games like Hollow Knight or the Ori and the Blind Forest, but with more Zelda and less Metroid. Upon completing Death’s Door, I can safely say this is absolutely one of the best games of 2021 that I’ve played.

Halo Infinite

I’ve still been chipping away at the campaign in Halo Infinite, as surprising as that may sound. I was as hyped as anyone to finally play Infinite and the multiplayer modes, despite some hiccups with 343 Industries’ progression system and matchmaking problems with Big Team Battles, have mostly lived up to expectations. It pains me, however, to say that I’m pretty lukewarm towards the main campaign. Don’t get me wrong, Infinite plays AS GOOD, if not BETTER than any previous Halo game; I just haven’t been completely blown away by the shift to an open-world experience. Halo has always had its share of big, set pieces and small, enclosed battles alike, so it seemed like a natural evolution of the series. A big issue with this is Infinite seems like every mission occurs in one of two different locales – open, rocky terrain with an outpost or inside corridor. This would be similar to the entirety of Halo: Combat Evolved taking place among the small outposts on the rocky expanse of the first halo or inside the inner corridors of the Truth and Reconciliation. I still have a few chapters to go to reach the conclusion of Halo Infinite, but thus far I’d have to say that I kinda…prefer Halo 5’s campaign, divisive as it was. Master Chief’s new grappling hook is just awesome enough that I’d say it almost makes up for my complaints about the campaign…almost.

Nintendo Direct

Nintendo Direct have turned into such an event that it’s hard to NOT hear about it on social media when one is announced. There has historically been a February presentation the past few years, so it’s not entirely surprising one was announced two days before. Either way, there was a lot of games shown during the Direct and I was pleasantly surprised by many of them. RPG fans were treated to a number of announcements – an HD remaster of Chrono Cross, another Triangle Strategy demo, former Japan-exclusive Live A Live being released on the Switch, along with Earthbound and Earthbound: Beginnings(Mother 1) being added to the Switch Online library of SNES/NES games. The Direct even ended with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 being announced with a September 2022 release date. I’m not the biggest Xenoblade Chronicles fan myself, but I do know of many others who were thrilled about the news. Hell, the Portal games were even announced as future Switch releases…yes, Valve games actually on a Nintendo console and right before their own handheld – the Steam Deck is released. Here are couple of announcements that also stood out to me…

Mario Strikers: Battle League

In the first few years of the Nintendo Switch we’ve seen Mario participate in a few different sports games – Mario Tennis Aces, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games – Tokyo 2020 and last summer’s Mario Golf: Super Rush. This summer, Mario and friends are returning to the pitch in Mario Strikers: Battle League. I’ll admit I was a little disappointed overall in last year’s Mario Golf, so I’m going to remain cautiously optimistic about a new Strikers game. It’s still good to see the series return; the last game – Mario Strikers Charged was released on the Wii in 2007. It’s been long enough of a wait…

Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series

Klonoa is a series I’ve wanted to play for some time but have never had the chance. The platforming games have historically not sold well, but still achieved a cult-like status among fans, making them pretty rare(and pricey) to find out in the wild. Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series includes Klonoa 1 & 2 and I’m looking forward to checking them out after their release on July 8.

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

One of Nintendo’s 2022 releases I’m looking most forward to is Kirby and the Forgotten Land, which I’ve been wanting to play since seeing the reveal trailer last fall. The most recent trailer released by Nintendo shows the pink puffball hero rescuing kidnapped Waddle Dees from a number of enormous worlds. Alongside Kirby’s iconic copy abilities, there are now a number of new forms from the new “Mouthful Mode” which shows Kirby devouring anything from traffic cones to vending machines or even a car(you may have already seen the numerous “Karby” memes). From the looks of the trailers provided so far, it could be anywhere from simply a Mario Odyssey clone w/Kirby or something that feels as fresh as Kirby’s Adventure did back on the NES. I’d honestly be fine with either…

That’s all for now! What’s everyone else been playing lately? Did you watch any of the Nintendo Direct or have any games getting released soon that you’re excited about? Let me know.

Thanks for reading!