Gaming Vibes Playlist #3

It’s been two weeks since my last blog post. As much as I’d like to say there’s a particular reason I haven’t posted anything recently, I’ve quite simply hit a bit of a drought regarding WordPress posts. I have a handful of loose ideas I would like to write up something for, but most of them require me to finish playing the specific game…which I have not. Whenever I have trouble coming up with ideas or generally concentrating on writing, I usually spend extended periods of time listening through video game music as I find that often times provide some sort of inspiration to write. I have been playing through a fairly ecclectic group of games at the moment, so I decided for today’s post to simply include some of the music I’ve been listening to as of late…

Cyberpunk 2077 – Hyper-Spoiler

We’ll start things off with a track from Cyberpunk 2077. After 8 years and an insurmountable level of hype around this game, it was finally released this past week. The game’s reception has been…..less than stellar as countless bugs and glitches – sometimes game-breaking, sometimes just plain funny, have very negatively affected CD Projekt Red’s mega-hyped release. Say what you will about the game and it’s littany of issues, it does have a pretty killer soundtrack. I’ve played the game for about 4 and a half hours without any catastrophic crashes or glitches – a few minor graphical hiccups here and there, and will be playing this at perhaps a more leisurely pace while the unfortunate dev team at CDPR scrambles to salvage this train wreck of a game launch. I do have a bit to say about the game and the events surrounding its release(yikes!), which I may write about in a follow-up post in the future, but for now I’ll stick with the awesome soundtrack…

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity – Overlooking Hyrule

I bought Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity a few weeks ago after really enjoying the game demo on my Switch. I hadn’t ever played any of the Warriors/Musou games before, but have had a lot of fun in the 8 or so hours I’ve invested. I’ve seen others stating online that they were satisfied with the game overall, but were a little disappointed in some of the story beats as it was presented originally as essentially, a prequel to Breath of the Wild. I love the dramatic grandeur to the track – Overlooking Hyrule as you hear the spirited strings and piano, but can also notice the march of the drums underneath as you envision the Hyrule Army preparing for the onslaught of Calamity Ganon.

GoldenEye – Dam(Tweaklab Synthwave Version)

I recently went back to bask in the nostalgia of playing GoldenEye on my N64 a couple weeks ago as part of a random Twitch stream. The game certainly shows its age in the visual department, but still manages to remain entertaining after 23 years. It also has an iconic soundtrack that instantly conjures all those warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia. So, naturally, I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently going through and listening to random OST remixes on YouTube. Here’s one of my favorites that sounds more or less like a meeting of 007 and Stranger Things…

Yakuza 0 – Heartbreak Mermaid

I’ve recently been playing the Yakuza games after knowing OF them for many years, but having never played them. I’m really, really loving the cocktail of seriousness and absurdity in both the characters and storylines. One of my favorite activities within the Yakuza games has been the karaoke mini-games. Here’s one of my favorite songs that has been stuck in my head almost endlessly since playing…

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla – The First Departure

I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla here and there for the past month, and I’d say overall I’m really enjoying the game, but feel like it doesn’t quite have me “hooked” just yet. One aspect of the game I absolutely love is the soundtrack, which finds longtime AC composer Jesper Kyd returning to the series along with Sarah Schachner, who was responsible for AC: Origin’s wonderful instrumentation. I love the solemn tone of the stringed instruments, and the spacious sound that’s created within the track. Sometimes, the most impactful pieces of music aren’t ones that fill every second with sounds, but rather allow the space for the selected notes to resonate.

Hades – God of the Dead

Well…I wasn’t going to write a list of video game music I’ve been listening to lately and NOT include something from Hades – my Game of the Year pick for 2020. I absolutely love the Hades soundtrack and the range of instruments and styles showcased within. Supergiant Games composer Darren Korb(also the voice of Zagreus and Skelly in the game) described the music featured in Hades as “Mediterranean prog rock”. Take a listen to this epic battle music…

That’s really all I have for now, gonna go play some more video games. Thanks for reading!

Weekend Game Review – Black Friday 2020 Haul

We’ve reached the end of November, Thanksgiving has come and gone here in the U.S. and we are officially in the middle of the year-end holiday season. It’s been a few months since my last update post talking about what I’ve been playing recently or what random thought occurred within the confines of my mind. I really should come up with a better title for these posts than “Weekend Game Review” as I usually post these once a month, if that much. Truth be told, I’ve never really liked my placeholder title for these posts and have just never been able to come up with anything I like better(?). Anyways, today’s ramble is pretty basic – Black Friday pickups. With the world being thrown into further chaos due to a global pandemic, it’s not the least bit surprising that retailers began advertising their Black Friday sales as not only a single day or weekend, but entire weeks during the month of November to recoup potential losses suffered from over the year. I was able to get a copy of Persona 5: Royal a week before Thanksgiving as part of an early Best Buy sale and I had a copy of the new Hyrule Warrios game, Age of Calamity arrive within days of Black Friday so I decided to include those in my Black Friday spending. Here’s what games I picked up over the last week(or two)….

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Age of Calamity wasn’t necessarily a “Black Friday” pickup, but just so happened to release the week before and didn’t arrive from Amazon until the Monday before Thanksgiving. I had never played a Warriors/Musou game before, but I was especially intrigued after playing the demo on my Switch a month ago and decided to hit the pre-order button.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

I had known of the Yakuza games for quite some time, going all the way back to the latter days of the PlayStation 2, but was somewhat intimidated by a series that had churned out so many games and was unsure where to even start. I decided to finally start making my way through Yakuza 0 through Game Pass a month ago and it didn’t take long for me to instantly regret not playing the games sooner. The characters, story and gameplay are as over-the-top as I had heard, but also with its share of serious, moments as well…and then back to karaoke minigames just as quickly. The newest game in the Yakuza series was just released in the beginning of the month to a lot of praise, being one of the games NOT named Hades that was getting a lot of chatter on social media. The fact the game deviates from previous entries and adapts a turn-based combat system is interesting, but looks like it performs pretty well within the game. I watched some of fellow blogger/streamer ThatGreenDude95‘s streams as he played through the game and I’m pretty excited to try it out for myself. I’m always partial to steelbook cases too…

Persona 5: Royal

Persona 5 is another JRPG that I started playing last year, but eventually got sidetracked by other things and just sorta….stopped playing. After hearing of some of the quality-of-life improvements made to the “definitive edition” of the game, I decided to hold off on playing and eventually pick up a copy of Persona 5: Royal and will, I WILL make my way through the entire game. If interested to know more, check out Meghan Plays Games’ wonderful post explaining some of the differences between the two versions of the game and what makes the extra few bucks(got mine for only $20!) for P5R worth it.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 & 2

Despite being pretty eager to play the remake of the first two Tony Hawk games, I still had not tried it. I grabbed a copy of the game for $25 so I can relive all those summers spent playing THPS on the N64 as a kid.

Yakuza: Remastered Collection

So…yeah, I mentioned I’m really enjoying the Yakuza games so far and decided to grab a copy of the remastered versions of Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 which were previously released on the PlayStation 3(TWO console generations ago now!). It still feels pretty cool being able to say I bought some Sega games over the Black Friday week(end)…

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

13 Sentinels is a game I kind of purchased on a whim after hearing some pretty good things about it the past couple months. I felt like broadening my gaming palette further and trying something a little more out of the ordinary. A gorgeous 2D action-rpg from Vanillaware/Atlus with RTS sections giving you control of mechs AND it’s 50% off? Sure, let’s do this!

Yoshi’s Crafted World

I played the demo for Yoshi’s Crafted World on my Switch before the game was released and really enjoyed it, but was unsure whether or not the game would be “worth” the full $60 content-wise. First-party Nintendo games going on sale are a pretty rare thing, Yoshi’s Crafted World had only been on sale a handful of times since it was released March of last year, so being one of the Switch games on sale for a mere $27 at Gamestop I decided I’d finally pick up a copy. At the time of writing this, I have not yet received my two Switch games from Gamestop, but should be seeing those in the not-too-distant future…

Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

The “New” Super Mario Bros. games, going all the way back to New Super Mario Bros. Wii. I never bought a Wii U, so I had no way to play the game until the Switch port was released at the beginning of last year. After seeing the game would be marked down to $27, this was my other main game to grab over Black Friday weekend along with Persona 5: Royal.

Wolfenstein: The New Order/The New Colossus

I picked up both Wolfenstein: The New Order and The New Colossus during Steam sale this past week. I have only played a little bit of New Order on PS Now and will admit I wasn’t completely won over while playing The New Colossus after it was released a couple years ago(which coincidentally, was a Black Friday pickup then as well). Perhaps an FPS like this will feel a little better-suited for a PC/mouse & keyboard setup than it did with a Dualshock 4. I guess we’ll find out…

Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within

Back in September, I participated in a game swap with Kim from Later Levels. She and Pete would play Banjo-Kazooie, and I would play Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Growing up exclusively a console gamer, I was interested to check out a classic point-and-click adventure game such as Gabriel Knight. The titular character being voiced by none other than Tim Curry(Mark Hamill and Leah Remini provided voices as well) made it an easy choice. It wound up being one of my favorite games I played during the month of October and I wrote up a blog post regarding my thoughts about the game for one of my Blogtober posts last month. As I enjoyed my experience with the first one, I had made up my mind about playing the next game The Beast Within on Twitch sometime in the upcoming month. I was going to buy the game anyways, but being part of the Steam sale for under $4 was extra awesome.

That’s all for now. Did you pick up any new games during the Black Friday sales? What are you looking forward to finishing up before the end of the year? Let me know.

Thanks for reading!