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.
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.
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?
The current generation of gaming has been an incredible time for players with video games being bigger than they have ever been before. Today, I’ve listed what I have narrowed down to my 5 favorite of the games offered on PS4, Xbox One, Switch, etc. These are not in any particular order, and may change as there are some excellent games released just a few months into 2019. We also have not received much news as to when the next-gen consoles will be released.
Far Cry 5 – I have lost track of approximately how many hours I’ve spent running around Hope County’s gorgeous landscape in the fight against the Eden’s Gate cult. I have completed the game a few times and seem to keep coming back with how much I enjoy the mayhem the inevitably seems to follow me wherever I go. The rush of chaos and explosions is some of the most satisfying I have ever played in a game. Far Cry 5 and the entire Far Cry series for that matter are essentially being tossed into an action movie from the 80’s. Side note – Far Cry: New Dawn was released a month ago and I highly recommend that as well.
Red Dead Redemption 2 – There isn’t much I can say for Red Dead Redemption 2 that hasn’t been said already. Rockstar’s open-world wild west masterpiece will be discussed and played for years to come. The game is a very heavy, slow burn that certainly pays off in the end. The story is very nuanced, with new detail that I notice every time I play it. The in-game environment is easily the most impressive I have ever seen, with a landscape truly seems alive. The game conveys desolation, loneliness and at times hopelessness as well as the beauty and brutal struggle of life in the Old West. This game is a bucket-list worthy experience for anyone.
Super Mario Odyssey – When Super Mario Odyssey was announced, I admit I was mildly skeptical. So…Mario is running around a metropolitan looking world inhabited by humans…and he’s throwing a hat on things to transform into them? I mean…that is pretty accurate, but I absolutely loved this game! The main story itself is a little on the short side, but I invested 90 hours into this game going through and collecting all 999 power moons and different outfits for Mario. This aspect of the game along with the heavy dashes of nostalgia is where the most memorable moments of the game were for me. Going through the different worlds and collecting all the power moons and purple coins was reminiscent of the old “collect-a-thon” games on the N64 that I spent my childhood years playing. Super Mario Odyssey was the most fun I had playing a Mario game since the first Super Mario Galaxy on the Wii.
Horizon: Zero Dawn – Giant. Robot. Dinosaurs. That’s all I really knew going into my first play through of Guerrilla Game’s newest ip Horizon: Zero Dawn. There is so much more to this game than what may be first apparent. The gameplay itself is as good as it gets for an open-world sandbox game. The hours flew by just exploring the post-catastrophe world with terrain from snowy mountains to lush green open areas to vast expanses of rocky arid desert. The story is great and protagonist Aloy is one of my new favorite game characters as she is looking for answers to the world’s history as well as her own. An excellent brand-new series entry in a crowded space of remakes and remasters.
God of War – Another game that doesn’t need much else said about it, the most recent(and best) entry in the God of War series is as good as gaming gets. Kratos’ journey this time taking place with his son Atreus at his side. The game is this time around set in Norse mythology rather than Greek. The journey Kratos and Atreus embark on is as much personal as physical, as the story deals with grief, loss and allowing yourself to move on. Game director Cory Barlog stated he wanted to create a more mature Kratos whose past still weighs heavily on him. Everything about this game is excellent, and showcases what games can do as an artistic medium. The only thing left to say is…”Boy!”