Jump to content
NEurope
drahkon

Your Gaming Diary 2022

Recommended Posts

Just now, Hero-of-Time said:

But that's where the best boss battle is. Granted, you have to get all the way to level 100 but it's a cracking fight.  Watch a YouTube video on it or something.

I've seen it already. :p 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, drahkon said:

Sorry, @Hero-of-Time and @darksnowman, no Platinum for me. Completing the Bestiary is way too tedious for me right now (maybe ever). :p 

Mindblown GIFs | Tenor

No way. That's only taken a matter of days. :eek: 

1 hour ago, drahkon said:

The Gambit system can be beautifully abused to the point where you don't have to touch the controller during a fight. There's some insanely OP gear making this even better. Once you got the grind done, you'll be able to breeze through the game. That's my kind of JRPG :laughing: 

Making a beeline for this stuff coupled with the speed x4 toggle considerably reduced the game time. Top effort. Consider Zodiac Age bumped up my backlog a slot or two now I know it can be shortened.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, darksnowman said:

Making a beeline for this stuff coupled with the speed x4 toggle considerably reduced the game time. Top effort. Consider Zodiac Age bumped up my backlog a slot or two now I know it can be shortened.

I'd still recommend playing this without the Seitengrat method first (or maybe get one and if you struggle and don't wanna grind too much, use it).

I only did it, because I played the vanilla version back then normally. :p 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've played through a few more games this month since finishing Dead Cells.

Child of Light

FXus0g1UIAQU91h?format=jpg&name=4096x409

I've not played this since 2014/2015 and with it being part of PS+, I figured I would give a replay. I enjoyed it as much as I did back then. Fantastic battle system, snappy gameplay, beautiful soundtrack and awful rhyming. :p Listening to the music during this replay it kinda reminds me of I Am Setsuna. Both have very soft soundtracks but then know when to kick things up a notch.

Shame about the lack of platinum trophy, as well as Ubisoft abandoning making games like this. :nono:

Maneater

FXus16nUsAIqKrI?format=jpg&name=4096x409

I've been wanting to play this for a while. I foolishly missed it when it was part of the PS5 PS+ line up but snagged it for the PS4 this time around. The game is a bit janky but I really enjoyed my time with it. It reminded me of the type of games you used to get during the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube era. Janky but fun. 

You play as baby shark and you need to eat fish and people in order to grow. Doing this grants you more abilities and allows you to eat bigger things and access new areas. It honestly reminded me of Katamari Damacy, only a twisted version of it. :D There are plenty of collectibles to find and missions to complete. Some of the bounty hunter missions have you hunted by humans and you have to go all Jaws on their boats and take them out. It's quite hilarious and with the right setup you can make short work of them all.

Lost Words: Beyond the Page

FXus3kJUUAAnQpo?format=jpg&name=4096x409

This was a recommended indie game that is part of PS+ and I figured I would give it a whirl.

You play as a young girl who wants to be a writer and the game flicks between the girl writing her journal in real life and the fantasy world of the story she is writing. Gameplay wise, it's a very basic platformer. You use the words from your book to manipulate the environment. For example, highlighting the word break and dragging it into a rock will shatter it and clear the way for you to proceed. For me, the main draw of the game is the heart warming story. It deals with the relationship between the girl and her grandma, how to cope with loss and hiding away when things go wrong. It's pretty brutal at times but the ending makes up for it.

Kurushi & Ape Escape

FXus-1WVsAAW8Kt?format=jpg&name=4096x409

FXus5AWUUAE-nDx?format=jpg&name=4096x409

Nothing new to say about the next 2 games as I played through them both last month on the PS4. With them having separate trophy lists, I decided to play the PS5 versions and go on a platinum hunt. I enjoyed them both the first time around, plus they are pretty short games so I figured, why not?  

Zero Wing

Spoiler

FXu2TJqVUAMhrq6?format=jpg&name=large

FXu2TJxVEAcdAww?format=jpg&name=large

Dancing raisins at the end of the game? What the hell!?

I've always wanted to play this, mainly due to the meme that has been kicking around all these years.

FXu2TJ2VsAI3tVL?format=jpg&name=large

It's a pretty standard 2D shooter but it does have an amazing soundtrack.

 

It's crazy how many games of this genre are on the Mega Drive. Other than R-Type, Pop N Twinbee and UN Squadron, I can't really think of any other high profile games of this type on the SNES, whereas the Mega Drive seemed to have loads. 

The boxart of this game (seen above in the youtube vids) always reminded me of the ship from Toe Jam and Earl. 

D7l-L6zWkAET4yc?format=png&name=small

:D 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Yeah, it’s true.  The SNES doesn’t have that many high profile shmups in its library. It was really just Konami (Gradius/Twinbee/Parodius/Axelay) and Irem (R-Type) that put out their top-tier shmup titles; while the rest preferred the MD and TG16.

I guess it makes sense though when you think about it.  Namco had an ongoing feud with Nintendo (that started after the Famicom really took off and Nintendo refused to give Namco preferential treatment over other 3rd parties.  This only really petered out for a brief time with the GameCube, and then started up again in the Wii era after Nintendo tried to buy Bandai and stole Monolith Soft from Namco), so they were never going to support the SNES in earnest.  Meanwhile, the majority of arcade games of the late 80s/early 90s all ran on variants of the Motorola 68000 CPU (which the Mega Drive also used), making the MD an easy console platform to port their games to; despite the MD not being much of a success in Japan.

The TG16 had also built up a healthy shmup enthusiast audience (backed by the platform holder themselves with games like Star Soldier and Blazing Lazers) well before the SNES even launched in Japan, so it kind of became the natural choice for shmup developers.

Edited by Dcubed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Spoiler

A brief review of the game, in just 40 seconds.

https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgKjnjsIVu5/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Super Arcade Football (Switch):
H2x1_NSwitchDS_SuperArcadeFootball_image

A simplified football game with an overhead view that initially gives Sensible Soccer and Super Kick Off vibes.

I’ve seen some people recommended this, but honestly for me this was not a patch on Sensible Soccer.

In single-player you take over a fictional team from an old fashioned guy who’s not afraid to bombard you with insults. You then essentially have to win every game to advance to the next, although there’s no penalty for losing and you simply replay games.  There is a star system for achieving specific feats, such as putting together x passes in a row, or winning by a certain margin.  I never worked out what these actually did though, and my motivation for doing them quickly dissolved.

I did enjoy the selection of different pitch types and random hazards (meteorites anyone!?), which did add variety to the matches.  Sadly it wasn’t enough and, after the initial excitement and discovery of the different pitch types, it really did feel like a grind to play through the games.

I wanted to like it, but sadly it wasn’t to be.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Far Cry 5

FXOl2ozXwAAVETZ?format=jpg&name=large

 

This starts off extremely well. The “crazy religious cult” setting is interesting and the combat is a lot of fun. After the first recommended region, I was loving the game. The side missions are a lot of fun, and the leader of this faction of the crazed cult was a great villain. 

After this, unfortunately, the story just goes off the rails. The other two areas have utterly terrible storylines, and it doesn't help that it keeps interrupting the actual fun stuff, before having an utterly terrible ending. While the story keeps getting in the way, the gameplay still remains fun and the sidequests are the main highlights of this game 
 

GoldenCry

af839c87-3e4f-4565-89d1-eef363778042.png

The arcade mode of Far Cry 5 includes a massive amount of fan-made levels, including a complete fan remake of GoldenEye. It’s nice seeing the levels in a new visual style, although it does feel somewhat “basic” as the objectives that can be done in the level creator are a bit basic. Still worth checking out if you have Far Cry 5, though.

Road 96

FXevjTeXgAAbdQp?format=jpg&name=large

Set in a country led by a corrupt dictator, you play as various teens as they try to make their way across the border, trying to avoid being caught and sent to work in mines or being killed. You play through them one at a time, approaching the border from different areas. Along the way you will meet and interact with a cast of interesting characters, making choices which can sway their stories - and potentially even the path of the entire country. There are some action scenes that are a bit wonky, but the setting and characters are interesting enough that you want to see the full story play out.

Yakuza 0

FX3X3mMWQAARb-r?format=jpg&name=large

I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Yakuza 0, but it definitely wasn’t what I got. The start of it was a little bit of what I expected, but felt really slow, but as it picked up it just got crazy in all the best ways. There’s so many side games and minigames, some that are surprisingly deep (like the Cabaret Club), and some of the fighting styles are a ton of fun, particularly breakdancing. 

I found the more serious moments a bit lacking (and not helped by multiple different styles of cutscenes), but the amount of over the top fun is just wonderful 
 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

97b6l3eGKX20sejs4EWbJgAp.png

A very enjoyable co-op PvE shooter with the occasional round of PvP. 

PvE:

  • a run that consists of 4 bosses (you can continue afterwards; you can also quit the run anytime you want)
  • you go through several "biomes", fight hordes of enemies and complete various challenges (e.g. "Close Data Breaches" - gather in a defined area to close a breach while fending of enemies)
  • difficulty increases steadily (after "completing" a biome, deafiting a boss or increasing it for a fee at a shop)

PvP:

  • in every biome there's a shop where you can start "Battle Mode"
  • it's one round where everyone fights for glory and loot
  • e.g.: Deathmatch, Tile Drop (think Hexagon Heat from Mario Party 2, but with baseball bat and without Toad)
  • the winner gets loot (money, weapons, stat upgrades)

There are certain teams with challenges you can accept. Usual cosmetic shenanigans are included (free and paid stuff).

My mates and I completed several runs and enjoyed it for what it was: mindless shooting :D 
Will probably play it some more but without some regular content updates, it'll run out of steam very soon.

Still: Another great addition to the PS+ sub. :peace: 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stray

20220720205958.jpg

A gorgeous cat walking-simulator/exploration adventure with great world building. 

Had a lot of fun with it. Definitely worth your time if you're into games like that. :) 

PS+ Giga Chad Edition keeps on giving.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've got a few games I need to add to my list, but it's almost midnight, and most of you already know what I think of them. So I'll just say that I completely spaced on Kirby and the Forgotten Land, a game that while absolutely solid, isn't even close to the best Kirby game ever like a lot of people seem to think. It is good, though.

There's also Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge, which is the best TMNT game ever. Hell, it's a serious contender for best game of 2022! I'm not big on beat 'em ups, but this one is real special!

Spoiler

I am Setsuna
Metroid Dread, minus the Dread
Banjo-Kazooie (One hundred and Tooie %)
Banjo-Kazooie (100%, but faster)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
EarthBound Beginnings
EarthBound
Hades
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Ys Origin
Triangle Strategy (All Endings)
Grandia HD
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
NEO: The World Ends With You (100%)
Death's Door (100%)
Pokémon Shining Pearl (100%)
Donkey Kong Country 2
Super Mario World

Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Final Fantasy VII: Remake INTERmission

Pretty fun introduction of Yuffie :D 
It's very linear and the all the interesting story bits happen in the last 30 minutes, but I enjoyed my time with it. :) 

Sonon and Yuffie are stupidly OP, though :laughing: 

Final-Fantasy-VII-Remake-Intergrade-05.j

Not going to bother with the two chapters on hard difficulty, though. Maybe when we're closer to FFVII: Rebirth.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I finished up Kaze and the wild Masks last week. 

The game, despite really ramping up in difficulty, ended up being a triumph! As I said in my initial impressions, it's very much lent a lot of its gameplay style and ideas from the Donkey Kong series. 

The 3rd boss was SO difficult, to the point I had to check out a YouTube guide. It seems that hardly anyone is playing / has played this game, though, as all of the YT walkthrough vids only had a couple of hundred views! Real shame, as it is a very good platformer. 

 

I started As Dusk Falls on Tuesday when it became available on Game Pass. Finished up my first play through this morning. 

Detroit Become Human is one of my favourite games of the last gen, and this game comes (I believe) from the same developers? It is very similar in that it is highly story driven, with you making choices that affect the outcome of the story. 

What's great is that after each chapter the game tells you your 'traits' based on your decisions, and also gives you a detail of the path you have taken due to your decisions. There are a lot of blanked out squares on the chapter review so it shows that there's still an awful lot to see if you decide to go with a different choice the next time round. 

I really enjoyed it, and the game ended on a bit of a cliff hanger! Something was mentioned and eluded to very early on in the game, and I hoped it would be explored, but it never got mentioned again until the final scene... and then the game ended! Here's hoping we get a sequel! Or DLC. The latter seems plausible, as the game was split into 2 'books' with 3 chapters in each. So hopefully they just whack some DLC up and continue the story. 

 

I am not sure what game to start next once I've played As Dusk Falls again. After being in my gaming lull I am now well and truly out of it, and have played 4 cracking games the past couple of weeks. I think I need to check out what else I have missed. 

Edited by Aneres11
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

capsule_616x353.jpg?t=1656626643

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a MASSIVE EXPANSION to the Switch/PC game, Monster Hunter Rise. Much like the Iceborne expansion in the previous game, World, this adds a new "Master Rank" that becomes available for those who have already finished High Rank. New monsters, new subspecies of monsters, new attacks for old monsters, as well as a whole host of new mechanics and abilities for you to utilise, and of course, loads of armour and weapons to make.

Normally, I'd write about a game once I had finished playing it, but well, it'll be ages before that happens, so now that I've seen the credits alongside @Mokong, I'm gonna do that now.

And for the sake of not repeating myself, I'll just remind you all that Rise is my favourite Monster Hunter game to date. It's a game that wastes no time, has lots of fun movement options, and of course, the co-op aspect is top notch. So I'm gonna focus on the new stuff.

After solving the problems with a certain monster in Kamura Village, your hunter gets recruited by the Knight's Order from a port town called Elgado. They have a problem, and guess what? It involves monsters. So you have to brush off your endgame high rank armour that will no doubt become obsolete very quickly and sort things out.

It's basically an excuse for more Monster Hunter Rise, and that's fine by me.

FYXNcGWVsAEJujp?format=jpg&name=large

Also, Bayonetta is involved for some reason. Guess that's why the third game took so long.

Yes, that's my hunter on the left.

This MASSIVE EXPANSION introduces a decent amount of new monsters to Rise, whether it be returning ones like Astalos, or completely new ones, such as Malzeno (Probably my favourite new monster so far). It even has Espinas from Monster Hunter Frontier, making it the first time a monster from that rubbish MMO has gotten into a proper Monster Hunter game. The music for that monster is hilarious, BTW.

One of the new mechanics is the "Switch Skill Swap", which lets you swap between two sets of Switch Skills (Equippable skills that alter your movesets). This lets you quickly swap what you can do to fit the situation. There's also another mechanic that shows up after the credits that adds a neat little twist to hunts which I more then welcome.

Now, while the focus of this EXPANSION that is MASSIVE is on the multiplayer, there is some single player content as well. These come in the form of "Follower Quests" where you are accompanied by AI controlled hunters (Bayo above is one of them). Each of these AI hunters specialise in one aspect of hunting, so you can have a lot of variety depending on who you choose to bring with you. It's a cool little change to things that can make solo quests a little less lonely.

These DLC expansions are effectively replacements for the rereleases of MH titles we saw in the past, and it's fine by me, seeing as they're cheaper, and don't involve having to repeat content from the base game. It's a welcome change.

The only real criticism I have is that there's no kind of crossplay with the PC version, so I can't play with people who moved on to the PC version (Such as @RedShell). Don't get me wrong, I've very much enjoyed playing through the plot with Mokong, but more hunters is always better. (That might be a blessing in disguise, I've heard that a few people have started modding it to cheat recently, which ruins the fun for those who want to play legitimately)
That PC version likely means we won't be getting any Nintendo based crossovers as well, which is a bit of a bummer. Yeah, more options for platforms is nice, but I'll miss running around in Samus' Power Suit.

FYXV1nAUIAM7ij8?format=jpg&name=large

The quest name matches what's going on, I guess.

Spoiler

 

Oh right, one of my dogs is Amaterasu from Okami, no big deal.

Spoiler

I am Setsuna
Metroid Dread, minus the Dread
Banjo-Kazooie (One hundred and Tooie %)
Banjo-Kazooie (100%, but faster)
Final Fantasy XIII-2
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
EarthBound Beginnings
EarthBound
Hades
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Ys Origin
Triangle Strategy (All Endings)
Grandia HD
The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe
NEO: The World Ends With You (100%)
Death's Door (100%)
Pokémon Shining Pearl (100%)
Donkey Kong Country 2
Super Mario World

Kirby and the Forgotten Land
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak (Credits seen)

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Immortals_Fenyx_Rising_cover_art.jpg

Not great, not too bad.

My recommendation in case you wanna give this game a try: Stick to the main quests.
The rest overstays its welcome very fast.

Already at 49 games played this year. I'm going to crush last year's number, which was 52. :D 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nexomon

FYc-UDBWIAYIaau?format=jpg&name=4096x409

I started playing this Pokemon type game last month and finally got around to finishing it over the weekend. I had a cracking time with it and enjoyed it much more than the recent Pokemon Pearl/Diamond remakes which I have yet to even put 5 hours into. The designs were great, the battle system very fast and fluid and the writing was genuinely funny. It took close to 40 hours to fill this game's equivalent of the Pokedex.

The post game offered a stupid amount of content. You have to enter an area that requires you to reset the levels of your team. For doing this, your team start at level 1 but the stat increases they get per level is far greater. The bosses in this new area are no joke, with many having a varied team and high levels. After taking on the bosses you then travel around the whole map again and take on 65 trainers who have stupidly strong teams. These need to be defeated to complete the Nexodex. The level of content and challenge on offer here was very much appreciated. It's so easy to steamroll through Pokemon games and this was a refreshing change. 

Thanks for the recommendation, @drahkon. I'll get around to the sequel at some point.

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lost Words: Beyond the Page

20220725131153.jpg

On 7/15/2022 at 10:04 PM, Hero-of-Time said:

It deals with the relationship between the girl and her grandma, how to cope with loss and hiding away when things go wrong. It's pretty brutal at times but the ending makes up for it.

It really was brutal. For me especially, because I've experienced the loss of my dad and some of the journal parts hit home. Quite a few tears were shed :( 
I was surprised to see how much that the game depicted I've gone through myself. Right through the end, which is exactly where I arrived years ago.
It sounds bleak, but there's nothing you can do to change the past. There's always going to be a part of you that's sad. But with that there's all the good memories, too. :) 

Lovely game. Highly recommended.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Another game done: 

2x1_NSwitch_KaoTheKangaroo.jpg

 

I have played some pretty full on, story driven games the last few weeks, so fancied something a little more laid back. 

This game has been reviewed quite well, and it was a welcome break to play this week after a bit of a stressful time at work. 

All in all, the game was just ok. It reminded me quite a lot of Super Lucky's Tale. Not ground breaking, not reinventing the wheel, just decent platforming. 

There was very little challenge with the game and I wrapped it up quite quickly. I played this on Xbox, and had some quality issues. On more than one occasion the background music for each level / world would just stop, and that also extended to spoken cut scenes. It was a little jarring, and made the experience feel a bit soul-less just running and jumping around with just the sound effects of Kao being heard. 

The platforming was also just 'ok'. I had many instances of jumping to grab hold of a ledge and Kai would just plummet to his death. Edge detection by the character felt off in many parts, same for actually punching items that were right in front of Kao. I often had to do it several times before I made contact, which was a bit naff. 

There were some pretty good gameplay elements, such as the ability to charge punches with fire, ice or wind. The wind power up is actually only received in the last level, and it makes for some interesting sections that I feel could have come in much earlier and perhaps been built upon. But never mind. 

I didn't play this one to achievement hunt, and it's a good job I didn't because some achievements that should have been unlocked naturally (unmissable ones), actually didn't. That's a bit annoying because one particular one was 100g! 

This game is decent enough if you want something that requires very little thought of effort. It's a nice wind down, relaxing type game but it got to the point where I was finding myself a bit bored by the end as the difficulty didn't ramp up at all from start to end, and it all became a little bit tedious. 

Onto the next! (When I decide what that will be :p).

Edited by Aneres11
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Aneres11 I used to love playing games like that. I played a bunch of them (things like Up, Cars, Shrek, Megamind) back during my achievement hunting days and there were always nice games to chill out to. I got the same feeling when playing the Lego games before they became open world grinds.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Following a pretty fallow June I managed to play a few more games in July, starting out with one that has been on my backlog for a very long time Papers, Please on Mac. It's a game that doesn't really require much of an introduction, an indie phenomenon from 2014 (that's just been ported to phones) I had been meaning to pick it up for ages before I finally bought it on Steam several years ago but for whatever reason it took until 2022 for me to finally get around to playing it. Playing as a border guard in Arstotzka, an analogue of an authoritarian Soviet state, you're tasked with approving or denying visitor's visas as they try to cross into the country. It is quite simple at first, checking whether their appearance matches the photo in their passport, making sure their documents aren't expired, but as the story progresses and tensions heighten between Arstotzka and neighbouring states additional layers of bureaucracy are thrown into the mix, making it easier to slip up and miss errors in travellers documentation. There are lots of moral decisions to be made too, pay is low and living conditions are poor so your family is often on the verge of starvation or serious illness, making it tempting take bribes from otherwise ineligible traveller's to let them pass, or to be even more heavy handed, detaining people for minor infringements to earn small bonuses. The game features multiple story threads, your decisions adding up and leading to one of 20 endings so there is plenty to see, I managed to get 5 or 6 of the endings but mainly my goal was to make it to the final day so once I did that I felt satisfied enough to put the game down. It's definitely an impressive game, I love the presentation for the most part (although it can make certain things a little difficult to discern) and the way the complexity ratchets up as the story progresses is genuinely stressful, there are so many rules and regulations to follow that it becomes quite easy to slip up and make a mistake. As a minor aside, its the first game I've played on my Macbook in a while and I had forgotten how hot it runs, I had assumed that given the relatively simple 2D presentation of Papers, Please that things wouldn't be so bad but even after a few minutes the bottom case was toasty and the fans were blowing hard, chewing through the battery like it was toilet paper. In terms of the game though I definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn't got around to playing it yet, I'm not sure how the new mobile port plays but its going to be even more accessible than ever.

I had been eyeing up getting a retro handheld for a while so for my birthday I treated myself to a Retroid Pocket 2+, setting it up was a bit of a hassle initially but once I had got things working the way I wanted I installed a few games and took the opportunity to play through Contra on the NES. I've played through a fair few NES classics over the past few years through the NES Online app on Switch but a glaring omission from that library is the appearance of any Contra games and, not being au fait with run & gun games, I didn't feel like forking out for the anniversary collection so playing it on the Retroid Pocket seemed like a perfect way to dip my toe into the franchise. I had hoped I was going to be able to avoid using save states but it immediately became pretty clear that I wasn't going to be good enough to do that - even the first level is pretty unforgiving, constant waves of enemies spawning in, bullets flying all over the screen, it was a definite baptism of fire. That issue was exacerbated by being so unfamiliar with the controls and movement options, coming from playing the early Castlevania's I had been conditioned to expect all NES games to feature similarly slow and unresponsive movement but, similarly to Ninja Gaiden, Contra is much more fluid in the way it controls so as I progressed through the levels I definitely got better at ducking and dodging enemy fire. I still wasn't skilful enough to warrant avoiding save states or the rewind feature but I did feel a greater sense of accomplishment than I had expected, and I enjoyed my time with the game enough that I am keen to check out other entires in the franchise, hopefully growing in confidence and ability as I go on like I did with Castelvania. 

I was browsing through the eShop a while back and spotted Fatum Betula in the sales, the PS1 style visuals really catching my eye, so I decided to give it a go. It's a very short game, it only took me a little over an hour to get every ending, and it wasn't as much of a horror game as I expected it to be, but it was really interesting nonetheless. Besides the retro visuals the writing was what impressed me most, funny and poetic in equal measure, building on a simple premise in unexpected ways and despite the quite confined environments there were plenty of secrets to discover. Definitely a game worth checking out for anyone who enjoys walking simulators.

Next I decided to play the NES version of Super C on my Retroid Pocket, and I definitely seemed to have a slightly easier time of things than I did with the first Contra. It's more of the same in terms of gameplay but the visuals lean even harder into the H.R. Giger influence with some bosses that looked like they could be ripped straight from an Alien game. Don't really have much more to say, I still had to rely on save states and rewind but I did feel like I was able to understand the timings of the enemies more than I did during my play through with the first game. I'm interested to see how the pattern of the gameplay changed during the 16-bit generation so I doubt it'll be too long before I try Contra III or Hard Corps.

After playing through a few short games in succession I got stuck into something more substantial by played Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on Switch. It definitely feels like huge step up from its predecessor, where GTA III was more of a proof of concept Vice City is much more polished, vehicle physics aren't as floaty which makes driving more enjoyable right off the bat and the introduction of moped and motorbikes offers more variety in navigating the world. The design of the city itself is one of the most notable improvements over GTA III, it is much easier to navigate and feels like more of an actual place this time around, the environment feels denser and the whole map opens up to the player much sooner to boot. In terms of story there is a lot more going on in Vice City compared to the first PS2 entry, fleshing out its characters and creating a more impactful and interesting narrative, helped by the quite frankly ridiculous voice cast (Ray Liotta, William Fichtner, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Luis Guzman and bizarrely Danny Dyer) Rockstar clearly flexing the huge step up in terms of budget. There are still plenty of issues, some down to a bit of a shoddy port, others down to poor game design (the map continues to be pretty useless, making it hard to find anything that isn't indicated by an icon) but overall I had a much better time with it. I think it'll be a while before I get around to playing San Andreas but I'm looking forward to finally experiencing it, I know that the consensus is it's the best of the PS2 trilogy but for whatever reason I never touched it back in the day. 

After closing out July with Vice City I decided to fit in another quick NES game before sinking my teeth into Xenoblade Chronicles 3, a game I remember fondly from my childhood, Isolated Warrior. In a similar vein to Contra, Isolated Warrior is a run & gun / bullet hell shooter but it adopts more of a top down, isometric viewpoint. I have no idea what attracted me to the game back when I was a kid, the boxart isn't exactly appealing to young children, but whatever the reason for owning it I remember playing it quite vividly, even though I could never even make it past the first level (although thanks to the Game Genie I was able to get some idea of what the subsequent levels were like). Firing it up again armed with save states and rewinds I was able to finally make it to the end and see all the game has to offer and all in all it's a pretty solid NES run & gun, there are some impressive visuals for the hardware (released in 1991 it did come quite late in the NES life cycle) but my main takeaway from it is the same as back in the day - the absurdly high difficulty. Even with all the benefits of emulation the final boss was still a real slog to get through, there was no respite at all, constant waves of projectiles that I would have no hope of avoiding if I were playing the game on real hardware. Still, I'm glad I've finally played through it, putting my mind at rest after all these years of wondering where Max Maverick's adventure went. 

Currently getting acquainted with Xenoblade Chronicles 3, things are just starting to click with that so hopefully I'll be able to provide a full report by the time September rolls around, perhaps allowing me to squeeze in another couple of retro titles before the end of the month.

Edited by killthenet
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×