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What game are you currently playing?

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On 10/29/2019 at 1:09 AM, Zaysho said:

As I was playing UltraMoon earlier in the year, I just felt a sense of burnout even trying to get through the game. I didn't care about doing things that I spent hours in Sun doing (in which I logged over 300 hours), I regretted my starter choice but didn't want to lose my Dusk Lycanroc (because haha timed event--fuck off, Pokémon Company), even when I was trying to balance my usage of the Exp. Share I was overleveled and steamrolling anything that wasn't a Totem Pokémon. Trainers all have one or two Pokémon and are too numerous that I stopped caring; I did all this shit in the previous game and ran through the same exact beats.

Figured I'd update this because I decided to force myself to pick the game back up. Around when I wrote my thoughts on playing the Platinum fan hack, I had left off at the beginning of the Poni Island trial, so I know I didn't have much left of the game until I eventually faced the Elite Four. By that point, finishing the game just felt like an obligation. UltraMoon only underscored issues that I acknowledge were also present in the original 2016 versions of Sun and Moon, but issues that I was willing to ignore or forgive because I was actually having fun the first time around and built a team I really loved using.

Without railing on about what I didn't like about Gen VII as a single-player experience (which is primarily how I experience Pokémon), I'll just say it was too much of a slog and not at all fun the way I tried playing the game: I usually have a few restrictions in place with newer games these days, and among them is using newer Pokémon I hadn't before for the story. This can have mixed results, as I often do find Pokémon I gain a new appreciation for by doing this (my Sun team had a lot of new-to-me mons but they were all so much fun to use), but I was so overwhelmed by the available choices in UM and had trouble actually composing a team I was satisfied with. I decided to toss this restriction aside and from there I got ideas on how to actually form a team I would like, what types and looking at what was available, and even went to start breeding a few new additions to swap out with my currently used Pokémon. When I realized I could farm BP early with the new Mantine Surfing and get move tutor moves before even the postgame I started working toward that too. It's all definitely very extra and not the most optimal way of playing a Pokémon game's story, but I did all this before. If I'm going to steamroll through most of the game anyway, I might as well have some fun with the tools the game provides instead of dreading playing it and constantly falling asleep.

UltraMoon is still, overall, a pretty average if underwhelming experience as far as Pokémon games go, but it feels so much better when you finally have a team you like and everything clicks. RPGs are about player choice, so find what you like, but don't be afraid to experiment either; I did find some keepers I hadn't thought of before, and they're being mixed in with more familiar Pokémon to make a team I'm much more satisfied with. It's just not worth forcing yourself to play them a certain way because you need to keep some imaginary score of how you play that no one cares about.

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Pokemon Sword

I did finish this game during the first weekend of release but I'm still playing it, due to Max Raids and trying to complete the Pokedex on top of another playthrough of it. To give my quick thoughts about it. The story is ok, your typical Pokemon fare. I do feel while there's a lot of character development and great characters I do feel like some characters are underutilized or just flat out there compared to Hop, Leon, and Sonia. The gameplay isn't too bad either, its what you'd expect from a Pokemon game. They did a good number of balance changes between the available Pokemon to moves and abilities. I will say I don't like what they did with TMs and made them mostly gimmicky stuff; You have no idea how underwhelming it was to receive the rather weak Whirlpool (which also was a HM in Gen 2) from the Water gym leader instead of something decent like Bubblebeam or Water Pulse. They also locked the better moves in something called TRs or Technical Records which act like TMs prior to Gen 5, ergo one time use, which kind of sucks. Thankfully it isn't too bad when you can get multiples of a move at least and they usually drop from Max Raid Battles but I still have that "too awesome to use" mentality, mostly because I want to make sure I'm slapping it onto something I'm gonna use meta wise. And finally Dynamax is an OK gimmick; It doesn't break anything but its nice to know that everyone can use it at least. I do wanna see where this meta would go with the smaller amount of Pokemon. I've been hearing Corviknight, Darmartian, and Dracovish are making waves which I find interesting.

Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout

Out of all the games on sale I went for the game that wasn't on sale. I just really wanted to play a new Atelier game is all. For those who don't know about the Atelier series, think of the Persona series meets idk Harvest Moon or Minecraft in a sense. You play as a cute girl who's trying to make it big in her world through alchemy. Its a JRPG with a heavy focus on a crafting system for both battles and taking requests for the local townsfolk but you have to time manage because nearly every action you do takes up time and you usually have a strict time limit to accomplish the story of the game much like Persona. Failing to do so either gives you a game over or a bad ending. The battle part of the game is pretty simple as well since you have either attacks, skills, or items to use but there isn't too much of a focus on weaknesses like in Pokemon or Persona so you can do fine as long as you keep up with grinding and crafting.

Now that established that what about Ryza? Well it does things differently. For one the strict time limit I mentioned is gone so you're more free to do what you want without having to worry about a cosmic deadline of any sort so go crazy with the crafting. Crafting itself has been revamped a bit, giving you a grid instead of a list of what you can go through which leaves you more customization options available to you. And the last big gameplay change is that the combat is now in real time instead of being turn based so you have to think on your feet. I do like how battle is controlled by a button press at least but it does have somewhat of a Persona 3 problem where your allies just do whatever. You can control them but you can only control 1 at a time, meaning you have to make even faster decisions. One thing I did noticed too is that the story is also heavily different from other Atelier games where instead of one big goal on a time limit, it focuses more on individual character goals. Ryza wants to adventure more and learn alchemy, Lent wants to train to be strong and reach this tower he couldn't before, and Tao wants to translate his book. Its smaller scope from previous games but I think that's what makes it personal and it might be leading up to something bigger. I love how its trying to experiment more with the Atelier formula and trying more things; that's the kind of ambition I like to see. I've barely scratched the surface though and I'm sure there's a lot more to this game but I will say this is looking to be one of the most beautiful games out there and I love its chilled attitude. Its a nice change of pace for me to say the least and I really appreciate it. 

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Finally got some time to play games recently and currently have Attack on Titan 2 installing. Still haven't played Crash Nitro Fueled or finished Batman The Enemy Within, though.

Meant to actually play the game, but got hit with an update. Fml

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Lately I've been playing through The Legend of Dark Witch games and I've really been enjoying this series. And, of course, I have my ongoing quest of revisiting the old Sonic games (I've last finished Sonic's route in SA1DX)

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Halo Reach Pc. It's been a blast playing this even though I felt more hyped playing it on my X360 back in 2010. I think the progression system sucks badly and I've experienced quite few framerate drops in bigger maps (8v8). I will keep playing this until Combat Evolved is out and then shift on that.

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Pokémon Sword (Switch) - See here.

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (Switch) - Link's Awakening (DX) was the first game I ever owned, and I was always somewhat against the idea of remaking it.  I felt that, released from its technological limitations, it would lose some of its abstraction, the dreamy washed-out colours of the GameBoy Color's screen...  And when this remake was announced, I was among those not a fan of the graphical style; the bobble-head toy and diorama look I felt really had very little to do with the original game and had missed the point in adapting the original graphisc too literally.  (It would work perfectly for Minish Cap, by contrast.)  However, I was nonetheless interested in seeing the spectacle - taking a nostalgic tour around the island still burned into my memory, reimagined as a cute little diorama.  And so here we are.  Happily, the advantage of an astonishingly literal remake of Link's Awakening is that the excellence of the original shines through; in the puzzleblock arrangement of world and dungeon, in the perfectly-tuned rhythm of unlock and exploration, in the sparsely evocative and bracingly unpolished dialogue (barely tweaked!).  The expansions are by and large in the right place; additional Heart Pieces and Secret Seashells are unnecessary but very welcome simply as more things to find in this world, while the obvious QOL improvements bring out the best of the game rather than diminishing its artistry.  It's a beautiful game, and I enjoyed immensely playing anew a game I've replayed many times.

I do have some complaints.  I strongly dislike how they've executed the Roc's Feather; it feels awkward, heavy, laggy, quite in contrast to the springy and flexible original, and its advanced functionality is more limited in consequence.  I also don't care for what they've done with the map system; it now reveals itself by area, meaning that large parts of the endgame are revealed to you hours ahead of time, in contrast to the limited but elegant original which revealed itself per screen, thus perfectly tracking your progress through the game and immediately illustrating exactly where you had been or not been.  I have a few quibbles with how some of the original music tracks have been adapted, and it seemed to me that the music in dungeons was weirdly quiet compared to the rest of the game.  And then, alas, there are the Chamber Dungeons; a bit of a turgid experience in practice, with such cluttered functionality and choking limitations that it honestly comes across more as a not particularly enjoyable puzzle game.  What's bizarre is that Nintendo really seems to have gone all in on the things, with the regrettable result that most of the game's ultimate rewards are single Chamber Stones, a number of which demand phenomenally grindy prices at the shop.  It's a real misstep; a much better set of ultimate rewards would've been to break up Dampé's last full extra heart into the proper four pieces and use those as your final rewards instead.

Overall verdict: I forgive it its existence.  Link's Awakening was a great game, and still is.  The question then becomes, of course: What next?  The obvious route is to remake Oracle of Ages/Seasons in the same style (as a double-pack or bust), and that would be a fantastic experience... but I can't help but feeling the team's time might be better spent on an entirely new experience in this style, something we've never seen before and in which they would be unhindered by past decisions entirely.  I would be happy to see a third iteration of the Oracles, or a reprise of Minish Cap that actually embraces its title mechanic.  We're getting the Oracles, of course, if anything; but 2D-perspective Zelda is too good to waste on remakes.  I'd like to see this style used on a game I haven't played before.

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Been playing Dragon Quest XI (Switch version) on and off for the last couple months. As of this writing, I'm 45 hours in and I've arrived at Sniflheim. Some might say I'm playing a little slowly, but I don't know. It's a joy to play, oozing with charm from various locales, the characters and the writing (and by extension, its localization). It feels like a meaningful upgrade to a classic series in all the right ways without losing what makes it great. Little random bit, I named my character "Zen." I was a bit disappointed he doesn't seem to have a name anywhere else that isn't just "Eleven" (most DQ heroes are like this), so I thought it fitting to pay tribute to Dragon Quest V, and by extension the Zenithian trilogy, since it's one of my favorites.

Some things like monsters in the overworld aren't new (either for RPGs or Dragon Quest in particular--the 3DS remakes of VII and VIII included that), but given the nature of encounters in past Dragon Quest games (I loved V but good lord was it tiring because of the encounters), it's especially appreciated. I've never felt more compelled to explore in this series as much as I have here. It even makes me want to get into battles a little more frequently because I can approach them how I want. And when I get into battles, I can hasten the speed of them (a feature, as I understand, is unique to the Switch version) to get through them quicker. Add that and the classic tactics command (where you assign all your characters one command and let the AI take over) you can breeze through many battles and grind up easily. In addition, your horse (and a few other mounts) can just run over many monsters in the overworld, netting you some experience and a good laugh every time. I never feel like I'm wasting my time.

Though I can't tell if I've been overleveling my party or if the game is generally a bit easier than previous games.

And I just adore the writing of this game, the characters are all fun and lovable. Some of the early emotional hooks like the hero meeting his adoptive grandfather in the past or Rab's backstory are some of my favorite moments so far, and they're the kind of scenes that will stick with me for a while, and they're not even the most intense moments so far. Hunting for the orbs, exploring the world and seeing all the individual problems townsfolk go through are never boring. Yuji Horii knows how to get you invested in his world.

Only things I can really say so far is that I wish the exploration was opened up a bit to allow me to go anywhere. Sometimes I think I can just go all Xenoblade in this game dashing and running around but the times I stop and hit a boundary in the scenery feel arbitrary. This isn't too big of a deal, admittedly, but being able to cross a lake or jump down from anywhere would be nice to have. I also don't particularly like the music. I've never been big on the music of DQ in general, but I have an appreciation for it (though not the composer) and how it often fits the series' imagery and settings so well. Here it feels underdeveloped and fairly annoying to listen to, in particular the overworld and town themes. I can, mercifully, swap out the DQXI overworld theme for the DQVIII one (the demo was about all I could stand for that particular track, so it changed the second my copy arrived in the mail) but the other plays in nearly every town (there's a been a few times it hasn't so far in my playthrough) and it gets old. The compositions are short and repetitive, feeling like they belong to an older game on older hardware (I have heard much of the music is based on older games' music but I don't think that's the issue for me). While older DQ games might have an issue with same-y music, they typically sound like they have better compositions so the music here is a letdown. I will say that I enjoy most of the battle music, and even the main one has a fun cheery vibe to it that I like, and I'm often not in battles long enough for it to grate on me. The scene music is also nice and helps sell the mood or action.

I can't say either of those gripes ultimately impede my ability to play or enjoy the game, though. The rest of package is so strong, and even when I take breaks to play or do something else, I'm always eager to jump back in and continue the story. That alone is worth playing for, and it's often what I enjoy playing this series for. V is probably one of my favorites of the few I played, and it's main plot sticks with me even when it's been a few years since I've played it, and I had fallen just short of finishing it (mostly life stuff getting in the way before it fell off to the side because of my interests shifting elsewhere). Who knows, maybe XI will be the first DQ game I finish and I'll feel compelled to go back to the earlier ones!

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Having finished Link's Awakening, I'm on to Dragon Quest Builders 2 and Luigi's Mansion 3 on the Switch, Elder Scrolls Online and No Man's Sky (still) on the PS4.  DQ2 has a lot more in it than the first one, which I really enjoyed, to the point I managed to totally forget what I was supposed to be doing when I returned to the game.  LM3 I got a delayed start on, because I had to go back and finish LM2:Dark Moon.  (Typical me - I'd gotten to the last set of levels, and stopped one level before the Final Boss fight

Had a lot of fun over Christmas playing LM 3 with my niece (12), who played Gooigi.  Gave her Link's Awakening and my brother Super Mario Odyssey for Christmas, both by specific request, after they finished Breath of the Wild together.  I gave them the Switch and BotW last summer.

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I've been running through The Walking Dead, as in all of the seasons, since I got the Definitive Edition for Christmas. I've played Seasons 1 & 2, as well as a New Frontier beforehand, but never jumped on Michonne or The Final Season. I pretty much fell out of the series after the utterly crappy final two episodes of Season 2, and while I got New Frontier since it was on sale, it was just meh. Javi was alright as a new character, but a lot of the new supporting cast blew, and having all of my endings and choices from Season 2 lazily streamlined into bad endings was infuriating.

So the context is I couldn't be bothered with Michonne, since I saw it as a cash-grab along with a New Frontier, and I didn't jump on The Final Season for a number of reasons, including I thought the seasons were steadily going downhill, Telltale had been lazily churning out their games for the last while, and both Minecraft SM, and TWD were the core of the cash-grabbing, TWD being churned out with lazier episodes, rushed story-telling, shorter runtimes, and so on.

So I can say with certainty, that I'm sad it turned out this way. Because running through the entire series in order, with it now being done has been giving me some perspective on it. I'm still working my way through the Final Season, having only gotten through Episode 1 so far, but the thoughts are this. 

Season 1 - Still fantastic. It's as absolutely heartbreaking as it was back when it released in 2012. The story starts getting a bit depressing by Episode 4, but Episode 5's story drags it back from depressing, to heartbreaking, in a good way.

Season 2 - Dropped the utter ball. I don't know how Telltale messed this one up so badly, especially with so much potential. Episodes 1 and 2 were fine enough as is. Episode 1 has a really slow start, but gets going when Clem has to sneak into the house to get supplies to patch herself up. Episode 2 was good throughout, Episode 3 kind of kills the momentum, and Episodes 4 and 5 are absolute garbage fires. Lazy deaths, forced illusion of choice, little to no exploration, you're pigeon holed into everything. The characters become all infuriating to watch because they get hit with the absolute dumb ball.

The reason why is because Episodes 4 and 5 were re-written at the last possible moment, forcing a ton of changes to occur. Not all of the info is known, although there is some rumours floating around that Clem would've experienced something horrific in Episode 5, and Kenny and Luke were originally the ones to fight, which would've made far more sense than Kenny and Jane. Luke is pretty much the only likeable character in the whole season, and he ends up killed lazily part way through Episode 5. You can find some of the info here:

Anyways, moving on...

A New Frontier: Weak as hell. Javi was a decent new protagonist, but his cast of supporting characters are just not good. I could go into detail, but I think it's been well documented why this wasn't good. It was released at the height of TTG getting desperate to feed off their success with the original game, so they announced both this and Michonne at the same time, and what resulted was episodes being pitifully short (around 90 minutes each), choices not mattering much at all (the only one that really does matter is Conrad surviving), Clem's personality being totally different from what it was before, and Season 2's choices becoming meaningless because TTG ruined all endings to streamline Clem for this game. It's got some decent moments, but it's pretty bad all around. Michonne falls into a lot of the same trappings as well. Short story, unsympathetic, and unlikeable characters, some confusing moments, and all hindered by the short length of the episodes.

But moving onto the bright spot, The Final Season feels like a true return to form so far, and it's a shame it happened when it was just too late to save Telltale after so many rushed, repetitive games. The gameplay has been changed into a proper third-person over the shoulder perspective, you're in control of Clem at all times now, so QTEs feel a lot less intrusive, the choices feel like they have weight, the new camera perspective and style allows for far scarier moments (There's one moment in Episode 1 that takes advantage of it to an insane degree because your viewpoint is now so limited, it reminded me of the Resi 2 remake), and the relationship between AJ and Clem fill in a gap that's been missing since Season 1. I'm genuinely hoping the entire season keeps the momentum going. 

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On 1/8/2020 at 1:51 PM, Ryannumber1gamer said:

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Season 2 - Dropped the utter ball. I don't know how Telltale messed this one up so badly, especially with so much potential. Episodes 1 and 2 were fine enough as is. Episode 1 has a really slow start, but gets going when Clem has to sneak into the house to get supplies to patch herself up. Episode 2 was good throughout, Episode 3 kind of kills the momentum, and Episodes 4 and 5 are absolute garbage fires. Lazy deaths, forced illusion of choice, little to no exploration, you're pigeon holed into everything. The characters become all infuriating to watch because they get hit with the absolute dumb ball.

The reason why is because Episodes 4 and 5 were re-written at the last possible moment, forcing a ton of changes to occur. Not all of the info is known, although there is some rumours floating around that Clem would've experienced something horrific in Episode 5, and Kenny and Luke were originally the ones to fight, which would've made far more sense than Kenny and Jane. Luke is pretty much the only likeable character in the whole season, and he ends up killed lazily part way through Episode 5. You can find some of the info here:

 

Actually, it was rewritten fairly early into development, featured completely new writers for episode four, and had some executive issues.

The original outline and script for episode one was done by Season 1 head Sean Vanaman, who recommended Nick Breckon in his stead so he could leave. The story was then gradually tweaked from there, with Kenny going from Carver's role to a separate character and Jane getting added in with an increasingly important role. 

Both The Final Season and especially A New Frontier went through at least one considerable overhaul as well, which can be spotted in basic promo materials released before the games themselves. 

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Spyro Reignited Trilogy (Nintendo Switch)

100%-ed Spyro 2 and 117%-ed Spyro 3 respectively. Slowly finishing up with Spyro 1, not a huge fan of how speedways are handled in this game.

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Untitled Goose Game (Switch) - What a delightful game; everything I was hoping it would be and more.  Who knew that what we all needed was a game that celebrates the joy of a thoroughly unanthropomorphised, uncharacterised wild animal wreaking havoc in a sleepy English village?  This game is sometimes characterised as a stealth game; but that's not really on the mark, as there's much you need to do quite, quite openly; but perhaps it's there in the way, over time, you figure out the gameplay loop: In each area, you learn how the townsfolk behave and react, and manipulate them accordingly.  The limited goals you are given range from the anarchic to the artistic to the quietly purposeful; a series of postgame objectives help point the way to squeezing every last morsel of interaction out of this intricate automoton.  I played it in company - this seems to be the general recommendation; and with good reason, for this is a game which sometimes requires creative thought, and at other times merely demands an audience for its comedy.  A short game, and it could easily be longer - but it accomplishes what it sets out to do.

Luigi's Mansion 3 (Switch) - Is this truly a game?  At times, it felt more like I was watching an excellent animated movie (and indeed I hope the team responsible for the Mario movie are taking notes).  It's impossible to play this game without being wowed by its sense of atmosphere - and humour, for the genius in its choice of a cowardly protagonist who would never say boo to a goose is that he is so, so much more expressive than a tedious stoic hero.  I increasingly feel it has a lot in common with Untitled Goose Game, actually; not just the inherent comedy of the enterprise, but the fact that much of the moment-to-moment joy comes from wreaking havoc on the heavily-destructible terrain, even before a single ghost comes in sight.  With that said, it does have its drawbacks.  The controls take considerable getting used to and almost demand a second right thumb in order to trigger every interaction you'll need in a moment; and the aiming for the occasional firing segments is needlessly finicky, and would have benefited from a far stronger auto-aim to home in on the actually quite limited set of viable targets.  Further, while the sense of place in each themed floor of the hotel in which this game takes place is marvellous and quite distinct, one often comes away with a sense that more could have been done, that the depths have not been fully plumbed; that the game is rattling through more locations than it really has development time for.  I also experienced a crash very early on, directly after a cutscene in which Luigi plummets down a laundry shaft; but the game's generous autosaving saved me from having to redo much - though I also don't understand why the game couldn't include a true save-and-quit, rather than requiring you to walk around until you find a door to go through for the autosave to kick in.  But overall - a tremendously enjoyable experience, the sort of game I wished (after Dark Moon) the 3DS had more of, and which I'm now happy to have greater access to on the Switch.

Etrian Odyssey Nexus (3DS) - I was right to position this as my between-games game.  After well over a hundred hours, spread over, I think, well over a year, I'm finally ready to set this down and deliver my closing thoughts.  I haven't truly beaten it - there remains one extra super-final boss who I just can't quite best and don't think I have the team for, and while I've done a lot better against it than I have on any equivalent extra super-final boss in previous Etrian Odyssey game, I just can't see it being worth the time, even if it probably is just about possible for me.  But I've seen enough, overall.  Nexus isn't a true mainline Etrian Odyssey; rather, it's a compilation title meant to celebrate the end of its time on DS systems, though despite this it still manages to have a better plot and character designs than Etrian Odyssey V - not great, but sufficient to retain interest.  The amount of content packed in, thanks to undisguised asset reuse, is almost excessive, and the total number of floors in this game clocks in at I think literally double that of a regular EO game, with only two out of sixty floor layouts wholly recycled.

The choice of which assets to reuse is sometimes, unfortunately, on something of a Sonic Generations level; there is a preponderance of first Strata, and so quite a bit of the game can feel quite samey.  This isn't helped by the game's six new Strata all using more or less the same tileset and gimmicks, which gets pretty rough towards the end when the last three dungeons are all of this type.  But the selection of available classes is better-chosen, with a reliance on classes which haven't appeared in a long time and less emphasis (as overall) on the most recent game, and the class bias and depth of character-building is as deep and sophisticated as ever; I used a Ronin/Hero/Pugilist, Sovereign/Arcanist party, with an emphasis on representing as many games in the series as possible and classes I hadn't used before, and this actually saw me through quite well - even on the hardest difficult, which I'd not attempted in the previous games.  It's only a shame that the length of the game causes the magic and novelty to be severely diminished towards the end.  What's really unfortunate, though, is that the game peaks early; the first two full dungeons, recycled from EO4 and EO1 respectively, feature some pretty massive twists on the traditional Etrian formula that really shake up the experience and add an assurance of unpredictability... but then no other dungeon (out of fourteen total!) tries anything similar again.  It's hard not to put this down to a somewhat rushed development, which wouldn't be surprising; there's a convincing argument that this game started out as an Etrian Odyssey 3 Untold, and while I enjoyed this game a lot, EO3U would probably have been a better plan.  But as a late 3DS game, I appreciate that perhaps it wasn't worth the risk, though I think the developers did nonetheless set out to give the buyer plenty of bang for their buck.

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I started a new game in Ultra Moon, I wanted to give it another chance, but my gosh do these games take so fricking long to get past the beginning. I have no idea how I put 100hrs to Sun. I simply can't stand the pacing anymore and had to give up. I don't have the problem even with the slower paced Pokemon games, they're still good, cutscenes are very minimal to none and they actually let ME play the game. Other than that, I've been playing some older Halos here and there. Waiting for CE Anniversary for PC. 

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Over the past couple months, I've been playing:

A Hat in Time (Nintendo Switch) - Love it, love it, LOVE IT! This game easily ranks as one of my absolute favourite platformers ever; from its lovable and quirky cast of characters, to the wonderful level design, everything about this game just oozes charm.

The only issue I've had with it so far is a couple times where the game crashed on me, but otherwise it's been a great experience!

Gravity Rush 2 (PS4) - I'd seen this game (and the first Gravity Rush) being recommended by some friends for quite a while, but I never got around to actually picking them up. Eventually I'd watched a playthrough of the first game, and the second was gifted to me for Christmas last year.

I haven't gotten too far into it yet (only finished the DLC prequel and left the first overworld) but it's been quite a blast to play! The gravity manipulation gimmick took a bit for me to get used to, but it's a lot of fun once you've got it down.

I'll need to get back to this one soon.

Star Wars Battlefront II (PS4) - So, this was a game I never expected to pick up, namely due to its disastrous launch and frankly disgusting microtransaction/lootbox system. However, after the 'Celebration Edition' was released (and the game was on sale for a HUGE discount) my brother decided to purchase it, since we were looking for a new multiplayer game to play that wasn't CTR.

And honestly... I enjoy it. It's a pretty good shooter to play every now and then. Not a big fan of the single-player content, though. With that said...

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4) - ...THIS has been a lot of fun to play through! The story's okay, nothing to write home about, but the gameplay is very engaging. Learning when to strike the opponent, or when to dodge or parry, has kept me coming back to this game over the past few days, no matter how many times I keep dying.

I've just finished the main story, so it's just cleanup left to do. But I really do hope to see more Star Wars games like this in the future.

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Shovel Knight: King of Cards (3DS) - I've thoroughly enjoyed every incarnation of Shovel Knight, each of its campaigns so far, and the fourth and last, the third playable boss knight, might just be the most ambitious yet.  It doesn't reinvent the whole game as dramatically as Spectre Knight's campaign does; but Spectre Knight's campaign was relatively slim, and King Knight uses that as a base to create an explosion of content.  Quite aside from the fun of experimenting with another wacky new moveset, the whole game structure has been reinvented here to focus on an interconnected world map of short levels inspired by Super Mario World, with more treasure stages, relic demos, and wandering bosses than ever before.  The plot, too, essentially has nothing to do with the main storyline until the approach of the denouement, and instead is an essentially new storyline with bombast and wackiness and a surprisingly but inevitably bitter end - all wrapped around a card minigame, a very physical bash-about that reminds me more of a board game, and which has a huge amount of flexibility in play and optional content.  It will bother the completionists that there's an awful lot of card game to play if you feel like you have to (though you really don't); and I have to admit that I have serious qualms about the game's loss penalty, whereby the opponent will permanently remove one of your cards - meaning that failure can quickly become compounded by repeated losses gradually wearing down your resources.  But that's an experience I would have faced less had I done more to obey the directions set out for me by the game itself, and others will have had different experiences.  The New Game+ modifications are similarly fierce, and will challenge your pride and desire to hold onto your bags of cash; it's not quite as interesting as Spectre Knight's New Game+, but it is meant to be a new and harder game mode, so again, I accept it.  And overall, I had a fantastic time with this, what will probably be the last game I'll ever play on my 3DS; and what a send-off, for both the console and Shovel Knight; a celebration of platforming and less powerful consoles.  I'll look forward to what's next.

Shovel Knight Showdown (Switch) - Oh, this is what's next.  Shovel Knight Showdown!  The original proposal, during Shovel Knight's Kickstarter, was for a simple four-player battle mode featuring the game's knight bosses; but this has since expanded, like just about everything Shovel Knight, into a separate title with a startling amount of content.  To be honest, I'm not a fighting game player, but fortunately even the single-player is pretty robust, with every single character having a short story mode with a unique rival, helping to characterise those who didn't get as much airtime in the campaigns to date - and, even more interestingly, giving you the chance to play as all these strange characters with unique movesets.  To a certain extent, their intricacy has been scaled back to allow a certain degree of accessibility and cross-character skill, but it still feels great to be playing as all these characters who you could previously only fight against.  There are also stacks of unlockables, accessible both through specific feats or through time spent playing, and while some can be grindy then they're all very doable even if you only have CPUs to face off with (...as I did).  So there's a real celebratory sense of "everyone is here!" that makes this the perfect send-off for the Kickstarter phase of Shovel Knight - just in time for a new Yacht Club Games Presents this Wednesday to show off their Cyber Shadow and Shovel Knight Dig collaborations, and also tell us a little more about what's next.  Clearly I'll be playing their games for some time yet.

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I've gotten the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection recently, and I've been having fun with it. I'm not a fan of more than half of the games on the compilation, but Alpha 2 and 3 as well as the Street Fighter III series made it worth the price of admission. I just wish they didn't used the base arcade releases, and instead used the superior console versions of some of these games like Alpha 3 Max and Alpha 2 Gold. Online's super dead too (and it was stupid that only 4 of the twelve games even had the feature in the first place), but I usually only play online with a good friend on Discord, so it's whatever. Overall, could have been better, but for the price I got it at (which was 15$, btw), it's fine and it's great to have finally been able to give Third Strike a shot.

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Just finished Undertale. Pacifist run. The weird art style turned me off at first, but considering how insanely popular it is, I had to give it a shot, and I'm glad I did. The game is so charming, so witty, so laugh-out-loud funny, so heart-rending, and the creative/hilarious ways you could talk/act your way out of virtually every fight in the game...I loved it.

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I've spent a lot of time on Super Mario Maker 2 recently. I've uploaded a few stages online and I'm pretty happy with how they're doing.

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I recently finished Wandersong ^^ Probably one of the most charming games I've ever played ^^ So much heart was put into every aspect of the game ^^ The protags way of handling situations got a little annoying at times but for the most part they're very endearing ^^ It seems there may be some post game stuff I can look out for but I like to take breaks after finishing main campaigns before handling that kind of stuff ^^

Going to go back to Celeste soon since I now have the physical edition ^^ Have it on steam already but I want to play it with a controller that's actually responsive. My 360 controller is not fit for a game that requires that much accuracy lol

 

 

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Thanks to me getting a new functioning PS4 controller i finally got to start inFamous: Second Son. It's an early title for the console and it shows in the form of being very gimmicky, using a lot the touchscreen of the controller and the sixaxis, not to mention that bizarre Paper Trail DLC sidequest that involved the player go and find clues on the Internet (thankfully it should have been patched since the gimmick never caught on). Weird.
Story is serviceble, Delsin isn't the most likeble of protagonists so far, but it does make sense in context for him to be like this so i'm willing to let it pass for now.
Something that i wasn't expecting though was the english dub (the game technically was fully localized in italian but the copy i got is probably american, so it's eng-only): it's technically fine, but it feels like the direction didn't gave the VAs room to experiment with their tones, because the main leads (Troy Baker, Travis Willingham and Laura Bailey) don't do any voice inflation or accents at all, giving an aura of staleness of sorts (not helped by the fact that the in-game graphics adopt the over-realistic style Sony is loving to use in recent years that manages to be different thanks to the color palette -and in this case some particle effects like smoke and neon-, a thing this particular franchise suffered since the first title, especially since the comic-book like drawn cutscenes present a much more interesting art style they could have gone with). It's especially weird for Troy since the guy can do variations but he's using his normal tone for a character that's supposed to be a teenager, barely 20 at best, so not really fitting. And that's not counting the potential elephant in the room that at least two native american characters are being voiced by white people, but for voice acting it's something that i personally normally don't mind, so at least for me that's not an issue here.

 

Again, it's a launch title for a new console generation and it shows, but it does manage to stand the test of time on a lot of aspects still. Not sure i'll replay it to get the other karma options when i'll finish it, not immediately at the very least.

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