Backlog Report – June 2022

Let’s get into it. A lot happened this month.

For those keeping track, I was on a roll for a while posting at least one blog post a week. This was due to the amount of games I had finished and me just writing down my fresh thoughts before I forgot them. While there are still plenty more of them that I need to write (include a bunch more just from this month), I need the time unscramble my thoughts and make them coherent as possible. For example, I have a post about Kirby and the Forgotten Land that I was ready to publish, but after rereading it, it felt unfocused. I had established a subject, but for some reason started to talk about a different one half way through. This is a problem when I have multiple topics to talk about, so I decided to rewrite the entire thing with the second (more interesting) topic in mind. This realization has made me observe my writing process a bit more and has led to some new writing strategies. This would be a good motivator to get more done, but June brought about some other headaches that I wasn’t prepared for.

Three people at my job resigned this month. I was close with two of them, so seeing them leave is bittersweet. With the scare of layoffs floating around campus, I’m glad they were able to find new jobs that move them upward in their fields. One of them was the only one I could talk to about video games around here, so now I’m back having no one to share in my hobby.

And if that wasn’t a big kick to the tibia, my boss announced that they were diagnosed with one of the worst news that your doctor could give you. What makes things stressful is that in the coming months we will be switching our ILS to a different company that will take effect in December. This means lots of training, ensuring our data is up-to-date and ready for migration, pulling everything that we’ve had for the past 20+ years and making sure that the switch goes off without any major hiccups. My boss may or may not be in the office around this time, so they are relying on me to take charge incase they are not around. I’m up for the task, but I won’t lie and say that it has already taken a toll on me with everything that has happened so far.

Ok. Had to get that out somewhere. Onto the best distraction from work that I could ask for. A warning first. My birthday was this month. With how things are going, Kat gave me her blessing to do the one thing that I restrain myself from doing. She told me to splurge. So splurge I did…


Finished Games This Month

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury

I believe I have come to the realization that I don’t find modern Mario games appealing. I wasn’t the biggest Mario fan to begin with, but the games I had on the SNES and the Galaxy games (surprisingly) were enjoyable experiences. While the music and visuals in 3D World are great, the gameplay frustrated me the most. I have bad depth perception. This is a reason why I avoid 3D platformers and hate when 3D action games include random platforming. 3D World feels fast; and when I’m pressured to do fast platforming action, I fail terribly. When trying to be precise with my landings, I would always be off by a hair and either get hit by an enemy or fall to my death. The moments when the world is shifts to a 2D perspective is worse since it retains the 3D space in the foreground. Instead of having a fun, whimsical time, I was clutching my controller hoping that my fuddled hand-eye coordination would work together. Good game, just not meant for me.

Super Mario 3D Land

Take all my issues with 3D World and throw them out the window. This was one of the best Mario games that I’ve played in a long time. Everything about this game just felt better than 3D World. Mario controlled just fine and I didn’t have many issues with the platforming challenges. This is one of the games where I enjoy playing with the 3D effect turned one since it works with the game and not just tied in gimmick. The only time I got frustrated in the game was during the final Bowser level where the game doesn’t give you a normal checkpoint halfway. I messed up during the final part and thought I had to redo the entire stage again, only to be greeted with a checkpoint at the beginning of the final confrontation again. I will have to do some research on the two games and try to really figure out what the main difference was. I wish I had this game sooner in my library. It would have possibly been in my top 3DS games.

Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII

After watching the Final Fantasy VII anniversary event, I came to the conclusion that I should really finish the original game… The other thought that I had was that I should finish the original Crisis Core since the remake/remastered/rebranded was announced. So I did that instead. I knew I was close to the end of the game where I last left off. I didn’t realize however that I was standing right outside the door to the final fight. Blame younger me. The last time I played Crisis Core was sometime during or right after college, so I had to remember how to play the game while fighting the final boss. It might have been easier if I took the time to do the missions, but I did it and got to see Zack go out like a badass. I’m looking forward to the remake now not only to refresh myself on the story, but to take advantage of skipping cutscenes since you can’t do that in the original. If I have to watch the cutscene before the final fight I’m going to have a crisis soon.


Added and Finished This Month

Mario Strikers: Battle League

Only play this game if you have friends you want to play with or a big fan of unregulated football. Mario Strikers: Battle League is not a bad game. It is a stale one if you don’t have people to play with. I’m not going to fault the game for a lack of content since the pervious titles didn’t have many modes either. Playing against high level CPU or random people online who know what they are doing will lead to some heated matches that will make you scream at your TV to simulate watching a real football match. I had some entertainment with it, but until I can get my brothers and friends to play along with me, there’s not much here for me.


Added This Month

Tales of Destiny 2 (JP)

I made the trip to visit one of my favorite game stores. Sometimes it is nice to visit in person since they will have items in stock, but not updated on their website. Imagine my reaction when I saw this in a display case. It was listed as unavailable on their site, but there it was just hanging out. It wasn’t a pricy game either only being around $35 complete. Now I just need a translation guide in order to play it…

Drakengard 3

Have you ever had a game that keeps popping up out of nowhere and taunts you to try it out? That’s my relationship so far with Drakengard 3. I have no idea what this game is about. I know it is connected to the Nier series, but that is all I know. Something was just bugging me to get it, so I gave in and welcomed it to the collection.

Planet Puzzle League

Pokémon Puzzle League is probably the only game where I get very competitive in. I don’t understand why Puzzle League games are not made as often as Tetris or Puyo Puyo games. Puzzle League is a great game that rewards fast thinking and reaction. It is my go to when claiming a puzzle game that you are good at. Anyway, I never knew a DS game was made, so I picked it up for cheap and showed it off to my brother (who is also very competitive at the game). He informed me that the game was made available on the 3DS shop and he already knew about it…

Kirby: Planet Robobot

After finishing Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I started to look at other Kirby games that I may have looked over. Planet Robobot was seen as an interesting shake up from the normal Kirby gameplay. Piloting mechs that can use Kirby’s copy ability does seem like an interesting concept, but for some reason I had no desire to pick it up. Now seemed like a good time (especially with rising 3DS prices) to check this adventure out.

Unlimited Saga

With the remaster of Romancing Saga: Minstrel Song coming out this winter, I no longer feel obligated to play the unforgiving PS2 version. With Square seemingly interested in remastering all of the SaGa games, it is only eventual that Unlimited Saga will get that same treatment. So to hasten that inevitability, I found a copy and added it to the collection. I will play it so that I can get an understanding why critics hated it, but knowing my luck the improved remaster is already being worked on (I hope…).

Pokémon White

The most expensive game I purchased this month (go figure). Pokémon Black & White would be my favorite generation of Pokémon if Game Freak never released HeartGold & SoulSilver. Kat has never played these games before, so I mostly got it for her to play and understand why these games were so good. If not, I can just play this version since I’ve never have. I won’t have a problem with that.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Thanks to having this game in the past (and the memory card data), I don’t need to add this to my Unfinished list. I was just happy to find a copy that wasn’t for $90 or $100 dollars. After playing it for a few minutes, I still don’t think its the greatest. I’m not a competitive player or give a damn about the competitive fighting scene to play this the way the community wants me to play it. I just enjoy doing adventure mode and looking through the gallery since that was what I always did. Any who, it is back in the collection after losing it all those years ago.

New Super Mario Bros 2

I saw it for least than $10 dollars complete and said sure why not. The New Super Mario Bros games all look bland, but I seem to fair better at them since they are not in 3D. I will see if this surprises me like 3D Land did, but I’m not holding my breath on this one.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time

I greatly disliked Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Rings of Fate back in the day. It didn’t feel like a worthy successor to the enjoyment that I had with the first game on the GameCube (despite playing it all the time with another friend). When Echoes of Time first came out, I avoided it since it looked too similar to Rings of Fate and I wanted none of that. Nowadays, I can distinguish Rings of Fate for what it was, but it still remains one of my least favorite games. Adding Echoes of Time to the collection not only means that I have a complete collection now (minus the Wii Ware titles), but it also gives me a chance to give this game a chance and judge it for what it is.

Xenogears

For my birthday, my in-laws tasked Kat with picking out a gift card for me. Kat choose a PlayStation gift card, so I had to figure out what to do with that. I immediately came up with the idea to purchase some classic games that are f***ing expensive to buy physically. Xenogears is one of those games that is stupid expensive to buy. I will gladly pay the $10 dollars on the online store versus the $120+ prices from other places. Now if only Xenosaga Episode III would become affordable…

Mega Man Legends

Along with Xenogears, I also purchased Mega Man Legends. I have played and finished this game in the past on the N64 and emulation. Since I have never owned it before, now seemed like the perfect excuse to own it officially. And before you ask, yes. I am also one of those who is upset that we will never get a third game in the subseries.

Bleach: Soul Resurrecction

I have never seen/heard of this game before, but I became curious once I saw that it was published by NIS America. Not one of my favorite anime, but I did enjoy some of the concepts. I can’t wait to see how much filler is in this game.

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires

This game has been on my radar for a while, but I was a little hesitant since reviews were mixed. While I do enjoy musou games, I’ve come to find that I enjoy when they are mixed with other franchises (Dragon Quest/One Piece/Gundam). Finding a copy of this game at a low price will convince me to try it out however. After playing through the tutorial, I have come to the conclusion that I like it. The emphasis on controlling bases is something I really enjoyed in Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 3, and I’m glad to play another game that makes capture points relevant. I can see myself finishing this game through.

Yoshi’s Wooly World

Every time I think I’m done collecting games for the Wii U, there are still some games in the library that don’t get ported over to the Switch. I think most people were beating on Nintendo to release Wooly World on the Switch, but we got Crafted World instead. Seeing that Wii U games are becoming rarer these days and the online store retiring soon, I decided to give the wooly game a proper home.

Satisfactory

My friend Eric gifted this game to me on Steam. He was telling me how obsessed he had became over this game and that it would be fun to play in multiplayer mode. I do enjoy a good simulation game, but I was not prepared for the chaotic nature of this game. The whole game is about striping the planet of it’s resources and creating factories and machines to do all your work, so it is pretty messed up to begin with. The fun part is figuring out how to use the tools to create new machines and become completely automatic. Some would say that watching your factories run by themselves to your benefit, satisfying.

Cross Edge

I was watching a video on gaming cross overs and heard about this game. I have never heard of this game before, so I immediately scooped it out. Not an expensive game to acquire, but one that may soon be.


Currently Playing

I should be playing Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak right now, but I’m not. Would you be surprise to know that there are monsters in the base game that I never got around to fighting? I finished most things in the game before updates were added in over time, and I just never got around to finish them. I plan on doing those quickly before moving on to the expansion.

What I am currently playing is the final chapter of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV. I have been playing this game on and off for almost a year and a half now. After finishing all the quests, side content, and collectables (and still missing some), I am finally ready to conclude this saga. It will be a bittersweet moment since I’ve already decided at some point I am going to replay all four games in the saga to earn all of the achievements. And eventually, I will get to the Trails in the Sky trilogy and the Crossbell duology when both games come out. What I am saying is that I have come to really enjoy this series enough to experience the entire overall story. Thank God the developers included a High-Speed mode to get through a lot of things.

Before jumping into that nightmare, I need to start getting myself ready for Xenoblade Chronicles 3. If I didn’t finish Xenoblade Chronicles 2 this year, I wouldn’t be as excited for this game as I am now. I will try and find some shorter games to play and finish before this game comes out; because I will probably be glued to this until I roll credits.


Blog Content

I will try to upload the posts that I had in mind for last month this month. I make no promises. The hot, sticky days of Summer are here and most of the time I want to get comfortable and play some games. I still want to write some fun things alongside my backlog posts for variety, but we will see how that goes.


I’m going to stop talking now. If you need me I will be burying my debit card somewhere in the backyard so that I never splurge again and then play more Monster Hunter.

Turning 30

*Today is June 6th. You wake up normally around 6:30am. Despite your efforts to try and go back to sleep, you give in to your body’s urge to get up. After performing your normal morning rituals, you open the blinds and look outside the window to view your normal surroundings. It is a hazy day where the sun has already risen above the other houses in the neighborhood. There is fresh dew on the grass and the normal traffic noise has been replaced with the symphonies of the local avian duet. This peace is broken by the sound of your phone going off. You checked the number to see that it is a call from…yourself? Curious, you answer the phone.*

Good morning birthday (checks notes) boy! Congratulations! You did it! I never imagined you would make it this far; yet alone reach the milestone that is thirty years old. How did you get this old? How have you not found a nice comfortable room somewhere and decided that that was our world for the foreseeable future? You have changed so much from the quiet, shy, timid, invertebrate that you were when you finished high school. You are now somehow a more confident, independent, vertebrate who is still somehow afraid to open his mouth. Don’t worry. I’m sure in the next ten years you will learn how to get that mouth moving more frequently.

–     Who is this?

–    Sorry wrong number.

→ Thanks…

What are some of the things that you have accomplished over the years? Well for starters, you were the first in your family to graduate college with a Bachelors! You might not have been the first or second person to graduate college with a degree, but it’s the technicality that counts. Music may not have been the best degree program to go into, but the experiences, people we met, and life lessons learned were well worth the debt. Besides, it’s thanks to that degree that you met your wife. Another thing that you can rub in your family’s faces is being the first one to get married. Sure technically your mom beat you to that, and you weren’t the first to give her a grandchild, but no one (especially you) would have thought that you would ever get married. It has been the highlight of your life so far and you could not imagine life without her. It was truly a chance of lucky events that made it all happen.

–    What do you want from me?

–    Wrong. My tuba was my true love.

→ Can you please move on?

Enough mussy stuff now. There are other accomplishments that you made that you never saw coming. You found a career that you enjoy and never thought you would have. The library world was something that you never considered, but it chose you after a wonderful student work study experience. If you didn’t fail that music praxis test by one question, you would probably have gone and done music therapy which was the plan at the time. Stupid Praxis. Why not get influenced by your supervisor and coworkers to pursue a Masters in Library Science instead? That way you don’t have to take the Praxis and can use your job experience to get through the program.* Which you did! Another star point on the board for being the first person (that you know of in your immediate family) to hold a Masters in a field of study! Surely this upward momentum would propel you to get a Doctorate at some point. Wait. Why are you shaking your head so fast? You’re done with school for the rest of your life? Cool. We will see how that changes in the next ten years…

*Different programs require different tests or other prerequisites. I just happen to find one that didn’t need any of that.*

–   I’m going to hang up now

–   Why ask mostly choir/vocal questions for an instrumentalist?

→ Please talk about something else

Enough about you. Let’s talk about other things about you that you don’t want to talk about. Look how much of a changed person that you’ve become. People would have sworn that you would turn out to be some weird outsider with no social skills, but you have come to surprise even yourself. You’ve met people who liked you for who you are and were not out to just get something from you (some of them did creep in). You’ve also found friends who you would consider true friends no matter what. This is something you are not accustomed to since no one has stuck around longer than they have outside of being in the same group. Your trust issues are still the same, but for once you have a pretty good support group that won’t let you down.

–   I don’t like talking to you

–   My friends are my true strength

→ Sir, this is a gaming blog

What? This is a gaming blog so we should talk about video games instead? Sure that seems like a good segway into a different topic. Your love for gaming was strong to begin with, but know now it’s astronomical! You used to be the kid who was intimidated by 3D console games and mostly stuck to your Gameboy Advance and DS. Now, no game seems to intimidate you after playing games like Monster Hunter, Dark Souls, and Metal Gear Solid. Those were the types of games that you would never think about picking up the controller to play. Horror games are still a pass and 3D platformers are still the bane of your existence. We are just happy to see that your gaming horizons have expanded over the past decade.

–    I’m going to hang up the phone now

–   Take me back to the good ‘ol days

→ A lot has changed hasn’t it?

Speaking of expansion (I’m not going to talk about your weight), you have become quite the collector of games. It’s hard to believe how your small collection of GBA and DS games turned into a big collection spanning eighteen different platforms with over 1000 titles. I guess this is what happens when your two main hobbies are playing music and video games. These aren’t just random games that you just bought willy nilly for the sake of having a collection. Every game you own has a story or reason why you added it. It’s more than just plastic inside of plastic sitting on a wooden shelf, or data stored on a mechanical device housed inside another mechanical device. These are the worlds that you have thrown yourself into. These are the connections that you have with other people near and far. It’s what helps make you feel comfortable in certain social groups. It makes your relationship with your wife even better since you two share in the hobby. You don’t collect games out of the habit of collecting. You collect games that have a certain interest to you so that you may one day share that with others.

–    …

–    I have spent so much money…

→ You’re right

Oh! Look at the time. I know holding conversations is a struggle for you, so we should wrap this up. The future is unknown at this point. Right now, there is no clear sign what direction we will take in the coming years. You have an idea what the next big step in life is going to be, but you are unsure when that will happen. It’s unclear if any of your goals will be met since life has a way of always being unpredictable. You used to never let this idea of uncertainty get you down, but I guess with age comes a more conscious awareness of things around you. I’m asking that you try and not let these unseen forces ruin and dictate how you go about your life. This is a tough request since anxiety has plagued us for a while now. Just try to take it one day at a time until you figure out what needs to be done and plan accordingly. You made all of your other accomplishments work this way; so I’m sure that your hidden talents will lead you in the right direction.

You never told me who you were.

–    I think this is going to be the best season yet!

–    …I’m scared.

You should already know that. I believe a famous video game series stated that “I am thou, and thou art I.” Just know that in the next ten years if you ever feel lost or unsure about yourself, look back on this exchange and hopefully this will remind you that you are on the right track. I may be your harshest critic, but I’m also your biggest supporter. Together, there is nothing that we can accomplish.

–   …okay.

Is this the part where we go and kill God?

–   Thanks.

Yes, Unknown to you. A Godlike entity has been waiting on the line to give you a cryptic message on where and how the world will be destroyed unless you found four elemental thingamabobs to seal him away. It is weak to lactose, so make sure that you keep a steady supply on hand. Now get out there and show the world what you are made of!

The phone call ends. You are unsure if all of this was part of a dream or if you are still just waking up. The sounds of hearing a cat scratch on furniture confirms that you are indeed awake. You reflect on the phone call and all the things “you” said to…yourself. Thirty years is a long time, but that just means the next thirty will have to be just as eventful as the last.

Backlog Report – May 2022

Holy Mayflowers Batman! What the hell happened to May!? One moment I’m celebrating that it’s finally May, and the next thing I know June is here. I swear the moment you finish grade school or college, time means nothing anymore and everything becomes a standard affair until something life changing happens that slows down time again. I’m still searching for my next big life changing moment; but I have a feeling that something will shake things up next year.

While May was a blur to me, there are some blog related items that I did accomplish. For starters, the blog has a fresh new coat of paint on it. I was growing tired of the old look for a while and wanted to make things more “pleasant.”  The only thing that I’m meh about is that I can’t change the background color to a slightly less bright white. Despite there being a setting to change the background color, it doesn’t work for me for some reason. Other than that, the banner is temporary until I get off my lazy arse and create one myself. I appreciate any feedback.


Finished This Month

Final Fantasy V Advance

Didn’t have my capture device set up

Continuing my playthrough of all the mainline Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy V is the newest title to graduate from the backlog. Final verdict. It’s not one of my favorites. There was a lot with this game that did not intrigue me to pay attention half the time. The story is basic and only has a few standout moments. The job system in this game is fine, but once you know what skills you want each character to have, there is little point in trying out other classes if you are trying to master the ones you need. It’s not that long of a game, so grinding job points could be seen as a way to pad the game out. If that is the case, then it only makes the game even more boring since the focus is on the job system and not the characters or story. I will congratulate FFV for being so bland that it made me appreciate FFIV way more than I ever had (it was originally one of my least favorite FF games).

Elden Ring

Rise ye Tarnished. I’ve gone from maidenless to Elden Lord in record time for one of these games. I thought this game would take me months to finish based on my track record from Bloodbourne and Dark Souls. I think my play style and familiarity helped carry me through all the new challenges in this stupidly big world. Playing this alongside a friend was also the drive that kept me playing for weeks. I didn’t realize how much fun I was having with this game until I beat the final boss and my friend asked if I wanted to create a new character and play it over again. Elden Ring is the type of game that you can replay multiple times since there are so many character builds that you can experiment with and items to try out. You can even be like me and explore places that you completely missed on the first journey! So far this game is tied for my game of the year, and it’s going to be hard to decide which one will come on top.


Added and Finished This Month *New Section*

*I needed a new section for games that I buy and actually finish in the month I purchase it. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does find it in this section!

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

Have you played anything that sounds ridiculous on paper, but actually works in some crazy manner? Well I played Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin so that you don’t have to. Silly jokes aside, I found myself enjoying this game even though I had no idea what was going on half the time. SoP takes aspects of the Nioh games and Dark Souls by making the combat all about action while having the punishment and patience to learn the mechanics. The game attempts to fill in the holes to its story by finding lore orbs(?) in the game and put the pieces together about how the Luferians are assholes and reset the world for their pleasure. I would be upset with their explanation on how Garland came to be, but then I remember that the original Final Fantasy had the flying tech fortress and time travel to defeat Chaos. The series has always been weird so just embrace the weirdness from time to time. I want to get the platinum trophy, but it requires a second playthrough on Chaos difficulty and I only have time for so much patience these days.


New Additions This Month

Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

I have always wanted to join a tabletop RPG game. It has been an interest for some time, but living in an area where no one hosts games is an issue (I would have to travel at least an hour away). Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is far from a compromise, but so far it has highlighted what makes TTRPGs so much fun to play. The quest lines, unexpected twists and turns, and having a good time with the people you are playing with is what makes these games entertaining. The Borderlands formula also complements TTRPGs to the point where nothing feels out of place despite being based around a fantasy game. Kat and I have been streaming this game over on her Twitch channel every Wednesday. Just excuse us for being rusty at the whole streaming thing.

Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2

This is a collection that I’ve been waiting for. Prinny Presents NIS Classics Vol. 2 contains two games: Makai Kingdom: Reclaim and Rebound & Z. H. P.: Unlosing Ranger vs. Darkdeath Evilman. I remember really enjoying Makai Kingdom even though it is a bit dated these days. That doesn’t stop it from being an enjoyable game and funny writing as you watch the strongest being in the universe defend his title while stuck in a book. Z.H.P completely missed my radar when it first came out, but I was hooked after the tutorial. It is some of Nippon Ichi’s best comical writing with a premise that makes fun of the whole Super Sentai/tokusatsu genre. I didn’t know before playing, but the game is actually a rougelike RPG that uses the same tactical grid set up from the Disgaea series. I will have to sit and finish this game since it is too funny and stupid to not finish.

Cruis’n USA

Oh look. More N64 games. Acquiring Cruis’n USA completes the racing N64 games that me and my brother enjoyed playing. It has been a while since I’ve played this game, but nostalgia is a terrible disease and I’m sure I will enjoy this game again nevertheless.

Kingdoms and Castles

Now here is a surprise. I felt the urge to boot up my PC after what feels like a three month hiatus from it. While deciding on what to play on it, I discovered this game on the Steam store page. It has been a while since I’ve played a strategy, city building game, and this was charming enough for me to investigate.

I have become addicted to this game. There are so many mechanics in this game that keep your attention busy at all times. Peasants are needy peasants who need everything from you and the world. Dragons and Vikings will attack your village at certain times and will always outsmart you depending on where you set up your defenses, and the Witch will be your best friend if you tell your peasants to work harder! And this is only on the beginner difficulty! The Kingdom of Dommy has seen lots of hardship in the 100 years, but has sense sabled itself to a functioning city. With the acquisition of the Isle of Mommies, the kingdom is starting to grow exponentially and we are better prepared for Viking attacks. I have no idea what other ordeals are waiting for us, but it is equally exciting and terrifying. I know at higher difficulties there are A.I. kingdoms that you can interact with and could work with you or invade you. I’m serious when I say that this has become one of my favorite games that I’ve played this year.


Currently Playing

I am currently in the flux of deciding what I should finish next. Trails of Cold Steel IV is the obvious choice since I have been pushing that aside for a while now. I may have to strap myself in and just finish it once and for all. My problem is that I’m trying to accomplish as much as I can on the first playthrough so that my list of tasks are simpler during the Nightmare runs. I am on act three part 1 out of 4, with two shorter acts afterwards. I know I should just focus on the story and do all the quests in another playthrough, but when the side content does a lot to flesh out the world and characters, it is hard to ignore them sometimes.

Kingdoms and Castles will be on the daily rotation. Since it does not demand a lot of resources, I can easily play this on my laptop and continue the harvest wherever I go (now I have to consider a SteamDeck). Elden Ring isn’t quite over yet since another friend has the game and we will be cooperating to help him get through it. Like I said before, Tina Tiny Wonderlands will be every Wednesday until we finish that game. The only other thing calling me at the moment is my DS/3DS collection. It has been a while since I’ve finished something on the handheld, so maybe that time is now. I don’t know. Something will come along.


Blog Update

By my records, I managed to post at least one item per week. This is a goal that I’ve been trying to work myself up to, and I think it wouldn’t have been possible without the many topics that I’ve started and slowly worked on. I have nine finished games that I still need to talk about, some fun posts that I’ve wanted to write, and more stories about certain games in my collection. I hope I can keep my productivity high while still improving my writing. Be on the lookout for two new Backlog Tales, a post about some of the games announced over the month, and a special post for a special day.


And that is all that I have for this month. Thank you for reading and your support!

Yu Gi Oh! Random Nonsense Go! (Backlog Tale)

I have been a fan of the Yu Gi Oh! Trading Card Game (TCG) ever since middle school. Something about the monsters, gameplay, and hair made me really enjoy the struggle of wits between two opponents. While Magic would become the dominant TCG, Yu Gi Oh! would still be my choice of card game since I was most familiar with it and Magic still intimidates me (plus the few people I encountered who play it were arrogant AF).

Playing the TCG in a video game format has been the way I’ve played for years. When you have no friends or acquaintances who have an interest in Yu Gi Oh!, video games become your best way to learn and enjoy new things. From Duel Academy on the GBA to Legacy of the Duelist on modern platforms, I have tried to keep up with the current changes to the game to a point. The introduction of Synchro monsters was the last update to the game that I really got into. XYZ (pronounced X-C), Pendulum, and Link monsters made the game too complicated for me. For that reason, I would keep my strategies close to the third generation and make due there.

Enter Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel; the new free-to-play online Yu Gi Oh! game based on the current TCG. Up to this point, I have mostly played against AI opponents. This game focuses on online battles against real people worldwide. Going in, I expected to get my ass handed to me a couple of times before I found the right deck and strategy that fits my playstyle. My cocky attitude was quickly shattered when I started to lose over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. I wasn’t expecting to get destroyed this badly, but this assured me that this was not the same game from my time with Legacy of the Duelist. I had entered the new meta of the Yu Gi Oh! game where getting the most out of each turn and dominating your opponent is key.

In the past, if you were going first, it was a normal play to set up your defenses and prepare for whatever move your opponent was going to make on their turn. The meta now seems to be summoning as many monsters as possible to the field and playing your most powerful monsters at the start. Laying down your strategy at the start with the right countermeasures could mean that victory for you is a guarantee. For a defensive player like myself, I now have to come up with unorthodox strategies that seem strange to me, but are vital if I want a chance of winning my matches. And for me personally, I don’t mind that one bit.

I will fully admit that my struggles come from not keeping up with the current status of the game. The introduction of new monster types and summoning methods was overbearing for me and I never took the time to understand their application in the game. In Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, I breezed through the first three arcs of the story since I was very familiar with the cards and strategies. When I got to Zexal and XYZ summoning, I started to struggle since I was using my old strategies that were easily overcome by XYZ monsters and their effects. Things got even more difficult with Arc V since every type of summoning method comes into play along with Pendulum summoning (which is still the only summoning method that I try to avoid). The game was no longer something that was easily predictable with the old cards in play. You now have to content with not knowing what summoning method your opponent will utilize the most; not including if they use a mix of all seven summoning methods.

What is this nonsense?

This is the exciting (and frustrating) part of the game for me. The core game that I enjoy is still there, but my understanding and strategies have to change in order for me to win my matches. For some of us, that makes complete sense for any game that has been around as long as this one. The game needs to change and introduce new mechanics to keep the player base interested enough to keep playing the game. In some way, Trading Card Games have been the original Live Service games that continually introduce new content, game modes, and microtransactions that keeps the game living and thriving to this day.

From a mature standpoint, I should take my time to learn new ways on how to play the game and adapt to modern times, but the whiny baby inside of me hates this new kind of play. Old decks that I used to have fun with aren’t as viable since they took some time to set up properly, or contain no abilities to deal with the new bullshit that some of these cards have. You almost have to have cards that can negate abilities in order to stand a chance against certain archetypes. If I see one dragon maid or anime girl wearing an airplane, I almost want to surrender immediately since the people using those decks know how to pull a win out of nowhere. 

This is where my current problem with the game stands. With over 10,000 cards to pick and chose to create a 40 card deck, I don’t have the time to learn and figure out what each and every card can do and try to predict how that will work in my deck. With card descriptions ranging from lite flavor text to terms of service agreements. For me, the simpler the card effect, the better it is for me to use it effectively. This doesn’t work when your opponent uses cards that have multiple effects and you have to read through them carefully in order to not trigger any of them. It slows the game down for me and makes me waste a lot of time trying to understand if I’m going to screw myself over. At least when cards had one or two effects, I could keep track of what card effects to look out for when planning my next move. Now with effects that can be triggered from the hand, graveyard, extra deck, and kitchen sink, I have no idea what I could be going against unless I know the archetype well enough.

Then why don’t I take the easy way and learn how to use “top-tier” decks? Because then I’m not playing using my own skills and playstyle. There is an option in the game to copy deck recipes from other players and use decks that they have created. It is a nice way for new players to test out new decks and get ideas on how to create their own in the future. I am the type of guy who doesn’t like to be handed a game winning deck and feel good about it. At least let me earn it after proving myself first. The decks I create go through many trial and error phases until I constructed something that suits me well. I much prefer this style of play over copying someone else’s work. It may not feel good getting beat down constantly, but at least I’m getting beat with something I believe in.

Now for the opposite. It feels so good when you outsmart an opponent and win a match. My low self-esteem will make me cautious with every move I make, but that doesn’t stop me from throwing it out the window when I know I have someone beat. It is a genuine good feeling when you are playing against another good player and emerge victorious. I feel like all of my hardwork has paid off when everything goes according to plan.

A good example of this happened when I was going against someone who was using a Kaiju deck. Kaiju monsters are special in that you have to use monsters on your opponent’s side of the field in order to summon them. After realizing this trope, I had to find a way to get around this condition. After noticing that my opponent was tossing cards out of their deck in order to find what they needed, I knew exactly what I needed to do. I began to do absolutely nothing. When my turn began, I would draw my card and then end the turn. My opponent had fewer cards in their deck than mine, so all I had to do was wait until they were out of cards in their main deck and I would win. I took this gamble anticipating they didn’t have any low level monsters to summon and chip away at my life points; which to my luck they didn’t. As each turn went by, I imagined my opponent would think I would get cocky at the last minute and summon my strongest monster to finish them off quickly. But no, I took the most megamind approach to defeat them and just watched as they ran out of cards to draw. I give mad props for them not surrendering through all of that and accept their defeat to the dumbest of all plays. They might have had a winning move on my final turn if I actually did summon a monster, but I didn’t take that chance and laugh demonically over outsmarting them. Hopefully, they adjusted their deck afterwards to fix such a blind spot in their deck.

So how do I conclude my time with this game (from daily bases to a here-and-now game)? Originally I wanted to reach Platinum I in rank duels and call that a victory. Seeing as I could never get out of low Gold V, I wasn’t going to get there anytime soon. With other games to play and me not wanting to strangle every Kuribo I saw, I thought it was best to add this game to my casual game rotation. There’s still plenty for me to do and one of these days I will settle with a second deck to add to my rotation. If you are a long time fan of the series or someone new to the TCG, then this is a game worth playing. It may not teach you everything that you need to know about the game, but the tutorials give you a great start and you can obtain structure decks just to get you started. I do wish the game had an unranked mode where you could challenge random people without having to create a room and hope someone joins it. I also wish they would fix the damn timer for each player so that it actually goes down during each turn. If Konami continues to support the game, I could easily see this as the go to online Yu Gi Oh! game for the next few years. If all the changes feel alien to you, I could recommend Rush Dueling since it takes out all the complications of the main game. It was literally created because the main game was getting too complicated. Other than that, nothing is stopping you from playing older games in the series if seeing a link card sends you into a dark place.

Play Time Stats:

Game Started: 1/19/2022
Game “Ended”: Ongoing
Number of Cards Obtained: 2529
Highest Placement in Rank: Gold 3
Trusty Deck: Sync-In (Synchro deck focused on summoning Synchro and Stardust monsters)
MVP Cards: Satellite Warrior, Junk Speeder, Clear Wing Synchro Dragon
Favorite Summoning Method: Synchro
Least Favorite Summoning Style: Pendulum

Bonus Gallery

Opinions Are Just That – The Hype Killer

It has been a while since I did one of these opinion pieces, so let’s do a fun one!

I will fully admit that I am the type of person who can get caught into the hype of something. It can be fun sometimes chatting with people about their excitement about something at the time of learning about it. While most big named things may make the collective populace lose their minds, it takes a special game to be announced that makes me lose control. I don’t have a game I’m currently hyped for at the moment, but once announcements are made at the beginning of Summer, I will most likely have something to look forward to. While it is easy to build up hype, it is also easy to destroy it. There are many ways the hype for something can flicker out. So for fun, I wanted to talk about some of the ways the hype for certain games is ruined for me. Some of these aren’t complete deal breakers for me, but it does stop me from acquiring the game sooner than I anticipated. If you participate in any of the behaviors that I’m about to list, please don’t stop for my sake.

False Advertising

This is a simple one to explain. You hear that a game is being announced that is right up your alley. Let’s say that it is a remake/remastered that you love and that it is getting new features that make it accessible for today’s standards. The day finally arrives where you can purchase the game and enjoy the things that you were promised, only to find out that that is not entirely true. You either notice that a key feature in the old game is gone and replaced with something that ruins the essence of the original, or you notice that your brand new game has a bunch of microtransactions that were not mentioned in the advertisement. Suddenly, your game is ruined by additions or subtractions that don’t make it worth playing at all. This is a hype killer that I’ve been running into a lot recently and has become one of the reasons I wait for sales or buy used copies when a game looks like trash.

My example for this is of course Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered that came out a few couple years ago. I will never stop talking about my disappointment with this game. The day before the game was released, people discovered that one of the key elements of the game was gone: local co-op. Yes co-op was there and they took it an extra step by implementing cross-platform play, but they got rid of the option for you and your friends to start in the same village together. The idea of the caravan was to set out together to protect your village; not just jump into someone’s game and help them complete dungeons. I am going to stop here before I get into another rage frenzy about this game.

Bad Business Practices

While I’m on the subject, let’s talk about the other thing I pointed out in false advertising. Companies sure do love them some money. I mean as a business you want to make money, but there are times where it just feels like greed. Practices like Battle Passes and Microtransactions are not inherently bad, but when the game revolves around it, or some of the best items in the game are locked behind it, then it just comes off companies wanting you to spend more money after you already purchased a $50 or $60 game.

Oh look. I’m beginning to see a pattern. The latest game that made me feel this way was Chocobo GP. I was excited for this game since I enjoy kart games and Final Fantasy. Things were looking good for the game, until reviewers started to point out that the game was heavily bombarded with microtransactions. Not only did the game cost $50 USD, but on top of that Square wanted me to spend more money on in-game currency and a season pass on a game that wasn’t working properly at launch. This was the easiest nope for me when I learned about it, and also one of the more disappointing ones since from what I can tell, it is a fun racing game. I just can’t get by supporting business practices like this even when it happens to the cute and adorable Chocobo.

Social Media/Nobody Shutting the **** Up About Something

This is where things get personal. I like talking about video games with people. I like sharing the joy and excitement with others when a new, fun experience is happening. What I absolutely dislike though is when everyone is sharing, jamming in your face, constantly referencing, praising something to the highest level, and berating others for not appreciating how [insert game here] is/will be the best game that ever exists. I can handle it to the point where I feel like I’m being oversaturated with seeing it everyday and feeling like I can never escape it. Any interest I had in playing it is suddenly gone since the fans want me to believe that no other game can compare to their prized possession. I will recognize that the game is good, but I will not play a minute of it if I can help it. 

I’m going to get a lot of hate for this, but there is one game that I have absolutely no desire to play ever since it came out in 2015. That game is Undertale. Do I think Undertale is a good game? Absolutely. Do I think it is one of the best games ever made? Debatable. Do I think Undertale is the pinnacle that all games should try to be? No. For a good while it felt like I could never escape any discussion about this game. Don’t get me started about the whole thing about Sans being Ness because I will just argue that they are all just code in a game that can be easily beaten with a BACKSPACE button. Everything is Undertale and everything that comes out after it is essentially Undertale as predicted in the Tale of Under. Jokes aside, I don’t want to hate the game for being what it is, but it really sours my mood when it is in your face everyday. 

The Last of Us can go in this category as well. I played the beginning and felt nothing since the internet kept talking about it and you could see it coming a mile away.

General Loss of Interest Over Time

This feels like the most natural way that hype can die over time. Something gets announced one day and then the final product doesn’t come out until 3+ years from now. You like the idea that something is coming when it is announced, but start to get impatient when it takes forever to come out. I know people like to pull up the quote about rushed and delayed games, but if I’m still waiting for a game announced in 2016, then I’m going to start focusing on the games around me.

I don’t have any good examples for this category personally. Metroid Prime 4 is a good example, but I’m convinced that it is going to get canceled at some point; so my excitement for it is pretty low. 

Bad Timing

Sometimes a game comes out at the wrong time. This is an aspect that most people don’t consider a lot. The timing of a game’s release is a crucial part of game development. If you are confident in its sales, releasing a game during the peak holiday times will lead to better sales. If not, then it gets drowned out by better titles. Sometimes releasing a game at a random point in time is a gamble since you may have no idea how sales will go; unless you are very cocky about it selling well. For me, if multiple titles are coming out around the same time, I will pick and choose which one I’m most looking forward to and then place the other title in my wishlist. Other times, a game will come out that I would be excited for if it came out one or two years prior.

The perfect game that I can use for this example is Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. Monster Hunter Generations on the 3DS was a sour experience for me since they opted to exclude G/Master Rank out of the game. The base game was fine, but the exclusion of the challenging part of the game made me resent the title. When news dropped that Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate was coming out only in Japan, my hype died instantly. This was fine since Monster Hunter World was coming out soon and filled that monster hunting itch that needed to be scratched. What baffled me was that a few months later, Capcom released Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate that same year. Talk about bad timing for those who were already playing World. I could have given Generations Ultimate some proper game time, but with me fully invested in World, I did not have the same hype for it when it was first revealed. 


So those are my hype killers. If you share similar feelings with me or have other examples, please share with the rest of the class.