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…
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.
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…).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.