Backlog Report – October 2022

Hello all.

This month has been very slow. I have come home every day this week after work and just completely shut down once I get a moment of rest. There are a lot of things that I have not been keeping up with. I barely got the games I wanted to get done this month due to this exhaustion that I’ve been feeling. I also have this new foot pain that I should definitely get checked out if I wasn’t so scared about future medical bills (USA! USA!) Overall, this month was less stressful than last month’s gauntlet of work training. 

Not everything was doom and gloom this month. As a challenge for myself, I decided to make a conscious effort to save as much money as I could. If I could save a set amount, I would reward myself with something I found that I really want. I am happy to say that I meet my goal with flying colors and I now get to treat myself to this special item. The strange thing is, I’m not sure if I want my reward or not anymore. If I do end up getting it, I’ll mention it in next month’s post.

Other than that, I decided to get a new case for my computer. My original case is not completely compatible with the new motherboard, and I knew at some point I would have to correct this. I am nervous about having to move every component from one case to another, but I’ve done it once already without blowing up anything, so I should be fine this time around.


Finished Games

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence

I was really looking forward to playing this Castlevania game this month. It had been sitting on my shelf for five years, and it took me about eight hours to finish it. What were my overall thoughts about it? You will have to tune in next week when I write up my thoughts on the early 3D Castlevania games that I’ve played. 

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness

The same goes with Curse of Darkness. While I will say that I enjoyed this more than Lament of Innocence, both games have their good and bad qualities that make them fun to play. Again, I will have more details next week.


New and Finished Games

Castlevania Judgment

I had no intentions of getting this game, but I did once I found a brand new copy for less than $20 USD. It’s….not that bad, but far from a good fighting game. I like the attempt they made, but you can tell that more work needed to be put into this game. That is all I will say for now.


New Games This Month

Lost Odyssey (X360)

Not that many new games this month. I already own a digital copy of this game on my Xbox 360, but I keep forgetting that I have it since I never touch my 360. I found the strategy guide to the game at a used book store, and they had the game as well. So now I have a physical reminder that I have this game. I really should get around to playing this.

The Legend of Heroes: Trails from Zero (PS4)

It is almost time to continue my journey through this series in reverse order. I have been told that Trails from Zero and Azure are two of the best games in the series. Hopefully it doesn’t take me months to get through this game. I still have the Sky trilogy on standby for me to get through at some point.

Toukiden Kiwami (PS4)

I managed to find a PS4 copy in the wild for less than $10 USD. It will be interesting to compare this to the Vita version.


Currently Playing

I am biding my time until Pokèmon Scarlet and Violet comes out on Nov. 18. Something about the game is preventing me from being super excited for it, but I do plan on playing it day one with Kat and my younger brother. The co-op function will be interesting to try out, and I’m slowly warming up to the new battle mechanic. Until then, I need to work on something. I started Live A Live a few weeks ago and may continue that. It is a short game, so I should be able to get it done by mid-November. If anything else, I might start Trails from Zero and try to get that done before Trails from Azure releases. Plans are up in the air right now.

Plans for Next Month

Like I mentioned earlier, I do plan to have a post about the early 3D Castlevania games that I played this month. I will definitely have that ready next week. If I don’t you can all call me a liar liar pants on fire liar. The only other post that I have ready is continuing the series where I talk about gaming devices from my past. I am excited about this one because it is on a system that kept me playing games throughout the mid 2000s. It will be ready next month after some editing has been done. After that, things may start to slow down further as we somehow hit the holiday season. It feels very weird that we are about to enter the holiday season. The slow time will help me work on what might be my biggest end of the year post.

And that is all I got this month. Hip hip hooray for November!

Backlog Report – September 2022

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

The only thing that has been keeping me going is that a new Theatrhythm game is coming out in February.

Hello. September is finally over and I couldn’t be happier. Jumping straight into things, let’s talk a little about what I’ve been up to personally. All month long, I have been in webinar trainings to understand this new system that we are moving to in January.  They started off harmless, but some of the content does not apply to what I do or will be controlled by us in the end. Honestly, I’m just here to be a second set of eyes for my supervisor. I am a hands-on learner, so most of this stuff will come to me once I can play around in the system on my own. I just hate spending my entire morning glued to my computer and attempting to retain all of this.

This schedule has had some positive effects on me. To escape the icy cold dungeon of my office, I now find a nice bench to sit on outside and read a book. This has been one of the best changes to my routine since I am now getting a mental break from my work area instead of being around it all the time. I am currently reading Jason Schreier’s Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry, and it has been an interesting and depressing read. Hopefully this routine will help me get through the other books that I have bought over the years and have yet found the time or motivation to read through them.


Blog Posts This Month

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate – The Missing Piece to the Puzzle (Backlog Tale) – This game will come up two more times in this post. I went from hating this game to playing it almost every single day. This is a good and a bad thing since I have the Sunbreak expansion to Monster Hunter Rise and want to play through that at some point.

Games Finished This Month

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

Not going to spend a lot of time on this. Read post above.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is not a long game if you stick to the main story. Unlocking additional heroes and doing side quests to build up classes and the world turns this 30-40 hour game into a 100+ hour game. That’s not bad, but it does leave a sour taste in my mouth when important resolutions in the game’s story are hidden behind optional side quests. I will have to write about it one day, but it is something that frustrated me with this game. Other than that, I really enjoyed the rest of the game. Gameplay felt so much better than the second game, though I think I still prefer the original’s battle system. The story is somewhat predictable, but the whole idea of living in the present where it is safe and avoiding the unknown future is a topic we all could relate. The ending even managed to get a tear out of me, so I would say that overall it left a good impression on me. Hopefully the story DLC will answer one of my burning questions about a certain fur ball.


New and Finished Games This Month

Trombone Champ

In the beginning, there was light. The light filled the world with its bliss, and gave birth to wondrous things. One of these brilliant gifts was the trombone. From the trombone, toots of various tones filled the world in harmony and made the world equally divine as the realm of the gods. But, where there is light, there is always darkness. With the rise of man emerging from the shadows, the brilliant light of the trombone was tainted. What was once a symbol of ultimate power was now treated as a fool’s humor for when people did silly things. To ensure that this gift was not wasted completely, the gods sealed most of the power of the trombone inside a vessel, waiting for the day a true master of the trombone to emerge and unleash its power once again. For millenium, the tootvessel has slept. Waiting for the new champ to rise and claim their rightful place amongst the gods.

…at least that’s what I think the story is about. The in-game item descriptions make it hard to understand.

Trombone Champ knows exactly what it is and I appreciate it for that. As someone who has studied music and can play the trombone decently, this game comes very close to how it feels to play the trombone. Originally I thought that this would be a silly game with no depth to it, but the more I played, I found myself deep into mastering the mechanics to unlock everything and earning S ranks on all the songs. I don’t know what it is, but I find myself in a trance to discover all that the trombone has to offer to me. Also baboons for some reason?


New Games This Month

Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland

My last visit to the secondhand store resulted in my buying two games and one guide. The first was a physical copy of Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland. I know I bought this digitally during a PS sale last year, but finding this with the case and manual for around $10 was hard to ignore. I still need to test the disc since it does look a bit scratched up.

Splatoon

I was told to go to the store and pick up Splatoon, so I did. Maybe next time someone should clarify. Jokes aside, I was able to find a brand new copy of this game at the secondhand store for the same price as the other used copies. I mostly got it to complete the series set, but who knows. I may get around to playing through the single player content at some point.

Capcom Fighting Collection

I bought this solely for Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. Other than that, this is a neat collection to have with some of Capcom’s fighting games that have never been revisited. I don’t know if many of the games will get any playtime out of me, but the option is there in case I ever need them.

Monster Hunter Portable 3rd

“Will he please stop talking about Monster Hunter!” In my defense, this is a different game, so back off. Portable is the first “enhanced” version of Monster Hunter Tri that came out exclusively in Japan. It added new monsters and locations, but took the swimming mechanic out of the game. It would go on to be one of the best selling Monster Hunter games in Japan, but one year later we would all get Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Despite the release of 3 Ultimate, Portable 3rd is still regarded as one of the best games on the PSP; and I am going to see if that is true. The Japanese-language barrier be damned!

Tales of Rebirth

Speaking of the Japanese-language barrier, I finally got a copy of Tales of Rebirth since Bamco has no interest in bringing these games over ever. I have decided to stop wondering if a remaster collection of the older titles will ever be rereleased for the overseas audience. While it is nice to have this game in my collection, I may have to find other means to enjoy this game fully in a language I can read. And don’t get me started on how they are butchering Tales of Symphonia with their lazy remake (even though I love Symphoina and will get it eventually on sale).

Live A Live

I know absolutely nothing about this game. And that is a good thing. It’s rare for me to not know much about a game with the internet these days. I know it is a classic from the SNES days, but outside of that I have no idea what the story is about or how the combat works. It will be a new discovery for me and that feels refreshing to me. Plus, my older brother has been playing it and he hardly plays JRPGs these days. It will give us a nice conversation topic when we have the time.

Splatoon 3

Do you know how hard it was to find a physical copy of this game days after it came out? Kat really wanted to play it, so we went to the store to get a copy, but the local game store and others around were all out. We didn’t think it would be that difficult to find a physical, but we did eventually and she bought me a copy as well. I like the game despite being bad at it. I can only play in short burst before I get frustrated by either the people who play these games for thousands of hours, or when I constantly get kicked out of games due to connection errors. One day Nintendo. One day.

Gundam Evolution

It’s Overwatch but with Gundams! I have only played a little bit of this game, but it is a learning curve that I’m still learning. Each Gundam plays differently, so understanding their strengths and weaknesses along with how well they go with the rest of your squad is a lot to consider. I know there are huge complaints about the progression system in it and I find them scummy as well. For now, it will be a casual experience until I get bored of it or the skill level starts to kick my ass.

Toukiden 2

I forget exactly what day it was last week, but I remember scrolling the tweet tweet app and seeing this countdown for a new game by EA and Koei Tecmo. I looked at the image and I was like “that looks like Toukiden.” After watching the trailer, I was like “yep that Toukiden.” If you don’t know what Toukiden is, it is Koei Tecmo’s Monster Hunter but with Oni. It reminded me that I have the first game on the Vita, but I never got around to getting the second game. I decided to get it now before the interest of the series starts to build again. This game was released with very limited quality, so I assume the price for this game is going to skyrocket soon (the Vita version already has).


Currently Playing

Third time mentioning it, but yeah Monster Hunter. In Generations Ultimate, I am currently working on finding G Rank armor that 1) I like, and 2) I can obtain on my own without dying. I have several targets in mind, but of course they would be some of the most annoying monsters to hunt. On the Monster Hunter Rise side of things, I need to finish most things on the PC version. I’ve decided that I want to play through Sunbreak on PC just to change things up. Just need to beat up Thunder Serpent Narwa and I’ll be all good. I did return to World briefly to try and work on achievements, but I found the camera in that game makes me dizzy now. I greatly prefer the snap camera focus over the constant tracking camera of World.

After finishing Xenoblade Chronicles 3, I decided that I needed to take a break from long RPGs and focus on a more chilled experience. With the announcement of Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life, I decided to finally give Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town a go. My first impressions so far is that it is a Story of Seasons game. I know I could play Stardew Valley again for the tenth time, but it’s sometimes nice to go to a familiar game with a different aesthetic. Hopefully the Wonderful Life remake will be as good as this one and not like the PS2/PS4 version (which I need to start working on…).

Plans for Next Month

My schedule is more open this month, but as always I am not going to make any promises.

At one point, I was going to write a post about all the announcements from a few weeks ago, but I started to lose interest when I realized that most things I was excited for were remakes. I don’t know what that says about me as a person, but I may return to it soon if nothing but a reminder for when things are coming out (seriously I can’t keep track of anything). I also need to put something together for Xenoblade Chronicles 3. I already have a topic in mind. Just need to find the best way to articulate my words.

It’s October! This means I get to continue my journey through different Castlevania titles. This might be the year that I play through the PS2 titles, but I also have the Lord of Shadows games to knock out as well. I’m holding off on the DS titles since I still need to get Portrait of Ruin and I’m kinda holding out that Konami will re-release them in a DS collection. There is definitely one game that I want to play, but I want to step outside my comfort zone a bit while playing it. My hope is that I can live stream myself playing through Castlevania 64 from beginning to end. It would be the first time that I start a game on stream and end it, and I think this game will help me through it. After playing the first 30 minutes of the game, I can tell that I’m going to have a fun time. 


Thanks for reading!

Backlog Report – August 2022

Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Why does my body hurt in the morning?

Hello all. I didn’t plan on going semi-MIA in August. Work really picked up for me and I have been too exhausted to do much. Any down time I have was spent taking time to myself or getting other small tasks done. September is not going to be any prettier, but I do hope I can write more since I really miss doing it. I have reached the point in my life where I need coffee to function properly at work, so the Keurig I got for my office will get its usage (all hail the magic bean).

I only wrote one thing this month, so I am going to omit my blog post section. I do know that when I do get time to write, I want it to be something positive since I’ve had a lot of negatives around me. I don’t want to take my frustration out on a game or a topic that doesn’t really deserve it (and vice versa, I don’t want to spend the time searching for something deserving of my rage). The list of topics for me to talk about continues to grow, but my time and energy to thoughtfully write them out continues to shrink. I can only continue to do what I’ve been doing and that is to write snippets of things every time something comes to mind. Hopefully, those snippets turn into full paragraphs that I can then use as “material.” Any who, I do appreciate everyone who reads my stuff and I’m sorry that I can’t do it as often (or maybe I shouldn’t be sorry since this is just a hobby? I don’t know. I’m tired…).

One thing that I have been very grateful for is my time spent playing with other people. Most of my gaming lately has been with others who give me the excuse to stop what I’m doing to join them in some fun. It’s been a blast playing Elden Ring with my regular friends, but now I’m also playing it with Meghan and Omni when our times line up. If this goes well maybe I can convince them into trying a Bloodborne multiplayer run! I also reconnected with my old Monster Hunter buddy and we have been tearing through Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. We have been working on getting me to G Rank along with his partner and another friend of ours. It has really reignited my love for Monster Hunter, and it feels so good being in a full group of four and taking less than five minutes to kill each target (that will change once we reach G Rank). These moments are going to carry me a lot for the next couple of months, and I am going to try my hardest to keep these connections strong.

Finished Games This Month

I wasn’t able to get anything done this month (sad trombone noise).

Games Added This Month

Xenosaga Episode III: Also sparch Zarathustra (PS2)

You are all now in a binding contract to never tell Kat how much I spent to get this game. I have been holding off buying this game for a while and finally decided to complete the set. I came to the conclusion that this game will never get cheap, so I bought it when I saw it was available through my reliable source. My goal was to originally get this on my birthday since I could justify it. Now that I have this game, I’m sure Monolith or Bandai are working on rereleasing this trilogy as we speak. The hole in my wallet is my gift to all of you if these games get released on modern platforms within the next year or so.

Final Fantasy XI: Ultimate Collection Seekers Edition (PC)

In my enduring quest to play all of the Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy XI Online is a game that I have to play. I do own the game for the Xbox 360, but I think playing this game on PC is the better option. Plus, it was on sale for $7, so it wasn’t a hard pass for me.

Monark

Meh. I saw a copy online for cheap, so I went with the purchase. I was interested in the game when it was first announced, but I knew it was going to be one of those games that I would get later down the road. Hopefully I don’t get around to this within the next year or so.

Prinny Presents: NIS Classics Vol. 3 (La Pucelle: Ragnarok / Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure)

Volume three of this collection may be the best one to get. La Pucelle: Ragnarok is a remake of the PS2 game that never released outside of Japan. Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure is an elusive game that came out on the PS and DS. Having these titles on the Switch and PC will make these games much more accessible.

Currently Playing

All month, I have been focused on playing Xenoblade Chronicles 3. So much in fact, that I have over 60 hours in the game and about halfway done I think?? I feel like I could have finished this game sooner, but Monolith has finally found a way to make their side quests worth doing this time around. I’ve tried to avoid doing some of them, but they do give you rewards like new heroes and unlocking the limits on classes that you have. I will say that I do not appreciate some story resolutions locked behind the optional quests. All in all though, every time I think I’m burnt out from this game, I get to the conclusion of the chapter and it hooks me straight back in. I should hopefully have this done by the end of September (I have other games I want to play…)

Thanks to my (monster) hunting buddy, I have been playing a lot of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. This was my least favorite Monster Hunter title, but I now have a new appreciation for it. I think playing with other people makes that game ten times better than struggling alone. I’m going to save the rest of my thoughts about the game for a later time. I need to get Sunbreak at some point since I really want to play through the expansion now.

The other game that I somehow went back to is Overwatch. The glory days of this game are gone, but I found it fun to replay when I needed to find other things to get mad at besides work and repetitive RPG side quests. I dare say that I’m looking forward to trying out Overwatch 2 when it comes out at some point (I don’t remember the date and I’m too tired to look it up).

I think that’s everything that’s been going on with me. I’m going to test and see what kills me first: work or these never ending side quests.

Til next time.

Backlog Report – July 2022

Hello July. Goodbye July. Another month has come and gone in what feels like a bullet train ride through the year. Despite the hot and sticky weather, I will try and cherish these last few days of good mental health before hell starts to break loose. Gaming and writing may take a back seat in the months to come.

This month marks the end of the 50/50 Challenge that I started last year. A post about my results and what I’ve learned will come out shortly after this post. Since I haven’t really been talking about it lately, you can kinda guess how that went.

In other boring news (but really exciting for me), I am almost done cataloging all of the video game guides and art books that I’ve been collecting. This should have been done sooner when I first decided that I was interested in collecting them, but it can also be fun cataloging things in a huge batch. I just have a few more to go since most non-guidebooks are kept in a different room. I want to write about why I’m seeking out these old guide books lately and what makes them interesting to have in 2022. My next inventory project will be to record all of the game systems that Kat and I own.


Blog Posts This Month

Kirby and the Forgotten Abilities (Backlog Tale) – While I enjoyed my time playing through Kirby and the Forgotten Land, I couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. If you played through it and thought something was missing, maybe the structure of Kirby’s abilities was the culprit.

Finishing the Final Game in the Final Fantasy Advance Ports – Final Fantasy V (Backlog Tale) – I found Final Fantasy V to be lackluster, but that is a fault to the day and age that I played it (and games similar to it that I’ve played). While it is a classic game and has one of the best job systems in the mainline series, its spiritual successors like Bravely Default and Octopath Traveler have evolved the concept.


Games Finished This Month

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV

The meme is now over. After 168 hours and playing this game in chunks over the past year and a half, I have finally finished this part in the overlapping saga. If my tear ducts would work properly, I would have sobbed at the end. After getting to know these characters all these years and watching them grow into the heroes they become gave me so many emotions. I’m glad that I decided to randomly pick up this series since it has been an overall good experience for the most part. I would like to say that I am caught up on the current series, but I still have the Sky and Crossbell games to play through before I view all of the pieces in this epic saga. Just give me five to ten years to do all of that…

Gunstar Heroes

This is a blast from the past. I don’t have as much nostalgia for the Sega Genesis like I do with the Super Nintendo. There are a few games on the Genesis that are very nostalgic for me, and Gunstar Heroes is one of those games. We used to play this a lot at my cousin’s house, but we could never beat it due to its high difficulty toward the end. Thanks to the Sega Genesis library via Nintendo Switch Online, my brother and I were able to put this game to rest in a little over three hours. The game still holds up great despite all of the flashing lights (developers loved their epilepsy flashers back in the day). If you have never played this game with someone, now is one of the best times since you can play it with someone online.

Final Fantasy VII

Would it surprise you if I told you that I have never finished this game before? I have played it in the past, but I lost access to it right when I got to the Northern Crater. Despite owning an original copy of the game, I went with the PS4 version since the achievement list would encourage me to see all that the game had to offer. Additionally, turbo mode made getting through some sections a big time saver (wish all JRPGs had a turbo button). Overall, I really enjoyed this game and understand why so many people are fond of it. I appreciate Cloud as a character way more since I finally understand the type of character he is. I’m excited to see the events of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth and the third game now that I have a better understanding of how the main game’s events flow (the final Midgar raid better be epic). I will now take back my JRPG Player card now that I have finished this game proper.


Games Added This Month

Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore

I wasn’t planning on getting many games this month after last month’s splurge fest. Of course deals would pop up that would be too good for me to resist. The first game that I was able to find cheap was Tokyo Mirage Session #FE Encore. I have wanted to try this game for a while, but didn’t feel like hooking up my Wii U just to play this. Hopefully I will find the time to play it soon since it is a good game from what I’ve heard.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

I completely forgot that I got this game this month (for some reason I thought it was last month). I’ve enjoyed the Phoenix Wright series due to its suspenseful nature. I need to finish the rest of the series past Apollo Justice at some point before bringing this game to the stand.

Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

This is a game that I’ve been waiting to get. Not only does it feed into my Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons collecting as of late, but it is technically a remake of one of the better games in the series. I would also like to point out that the case for this game is amazing since the reverse cover is a redesign of the Japanese box art for Friends of Mineral Town. I wish more companies would be creative with their cover art.

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

I had no intention of getting this game, but for $10 USD I can be persuaded to give anything a try. After looking at game footage I’m starting to wonder why I wouldn’t be interested in this. I will have to give this game a try soon just so I don’t forget that I have it.

Harvest Moon 2, Harvest Moon 3 GBC, & Harvest Moon (SNES)

Yup. I’m back to collecting different versions of Harvest Moon. With the 3DS and Wii U shop closing soon, these may be the last games that I’m interested in getting on either system. Harvest Moon 64 is also available on the Wii U shop, but I’ve decided that I’m going to look for an authentic copy of the game (there are so many replications online). Good luck finding a cheap copy of Harvest Moon for the SNES once the store closes since that is a crazy expensive game.

Mario Golf Toadstool Tour & Mario Power Tennis

We can all agree that the Mario sports games have been extremely lackluster as of late. The whole “release the game now and we will add the rest of the content later” does not work with a full price game and Nintendo has ruined a lot of popular titles with this development model. I’m going to get off this topic now before this turns into an essay. I have never owned these titles despite really liking Mario Golf and Tennis on the N64. For some reason my older brother never had the urge to get these. I was able to find them both complete for a good price; and that means a lot considering that they are Gamecube games. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 3

If I hadn’t finished the other two Xenoblade games recently, I wouldn’t be as excited to play this. With both games’ stories still fresh in my memory, it’s best to play this now and dodge any potential spoilers that will be posted online next week (because people can’t help themselves). Will report once I get further into the game.

Digimon Survive

I felt bad for Digimon Survive. We’ve known about this game since 2018 and it’s finally being released….the same day as Xenoblade 3. That’s not their fault since Nintendo bumped XC3’s date up from its original September date. It is Bandai’s fault for not marketing this game until the last few months. It looks like a really good game with a mix of tactics RPG and visual novel segments. I wanted to support this game because I know this will be found in the bargain bin soon and considered a semi-flop (or maybe not since physical copies are slim).


Currently Playing

I wrapped up Final Fantasy VII for the first time. Despite the frustration I got while trying to navigate some areas, the original game still holds up greatly. I appreciate the whole FF7 universe now that I have a better understanding of the characters and world (I didn’t remember much from the first time I played it). Consider me excited to see where Final Fantasy 7: Rebirth goes and how the Remake project will conclude.

At the time of this writing, I haven’t played enough of Xenoblade 3 to give a formal opinion. I can only assume that I’m enjoying my time with the game and annoying people on the socials about it. This is where I will be for a while.

Once I’m done with Xenoblade 3, I want to take a break from long RPGs and break out into some other genres for a while. Maybe I will start playing through all of these Harvest Moon games since I will need something relaxing to play after work in the coming months. 


And that’s all I got this month. What are your plans and goals for this month? Try to stay cool out there.

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.