Backlog Report – September 2022

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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!

Learning Things About Myself – The End of My 50/50 Challenge

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A year ago today, I challenged myself to lose 50 pounds and finish 50 games off my backlog. I decided on this challenge right after I had completed my Master’s program. I needed something to fill the void and to keep myself aiming for some goal or I would just sit around and feel miserable. Now that the challenge is over, I can share with you all my results and what I’ve learned from this experience.

After a year of working on my backlog and weight loss, here are my results:

Weight loss: Loss between 5-10 pounds (Can’t give accurate number since my scale started to act weird)

Games Finished: 29/50

Hooray I didn’t do it! To be completely honest, I knew that I wasn’t going to meet my goals. This is not me trying to sound defeatist. I try to not gave up on my goals at any time, but I didn’t put in all the effort that I know I’m capable of. If anything, this challenge has helped me understand more about myself that I was unaware of.

The Observation

I will say that the biggest thing that I have learned about myself is that I don’t like to do what I tell myself to do. It is bizarre and weird for different reasons. I am the type of person who will drop anything that I am doing to do any request asked of me. That trait is thanks to my upbringing (for better or worse), and I never hesitate to help others when asked (within reason). That doesn’t apply when I tell myself what I want/need to do. I will actively fight with myself over the things that I need to do over what I want to do. For example, if someone told me that I need to wash the dishes, I will get up and do it with little to no fuss. When I tell myself that I need to wash the dishes, I will mellow over it until I finally do it…a few hours or days later. It could be something subconsciously that weighs other’s tasks more important than mine, but that is a whole can of worms for another time.

So how did this affect my challenge? First and foremost, this was a self-imposed challenge that I gave myself. I was doing this for myself and no one else, so naturally I was going to stop caring about it sooner or later. Unlike other projects of mine, like this blog or my spreadsheet projects, I didn’t have the same amount of passion for it. Sure I was determined to make my goals, but at the end of the day it was just for me so my subconscious rejected it. This was very evident in my weight loss goal where I saw the least results in. The desire to lose weight is there, but the only motivator that I have is myself; and since I hate myself apparently, the motivation gets lost pretty quick. I thought talking about it would help keep me accountable, but no one (IRL) was keeping me to my word or encouraging me to keep going. Without that, I saw it as something only I wanted.

Video games are different apparently. Playing games has always been for my enjoyment, so playing through them is for my sole benefit. The problem came from my attitude when choosing and playing the games I want to play. Earlier this year, I made a post about the games that I wanted to finish this year and how they were going to be a priority for me. So far, I have finished 3 out of the 15 that I said I was going to do. Yes I still have time this year to get them done, but I no longer have a strong desire to do so back when I had the desire to play them. Kat was the one who actually pointed this out to me. I have a hard time agreeing to play games that people recommend to me. I tend to play only what I feel like playing right in the moment. When it came to deciding what games I should play for this challenge, the easiest thing that I could have done was to find all the games I had that could have been finished in the shortest time. That felt like cheating in some way. If I shied away from them during this period, then I would shy away from them in the future in my decision making. Being actively engaged with what I’m playing makes the hours-long RPGs go by faster since most of my time is spent only on them rather than sharing the game time with two to three other games. I know the response to this is “well duh,” but this is me that we are talking about.

The Positives

This whole challenge was not a bust. I did learn a lot about myself and what makes me tick. I also have started new habits that will benefit me in the long run.

My diet has changed drastically. In the past I have cut out soda and other sugary drinks, but now I’ve cut off almost all of those types of drinks by 98%. I will have one now and again, but now I gravitate more towards diet or zero sugar versions of those drinks (which are still not the best). Fast food no longer appeals to me. I now start to feel great discomfort whenever I eat at most places. I already didn’t eat a lot before, but now my portion sizes and what I eat have greatly diminished. The only thing holding me back are gummy candy since it gives me something to gnaw on while I’m playing or working on things. My hope is that my improved diet will help me reduce my calorie intake and start seeing small results there.

In addition to that, I do have some neat additions that will hopefully steer me to do better things. I convinced my boss that I needed a new desk for my office, so now I have an adjustable table where I can choose to sit or stand. I also keep a resistance band in my drawer so I can do some workouts during my breaks. For at home, I now have a workout bike on each floor, so now I have no excuse for when I feel like peddling.

With gaming, not much has changed. Now that I understand how my brain ticks, I have been playing more games to completion. According to my data, I have finished more games during this challenge than I have in any other year since 2017 when I started tracking. Currently, I am on track to finishing the most games than I ever have by the end of the year. This is good to know since I have so many games in the backlog to finish.

The Future

So what would I like to do with all of this information? For starters, I think it will be beneficial for me to either join others who are trying to lose weight or hire a personal trainer. I’m fortunate enough to have options via my job, so I may look into those benefits. It’s weird to think that I’m more motivated to do something if I know that others are willing to participate with me.

There are not a whole lot of changes that I need to do with gaming. The only real change is for me to start playing what I feel like playing and not something out of obligation. 

If I decide to do something like this again in the future, I think I will take some more time to prepare myself and be absolutely ready on day one. This doesn’t conclude my weight loss or backlog goals. Rather, I see this as a new outlook on what I want to accomplish in the future and what I need to do in order to see it through.

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.

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.

Mini Backlog Tales Collections Vol. 1

There are some games that I finish that I really don’t have a lot to say about. It is kinda unfair that they don’t get the same treatment like others, but with this I hope to rectify that a bit. These mini compilations will feature some of those games that don’t need a whole dedicated post to them. There will be some that I want to talk about more in length, so if you don’t see it mentioned in this post, then chances are I’m working on a larger post for it.


Pokémon Trading Card Game

Starting things off is the Pokémon Trading Card Game for the Gameboy Color. I played this via the 3DS Virtual Console release, and it’s one of those games that didn’t take long to finish. I did have to start the game over since I did something stupid that the game warned me about. Apparently there is an NPC who will trade you one card for all the other cards that you have in your trunk. Not knowing this, I accepted the trade and lost all my cards not in my possession. I was also bad and didn’t manually save since the virtual console version will suspend where you last left off. So I just thought it best to just start from the beginning again.

This is a solid representation of the early card game. If you are like me and never knew how to play the game (but like collecting the cards), then this was the game to have back then. The card game itself is pretty simple, but can be challenging towards the end. Since the game only covers the first edition of the TCG, there are a limited number of cards that you can use at your disposal. Even with the small amount of cards, there is enough possibility to create decks that focus on one element or help feed to whichever Pokémon is your ace.

In order to beat the game, you need to defeat the eight club leaders and then defeat the four masters at the Challenge Hall. If you have played a Pokémon game, this set up feels familiar. Instead of walking around a region in order to catch and train new Pokémon, you instead just select where you want to go on the map and it will take you there. I wish each locale had something different an unique to them, but all the entrances and side rooms look the same. I also wish there was a way to buy card packs instead of only getting them from defeating other players. It makes searching for specific cards hard since you have to find the right player who will reward you with the card pack you need, and then hope that you get it. In most cases, you will probably rely on your starter deck for the first three areas until you build up enough cards to create different decks.

All in all, Pokémon Trading Card Game for the GBC was a fun time. I wish we got the sequel that came out in Japan since they added new cards that were current at the time. I also wish we would get a new standalone game that wasn’t Pokémon TCG Online. I may give the online version a try one day, but if Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel taught me anything, it’s that I’m probably out of my prime when it comes to current trading card games.

Game Stats:

Game Started: 1/27/2016
Game Finished: 10/31/2021
Total Play Time: 21 Hours


Astro’s Playroom

This is a great tech demo. This game is preinstalled on all PS5s, and it does a great job of showing what the PS5 Duel Sense controller can do. I know the game is supposed to demonstrate how awesome the PS5 is, but if you’re someone like me who does not have an eye for fancy tech words and numbers, then this plays just like a fun game. 

The thing I enjoyed the most about this game are all the references to PlayStation’s history. The main collectables in the game are all past and present PlayStation hardware and accessories; going all the way back the original PlayStation to the current PlayStation 5. I didn’t grow up with a PlayStation, but I still found this interesting to see all the past accessories, handhelds, and iterations of all of Sony’s gaming products. Once collected, the items are displayed in a museum and can be interacted with as a little touch to see how these items worked. Again, if you have no attachment to the PlayStation brand, then you may not find it interesting. Other than that, there are Easter Eggs that represent classic PlayStation games in each stage. These were fun to find and try to figure out which game they were from.

I hardly play anything that doesn’t feel like it’s missing something or the length should be altered. Astro’s Playroom is one of those games where I felt like I was playing a perfect game. All the components of the game felt perfectly tuned to make the game feel complete. The length of the game felt comfortable, the levels had enough challenge to them without making them feel too easy or too challenging, and the reward for collecting everything felt rewarding. Not many games have been able to achieve that feeling nowadays, but this game was a perfect introduction to how the Duel Sense controller works and feels. Of course their may be others who found problems with the game, but during my entire playthrough, there was nothing that I could find to complain about.

Other than that, this was a fun, small game that came along with my PS5. I can’t claim that I got all the achievements on my own since Kat took the game from me and played half of the stages (even though she created her own account and did everything on her own). There’s not much to go back and replay once you’ve collected everything, so it becomes a fast uninstall once you’ve done everything (which you can do in half a day). This is the type of demo that I wish newer consoles would include just to give the player an idea of what the new console can do. It was definitely better than Nintendo asking you to buy a $50 game that could have easily been included with the system.

Game Stats:

Game Started: 7/31/2021
Game Finished: 8/8/2021
Total Play Time: Between 10 to 15 Hours
Achievements Unlocked: 45/46 (have the Platinum, too lazy to do the speed run achievement)
Puzzle Pieces Obtained: 96/96
Artifacts Found: 46/46
Favorite PlayStation Console: PS2


Mario Party Superstars

Nostalgia is a dangerous weapon. If you use it incorrectly, you risk damaging a cherished memory by trying to cash in on that past magic (insert your own personal betrayal here. There are plenty to choose from). Mario Party Superstars was one of those games that I was cautiously optimistic for. It was like Nintendo was actually listening to the fans for once and were giving us a traditional Mario Party game without motion gimmicks, car gimmicks, or microphone gimmicks (I actually liked the microphone games). This was a return to form quite literally since it was a collection of boards and minigames from previous games in the series. This “new” game was set to highlight what made the series fun to begin with and try to gain faith in the series. 

Mario Party Superstars is by far one of the best Mario Party games that has come out in a while. While I did enjoy Super Mario Party, I felt like the boards were lacking, but the minigames were great. Superstars comes with five classic boards from the first three Mario Party games and refreshes them up with some updates from Super Mario Party. Each board feels unique and fun with their original concept still intact. The minigame collection contains games from all the numbered games with only a few of them being boring. The minigame collection is what Mario Party: The Top 100 should have had, but didn’t and caused it to be a flop in my opinion.

There are a few things that I wish this game included or had at this point. I feel that the roaster is small compared to other Mario Party games. I know Toad and Bowser can’t be playable characters, but there are other characters they could have added like Shy Guy, Koopa Troopa, or Bowsette. This may sound blasphemous, but this game would benefit greatly with DLC or free updates. While the board and minigame selections are great, this game would be so much better with one or two new boards. I am mostly a quality over quantity person, but this game has great quality and just needs some more things added to it.

In a great surprise to all, the online function actually works! A game like this is meant to be played with others on the same couch, but online play works just as well. Players can either que up with friends or join random people in a fifteen or twenty turn game. If someone leaves the group, they can either rejoin or a computer player will take their spot. For most of my games, we would start with four people and then around turn three we would be down to just two players. The only time I would experience any slow down in a game was when someone was leaving; other than that the gameplay is smooth. Another component that makes playing online or locally fun is the sticker mechanic. Nintendo is still afraid someone is going to learn the autonomy of their mom one day, so instead of a voice chat feature the game uses stickers to communicate with others. While screaming at someone is always the superior version of communicating with others, something about spamming these stickers just feels like a fun game mechanic. How else can I congratulate someone with a straight face when someone loses their stars to Bowser?

Mario Party Superstars was a surprise success for me. The game has other minigame modes that you can participate in, as well as an achievement system; but the party mode is still the best mode to play with others. It is fun to play with others or complete strangers locally or online. I don’t know what else to say about a good Mario Party game except to play it for a month and then move after you’ve cursed your friends and family out for landing on Chance Time and screwing you over on the last turn. Good family fun from your friends at Nintendo.

Game Stats:

Game Started: 10/29/2021
Game Finished: 11/15/2021
Total Play Time: 16 Hours
Achievements Unlocked: 24/50 (Offline) ; 0/10 (Online)