It's been awhile since I've been around. Stuff happened. It wasn't pleasant.
It's over now.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I need to deal with something else. After going without games for quite some time, quitting my volunteerism as a Cblog recapper, and going through some of the hardest months of my life, I slowly eased my way back into my once beloved hobby.
Things have changed dramatically for me in other ways. I spend a lot more time doing other things, but it has been nice to be playing something now and then. So here's what's been up in that regard. If nobody else gives a damn, that's fine; I have a weird, instinctual need to blog about my gaming experiences. Maybe that makes me a narcissist of some sort.
I can't express with any realistic accuracy just how much time I have spent playing Dr. Mario in various iterations over the past few months. For a long time, it was in fact, the only game I played, generally while on the toilet on my Game Boy Color. I spend a lot of time on the can, you see. Sometimes I go to think. Other times, I make boom boom. But every time, I play Dr. Mario.
I got so good at the game that level 20 became no real problem. I even discovered a new chime I heard for clearing four lines at the same time; the invincibility theme from Mario Bros. I have seen the ending screen for the game more times than I have lost a round, and I have even seen up to about level 23 on the Game Boy version, far higher than that on the DSi version.
There is probably some metaphor I could make about playing Dr. Mario while actively deciding to take prescription medication to help with my anxiety and mental duress, but I'm not going to bother with it. Frankly I am sick of trying to write that sort of sappy shite.
Wow. Just wow.
It's not very often Nintendo really impresses me anymore. After failing to preserve key franchises like Star Fox, and willingly pumping out the same 2D Mario experiences ad nauseum over the past few years, I was starting to become a bit disenchanted with them. Mario 3D Land was a saving grace, and in my opinion, is one of the best Mario games ever made. But I avoided Kid Icarus due to fear of a broken control scheme, and because I was willing to heed the horribly flawed (in my opinion) and completely unfair of Destructoids own Jim Sterling, who I have realized I thoroughly disagree with on more than one or two opinions.
I am glad I finally bit the bullet, because Kid Icarus is one of the best Nintendo games I have ever played.
Getting past the controls was a minor hurdle. For whatever reason, maybe my lack of soft baby hands and a grip that could crush a melon from frequent masturbation, I haven't really had a problem holding the relatively light plastic 3DS in one hand while using a stylus in the other. I am not claiming some superiority or implying that I may be slightly more physically capable than the buttery overlord and reviews editor who slashed the score in half in part because he could not figure out how to do so, but that problem isn't one I have had, so I certainly can't relate.
The other criticism was one of the "ground game", which I find to be just as thoroughly enjoyable as the flight portions of the gameplay. The fast paced action, excellent voice acting, and amazing soundtrack and ridiculously meaty replay value of the title put it up there with some of the greats. I do recognize some barriers to entry do exist, and many may not be able to deal with the controls for various reasons, but if you are able to get past them, it's really a fantastic, fun experience that is not matched so far on the system by anything else in the genre.
ALIENS: THAT DS ONE, WHATEVER IT'S CALLED
Wayforward is a hit and miss company in my opinion. While I have certainly enjoyed everything I have played by them, very few of their games stand out to me as being exceptional. They are definitely good for the most part, and they have some very specific talents I appreciate such as sprite animation, but the games themselves are just alright a lot of the time, and Aliens falls into that category for me as well.
The thing is, it isn't the budget title my local Wal Mart bin made it out to be; in fact it is one of the best games the franchise has ever seen, which really, isn't saying a whole lot.
The Metroid-esque mapping system and the atmosphere of Aliens being kept mostly intact are two of the positive points, with the negatives being some fairly simple trigger happy, mostly bland and straightforward gameplay, and some repetitive, dull music. It's really not a bad buy, but for me, it has the same problem other Wayforward titles have; a simplistic design that offers nothing new, and is barely innovative. Still a lot of fun and definitely worth it if you are an Alien fan.
LITTLE BIG PLANET 2
There is so much to say about this game that I don't even really know where to begin.
So I won't.
It's great. It's like owning millions of games. And even the story, which I found to be sort of boring in the first one, has a lot of really great, solid levels. It's a platformers paradise, with everything else thrown in for good measure. Just beautiful.
I am going to cut it short. I am not super comfortable doing this yet. Feeling rusty. It's been awhile. But this is the primary space where I blog about games, so regardless of this post doing nothing to further my imaginary "career" as a blogger, it felt good to talk about what I've been up to and get that out of my system.