In what is the coolest jobs I've ever had, I write about toys for a living. All day, nothing but toys. It's amazing. When I'm not writing at work I'm writing at home, either working on my screenplay or my children's novel. When I'm not doing any of that I try to get in some video game time. I'm currently rocking Nintendo only consoles because dammit, I love Nintendo. More than Nintendo, I love platform games. Even though my favorite game isn't a platformer (The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker), it is my favorite genre of games.
Follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/thekillerbees and add me to your 3DS Friends List (1633-4277-3240 and let me know so I can add you to mine.) I'd love to meet some people who want play some Kid Icarus, Resident Evil: Revelations and Mario Kart 7.
Attack of the Friday Monsters, one of Guild-02 games released this week on the Nintendo eShop, is one of those rare games that Iím hating the more I play it. If I were a reviewer, itís score would be dropping by the second as I try to find my way through its post game content. The actual game itself is a quirky little adventure game that tries to combine the charms of Earthbound, Professor Layton, visual novels and kaiju into a game based off 70ís Japanese shows for children. For the most part it works. The story is wacky, like an episode of The Twilight Zone for children. The dialog could use work (unless they intended everyone in the game to sound like a massive dick) but itís easily one of the most unique games Iíve played all year. When you take the childish charms of the story and combine them with the collectible card game, part of me becomes nostalgic for my childhood (although I was a Pogs kid, not a card collector).
The gameís main story has you going through more than 25 chapters, but the chapters donít happen consecutively. The word ďchapterĒ can be misleading as these are more akin to the mysteries in the Professor Layton series. You start a chapter and before youíve finished it you have probably already started and completed several other chapters. If that sounds confusing, itís not. The game is pretty straightforward and will take about three hours to complete the main story. Thatís when the post game, and all of the issues I have with Attack of the Friday Monsters, begins.
When youíve completed the story mode, youíll have several chapters that are incomplete. Youíll also have several battle cards you havenít collected. The goal here is to try and figure out which residents you need to talk to to complete those remaining stories. Easier said than done. Let me try to explain what makes this whole process so frustrating:
Letís say you start by talking to ďResident A.Ē You defeat Resident A in a game of Monster Cards and he gives you ďTalking Point A.Ē You then go and talk to all the other residents to find someone who Talking Point A is meant for. When you find that person, theyíll give you ďTalking Point BĒ and you start the process over again. Itís similar to the trading sequences in the Legend of Zelda series. †The trouble happens when you talk to some youíre not supposed to. Youíll be talking to residents with ďTalking Point AĒ when you come across someone who gives you ďTalking Point C.Ē This begins a long process of you going in a circle, having talking points changed without ever completing the process. Itís exhausting, itís annoying, itís doing everything in its power to eliminate all good will towards this game.
Because of this frustrating process, I have given up trying to fully complete this game. What was a delightful three hour story of a town where monsters come out and fight on Fridays has fallen apart at the seams with a collection of bad game design choices. I have one chapter left to finish, which will get me the final two cards I need to complete my collection, and I have no fucking idea how to do it. Had the developers decided against post game content and instead finished all the chapters in the main story mode I would have been satisfied with this game. But the decision to artificially stretch the game out with an hour-plus of rinse-lather-repeat gameplay ruins it. Games can be short, there is nothing wrong with that. However there is something wrong about adding content to a game that is a chore to get if only to extend the final playtime.