I'm getting closer and closer Dtoid. While I still haven't fully caught up with my present self in writing these articles, I can say right now that I'm a little over the 3/4th mark on my 60 game year challenge. I just need to write my thoughts on the latest games I beat, and tell you about them Dtoid! For now here's some catch up commentary of games 34, 35, and 36 that I beat during this challenge
Professor Layton and the Unwounded Future Ė date beat July 8
Layton games have always been an odd form of addiction and torture. Sometimes I know the answer right away, and other times I have spent an hour just trying to figure out one puzzle. Despite this, Layton games always catch my attention when I play them, and I can beat them within a weekís time because of how addicting it can get. Unlike other games I get addicted to though; Layton games donít leave me with such a heavy impression, Unwounded Future however did. Unwounded Future is, for all purposes, about how Layton got his hat. I know that sounds really stupid at first, but when you played the game all the way through you should understand where Iím getting at. Pretty much all this game centers on is how and why Layton is the way he is. You really do feel for Layton in the end, and honestly the ending got me to smile in a bit of a bitter sweet moment. We want Layton to be happy, but that simply isnít possible. I think that ending, that moment, will stick with me the most. But as for the rest of Unwounded Future, well it certainly is filled with a lot of twists, and turns that I honestly doubt anyone, aside from Layton himself would be able to figure out.
Aside from the story, Unwounded Future gave the Layton series a few new key features and overall the game had a diverse amount of puzzles. Rarely, I felt like I was doing the same thing over and over again, and that was something the previous two Layton games were suffering from heavily. The hint system is even more robust with super hints that can often just solve the puzzle for, and I will honestly admit I used it for quite a few puzzles. There was also a new feature in Unwounded Future that I would like to see more of in the rest of the series, and for the best way I can describe it, it was a battle of wits. This really gave Layton a lot more conflict, and climatic moments that really not present in the other two games. I mean Layton had some pretty awesome moments in the other two games, but when you see the pictrats appear, and then that calming music turns on it kinda ruins the mood, you know? The pacing just felt better in Unwounded Future because it felt like you were in on the action, instead of in calm music land solving puzzles while a movie plays for you afterward.
Despite all this though, I canít really say I liked Unwounded Future more than Diabolical Box though. There was just something about diabolical box that made it a bit more interesting, that it was a bit of a tighter package of mysteries together. Unwounded Future's only real flaw I see is that the plot itself is all over the place, I mean I beat it, but I still canít make much sense of it. I understand how everything took place, but I think Diabolical Box simply had better transitions compared to Unwounded Future. Still though, Unwounded Future is a close runner up as the ending alone gives it a lot of impact on the player. Honestly felt like crying at the end, but I couldnít help, but smile as I learned I truly cared what happen to Layton and Luke. At some point these two characters climbed into my heart.
Conclusion: Unwounded Future may not be my favorite Layton game, but I think Iíll remember it the most. The characters are just far more endearing this time around, and somehow I care about them so much more. Puzzles can still be hit and miss, but the pacing is far better this time around, and overall the ending really just makes this game so special.
999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors -date beat July 12
If there was anything that blurred video games, and how they fit into any kind of media, 999 would be the best example. I have to say playing through this ďgameĒ really made me confused for what makes a video game, a video game. The story started out rather dull, if only for the constant explanations, but as I learned more and more about each character I became compelled to keep playing this game. The characters just had so much depth to them that you get lost in their stories and explanations. Like how did they learn about this? Who is this person really? And why is this all happening to them? The story had a pretty awesome idea behind it too, that quite frankly Iím rather interested to see if any of what was mentioned in the story is actually real. And after a while I wanted to desperately get past the puzzles it gave me just to continue the story. Beyond this point the puzzles just werenít cutting it; the story was far too good and the puzzles were in the way. I was just so tied up in 999ís story to realize that what I was playing was actually a game. And I have to wonder, did I read 999? Experience it? Or played it? The only thing I truly know is that 999 had an amazing story and concept to it.
Whatever 999 is, it still has puzzles in it to break the story together, and give you some interaction with the game. The puzzles themselves were often clever, but rather frustrating to execute. It took me far longer to get these puzzles done then I hope to care for, and it tended to break tension with how long it took. If the puzzles actually took place in real time I would have been dead twice over just because of how long these puzzles can take to figure out. Knowing that, I still think an actual timer on the puzzles would make this game far more interesting and tense. At the very least the puzzles were challenging, but not so hard that I couldnít figure it out on my own. 999 also has multiple paths, but you really only need to play it twice to get the true ending, and luckily for me thatís exactly what I did. The first ending I actually got was amazing, tense, and confusing. It pumped me up so much that I just had to play 999 again to get the true ending. And although Iím still trying to make sense of the true ending in my head, 999 will stick with me with its great story and characters. Thankfully I wonít have to wait long for the much needed sequel.
Conclusion: 999 is one of the best things I have ever read, and as a game it certainly has put a hold on me that not many games can say they have. I like to think of 999 as more of an experience then a game, something that can be taken with you into real life, but perhaps that isnít all true. Either way anyone that plays this game will likely fall in love with it, its characters, and the ideas that it shows. I know I did.
Wild Guns Ė date beat July 21
While browsing through the interwebs I came across this little gem called Wild Guns. It was in a list of games that people probably havenít heard of and I certainly never have. Once I saw this game I knew I had to get it; so through a quick search on Amazon I saw the game was heavily priced. Down, but not out I decided to just watch some more gameplay of this game, and see exactly what I was missing. Then I stumbled on a review of Wild Guns that mentioned it was on the Wii Virtual Console, and me having an extra 800 wii points knew it was destined to be! I hooked up my Wii as soon as I could and started playing it. It amazed me so much, the music, the high risk gameplay everything about it just made me stand in awe. What turned out to simply a play test turned into something a little more, and before I knew it I wasted 2 hours just learning the ropes and passing two levels, and going on a third. I knew I wasnít going to be able to beat it then, so I decided to save it for another day.
Wild Guns was obliviously a game I loved the moment I started playing it, but really whatís not to love about it? There is literally a guy named Clint and a girl name Annie shooting at robots in the Wild West! The game itself seems to be based off true grit, but with a more parody, '90s video game take on the movie. Itís also really hard, like you get hit once and you die hard. Itís also somewhat short too, but donít let that discourage you; there is plenty to replay as I doubt anyone will get good at this game right away. Wild Guns is very high risk, high reward, the better you play the more likely you build meter for your super mode which makes you invincible and rack up more points. You also get power ups, and bombs to aid you as well. You can either plan cautiously and dodge enemy fire, or go the more offensive route, and counter attack them when they throw things like dynamite at you. There is a lot to learn and do in this game, but by all means this game is more than fair. While you have to go through a whole stage on one continue, you can go through the game with as many as it takes, but leaving you on the stage you were last at.
The only real bad thing about Wild Guns is the control scheme, while it certainly works and works well I might add, the game only uses the d-pad and three buttons. The SNES had three other buttons, but they do nothing at all, while one button, shoot, is needed for three separate things. Hold shoot to, shoot, tap constantly to use your lasso, and tab shoot and dodge to perform a side dodge. Why couldnít they button the lasso and side dodge as a separate button? Itís not like I donít like the layout, but it certainly is odd that they donít consider it an option. Aside from that, Wild Guns is amazing gem from the SNES era, and well worth the 800 wii points it will cost on the virtual console.
Conclusion: Wild Guns is certainly one of those gems of a game that you see every so often. Itís wonderful, executed well, has a great premise, and its only fault is not getting enough attention. The music alone is worth a look, but the game itself is an amazing high risk, high reward arcade shooter. Seriously get it if you can!