It’s April and you know what that means, it’s time for me to document the games that I’ve played and played through during the previous month! This past month I haven’t really started many new games because boy-oh-boy is my backlog meaty. Unlike in February, I was actually able to beat a couple of games this time around and not in the quitters way of just setting aside a game and ignoring it forever more! Focusing on my backlog has been fun this last month so being unable to add onto it was absolutely a blessing. Sure, I would have loved to have played the new Kirby or Night in the Woods but I just don’t have the money right now and I definitely want to have money in time for Fractured But Whole on Switch later this month. So hey, let’s knock out this list!
I mentioned this last month but perhaps my greatest time sink this month has been Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch. Last month I commented on how Xenoblade Chronicles felt very much like ‘garbage anime, the game’ and after nearly 40 hours, I’m absolutely sticking to that descriptor. The plot and characters feel like something that would absolutely be at home on a midnight-to-oneAM time slot over on Adult Swim. Despite spending nearly 2 real-world days playing the game though, I’m actually only on chapter 4, this is because I’m having a lot of fun just buying tanks and jumping off of cliffs to obtain treasure and hopefully spawn a companion who looks like a waifu instead of a Mark II. Iron Man suit. Even last month, I was absolutely onboard for Rex and Pyra to come in and represent Xenoblade in the next Smash but at this point, I’d be happy with just about anybody from XC2 taking over for Shulk. I’ve said before and I’ll say again that I usually dislike the MMO-like combat style that Xenoblade Chronicles has always utilized but it’s fast enough and requires just enough input that I’m actually kind of enjoying it here. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is absolutely going to end up on my journal next month and if I really hope I’m able to beat it before Dark Souls launches because there’s a very real possibility that my June journal is going to be nothing but me gushing about this game and Souls.
(Look at this, this is garbage. Adorable garbage but still garbage. I love this garbage!)
Here are another pair of games I mentioned last month: Knack and Crash Bandicoot. Both are platform-focused, character-centric platformers that strongly encourage you to collect hidden items but one of these games is vastly, VASTLY, more fun than the other. Knack killed me far more times than I’d care to admit but this is because of incredibly inconsistent damage dealt by enemies. Crash Bandicoot killed me far more times than I’d care to admit but that’s because of incredible, tricky platforming and iffy hit-detection while riding giant swine. Digging deeper though, it’s clear that Crash is the better game: Crash isn’t a mindless automaton who’s killing an entire race because knock-off Professor White tells you to do so. Both games can be frustrating at times but I knew when I died in Crash, it was because I messed up a jump, not because the game doesn’t know if being punched by an orc takes away 5/8ths of my health or 7.5/8ths. I don’t see myself playing either game any time soon but I absolutely want to get started with Crash 2 this month because that’s the one that I actually played as a kid. Knack on the other hand can go to the same afterlife that Blinx and Monty Mole wound up in; alone and forgotten by everyone but the nerds who are considered nerds to the nerdiest of nerds.
Steamworld Heist, Dragon Ball FighterZ and, Dead by Daylight are games that I booted up and played around with a little bit this past month. I’m currently stuck in Steamworld unfortunately and even if I can play as The Spine or Rabbit later on, I’m not feeling very much incentive to go back and play it at the moment. I did enjoy that game when I was making forward progress but like with Battle Chef a month or so ago, I’ve hit a wall and am putting that game on the back burner for a while. Fighter Z is a game I put back in because news of Brodock and Barley rekindled some interest in me to replay that game again. As usual, the game is fun to play while I’m playing it but the single player story mode isn’t as sharp a hook as I was hoping and I’ve barely put in an hour with that game. Frankly I feel like the next time I play a Dragon Ball game it’s going to be Xenoverse 2 again since I’m not done with that game either. Finally, there’s Dead by Daylight which I don’t really take seriously anymore. I’ll pop online and take on a daily every so often but once I’m able to level up a character to the point that I can unlock a prestige class, I’ll probably put the game up indefinitely. The player population is still healthy though so I have had some really fun matches recently but the spark is mostly gone and this isn’t as much of an unwind game as it used to be for me.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a large and robust backlog of games that I could be playing but don’t because of spicy new games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Super Mario Odyssey belly-dancing for my attention. I did dive back into my backlog in March but it wasn’t to finally play through Bayonetta 2, Return to Dreamland, Killer 7 or even Legendary but rather to feed my ravenous bloodlust for the next Super Smash Bros. I’m quenching my insatiable thirst for new Smash by playing the best Smash, Super Smash Bros for 3DS. This is something that I played less of last month than Dead by Daylight or Crash Bandicoot but it’s a game that I’m playing anyway because it’s fun and I’m using it to help speculate about who might or might not make the cut for Smash for Switch. Do you remember Magicant or Pac-Land because those stages are a lot of fun and I hope they return for Smash for Switch, same with the Game Boy stage but that concept can be expanded upon: give us a game boy that becomes a GBC, GBA, DS, 3DS and finally Switch. In addition to this journal, I’m writing a CBlog about who I think is going to be playable in Smash for Switch and I’m thinking of breaking that into 2 CBlogs because of how many Third Party characters could be in and I feel like that is its own conversation separate from which core Nintendo characters will make it to the next entry. In Smash for 3DS anyway, I tend to main (pink) Bowser and favor the Pokemon stages with the Pokeball, assist trophy, bob-omb, steel cube and, home run bat items active.
Remember when I mentioned my massive, throbbing, veiny, backlog earlier? Well Shadow of the Colossus is a game that I own two copies of on the PS2 but haven’t played at length until last month when a close friend was able to get me a digital copy for the PS4. I played through this version in a few days last month and after a half-hours learning curve I was able to play through and actually have fun with this game for the first time. Part of why I never beat the PS2 version of this game is how awkward the controls felt in the original release. The PS4 version definitely still takes getting used to but once I was comfortable with the controls I as fully enveloped in this world and killing the many, many colossi who populate it. Even on my crappy 24’ monitor, this is the best looking game I’ve played in a really long time. I wasn’t completely sure about going through a second playthrough right away but luck smiled upon me and I now have a much better 24’ TV so I’ll likely go ahead and take on a hard playthrough within the next week or two. I don’t look forward to fighting the penultimate colossi again or the two tiny ones but not since Bloodborne have I played a game with such compelling boss fights. I really don’t see myself getting the platinum for Shadow of the Colossus but I don’t particularly care about that in this instance.
The last game that I spent more than 2 minutes playing this past month is the divisive sequel to Deus Ex 3, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. This was a free game for PS+ users from...was it a March freebie? I have forgotten completely when it was offered for free but I’ve been on the fence about whether or not I wanted to boot it up. Mankind Divided seems to be a really divisive game for some reason: it doesn’t seem to be divisive in the way that Link’s Adventure is but rather, it seems like even its advocates admit that it isn’t as good as Human Revolution. Personally, I greatly enjoyed Human Revolution when I played through it on the Wii U so it really was only a matter of time before I resumed the adventures of Adam ‘I Never Asked for This’’ Jenson. Much like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, I’ve put multiple hours into Mankind Divided but I haven’t really done a lot of essential missions quite yet, instead choosing to sneak around Prague and role play a kleptomaniacal home invader. So far I’ve enjoyed some tweaks, like how there are new stunning weapons and I like the new hacking mini-game, but I don’t like the new control scheme too much. My main issue is holding down R3 to open the weapon wheel and holding square then tapping L2 to holster my weapons. When it comes to the plot of the game, I’m going to be honest and admit to skipping a lot of dialog and skimming over eMails and other such things. It’s not that I don’t care I just...well, I guess I don’t care all that much. I do like how many of the quests are named after old rock and metal songs though like Neon Nights and, Cult of Personality. I’m definitely feeling very positive about Mankind Divided right now, the stealth feels fine, the shooting feels fine, the new setting seems fine. I’m definitely going to be talking about this game in my next month’s journal and possibly even the one after that but based on what I’ve seen on ‘How Long to Beat’ and based on what I remember of Human Revolution, I don’t see myself spending hundreds of hours on this game, maybe even fewer than 50.
March has come and gone and frankly I’m glad to see it end; March was definitely a tense month for me and I’m hoping April is better. I’ve definitely got some games to distract me from the worse parts of my day and I look forward to getting through more of games like Xenoblade 2, Deus Ex 4 and, Dead by Daylight. I’m very much looking forward to wallowing in some nostalgia and starting up Crash 2 soon it looks like Mad Max is this month’s PS+ freebie. I’d like to eventually get back into Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Age and I’ve had Tales of Zestiria for longer than I’ve had my PS4. There’s no telling what sales may bring in the coming weeks though and if the price is right, there are a lot of games on my Switch and PS4 wishlists. If I’m able to come across a massive enough windfall, reobtaining the rest of my backlog from storage will literally bury me in unplayed games. If all else fails though I can always play my favorite game: Trolling horny people on Omegle.
(I mean, I guess I'll finally pick this up)