Geeze, August is a long, terribly hot and, insufferable month. How lucky I am then to live indoors and with air conditioning so I don’t have to spend too much of my time suffering from environmental damage. Unlike the last couple of months, well, unlike last month, I was lucky enough to enjoy a good variety of games this month. I was even able to beat a handful of them so I guess August wasn’t all that terrible after all. That is, August wasn’t all that terrible until it was time for me to get into my car at any point when the sun was in the sky. So yeah, here’s this month’s list:
(I chose Litten as my starter this time)
Octopath Traveler is a huge game! That’s old news, I know but it took me over 70 hours to beat everybody’s 4 chapters and see the credits. I’m not even technically done with the game but I feel like I’m finished with the game, if just for now. My issue is that while I liked the stories that the game tells, the combat starts to wear on me if it takes longer than four or five turns. At the point in the game where I am, I can either try unlocking the four hidden jobs by fighting 4 super bosses, take on the final dungeon which reminds me of the last section of a Dr. Wiley castle or, continue working on side-quests. The last time I played Octopath, I did try the final dungeon but when I realized that I had to fight 8 bosses, back-to-back, without saving or resupplying, that was when the fatigue had well and truly set it. I really liked the bulk of Octopath but like with Bravely Default, I feel like I’ve beaten the game even though the game insists that I haven’t quite finished yet. I can see myself playing this again but not for a while. I wonder if that last sentence will turn into this month’s theme, if not the overall theme of my gameplay style…
(He's such a good dog)
I don’t remember what the Hell Wanderjahr is but apparently I played the demo this month. The most I remember of it is playing the demo for a very short amount of time. Looking at the screenshots, I’m reminded of why I didn’t bother putting more time into the demo: the game mostly plays itself. It’s presentation reminds me of something I might find on the google play store and despite all of the tutorials I’m suddenly remembering, it mostly seems useless since I made it through several of the levels just by summoning characters and letting them do their thing.
The Valkyria Chronicles 4 demo on the other hand was a much bigger deal. I’ve never played any of the games in this series but I know it by reputation. I wasn’t expecting Yahtzee to have been this accurate in his jibe though, as this game did feel a lot like a World War 2 game set in the Hundred Acre Woods. I’m not feeling too drawn in though; I played through a majority of the demo and while this is definitely an entertaining take on turn-based strategy gaming, this isn’t a genre that I’ve ever felt too enticed by. What’s worse is how the game grades you after each level which has always annoyed me, even though it’s likely there to encourage multiple playthroughs of each level. I can see myself getting this game eventually but it’s not a game that I’m chomping at the bit to get back into.
Last month, I started playing the original Fallout or rather I started playing the modded Fallout Fixt. Watching a couple of reviews of the original release made me see exactly how different Fixt is and I really don’t see myself lasting long with vanilla Fallout. That’s probably why it’s taken me until this month to actually finish this game. Anyway, my first successful playthrough of Fallout was a really entertaining one. My character turned out to be a tank, heavily allied with the Brotherhood of Steel who saved her people, decimated the Khans and, talked a mutant mastermind into killing itself. I don’t see myself playing this again though, at least not for a while, because of how slow the combat system is. I’m sure there’s a lot that I haven’t seen but I’d rather watch a longplay than get stuck in a massive battle again. I’m excited to play Wasteland 2 when that launches on Switch in a couple of weeks and I do plan on giving Fallout 2 another shot but I think I’m done with the original for now.
Mafia 3 was a free game this month for Playstation + subscribers. Mafia 3, unlike Mafia 2, was a game that bored the Hell out of me. The best thing I can say about it though is that it surprised me by which slur was used first. For me, this game peaked when I fed bodies to gators and I don’t see myself ever picking this game up again.
Metroid Prime is a game I first played on the Gamecube earlier in the 2010’s but never finished. When the game relaunched as part of a trilogy on the Wii (well, the Wii U), I was hugely disappointed that I couldn’t play the game with the classic controller because I hate Wiimote/nunchuck control scheme. This month however, I was able to actually make it work and I’m really glad that I did! Metroid Prime is a lot of fun to play, with really cool locales. Sure, it’s annoying to backtrack through the same several areas twelve-and-a-half times and some of the enemy encounters can be tedious from time to time but it wasn’t ever frustrating enough to make me want to stop for too long. The final hunt for the Chozo Artifacts got somewhat annoying but since it was easy to start looking for them from relatively early on, and since the internet exists, I didn’t really get stuck trying to find them. Hell, the two that I had the most trouble with were the two that I wasn’t able to get hints for right away. Unfortunately, by the end of my playthrough, I was feeling enough fatigue that I’m not quite willing to start Prime 2 quite yet. Maybe next month but I have no idea if I’ll have time to before a couple of my more anticipated releases...release.
(I don't...have any screencaps from my playthrough...so...)
So I went to Gamestop earlier this month and noticed that they had several Pokemon titles marked as being clearance. I already own most of what they offer, including Pokemon Sun but I wanted Pokemon Moon from the beginning but my dumb ass chose to be nice since my girlfriend at the time also wanted Moon. Anyway, I wasn’t expecting to be handed a new, sealed copy of Pokemon Moon when I passed my cash over to the greasy neckbeard behind the counter. I considered not opening the game but I had a Pokemon itch that needed scratching. I’ve already technically beaten this so I’m playing in a way that I would call casual but which isn’t casual at all. I’ve traded over a Ditto and some other Pokemon so at the moment, I have a tentative party made up of Beldum, Alolan Diglette, Goomy, Jangmo-o, Magnemite and, Rowlet but I have other Pokemon of similar level who I’m not sure if I’m going to use long term or not. I should just get on with things but I’m feeling torn about what I ultimately want my party to consist of. I want to differentiate my party in Moon from my party in Sun but I also want to raise certain Pokemon earlier in this playthrough than I did in my Sun playthrough. I’m probably going to continue playing this casually through the next month and possibly longer than that so prepare for more Pokemon writings in the future.
Goetia is a game that I talked about last month and still haven’t finished this month. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble with the puzzles at this point and I’m having trouble finding a reliable guide to help get me through. Either the Switch version was remixed from the Steam version or maybe the game just remixes itself per playthrough. Whatever the case may be, I’ve underestimated the power of these demons and am likely going to be made fun of when I eventually make it to Hell one day...specifically by Paimon…because I’ve given him so much shit this month...
I’ve played the Monster Hunter Generations Demo previously, back when it was called the Monster Hunter Double-Cross demo and it was in Japanese. When I played back then, I was able to complete the first two hunts so naturally, I went straight ahead and just tried the middle hunt against the Barioth for the localized version of this demo. Unfortunately, I was killed by the damned thing all three times I took it on. I know I’m not terrible at Monster Hunter but it’s also not a game that I’ve ever felt compelled to sink hundreds of hours into. I played a lot of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate but even with that game, I played for fewer than 50 hours and I dislike the grindy aspect of the series. I may or may not get this, it just depends on how low the price eventually goes.
The Early Years: King of Kings is a game that I found at Cartridges Galore, a local independant game shop and by ‘local’ I mean that it’s about a half-hour away from where I live. King of Kings is an unofficial NES game produced and manufactured by the fine people of Wisdom Tree. If you’re playing a NES game and suspect it’s thinly veiled Christian propaganda, you’re likely playing a game by Wisdom Tree. King of Kings is made up of three mini games. The only one I was able to finish has you playing as one of the three wise men, following the star to Bethlahem on the night of Jesus’ birth. You ride on a camel, navigate through simple (though poorly programed) platforming challenges and must avoid hostile wildlife. If you’re running low on health, you can regain some by touching scrolls and correctly answering bible questions. I was surprisingly good at the bible trivia which is kind of ironic considering how edgy and atheist I am but I was definitely helped by the fact that the game only has about 30 different questions. The second of the three games has you playing as another wise man riding on a camel and I have no idea what the objective was but the gameplay was the same: you’re platforming and you’re answering bible trivia but the platforming challenges are slightly more difficult while being just as poorly programmed. The final of the three games has you playing as Joseph who must find the baby Jesus. You’re not riding a camel and in addition to platforming and hostile animals, there is at least one level that’s lain out like a maze and utterly stumped me. I beat one out of three of these games so I guess that means 33% of my soul will be allowed entry to Heaven so yay me.
(Who else here is a Cradle of Filth fan?)
Earthworms disappointed me but I should have probably tempered my expectations. I downloaded the demo off of the eShop and the game is about a gumshoe with the power of foresight. By touching certain objects, the player character sees...something that I think is hinting at either the solution to a puzzle or possibly a hint at where the plot is going to go. The problem is, I really couldn’t get into Earthworms because of the controls. I’m going to blame Goetia and Fallout Fixt for this but I was really missing the ability to see everything I could interact with, with the push of a button. The art style made everything look strangely flat too and the translation seemed awkward. I think I might just be picky when it comes to point and click adventure games but playing this made me nervous about other point and clicks that also look interesting to me like Detective Gallo or The Misadventures of Bertram Fiddle.
I can’t believe I won another contest! This Shoggoth is going to Delaware! I’m gonna see Wilmington and visit a screen door factory! Oh wait, no sorry; I won a contest that netted me a free download code for Nitro Ball. A Data East arcade game under the Johnny Turbo banner, Nitro Ball is one of those games I would have liked if I saw it in an actual arcade but which would have absolutely eaten my money. I only played through once so far and I love how this is basically just Smash TV but with elements of pinball. Instead of outright killing your enemies, your shots ball them up and send them rolling away. I wasn’t expecting to find power-ups that did the same thing to me but it was a pretty unique and fun power-up. Unlike Smash TV though, I really didn’t care too much for the bosses. There were only 5 or so and they just didn’t seem very imaginative. This is a really fun game though and I really hope I can find someone to play it with me eventually. It also felt a whole lot fairer than Super Burger Time, another Johnny Turbo arcade conversion I have on my Switch.
(I'm a thief)
The last game I played is one that I started and finished during the last 30 or 40 hours of the month. Subsurface Circular is one of the best short stories I’ve ever played. You take on the role of a detective who can’t leave the subsurface circular, an underground metro train, whose been charged with the task of investigating a disappearance. You and everyone you’re talking to is a tek; a humanoid robot of variable intelligence by the way. The core of the gameplay is dialog puzzles. You need to talk to everybody you see but to get them to talk to you and give you useful information, you might have to do something like resetting them, telling them a joke or, solving a riddle. I used a pencil and paper to solve some of the puzzles I came up against and I felt incredibly satisfied when I reached correct conclusions. I really wish there was more to the game but once you get to the end of the game, it doesn’t feel like a second playthrough would offer much more. That’s really my only complaint with Subsurface Circular: there isn’t enough of it. I would love to play more of this but I don’t know if I would want to play a direct sequel for reasons I’d rather not get into.
(Kappa Four-One is my friend)
August has come and gone and summer isn’t exactly dying fast. I’ve enjoyed a lot of what I’ve played this month but I’m not completely sure where to go from here. I have a pretty sizeable backlog of games that I could get into but finding Cartridges Galore in a relatively close area might prove to have been dangerous for my wallet and backlog. September doesn’t have too many releases that I’m looking forward to after all and I see myself spending this month paying off games that are launching in October. Wouldn’t it be funny if, during this month, I end up skipping Wasteland 2 and Senran Kagura? You know, those two games I haven’t shut up about since I heard about them being on the Switch? Wouldn’t it be funny if I finally got into Crash Bandicoot 2 after all this time? There’s no telling what I’m going to do.