It just hit me that this games journal isn’t going to hit until November 1st at the earliest so I’m going to apologize now if you’re sick of Halloween theming. Honestly, there isn’t all that much Halloween themed or spooky on my October games list since this month I played relatively few titles. I feel like I say that in all of these but this time it really feels like I played fewer games but I absolutely played games more this month than previous months. This is mainly because I took a week off during the third week of the month to decompress from work and really dig into one of the games on my list. Anyway, here’s my list for this month:
The month of October was a huge month for game releases and I had three on my radar that I was so excited for, I preordered them. The first of the three featured the triumphant return of Mega Man in a non-Smash setting. In September, I played the demo for this game and thought it was pretty challenging so to re-familiarize myself more with Mega Man I went from that demo and played through Mega Man 8 and 9. Either those playthroughs really did the trick when it comes to making me ‘git gud’, or Mega Man 11 just isn’t as difficult as the demo made it seem. When it comes to the main game, I only found that there were a couple of set pieces that gave me any real trouble and both of them could be trivialized by the use of items or a powered up boss-attack. The Wiley Castle in 11 is also the easiest, and it felt like the shortest, that I can remember running through with the exception of maybe one or two screens and a tricky boss. Mega Man 11 is a game that I greatly enjoyed but unfortunately, it was completely overshadowed by other games that launched this month.
(I need to see this guy's bunny)
Breath of the Wild is a game that I just pop on if I want to wander around the wilderness and chill out. This month I made some progress in the plot by traveling to the Rito village and fighting Windblight Ganon but for the most part I was just exploring western Hyrule and listening to Defunctland podcasts.I killed some stallfos this month though so there’s an applicable spook worth mentioning.
I played four rounds of Friday the 13th this month and like the last time I played it, I was a camp counsellor all four times. I’m convinced that the only way to play as Jason is to actively cheat but anyway: I survived half of the matches I played and this is how I did it. On my first match, I survived because the person playing as Jason quit while I danced around them flashing them with my flashlight. During my second match, I was killed when someone hit me with a car. During my third match, Jason bashed me in the face with a pick-axe and during the final match, I repaired a car on my own and drove it the Hell out of dodge with a couple of other players getting in with me. Dead by Daylight is more straightforward and there’s only one way for non-killers to win but at least you can play as a killer in that game whenever you feel like it.
On the 10th of the month, Nintendo uploaded three and a half new games onto the NES and Famicom online app dealy so I popped that open just long enough to be disappointed by them. The first golf game that I liked was Mario Golf on the game boy color so I’m not surprised to have disliked NES Golf. Dodgeball felt unplayable since every sprite flickered so often that it felt like I was playing as a ghost, playing dodgeball against other ghosts, so there’s another spook for the month of spooks. Then there’s Solomon’s Key which actually felt kinda fun to play but which I didn’t put a lot of time into because I was just not feeling up to playing any puzzle games this month. Nintendo loaded a rom for a remixed Legend of Zelda but I didn’t really play that either since I just don’t care about NES Zelda...There, I said it. I have to be in the mood to play NES Zelda and I’m just not feeling it right now.
The next game on my list wasn’t just a demo but it was a demo that made me want to buy the full product...which I haven’t done yet because my money is tight and laser focused on other products. True Fear: Forsaken, is a point and click adventure game played in the first person. You click to move from room to room and solve inventory puzzles to progress through the game and uncover the mystery of ‘what the Hell happened to my sister who I thought died years and years ago’. The demo opens in your apartment where you solve a simple puzzle before you can open your door and takes you through until you get into the backyard of a spooky old house. I’m having difficulty talking about the game without spoiling anything since this is a plot heavy game that relies on inventory puzzles but something about it just resonated with me. The demo I played was on the Switch so I’m assuming this has been on Steam for several years now.
(if you have ghosts, you have everything)
The second game I anticipated and pre-ordered this month was the E3 darling and Ubisoft’s answer to No Man’s Elite, Starlink: Battle for Atlas or as I like to call it, Star Fox 3: Battle for Atlas. I haven’t bought any additional ships or weapons and once I realized I could play without using the toys, I’ve just been playing like that (although admittedly, the toys are pretty badass to look at and display). The game itself is pretty fun too even if it’s a bit awkward at times. This is all-vehicles, all the time so moving around in-game feels floaty at times and I’m either not understanding how the game works or I have to hold the controller awkwardly to use my shields, shoot and, scoot away from enemy attacks quickly enough to be effective in combat. Visually, the game looks fine but I’m noticing a lot of pop-in both of textures and assets which I’m pretty sure if due to the Switch being the weakest console this game was put on. Starlink is a fun enough game to play but there are little things about it that kept me from wanting to play through it for any long stretches of time. I do plan on getting through the story mode, at least to the end of the Star Fox content but I don’t see myself getting into it until I’ve had my fill of a certain other game…
The last game I played this month was a game I ended up getting for free thanks to Nintendo’s gold coin scheme. Monster Loves You isn’t really much of a game though; it’s a choose-your-own-adventure story with a graphical user interface. You play as a monster who has just gained consciousness in a vat of slime and from there you can chose to be any kind of monster you want: from a contemplative and peaceful monster to a violent eater of all things. The story takes you through your life as a monster and your choices determine not only your characteristics as a monster but the way your community (and eventually another community) sees you. The narrative seems to have a few points where it can end and some dice rolls based on your monster stats but is overall very short. What gives this game replay value though is the number of endings you can unlock as you play. Another game I played kept me from diving too deep into Monster Loves You but the story is presented in such a way that I would actually recommend this game to children. I wouldn’t necessarily call the story juvenile but it’s presented in a way that I feel would resonate with kids.
Dark Souls Remastered launched on Switch and since I picked it up, I’ve log over 60 hours into it so far. This is the penultimate game that I picked up in the month of October but I’m choosing to bring it up last because of how much there is to be said about it. I first played Dark Souls last month during the online test demo and in the 3 hours that I spent in-game, I wasn’t able to beat the Bell Gargoyles. During my first playthrough of the game proper, they only killed me once and during new game+ they knocked me out three times before I managed to take them out completely. That stat feels kind of inconsistent though considering I didn’t really change up my playstyle: I’ve basically just been pumping stats into strength and endurance while putting a few of the odd points into vitality to keep my health up and for the most part that’s served me well. When it comes to armor, I haven’t really put too much thought into it since I’d rather be able to roll than take hits. I don’t fully understand how to make a really fashionable character,. Like someone with neon skin and a cleft face, but I have armor/clothes pieces that I do like the look of and am essentially just cosplaying as a Nazgul.
(I would die for you, Solaire)
During my first playthrough, I tried my best to encounter and kill all of the bosses in the game in and in the DLC and when it comes to the base game, I did fight and kill all of the bosses. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to kill Knight Artorias so I only saw him and the Sanctuary Guardian in the expansion content. I gave up on fighting Artorias after it killed me 17 times but I wouldn’t say I’m angry or upset about having lost to him so many times. If anything the Demon Firesage has come the closest to really annoying me; it’s a reskin of a reskin, it has a very long-reaching attack that I have a lot of trouble dodging and it has 2 or 3 area of effect attacks that do a lot of damage if they land. Between my first and new game+ playthroughs, the Firesage has killed me 15 times and I had fun fighting it maybe twice. I’ve fought the infamous Bed of Chaos on both playthroughs so far but I only consider it to have killed me four times, the other 5 deaths I can attribute to my poor platforming skills in this game. Out of all of the bosses, I think I’ve been killed by Titanite Demons more than any other actual boss. I favor swords and since they’re giant rock monsters, I assume swords don’t do as much damage as a strike weapon would. I have no trouble against the titanite demon Andre hangs out with but the more I find, the more restrictive their arenas and that’s what I’m going to blame on my deaths to them.
As I’ve hinted above, I’m currently running through my first new game+ with my heavy-hitting sword swinger and I’m not as keen to fight and kill everything in my path. I bought the crest of Artorias but haven’t used it, I haven’t bothered to kill the Bridge Hellkite, I’ve skipped the depths and I’m pretty sure the only things I need to kill now are the Lord Soul holders and Gwyn. Since I know how to cheese Gwyn and have the critical attack ring, I expect his fight to be easier. As for others like the Four Kings, I’m kind of worried I might not cause enough damage per second to quickly and effectively kill them. As for the DLC, I might dip my toe into it but I’m thinking about just skipping it and trying again when I make a new character. The deeper health pools that some of the bosses have seem disproportionate to the amount of damage I’m able to do after all and I’m worried that I may not even be able to take out the Sanctuary Guardian in NG+ though I feel like that’s just pessimism on my part. I know how to be gud, I got gud enough to beat the game once after all. Dark Souls was the third game of the five Bloodsouls games that I’ve completed but it’s the first one that I’ve immediately gone into a new game+ with, which is a testament to how much I’ve enjoyed the game thus far (not that Demon’s Bourne and Blood Souls were BAD, I just wanted to go through this one again ASAP). Overall, I feel like this game gave me more trouble than the other two as well though it’s hard to call either Demon’s or Blood ‘easy’. Given how different Bloodbourne’s combat system was though, I’m actually leaning toward the opinion that it was easier than the two Souls games I’ve beaten. I’ll need to replay it sooner or later.
Now that the month of Halloween is behind us, it’s time to look forward to black friday sales and even more new releases still on the horizon. I see myself finishing up my second playthrough of Dark Souls this month for sure but I’m also positive that I’ll be playing Yakuza Kiwami this month too once it goes live as a PS+ freebie. I have Starlink to finish as well but when it comes to new and upcoming games, there isn’t too much on my radar that I’m really looking into picking up. As usual, I’m sure I’ll come across something or other than peaks my interest during the coming month but at the moment, I’m not sure what that might be. Happy All Saint’s day everybody.