Holy shit the very thing I model myself after is finally coming back and as a Metroidvania I just lost all my shit and cannot find any of it at the lost and found.
This past week was my first real week with the new Streetpass games. I'm lucky enough to work someplace where I can get tons of Streetpasses so I was able to enjoy these new distractions with a full bevy of tags to maximize the experience. I went to buy them and intended to try one and get the bundle but nope, that shit pushing rabbit told me the special $15 bundle is only available before I buy any of them so I got suckered into the $15. Good thing all the games trigger a flag in me that makes me lose track of life and just want to get more tags to play them.
Mii Force was easily what I wanted the most. I was itching for an excuse to play a dynamic shmup and this one takes the shmup further when you have multiple passes waiting for you. Each pass represents a weapon type and you can stack additional pass pods to upgrade the weapon on point. What's not talked about is that your Option array can be rotated, further allowing you to fire in different blindspots simultaneously. If there's one infuriating thing about shmups, it's having to move around to fire at a specific target. Each pod upgrade you catch also adds a hit to your survivability. The different levels so far also have variety in design to them. One actually involved a defensive perimeter rather then side-scrolling and one restricts your movement to just up and down.
If you streetpass a lot, you know red and blue are the most common colors. Red is a flamethrower, which is insanely poplar and often forces me to use it, though at least the DPS is good. Luckily, blue is a fire and forget homing missile, so I'm grateful whenever I get blues on my array. Most of the other colors are largely situational at best unless you want to get creative, though I imagine more of them are more useful than I think. Green fires bouncy balls which sound useful in tiny hallways.
Flower Town was a bit surprising. I thought it'd be the one I didn't enjoy but it trying to breed for different flowers by putting my flower up to random stranger's flowers scratches both my Animal Crossing itch and my Pokemon itch of breeding. It is the wordiest though, so I tend to fast-forward through this one the most but the general gist is still there: plant seeds, let streetpassers water it, pollinate it, and see what grows from your previously cross-pollinated seed. You can also buy unique pots, take on flower jobs, and customize your growing plot. It's all very simple on the outside but once you get into it, you just want to see how your streetpasses effect your flowers.
Warriors Way is surprisingly exciting for a rock-paper-scissors game. Every streetpass is an insight to the person's plaza size as they offer that amount of soldiers to your army. Depending on the size of your army, you can adjust the size of your specific battalions: calvary, infantry, and archers for rock, paper, and scissors respectively. The larger your army, the larger your battalions can be so you can increase your chances of a successful match. Just like RPS, you can't predict what your enemy throws out, so you can increase your chances of victory with more soldiers. Even if you throw paper out against scissors, superior numbers can defeat superior odds. Meanwhile, the strategy against tougher armies will be making one battalion a smaller, elite unit so you can match it against its nemesis while your other battalions are larger to compensate. Sometimes enemy warlords will have two scissors and one paper. Or all rock, in the beginning anyways.
You'll also have the chance to fight your streetpassers if they also own Warrior's Way. Though if their army is too big, you'll definitely just want to say hi and be on your way.
In a word, its surprisingly deep.
Monster Manor also had me excited. Although it might not be accurate to say it resembles Dark Cloud's dungeon mechanics, streetpasses give you puzzle pieces. These puzzle pieces are used to build the layout of your dungeon and determines where you move and if you run into treasure, random encounters, or the stairs to the next level. Battles are actually similar to a reverse ATB from Final Fantasy: your ghost busting blaster has a set number of batteries which you can use to shoot or drain for defense. Of course, it's not a good idea to run through all your batteries at once because then you won't be able to defend. But different blasters have different battery capacities and recharge rates, not to mention charge shot capacities and speeds. The more 4 square rooms you make with a color, the more loot you'll find. So of course, all those reds serve to help me get tons of loot. I don't have a lot of chances to fight since I mostly stack red pieces together for loot rooms.
I did get to my first floor boss though and he was an amazingly fun challenge. If you love Borderlands 2, Monster Manor has a similar vibe to it when it comes to loot collecting. I just want all da guns!
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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