I PLAYED A LOT OF GAMES THIS MONTH. That may be a little bit generous though: How this usually works is, I’ll write down the title of a game that I start playing regardless of how long I actually play it. Take Ducktales Remastered for example, I probably only played it for a half hour this past month but it’s on my list. Space Quest 1 and 2? I probably only played those for about 10 minutes in total. They’re on my list anyway, because the list is God. Anyway, here’s what I’ve got.
(Whoopsie-doodle...I'll figure this out. Also, Borderlands guy should have given himself the Shocker. 3-fingers dude!)
I don’t remember how many years ago it was when I first played Borderlands, but I do remember mentally comparing it to Rage. Looking at the release dates for both games though, that can’t be right, but I’ve never been much of an early adopter so maybe I did play them both at around the same time. With Rage, I recall playing a relatively bland looking first person shooter where the most noteworthy aspect of the gameplay came from enemies who moved and died dynamically based on where and how you attacked them. Borderlands had multiplayer. I played the first Borderlands long enough to fight a couple of bosses and unlock abilities for my chosen character, I think I chose the wiry looking guy who threw his bird at people. I don’t remember the game being all that fun though. I understand that ultimately, shooters are games where your gun fires a number at an arrangement of code which goes inactive once your numbers deplete their numbers. With Borderlands, I felt very aware of this, and just couldn’t get immersed in the world. I’m going through all of that because Borderlands 2 is very much the same as the first. No matter what guns I use on the enemies, I just run backwards firing, watching my ammo deplete, watching their health bar deplete, then watching as their body goes completely limp once they hit zero. The main difference I noticed was the writing, which chose to make a Claptrap robot the first thing you encounter, and chose to make it talk incessantly. I remember Claptraps being alright in Borderlands 1, but after about 10 minutes, I wanted to give up on Borderlands 2 completely. I gave that game an hour though, and after those additional 50 minutes, I have given up on the game entirely. I look forward to playing Borderlands 3 in about 8 years, after I buy it and all of its DLC for roughly 75 cents.
Elite Dangerous is a game I’ve been talking about for a few months now. This past month I’ve given myself a meta-goal: I’m going to fly to Barnard's Loop! If you watch the constellation Orion, you may be able to see the arc-shaped nebula with your naked eye. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it that far in-game though I did make it within a thousand lightyears from it. My problem is that I don’t want to sell off my Type-7 Cargo ship for an exploration focused vessel. Something which I’ve written in my notes though is the amount of money I had at the beginning of the month which I’m sure will interest all of you until I reveal that I usually play on solo servers: As of the first of September, I had 28.1 Million Credits. As of the 30th of September, I have just over 70 Million Credits. I almost have enough for my Lakon Type-9, but after three months I’m starting to feel some Elite fatigue. I’m more than likely going to play some more in October since this game still helps me to relax.
(When I die, I want my remains launched to this astral body)
I want to use my 3DS more often so this past month, I booted up what I feel like is one of the overlooked Super Mario games. Then, a couple of days later, I swapped it out for something different. Despite really liking Nintendo consoles, I’ve never been a major fan of Super Mario or his platforming titles. Controversially though, I’ve definitely played and enjoyed New Super Mario Bros 2 more than more popular Mario games like Super Mario Bros 1, 3, or 64. I didn’t put too much time into NSMB2 this month though; for the first time since I first played New Super Mario Bros Wii, I was really annoyed by how dying plays out. You die, you lose a life, Mario wails in lament, you’re kicked out to the map screen, you press ‘A’. you try again. The levels are fine, but it takes a little bit too long to get from failure state to trying again. I understand that this is a common complaint about the Mario platformers, but this is the first time I’ve really felt annoyed by it. So anyway, I’ve gone ahead and swapped out 3DS cartridges.
Playstation Plus was pretty good this month! Well, it sounded pretty good this month anyway, and thanks to that subscription service (which I’m about to let run out), I was able to play Arkham Knight for the first time! I was always curious to try it but not enough so to have purchased it. I loved Arkham Asylum, and Arkham City, I even had a lot of fun with Arkham Origins. I consider Origins to be a lot better than critics would have you believe, and I really think it deserves to be included with Arkham bundles. The combat in the series definitely got old much more quickly than I anticipated, but stealth take-down missions, exploration, and even those Riddler trophies were really engaging for me, and the main thing that kept me playing through the tedious combat. Arkham Knight threw me into a large open world, didn’t tell me how to use detective vision, didn’t tell me how to take photos, but it did force me to go through nearly 10 tutorials before it let me fight a mob of baddies. I don’t even think I made it to a dedicated stealth section before I gave up on this game. I could have stopped when it forced me to use the Batmobile, but I stuck it out through a tedious, platform-based, driving puzzle. I don’t see myself playing Arkham Knight ever again, Arkham Origins is by far the more enjoyable experience.
Last month I played the Dragon Quest XI-S demo for about 10 minutes. This month, I gave it another hour or so. There’s an issue though; I don’t remember any of it. I know it became a lot more enjoyable once I turned off the ability to run around during enemy encounters, and I’m pretty sure I fought a boss...I definitely left the starter town, but I can’t remember too much of what I actually did. I recall grinding, fighting plant-based monsters, slimes, then camping out for the night. I have a good idea of why I don’t remember a damn thing about Dragon Quest XI-S’ demo and I’ll get into it shortly.
The Daemon X Machina demo left more of an impression on me but it still didn’t do too much for me. I like the world that’s being built up here! The thought of massive, ancient mecha is enticing to me, and I really like the mecha designs. The combat doesn’t feel all that engaging though, but it’s a definite improvement compared to the demo launched however many months ago. I don’t see myself seeking this game out any time soon though. It didn’t leave much of an impact on me, and honestly, I don’t think I actually finished the demo. It just didn’t leave too much of an impression on me.
Well, that was fast: Remember a paragraph ago when I said I had an idea as to why I didn’t remember too much about Dragon Quest XI-S? I think it’s because I also played Dragon Quest VII this month. I’ve had the 3DS remaster of this game since it launched but I’m probably nowhere near beating it. I’ve been to the village by the Nihil River, where the townspeople are wondering what happened to their serpentine God. In the future, I’ve found its skull so I’m just about to give the townspeople the news that at some point, their God is going to be dead. Oh well. What does this have to do with Dragon Quest XI-S though? The gameplay is identical. As much as I hated running around in XI-S, it at least differentiated that entry from past Dragon Quest games. There’s another reason I probably don’t remember too much about Dragon Quest XI-S and it’s the same reason I haven’t told the people of Al-Bahad (I think) about the River Serpent...I got bored.
At some point this month, I got it into my head that what I needed to do was go through some classic point and click adventure games. Beneath a Steel Sky is a game that I play through a few times a year. Space Quest, and Space Quest II are games that I’ve never played before, but they’re games that I wanted to try my hand at since I picked them up from GoG years ago and have, until this past month, let them gather digital dust. I didn’t want to use a guide to get me through either of the Space Quests and that’s my excuse for not playing more than about 10 minutes of either. In the first, I couldn’t escape from the space station because I kept getting shot by invading aliens. There may have also been a mishap with an airlock. In the second, I made it far enough to be captured by an evil alien overlord and marooned on an alien planet, where I was eaten by a mushroom and chose to quit playing. Beneath a Steel Sky is a game that I play as sporadically as possible because I like seeing how much I can do without looking anything up. On my latest playthrough, I only found myself stuck at one point. I forgot that I had to examine a door before I could verb a noun to open it. I’m fairly certain Beneath a Steel Sky is still free to download on GoG, and I strongly recommend it! It doesn’t just kill you every 5 minutes like point and click games by Sierra!
(I feel like this is a reference. I should consult my Doctor.)
This month I played an hour or two of Skyrim, but I don’t think I’ll be playing it next month. I say that because I broke that rule: You know the rule, I used the tilde key and started clipping through walls. I couldn’t figure out how to clip using a bucket and wound up dishonoring myself. Before that heinous blunder though, I did some work for the Dark Brotherhood which lead up to me getting very intimate with a whispering corpse. My recent play sessions with this game haven’t been all that long to begin with so maybe putting this game aside for a while is for the best.
M.A.S.S. Builder isn’t a game I’ve heard of before but I gave it about an hour of my time. A majority of that time was spent painting my mecha. When it came to gameplay though, I was reminded of Daemon X Machina, if that game had a melee focus. I’m sure that once the game leaves beta the combat will feel more impactful, but in its current state, I didn’t feel like I was doing anything to the enemy drones that spawned in from nowhere. I’m definitely interested in the world and plot, maybe more so than the Switch game, but as a game M.A.S.S. isn’t doing much for me yet.
I haven’t really done much in Opus Magnum this month, but it’s a game that I’ve been booting up to calm myself down and unwind. It’s not even the core game that does it for me either, it’s Sigmar’s Garden, the Mahjong-like side game that you unlock during chapter one. This past month I unlocked the achievement for completing 100 boards of Garden, but I’m still stuck on the last two tasks of chapter three. Granted, I haven’t dedicated too much time to solving them. I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough with one of them, but I’m just not there yet. I went back to chapter one and optimized some of the easier challenges though, which provided a feeling of pride and accomplishment in me. I strongly recommend keeping an eye on this one and picking it up next time it goes on sale. I don’t know of any other puzzle games like this one.
Speaking of games to watch out for, go buy Later Alligator. Stop reading this, go buy Later Alligator. It’s only September, I can’t call it my game of the year yet, but I can tell you to swap over to your digital marketplace of choice and buy Later Alligator. So, what is Later Alligator anyway? You play as an Alligator who meets up with Pat, a neurotic Alligator who believes that someone put a hit out on him. You need to investigate his family before 8pm to find out who might have put a hit out of Pat and suss out what exactly is going to happen during ‘The Event’. You do this by playing relatively simple minigames or solving puzzles based on the needs of Pat’s family members. I understand that humor is subjective but the writing really got to me at times, with some of the jokes and animations making me roll around in my desk chair...I think I may have broken my chair actually. Speaking of animations, the game was animated by Smallbu, who I’m unfamiliar with outside of this game but who did a fantastic job bringing the world of Alligator New York City to life. Go buy this game...Do it now. There are multiple endings and collectible items carry over into new playthroughs.
(GO. BUY. THIS. GAME. I don't sell my own content this hard...)
I played the Switch demo for Ori and the Blind Forest and out of every demo I’ve played this month, this was the only one that made me seriously purchasing the full game immediately. I still haven’t purchased Ori, but I’m sure it’ll go on sale sooner rather than later. I don’t know what I expected before going into Ori, but I didn’t expect to have my heart smashed with a hammer. Even in its death throes, the world of Ori and the Blind Forest is gorgeous and I enjoyed exploring it. I don’t know how I feel about the combat quite yet; it’s not as straightforward as using a gun or a sword, but it’s not so alien that I’m completely misunderstanding it. I have seen the light: I’m sure that before the year is out I’ll have at least started Ori in full, but there’s a good chance I’ll have beaten it.
Geese are assholes. Everybody knows that Geese are assholes so it strikes me as odd that nobody has made a game about playing as one until now. Since this game isn’t on PC yet, I downloaded my copy on the Switch. I haven’t beaten it yet, and sadly I haven’t really put all that much time into it yet in general. I read an article about someone beating the game in seven minutes which actually kind of kept me from picking the game up again, which seems kind of silly to admit to, but now that it’s out there, I think I’m going to be able to get back into it. After all, it’s fun being an asshole in video games! This may also sound silly, but I figured out how to steal the groundskeepers’ keys but I couldn’t figure out how to steal his hat at first. I haven’t figured out how to break the broom yet, but I’ve been able to shop successfully, and I’ve tormented a small child who I assume is named Neville. I’m going to be playing more Untitled Asshole Game this coming month, if only because I can’t let it win.
(Catch me if you Can, but you're a Goose)
I don’t recall exactly when I first booted up Ducktales Remastered this past month so I hastily jotted it down at what I had assumed was the end of my list. Ducktales Remastered slipped from my mind because, as a game, it actually kind of frustrated me. As far as presentation goes, this is MY Ducktales. All of the original voice actors are present, the scenario seems to have come out of the original cartoon from the 80’s, and it’s everything a young me could have hoped for. As a platformer though, it’s a little bit too difficult for me. I would say this makes it an objectively good remake of the original NES game, since I couldn’t beat that either, and I’m sure dedicating time to it could get me through it. Unfortunately, after putting about an hour into Ducktales Remastered, all I really want to do is re-watch Treasure of the Lost Lamp.
(If this film was part of your childhood, it may be time for you to catch The Earlybird special)
I just realized that I may have missed out on the sale which prompted me to play the first chapter of King’s Quest IX...or King’s Quest 2016 if you’re one of those people who works in marketing, wondering why people spit on you in the street. This game has been on my radar for a while now, and I’m hoping it’s eventually ported onto the Switch even though I now have a PC that’s more than capable of handling it. Anyway, here’s my history with King’s Quest: A few years ago, I played through the first game in the series with the cheatsheet open directly in front of me. Despite that, I couldn’t figure out how to kill the witch, but it seemed like she was optional anyway. Other than that, I have only ever played a portion of chapter 1 of King’s Quest IX. I love how death is contextualized in this game, and Christopher Lloyd’s narration throughout is really endearing, if sad since he sounds really damn old here and I don’t want to have to think about Christopher Lloyd as being an old man. Even though I died a couple of times, I would still call the puzzles, and challenges, up to the point I’ve played so far to be really simple. If you find your path blocked, I’ve found that another path is on the same screen. It seems that there are a lot of instances of click-to-use to get by obstacles which is fine in the early game, but I’m hoping later chapters introduce more challenges and item combining. I don’t know how much I have left to complete in chapter 1 but I’m very curious to see what happens as the story goes on. So far, this latest entry in the King’s Quest series reminds me more of the Telltale Batman game I played a year or so ago. I liked that, I like this, and I’m not encumbered with memories of past King’s Quest games which might taint my opinion of this entry. This might not be a true representation of the series, but I’m enjoying it so far.
I played a lot of different things this past month, and I’m sure there are factors other than my less than great mental health that made me forget so much about what I’ve played. I’m going to blame that damned Goose...He probably stole my serotonin somehow. Then there was Ori and Later Alligator which made me cry out of nowhere, because I can’t handle any level of emotional weight anymore. Arkham Knight, like Yooka-Laylee, was a game I went into knowing full-well that it wasn’t very well liked, but unlike Yooka-Laylee, I absolutely hated Knight. I’m kind of surprised by how much New Super Mario Bros 2 and Ducktales irritated me as games too, but if that’s the price I had to pay to help out Pat the Alligator, than so be it. What’s more, I’m not one of those people who bought into Borderlands 3; those are the real victims here, and they deserve our thoughts and prayers.
Anyway, what’s coming out on the month of Halloween: MS-Gundam Battle Operation 2, Ghostbusters Remastered, Burgertime Party, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair, The Outer Worlds, Luigi’s Mansion 3...Well, there are at least 2 games that I just mentioned that I’m really looking forward to. I may have to take a road trip this coming month though, and I have 2 weddings to go to, so odds are I may be unable to pick either of them up. Shit. I blame the Goose.