Yay, it is almost November and this blog is freaking late! Here we go:
Hiveswap Act 1
Last year I became a little bit completely obsessive about Homestuck, and read the whole damned thing in just a few weeks. It was freaking great and it currently is one of my favorite webcomics ever! Then one or two weeks after I caught up with it the author woke up from his long slumber and released the last few updates, and with that the comic finally came to an end. Well, sort of. Then a few months later Hiveswap finally got a January release date announced, followed by a “guys we need a few more weeks to polish stuff” announcement that finally resulted in a September release. I thought I wouldn’t be getting it on day one, but people seemed to be really enjoying it so I impulse-bought it.
This one is basically a Homestuck spin-off: a different story set within the same universe a few years prior to the webcomic, with a brand new cast. While Homestuck’s author didn’t personally wrote this one, the writing is spot on and feels really authentic, the music is as great as it ever was really polished, with the only thing that felt a little off to me was the art. This game uses highly detailed digital painting which contrasts with the sharp pixelated shapes from the original one, but the new art is freaking beautiful so I won’t complain.
First act had a short (but enjoyable) lenght, tons of dumb jokes, WALLS OF TEXT (just like the source material) and overall I had a really good time. Can’t wait for the next act so I get to see where the hell this story is going.
Dragon Quest VIII
I continued this one from a previous abandoned save I had when I stopped playing around midgame (Orkutsk).
I’ve been wanting to beat this one for years, so I feel kind of bummed in having to say that I don’t really liked that one. I mean, it have some really good bits, but they are spread far away with too many boring moments in between them.
The art direction was pretty amazing! I love Toriyama's style and the monster designs here overflow with creativity. The soundtrack oscillates between “ok” and “pretty neat!”, but I really do miss the orchestral score from the PS2 version.
The protagonists are pretty bland to be honest. You’ve got Silent Goku, Midget Namek King, Horny Trunks, Redhead with big Boobs and Yangus, and they all are pretty boring with zero character development. Except Yangus: he is by far my very favorite thing from this game. Sweet, precious Yangus. I really enjoyed the 2 new playable characters too, too bad they have zero involvement in the overall plot.
But yeah, I know this series is famous for being old-school and plot isn’t really the main focus. The meat and potatoes here is the classic combat system, and I have to admit this is one of the finest parts of the game, especially the boss battles. But on other hand it is held back by the game's sluggish pacing: too many minor enemy encounters and leveling up feels too slow. The remake improves it a little bit by completely removing random battles (thank goddess) and showing all the enemies on the map, Earthbound style, but while this improves the rhythm a lot it wasn’t enough for me.
By the final bits of the game I wasn’t feeling like playing it at all, and the only reason I persisted was because I was really close from the end.
This one almost feels like cheating: I had a save file where I had stopped playing right in front of Elite 4. With a team ready to kick some Alolan butts. But yeah, at least I got one less title on my backlog.
This game surely is a step forward for the franchise in some aspects, because it does include a ton of quality of life improvements: a dedicated shortcut button for the Pokéballs, seeing the amount of buffs during combat, the substitution of the HM system, and (my favorite one) chance to put the last captured Pokémon in your party and send one of your team members to the PC, and I freaking love this feature because it increased my team rotation a lot and made me try using a lot of creatures I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Oh, and player customization is a lot better for male avatars than in Y (even if the wavy hair is locked until the endgame), and I think Generation 7 Pokémon designs are the best ones since Gold & Silver, and some of the best bug-type monsters ever. Seriously, for most of the game I had 3 or 4 of them on my party..
But while I enjoyed this game all right, for some reason I didn’t enjoyed it nearly as much as Pokémon Y, and I can’t exactly put my finger on why. I know for sure that one of the things that annoyed me the most was how hand-holdy this game is, and there isn’t much space for deviation and exploration on it. Alola is a beautifully crafted place, but it feels pretty small. Also, Island Trials are just gyms with a thin layer of paint over it.
Right now I already finished it, but back on October 1st I was having a blast with Mr. Wake’s spooky shenanigans.
Pokémonster Hunter Monster Hunter Stories
Holy crap I’m loving this game. It is so much fun, and I think Pokémon could learn one or two lessons with it.
Playing at home
Playing on the go
Next games to play at home:
Next games to play on the go:
Favorite game of the month: Hiveswap Act 1
Final monthly game balance: +-0
Another month, another 3 games down. You know what, I do find 3 a pretty decent number, and I hope to eb able to keep this rythm. Best strategy would be to mix some shorter titles in between the long ones, I guess.
And I'll try to get the next one as close from the start of the month as possible.