Ok, last year was freaking shitty, current one seems like is going to give 2017 a run for its money. The funny thing is that while the world seem to get progressively worse, the games released lately seem to keep getting better and better. But enough, I missed 3 months and I thought I would never ever write another eternal backlog again, but here I am. So I'll keep the intro short.
Somehow I didn't failed college and graduated, I'm having an unplanned kid and started working full time last month, and me and my girlfriend will move together very soon. My gaming time took a hit, and probably will take another colossal hit on June, possibly going to zero. Want to make as many games I can before Lil' Churros is born, but laptop is currently busted. So guess I'll try playing some stuff on Android/3DS until it gets fixed, I guess?
Monster Hunter Stories
For most of the game's duration it was a really great experience, and I would easily call it the best Pokémon game for the 3DS... IF it wasn't by the the game pacing losing steam during the final story bits. I mean, if I went straight to the end boss it would be OK, but I wanted to add new monsters to my team (one of my favorite things on Stories). The problem is that every single monster is born at level 1, and while making them catch up with the main team was a breeze during most of the game, it became painful during the endgame.
Anyway, despite the end I really liked it overall: lovely art direction, impressive graphics for a 3DS game, combat isn't as deep as in Pokémon but it is interesting and different enough to keep me engaged and having fun, and specially liked having my favorite monsters as virtual pets!
Sonic Adventure DX
First of all, I wanna thank Rad Party God for providing me the needed patches for a smooth experience!
That said, this is a game I've been curious about because I FREAKING LOVE classic Sonic games, and while I like the boost-formula games they aren't nowhere as good as the old stuff. People love this game, so what could possibly go wrong?
Lots of things, apparently. First, it aged like poopoo. Then we got a game with 6 characters stories to play, but Sonic is by far the most fun one - and even then I only like a handful of his levels. The story is REALLY BAD, voice acting isn't good either, lip synch is so bad it is great, animations are bad, the level designs loves to kill you on bottomless pits if you ever hold the analog stick a little bit funny on very specific but unpredictable moments. I kind of wanted to like it but it left a very sour taste in my mouth.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
I'm a big fan of Tony Hawk's Underground, so playing the game a good chunk of the fans finds to be the best one was something I was really looking forward. And you know what? I had a blast!
The game sure is a lot more archaic and clunky feeling than the PS2 title I mentioned, and not having the revert move for connecting aerial tricks made me focus a lot more on street tricks, but even then it was a really really fun experience! Most levels were good, the soundtrack was great, and while THUG still my favorite I do agree that THPS2 is a classic title.
Sonic 3D Blast: Director's Cut
Apparently I'm a masochist, because I self-imposed myself OhNoVember, a challenge where I would try beating some Sonic games I wasn't exactly sure about their quality, so this brings us to 3D Blast. Recently, one of its developers made a romhack that improved the controls and brought a bunch of quality of life changes.
So I've played a bit of the unmoded version and then the Director's Cut to compare. The first one is borderline unplayable, and the second one is playable but not very good. The new controls are pretty decent I guess, and not losing all your flickies when hit is a HUGE improvement, but I'm not a fan of the game being focused around finding all the flickies spread all around and ONLY THEN allowing you to proceed to the next area. I would prefer a "go from point A to point B" game like the original ones, with less-compact levels. Also, the isometric view brings more bad than good things on the table.
That said, the game has some charm. The OST was pretty good, and the final level happening in front of a giant, massive Eggman-shaped structure/robot/thing was something I wasn't really expecting, neither entering it by its nose in a very Wario-Ware-ish moment.
Lovely game with a lovely soundtrack, but the last story world was simply too much difficult and I wasn't having fun anymore. Earlier chapters had me being frustrated for minutes followed by entering in a flow state and feeling awesome when I finally passed a level. Last world was pure frustration, and I only took so long to let it go because I really liked this game, or at least his initial bits.
Sonic Adventure 2
Started this one during OhNoVember, and also thanks Bass for the gift!
So after having a pretty bad experience with SA1XD and having set the bar relatively low for the sequel, this one was a good surprise! I mean, I found it just "ok" at its best, but still a lot better and more polished than the first one.
Now we have 3 gameplay types divided into 2 stories, but then again we have areturning problem from SA1: speed stages are the best ones and the other ones not so much, but at least I think the problem is a lot milder here. Speed levels are fun (most of then at least), mecha levels are ok I guess and shard hunting stages are mind numbingly boring. Some speed stages still like to throw me into bottomless abysses for holding the analog in a slightly different angle than the level designer intended (I'm looking at you, Green/White Forest and Final Rush), the cutscenes and plot were really bad (but in an unintentionally hilarious way), and this time I actually tried Chao Garden for a bit and it was ok, I guess? Also there were waaaaaaay too little speed levels on the Dark Team path.
I just wish they approached Tails/Eggman and Knuckles/Rouge gameplay and level design more like the speed stages. Like take S3&K for instance: Tails is a Sonic that flies, Knuckles is a Sonic that climbs walls. Sonic Adventure 2 is a game that is at its best when it is in motion-friendly levels, with rollercoaster-like fun level designs like City Escape, Radical Highway and Pyramid Cave.
Also I wanted to point out two things about playing as Eggman: collecting life monitors with his face on them felt really WEIRD, and seeing the evil mad genius petting cute little animals was way too much humorous.
Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Holy buttocks, what a great game it was! Great art, exploring the castle was a blast, the music was waaaay too good, boss fights were fun, lots of weapons to equip and Alucard is hot. And the difficulty is really forgiving, something I appreciate as I suck at videogames.
The aspects I didn't liked were few and didn't detracted much of the fun I was having: using items was a bit more cumbersome than it needed to be, not a fan of having to do fighting-games-like input combos (which I always messed up during boss fights), and the localization was reaaaally poor - but it ended up being quite entertaining, to be honest.
So yeah, this is a really solid classic that aged super well. I kinda feel like maaaaaybe replaying both Aria games and Ecclesia to see which one really is my favorite now (currently I think it still is OoE, but it was so long ago I'm not sure anymore).
Sorry game. I was having fun assembling a team of neat and cool monsters I never used before, but I kind of already beaten you twice if we count the remake. Maybe I'll replay SoulSilver later once I manage to put my hands on a replacement Pokéwalker.
Started working full time, laptop graphics card farted itself to death (RIP).
I was liking this one a lot more than Landstalker. Story was kind of generic but characters and dialogues were much more interesting than I was expecting! Too bad that gameplay wise it felt like "what if A Link to the Past controlled like butt?". Combat didn't felt good nor right, and platforming didn't added nothing to the game and felt frustrating and awkward and puzzles were hard in an uninteresting way. I stopped playing it because I wasn't having fun anymore, even if I also kind of feel bad because I was really curious to see the rest of the dialogues and character interactions.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Played a lot of it during the mini 10 days holiday I had between the end of my internship and the start of my new job. It is fun, but it takes way too long to do anything or to progress on this game. Also writing fluctuates between "bad" and "ok", most characters are bland - Jolee is interesting, Zalbaar has a great subplot but besides that part he is bland and HK-47 is by far the very best character, leagues beyond all the other ones, but this hardly is a surprise as the robots usually are the best characters on Star War movies (except on TLJ weirdly). But oh boy, that metallic fellow shines between a sea of bland boring characters. I love him.
So basically: I have lots of issues with it but also having lots of fun. Also, endgame Jedi Consular is totally OP.
Final Fantasy VII
Time to play this classic, and so far I'm loving it. Not as much as Chrono Trigger but damn this game still is loads fun. And Mage is my favorite RPG class, so I'm really digging the Materia system and how everyone can be a bit of a mage.
Currently at Corel Prision, think the game got a bit worse/less unique after leaving Midgar, but still enjoying the ride.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Aaaaaah! I already beat that one, why am I playing that again? You guys playing MHW and sharing stories and screenshots all the time are to blame!
Anyway, started a new save file and am currently learning how to use the Great Sword and it is such a fun weapon to use, even if I still suck at it. The punch it packs feels soooooo good - that is, when I actually manage to hit the monster, haha. Still at the start of the low rank single player story.
Playing at home
Playing on the go
Next games to play at home (I don't know when, need to fix my computer first):
Next games to play on the go:
Games beaten between June and December (2017)
Favorite game of November: Monster Hunte Stories
Favorite game of December: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
Favorite game finished on 2017: Sonic Mania (Chronno Trigger was a close second and it was hard to pick one)
Final monthly game balance: -5
Heh, not bad!
19 games in 6 months may not seem like much, specially when compared to some gamers that probably aren't even human and maybe some kind of robot or even an evil gaming entity that may or may not write reviews for this website, but to me this definitely feels like progress. Writing this blog series may have helped, but I must thanks specially Backloggery for helping me keeping track of my games and gamifying my backlog. It helped me keeping track on what I was buying, how many games I was buying, and how many games I was finishing, and I must confess: marking a game as complete feels, like, really good.
Previously, when I played a game I usually would end up giving up midways in most cases even when I was enjoying it. I am a person with awful self-discipline and strong lack of focus, so having a tool that helps to put my gaming on tracks was an Arceus-send. This scheme may sound a bit too rigid, but it was what I needed. Besides, sometimes I cheat a bit still play some stuff casually without tracking here, specially Sonic Mania.
That said, while I gave most of the credit to that tool, writing these blogs also kind of helped me keep updating my Backloggery profire regularly, as I got a lot more sloppy during these 3 months I didn't wrote any blogs.
So that's it! Thanks a lot for anyone reading this, and everyone that voted on games for me to play, which ended up with interesting and unexpected surprises. Thanks for following The Eternal Backlog's first season!
Now fuck off 2017, and hello 2018. February still got 11 days, I better hurry and finish at least one game. And better hurry even more and finish more stuff before I become a dad, haha. I also plan on doing a NES Mini especial if I manage to convince my mom to give me one of her TVs when I move out from home.
This will be an interesting year, to say the least. And probably scary. But I have a hunch that it will be interesting and also very good!