I’ve played quite a bit since my last update here. Some old, some new – some of which are new old games.
Mario Kart: Super Circuit – GBA
Super Circuit is the one Mario Kart I had never played. I can now cross it off the list. Unfortunately I don’t have much more to say about it than that. It’s a handheld version of Super Mario Kart from the NES. The courses are pretty standard and now (two weeks after finishing it), none really stick out to me as super memorable. I’m glad I played it, I don’t think I’ll ever return to it though.
Uncharted: The Lost Legacy – PS4
I really like the Uncharted series but every time one of them ends, I feel like yeah, I’m good with that, they don’t have to revisit it (and then I quickly buy the next one once it releases). At the end of The Lost Legacy I immediately wanted more though. Maybe it is the change in protagonist. Maybe it is the partnership Chloe forms with Nadine. Maybe it is the refinement of the Uncharted formula to a digestable endeavor (The Lost Legacy took me roughly 10 hours less than 4 did). But whatever it is, I want more Uncharted in this style and right now The Lost Legacy sits as one of the best games I’ve played this year.
Darkwing Duck – NES via XB1’s The Disney Afternoon Collection
I had friends over the house this past Saturday and as we were sifting around my collection trying to find something to play, someone spotted The Disney Afternoon Collection and away we went. Instead of picking something familiar like DuckTales or Rescue Rangers, they picked Darkwing Duck (a game I own but had never beaten). We set out playing it but we’re having a hell of a time.
You see, Darkwing Duck is a pretty tough Mega Man type game and well, our reflexes aren’t quite what they used to be. But we stumbled across the rewind button (and by stumble I mean, it is right on the screen we just didn’t notice it for the first 10 minutes) and we started to make some progress. They left with the game half finished and I wrapped it up the next day. It is short but challenging (even with the rewind button)
TaleSpin – NES via XB1’s The Disney Afternoon Collection
I felt some momentum building from my wrapping up of Darkwing Duck and so I decided to hit up one of the game’s I’d never played. No not the hard to track down DuckTales 2 or Rescue Rangers 2 but rather, TaleSpin. Unlike the rest of the games in the Disney Afternoon Collection, TaleSpin is different. I guess I’d call it a shmup but I don’t know if I’m insulting that genre of games by dropping this Disney title in there. Anyway, Baloo pilots the Seaduck through levels shooting down enemies and dodging obstacles.
It is quite the fun little game, although with the help of the rewind feature, it is quite short. One of the things I really liked was that your score was currency and could be used to upgrade your plane with more health, double or quad shots, a faster engine, etc… it gave a little customization to the game that many of the era just didn’t have.
DuckTales – NES via XB1’s The Disney Afternoon Collection
So, up until now I’ve been rewinding my way through some of these old Capcom Disney games. I didn’t touch the rewind button once while playing DuckTales. It’s not that the game can’t be difficult, it can, but I needed to prove to myself I still “had it”. I didn’t do it in one sitting and did utilize the save function to save my progress after the first two levels but I feel happy with how the run turned out. And guess what? DuckTales is still one of the best NES games and platformers ever made. Now can we get a new version of it based on the new series?
Destiny 2 – XB1
Full disclosure: I really liked the first Destiny and it is the game I’ve put the most time in to this generation of consoles.
Yes, Destiny had problems and even with some great expansions they weren’t ever fully erased. Destiny 2 (I’m about 6 hours in at this point) seems to address the complaints leveled (rightly so) against the campaign. I feel I know more of what is going on in Destiny 2 (two zones in) than I did at all, ever in the first game.
Gameplay wise, it is pretty much the same. That isn’t a slight against it because Destiny was one of the most technically accomplished shooters I’d ever played. Competitive multiplayer still seems to suffer from the same problems that OG Destiny did, that being that equipment and loadouts often trump skill, making it sometimes frustrating. I’ve yet to try co-op yet but I figure it will be at least on par with the original and I’m OK with that.
Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – Switch
I like strategy games but I’m generally trash at them. On the surface Mario + Rabbids looks like a version of My First Xcom. That would be a gross misjudgment of the difficulty of M+R though. M+R is a tough challenging and super fun strategy game that works with the player enough that there always seems like an out for me to progress, even if that means hitting the Easy Mode switch to replenish my health and double my stats. If you have a Switch, you owe it to yourself to at least give this one a try.
Sonic Mania – Switch
I have fond memories of Sonic and within the past few years I’d replayed Sonic 2 and Generations, two very good Sonic games. I wasn’t really sold on Mania and I’m still not sure. Yes, it is super fast and chaotic, which are all the signs of a good Sonic game. Being on the line of being in control and out of it is where Sonic thrives and Mania does it perfectly. That said, I think it also highlights a lot of the problems with Sonic. The biggest being that it isn’t a very good platformer. Any time Sonic is required to do anything with precision it is torture and not very fun. To note, I’m saying this after a third of the game so I feel that by the end I’ll be rage tossing my Switch.
Mario Tennis: Power Tour – GBA
For as much as I love Mario, I’ve never really gotten in to his sports titles. Since I started collecting again though, I decided I wanted to sample as much Mario side-games as I could. The GBA Tennis is up first. Having played the sport competitively for a short period of time in my teens, I have a strong affinity for video games of the sport.
After making quick work of Mario Kart: Super Circuit, I was expecting another bit sized experience. Imagine my shock when I found out Power Tour is a fully realized Tennis RPG. It’s kind of awesome actually. I feel I’m nearing the end (7 hours in) but it’s been a fun challenging ride while playing.
Monster Hunter Stories – 3DS
I don’t have any attraction to Monster Hunter as a franchise. I gave the WiiU version a shot and found it to be interesting but maybe a bit overly complicated. I gave the demo to Stories a try because it looked cute and nothing like what I’d played of Monster Hunter before.
It is nothing like Monster Hunter proper. This is a turn based, Pokemon type game. The battle system is simple (rock-paper-scissors) but also pretty nuanced with special powers and head to head battles. I’m only a little way in but my starter was a Velociraptor-like creature and because of that I already like it more than any Pokemon I’ve ever played. (And I still like Pokemon).
Final Fantasy III – PC
I’ve tried this game multiple times. I’ve tried it on an emulator with a fan translation (before it was released here in the US). I’ve tried it on the DS and PSP. And now, I’m trying it on the PC. While the game was designed around the handheld, I’m kind of enjoying playing it on my PC monitor. I’m not very far in but I’m going to give it one last try.
So, that is what I’ve been playing this week. I’ll be playing more Destiny 2, Rabbids, Tennis, and Monster Hunter, and I’m hoping to finally crack in on Madden along with new releases of Metroid and NHL. Do you have any thoughts on the games I played this week, if so let me know in the comments. And tell me what you’ve been playing as well.