Good lord I’m tired.
I feel like I’ve been saying that a lot lately, so forgive me if this isn’t the first time you’ve heard me say it. I learned that Chives hasn’t been fixed last month and have had more than my fill of nights filled with her screaming at the top of lungs hoping to attract a mate. Hopefully we’ll have that sorted in the coming weeks so it doesn’t happen again. I think we’d both be happier that way.
Anyway, video games.
Best Performer: Learning to Charge Backwards with May
I don’t have much to say on the blogging front about September. I’m pretty sure I wasted more time this past month trying to write an article about Wildermyth than I did writing all of the articles that were actually published. Sad thing though, I don’t have anything to show for my time on that front and likely never will. That’s just the way of things sometimes.
One thing that was notable though, we saw the second featured article on the site not written by me. Jason ran a pitch by me a couple months back and finally delivered the goods. I was a bit surprised, however, as the original pitch for the Wacky World of Video Game Editions was serious rather than satirical. Jason ultimately concluded his original draft wasn’t up to snuff and revised it to be a bit more tongue in cheek. I think it turned out pretty well.
As far as the coming weeks go I’d like to have a review of Boyfriend Dungeon posted as well as another article about Guilty Gear Strive. Other than that I don’t know what all will materialize on the site, so we’ll both be surprised on that front.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
I’m pretty sure I hate all Ubisoft games.
I am convinced, CONVINCED, there is a genuinely good game here, but it is buried under a mountain of bullshit. Kingdom Battle is one of the most charming games I’ve played, has an excellent score, and some really neat ideas when it comes to its combat. However, despite being in a genre I generally enjoy I found myself struggling to finish the game because all of the typical Ubisoft trappings came up and ruined my experience with the game well before the credits rolled.
I think the single biggest problem Kingdom Battle has is that there are too many indistinguishable missions. You could remove half of the missions along the critical path and no one would be the wiser. This stems entirely from how often players will see repeating enemies, environment design, and objectives. Killing the same foes over and over becomes really tiresome when the game seldom throws anything new at the player.
What’s a real shame is that after you finish the main quests in any of the game’s four chapters you can go through the chapter again to play ten bonus missions. These are meant to allow struggling players to accumulate bonus resources for empowering their characters and often feature puzzle like challenges where you need to figure out how to finish the mission in a single turn. I think if a handful of these missions had been sprinkled in among the main campaign it’d have felt a lot more entertaining instead of quickly running out of steam and sinking into repetition.
There are some other things I really didn’t like about the experience that I elaborated on during episode 25 of the Frosty Canucks. If your curious about my full opinion you can use the timestamps to skip to the relevant section.
Streets of Rogue
Let’s move away from the bad vibes and onto something good.
Streets of Rogue is what could best be described as a systems driven rogue-like. I suppose some may also call it an immersive sim given that genre owned the idea of having system driven gameplay for a while, but I think with recent games like Metal Gear Solid V and Breath of the Wild also being systems driven there is less of a case for using that descriptor. That said, Streets of Rogue is a hell of a lot of fun to mess around with.
Similar to my time last year with Prey, Streets of Rogue really comes into its own once players start to learn how different aspects of the world interact with one another. Tackling the game with only its most basic mechanics is fairly boring, but over repeated attempts in the meat grinder you’ll start to learn the rules that govern the game and can then manipulate them to pull of some hilarious and unconventional solutions to the different problems encountered.
It isn’t as flexible or expressive as some of the larger budget games, but Streets of Rogue is definitely worth checking out if you’re into system driven gameplay interactions.
River City Girls
I don’t think I have a whole lot to say about this one.
River City Girls is fun enough for a beat ’em up, but similar to other games of its ilk I’d have preferred having a wider array of moves at the start of the game. It’s really boring having to unlock the majority of a characters moveset, especially when the default moves don’t really cover all of the situations you’ll find yourself in. Once you get going it’s fun, but you’ll likely spend half of your time in the game getting to that point.
Finally, Mir and I played PHOGS over the past month. I think we both walked away from it with a similar opinion. It’s fine, but we’ve played better co-op and backseat co-op games together.
We played a demo for PHOGS last year and both left the game feeling like we’d seen some of the best levels in said demo. The game has it’s moments, but largely feels very similar and having to struggle through with your partner doesn’t present enough unique challenges to mitigate some of the tedium. If you’re desperate for another co-op experience then PHOGS works, but compared to stuff like Overcooked or It Takes Two it feels a bit lackluster.
As always here is five posts from around the community that you should check out if you haven’t already.
Ian | Adventure Rules – Unpacking the Ending of Boyfriend Dungeon
AK | Everything is bad for you – Politics in Art and the Value of Escapism
Meghan | Meghan Plays Games – Solo-Queueing in Pokémon Unite: A Tragedy
Dan | Indiecator – “This one’s the last one”
Irina | I drink and watch anime – How Reviewing Anime Has Made Me Trust My Eyes
Thanks for reading and stay safe out there!