Note: This is an old post ported over from a gaming blog that I used to write alongside my longtime friend Mento. Images did not survive the import process, and unfortunately I have no idea or record of what they were, so these posts are presented in all their jacked-up, ugly glory.
I’m the other writer for this site, Mento. You (probably) might (not) know me from my work on Giant Bomb, creating all manner of wonderful blog and listicle content that is roundly ignored by everyone. While I’m doing that, I also play video games. Like Gamer Hero #1 (Gaming Heroine?) Sarah, I’m a devotee of goofy JRPGs with 80 hour long playtimes, but I also play a whole lot of other nonsense too. And boy howdy, nonsense doesn’t even begin to cover some of the games I’ve played this year.
I don’t want to regurgitate my Giant Bomb stuff, but I will link to it on occasion, just in the off-chance you haven’t had your weekly Mento fill. What I’ll mostly do here is talk about games I’ve recently beaten, games I have no intention of playing further and games which may not even exist yet. Which I guess just means I’ll speculate on them, since I can’t predict the future with my brain powers (yet). I can’t really speak to what tone I tend to use, but if it needs any pepping up I will not hesitate to start wearing shades indoors and turn my cap around if I feel the situation calls for such drastic measures. Yes, I’m that dedicated. I draw the line at Mountain Dew though.
So while I’m here doing an introductory thing, I’ll talk about the games I’ve played so far this year. Catch you all up, as it were. Don’t want to go on too long though, so these are the briefest of recaps – I’ll probably do something more in-depth for future ones.
Bastion – Started the year with this Indie banger. I say banger because it has a bunch of hammers and guns in it. No, don’t get up, I’ll see myself out. Hop on XBLA or Steam and check it out, if you haven’t already. It’s a custom to give props to the taciturn Greg Kasavin if you’re any sort of wannabe games journalist.
WarioWare Inc. – This was a result of being one of those suckers who bought the Nintendo 3DS at full cost. As that link will attest to, the price is now very reasonable and there are many fine games available for it. Neither of those facts were true when I bought it though, so Nintendo was nice enough to send me the first WarioWare game and a bunch of other GBA games I already own. It is the thought that counts, I’ve heard.
Xenoblade Chronicles – Now this is some awesomesauce in a squeezy bottle, right here. This huge JRPG from the developers of the earlier Xeno- games is every bit as good as you’ve heard, as long as you don’t glut on the side-questing. Just chill and enjoy the sights, music and story about humans fighting evil robots on a couple of long-dead colossi at your own pace. You’ll be glad you did.
Super Mario 3D Land – One of those aforementioned “fine games” that have made the 3DS less of an embarrassing failure in recent months. It’s a step back in many respects, but as a solid flagship Mario game you can’t really go wrong picking it up. Nintendo probably needs to develop some new IPs already, but it sure knows what to do with the ones it has. They’ve had plenty of practice after all.
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword – While I’m usually content to leave the fencing to Link, since my take on swordfighting with the Wiimote generally more closely resembles an interpretative dance about how painful it would be to be cremated alive than it does actual swordplay, Skyward Sword has plenty going for it. Like Mario, it’s not really something Nintendo can afford to mess up, so they don’t. I wouldn’t be surprised if they took the next one in a completely different direction though: People are no longer as enamoured with motion controls as they once were. Which isn’t to say they cared back then either, really.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective – This cracking puzzler (that was an awfully hack-y combination of words) follows pointy-haired, clearly Japanese creation Sissel as he uncovers the mystery behind his own death. It’s a point-and-click adventure game model taken to some really weird places and I loved it to pieces. While you could pick up the version I linked to, there’s a recent iOS port that I hear is very good too.
Majin & The Forsaken Kingdom – One of the many times I’ll play catch-up with the games of yesteryear, Majin is one of those character action games like God of War, but with more emphasis on teamwork and friendship and less on pulling vital parts of a monster’s anatomy out through their noses with your bare hands. It’s horses for courses, really, though the game is great for how cheap it is now.
The Last Story – I probably should cover this in more detail, but I’ve already written pretty much everything that I want to say about this new Mistwalker Wii JRPG over on Giant Bomb. I did make a (possibly spurious) claim that I wouldn’t regurgitate too much of what I do over there, but if you’re curious about this game I’d suggest reading my review. Short version? It’s worth your time.
Asura’s Wrath – Asura’s Wrath is worth your time too, though it won’t ask for much of it. I guess the best description I can give you is if a bunch of anime directors wanted to make something even crazier than Dragon Ball Z and then at the last second turned it into a video game. It’s all QTEs and basic Koei-type brawling, but the sheer insane spectacle is what elevates it.
Mass Effect 3 – We ought to make ourselves the most fashionable gaming blog on the net and just talk at length about the ending and how disappointing it is. I’m sure that is something people would enjoy reading at this juncture. 100% certain, in fact. The rest of the game is good times though, especially how it wraps up some of the smaller threads you’ve been following since the first game, like the Krogan’s Genophage and the Quarian/Geth dispute. Just… I don’t know, don’t dwell on a certain negative aspect of that game for more than is healthy.
Deadly Creatures – This post is way too long. Isn’t it way too long? I better stop before I hit 1000 words or something ridiculous. Oh, this game? It has bugs and stuff. The platforming is actually kind of cool. Vertiginous, but in a good way. Buy it? For Dennis Hopper? He played King Koopa in a movie, you know, so he’s kind of a big deal to gamers. I actually did say that with a straight face, but I guess it doesn’t translate well in text.