Metroid : Samus Returns

Metroid_Samus_ReturnsDate Completed: 11/23/2018

I wasn’t a Metroid person when I was younger.  I knew a few people who owned it for the NES but I never had access to it long enough to accomplish much.  Metroid Samus Returns is a re-make of the Gameboy game ‘Metroid II’ which according to one random internet ranking I read is ranked 9 out of 13.  Since getting this game for Christmas last year I had been looking forward to playing it unfortunately I was in the middle of Bravely Second and would be so for many, many months.

I finally got to start the game a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed it.  My youngest son also really enjoyed it and irritatingly insisted on hanging off my shoulder whenever he noticed that I was playing it.  He had borrowed it from me a few month ago and made it about 20% of the way into the game before being distracted by something else so he was very helpful at first.  Afterwards he kept bugging me “Are you done yet?  When can I play it again?” so I was fairly motivated to finish the game so that he’d stop bugging me.

My favorite part of the game was upgrades.  Samus starts pretty tough but by the end of the game has picked up some many upgrades that you feel like a total badass.  It’s really satisfying to run through rooms blasting and destroying where you once had to tread carefully.  I’m pretty sure most of the upgrades weren’t in the original ‘Metroid II’ but they were awesome.

I had a lot of fun with this game and my son had a lot of fun watching.  He is no longer bugging me asking when he can borrow it and is now bugging me asking how to get to the next area.

According to the same random ranking ‘Metroid : Samus Returns’ is ranked 5th out of 13 which is quite an improvement!  Well done!

  • Is it fun: Yes
  • Score: 8/10
  • Length:  ~8 hours
  • System: 3DS
  • Genre:  Action / Adventure
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Bravely Second : End Layer

Date Completed : November 9th, 2018

Bravely Second is the sequel to Bravely Default, the game that almost certainly is responsible for triggering tendinitis in my wrist and making me realize that I am now old.  It’s hard to remember what I was thinking when I decided to subject myself to that again but I somehow ended up with a pre-order of the collectors edition which I accidentally paid for and brought home so I suppose I felt that I probably had to put the time into it at that point.

The game has been out since 2016 so it took me quite a long time to get through it.  I wanted to finish the demo first and I took several long breaks while playing the game.  I had set the difficulty of the game to ‘Hard’ which turned out to be very difficult and I was always under-powered for whatever challenge was ahead of me.  I probably would have stayed more engaged if the game had been easier, but what’s the fun in winning?  Eventually I resorted to a ‘cheat’ to power-level my team to maximum and afterwards I had no issues staying motivated to play.

The game had some nice enhancements over the previous title and a lot of the same type of humor.  The story was pretty good, although I preferred the original.  I will say that I thought the entire ending sequence was fantastic and a lot of fun.  There were a lot of creative moments in this game and if you’re a RPG fan it’s worth the time.  Bravely Default has provided the kind of experience that Final Fantasy games used to provide back in the day.  I really hope they continue to make Bravely Default games although I’m not sure my wrists will survive many more titles!

Is it fun: Yes
Score: 8/10
Length:  100 hours
System: 3DS
Genre: RPG

Rain

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Date Completed : 8/19/2018

I bought Rain several years ago when I was looking for more ‘interesting’ games and this seemed to fit the bill.  You control a young boy who has turned invisible and can only be seen in the rain.

The game is very short and can be completed in an afternoon.  It’s not difficult and is more of an interactive story than a challenge.  The game is set in a city that appears similar to Paris and has borrowed Claude Debussey music for much of the soundtrack.

The game certainly provided a memorable experience and is fun enough to play exactly once.

Is it fun: Yes
Score: 6/10
Length:  4 hours
System: Playstation 3
Genre: Adventure

Shovel Knight : Shovel of Hope

Shovel_knight_cover(1)Date Completed : June 16th, 2018

As mentioned much earlier in my blog, I purchased Shovel Knight : Specter of Torment when I originally bought my Nintendo Switch because my copy of Zelda didn’t include launch-day delivery and it was the cheapest game available.  Eventually a deal was offered for a significant discount on Shovel Knight if you owned Specter of Torment so I bought it too.

Shovel Knight is a lot like Specter of Torment except instead of Specter Knight you are the titular Shovel Knight.  Shovel Knight isn’t quite as satisfying to play as Specter Knight was but the game is still a lot of fun.  My kids enjoyed it as well and my boys both tried playing with varying degrees of success.  Shovel Knight hearkens back to a simpler time when games required skill to succeed and my kids were frustrated quickly.

In conclusion I’m very happy with Shovel Knight.  Great concept.  Fun game.  Shovels.

  • Is it fun: Yes
  • Score: 8/10
  • Length:  10 hours
  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: Action / Platform

Golf Story

SQ_NSwitchDS_GolfStoryJune 16, 2018

When I was in college I owned Mario Golf for the Game Boy color and I really enjoyed it.  If you’re not familiar it combined RPG game elements with a Golf game.  One cool feature was the ability to take your character with you to the Nintendo 64 version of Mario Golf using the N64 Transfer Pack accessory.  I haven’t played many of the Mario Golf games since (with the exception of Mario Golf  : World Tour for the 3DS) but I was hoping that Golf Story would re-capture the enjoyment I had with Mario Golf for the Game Boy color.

As you might have surmised from the title Golf Story is a Golf game that incorporates a story element.  It also includes RPG elements and as you complete challenges (such as defeating an undead skeleton horde) you will level up your character and improve your stats.  The story is humorous and the golfing mechanic is everything you’d expect it to be.

I was very satisfied with this purchase and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys humor, RPGs and/or Golf games.

  • Is it fun: Yes
  • Score: 8/10
  • Length:  13 hours
  • System: Nintendo Switch
  • Genre: RPG / Sports

Civilization IV

May 19, 2018

I remember one day when I was in high school I woke up, went into the computer room and started playing Civilization.  Some time later I realized it was dark and my parents were telling me to go to bed.  Civilization sucks time like no other game I know of.

I had recently built a Windows PC and was trying out some of my old steam games that I couldn’t use when I was a Mac owner.  Stupidly Civilization IV was the game I tried.  I just tried it for a few minutes and 5 hours later my kids were asking me where I’d been.

Civilization IV is exactly like what I remembered except better.  It’s impossible to not want to play just one more turn.  My younger son briefly became a Civilization fanatic after witnessing the game and I let him play a bit although it’s tough to play when you can’t read very well yet.

After conquering the world through diplomacy I loaded an older save file and won by achieving victory in the space race.  Then I promptly deleted the game.  I don’t enjoy the feeling of entire days disappearing.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT

Dissidia_Final_Fantasy_NT_Steelbook_Brawler_Limited_Edition_-_PlayStation_4_1024x1024Date Completed:  March 2, 2018

I played a lot of Dissidia (like, 100+ hours) on my PSP back in the day, and put up with a lot of jokes from my wife about stupid video game names so I was expecting this to be more of that.  My expectations failed to be met.

Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is a 3-vs-3 fighting game.  It doesn’t appear that it was ever meant to have a single player mode.  There is a single player mode tacked on but it feels like a bit of an afterthought.  It consists of a series of preset 3-vs-3 matches where you are paired with some AI controlled buddies.  I understand that the game was originally an arcade fighting game in Japan, which explains quite a bit.

The graphics are beautiful but that’s about all this game has going for it.  I played through the single player which was OK but not super memorable.  I tried some of the online matches but I only played a few.  It would take an average of 5 minutes to find a match so I would usually get bored before being paired with anyone.

I let the kids play a few matches and they didn’t care for it much.  The controls are greatly simplified from the PSP Dissidia games but they are still a bit involved.  My kids did enjoy seeing Prince Noctis’ from Final Fantasy XV (Which was the game I had played immediately prior) though!

In conclusion, this one is a dud.

  • Is it fun: No
  • Score: 3/10
  • Length:  8
  • System: Playstation 4
  • Genre: Fighting