Games 14-19

Hi there stranger! It’s been a while since last post, so I can’t blame you for worrying that this series had fallen by the wayside. However, while my writing hat has been stuck behind the sofa, I’ve been plugging away through my game collection to get through by 52for52. Given the amount I need to cover (and because that writing hat is covered in dust and absolutely needs a wash), I’m only going for ‘hot take’ thoughts on Games 14-19 on my list.

14-19

Game: Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask
Platform: 3DS
Release: 2011

My first Professor Layton game and it comes with a seal of recommendation from me. A surprisingly in-depth and heartfelt story and some fun puzzles – I’m guessing the rest of the series possibly relies on similar puzzles and the same style of story, but I feel it may be worth another look in the future.

Game: Dark Cloud
Platform: PS2
Release: 2001

Pros: Fun dungeon crawling, town building is surprisingly therapeutic, breakable weapon mechanic adds challenge
Slight cons: By the book story, annoying cat person character who I wish had stayed as a cat, character switching can be labourious.
Massive con: Absolutely woeful soundtrack and insanely short loops. Game-breaking.

Game: Grabbed by the Ghoulies
Platform: Xbox
Release: 2003

My, this is a short game. And that’s fine really, it was just a surprise considering Rare’s output both previously and since. Their first Xbox game, it certainly still looks good for its age and it has the signature Rare humour, with double entendres abound. A kind of brawler for kids, there are some neat challenges in the levels but their slightly undermined by overly simplistic controls. I mean, I;’m terrible at fighting games and combos (more on that below) but the combat in GbtG can get boring quite fast.

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Game: Crypt of the Necrodancer
Platform: PC (version played), PS4, Vita
Release: 2015

First of all, credit to Darren Baranowsky for an incredible soundtrack – it makes the sometimes frustrating roguelike gameplay a lot easier to deal with death after inevitable death (Crypteque is a firm favourite). The game’s rhythm based concept is interesting and highly original, and like any good roguelike it has a good feedback loop meaning you’ll want to give it ‘just one more go’…

Game: Skullgirls
Platform: PC (version played), PS3, PS4, Vita, 360
Release: 2012

As a relative fighting game novice (my only experience has been Tekken and an early DoA), I thought it would be sensible to try a generally well-regarded but beginner friendly title. Alas, I had a few problems – despite an in-depth and useful tutorial system, it turns out I’m just terrible at fighting games. Also, while I’m a fan of the art style and film-noir feel, as well as the concept behind the characters, I was put off by the majority of characters having a design focusing on boobs or upskirt frames, leaving me more uncomfortable than anything else.

Game: Ratchet and Clank
Platform: PS4
Release: 2016

A remake? A reboot? Well, it’s a little of column A and a bit from column B. The game of the film of game’s main drawing point is its stunning good looks – the amount going on while you’re running through each world is just a joy to watch. As well as this, there are some really fun guns, including the Groovitron which forces all enemies to dance, something I’m pretty sure no other game currently has. The story is a bit wishy washy thanks to the ropey film version but it’s fun to play and for a platformer that’s really the main thing.

So that’s it for now – maybe I’ll go back to a post per game as before, maybe I’ll stick with this. Let me know your thoughts on that and any of the games I;ve mentioned below and I’ll expand on my thoughts!

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