By RecSpec 1 Comments
I haven’t wrote one of these in months, life came out of nowhere and to summarize, I just lost motivation to write. Lost motivation to do a lot of things actually. Anyway, I’m back to writing my weekly blog about the stuff I’ve been playing. This is a summary of the last couple weeks, since my family was in town. This will be pretty long, I’ve been on vacation, so I’ve actually had time to finish games. And with that, off we go!
Ever since I completely fell in love with No More Heroes last year, I’ve been interested in whatever Suda 51 and Grasshopper have been up to. While nothing has come close to No More Heroes in my book, I still enjoy how absurd his games have been. Lollipop Chainsaw looked like a spiritual successor to NMH, so of course I was excited to see how this ended up.
Lollipop Chainsaw lets you know early whether you will be along for the ride or not. The game is crazy, and the jokes are plain juvenile once in awhile, the main characters in the game are high school students, and that really shows. I personally found Juliet annoying throughout the whole game. It’s a relief that Nick (her severed head of a boyfriend) is a great foil. If it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have made it through the game. The humor is really hit or miss and it will miss a lot.There are some really good jokes at times. The voice acting is pretty good, despite the age old tradition of lines being repeated too many times during battle. Don’t dig too deep as far as the theme and tone is concerned. What you see is what you get.
The gameplay is decent. You use your pom-pom attacks to stun enemies, and your chainsaw attacks to finish them off. I avoided most of the pom-pom attacks and mainly used the chainsaw attacks and dodging. The combat is pretty easy, the hardest parts of the game are some of the events they throw at you. These aren’t that difficult either, (except for the zombie baseball, which is killed by the game mechanics, and just bad). The game can be finished in about seven hours without much difficulty, which is a good length for what is here.
My favorite thing in No More Heroes was the boss battles, and they are pretty good in this game. There are five zombie lords, each representing a genre of music (except for funk/disco/auto-tune guy, not sure what his deal was). The boss battles aren’t hard on the normal setting, but they do a lot of cool things. Just when you think it’s over, it’ll throw a curveball at you and keep going. Easily the best parts of the game. Paying full price for it is only recommended if you are a Suda fan, if you’re interested, you should probably rent it to see if it clicks with you.
Over the last year, I’ve claimed that I was done with the Warriors series. Dynasty Warriors 7 was it for me, and I had enough. To show how done I was, I bought Dynasty Warriors 7:XL (played about a half hour), Samurai Warriors Chronicles (It was on sale, never touched it), and Dynasty Warriors: Next (actually put a few hours into this one). I kept hoping that they would catch me again. Unfortunately, none of them came close to making me feel like I should get back into the series. Enter Orochi.
Warriors Orochi 3 is a good game. Not a “good for a Warriors game,” an actual decent piece of software. The amount of characters are mind-blowing. It combines all of the Dynasty and Samurai Warriors characters, adds the mystic legends who are a staple of the Orochi series (they are all based off of old legends), and it throws in a bunch of crossover characters to boot. Yes, there are some clones, but overall, a lot of different play styles and abilities.
The gameplay hasn’t changed that much from the Orochi series, there is still a lot of leveling up, grinding for items, maximizing relationships to unlock stages. Still the old hack and slash, but the team system and various abilities make it a blast to plow through each battlefield. The series has improved over the years, so if you haven’t played each series like I have, you’ll see huge leaps in the gameplay.
The story is fantastic, it follows the previous game where the alliance army made from the Dynasty and Samurai warriors are fighting the Orochi army. This game steps it up by starting at the end of the war, the world is doomed, and the alliance army is down to its last legs when a goddess comes and saves them. From there they go back in time to save the other fallen warlords and generals. It’s a neat twist with enough time paradoxes to make Colonel Campbell weep. Because of the state of the world with the dimensions crossed, it allows for some neat crossover moments. There will literally be sections of universes from other games in the middle of these Dynasty Warriors stages. These run from a beach straight from Dead or Alive to a section of 14th century Paris. The game oozes fan service, but if you are uninitiated, this will still be a fun game, with a ton of replay value, as long as you can live with subtitles instead of the “poor” English dubs.
Punch-out!! (Wii and NES versions)
Me and my brother had kind of a Punch-out rivalry to see who could finish it first. So we went through the Wii version again, and I finally made progress on the Title Defense ladder, while he beat the whole thing only to get brutally beaten by Donkey Kong. Punch-out is always fun because there’s two parts to it, learning what to do, and actually using what you learned. The multiplayer isn’t too fun because it locks you into using Mac, which is a failed opportunity.
From the Wii version we went back to the NES version. That game doesn’t mess around. In all of our time playing it, we never got past Soda Popinski, and that’s with the help of game saves. It’s cool seeing how much of the NES game made it into the Wii version. A lot of the same strategies work, you just have to adjust it a bit.
I loved Auditorium HD, so I’m going to try anything Cipher Prime puts out there. Splice is a neat puzzle game where you are trying to make gene patterns. It’s hard to explain in words, as most of their games are, it’s easier just to see it in action.
The puzzles are pretty neat, and once you start figuring how things work, you feel a sense of accomplishment, you can rewind steps, so you can go back one instead of starting over again. The puzzles get tricky because of the modifiers, and once they start combining them, it becomes difficult. The piano soundtrack is pretty good, and contrasts nicely with the frustration you’ll feel when you get stumped at a puzzle. It is put together well, and hopefully I can finish it soon.
I bought Isaac when it launched, but due to the lack of pad support and my laziness to figure it out, I left it sitting until last week. It’s a shame I did too, because that game is brilliant.
If you’re unfamiliar with it, it’s a 2D Zelda style shooter where if you die, game over, start again. The brilliance in it is everything is randomized, from the weapons you pick up to the enemies and bosses you face. A good run can be cut down short due to a tough room or boss. It reminds me a lot of playing poker. Skill is important, but you can never truly erase luck from the equation.
I still haven’t beaten the first final boss yet. Got there twice. Once was a bizarre end where I was unaware of a glitch. If you’re in the shadow of the attack when you kill the boss, you take the damage anyway. Since I only had one heart through deals with the devil and items. Instant death. That run was awesome, I ran through the hard versions of the last area (added with DLC, which I probably shouldn’t have bought right away, since it makes the game harder) trying to survive with my pathetic life. I ran into a shop hoping to find a life boosting item, only to find a hidden boss. Tried a slot machine to get more life, machine exploded giving me max money.The random nature makes it a lot of fun, but it can be frustrating. You get the same sense of accomplishment you get from Super Meat Boy (Isaac is made by Edmund McMillen, part of Team Meat) though when you survive a level, and that’s worth every bit of stress.
I love the idea of the series, but I will never play another main Pokémon game again unless it’s a second reboot of either Red/Blue or Gold/Silver. A turn-based strategy game featuring Pokémon sounds awesome though, and the Samurai Warriors crossover is just icing on the cake. Sadly the game is pretty simple. I’ve only put in a few hours, but nothing yet has been too challenging. There are a number of great ideas in there though.
To recruit a warlord, you either have to defeat them in 4 turns, finish them with a super effective attack, or beat them without them damaging you. If you want a certain type, you have to plan effectively. It’s a cool system, and forces you to think things through if you want to “catch ‘em all.” This has all been moot so far because each battle has been pretty simple, it’s basically planning to get extra bonuses, not to win. If you can use type advantages, you should have an easy time. You can capture Pokémon for your warlords with a timing based minigame, which is strange. It’s not a bad thing, just out of place. There are some battles which require you to capture banners and defend them, which is a nice change of pace, unfortunately the AI fails horribly at these.
The story is nothing special, someone’s trying to take over the world (not-so-spoiler: it’s Nobunaga), and you have to stop him. As I said though, I only have a few hours into it so far. The game is trying to hit a hard balance between hardcore strategy and making it easy to pick up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t hit the mark as well as the main series. There are a lot of good things, but the flaws really stand out too.
This week I plan to hopefully beat The Binding of Isaac (even though I’ve been told multiple times that beating the final boss is just the beginning, great). Hack away at Splice some more, and maybe pick up Quantum Conundrum if I still have a functioning brain. Thanks to Warriors Orochi 3, I got back into Bladestorm, which is criminally overlooked. I also still need to pick up Gravity Rush, but I’ve been having too much fun playing Monster Hunter with two sticks. Horrible, my favorite thing about the Vita is how it makes PSP games better. For more random nonsense, follow me on twitter, or check out the Really Bad Future for the other nonsense that I couldn't cram into here. Thanks for reading, until next time.