Introducing "Explain Yourself!" Number One

Note: I tend to fuck up the follow through on almost every blog writing thing I've started. This is but the most recent attempt to work against that tendency.

I accumulate video games. In the heyday of the Humble Indie Bundle, I foolishly bought nearly eighty goddamn games and have managed to get through perhaps twenty five percent of them. I've tried to establish a system wherein I must basically beat and/or remove two games from my collection for every one I purchase. This has wound up working...mostly. It turns out the act of purchasing things to be used for amusement, can in and of itself become an amusing activity. If I'm chewing through sub-ten hour indie platformers, that can get me to more purchases in the near term. If, as is the case at present, I am working my way through a couple fairly extensive JRPGs, this can slow to a trickle of new toys.

So, I am creating an accountability mechanism called "Explain Yourself!", wherein I will attempt to rationalize the last few video game purchases and trade-ins I have made. This will get updated periodically, as the rate at which these sick trades occur does change drastically depending on what idiot impulses I am following at any given point.

Without further ado:

I bought HyperZone

HAL Laboratory, 1991
HAL Laboratory, 1991

I would like to think of myself as one of the biggest Space Harrier fans in the South Seattle area. Something about the "we took Fantasy Zone, added more drugs, and made it pseudo-3D", devil may care, blue sky arcade-y feel of Space Harrier hits me in a way that few other games have ever done. Derivatives and distant cousins of Harrier (other super scaler games, stuff like Panzer Dragoon and Rez) fascinate me as well. I'm also a Nintendo mark, however, and at some point I learned that goddamn HAL had made a Space Harrier-like. I'd been hunting for a physical copy of this one for only a month or so until I found one for around $10 at a thrift shop in Bellingham. I have since played it to completion. It's not a particularly long game, and it's not the best spin on the Harrier genre...but it makes up for it by doing some very nice mode 7 scaling and having a boppin' soundtrack throughout. You can feasibly beat this entire game on your first sitting in under an hour. It took me three tries to get there, after which it allows you to run through all eight levels once again with a maxed out ship. I wouldn't call it essential, but if you enjoy this specific sort of false 3D shooting action you would do well to at least have a gander at it. It's quite a far cry from HAL's better known fare, if nothing else.

I fuckin' bought Destiny: Now with 100% extra Destiny

Bungie, 2014
Bungie, 2014

Yeah, yeah, I'm two years late to a game that is likely going to wind up being made obsolete later this year. I don't particularly mind; I just shared my excitement over finding a dusty copy of an early SNES game, for crying out loud. This was a game that I had poked at on the PS3 and realized it would be better experienced on a "contemporary" console, and my current housemate came with such a device. So now I'm up on that PS4 with a level 20-something pink robot lady that throws force grenade-balls or something and she's...like, putting down some sort of alien invasion-cabal thing that wants to use an evil computer? The plot is gutter trash, though I will admit to having installed the shitting companion app on my phone to read the Grimoire Cards what they included the lore in, because this game is kind of a shoggoth. But at the core of the shoggoth, however, are some really fantastic feeling shootan' mechanics. The act of shooting weapons feels appropriately weighty, and there are some very satisfying sound queues around things like pulse rifles and the various void effects triggered by my warlock grenades to make the action feel like this crazy, distant future sci-fi thing. I'm also surprised to admit how much I enjoy the multiplayer. I'm not wonderful, but it's the first faction that I leveled in. Their "kill confirmed" variant has been particularly fun, but then I've always enjoyed the additional element of risk v. reward that this mode provides when it shows up in an online shooter. So, yeah, Destiny: We put all of the extra things in here Edition is something that I think you could have a good time in even if you are starting at this late a date. Just don't feel bad clicking through every attempt at story telling, because holy shit.

I picked up that Freedom Fighters for mah Xbox

IO Interactive, 2003
IO Interactive, 2003

Once upon a time in 2012, I was making the long drive from Seattle to Kamloops, British Columbia. Don't leave! I promise this all ties together. On that drive, I had a pile of Bombcasts queued up to keep me awake. One of those episodes contained the announcement that Sid Meier was going to make a modern remake of XCOM. As a pretty big fan of Civ IV and V, I was stoked to see what they'd do with the franchise. I loved it! It gave me cause to seek out other games in the squad-based tactical vein, which led me to considering Freedom Fighters. A roughly contemporary piece of Giant Bomb video content on the game put it on my radar for suresies, and I managed to pick this one up for the princely sum of $7 from my Friendly Local Used Game Store. This is the Xbox version, mind you, so I will be able to run this thing at a mind blowing 720p over component video and play it with a controller. That said, I haven't even opened the case for this yet as my Xbox has been either 1) operating strictly as a Burnout 3: Takedown device, or 2) failing to read disks entirely, as it is a Hungarian-made launch Xbox with the suckass Thompson DVD drive...that I've tried to replace recently, but that's probably a whole separate blog post. I am stoked to get to this one, but it is honestly being pushed further down the totem pole than I had originally planned.

Why, you ask? Because I'm building a new PC the instant my Core i7 7700 shows up in the mail (which better damn well be tomorrow, Fedex, because I am going to hurt you), and Friday I have take the day off to do literally nothing but play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as the old gods intended, on the mighty Wii U. By the end of this year I intend to finish that Zelda, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Bayonetta 2, The Wonderful 101, and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. Then the long night begins for my Wii U, as I will put it back into its original box and (hopefully) replace it with a Switch. New Donk City 2017, baby.

So yeah, I'll try to do this again. At some point. Hopefully.

Current Playing: Final Fantasy VIII (with girlfriend, following instructions from @thatpinguino), Persona 4 Golden, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Collector's Edition (purchased CIB for $95)

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