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So About Them “Videogames”, May 2014

May 15, 2014

暑い・・・ I feel like we’ve skipped Spring this year with how this weather has been lately. It’s only May and I’ve already had to break out the A/C a few times… always a bummer. After this past Winter however, I’m happy to see the heat.
Late April/Early May has been a mixed bag for this guy here as far as video games go, with a few oldies and a few new games popping up here or there, with a few old favorites(?) in the middle.
Microsoft announced an Xbox One package without a Kinect bundled in for a hundred bucks cheaper earlier this week, and the internet was prompt to blow up on that story. One day they’re complaining that the Kinect is a forced-buy, and the next they’re cracking wise about its omission. Some people live to be displeased.


What I’ve been playing:

DMC2FrontCoverDevil May Cry 2-
Devil May Cry 2 is a game a only vaguely remembered from back in the day, and while I don’t remember it spewing hot fire back then, I don’t remember hating it either. In fact, DMC2 is the first game I remember going back and playing through a second time on the harder difficulty, and having played through it again over the past month, it’s no wonder why. This game feels unfinished.
From a design standpoint I’d say it looks pretty nice (though a number of the environments could use some more color), and I still think Dante’s design in DMC2 is the best out of all of the games, but from a gameplay standpoint Devil May Cry 2 is dreadfully boring to play. Enemy encounters are never once interesting or challenging, with even the vast majority of the boss fights easily breezed through by standing in one spot, occasionally jumping upward to avoid attacks and spamming Ebony & Ivory until Devil Trigger is up, then continuing to unload ranged fire on your target until it is dead.
There is very little by means of environmental progression, and you often find yourself running through completely empty sections of levels that seem like they should have had enemies placed in them or something else to do aside run from one end of the map to the other.
I didn’t die once, and I didn’t even use a consumable item until the final boss (the only encounter in the game that seemed as though defeat might be a possibility) where I popped the Devil Gems I had been stockpiling, and made the fight a complete joke as the heath regen you get in Devil form easily overpowers any damage you would be taking from the boss.
Devil May Cry 2 isn’t a good video game, but I’m glad I went back to play it again so that I could see for myself why that is.
Devil May Cry 3 is the only game in the series that I’ve never played through, so I’ve started that up, and having just played through DMC2, the third game in the series is so, so good by comparison. I would even go as far to say that if it weren’t for the troublesome camera in a few areas, it would hold its own very well against the more modern character action games.
Maybe I’ll have finished it come next month’s article and will have more to say then, but we’ll see.


3DS eShop games!

3f0cc2c39e00406f5f91462f24e3e5f6-ninja_gaidenNinja Gaiden (NES)-
Ninja Gaiden NES is a game I never owned back in the day, and only played it for a couple of minutes at a friends house back in the day. It feels a lot like the developers saw what Castlevania was doing a few years prior and said “Why don’t we do that, but with ninjas?”, what with the structure and the controls, but I feel like the obvious difference here is quality.
Ninja Gaiden does not feel like a well-made videogame. The control is nice, but the game is quite stingy about where you need to be standing to make contact with your sword, and this is pronounced by the game’s enemy behaviors. It seems as though every other enemy is swaying wildly about the screen, and as the invincibility upon taking damage is much shorter than typically found in these games, you will take hit after hit trying to get enemies off of you.
The bosses are also incredibly boring, and even sitting here typing this I can’t remember what a single one of them looked like.
Unlike Castlevania, where the game was challenging but in a fun way, Ninja Gaiden is just challenging, and while I couldn’t bring myself to give up on Castlevania until I saw the credits, I’m sort of content with not finishing Ninja Gaiden. It’s still on my system, so I’m sure to poke at it every once in awhile, but I don’t find it fun enough to really care about clearing it.


mario-golf-world-tour-box-artMario Golf World Tour-
It seems as though golf games have become infrequent releases, and among those we do see, it seems they’ve more of a simulation bent than anything, and due to this the last golf video game I recall spending any notable amount of time with was Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee for the PSP.
That seems like ancient history at this point, and perhaps due in part to how long it has been since I’ve played an arcade style golf game, I’ve been enjoying my time with Mario Golf World Tour quite a bit.
It doesn’t offer many big surprises as far as game modes or courses go, though there are some fun themed greens which can be unlocked via the game’s Challenge mode, such as one at the bottom of the ocean.
The challenges can be pretty tricky, with some of them asking you to say, shoot the ball through several rings placed about the course before achieving par on the hole, while others might have you achieve a specific score while utilizing Items.
Aside from pick-up play where you select the character, course and ruleset of your liking, the game offers a somewhat thin career mode in which you play as your Mii and tackle each of the game’s Club Courses. You gather a currency upon completing matches of any type in any mode, and this currency can be used to purchase gear for your Mii which can alter his or her shot trajectory, power, and control; and unlocking this gear to mix and match is fun, but if I had one gripe with it, it would be that it unlocks far slower than you will accrue credits, so even if you purchase items as soon as they’re unlocked, you’ll always be sitting on a huge sum of coin.
There isn’t a ton to the campaign mode, and I figure if you’ve played an arcade golf game before you’ll likely finish it within a couple hours (such as I did), but it was fun enough to hold my attention during that time.
There are also online competitions which cycle in and out as time progresses, and while these can be fun (as you see “ghosts” of your fellow golfers ball trajectories in pseudo real-time while you’re taking your shots, the feeling of competition is pretty muted as you are never presented your standing on the chosen event’s leaderboard unless you hunt it down afterwards, and the items rewarded from these events appear to be given for participation instead of standing.
It’s a fun game. I can’t speak for those who play games like this often, but for me, Mario Golf World Tour has been well worth the asking price of $30.


And along with a smitter-smattering of other stuff here or there, I’ve spent a little bit of time with the recent map pack which was released for Call of Duty: Ghosts; but regardless of map or gametype, that game does a terrible job at keeping me occupied anymore. There’s no satisfaction in the shooting, and the maps provided, while somewhat interesting from a visuals standpoint (save for the absurd, almost constantly occuring frame-rate dips found within them), don’t have a fun flow to them. Big circles with pathways through the middle; that’s all these maps need to be. I think Predator is a killstreak on one of these maps, and while I expect it’s just a skin for the Juggernaut Maniac Killstreak just like Michael Myers was, at least it makes more sense for a Predator to sprint around than it did for Michael Myers.
And since we’re on the subject, this year’s Call of Duty game was revealed this month, and while it was quite pretty, it’s going to take much, much more than a pretty next-gen face-lift to get me excited for a Call of Duty game again. The summer blockbuster spectacle is boring at this point.
Transistor is out next week (!), and Watch Dogs is right around the corner. I’m vaguely interested in Wolfenstein: The New Order also, but I’m unsure whether I’ll grab that or not.
E3 is right around the corner!
That’s what’s been up on my end lately as far as video games are concerned.

From → Games

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  1. Spitz’s Year End Wrap Up 2014 | Spitz's Soapbox

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