Sorry I haven’t updated in a while. I’ve been playing a lot of video games, believe it or not!
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword’s release has (mercifully) marked the end of Games Season 2011, so I’ve got all my ducks in a row as far as new titles go. Unfortunately, I also just bought a PlayStation 3, so I’ve got a whole slew of other games from the last five years to buy/get through. A gamer’s work is truly never done! Here’s what I’m playing lately.
Super Mario 3D Land: Holy crap! This game is really, really good so far. I was definitely expecting less and am quite pleasantly surprised. I enjoyed New Super Mario Bros. and New Super Mario Bros. Wii (silly titles aside), but they felt just a tad hollow to me. For reasons I can’t really articulate yet, I feel like there’s a different kind of spark behind this one. It’s a lot of fun and the pacing is perfect. I’m almost to the end of the traditional eight world structure, which is, to my understanding, where the game truly begins. Very excited to keep going!
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Playing this one with a friend of mine–schedules permitting–so we’re not very far yet. After the intro sections and the first real dungeon, all I have to say is ‘wow’. Too early to tell how it’ll turn out, but this seems like a very big win so far. The motion controls are excellent.
Professor Layton and the Last Specter: Well, it’s a Layton game, so I pretty much know what I’m getting. It’s as reliably engaging as ever, but there are actually some minor changes to the form. Layton’s got a new assistant (well, old assistant, I guess…this is a prequel) who, being college age and female, brings a slightly different perspective to the proceedings. Little Luke Triton is still around too, although he’s even littler now, given the chronology. The game emphasizes the group dynamic a little more than usual too, with a ton of flavor text and conversation between the heroes while you examine random crap. It’s pretty charming. Oh, and there’s also this intriguing Animal Crossing-esque subgame that I have yet to touch. The box tells me it’s 100+ hours…and that’s terrifying to me.
Alan Wake: I was trying to get this one out of the way before Gamepocalypse 2011 kicked off, but alas. It doesn’t help that I’m a little torn about between loving it and being kind of apathetic. There are really awesome flashes of the best parts of Max Payne’s storytelling in there and a lot of the design is really engaging and innovative…but it is also very repetitive. We’ll see how I feel after it’s over. If I ever get there.
Saints Row: The Third: It is what it is–crass, high on itself, and an absolute joy. Like any Saints Row, it’s got its issues and it’s buggy as hell, but there are just some gaming moments you won’t find anywhere else. Haven’t played many of the plot missions yet, either, so I’m sure the best is yet to come.
Demon’s Souls/Dark Souls: So, I’m kind of playing these concurrently…well, playing one and watching the other. Comparing them is interesting, but I don’t think I’m far enough into either to really comment in too much detail on things like which one is better. They are certainly both cut from the same cloth, and represent the exact same uncompromising vision that I respect very, very much. Such a breath of fresh air.
And that’s what I’m working with! Well, that and the enormous backlog pile.
…please pray for me.