Welcome to another installment of Nintendojo’s Backlog Summer! What games are the staff working through this week? Read on to find out!
I have to confess that I have been two-timing Wario the past couple weeks. Yes, I haven’t picked up Wario Land II in over a week because I have been busy playing on a shiny and new gaming system. I got a PlayStation 4 last week with a few games. Sorry Wario! Sorry Nintendo! I beat Batman: Arkham Knight and now I’m working my way through Bloodborne, two games which are thoroughly un-Wario.
I ought to talk about Arkham Knight a bit. It was a very solid game all around, but I had a few issues with it. I found many parts of it– particularly the Batmobile battles and the constant battles– to be pretty repetitive. There were many quests that I found to be snoozefests (mostly optional, thankfully). The story was pretty enjoyable overall, but had some real disappointments that I won’t get into without spoiling the game. Finally, while the world is huge and the level of detail is incredible, I just did not feel super absorbed into it. Gotham City is pretty samey and lacked some much needed variety. The city feels dead and empty, a problem also shared with Arkham City. Many of these feelings I have are partly due to the fact that Arkham Knight is the fourth game in this series. If I had been experiencing much of this for the first time it wouldn’t have been so repetitive.
The most fun I had was just driving and jumping around town doing the main quest and the standout side-quests. Arkham Knight is impeccably designed and polished. But due to the reasons above, I merely found it to be a “pretty cool” game and not a “WOW!” game. At the risk of sounding crotchety, I have played through lots and lots of games. I’ve realized that as I play more games, I am more interested in novel experiences than constantly scaling up. I am generally more impressed and have more fun with games that surprise me than games that just give me bigger and better versions of what has come before. I can tie this back to Nintendo by saying that Nintendo games usually manage to surprise and delight me, even when they are just new entries in existing series.
Anyways, I hope to get back to Wario’s world soon enough. So far, his games have managed to capture a novel feeling that I hope won’t die down by the time I get through them all!
Last night, I considered downloading The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on Virtual Console. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve barely ever played the SNES classic, and I’ve been meaning to give it a real shot. However, I looked over at my gaming shelf at all the untouched and unfinished games I have and decided against it. Instead, I popped in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. I pushed the title aside when Splatoon released, and I haven’t touched it since. While I (sometimes) enjoyed my time with the title, I wasn’t as taken with it as Kyle was. Some levels were just so much more frustrating than others! But I knew I was close to the game’s end, so I figured it might be an easy one to knock off my backlog.
I didn’t realize just how far along I was! I popped in the game to find out that I had just two levels left. It didn’t take me long to wrap up the game, and as I watched the charming end credits roll, I realized I was probably a little too hard on Kirby’s latest. In my mind, it will never compare with the Wii masterpiece Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but it’s a fun little title. It just has a bit more of a learning curve than your average Kirby title! Now that I’ve finished with that, I’m considering going back to Hyrule Warriors. That’s another title I stopped playing just near the end!
I’m still plugging away at Yoshi’s New Island and Super Smash Bros., as well. I’m still slowly chipping away at the challenges in the latter title, and unlocking all kinds of music and other goodies. I even unlocked Mr. Game & Watch’s level! I still know of at least two more levels I have to unlock, but I’m staying strong and avoiding any spoilers online. It takes more time, but I’m enjoying myself, so I don’t mind!
So I finally beat Kirby’s Dream Land 3. Solving every puzzle was really satisfying, even if the game itself wasn’t anything too special. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy myself– I consider this game essential playing for any Kirby fan, as you’ll definitely get enjoyment out of it. In particular, the music was very appealing, and I never found myself turning down the volume on my TV. Every partner at Kirby’s disposal controls differently and gives enough different copy ability combinations, and there’s not really one ability that can be spammed throughout the whole game. But I still have a small problem with the hit detection, which caused me to die way more often than I would have liked. Again, this is personal preference, and I might just be really bad at this game.
But the game’s not done yet! After solving every puzzle and beating the final boss, my file select screen taunted me with a 97 percent completion rate. Little did I realize that I would have to complete perhaps the most difficult thing I’ve ever done in a Kirby game: Mini-Game 5! That’s right, all five grueling memory minigames found in the game have to be completed in a row, with a perfect success rate. It took the better part of two evenings and probably a hundred tries (I’m not exaggerating) to achieve this.
The first two minigames are really easy, to the point where I found myself annoyed that I had to trudge through them to get another crack at the next three far more difficult ones. The third minigame involved memorizing how many Gordos (out of ten Gordos) had a normal face, and how many are blank. But the game throws a curve ball: sometimes there are Gordos with a slightly different face! Add to this that the faces only appear for anywhere from five seconds to less than a second, and it’s a recipe for extreme annoyance. Sometimes success only comes with an educated guess, which is infuriating. The fourth game has Gordos colored red, blue, and yellow, and they’ll appear for a few seconds, leaving Kirby to guess how many of one color there was. The catch is, you don’t know which color the game will ask for! Educated guesses were a must in this one as well, and oftentimes I found myself going with my gut. The final game has Gordos falling from the sky, each making a random sound, and then Kirby has to replicate a particular sound that the game asks for. This is really, really tough, so I found myself closing my eyes and memorizing as many sounds as I could. After hours of trying, I finally succeeded in perfecting every minigame in a row!
Now I’m at 98 percent completion, and I have a boss rush to complete (which should be a cakewalk compared to the memory game nightmare), and an unknown minigame I haven’t explored yet. Here’s hoping everything going forward is smooth sailing!
Oh, and my Rosalina and King Dedede Amiibo just came in the mail. A big thank you to my sister for refreshing the Walmart site for such a long time and coming off victorious! I’m giving her Rosalina to put in her bedroom as thanks for spending hours of her life helping me out. Early next week Kirby and Palutena are coming, and the Splatoon three-pack is on the way. If only I could get my hands on a Samus…
It seems like I am bucking the trend this week by not playing anything Kirby-related!
Having been away this week, I’ve been relying on my 3DS for all my gaming needs. I never completed Pokémon Diamond, so decided to put some more time into that. I’ve just beaten the eighth gym and I know that it is relatively old news by now, but I still can’t get over how good the series looks in proper 3D!
Alongside that, I’ve been making do with a few games on Pokémon Shuffle (I’m limited by my decision not to pay to play!) and a couple of matches on Mario Kart 8.
I absolutely love how many top quality titles there are on the 3DS, and I’ve realized that I still have so many to play. That reminds me, I still have to finish Luigi’s Mansion 2 at some point!
What can I say, my non-Nintendo adventures continued this past week. Why am I straying? Uh… I have no idea? Whatever the reason might be for my Nontendo escapades, I’ve been enjoying plowing through the games I’ve been playing nonetheless. The main game for me has been Ratchet & Clank. Man, that game is fun. It’s interesting coming at it from the perspective of someone who’s been raised on Nintendo platformers. It lacks the overall high quality sheen we expect from the Big N, but it’s a very solid game despite its shortcomings. The weapons are clever, the action is pleasing, and it looks really good boosted to HD. Sony has steadily been building up its stable of mascot characters for years, and with ones like Ratchet and Clank in tow, it’s a fairly respectable one.
It hasn’t been all Nontendo in my house, though, as I did fire up Battletoads on my NES in honor of Rare Replay. So… Turbo Tunnel. I’m 29 years old. Couldn’t beat it. Still. Contributor Angela seems to believe that I have in the past, but I swear I can’t remember doing so. That game basically ends for me once I get to that twitch-nightmare of a corridor. It’s really fun in how challenging it is, aided by the game’s precise controls, but it’s like getting kicked in the face after a certain point. Don’t expect me to be beating this one this summer, or ever!
What games are you playing this weekend? Tell us below in the comments!