Welcome to another installment of Week: End Game: On! What games are the staff playing this weekend? Read on to find out!
My Wii U has lain dormant ever since I finished Twilight Princess HD a few weeks ago, and I’ve been using my console time to make my way through the Uncharted series thanks to the fantastic Nathan Drake Collection for PS4. Yeah, I know I’m cheating on Nintendo, but I wanted to publicly give some major kudos to Bluepoint Games for their great work in updating the first game. The franchise as a whole is one of the most acclaimed of the past decade, but Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was kind of a mess in terms of controls, and this update has brought it in line with the later efforts both in terms of mechanics and visuals. With the sheer number of remasters being put out nowadays, I think it’s worthwhile taking the time to really give credit to the developers who go above and beyond when it comes to improving on nostalgia.
Thankfully, I haven’t been ignoring the world of Nintendo, as my 3DS has been getting a workout with the absurdly titled 7th Dragon III: Code VFD, which I’m playing through for an upcoming review. The game is a big, complex JRPG that very much continues the recent revival of tough-as-nails dungeon crawlers. I’ve barely scratched the surface but so far the game’s difficulty seems fair, and the near future aesthetic helps set itself apart from most other titles in the genre; a brief glance won’t have you mistaking it for an Etrian Odyssey title. I don’t want to go into too many details yet, but I will say that like pretty much every thing made in Japan in the last decade, 7th Dragon has a cute, mascot character; however, this guy is easily one of the best because he is a cynical jerk who is completely convinced that your party is incompetent and will fail in their quest, likely dying horribly in the process.
Also, I honestly can’t tell you the last time I missed a day of playing Badge Arcade; I’m pretty sure I have a problem.
But I’m also pretty sure the answer to that problem is more badges…
I’m finally nearing the end of the Conquest portion of Fire Emblem Fates, and it is rough! My strategies constantly go to ruin from enemy reinforcements I forgot to cover or enemy staves that shave off half my units’ HP. Awakening could never dream of being this hard! The context of what’s going on is pretty sad, too; I won’t spoil anything, and it’s true the game’s story isn’t really an improvement over Awakening (it’s actually worse in several ways), but boy do I feel guilty about who I’m fighting. I guess I’ll blame it on Corrin.
By the way, I got bit by the Street Fighter bug once more, but I hear Street Fighter V is rather lacking in content. Since Capcom is planning for that game to be an ongoing service, I figured I’d let them attend to their own failings and catch up on where it all truly began: Street Fighter 2! To be specific: the SNES version (via Wii U VC) of World Warrior. I grew up with The New Challengers, but I wanted to study the original iteration that captivated ’90s gaming. Despite being vastly outdated, it’s actually still pretty fun, although it’s probably kicking my butt more than Fates. Why are you so fast, Bison?!?
It’s been hectic managing my work schedule with my fun schedule, but it hasn’t stopped me from downloading Donkey Kong Country 3 on my New 3DS XL! Of all trio of Donkey King Country games on SNES, 3 has always been the most polarizing to me. On the one hand, it’s easily the most gorgeous and ambitious of the three; the graphics are absolutely sublime, taking the prerendered style of the first two and bumping things to the next level, while the addition of a truly explorable overworld map added even more flare to the fun. That said, the game is also lacking in a quality secondary character.
Donkey King Country 2 not only boasted improved play control and graphics, but also introduced the lovable Dixie Kong, which made the absence of Donkey King himself tolerable. With DKC3, Rare sadly made the decision to ditch DK and Diddy, leaving Dixie stuck with the snooze-inducing Kiddie Kong. The lumbering lumox of an ape was a bore, and though he reintroduced a “heavy” style character in the vein of the original DK, his lack of charisma left poor Dixie to right the ship by herself. Coupled with some bland environments here and there, DKC3 is a very fun, if flawed finale to the original series trilogy. I’m loving playing it on the go, though, and really recommend anyone who enjoys these games to give it a download.
Beyond DKC3, I finally gave Pocket Card Jockey a download. It’s Game Freak’s really bizarre mixture of Solitaire and horse racing that hit 3DS not too long ago, and it’s an inspired offering. Visually, it’s not the prettiest title to ever grace the eShop, but its oddly addictive formula of horse racing and card playing can’t be beat. Essentially, the faster that players get through their rounds of Solitaire, the better their horse will perform in the race. I’ve been learning the game’s nuances as I go, and I’ve been very impressed. It’s another title that I recommend giving a look!
What games are you playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments section!