For all us proud, flag waving Americans, it’s almost time to launch explosives into the sky and eat copious amounts of grilled animal remains, but that doesn’t mean we won’t have time to fire up our consoles and get some gaming done. Then again not all of us are American, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be enjoying their play time any less… and it looks like most of what we plan on playing are Japanese. Okay, so maybe it will actually be a normal weekend for games.
It seems I’ve been taken in by Pokémon Rumble, that decidedly unorthodox WiiWare game about toy Pikachu and Rattata. I downloaded the demo a few months ago, and thought it was a nice little diversion– then yesterday, I bought it on a whim. I know, I know, I shouldn’t do that kind of thing, but when there seems to be a drought of games lately, I need all the fun I can get. I was also thinking about getting Final Fantasy III (yes, I know it’s really VI) since it got released on the Virtual Console, but I’m hoping Rumble will tide me over until then. I read online somewhere that it’s a bit like Dynasty Warriors except with Pokémon, which is not really too far from the truth. I can’t wait until my Rattata gets into the top percentage of Rattata. If you know what I mean.
Also recently, I discovered my Dragon Quest IX data had been corrupted, meaning I have to start a new game. Considering this is a game that I’ve put years of work into (literally by now) this makes me the definition of Very Sad. I’m not playing that this weekend, though. It would probably just depress me even further– which is why I’m sticking to Pokémon Rumble.
The majority of my game playing time this weekend will be devoted to Xenoblade. Although I’ve been loving this game, it goes without saying I’ll be playing with a heavy heart as it’s such a bummer the only way folks in North America will be able to experience this is by importing. If anything this may turn into the introduction of import gaming for a lot of fans. The other “forbidden three” title I’ve been playing is The Last Story. I’m not really enjoying it, but there is something that keeps me coming back. What that something is, I have yet to figure out. If anything else is going in my Wii, it’s Monster Hunter Tri, as recently I’ve once again got the bug to try (get it?) to get into the Monster Hunter series. It’s just one of those titles that I really want to enjoy but haven’t completely been able to fall for yet.
It would have been even better… in America!
Over on the competitor’s side, my PS3 has had Alice: Madness Returns in it since release. While I never played the first, this is a gorgeous platformer with some decent combat. It’s very reminiscent of the kind of game that used to be more abundant in the N64 and GameCube days, but just looks way prettier. I don’t have too many complaints about it yet but wow is it long, like Castlevania: Lords of Shadow long. I appreciate getting maximum value for my investment, but yikes.
Reluctantly I’ll probably be picking up my 3DS to get through a little more of Ocarina of Time. I doubt I’ll give much of my weekend to it, in the way that a school kid looks at a stack of papers and says “well, I should probably do some of this homework.”
Finally on the retro front I’ve been trying to give about an hour a day to Xenogears, a game I’m familiar with but never completed on my own. That’s right, it’s a duo-Xeno weekend. Also I started a new Dragon Quest save file. As in the first one. It’s mostly a test run to see if I want to import the anniversary collection for Wii. I don’t know why I feel I need another copy of those games, as I’m sure the included Dragon Quest X trailer will be uploaded to Nico Nico about five minutes after this collection comes out, but it would be amusing at some point when someone asks what I’ve been playing and I can answer “I’m playing Dragon Quest 25th Anniversary Commemoration Famicom & Super Famicom Dragon Quest I II III.”
I’m going on my third of four consecutive weekend road trips, so it’s going to be a portable-heavy week again. Of course, topping the list is Ocarina of Time 3D, as I have yet get every Gold Skulltula and Heart Piece. Since it came out this week, also, I’ll be giving the original Kirby’s Dream Land a go. This is one of the few games in the series I have yet to play, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the whole series got started.
Followed up by the amazing Superman 64! Just kidding! If I have time before I leave, though, I will be trying to bump up my star count on Super Mario Galaxy 2, as all of the purple coins have not bee retrieved as of yet. And since we’re thinking of Kirby, I’ll be checking out Kirby’s Epic Yarn as well, time permitting.
Sticking with Ocarina of Time 3D and Brain Age: Sudoku for the most part. I’ll probably take a play a little Super Mario Galaxy 2 and try to get those last two stars that are really bugging me before moving onto the green stars. I’ve thought about possibly getting a game off the 3DS Shop, but I think I’m going to wait a little while on that one.
Chinese New Year is old news, this weekend is all about America!
I think that my 3DS will keep me entertained on the car ride up to my relatives’ house for the 4th of July festivities (yeah, I’m riding up with family because of my car not being the most reliable thing on the planet).
I recently finished Ocarina of Time 3D, but like Aaron I still haven’t found all of the Gold Skulltulas and Heart Pieces. I may go back to the game this weekend and do some aimless exploring, but I think I am pretty much done playing it (at least for a little while). I wish I hadn’t beaten it so many times on N64/GameCube so that it could still seem new, but there were plenty of times where I felt the same magic as when I first played it. I had always told myself I would prefer there to be a new Zelda title for 3DS after this, but seeing how reverently Ocarina of Time was remade really makes me wish Majora’s Mask will get the same treatment.
Beyond that, I’ve also been playing
Pokémon White Donkey Kong ’94 and a little bit of Animal Crossing on the GameCube.. Nook recently held his monthly raffle, but like usual I didn’t win anything. I swear he rigs it. Next week is the fireworks show (and morning aerobics start soon), so I’ll probably be playing a lot more of it this summer. The game still feels charming despite having come out almost nine (!!!) years ago, and I really enjoy revisiting it every now and again. Too bad I can’t say the same about City Folk.
I sense I’ll be far too busy this weekend not being American to get much gaming done. In fact I’m far too busy being British, within the last twenty-four hours I’ve mourned Andy Murray’s loss at Wimbledon, complained about my neighbours with their earshot and objected to the current, bizarre warm spell. See, just like Professor Layton, Michael Caine and Mr. Bean.
If I do end up getting near a gaming device, it’s likely to be something that isn’t particularly challenging on the mental front. I was doing really well with Yoshi’s Island DS until I got to the last level and it proved to be so damn hard! If I get caught up with my satirical comedy TV from the last week and feminist reading (no, really) then I might have time tomorrow to clear a big enough space next to my TV to actually play some GameCube games. Most likely StarFox Adventures or Luigi’s Mansion. Or just Smash Bros. with the proper controller. How I miss my fallen WaveBird.
After blitzing through the first two dungeons on mindless cruise control, I’ve decided to slow down and try to savor Ocarina of Time. I’m going to try to forget the fact I have played through this game more times than I can count as I step into the big boy shoes of adult Link this weekend. I’m especially eager to see how the more interesting dungeons and darker artistic tone come to life with the new graphics and 3D effect; though I doubt I’ll be disappointed.
Even Link partakes in the festivities!
I was also thinking of downloading Final Fantasy VI (don’t give me any of that FF III nonsense) but I decided that I really need to make a concerted to get through more of my backlog. I have been really good about actually beating games recently, but I still have more titles than I care to admit that have been tragically neglected. My most recent target for completion is Assassin’s Creed II which I recently started and have been enjoying despite the controls’ occasional lapse in judgement that sends Ezio hurtling to his death rather than gracefully leaping from ledge to ledge.
There you have it! Nothing proclaims your patriotism quite like leaping through space as an Italian Plumber, scrounging for magical spider tokens in made-up, fantasy worlds, or playing games deemed too awesome for America. We hope you will also be playing something patriotic, because we would hate to have to report you to the Committee on Un-American Activities.