Welcome to Week: End Game: On, our Saturday staff round table that discusses what we’re playing in our free time! There’s no time like the present so let’s get right into things.
The billing order this weekend is still very much Xenoblade central, but I’ve also been playing one of my all-time favourite Zelda titles this week– Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Some people say it’s the worst Zelda game ever because it’s so radically different from the others with its side-on view and uncharacteristic dabbling in RPG territory, but I really love this game, more so than the original Legend of Zelda. The music is also awesome– fact. So for me, it’s going to be very much a weekend of two very different eras, mixing the very old with the very new, and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
On a side note, I also finished Shadow of the Colossus this week. To be honest, I wasn’t all that enamoured by it. 16 colossi were just about 8 too many in my opinion, but at the same time, when the game only clocked in at under 8 hours any fewer colossi would have barely made it worth playing in the first place. It was certainly unique, I’ll give it that, but ultimately I was left feeling rather dissatisfied with it when all was said and done. I really liked the end twist (although I sort of knew about it already), but the way it was delivered made it feel rather disconnected from the overall game. I would liked to have seen a more incremental introduction of the narrative u-turn, as well as a little more substance to the actual gameplay. Once you’ve felled one colossi, you’ve more or less felled them all…
This weekend will be a Very Kirby Weekend for me. In celebration of the release of Kirby’s Return to Dreamland (North American release date is set for October 24th), I will be looking over my Kirby game collection and playing them all to my best ability. Perhaps I shall make a journal of this? The only Kirby games I don’t have are Kirby’s Air Ride, Kirby’s Dream Land 3, and Kirby and the Amazing Mirror (I can’t find that one anywhere!).
Between the takes of Kirby, I’ll probably play a little Four Swords and a little Rhythm Heaven to serve as a break in between. (By the way, when are they gonna set a date for Rhythm Heaven Wii in the US and Europe?)
I’m going to be playing a lot of Solatorobo this weekend, in which I now understand that the characters are speaking French.. I mean, FREEDOM. There are a lot of quest-based mini-missions you can do to gain money and fame during the main story, so I’ve been brushing up on a lot of those. The game also has two distinct styles of storytelling, including 3D cel-shaded models and straight-out animation.
Thanks to our pal Nester64x, I’ve also been playing through the NES version of Gradius yet again. This game is surprisingly fun after like twenty years or so, and I still am awful at it, just like I actually was back in the 1980’s. Remember how cool everything was then? I do! I’m also going to try to work a little more on Kirby’s Epic Yarn if I have the time. Also, I’ll be playing in a golf tournament, which I’m told is a lot like Mario Golf, only for real.
M. Noah Ward
I really don’t get all this Pokémon fever sweeping the staff lately! Someday I’ll get a new one of those games. I never got far in Yellow, though, so I don’t yet regret my decision. It’s kind of like approaching a comic book series that has run for 30 years and has 600 issues– do you want to get into it now?
That question may stoke more than what this round table is looking for, though. After triumphing over Kirby Mass Attack last week, I have returned to DreamRift’s Monster Tale, and the game’s dynamic has changed a bit. I’m in the last main area (so far as I know) and now, instead of frustrating me with making me incessantly criss-cross over the Metroid-styled game world with every other objective, the difficulty level has spiked. Since the game has a monster-training/leveling up aspect (whaaaat?) I’ve resorted to one of my least favorite RPG activities, grinding. I’m hoping with some extra firepower behind my monster I can get past my current roadblock, an elevator that has to be continuously raised by my monster on the lower screen while I hopelessly battle swarms of monsters on the top screen. And die. And die and die and die.
On Saturday, I’ll be re-experiencing 2003 to host a LAN party, where friends and I will play WarCraft III mods like Defense of the Ancients (yes, that “DOTA”; the progenitor to my beloved League of Legends) and traditional PVP RTS action. The scary thing is nearly all of us haven’t played WarCraft III proper (let alone DOTA) since 2005, so there will probably be much hilarious flailing.
Thankfully, my young cousins happily agreed to let me borrow Pokemon White indefinitely– that means beating the game, doing everything I feel like after I beat the game, and so on.
So far I’ve gained three badges and have passed Route 4. That might seem like little progress, considering I started two weeks ago. But lately I’ve been spending a lot of time researching the game– finding out which Pokemon have better base stats, which can learn valuable moves, how not to miss important items; there’s always something else to learn and the list seems endless. Of course, there’s no problem with using your favorites, but I want most of my favorites to be half-decent.
The team I’ll probably use till the end of the game has almost been finalized. All that’s left is to catch Tynamo and evolve his (or her) sorry self into a useful Pokemon. Another Pokemon I decided to take under my wing is Leavanny. I realize that this is a very risky move (if Leavanny even looks at a Fire or Flying-type Pokemon, it shrivels up and dies), but there are a few benefits it enjoys that I’ll be sure to exploit.
For some reason, my DSi occasionally doesn’t detect that Pokemon White is in the Game Card slot. This is easily remedied by taking the card out and putting it back in, but it’s still disconcerting– I don’t want to lose my precious save file to a glitched game!
Maybe I’ll be able to pull myself to play Solatorobo for a bit, but the Pokemon series has me in its grasp once again.
I did actually manage to play some Disney Epic Mickey last weekend. I finished MickeyJunk Mountain and The Future Land area, but next ill be heading into the Adventure Land-esque area. But sadly there’s no way for me to play more this weekend.
Instead I’m working on tracking down a copy of Monster Tale. Evan and his praises of the game have stuck with me since E3 2009, and the time has finally come to play it… If anywhere has it. I think I’ve got it tracked down to a GameStop. Only time will tell.
What are you playing this weekend? Let us know in the comments!