Happy Halloween I guess folks. I may be a bit late depending on when I post this or when you the reader come across this blogg but that might be for the best considering I didn’t really have anything to go with the holiday theme (Unless you’re a bit loose with parameters). It’s been an alright period of time since I last posted, although my lack of a car still vexes me. The majority of the enjoyment had in this time is thanks to the end of the 10 year Metroid drought. I hope to go into more details bellow but in the meantime please enjoy some tunes.
Metroid: Samus Returns (3DS):
I don’t actually remember what I wrote about AM2R last year, nor do I remember much about what I said of the original Metroid II. However I do remember the overall positive experience I had with both titles. Metroid II is a fairly underrated game that was marred by the passage of time and the limits of the Game Boy, AM2R was a fantastic fan remake that was almost on par with the likes of Zero Mission. Samus Returns is the official remake and is a different beast to those that proceeded it. The core gameplay and control is more action focused with the whole counter system and Aiming features. The game isn’t afraid to hand your ass to you but it’s still very doable at least on normal anyway (I played a little bit of the hardest difficulty and it was pretty much 2 hits and you’re dead). These changes allow the gameplay to stand out a little from the rest of the series, along with the new Aeion abilities that are rather unique. These new additions don’t take away from the core Metroid experience while also giving rise to new challenges and puzzles. The emphasis on puzzles reminded me of the Prime series and some of the rooms in the GBA games although thankfully the speed booster isn’t here since that power up seems to dominate the games it gets put into (I’d say Super Metroid is the exception though). The level design is at it’s core still Metroid II so it’s a rather linear Metroid but it’s the best Linear Metroid since it doesn’t ever feel restrictive and you’re free to go back to previous areas when you wish to, and hunt for extra power ups (which I recommend doing if you don’t want to get your ass kicked at certain points). This is mainly thanks to the teleportation system which might end up becoming a main stay although a better designed map wouldn’t need it. This game still feels really fun to explore in though and I loved almost every minute of it. If I had a complaint it would be ‘too many elevators’ since they fragment the games map more than they should and kind of slow down the pace. (I assume they’re there for loading purposes or something technical though). If you’re struggling to 100% the game you can now use the Baby Metroid to go back and get items you weren’t skillful or observant enough to get. This is an interesting way of letting players unlock the extra content in the galleries without actually removing the challenge and it’s a nice homage to the original Metroid II’s ending. In terms of story they did the best with what was given and they managed to flesh out a lot of lore, in fact I’m fascinated to see where they go with this in future (assuming sakamoto ain’t writing squat though). The presentation of this game is gorgeous and while it’s still a 2D title it makes great use of the 3D feature and there were times I was just soaking in the atmosphere of these environments. The soundtrack is also a part of this and while most of it remixes from other games they managed to put a lot of cool spins on the Metroid II soundtrack that I didn’t even recognise a lot of them. Its fantastic since they give the whole thing atmosphere without becoming a generic wannabe film soundtrack. Overall I’m glad she’s back and I hope to go back to this one at some point, and of course I highly recommend it.
Chaos Vault – Pokemon Silver (3DS VC):
I foolishly sold my original cartridge years ago. In fact a lot of my old memories with this game are of me doing foolish things. Like OHKO Lugia and then saving afterwards like an idiot thinking he’d respawn OR like using my bloody Master Ball on a Donphan of all things. I was terrible at this game when I was young. So now it feels not just nostalgic but like I’ve righted a wrong. I went though the whole game, caught Lugia, Ho-oh, at least one of the legendary beasts and defeated Red. My team was Typhlosion, Heracross, Umbreon, Octillery, Miltank, and Lugia which is a nice mix of pokemon I am familiar and unfamiliar with. I feel game still holds up but you’ll still notice just how much slower it feels in many aspects and in a way this gives greater appreciation for the improvements of later generations. Also the method for getting a Heracross is pretty bullshit but it can be done so good luck if you want to do that. Oh and the friendship mechanic is tedious here so good luck with any of those evolutions as well.
Princess Principal (Anime):
This is a fun little action anime about spies in a steampunk (I guess) setting. It’s an alternate Victorian history setting with some Japanese characters thrown in as well. It’s actually quite interesting with some really dark themes and it has it’s moments of quality drama, but at this point in time it doesn’t seem complete (And I haven’t checked to see if there’s more coming yet). It’s visually engaging with cool designs and it also has a neat soundtrack. I recommend that you wait for more but I guess it wouldn’t hurt to watch it either way since there’s far worse out there.
Blade Runner 2049 (Movie):
I honestly don’t remember much about the original movie, but I honestly don’t remember it being this graphic with the nudity and the violence. Not much of a complaint other than that some of it seemed unnecessary but I figured it best to mention it in case some of you find all that distasteful. The soundtrack is great and the visual are very impacting. In that sense it’s very atmospheric and draws you into the world but ultimately that doesn’t matter if the story isn’t too good. Most of the movie is setting up a mystery, providing clues and ultimately the payoff is depressing and the movie comes across as pointless as a result. It tries to subvert expectations but doesn’t actually make an attempt to justify this it just comes across as the protagonist getting fucked over and then devoting himself to the people who fucked him. It doesn’t sit well with me at all, and perhaps that’s more to do with how it’s told? I’m not entirely sure but either way I can’t highly recommend this one. Just rent it I guess.
The Wolf Among Us (PS4):
This is your standard Telltale affair a bunch of dialogue choices, some qte’s and the occasional point and click sections where you walk around and look at things. If it does nothing for you I doubt this will change your mind but hey I enjoy these things every once in a while and this is probably one of the better examples. This story is a murder mystery that seems to be set in the 80’s from what I can gather and features characters from popular fables, folklore and fairy tales. While not exactly unique in this day and age it’s still pretty enthralling and the more fantastical elements contrast nicely with the gloomy settings. Hearing Mr. Toad swearing up a storm as soon as you start the game pretty much sets the tone and it’s a fun little ride all the way to the end. There’s some nudity and a lot of violence so again the squeamish have been warned. I recommend this if you see it on sale, and do not try play it on older consoles like the Xbox 360 since from my experience it doesn’t work at all (As in the game wouldn’t load and I had to take it back and get a refund). Just keep in mind it’s a telltale game though so expect the usual problems.
Just Cause 3 (PS4):
I’m not sure I have much I want to say about this one. I got this through PS+ and in that regard it was good, just a fun little romp blowing shit up, driving vehicles and using the tether mechanic to pull cars into fuel tanks and generators. It’s seems like the standard open world fair and quite frankly almost everything was bog standard except for the core gameplay mechanics. It’s a fun game in spurts but the whole thing feels really bland and forgettable. I can’t recommend this one unless it’s really cheap or just straight free on PS+ again.
This is a rather short anime series that from what I can tell is a romantic comedy or something to that effect. The story focuses on the relationships of a bunch of gamers and almost everything is misunderstood and misinterpreted to the point it comes across as a parody of the trope. This gets repetitive though and kind of drags the show down at points. It’s not a bad show so far but it’s not got much I feel you couldn’t elsewhere except for some specific jokes about games. I can’t recommend this but I don’t condemn it either. At the very least I got some laughs out of it… I think.
Thor: Ragnarok (Movie):
This was a fun movie. This was the best Thor movie and I think that’s because it had fun with itself. This movie had great visuals, an excellent soundtrack and a good sense of humour that only missed the mark maybe once or twice. In fact it seems like they took a lot of what made Guardians of the Galaxy a success and made it work here surprisingly well. I can easily recommend this to folk who have already been keeping up with the other films although I think that’s probably unnecessary at this point. I fairly positive note to end this blogg on I guess.
I didn’t exactly have a lot to say about most of this stuff. But I guess that should be par for the course with Samus Returns taking up a lot of my thoughts and passion. Hopefully the good times continue into what will probably be the final Blogg of the year. Thanks for reading this, here’s a metric fuckton of pictures.