Cuphead (Switch): We’re all mugs now

This is one I’ve been waiting for, for many years it turns out. Not specifically for Cuphead per se, but for a follow up to my beloved Gunstar Heroes. Continue reading

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RIVE: Ultimate Edition (Switch) is a blast

The developer of this game, Two Tribes, are best known for their gently paced Toki Tori games about a chicken who can neither jump nor fly. RIVE is a world away by comparison. This is undoubtedly one of the more accomplished indie titles I’ve played. It feels tight and well put together in a way that few games do, including independently made ones. The campaign has been highly enjoyable in co-op mode, and I’ve found that competing for high scores solo is both heart poundingly tense and highly addictive. Continue reading

From Dark Souls (PS3) to Remastered (Switch)

Dark Souls is a gaming icon. The words “You Died” (and the collective audible response of “No Shit”) are carved into the collective consciousness that is gaming culture.

Its reputation proceeds it, and I was primed to enjoy Dark Souls. On the surface this series has “me” written all over it, with its reputation for sadism. Ultimately on my first playthrough I came away pretty disappointed. “I liked [Dark Souls] but didn’t love it” was my ultra-brief summary in my Hollow Knight recap. I returned to Dark Souls in the form of the Remastered edition for Switch on a whim. An intended quick blast on my brother’s Switch turned into a full-blown playthrough from start to end. Now with my expectations set to reasonable levels, I can say I enjoyed it more second go around. It’s a very good game, with some strong reservations.

The second time through I came to appreciate the world of Dark Souls more. It’s dark and despairing, sure, but a lot of time and thought has clearly gone into it. Continue reading

Weird Video Wednesday: Don’t forget!

This week’s video will strike a chord with anyone who’s played Xenoblade Chronicles 2. That’s because this video brings in voice samples from an iconic regular enemy, the Scottish accented soldiers of Mor Ardain. If you’ve not had the pleasure of sampling this game, you may wonder what makes these soldiers so memorable. Well, there’s just something funny about these dime a dozen soldiers who order you not to forget them every few seconds everytime you encounter them. That plus the Scottish accent.

A lot of love went into this video, that’s for sure. It’s a great way to honour the Xenoblade series, with its now rich tradition of hilarious battle chatter. All three games have spawned stupid meme-worthy dialogue, from “now it’s Reyn time” (XBC) to “have a biscuit” (XBCX) to “you’re done” (XBC2). Keep up the fine work Monolithsoft, I say.

The worst named game of all time – Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA (Switch)

When making a game, you want to make sure your game has every chance of succeeding. The videogame market is a competitive one, so you’d better ensure you’ve got the bases covered. And a not insignificant part of covering your bases is having a good name. Unfortunately I don’t think the publishers, NISA, got the memo. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA might be one of, if not the, worst named games of all time. Continue reading

Weird Video Wednesday: Drake goes Wii Shopping

Weird Video Wednesday returns! And it does so in style with Wii Shop Bling, a Drake/Wii Shop channel music mash up:

I strongly dislike Drake’s voice, I have to say. It’s so… meh. And yet coupling him with the light muzak of Nintendo’s Wii Shop Channel (and an all too brief cameo from the underrated DSi shop theme) was a stroke of genius. Beyond the absurd beauty of the music, the visuals are hilarious in their own way. Must be the contrast between Drakes’ and the luscious ladies’ laid back dancing and that smooth jazz sound. I would love to know what Kazumi Totaka – the composer of the Wii Shop channel music and indeed all music for the Wii channels – makes of this silliness.

Downsizing my game library

I recently decided to trim my game collection. I’ve said it before, but I don’t consider myself a collector. And yet despite this, over the years I’ve accumulated what amounts to a collection. At my last proper count, back in 2016, I owned 250 physical games. And that number has only gone up since 2016. So it was a pleasant relief to offload around 100 games recently, with plans to get rid of more soon.

Why now? Well, as someone who gets pleasure from playing games rather than simply owning them the numbers just weren’t making sense. I’ll try and break it down mathematically. Let’s say that I play on average one unique game per week. Extrapolating from that I would play something like 52 games in a year. That’s a fifth of my game collection, circa 2016. Not a great figure! Especially when a large portion of the games I play are newly acquired and not from my enormous backlog.

Given that it would take an estimated 5 years to play through every game I own… it’s just not worth it. I have a new philosophy about possessions: owning an item – storing it, holding onto it – has a cost. Usually it’s not financial (although it could be), but there is something we might call a mental cost or burden. The question then is what is worth more – the mental cost of owning an item or the financial cost of replacing it at a later date?

This reasoning has helped me to ditch a lot of stuff that, frankly, is so cheap and easy to replace that I wonder why I never pulled the plug sooner.

And so, the grand finale. Highlights from the hall of shame.

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