I’m going to try something different for my blog. One of my goals for this year was to update at least once a week. So far, I’ve been keeping up, but I’ve been having difficulty with writing on interesting topics each week. Coming up with ideas for posts is easy, but I’d like to dedicate more time to fleshing them out. To compromise I’ve decided to make my weekly updates quick journal entries about each game I’ve played throughout the week. This is a pretty simple format that should be easy to keep up with, while also allowing me to put down quick thoughts on games as I play them (traditionally I’ve felt the need to “complete” a game before I express my total thoughts on them). I still plan on posting more focused essays, but they will be more sporadic, but hopefully longer and of higher quality. Without further ado, here is the first entry of my “Games Journal”.
Week of: 4/29/2018 – 5/5/2018
Final Fantasy VI
Over the winter I played through Earthbound for the first time on my SNES-mini, the first leg of my re-visitation through classic JRPGs. Currently I’m slowly making my way through FF6. So far, it’s been interesting to contrast FF6 with Earthbound, as well as Chrono Trigger, the next game for this journey. I’m not going to say too much here, I plan on fleshing out my thoughts for this game in a longer post later. Additionally, I want to compare each of the “big 3” SNES RPGs after finishing CT.
Recently I covered my favorite cards from the Witchwood expansion. After writing that, I haven’t touched much normal play. What got me to return was the introduction of Monster Hunt, a new version of Dungeon Run from the Kobolds and Catacombs expansion. DR was my favorite part of K&C (a very strong set overall), and Monster Hunt doesn’t disappoint. While it has less content overall, what’s there is very strong. The best part is that each of the 4 characters are unique from the normal Hearthstone characters. My personal favorite is the Cannoneer, who utilizes a unique “minion” called the cannon to create some interesting interactions.
One thing I’ve really been wanting lately is a “chill out” game. A game that isn’t too difficult or complicated, that I can just relax with at the end of a day. Currently I’m targeting Yakuza 0 as that game. I played it awhile towards the end of last year, but fell off after a few hours. I believe it’s because I had a misunderstanding of what kind of game it is. It’s a long game, with a slow pace, perfect for playing in short bursts. There is also plenty of variety with its abundance of minigames. I’m also a sucker for crime drama (I’m hoping the series can serve as a replacement for The Sopranos, a show I loved and finished last year).
A potentially misguided impulse purchase. Tactics games, like X-com or Shadowrun Returns, are always something I think I will like, but end up bouncing off. It may be the slow pace, plus the fact I must play them on PC, a system I usually play fast paced competitive games on. But the presentation and theme of BattleTech was too tempting for me to pass on. Currently I’m having fun just screwing around in the early stages. But I’m feeling overwhelmed by the number of options, as well as the looming threat of a difficulty spike. Right now, I’m just going to continue taking it slow while waiting for a promised difficulty adjustment patch.
Boss Fight Book #9: Metal Gear Solid by Ashly and Anthony Burch
This is the third BBF I’ve picked up, the other two being Final Fantasy V and ZZT. This one may be my favorite. While I really liked the other two, they were more histories of the community, development, and impact of those games. This one is a more in-depth criticism of the game itself. MGS is one of my favorite and most played games as well, no doubt contributing to my enjoyment of this title. In it the Burch’s explore the games story, gameplay, and themes, through the lens of playing it together, originally as kids, then later as adults. This angle also resonated with me because the MGS series was one of the few games my brother and I played together as kids.