Gaming Geek’s Log – 2015.01.15

Due to some connectivity issues, I haven’t been able to put up journal entries so I’ve got a lot of things to talk about today – my first impressions of the Level-5 games that I bought during the sale, some comments about my girlfriend and Tokyo Crash Mobs, and reactions on yesterday’s Nintendo Direct.

Level-5 Guild games sale

Late last month, Level-5 started offering their Guild games at just $2.99 each. I could afford to load up $10 worth of eShop funds which would allow me to get three out of the seven Guild games available and I ended up getting Liberation Maiden, Crimson Shroud, and Weapon Shop De Omasse.

The first thing that struck me about Liberation Maiden is it’s overall presentation, with a nice anime cutscene, voice acting, and great looking gameplay visuals. I played it a bit and I really liked the game mechanics as well. It also has some unlockable content as a bonus so I’d say this is a good buy and a great game to play after I’m done with Etrian Odyssey Untold.

I then tried Weapon Shop De Omasse and I really loved it. Getting to play as a blacksmith who creates weapons for different types of adventurers is already a novel idea but what really makes this enjoyable for me is how it parodies different RPG tropes. I’ve played a lot of RPGs in my lifetime so I get the humor that this game has. And Weapon Shop De Omasse is still a game – succeeding in it still requires skill and strategy as you need to decide what to do while waiting for customers. Are you going to polish your existing weapons or will you forge new weapons? What kind of weapons are you going to forge? Are you going to trust this seedy-looking adventurer with your weapons or are you going to turn him/her away? Another game that I’m surely going to enjoy in the future.

As for Crimson Shroud, I didn’t get the chance to play it long enough to get to the actual gameplay mechanics due to it’s long introduction so I can’t really comment on whether I like it or not. But I appreciated the way the game starts with you already in the middle of a tense situation. It caught my attention and effectively gave me a glimpse of the personalities of each of the main protagonists. Crimson Shroud received good review scores so I think I at least won’t regret this purchase.

So that’s three games for just $9, definitely a good deal – I’m really glad Level-5 put up that sale.

My non-gaming girlfriend

My girlfriend claims that she doesn’t really enjoy playing video games, and that’s true for the most part but every now and then, we find a game that she is able to enjoy. She played a lot of Plants VS Zombies 2 before that IOS update mucked up her iPad mini’s performance and played Fruit Ninja for some time. So I’ve been trying to find some 3DS games for her and finally found something that really caught her attention – Tokyo Crash Mobs.

Now, for someone who doesn’t consider herself a gamer, my girlfriend showed me several characteristics of a gamer. Tokyo Crash Mobs is (lifting from my post last Dec. 26) is a matching puzzle game where you form a set of three or more objects of the same color. Unlike more popular games like Zuma or Luxor where you form sets of balls or spheres, you’re faced with matching sets of people called Scenesters that are walking in line by tossing/rolling other people into them.

So my girlfriend kept playing the Throwing Challenge Mode wherein the objective is to eliminate 999 Scenesters who keep coming at you. The game ends if there are too many Scenesters in the line so you have to keep eliminating them. Every now and then, a big white ball will appear and if you manage to pop that (by throwing a Scenester at it) you’ll be awarded an item that you can use to eliminate Scenesters of a certain color at any time.

What really impressed me was that my girlfriend didn’t play the game blindly as I’d expect non-gamers to play. She actually observed the patterns of the game and figured out when the white ball would come out. She then came up with this strategy of saving up her items and using them a few moments before the appearance next white ball. She also had this strategy of taking out Scenesters farther along the line and saving up pairs of Scenesters that were closer to her. Recognizing patterns, managing resources more effectively, coming up with strategies – these are things that you can expect from experienced gamers and not from those who play video games casually.

She finally beat the mode a few days ago, getting 999 Scenesters. There are five high score spots, and all five belong to her. And believe me, I tried getting one of my scores there but I’ve yet to break the 900 point barrier. I’m seriously impressed by her gaming skills.

Nintendo Direct – the day after

I didn’t get the chance to watch the actual Nintendo Direct presentation but thanks to Nintendo Tweet’s live tweets (follow @NintendoTweet on Twitter), I was able to catch most of what was announced and I have to admit, I have mixed reactions. I’ll be frank – I’m very disappointed that the New 3DS isn’t coming to the NA region. I wanted the smaller version because I need a smaller device that I can carry around in my pocket, something that I really can’t do with my 2DS. I hate that I’m forced to either wait for the New 3DS to finally get released in the U.S. (and we really don’t know if it will happen) or get the bigger, more expensive New 3DS XL. The New 3DS XL not coming with an AC adapter didn’t help.

I’m still not fully over the disappointment, but as of the moment I’ve made my peace with the decision to get the New 3DS XL instead. I’m too hungry for an upgrade, and I want to be able to play 3DS games with my girlfriend so I really need a second device and it doesn’t make much sense to get the older models when the upgraded models will be available in less than a month. I’m hoping for more colors/editions to be announced before the release date though because at the moment there are only four options – metallic black, metallic red, the Monster Hunter 4 edition and the Majora’s Mask edition – and I don’t like any of them all that much. I’m settling for the metallic black version and really don’t want to end up getting the metallic red.

The initial disappointment that I felt resulted in me not getting excited about the 3DS games that were announced but now that the negativity has faded, the good news has started to sink in. We’re getting Majora’s Mask 3D in February! Codename S.T.E.A.M. is coming out in March! Another Fire Emblem to be released this year with a confirmed North American localization! And I’m not even that interested in Monster Hunter 4, but that’s also coming out in February! Geez, it’s only January but I already have three games that are sure purchases for this year.

That’s it for my first journal entry for the year. I’ve said a lot already, time to go back to Etrian Odyssey Untold

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