Can’t believe another week went by without me posting a journal entry! I didn’t have time for an update here, but I still managed to scrounge up a lot of time for video games so I have quite a lot to talk about today. I’ll be talking about 3D Gunstar Heroes, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate, Pokemon Shuffle, and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX.
Let’s get the mainstay out of the way first. Last week was ho-hum for Pokemon Shuffle, with a few new Pokemon offered in relatively stress-free events. I caught both for my New 3DS XL and 2DS, and that was the end of it.
This week, the Mega Sharpedo event was launched and I have until Monday to make sure we’ve got high enough placement in the standings in order to get the Sharpedo Mega Stone. This event is a little… I dunno, strict? Harder? Only the top 18,000 will get the Mega Stone reward, which I think is the lowest number of people to be rewarded thus far. So I’ll need to check every now and then to ensure that we place high enough. If ever we miss out on this, I don’t think I’ll feel too bad – we’ve already got a decent Mega-evolving Dark-type Pokemon in Sableye and really good Mega-evolving Ghost-types in Gengar and Banette.
Outside of the Mega Sharpedo event, my long-established Pokemon Shuffle routine is still the same – grind for coins on the Meowth stage, grind for Exp on the Ampharos or Banette stage, then try for an S-Rank in stages that I haven’t gotten an S-Rank in yet. So far, I’ve yet to unlock any of the new Expert stages on the New 3DS XL and have yet to unlock the previous set of Expert stages on the 2DS. So, there’s still plenty of things to do in this game for me.
I’ve been playing quite a bit of 3D Gunstar Heroes and I actually wrote a review that’ll be published over at www.3rdWorldGeeks.com in a few days. I think this is a really good, solid game, and I wrote a lot of positive things about it for my review. Something that I didn’t write in the review is that I don’t enjoy this as much as I enjoy 3D Streets of Rage 2.
And the quality of the game has nothing to do with it – I just enjoy the feel of beat em up games over run and gun games. I mean, punching a bad guy over and over until he gets knocked out is (for me) a lot more fun than shooting at and killing a bad guy with a single hit.
Still, I enjoyed 3D Gunstar Heroes enough for me to consider it as a good palate cleanser or a game that I can play in-between games that I consider to be my main titles. Like I said last week, I think there’s always room for a run and gun title in everyone’s game library, and 3D Gunstar Heroes is definitely deserving of that slot.
I’ve beaten this game once already but I’m not quite satisfied with how I did that because I had to rely on save states a lot, especially at the last stage. I’m likely to give this game another shot and try to beat it cleanly in one playthrough.
I’ve been planning on doing second/third playthroughs of some of my games for quite some time now but have never been able to because I keep getting new games to play. 3D Gunstar Heroes was the last game on my backlog, so now that I’ve cleared everything already, I finally have time for this.
I ended up doing another playthrough of The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX. Originally released on the Game Boy, I’ve actually played and beaten this game at least twice before – once each for the original and the deluxe version. Wow, this game holds up quite nicely to today’s standards! I’m not sure if I’m just drunk on nostalgia, but I still enjoyed playing this game a lot, even if I’ve beaten this before.
I have a confession to make. All the previous times I played this game, I did it illegally using an emulator. So when I had the chance to purchase a legit copy of it, I did so right away, partly to make up for not giving Nintendo the money that it deserved and mostly because this is a really good game.
Another confession – since I played The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX on an emulator, I had the benefit of save states to help me beat it without much trouble. So this time around, I tried for a perfect game (beating it without any deaths) but I kept dying somewhere in the middle of the first two dungeons. After four or so retries (I had to start from the very beginning each time), I gave up and just played it through to the end. So I’m also not satisfied with the way I beat this game.
By the way, the boss battles of this game is hard, and not in a good way. They’re not challenging in the sense that they have complex attack patterns – what makes these bosses tough is they do so much damage with their attacks, so it’s hard to survive early on when you only have access to a few Heart Pieces. This game also doesn’t have “bottled fairies”, and its alternative Secret Medicine item can be quite expensive early in the game.
Regardless, this game isn’t impossible. Now that I have a good handle of the game, I’m pretty sure a “no deaths” playthrough is doable. I might try for it again after I’m done with the game that I’m currently playing.
I actually intended to revisit Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D because I wanted to see if the C-Stick would improve the gameplay experience (I had a lot of trouble with this game on my first playthrough), but I ended up revisiting Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate instead simply because this game has three secret endings. I got one in my initial playthrough and if I want to see all, I’ll need to play this at least two more times. And it’s as simple as that. I didn’t want to put this off any more since I’ll be revisiting this game again anyway.
I wrote about this game last year, and much of what I said back then still rings true – this is a flawed but an entertaining and good enough game. Enough time has passed since my first playthrough so I’m still familiar enough with the game to not have too much trouble with it but not too familiar that it feels repetitive. Since I’m aiming for a new secret ending, I’ll have to change a few things from my initial playthrough, so maybe that helped.
One thing that makes revisiting this game worthwhile is the Case Files subquest. Basically, Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate doesn’t lay out all the story details for you – there are some details that the game won’t reveal until after you’ve “closed” a Case File. One example involves the explosion that set off the events of the game – what was it? Who caused it? You won’t find out by just playing through the game.
And beyond giving me more stuff to do in the game, I like how this Case Files mechanic is able to show us that Batman is a good detective. Just by noticing clues and adding two and two together, he is able to figure out what really happened. And like I said last year, I don’t think you can really represent Batman’s detective skills via gameplay mechanics so I think this is a good enough representation of it.
I’m around 25%-30% into the game, I should be done with this by the time Senran Kagura 2 comes out. Perfect timing.
And that’s it for this week. I didn’t even get to cover everything that I’ve been playing – I also managed to find time for Fantasy Life, 3D Streets of Rage 2, and even Mario and Donkey Kong: Minis on the Move, but I don’t have a lot of notable things to say about those games. All I can say is I’m quite happy with the games that I have in my collection and I can’t wait to add more.