What I'm Playing 2: Play Harder
January 17, 2015

Azure Striker Gunvolt - This isn't quite the Mega Man Zero successor I was expecting, but it turns out that's not a bad thing. This game's awesome. The premise is you shoot enemies to "tag" them, and then you hold down "R" or "A" to perform this electromagnetic attack that fries everything you've tagged. It's an interesting spin on the old "run and gun" game mechanics from Mega Man. The structure is non-linear, there are mild RPG elements, and the plot is goofy. In terms of challenge, this is an "easy to win, hard to master" kind of deal. Score attacking is the key to this game's longevity, and getting a high score is all about getting through the stage without getting touched. I've already beaten the first level a dozen times, just to get a better grasp on the score mechanics and earn an S-Rank.

Quell Memento - So, this was quietly ported to the 3DS. If you don't know, Quell is an excellent trilogy of puzzle games that were initially exclusive to mobile platforms. "Memento" is the best of the three, despite tacking on a kitschy narrative. The premise is you nudge little water droplets and they keep on moving until they hit a wall or object. Generally, you clear stages by collecting a set of pearls, but the game introduces different clear objectives later on, such as lighting up blocks. The real challenge is doing a "perfect" run, which involves beating a level within a certain amount of moves. For $4, this is a superb game.

Pokemon Omega Ruby - Five gym badges down. Progress has slowed a bit, because I just got Surf and the Good Rod, so I'm backtracking to find 'mons and items. Torkoal just learned Flamethrower. Watch out!

Pokemon Red - Five gym badges here too. I've not only added Starmie to my team, but I've also logged all the exclusive Safari Zone Pokemon in my Pokedex. After a long trek, I've finally entered Saffron City. The gate was guarded by thirsty assholes, and now I find that Gym #6 is being blocked by damned Rockets. I've gotta enter the Silph Co. building and drive these punks out of town.

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