The stuff I'm playing right now
September 16, 2020

Bloodborne: I started this a little while back and have made it fairly far, I guess. Right now, I'm in the Nightmare Frontier and stopped while in an outdoor area where you fight giants that throw big rocks. The last boss I beat was Shadows of Yharnam, which was a tough one. Particularly because the NPC you can summon gives help in a luck-based way. One fight, he was dead in about five seconds because he charged the candle-n-sword one right when he was doing that fire-breathing deal and that was that. And this was a fight where I wanted the NPC help due to it being 3-on-1 with enemies who complement each other well. Did Cainhurst Castle, but still have to beat the boss. Logarius is fairly easy with hit-and-run strategies until he gets pissed and turns into in-your-face death personified. So I figured I'd wait a bit to beat him. Only need one more Blood Chunk thing to get up to L8 with my weapon. Also have done a few Chalice dungeons. The first two Pthumerian and the first Hintertomb. Those are kind of fun diversions. Except for the time a Gel fell on me and I got Dark Souls 1 flashbacks and started sobbing loudly. But overall, they have some fun boss fights that aren't in the main game, which makes them worth my time. Well, that and the minor detail that you seem to get better weapon gems in these places.

New Super Mario Bros.: I mean, the only stuff that's actually "new" are a couple of generally annoying power-ups -- the Mini Mario and his super floaty jump that's mainly useful for getting into small areas for alternate stage exits or star coins and the Super-Big version that just smashes through stages for 1-ups or whatever. But it's a fun game where I'm one castle away from being through 4 of 8 worlds. Some of the world 4 levels even had me challenged a fair bit with precision jumping. Might just be me, but I'm finding myself more comfortable with the 3DS/DS controls in a straight 2D Mario than I did with the more 3D ones. Super 64DS just sucked control-wise and 3D Land mainly worked because it was a really easy game by Mario standards AND the tail power-up gave you a lot of lee-way on jumps. Here, without the tail, I find that I pretty much ALWAYS use fire. Makes things so much more manageable.

Lego Indiana Jones: So, when I bought my 360, it came with a double-pack of Kung Fu Panda and this game. And now, 12 years later or so, I'm finally playing it. It's kind of endearing. Made it most of the way through the first movie (5 of 6 levels done) and am generally enjoying myself. Nothing special, but a fun "junk food" game.


Moving on to PS Now downloads and streams.

Knack: Made it to the final world. I like a lot about this game. It kind of feels like an interactive Pixar movie with its graphical style and way the plot has progressed. There's a decent variety in levels and it's generally fun to play with a hero that gets larger or smaller with regularity. On the other hand, it's really repetitive, so I can usually get through 2-3 stages before wanting to play something else. Knack only can punch and do jumping kicks (as well as a couple special attacks that use crystal energy) and each stage is a linear, winding path regardless of whether its a cave, factory, castle, forest or whatever.

Mars: War Logs: So, being what that I do like Western RPGs, I was interested to see that a lot of Spiders Software's library is here. They're a small-budget company with BioWare ambitions, leading to games that often are very ambitious, but wind up having a lot of that unfulfilled. This is one of those games. On the good side, you have an interesting plot, some quality world-building and a sci-fi setting, which isn't all that common outside of, well, BioWare and their Mass Effects and KotORs. On the negative side, a lot of the dialogue comes off as teenager trying to sound edgy as opposed to mature, all the story-telling winds up feeling really truncated like they were trying to tell a 50-60 hour story in about a third or so of that time AND the combat is just gloriously awkward and clunky to where your boy Roy often handles like a tank and won't properly respond to your button presses. You'll try to roll and he'll just stand there, you'll try to run and he'll get caught up on nothing and turn around right into an enemy. It all adds up to a bad game that still is able to keep me intrigued somehow.

Dishonored: It took a little while to get into this game, but when I did, I started having a lot of fun. I've heard it's a really short game overall, but as much as I've explored settings and devised ways to take out enemies, it'll wind up taking me 60 hours to do this 6-10 hour game. Right now, I'm near the end of Chapter 4, getting ready to find a way past a couple guards and get into Sokolov's house. My only real complaint is that you want to minimize kills if you want to play Low Chaos (fewer hazards, better ending), but the game just seems so much more fun if you go High Chaos because your unlocked abilities give so many ways to creatively kill folk. Since I'm working for Low Chaos, the only one I've really used is the one where kills turn the enemy into dust in order to not raise alarms. Really useful in the parts of Chapter 2 where the guards had dogs with them (kill dog and then knock out guard) and a couple areas in Chapter 4 where I couldn't figure out a way to separate two enemies.

Megadimension Neptunia VII: So, despite not having the same love for JRPGs that I did at one time, I do get the urge to play them from time to time and to help fan the flames, I figured I'd hit up a few that are a bit more outside the norm and aren't the typical trope-filled fantasy stories. And, well, this is one really good example of that. A world governed by a bunch of girls who each signify gaming consoles or companies that constantly breaks the fourth wall is something that should keep me entertained. Seems to be divided into three chapters and has a reasonably interesting battle system. Only played it for about 2 hours and have noticed that there are a lot of talking interludes, but the dialogue is at least reasonably entertaining, so I'm cool with that so far. At least I'm not getting another "same ol', same ol" vibe that I regularly get from these games nowadays.

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