Things I am Playing 2/2/17
February 02, 2017


Beat the game a little while ago, unlocking both endings and physically shaking when nearing the end of the gameís Ďtrueí end of game boss fight due to the fact that it feels like I took it on a million times and lost. Itís kind of brilliant, but not for the reasons i would have expected. What it does, it does well. Itís a kind of reverse Mega Man, where you instead play the villain and go about kidnapping various princessí from different countys. Most of this takes part in a very serviceable action/platforming set up which has just about everything youíd expect. Hidden collectables, coins to collect to purchase upgrades and so on. The end of level boss fights flip the script, though, putting you in charge of the giant robots and war machines youíve had to fight in yesteryearís game. For example, the first fight you have is a Robotnik flying platform with a wrecking ball attached that you have to try and smash into the face of an energetic wasp whoís gotta go fast.

I think whatís really surprised me and endeared the game to me is how much character it has. The princessí you kidnap are not just there as static rewards, but play a big part in the game. Capturing them in the first place gives you special abilities, such as a floating mega jump or the brilliant ability to let you summon up the ability to produce temporary platform like Rainbow Island. Other than that, once captured, they become interactable on the villain's floating fortress, and are subject to some very tight writing that make them instantly likeable. As the story progresses, they become more and more involved with the adventure -- especially if youíre trying to hunt down the good ending. Not even that bloody ridiculously difficult end of game boss was enough to put a dampener on that.

Full review in the works.

Phone Home:

Phone Home is one of those crafting survival games that you kids are now hopelessly addicted to, but one with a linear path telling a very focused tale. Itís about a planet thatís done away with organic life and have transferred all their personalities into robot hosts and search the galaxies for the raw resources they need to power their empire. You play Ion, a little explorer robot stranded on such a planet who has to find a way to repair himself and his exploration ship in an attempt to contact home and arrange rescue.

The gameís not released yet, and a lot of things are a bit on the buggy side. Control pad support doesnít work and Iím running the game on itís lowest settings right now to try and dismiss lingering lag. Which is kind of a shame, because some of the environments you can stumble across do look quite beautiful. While trying to track down a distress beacon, I stumbled across a giant tree whose leaves were entirely made of light. Your ship tries to explain it away with logic and scientific fact like a killjoy, but itís still an impressive sight to just stumble upon.

As you delve further into the planet in your search to the components you need to craft your freedom, you discover more and more of the planet that doesnít make sense. Signs of an earlier life dotted here and there, and a similar craft to your own. This eventually leads to the discovery of a companion robot who is equal parts adorable and infuriating. Right not, Iím trying to carry her up a sheer rock face and across several chasms and, urgh. Iíve saved it mid way through and had to walk away for the rest of the day. The game releases in five days, so Iíve time to let my rage quit reflex settle down a bit.


I picked this up just before Xmas and have mainly managed to play at least a mission or so a day. Itís all pretty samey and I can see if having a short cycle time with some people, but Iím still enjoying my time with it. As a co-op shooter, so much of your progress is reliant upon the team you take on each planet with, and that your team are as susceptible to your bullets and grenades as the aliens you battle are has let to many ragey or hilarious moments. You enter the game via a metal pod being fired from orbit, for one. Thereís always a good chance said pod is going to land on one of your teammates, which is not a super way to endear yourself to a new platoon.

Still, Iím digging it. You can order tools from your orbiting ship to help you out, anything from ammo drops, missile strikes, giant mechs or stationary gun turrets. Iíve unlocked all but one drop (an APC thatís proving difficult to track down),m so that remains my main in game target.

League of Legends:

Sometimes I find myself smiling or humming a merry tune under my breath. This is why I keep LoL around. It tops back up my misery levels.

Most recent blog posts from Gary Hartley...

hastypixels hastypixels - February 02, 2017 (10:38 PM)
Just one thing - if you're diggin' Jake's tunes that much, hop on over to his bandcamp and buy every soundtrack he's composed. Seriously. It's all gold, and name your own price, which is sort of ridiculous for how much fun it all is.

Here, I'll help:

His remixes of Crypt of the Necrodancer are especially creative.

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