Game Progress 12/15
December 15, 2016

Afterfall: Insanity (PC)
Imagine if Resident Evil 4 had a child with Fallout, and that spawn had an identity crisis and thought it was part of the FEAR series. Toss in bad voice acting, unbalanced weapons, characters that are difficult to give a damn about and boring combat. That's Afterfall. I played through the whole game and was apathetic towards every minute of it.

8-Bit Commando (PC)
Played most of the way through it, thought it was pretty meh and decided to rage quit after a frustrating motorcycle level. It's just not worth the time and stress enduring tough stages in middling games. Besides, the game's pretty much off-brand Contra.

Pokemon Go (Android)
Pretty much nothing new to report. I'm up to 279 Magikarp candies, thanks to the buddy system. I'm also very close to evolving a couple of Pokemon, namely Wartortle and Poliwhirl. I'm 12 candies away from Blastoise and 15 away from Poliwrath.

Niantic recently released 8 new Pokemon, but it seems you can only get them through eggs (a few of the new ones have allegedly been spotted in the wild, but they rarely appear). This marks the beginning of the rumored Generation 2 roll out, though everyone was expecting all 100 Pokemon to jump into the game at once. You can thank journalists and message boards speculation for that. The former constantly wrote "100 new Pokemon" in nearly every article regarding a new wave I read, providing nary a reliable citation. Thanks to that, a lot of people are miffed that "only" Pichu, Cleffa, Togepi, Togetic, Igglybuff, Smoochum, Elekid and Magby are now available. Had Niantic not said anything and silently released these guys, and had there not been such a ruckus about it beforehand, I don't think anyone would be sore about it. In fact, I think it would have met a more positive reception.

Honestly, I'm glad they're only rolling out so many at a time. Providing 100 new mons to catch would overcrowd the game. There are also plenty of us who still don't have all of the Generation 1 creatures available, so it's nice to know we won't have to struggle with 100 new specimens on top of the ones we missed.

Really, though, I'm more excited about the trading system. I'm curious to know if it'll allow you to trade worldwide or only locally. If it's the former, then that should make getting the regional exclusives easier. I'm not getting my hopes up, though...

Adventure Island: The Beginning (Wii)
Played it to the very last stage, decided it wasn't worth struggling through a cheaply designed level and gave up on it. Seriously, WTF Hudson? This feels like a tremendous step back for the series, and this was meant to reinvigorate it? What happened to the dinosaur riding, branching stages, weapon variety and inventive boss battles that Adventure Island II and III introduced? I mean, this even feels like a step back from Super Adventure Island, and that's saying something.

The Beginning plays like the original game, except that the hunger bar also acts as hit points in addition to a time limit. The levels are as plain as can be, lacking anything significant to differentiate one stage from the next, save for a background image. Much of what you play is standard platformer fare, with sucker punches thrown in to make the game more difficult. You'll be running along and suddenly an enemy will pop up behind you. You'll leap over a pit and an octopus would jump out of it and knock you into the abyss. To top it all off, there's a slight delay with the jump button, especially if you're just coming down from a jump or finishing an attack. This accounts for a lot of accidental plummets It feels like it would have been a good game circa 1989, but nowadays it feels antiquated.

Anima: Ark of Sinners (Wii)
Started this one and so far I don't care much for it. As with the previous game on this list, it feels dated and sports some dull combat. The only thing cool about it is the environment and atmosphere. Also, I wonder why they decided to turn Anima, which is a tabletop roleplaying game inspired by J-RPGs, and turn it into a combat-heavy platformer instead of an RPG. This seems like the same treatment AD&D got in the 8-bit era with Heroes of the Lance.

Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Android)
I'm nearing the Lanzelt Ruins. I've decided to awaken some of my units before advancing, in particular Lasswell, Ex-Death and White Witch Fina. I woke Lasswell recently, putting him at a 5-star rating, and am very close to waking Ex-Death. I only need a few more holy crystals. Fina, on the other hand, is going to take some time. I need a lot of materials for her, and that will require a lot of farming.

The Bard's Tale (remake; PC)
Took a stab at it and cringed through what little I played. Did the developers not know their audience? I remember the original The Bard's Tale, and I wouldn't have pegged it for the kind of game that would have a bunch of half-assed sexual innuendos and unfunny dick jokes. My first quest is to kill rats in the cellar, but I turned the game off after saving. I haven't given up on it, but I have a feeling I may not make it through this one.

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honestgamer honestgamer - December 15, 2016 (10:58 AM)
It's hard to feel excited about taking walks with Pokemon GO in the middle of winter, which I would imagine accounts for a lot of the diminished use around the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. Niantic should probably reserve another large content rollout for spring weather, and hope it's audience hasn't completely disapepared by that point.

Adventure Island: The Beginning seems to me like an homage to the original, rather than an actual attempt to keep the series moving forward.

The Bard's Tale always struck me as odd, because it seems so thoroughly different from the classic series that inspired it and gave it the name. I did back The Bard's Tale IV on Kickstarter, though, and I remain hopeful that it will prove to be a worthwhile follow-up to the originals.
JoeTheDestroyer JoeTheDestroyer - December 20, 2016 (04:06 AM)
That may be the case with Adventure Island, but the original game hasn't aged well. I think it would have been a better move to advance the series instead, even though I'm sure it wouldn't have garnered much of a reaction either way.

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