It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!

My first week of summer break is officially in the books and I have the gnarly sunburn to prove it. The family and I took a day trip to Myrtle Beach in SC, which was nice. We walked the beach for two hours, collected shells for one of my girlfriend’s art projects, visited Ripley’s aquarium to pet stingray and jellyfish, and easily had one of my favorite days of all time. But, of course, I forgot to apply sunblock and now the back of my neck feels like somebody tried to decapitate me with a belt sander.

I guess I deserve that.

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If you’ve been keeping score, I recently put up reviews for Kamiko, 1-2-Switch, and TumbleSeed for the Nintendo Switch, so I won’t go into those today. There’s plenty to read in the links. Lately, though, I’ve been playing a bunch of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and a rather dark Vita game called A Rose in the Twilight that I’d like to talk about.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is insanely good. I’m not sure if the inclusion of battle mode, a handful of new racers, and the ability to hold two items at once (two of which are brand new) is enough to entice anyone who already invested in the core game and its accompanied DLC on Wii U. But the ability to play it on a handheld probably should be.

I’m astonished by how good Mario Kart 8 Deluxe looks and runs on the Switch. Sure, the console is more powerful than its predecessor, but having something of this calibre in the palm of my hands is exhilarating–much like it was playing through Breath of the Wild.

For the Nintendo Switch to have two 100% must-buy titles within two months is a feat in itself, and I sincerely hope this prods Nintendo to consider bringing over more Wii U titles that a significant majority of people never got around to playing.

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A Rose in the Twilight should be the next review I have going up here, hopefully no later than Sunday or Monday. It’s a 2D puzzle-platformer that feels like a cross between Limbo and Lost Vikings, wherein it shares the former’s monochromatic aesthetic and overall platforming mechanics while using the latter’s focus on switching between characters that compliment each other’s weaknesses.

The game centers around the young prisoner Rose and her stone golem companion. She’s afflicted with the curse of thorns, noted by the pointy rose protruding from her side that grants her the ability to manipulate blood–used as the game’s core mechanic. As the game is artistically monochromatic, blood is stylized in a vibrant red and used as its only source of color.

Blood symbolizes life in A Rose in the Twilight, so all objects in the environment infused with blood move as normal. Those without remain stationary. Rose can drain the blood from objects and infuse it into others, while her golem companion can lift blood-infused objects and use them in a variety of ways. Most of the game is spent swapping between the two in order to solve a puzzle, or strategically navigating rooms separately in order to rejoin the unlikely pair.

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There’s a very dark narrative at play here that’s drip-fed through “blood memories” drained from the deceased. These play into Rose’s history, as well as the castle’s, and makes for a truly disturbing tale.

If you’re into the likes of the Brothers Grimm, I highly recommend checking out A Rose in the Twilight. It’s shaping up to be one of the year’s sleeper gems. Since it’s only available on Vita and PC, however, you can always watch this silent Let’s Play by Matthew Goodlett that spans the entirety of the game without player commentary. I’ve been using it to collect all of the blood memories and it’s quite thorough. The game itself is only four hours long.

What about you, folks? What are you getting into this weekend?

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20 thoughts on “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! So What are You Playing?

  1. I’d definitely love it Nintendo worked on getting more Wii U titles to the Switch. I think there were a few that were missed by many simply because the install base wasn’t very large. Bayonetta 2 was a big exclusive that more people should play.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bayonetta 2, Wonderful 101, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE are all amazing and would sell exponentially better on Switch once the install base is there. Not to mention all of the Nintendo stuff–Captain Toad, Yoshi’s Woolly World, etc.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I plan on finishing Andromeda this weekend if I can. I also plan on playing some more Stella Glow, and Expeditions Viking. I didn’t expect to enjoy Viking so much, but it’s really, really good. I love it and it’s hard for me to put down. Andromeda is also really good in my opinion, but I won’t go into much detail since I plan on talking about it with you on Sunday :). I didn’t expect much from Stella Glow, but it’s really good. It’s like Final Fantasy Tactics meets Fire Emblem.

    The gameplay is more like Final Fantasy Tactics while the map exploration and relationship system is like Fire Emblem. I’m really enjoying it right now. I might play a little Etrian Odyssey Untold 2 this weekend too, but those three that I mentioned will probably take up most of my game time this weekend.

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  3. Glad you’re enjoying your Summer Break so far! I’m going to be playing more Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Puyo Puyo Tetris. If you ever want to play online, let me know! :)

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    1. I tried the Puyo Puyo demo and the A.I. was so ruthless! I couldn’t win at all. I have the full game coming from GameFly, but the difficulty of versus mode was enough to avoid buying it. I also suck at Tetris.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wish I got a summer break from work but…. hope you enjoy yours. I’ll be getting further into that NieR game. I’ve only got about five hours total in so far and looking forward to some more. I still refuse to play any more of Andromeda and have gone back to playing some Destiny as a time killer.

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    1. Hope you’re still enjoying what little of NieR you’ve played, at least enough to keep going. I don’t blame you, in terms of Andromeda. The GF and I are weighing our options with Destiny. We’re considering a 2nd PS4 later in the year, and that’s where we’d likely play it. We definitely don’t want to buy 2 copies on XB1 and have to start over on PS4.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ll be working much of it, but I plan on getting in some more time with the Mirage beta. My C64 arrived with a replacement homebrew AC adapter. So I’m hoping everything works properly. If it does, I’ll probably spend A TON of time doing some C64 gaming. I might even consider bringing it down to an area friend’s and foisting the experience upon them. There really is nothing like it. If you ever stumble upon a thoroughly tested, working one, and a thoroughly tested, and working 1541 floppy drive, buy them immediately. :D Then watch this video I totally didn’t make several years ago, and make a list of 15 titles to find on ebay. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eY2gK1MPgh8 GAH! So much fun!

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  6. A Rose in Twilight sounds like my kind of game so added to the backlog pile. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with the Amazon GC I got for my birthday. I might do a poll on Tuesday. I could buy Persona 5; I could buy Horizon: Zero Dawn; I could put it towards a Switch (if I can find one).

    I’m trying to finish The Room this weekend, and I’ve just been pharming in FFBE. While I still like it, I’m starting to understand the issue people have with freemium games. So far I haven’t hit a wall where I can’t defeat story bosses, and I’m trying to level my characters to that I don’t run into that issue. I really do like the story and music, very Final Fantasy-esque.

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    1. A Rose in the Twilight is really neat and definitely worth at least a Let’s Play watch. The one I linked in the post has no commentary, but it’s thorough–so you get to see all of the story pieces through the game’s “blood memories.” It’s about 4 hours long too, so it’s a good way to kill a weekend.

      I’m loving my Switch so far, but game-wise I’d recommend Persona 5. I know you like JRPGs and this is a good jumping-on point. Horizon is good too, so really you can’t go wrong, but Persona 5 is more my style.

      I should re-download FFBE and give it another go. Liked what I played, just hard to stay interested in mobile games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I didn’t even notice the link to the LP! Bookmarked that for later. I could potentially get it for PC or Vita if I ever get my act together with that. I have a ton of room on my laptop, but since I didn’t purchase it for gaming, I don’t know how well it would be able to run something like that.

        That’s one of the reasons P5 is on the top of my list. Oh is my love of JRPGs obvious :p It’s why it’s above HZD because I know that’s more action-y so I’d have to learn to flex those muscles.

        It’s kind of a chore to log on every day to be honest. I try to because of the daily rewards, but I’m in a grinding loop right now. It’s kind of a pita to gather all of the materials you need to enhance your characters. It is really fun and there’s a lot of things you can do, but from what I’m understanding, it never really ends. I guess they just add more and more to the story. So far it’s still interesting though.

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      2. I just finished A Rose in the Twilight and it’s a neat little story. Definitely an experience you can get everything out of simply by watching, since the gameplay (while a neat idea) isn’t a massive selling point.

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