Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
With Super Mario Odyssey out of the way, this weekend I’ll be focusing mostly on finishing up Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. Mario Odyssey was incredible and I’m still making my way through the post-game content, but it’s sharing “short burst” duty with Steamworld Dig 2 on my Switch — basically, anytime I’m a passenger in a vehicle, have a break between homework, or working out on the bike, I’ll be playing Odyssey or Dig 2, while my primary focus at home lies elsewhere.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus started off with a bang. Literally. Despite its strong sense of storytelling and character development, the gunplay feels just “fine” while the mission structure was incredibly dull during its opening hours. It eventually hit its flow by hour three and I’ve been enthralled ever since. This game presents so many “what in the ultimate fuck?!” moments and throws you into some incredibly visceral scenarios that it just feels surreal at times.
At first, though, it felt as if I was playing a different game than everybody else. It was universally praised on social media, but I just wasn’t feeling it.
I watched the recent episode of the Giant Bombcast where Jeff, Brad, Ben, and special guest Greg Miller talked about their Wolfenstein II experiences, and mine echoed theirs in more ways than one. As Jeff mentioned, he eventually reached a point where he discovered he was playing the game “wrong,” aiming down the sights, hiding behind cover, and approaching Wolfenstein II as a traditional shooter. Rather, what the game wants you to do is dual-wield everything and never stop moving.
The game’s perk system automatically increases your effectiveness by playing a certain way, like burning enemies or killing them with heavy weapons. I was taking my time, sneaking around levels and taking out guards and commanders one at a time with throwing axes. However, I wasn’t gaining many perks in the process since I was only killing in one or two different ways. Once I took Jeff’s advice and started upgrading shotguns and grenades, rushing through doorways and leaving a trail of corpses in my wake, I started having a lot more fun with the gameplay aspect and stopped dying so often.
I also got to feed and pet a pig named Rosa, so yeah, GOTY and all that jazz.
I picked up Sonic Mania for my Switch, although I’ve never really been a fan of the series. I was in the market for something short and less story-focused so I figured I’d give it a fair shake. Unfortunately, it reaffirmed my opinion of the games and I was ready to throw in the towel in under an hour.
I can tell a lot of TLC went into crafting Sonic Mania and it’s definitely something fans of the series can be proud of, but yeah. Not for me. It just doesn’t seem to know what it wants to accomplish — go fast, but also take your time and explore and platform… nothing works incredibly well in tandem with one another. At least not for me.
This is what led to me picking up Steamworld Dig 2. It’s a 2D metroidvania-style game where you control a robot named Dorothy on a search for her brother Rusty (the protagonist from the first game). You reach a small mining town populated by fellow robots and begin digging into the mine below in search for clues. This plays into the game’s hook where you dig for minerals, bring them back to the surface for coins, and use the coins on upgrades that allow you to dig even further. I’ve only been at it for two hours, but it’s extremely rewarding and downright gorgeous to look at for a 2D game.
TL;DR – I should have Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus finished this weekend and I’ll fill in the gaps with Steamworld Dig 2 or Super Mario Odyssey’s post-game moon hunts. After Steamworld is finished, it’s on to Golf Story and Assassin’s Creed Origins and then back to Persona 5. I’d like to have Persona finished before Xenoblade Chronicles 2 releases in December, since I hate playing two RPGs at once, but that’s unlikely to happen. We’ll see.
What about you, folks? Got any gaming plans this weekend?