Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
I haven’t done much in the way of gaming this week since my girlfriend and I have been using our time to catch up on new movie releases via Red Box. We checked out Jumanji (way more fun than I expected), Thor Ragnarok (Guardians-levels of good), Justice League (watchable, but not good), Lady Bird (excellent and relatable), and The Shape of Water (great cinematography, but I didn’t like it as much as most folks did). We’re also watching our way through the entire Paranormal Activity series.
I restarted Xenoblade Chronicles 2 on the Switch and I’m definitely enjoying it more this time around. I’m not sure if it’s the result of having a greater distance between this and the last open-world game I played, which wasn’t the case when it launched toward the end of last year. I was so burnt out after Horizon: Zero Dawn, The Evil Within 2, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and all of the other massive games that crippled our wallets in 2017.
I’m also loving Xenoblade’s new easy mode. In a 100+ hour JRPG with a massive world that begs for exploration, I want to be doing that… not stressing out over combat complexities and grinding. I’m also not finding the frequent tutorials annoying this time around, so maybe I’m just in a better head space. I don’t know. What I *do* know is that I’m actually eager to jump back, which was never, ever the case before.
Another Switch game that’s caught my attention is 10tons’ new sci-fi/horror twin-stick shooter, Tesla vs. Lovecraft. I’ll be reviewing this one, so I’ll keep the description brief.
You play as Tesla, using the power of science and invention to combat Lovecraft and his eldritch horrors, which have taken over the world. It’s a fast-paced, top-down arcade shooter where you mow down swarms of monsters, pick up weapons, unlock power-ups, and collect parts to summon a pilotable mech mid-level. It’s… really fucking good.
I have reviews in the works for the Switch release of Outlast 2, which launches next week on the 27th, the 2D roguelite platformer Flinthook, and the noir comic book-style visual novel/match-three hybrid Metropolis: Lux Obscura. I also used my Gold Coins and picked up the original Steamworld Dig on Switch, which is currently 50% off ($5). Maybe I’ll actually finish it this time!
I’ve been glued to my Switch lately and find myself ignoring whatever indies don’t release on this thing. I get a lot of press-related emails offering review keys and coverage opportunities, but the moment I discover the game in question isn’t coming to the Switch my brain just shuts down. Sorry, not sorry?
Anyway, what about you folks? Any big gaming plans this weekend?