Wholly inspired by Brad Gallaway and the fine folks at GameCritics, these monthly round-ups cover everything I’ve played that I just couldn’t find time to write about otherwise — either from losing interest, not having fun, or only being a normal human with limited free time.
Here’s what I played throughout the month of November and whether or not they were finished, abandoned, or still in rotation.
World of Warcraft (PC)
With its Shadowlands expansion being delayed, I spent most of November leveling alts out of sheer boredom. I typically split my time between both factions (a concept which is super dated, by the way) but November was all about my Horde characters. I leveled a Warlock, Warrior, and Rogue to 50 and now that Shadowlands is finally here, I’m burnt out and totally uninterested in the game again.
Verdict: Still jumping in here and there until my subscription lapses on the 17th of December.
Lair of the Clockwork God (PS4)
An equally enjoyable and distinguished mash-up of point-and-click adventuring and 2D puzzle platforming, Lair of the Clockwork God is full of genuinely funny self-aware humor and does some really cool shit along the way. You play as two friends, each representing their preferred genre, and switch between them all Lost Vikings-like in order to progress through environmental puzzles and what-have-you.
However, my game bugged out and deleted four hours of progress. Nothing makes me want to abandon a game more than losing progress due to in-game issues. Lair of the Clockwork God has since been patched, but you’ll excuse me if I still haven’t mustered the will to return just yet. I have a gigantic backlog, other games to review, and only so much free time to devote.
Verdict: Enjoyed it, still very pissed off, but I’ll go back to it soon and have a full review up at some point.
Forest Guardian (Switch)
Visual novels are my jam but this little love story about a young merchant girl collapsing in a forest and being rescued by its aforementioned Guardian really struggled at holding my attention.
The artwork is a bit generic, but serviceable. The music is repetitive and bland, often smash-cutting away into the next loop, which was always super jarring. Visual novels live and die by their story, though, and that’s where Forest Guardian ultimately fails.
There’s little to no depth in any of the characters and the “romantic” exchanges suddenly appear out of nowhere, making the whole affair feel like cheap eroge.
Verdict: Abandoned. Hard pass.
One of Spike Chunsoft’s many, MANY JRPGs on the PS4, Crystar is an obviously emotional action game about a girl dropping into limbo to rescue the soul of her little sister. You battle “monsters” along the way, which are spoiled early on as being the souls of humans, so there’s a lot of grey area storytelling about what one person is willing to do to save someone they love. Very cool stuff.
I’ve only managed to sink a few hours into it while I was jumping around between JRPGs, trying to find the next one to play after finishing Xenoblade Chronicles (more on that below), but I ultimately ended up playing more Fire Emblem: Three Houses instead (also more below).
Verdict: Very impressed and eager to play more.
Panzer Dragoon Remake (Switch)
This remake of the Sega Saturn classic rail-shooter was a full on facial of nostalgia, though I’m not sure anyone without fond memories of the series would see it as money well spend. I mean, it’s a 45-minute arcade shoot that retails for $25 USD, but at least it goes on sale quite often. I picked up on Black Friday for $12.
It’s pretty, feels like classic Panzer Dragoon, and offers a bit of replay value with a hidden chapter select, God Mode, and rapid fire toggle if it’s not your first rodeo.
If you have an Xbox, though, I highly recommend just buying Panzer Dragoon Orta for $10 USD. It’s a great game on its own, but you can unlock the original game simply by completing Orta once. So you get two games for less than half the price.
Verdict: Enjoyed. Finished. Still hard to recommend unless you’re already a fan.
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (Switch)
This absolute unit of a JRPG somehow fit on to a Nintendo Wii disc back in the day, but it’s even more impressive that the developer gave the entire game a graphical overhaul on the Nintendo Switch. Xenoblade Chronicles is seriously one of the best JRPGs of all time and this is the best way to experience it.
The overwhelming number of side-quests is easier to chip away at thanks to handheld mode and, more importantly, the abysmal framerate issues from the Wii version are mostly nowhere to be found. Also, you get a brand new story chapter post-game that adds another 10+ hours to an already gargantuan JRPG.
Verdict: Finished. Loved it. A must-play for any RPG fan.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses (Switch)
And speaking of “behemoth JRPGs,” Fire Emblem: Three Houses has taken me ages to play through and I’m still nowhere near the finish line. And I’m fine with that.
I had a bit of a break during my Black Eagles route and forgot how to play, so I restarted and went with Golden Deer. About 10 hours into that playthrough I ended up going back to my Black Eagles file and now I’ve made a huge mistake and I’m juggling the two.
I love the look of the game, especially the character designs and their personalities. The music is incredible. Overall, it’s just a masterclass of a game and I never thought Awakening would be topped as my favorite Fire Emblem. We’ll see how that goes once I finally finish a single route.
Verdict: Love it to death, but it’s too easy to pick up and play that I constantly get side-tracked. Still going!
That about wraps up my November games list. What did you end up playing? Finish or abandon anything?