Alright, LusiBuggers. It has been an ecclectic few weeks of gaming for me, so I decided to settle down this time and play a bunch more. Except that that is not settling down. It is settling up. I settled up this week, LusiFarts. This introduction has been a disaster.
After a practice run a few months ago, my friend Matti and I hosted the first annual Pickle Tournament. It consisted of three tournament games, two additional TVs for training/playing for those who were not playing the current round and also did not want to watch. The four trophies were made on the lids of pickle jars and represented the category. There was a Mario Kart 8 tournament, a Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament (using the Project M mod), a Nintendo Land tournament (it was chosen randomly from a hat full of games), and a Best Hat trophy.
During the unofficial launch of the tournament, I went home with the Smash Brothers trophy and now that it was official and that the trophies looked significantly nicer, I was detirmined to take at least one of the tournaments.
Spoilers: I took home zero.
I made it to the finals of each event (excepting Best Hat) and each time I choked. I only had myself to blame because I was certainly capable of winning all three of the trophies, but the pressure proved too much for me and the competition was stiff enough to take advantage. The best players won in each category, and I went home empty-handed and the memories of a handfull of “almosts”. I suppose there is always next year. If any of you are in Toronto this time next year, let me know and you can experience Pickle Tournament, where silly meets serious.
I am a fan of the Professor Layton series but have never played the Professor Wright games before getting my hands on the recently released Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright. I had to wait to play it because I made the mistake of letting my girlfriend try it first. It did not leave her 3DS until she beat it. Or almost beat it anyway, because I swiped it back yesterday and sunk 5 hours into it. There does not appear to be an attempt to meld the two gameplay styles, but I believe it is better that way. The Professor Layton side sets up the story with its usual deftness at introducing a complex mystery, and Phoenix Wright sits its teeth into details, character, and encouraging a thorough and logical look at a situation. While the gameplay styles are very different, they complement the story that the writers conjured up very well. In an almost Law and Order way, Professor Layton and Luke collect evidence and explore the world while Phoenix and Maya deal with parsing these events in court. The difference is that this court does not operate with logic and, in fact, logic is considered witchcraft. While not a world-changing game, I am glad that this game exists for children who will learn the importance of both imagination and logic and learn the proper place for both. It is nice to see that this crossover was actually constructed thoughtfully and is not just lazy fan service. There is fan service of course, but I am of the mind that that is not a bad thing in and of itself in the right context and if it is not relied upon. Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright has legs of its own to support the fan service.
More Rogue Legacy
Seriously, guys. I have three bosses beaten and just the basement left. The awful, terrible, difficult basement. I know I will be able to beat it eventually, but the game is so enticing that I am tempted to improve until I am able to complete the trophy for beating the game dying fifteen times or fewer. I know it is doable, but I think at some point it would not be a valuable use of my time. Still, though, I see that trophy staring at me. I did not expect to like this game so much.
Speaking of completion…
My girlfriend and I have been working on 100% completion of Super Mario 3D World. This means all green stars, all stamps, all golden flags, beating every level as every character, and beating all special levels. We are finally down to the wire. There is the final boss-centric level that we have to beat as four more characters and then there is the horrific final two levels in the uber secret world that only unlocked after collecting all green stamps, golden flags, and stamps. I beat the final Captain Toad level, no problem, but the 30-stage challenge level plus the no-mercy final level are both still staring us in the face. We played the final level for over an hour last night and still did not even make it to the first green star which essentially denotes the end of the first third of the level. This is going to be difficult. I am at the point at which I expect Reggie Fils-Aime to personally come to my house when we beat the game and be our slave for a week. I at least hope there will be more than just a “congraduration” screen.
Final Fantasy X
I know the playthrough should have been my time to get into the game, but I did not have a Vita then, and playing this game as I go to bed is the perfect time. The localization and characterization is still massively disappointing on a promising premise, but purely as a game, I am getting into it more than I ever had. The last time I properly played the game I tried to pigeon-hole my own style of grinding into the game and it did not work. I wanted to just use a basic attack to plow my way through the game, and it is not the way to appreciate the battle system. It can still feel like a paint-by-numbers battle system at times (an elemental? Use Lulu! A fast enemy? Tidus is your guy!), but it is certainly more satisfying to play it the way it is meant to be played.
I am putting the miscellany back into Editorial Miscellany, folks! Do you guys have a whackload of games that you have been playing? Tell me about them! It is only going to get worse, you know. There is that Final Fantasy tapping game and then there is Shadow of Mordor and Dragon Age: Inquisition after that, not to mention Hyrule Warriors, Fantasy Life, and Mario Kart 8 DLC. Hang on to your hats, LusiDetectives.