The last few weeks have been great weeks for cleaning out my space, both in terms of physical space and in terms of the game backlog. Both have involved a lot of throwing things out and taking things to charity shops. I can walk anywhere in our house now, and the only cardboard boxes lying around are ones we put out so that the cats can have temporary forts in their endless game of king-of-the-hill.
I have closet space, too, and that’s a minor miracle considering I used to have one of those secondary rails that you hang from your main closet rail because you have too many t-shirts.
I didn’t QUITE go all KonMari, but I feel a great deal freer.
I took nine games off the backlog recently as well, though admittedly only two of those were by actually finishing them. I have been going through the stacks of “this was on sale” or “people rave about this game so I should try it”, and I wound up cutting a lot of stuff after a couple hours of play because it just wasn’t sticking.
I did finish Senran Kagura: Reflexions, which was a weird little Switch game about massaging Asuka from the Senran Kagura series. There’s a story around this, but it’s hard to describe without getting too into spoilers. It’s not as pervy as you would think – this is on a Nintendo system, after all – but it still tweaks the blue hair brigade pretty well. It’s a game that’s Banned From Discussion on resetera, and that’s usually a sign that a game is worth checking out. Apart from the Asuka story, you can download stories for Yomi, Murasaki, Ryona and Yumi. I will judge you very hard if you do not rank the characters in roughly that order yourself.
Along that same vein, I also played through Lucy Got Problems, a visual novel about a succubus who knows that she’s been sent on a terribly important mission but can’t quite remember exactly what she was supposed to do. We’re not talking high art, here, but it makes fun of a lot of fantasy tropes and is actually enhanced by all of the failure states that you can run into. Personally, any game where I can be killed by murderous squirrels within five minutes of starting is a game worth playing.
By default, it is NOT a porny VN, but there is a patch available on the dev’s Patreon if that’s your sort of thing.
Games I dropped, and reasons:
A reasonably good Souls-like, but it turns out that I don’t really like Souls in a sci-fi setting. The expansion, A Walk In The Park, is a little more fun, but not enough to make me want to keep going.
Running around a tiny slice of 2005 Tokyo is awesome. Seriously. For pure atmosphere, this is a fantastic game. Sadly it’s bogged down by really tedious boss fights and by the fact that I really don’t enjoy playing “tough guy” characters.
This came with a video card and I’ve never even started it, but after bouncing off Yakuza because I didn’t like playing the tough guy, I think I am completely done with the gritty Asian underworld genre.
Mass Effect: Andromeda
I loved the original Mass Effect trilogy, but after 3 or 4 hours of this I realized that the most joy I was getting was when I reached a save point and could stop playing. Again, I think I’m just not a big sci-fi settings guy.
Code of Princess EX
A remake of the 3DS game, which was great, but now with higher resolution graphics and no English dub – what could go wrong?
Well, it turns out that the developers decided that the original game was too easy and they needed to tweak some of the boss AI. The original game had a great difficulty curve, the remake has a brick wall halfway through that I got tired of beating my head against. It also keeps the old subtitles, so there are some jarring differences between what the characters are saying and what the subtitles say.
Heroine Anthem: Episode 1
I thought this was a platforming action sort of game, and it is… if you don’t mind your platforming action regularly being broken up by talking-head pixel dramas and crazy-long loading times between screens. It would almost have been better as a visual novel.
A new game from the Pony Island guy? SIGN ME RIGHT UP… except it turns out to be a bunch of kinda tedious mini-games and a plot that wasn’t going anywhere fast. Pony Island telegraphed the “we’re on a one-way train to crazy town” plot from basically minute one, but after two hours I was still wondering when The Hex was going to get moving.
So, after all that, I’m down under the 50 game mark in my endless war against the backlog. Right now, I’m playing through the Mortal Kombat X story mode and it’s actually keeping my interest despite, or perhaps because of, how just pants-on-head bizarre the Mortal Kombat lore seems to be.
Also I really thought they had Nathan Fillion playing Johnny Cage, which I thought was a great casting choice. It turns out that it’s just a guy who kinda sounds like Nathan Fillion but he is still fun to listen to.