Soul Calibur 2: Progress Log #1

I went to download a new game to start on, only for my internet to decide that it didn’t feel like playing ball. Long story short, the download went slow enough that I had no time to actually play through it any if I was going to have something to post today, so I pulled out my PS2 and started playing Soul Calibur 2 instead. The original Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast is one of the greatest fighting games ever made, full stop, and I have a fondness for the third game despite its shortcomings, but the second game is in that awkward space between being a lesser experience than the original and failing to provide all of the distractions later entries included to make up for that. Still, it’s entirely possible that my distaste for the second game boils down to the fact that I played the third game first, so I resolved to unlock my go-to character, Seong Mi-na, and give this game a real chance for once. Read more →

Journey: Progress Log #1 and possibly only just one or maybe there will be more later

Journey is one of several games I had sitting around on my PS3’s hard drive for a long time, though I’ve since played through it several times both there and on PS4. Mostly because of how incredibly overrated I find it; every time I would finish, part of me would go, “No, obviously something important was missed and that’s why this wasn’t fun and enjoyable like it apparently is for other people.” That’s not the case, though; experiencing this game for the first time in 2017 is entirely different than experiencing it in 2012 because artsy indie games are no longer rare or especially noteworthy, and the glut of games telling their stories in a similarly pretentious way has numbed me to whatever this game once excelled at. Journey is massively overrated and dated, then, but there’s one section that still holds up surprisingly well. In it, you glide down sand dunes at a high rate of speed while managing your limited jump/flight abilities and either trying to make it through a bunch of arches (for an achievement) or pick up the glowing things that increase your scarf length (also for an achievement). Despite this ultimately being cinematic fluff with no fail state or real purpose—charges I’m comfortable leveling at the game as a whole—the sense of speed during this part makes me think that Journey could have been a really great racing game, and I’m speaking as someone who doesn’t even like racing games. Read more →

Battle High 2 A+: Progress Log #2 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

A couple of the characters here are really fun to use. I started with a character named Beat who’s pretty much perfect for beginners (and for racking up points in arcade mode), but when I faced off against a character named Michelle, I knew that I had to try her out for myself. The characters don’t feel hugely different from each other, but there are enough individual quirks to easily figure out who your favorites are. Still, the flaws are proving to be a huge distraction from the gameplay, which is sad because this strikes me as a game that could be a highly enjoyable hidden gem if some of the art, sound, and written dialogue went through a couple layers of polish. As is, though, I find myself playing with headphones off and trying to tune out the two-frame background animations and awkward conversations, and it’s not possible to recommend a game that requires going to such lengths. Read more →

Battle High 2 A+: Progress Log #1

2D fighting games have never been my forte, though I’ve always had an interest in learning how to play them as effectively as I can their 3D counterparts. Awhile back, Killer Instinct Gold convinced me that this would never happen by relentlessly and mercilessly crushing my will under the weight of its difficulty, so when I had the opportunity to try indie game Battle High 2 A+, which was accused in an Xbox-version review of being too easy (I’m playing the recent Steam release, but obviously looked into its Xbox One reception first), it seemed like a perfect match. Read more →

Shantae – Half-Genie Hero – Friends to the End (DLC): Progress Log #2 [END]

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Boss fights being more difficult because of the absence of health upgrades is a reasonable way of creating a sense of difficulty. After all, players are likely to have gone through these fights several times already in both the base game and Pirate Queen’s Quest, so it’s not too much to ask them to get through these encounters without getting hit too many times. Then there’s the traditional Shantae endgame difficulty spike full of instant-death hazards, and the new mechanics simply don’t hold up. Their inherent awkwardness becomes a huge burden, with certain sections feeling more luck-based than anything. You’ll likely see it coming if you’ve played a Shantae game before, but this compares to Shantae and the Pirate Curse’s abysmal endgame section in terms of fun-spoiling “what the hell is this garbage”-ery. Read more →

Shantae – Half-Genie Hero – Friends to the End (DLC): Progress Log #1

I took a couple days away from the site to catch back up on sleep after the past 2-3 months of daily updates started to take their toll. Besides that, the new Shantae: Half-Genie Hero DLC’s release date was close enough that getting into something new seemed like a bad idea, though I’m honestly not entirely certain when this thing released; a press release I received said December 12th, but I managed to buy it on the 11th despite it not showing up in Xbox’s search results for some reason, and I noticed other people playing before that point somehow. Talk about nebulous. Read more →

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