Monday, May 15, 2017

Springtime Gamin II

The last few weeks were a jumble of awesome stuff. Guardians of the Galaxy 2, a funk club night with my friends on a birthday, and that same friend graduating from law school.  Congratulations, Chad!

However, given that I now work part time from home, there has been a lot of time to work that controller.

Overwatch has taken about half my gaming's fun again. I'm finally being rewarded for hard work, as teammates are grouping up more, and I've switched to mainly playing support. I still have the arrogant complaint that whether it's Zarya or Zenyatta, I pretty often get gold medals for damage and eliminations. Why is this a complaint? This means DPS aren't doing their jobs, and I hate that this is normal. I'm not particularly great at taking out the enemy team, that means the other members must really be bad! Support should be medaling for healing and defensive assists, while your DPS is picking off the weak and racking up kills. I am stuck in a rank with a few good players, but most of them still will selfishly disregard good team composition and forming up to try the same inefficient lone wolf tactics over and over. This is why I'm trapped in gold and can't get out. Either way, it's still quite a miracle that the Overwatch community is still pumping a year after release; that's unheard-of for consoles! Congratulations, Blizzard!

Teleported here via that intense frog statue. Yep.
My last rental was quite a pleasant surprise; Earthlock plays and looks like JRPG. Bright, colorful graphics, turns, number damage, powered abilities after taking/doing enough damage, and a great soundtrack (link). The difference with Earthlock is that the developers are Norwegian, so there are some welcome differences. JRPGs usually miss the mark for relationship tropes, humor, and villains. Usually, there is unspoken or awkward love between two characters who never confront it, the humor is either about how a man likes women or a woman likes men, and the villains are usually the only Japanese characters who laugh. As much as I love certain parts of Japanese culture, I am so rarely blown away by the writing that goes into Japanese games and characters.

Might have to zoom in for this...
I love the way the robot talks in this game. 
This is of course where Earthlock stands out. There is no love interest whatsoever. No wasted scenes with awkward gasps and downcast eyes. Next, the game itself is light-hearted, but there aren't many jokes. This is shown through on-point localization and characters with a more colorful vocabulary than what's usually used in JRPGs. Finally, the villain is just a bad guy. I didn't notice anything particularly clever about the writing, but the story wasn't especially convoluted and easy to keep track of due to a short, 15-hour playthrough. That doesn't sound short, but the last RPG I played had a 110 hour save file.

You want it fast, strong, magical, or buff?
I wholeheartedly suggest this game to those of you who want the JRPG experience with a slight twist. It's got beautiful art, an amazing soundtrack, swappable party members and a custom level-up system. However, the plot is simple, there's minimal grinding, no random encounters, and a well-done soundtrack all along the way.

Because it's an arcade game...
I also tackled some PS3 arcade games: Marvel Super Heroes and Pacman Championship DX. Gotta keep the 2-games-out, 1-game-in factory working!
Spidey's victory quote cuts deep.
A burn that brings its own questions about the person who said it.
Pac-man on crack, man!

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