With my recent purchase of Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc for the Playstation 2, I have officially lifted my self-imposed video game embargo! It’s truly an exciting time – some great titles are coming up (or have recently come out), particularly for the Switch, and I’m feeling good about the next couple months.
One thing worth mentioning is that I did bump Xenoblade 2 and Odin Sphere out of my backlog due to a wicked case of RPG fatigue – I simply can’t play a long game for a while following this long sprint. That being said, my tastes in-game genres come in waves and I went from 3D platformers (Daxter, Super Mario Odyssey), to adventure (Ittle Dew 2+, Kamiko), to 2D platformers (Metroid: Samus Returns, Axiom Verge, Castlevania: Lord of Shadow, Shovel Knight), to RPGs (Undertale, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, Tokyo Xanadu), and now I’m looking to move into a few more casual types of games, along with some shorter action-RPGs.
I’ve been moving back towards 3D games, currently enjoying the classic platforming goodness with a side dose of nostalgia from Rayman 3 from the comfort of my new…. GAMING COUCH!
Just kidding, it’s a regular couch. But I play games on it!
Anyway, let’s take a look into games that I’ve got in my crosshairs, in classic non-chronological fashion.
Shantae: 1/2 Genie Hero Ultimate Edition (out!)
I’ve been interested in the Shantae games ever since discovering it on the Vita. I thought it looked a little generic, that is, until I read more about it. Specifically the bit where you do a lot of backtracking as you earn more upgrades. Well, I happen to love games that start you off as a little tiny useless baby and you gradually become a powerhouse, and then finally can access that annoying just-out-of-reach ledge. Know what I mean? I’m basically describing Metroid, right? Maybe that’s why I love Metroid games so much…
Anyway, I’ve got this one in my crosshairs as my “wildcard” game, that is, the shorter platformer that’s easy to play in small or long batches, and plays great on the go as well as on the TV. This shot on to my radar pretty recently but I think I’ll be pulling the trigger on the physical Ultimate Edition as it includes all of the extra DLC campaigns as well. What a deal!
Yoku’s Island Express (May 29th)
If I had a nickel for every time I saw this box cover and thought it said “Yoshi’s Island” I’d have enough cash to buy this damn thing already.
There’s a couple of things that are making me want this game. First off, it sounds extremely innovative. The second thing is that it’s from Team 17, the makers behind one of my favorite gaming experiences of all time, the Worms franchise. Many, many hours of screaming matches have taken place during bouts of Worms Armageddon and I can’t think of a better team to tackle an idea as bogus as this.
To summarize briefly, it’s an open-world game with a pinball mechanic to explore said world. This sounded weird as hell to me but the gameplay stream looked awesome and like a super-chill way to spend some time!
Little Dragons Café (August 24th)
From the creators of Harvest Moon, this cute little title came up on Amazon’s recommended list, which at this point in time officially knows more about me and my consumer preferences more than my own mother and possibly my wife.
I was reading up on the last game on this list when Little Dragons Cafe popped up as a recommend purchase, and I was intrigued by the name alone. Looking into it more, my interest was further piqued – you raise a dragon while operating and running a cafe. What can possibly not be amazingly fun about both of those things? I’ve been craving a good simulator for a while, and also watching a lot of re-runs of Kitchen Nightmares, so naturally this feels like a good fit. All of this while boasting a gorgeous and appealing aesthetic. Sign me up!
Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles (May 17th)
It’s rare that a game trailer can do anything for me anymore, much in the same way that an action movie trailer with gratuitous explosions feels like more a formality than something to get me hyped for it. Simply put, I want to see some gameplay, not pre-rendered cutscenes. In this case, what was portrayed to me was an open-world exploration game wrapped in a relaxing atmosphere. Despite no gameplay, something about it hit a chord with me.
These days, I can’t handle anything too overwhelming. That being said, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles looks to be up my alley, and something relaxing is just what I need these days. It’s currently performing quite well on Steam and the PS4 and the words “relaxing” and “peaceful” are thrown around generously. The reviews are glowing and the Venn diagram of the player-base of young kids who play for hundreds of hours vs. late-20s who play for maybe 40 seem to be overlapping, based on said reviews.
Simply put, what sold me on this is a combination of relaxing gameplay, with a touch of farm life and side jobs vs. the ability to go out adventuring whenever. Breath of the Wild was far too vast for me and just wasn’t my idea of Zelda – Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles looks like it might be my cup of tea, despite being similar minus the grandiose atmosphere.
I never got into Fantasy Life on the 3DS, but from what I heard, that game would also do the trick if I wasn’t so focused on playing something on my Switch finally. As I mentioned earlier, my gaming tastes change like the tides and lately it’s been cozy puzzle games and simpler action-RPGs that I can chill out and play. Ittle Dew 2+ was one of my favorite games in recent times and it had a super chill vibe to it. I think Yonder might be what I’m looking for.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (August 28th)
Ah yes, the big kahuna! This came as a huge surprise, and longtime fans of the franchise have been dying for a port of the Japanese equivalent. Of course, being region free, the most hardcore of fans have been able to obtain a copy of Monster Hunter XX from the Japanese eShop, although those among them unable to speak or read Japanese would naturally have some issues.
Finally, albeit a fair bit late, the Western port was recently announced and with a just-around-the-corner release date of late August of this summer.
I fell in love with Monster Hunter a few years back when I finally pulled the trigger on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, caving under the immense pressure from the 3DS crowd. It really is as fun as the cult-like following claims – every single thing you do in Monster Hunter games feels so darn epic. You murder monsters and turn them into hats and pants and swords. Those upgrades let you kill more insanely badass monsters to make even sweeter hats and pants and swords. How on earth could that not be enjoyable!?
The many diverse weapon classes give every player-style their own way to enjoy tracking down and slaying beasts. Are you more of a long-range type of guy? You’re covered. Up, close, and personal type of lady? Yup, you’ve got plenty of options. Maybe you want a combination of both? Well let me tell you something, friend – even you’re covered. It’s a formula that just works.
Worth mentioning is that these games are great online or solo. As the Switch is portable, naturally this would be a concern since you’re not always on WiFi. I played about 50 hours of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and 90% of it was solo runs on the bus.
I never played Monster Hunter Generations as there were simply too many other games going on at the time, but this is definitely going to be a sure-thing for me. One of the things that always held the series back on the 3DS was the control scheme. There simply weren’t enough buttons or ease of camera angle changing, which is pivotal during an epic battle. Not to imply it wasn’t a technical feat of engineering to get all of that content on a tiny cartridge running on a 3DS, but on my late-night hunts playing in bed with some Internet randoms, all I could keep thinking was “this needs to be in HD and on a big screen.” Finally, it’ll be here!
And that’s what I’ve got lined up for the next couple of months! They’ll most certainly overlap into each other, so once I finish my current runs of Ys Origins, Rayman 3, and Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee, I’ll be taking a leap into whatever feels right!
Are you planning on picking up any of these games? What else are you looking forward to? Thanks for reading, and if you hated everything you read, be sure to hit that big Unfollow button and then Report this blog for violating the Geneva Convention.