Hello folks, one and all! Let’s talk about games, in the fall!
This time of year always kicks up lots of old nostalgia. From playing in the leaves and going pumpkin picking as a kid, to weekend getaways and picnics with the wife only a few years ago when we met. Pretty much every topic can be subject to a nostalgia trip, and that’s why it’s without a doubt my favorite season.
In fact, it was exactly this time of year back in 2015, almost to the day, that I made one of my first posts to this blog where I talked about how excited I was to be getting back into Pokemon after years of forgetting it existed, and this right in the midst of getting back into Nintendo period, after a solid decade of playing primarily PC games. I was absolutely enamored with my newly acquired Hyrule Edition New 3DS XL, and I would take long motorcycle rides to the middle of nowhere, find a park bench, have my packed PB&J sandwich, and play some Pokemon X. It was cathartic, and brought me right back to the middle school courtyard, trading cards and digital monsters via Gameboy Color Link Cable alike.
Of course, the fall isn’t just about Pokemon or even Nintendo games specifically, but it’s the time when the colder weather rolls in and a gym-rat, mountain biking outdoorsman like myself finds it much easier to relax inside and get into something of thicker substance. The lead-up to Halloween typically finds me shifting my entertainment from video games to scary movies, but once the holiday passes I find myself wanting to get more involved in the longer titles – the longer RPGs, and the games I had been shelving “until winter.”
This past spring and summer was host to plenty of great titles, most of them being fairly short, as quick play sessions are the style I go for. I was thrilled when the D&D games re-releases were announced in these amazing dual-packs, and that they’d be dropping right at the time of year when I’m itching for something of substance:
While I’d played Baldur’s Gate, Neverwinter Nights, and bits of Icewind Dale, what I was really focused on was Planescape Torment, a title which went unnoticed by younger-me, and one that seemed to be the most story-focused. While I don’t have a particularly strong urge to go back to the old-school combat style of Baldur’s Gate, which undoubtedly aged somewhat non-gracefully, Planescape Torment isn’t really about the combat at all, making it perfect for experience this era of games without the jagged edges.
Anyway, I’ve only played it for a few hours so far, but man is it like reading a book written by an insane person. I love it, and the aesthetic takes me back to the days of Fallout 1 + 2, two of my favorite games of all time. It’s dirty. It’s got foul language and mature themes. It’s got grit. Like bowling, it’s totally up my alley.
Going off the RPG route, there also seems to be a recent revival of 3D platformers, which I’m pretty thrilled about, albeit I’m heeding caution before taking any of them on. After all, if Yookah-Laylee taught us anything, it’s that sometimes the past is better kept in the past. That being said, I’ve been eagerly awaiting news of A Hat In Time releasing physically on the Switch, and it was on August 15th that it was officially confirmed via the release date trailer!
Needless to say I pre-ordered it right away, and it should be coming soon.
Then there was the reveal of a re-release of Microsoft-published Super Lucky’s Tale, that from the screenshots looks like one of the most polished 3D platformers I’ve seen recently.
The nostalgia definitely hits me right in the feels with the 3D collect-a-thons, and I foresee myself binging both of these titles when I get them – which according to my delivery dates will actually be within the same week.
If you’re a new reader to NostalgiaTrigger, been around a while, or are a casual passer-by, you may have noticed that some of these games are a little older, and despite being out for a new fancy platform, my focus has been on eternally playing “catch-up” on titles I missed out on. The Switch has been an excellent companion to playing older games in a modern way, and we’re not finished yet, as we’ve got a few more titles that will keep me warm at night during the holiday season and beyond.
A few months ago, I nabbed LimitedRun copies of Turok 1 & 2 for Switch in an awesome looking collections edition.
I haven’t played these games in just ages, and I can’t wait to return to Oblivion to take them down once again. They were easily some of my favorite titles on the Nintendo 64 and playing them without jagged edges on my 55″ TV will be incredible. I’m really looking forward to revisiting these!
And last but not least, a game that I picked up just the other day. I was able to nab a brand new sealed copy for $30 on eBay and not only am I itching to try it out, but I cannot wait to bust out my 3DS yet again. Really – at this point it feels like I’m picking up an antique after spending countless hours on my modern Switch hardware.
That game is Okamiden!
I finally played Okami this year, after importing a gorgeous physical copy from Japan, and playing it on my Switch (naturally!) Seriously – I think 80% of my Switch games are re-releases of games from at least 10 years ago. But it was one of the greatest experiences since Twilight Princess and I needed to get to it, and when I learned of a sequel on Nintendo DS, well let’s just say some impulse purchases were made. It had a bit of mixed reviews as a true followup to the original Playstation 2 release, but I decided it was more than worth a shot.
So, let’s do a quick recap!
- Planescape Torment
- A Hat in Time
- New Super Lucky’s Tale
- Turok 1 & 2
- Okami Den
And there we have it! My plan for the fall. Of course, there are some titles I’ve left out due to low priorities. A release trailer for Destiny Connect: Tick Tock Travelers was stealth-dropped last week, and the game had this similar vibe to Dark Cloud 2, one of my favorite games ever made and most deserving of a sequel, come on Level-5 I know you want to do this… But some of the reviews were saying that it was very slow-paced, and intended more for the audience of new players to JRPGs. Slow-pace and gaming doesn’t do very well for me, so I backburnered that one.
There’s also Pokemon Sword & Shield right on the horizon, but considering I just finished Let’s Go Pikachu finally after almost a year of on-and-off gameplay, I definitely need a break from collecting pocket monsters. Pokemon games are a once-a-year occasion for me these days.
And that’s that! Definitely changing it up with the isometric D&D title and 3D “cute as heck” platformers, but that’s what this season is for – trying some new things.
What’s on your radar for late 2019? Do you migrate to other types of games when the weather cools down? Let’s talk about them in the comments 🙂
Oh man, Planescape Torment is THE best RPG ever. I played it back in the day and to this day it still hasn’t left my mind.
Icewind Dale is my favorite of the bunch (favorite RPG ever, actually, though not the best… see previous game) and I loved having and roleplaying my entire party. One thing lost in the Enhanced Edition is that only the leader talks to the NPCs (I haven’t played it but someone was losing his mind over that detail) when in the original you could use your fighter to do some threats and the paladin for some sweet talk… Now you just use ONE. It changed the “party” to a “leader and party”, since the enhanced engine is base on Baldur’s Gate (also you don’t have the Party Screen which was awesome to change characters in case of death or roleplay which was really cool in the original).
Baldur’s Gate… I don’t care that much really. I didn’t like the music (nostalgic as it may be) and the characters, NPCs and combat are just… “meh” for me. I did like the whole epic story of the bhaalspawn though.
Now, Neverwinter Nights… I just love the second act (Charwood, the druids, the Spirit of the Woods)… Incredible. Everything else (including the expansiones), I just don’t care enough.
The only thing keeping me from buying them is the controls. I just can’t spend that much money and then go “yup, this sucks…”. I want to try them first. Also, try Pillars of Eternity (after is patched… so far they are still fixing the gamebreaking bugs).
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I’m having a blast with it so far. Just hit around ~6 hours is my best guess with the Switch’s shitty time tracking.
These games can be so overwhelming at first, and it really benefits the player for a good couple of hours of “just slogging it”, talking to everyone and taking on dozens of quests. Eventually you figure out what you’re doing, knock out a quest or two, get the lay of the land, etc.
Just today on the hourlong bus ride to work, I managed to close out 6 quests from my journal (half of them!) and once you start to see some progress, it gets waay more fun.
I assume you’re talking about Planescape here. That game in particular has A LOT of sidequests, some are hidden. But the most amazing thing is that some quest are just talking, and having philosophical debates… and you get a TON of XP for doing that. Like helping someone come to peace with his way of life, or the Crier of Es-Annon (now that’s an original quest which I think you must have seen by now).
Some NPCs simply talk to you, and half the game later you meet someone who you realize is responsable for something having to do with that previous NPC and bam, sidequest haha. But after a certain point which I will not spoil, of course, everything gets more linear and combat heavy (which for me was not bad at all). It’s a deep game, and surprisingly not that long, so don’t rush it. I believe is like 45/50hs long (for comparison Baldur’s Gate is over 60, the sequel above 100 hs).
This year I read a 3000 pages behemoth of an adaptation of the game in novel form, made by a fan… I can’t recommend it enough (the official novels though, stay away from those).