Nintendo To Plays - Volume 4
I love that MUSYNX gets right to business. You start with a huge selection of tracks, an option for easy or hard mode, and then you dive right in. In 4K mode, you have four lines of notes coming down the screen and have to press the right buttons in time. It's your standard rhythm game, but with over ninety tracks and free updates with new tracks planned that's amazing. I've barely had a chance to scratch the surface on this, but I can say that some stages have been more manageable than others thanks to the fact that the color of the notes varies by stage, so some have been easier to follow than others. I have a few favorites already, but I still struggle to get perfects on them. MUSYNX might not have a ton of variation in gameplay, but the musical content is vast, which is way more interesting to me.
While Octopath Traveler is definitely a beautiful game and has a lot going for it, the original demo didn't really click with me and the full game hasn't changed that. Call me weak, but I just don't enjoy the combat and the game is built around that pretty heavily. I've never been a fan of RPG battle systems where you have to exploit weaknesses or break opponents, and Octopath Traveler makes that a requirement for every battle, not just the boss fights. That's not to say that this is a flaw of the game, but it is just not my thing. I truly love the visual style, as this is one of the most beautiful I've seen in years, and I appreciate the character designs as I think they hold up amazingly. The game's structure doesn't bother me either, but I just don't mesh with the battle system.
Shape of the World
Like Proteus, Shape of the World is one of those games that has you exploring a mysterious world in first person in order to see the beauty that unravels before you. While lovely, the problem is that it takes too long to get through and requires more interaction than most other games of this style. If the point of the game is relax and enjoy the environments, then you should never be blocked by gameplay mechanics while trying to do so. Tossing seeds to plant trees that are used to climb seems simple enough, but it made the experience too gamey and took me out of the relaxing state that Shape of the World had done a good job of getting me into up until that point. It was only then that I discovered the chapter progression listing and saw how far I still had to go, and I quickly decided that I'd seen enough, especially if more of this was possibly waiting for me. I'm not sure if the developers were afraid of leaving this as just an experience game and tacked on gameplay sections out of fear of complaints, but it was much better before I got to those parts.
Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn
Want to talk about a ridiculous game, then Shaq-Fu: A Legend Reborn is just that. This side-scrolling beat 'em up has Shaq fighting his way through China punching with this big hands and kicking enemies with his large shoes. He can even power up into the robotic Shaq Diesel suit and pick up tubes of Icy Hot. It's one of the most absurd things I've ever played, but the worst part is that the combat mechanics are not that bad. It actually controls fairly well, though the game does get repetitive really fast. It's all just so ridiculous and one note that it gets tiresome quickly. I likely wouldn't have even touched this had it not been free for having downloaded NBA Playgrounds before the online patch went live.
Wizard of Legend
First and foremost I have to give Wizard of Legend a shout out for having a fantastic soundtrack. Dale North knocked this one out of the park. Now as for the game itself, it's not bad, but the repetitive gameplay loop doesn't really work for me. You unlock a variety of spells and skills that help you work your way through dungeons filled with pits and enemies. Die and you get to start over. This might have been better co-op, but I haven't gotten a chance to try that yet. Combat is fine, but I just can't get past losing progress here, as I never felt like I was getting better or learning what I was doing wrong. Oh well, I still have the soundtrack to listen to even outside the game, so I still win.
Yoku's Island Express
Yoku's Island Express is a super creative game. It is a Metroid-style adventure game where you advance using pinball mechanics. Yes, that means the levels have pinball paddles scattered throughout that you use to progress. It's a very original concept that I appreciate greatly. I'm still early on and things seem fairly linear by nature, keeping within the restrictions of the pinball design elements, but I plan to keep going, even though I am awful at pinball.
20XX is a clear throwback to the Mega Man formula, which would be much more effective if not for all of the Mega Man collections that have finally been released along with a brand new game coming. What 20XX does differently is offer the latest buzz of tossing in roguelike elements, which is quickly becoming a way of saying that the game is going to let you repeat a lot of the content to grind for upgrades while offering little new. The Mega Man inspired content is right up front here, complete with a cast that could be right out of the originals, but it quickly shows its hand and becomes another victim of the roguelike buzz. My tolerance is not very high when this happens, as I prefer a much structured focus. The game does control well, and I can't take that away from it, but it doesn't have the staying power for me.
I keep seeing games that I hope will fill that Hotline Miami void for me, and I was hoping that Milanoir might be that game. As far as setting goes, it's even dirtier than Hotline Miami ever tried to be as it's filled with foul language, sex, and murder all within the first few minutes of playtime. The problem is that the gameplay doesn't hold up. It's similar in that you control a character in third person and aim and shoot, but it lacks the quick lock on and kill feeling that I'm looking for as you have to spend too much ammo and time taking enemies down. It's not smooth and the pacing is much slower, which causes it to lose its edge and just feel like any old action shooter instead. So it's not bad, but definitely not what I was looking for here.
Legend of Kay Anniversary
I'd never played or even paid much attention to the original PS2 version of this game, but I decided to try out Legend of Kay Anniversary on Switch to see what I was missing. Whenever a game tosses around the term RPG, I have to investigate to see if it's true. In this case, what you have here is a platformer with adventure game segments like quests to complete and such. Neither of these parts are that interesting and the game quickly becomes a boring back and forth for Kay, the adventurous ninja cat with attitude. It's all well and good, but this game doesn't stand out enough to warrant an anniversary edition. *coughSummonercough* There are plenty of other games that could have used this treatment instead. Oh well, no harm done.
R.B.I. Baseball 18
It's a true shame that there are not more options for baseball games on the Switch, because R.B.I. Baseball 18 is a major disappointment. The game may be accurate in the terms of player content, but it lacks everything that could make it fun to play. Controls are sluggish, options are limited, and it just lacks soul in every way. It's a chore to even start an exhibition game to play for a quick session. The Switch could really use a fun baseball like Super Mega Baseball, because this current game is just sad.
New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers
New Frontier Days: Founding Pioneers is a town building game that is very slow and not intuitive. You get to chop wood, fish for food, build new structures, but it's just not enjoyable to do so. The goal is survival and having your town thrive, but it's pretty dull to do so. The whole thing just feels low quality and never did anything to make me want to play more.
Thanks for reading. I've got some Vita stuff up next, so look forward to that.