Wednesday, August 19, 2015

#TeamHandheld Report - 08/19/2015

I hope everyone enjoyed the last #TeamHandheld Report as much as I enjoyed writing it. I have four games on the docket for today, but before I get to that I want to offer up the chance for others to share their experiences. If you're playing a 3DS or Vita game and want to be featured on here, tweet your impressions with the #TeamHandheld tag and you might be highlighted in the next Report.

Now Playing

The Swindle (Vita)

The Swindle is an odd one. On one hand, I really enjoy playing it and couldn't seem to stop. On the other hand, the randomness makes each level feel like an unfair crap shoot, especially early on. You have 100 days to progress as far as you can by breaking into homes and warehouses to earn (read: steal) money. This income is then used to upgrade your skill set allowing you to do new things like unlock security doors, break through walls, or just move faster. Progression gets more difficult as the days pass, but having more tools at your disposal helps. The difficulty ramp is just too steep right at the start. It felt like playing Rogue Legacy, but with a limit on generations.

The random level layout was the biggest problem as without a wide variety of tools to use, the heists were often impossible to get through with any significant amount of money. Eventually I found that breaking in, hacking a computer for a hefty sum, and getting out was the best option for the early stages, but I'd often get greedy and go for one more hack and die along the way. Between the random levels and dying too easily, I felt like I was never making decent progress. Despite being hooked on The Swindle initially, once the 100 days were over I hung up my thief gear, having barely made a dent in the game.

-My heists were a bust-

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (Vita)

I don't want to spoil much about the story of Danganronpa Another Episode, as that's the game's biggest draw, but I can say that it's still quite impressive in that area. It maintains the dark tone of the original, but lacks a little variety since there's not a large cast of characters to interact with. Komaru and Toko are a great contrast to each other, and their exchanges are really fantastic, but I do miss the class setting and the murder mystery plot of the original two. The combat sections just don't hold up as well, but that might be because I'm not really a fan of shooters. They are easy enough to get through, and if you fail, you can restart on an easier difficulty, but I'm just not feeling that part. Thankfully, the story segments are very frequent and it's easy to rush through the combat portions to get to them. Again, it's a fantastic side story that helps supplement the main games, but it's not Danganronpa 3.

-Rushing through combat to get to the story-

Actual Sunlight (Vita)

I've never played a game that made me question my life choices the way that Actual Sunlight has. While focused primarily on depression and anxiety issues, this game still has the ability to reach anyone who has ever struggled with problems such as work stress or just finding their place in life. The hour and a half I spent working through this text-heavy adventure game had me reflecting on my own experiences and made me realize how much I have to be thankful for. Despite sharing some issues with the main character Evan, I'm glad that things are not as bad as they seem at times. Actual Sunlight gives a deeper look into the darker side of humanity that I'm sure many of us have faced. While it does get a little less focused towards the end and starts to drag a bit, it was still absolutely worth experiencing.

-Dark, so dark, but real-

Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Vita)

My early impressions of Resident Evil Revelations 2 are that it feels a lot like RE2, but with the modern control scheme and two player focus of the newer games. It looks good, handles well, and runs quite smoothly on Vita, but I'm not too far in right now. The game's structure will be something I'll touch on more as I get deeper, but there have been some tough sections so far such as being swarmed by zombies while trying to protect my partner as she opens a door. At least the game handles checkpoints fairly well, because I've died here three times already. Load times are a little long, but are thankfully not very frequent. This version offers all of the content in one big 3.8 GB package, so if you've been holding off until it was complete and want to play this game on the go, now is the time.

-Old school experience that runs well on Vita-

Upcoming Games

I have so many games that listing them all would take a while, so instead here's a screenshot of what's on deck.

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