Friday, December 16, 2016

#TeamHandheld Report - 12/16/2016

Please enjoy the rare, all 3DS #TeamHandheld Report. I've been playing some new and old releases and just wanted to share my thought on them. Some really good stuff this time.

Now Playing

Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle (3DS)

I'd seen passing talk about the Mercenaries Saga games, but it wasn't until Mercenaries Saga 3 was confirmed for North America that I started looking closer at these games. I found a demo for Mercenaries Saga 2: Order of the Silver Eagle on the 3DS eShop and saw that save data transferred to the main game, so I figured why not check it out. After the demo ended, I quickly bought the full version. From the looks of things, I incorrectly assumed this was just another copy and paste TRPG, but I was very wrong. Mercenaries Saga 2 is a fantastic game, as it does almost everything I like in a TRPG. It reminds me a great deal of Shining Force and Vandal Hearts, as each character has a unique combat role, but there is still customization available.

Skill points are easy to come by with skills that can be unlocked and upgraded as things progress. New classes are available at level 10 and level 20, and though the class upgrades require skill points to unlock, they are not permanent. Characters can swap back and forth between any unlocked jobs, and skills from all jobs are available to use. One of the big changes that Mercenaries Saga has is that MP isn't full at the start of battle, but increases each turn instead, adding a new strategy to the mix. The story isn't bad, but not too exciting so far. That said, all of the systems are there and it's just a blast to play. This is exactly the TRPG I've been craving, so as soon as I finish this I plan to jump right into Mercenaries Saga 3.

-A fantastic TRPG, just what I've been craving-




Kirby: Planet Robobot (3DS)

I'm a bit of a newcomer to the Kirby series, having only really played Epic Yarn, so when I picked up Kirby: Planet Robobot I was pleasantly surprised. I can see why people love these games. Many might complain that they are too easy or too simple, but there's nothing wrong with either of those things in my eyes, as it's been fine. I found that progressing through each stage, transforming into different versions of Kirby has been a blast. The mecha-Kirby versions that are playable are powerful and add a bit of variety to the gameplay. On top of that, the boss battles have been varied and engaging enough to keep my attention. Playing this has just made me wish I'd played more Kirby games prior.

-A great platformer with a lot of variety-




Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

When Metroid Prime: Federation Force was first announced, it received a lot of hatred from those who wanted something else out of a Metroid game. There was no Samus, no Metroid-structure since things are broken into missions, and a general feeling that things were different than prior Metroid games. And all of those things are true, but the game is still enjoyable to play if you can get all of those things out of your mind. It's hard to not want all of those traditional Metroid staples, and I do want another game with those, but taking this one on its own merits is best. The title is solid, but it's just not for me. I don't care for the 3D perspective, but that's nothing new as I've not been a big fan of the Prime games. Having the game broken into missions instead of being set in a large open environment just feels dull, and that's not just because Federation Force lacks the Metroid structure, but because it just feels empty. I don't dislike this game because it's "not a true Metroid game," but mostly because I just don't care for the design. Combat and controls are much better than expected.

-Not my thing, but not just because it's not typical Metroid-



Super Mario 3D Land (3DS)

After lots of talk about new Mario games, I wanted to go back and play Super Mario 3D World on the Wii U, but found myself replaying Super Mario 3D Land again instead. I love both of these games, though World edges out Land just slightly. This was a happy replay, because it just solidifies how much I enjoy this duo. They are great experiences throughout, and I love the fact that this feels like a 2D experience while still being in 3D. Each stage tries something new, and everything feels fresh. The power ups here are not super exciting, but they work well enough. The pacing of the game is just right, though I find that the Bowser battles remain a little dull and repetitive. The final fight is decent, but still feels like more of the same. That's my only real complaint about this one, but it's still one of my favorite platformers.

-Still great all these years later-



Upcoming

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (3DS)

Curious to see if this one has a more tolerable length than prior entries.

Neon Chrome

Played a little of this, but am saving up time to get this more of a shot.

Slain: Back from Hell

This reminds me of Volgarr, but is slightly more accessible.

Lara Croft Go

I loved Hitman Go, but this one is a tad different. Going to finish it before speaking more about it.

VVVVVV

No idea what this really is, as I've ignored most coverage on it before now. PS+ has given me a change to change that.

Hue

It's been out on PS4 for a while, but I'm ready to check out the Vita release soon.

A Boy in His Blob

I remember longing wanting to play this as a child, but never getting around to it. Curious to try the new version, as it was really cheap on PSN recently.

Crypt of the NecroDancer

I've been curious about this one for a while and was waiting for a sale, that's finally happened so time to dive in.

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