I have thus decided that August will be all-caps month. Not sure why, but hey, we're just about halfway done with the month anyway, so who cares?
So, as I mentioned in my backlog post, I've recently picked up some games that I want to play before the Wii U comes out, though some I will probably not finish before the console is released- which is okay with me, honestly. If I can't afford a ton of Wii U games at launch I'll just play these instead. I've been able to pop in both A Boy and His Blob and Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, and... well, I dunno. I'm not regretting either purchase, because they were both dirt cheap. So far, I'm enjoying Sin and Punishment more than a Boy and His Blob, surprisingly.
Sin and Punishment's controls are very similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising's flight portions, but it has a whole lot more going on with enemy placement, unique boss encounters, and overall classiness and presentation- which is really something, considering KI:U's a really damn good game. But Sin and Punishment's variety of levels and challenges as well as tighter controls just make it much more fun. Charged shots and melee attacks are easier to execute and make sense in gameplay- reflecting projectiles and attacking enemies close range (which is a little more manageable on a larger screen). The variety of enemies and their attack methods are more varied and don't feel like complete rehashes, especially with all of the minibosses and "unique" encounters throughout each level. Of course, there is the crux that this game is very short, but for the ten bucks I got it for, I think that's not really that big of a deal.
A Boy and His Blob is a bit more confusing to me. While I'm enjoying the art style, music, and core gameplay a whole lot, I feel like the game is holding my hand way too much. Everywhere I go, I see signs. And I don't need to be told what to do in a puzzle platformer- that's just not how it's supposed to work. However, I have only just started playing and a lot of mechanics have been thrown at me, so I don't know if this will be a recurring theme or not. The powers are very interesting and I really enjoy how fragile the Boy is- the difficulty is harsher when you only have one hit, and large falls can kill you. What I enjoy the most, though, is that every level seems to have a "Special" world, obtained by collecting all three treasure chests in the normal stage. These special worlds are usually more involved and feature purer platforming experiences. At least, in all the stages I've played thus far, there's been special chests. If that's the case, then I hope to be playing more. Again, I've heard that, in spectacular Wayforward fashion, this game is sort of short, but I got it for ten bucks and I'm pleased with what I've played.
Upon picking up Bit.Trip SAGA to see what all the fuss is about, I fell in love with just about four of the six games on the cartridge. Why do I say that? Well, three are really awesome, one is extremely difficult to grasp and confusing, one may take a little bit more time to grow on me, and the last game is the first game but way harder, and I haven't mastered the first game yet. BEAT is wonderful- really cool pong-ish, almost shmup feel, but FLUX is too hard for me as of right now- I need to master BEAT more. VOID and RUNNER are both amazing, with the most time being put into RUNNER because of it's annoying difficulty and ridiculousness. I can't hate the game because I love the music and such, but I want to because of that whole "send you back to the beginning of the level" crap. VOID is just weird and quirky, but I like it a lot. Now, FATE is gonna take a little more time for me to get used to, especially because I have to use my right hand to aim which is kinda tough, but if there's one game I don't like, it's CORE. I just don't like the way the game mechanics work and it's too confusing to follow at times. I find myself getting lost, especially with bits coming from all angles and at different speeds- it's just too much to handle! If I get the rhythm down correctly, I may be able to fix this, but it doesn't seem like that's gonna happen. So, I don't know whether I should avoid it or not. All in all, I'm glad I was able to pick up this title- I feel that the touchscreen controls for BEAT and FLUX are a little bit more responsive and precise than the Wii version, though that's not from experience. I just think that would make sense. The other four games are interesting and fresh, hard as nails but always worth a rewarding play session. However, more intense play will ultimately make you better at the game, so I guess it's nice to have all the titles on hand. Plus, it gets me pumped for RUNNER 2!
I also picked up a few more games from the eShop- Soul of Darkness and Magical Whip. While Soul of Darkness was pretty easy (there's a "hard" mode, but enemies just do more damage, which is silly because once you learn the boss attack patterns you can just wail on them without getting hit), it features some fun platforming and puzzles, though nothing really brain teasing. There's a decent amount of levels, and overall, I think it was a nice little package for 5 bucks. Magical Whip, on the other hand, is balls to the walls hard and fun at the same time, though I still need to pick up on the mechanics a little because I'm have trouble and I'm not very far in. Memorizing enemy attack patterns is key, here, and also keeping your magic in check, because you never know when you're gonna run out. Well, actually, you do. I just suck at it. I'm also considering picking up Dillon's Rolling Western, because the art style and multiple gameplay elements seem really appealing to me- however, reviews are very mixed, and I'm not sure if I'll fully enjoy the title. Instead, I may pick up the cheaper Anonymous Notes 1 and 2, since I've been itching for some RPG action lately. We'll see. Probably in a few days I'll have another article up sharing impressions on my next eShop conquest.
The thing that I like so much about the eShop is that I don't have to commit to that full-price, full-length experience in order to enjoy myself. If I want to play something new I can do it and finish it up in a few short hours. That's fun sometimes!