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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Saturday, February 1, 2014


So I haven't been posting much lately, and for that- I am sorry. I like posting about video games. So much, that I am considering starting a podcast. In any case, what have I been playing as of late? Well, I figured it was time I spat out some eShop impressions! I love buying things on the eShop because they're generally very well-made titles that run with an idea until it's reached its full potential and then are done. And they are cheap. SO! That being said, let's take a look at some of the titles I've picked up lately.

The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves
So The Denpa Men is a weird series. I know I've never talked about the original, but that's because I have heard that the sequel was superior in every way, and when I saw the original, I was slightly disturbed by the weirdness of what Denpa Men are- people in body suits? Whatever. They're not Miis. But, I have picked up Denpa Men 2 and I have been enjoying it, slowly but surely.

It's really a great purchase because of the sheer amount of content in it, but it's also extremely buffed by some crushing difficulty spikes and a great deal of grinding. While the game does have a lot of charm in its visuals, music, and dialogue, these moments are peppered between lengthy spans of grinding, or getting your teeth kicked in. If that's the sort of experience you enjoy, this game is definitely for you.

Mighty Switch Force! 2
I seem to remember avidly proclaiming the greatness of Wayforward back when Mighty Switch Force! came out on the eShop- perhaps I was desperate for games on my 3DS or I had never really played anything like the studio's puzzle platformer. But when Mighty Switch Force! 2 came out, I was accustomed to hitting par times and switching like crazy. However, I didn't know how much I loved what Wayforward was doing until I played this title. Where Mighty Switch Force! sparked an interest in its unique style of 2D puzzle platforming, Mighty Switch Force! 2 takes the mechanics of the first, mixes a new blaster and some secret USBs into every level, and makes you switch it up like never before.

With a better soundtrack (in some places), tighter platforming and more complex devices to work around, Mighty Switch Force! 2 nails it in all the right places- if you're a crazy completionist who likes getting good par times.

Picdun 2: Witch's Curse
As a newfound admirer of first-person dungeon crawling games, I decided to give Picdun 2: Witch's Curse a spin, since it's an RPG, and a dungeon crawler. And I made a mistake. Or rather, the people in charge of localizing Picdun 2 made a mistake. Because this game is fun and interesting, but I'll be damned if I have any freaking clue about what I'm supposed to do. The puzzles, and pretty much all the dialogue outside of tutorials, are convoluted to understand, put together with extremely specific unpolished ideas that may work in a certain region, but are ultimately jarring and misunderstood. I understand puzzles are supposed to be difficult and there's no lie, Picdun 2 does have difficult puzzles, but the way it presents them is bizarre and unintuitive. Also, the battle system is awful. But I'll push through it and release the first-ever American guide to solving all the puzzles in Picdun 2. Because I'm suicidal.

Witch and Hero
Speaking of disappointments! I rarely feel like my eShop cash isn't well spent, and that's because I research pretty heavily on titles and make sure I know what I'm getting into. Picdun 2, for example, is a game that I think is localized terribly but I will definitely play until the end because I like that sort of game. But I saw a trailer for Witch and Hero and I thought I was sold. It looked like a quirky, retro-graphics based title with humor. And the gameplay looked interesting, as well. So I picked it up. And I was massively disappointed. Witch and Hero is essentially a mission-based tower defense RPG that sucks. Missions add gameplay enhancements as you progress, but by the time you have reached the meaty, insane portion of the game, you're more than halfway through and only now do you have a full arsenal. Which isn't necessarily true, because you also have abilities that you can level up. The level up system is broken, seeing as you retain half your money and EXP when you fail a mission, but the increase in level in any of the areas you can enhance is minuscule and the level cap is too low. Games like Witch and Hero feel fantastic when you max out abilities and become a godless killing machine that slaughters anything in your way, which then causes the difficulty to rise to insane levels. However, Witch and Hero never reaches those levels and when you do max out, you feel barely capable with an ability to go apeshit that does very little in the long run. And then the game expects you to grind PAST your ability caps because the final boss is UTTERLY STUPID.

Crystal Warriors
Let's take a break from hating on video games and take a look at a old... well, an old thing. Crystal Warriors is a strategy role playing game for the Sega Game Gear, which means no one played it. And that's a shame, because what Crystal Warriors does in the realm of handheld strategy RPGs was probably really smart at the time. Of course, games have improved since then, but Crystal Warriors holds its own with a quirky element mechanic and... mob battles?

Yes, Crystal Warriors has battles with nasty creatures during its battle portions, and if you defeat them, you can recruit them to your side as a summon. You can come up with some interesting combinations and exploit your elemental disadvantages by recruiting the right creatures to your side, though once they die on your side, they're gone for good. Still, it's an interesting way to buff hits and survive in a very risky game that maxes out at a relatively low level. With the ability to only have the funds to recruit certain characters at certain points and buff certain charges with what remains, it's an extremely repayable title and one I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would.

Galaxy Force II
Galaxy Force II is an extremely impressive port that is also extremely customizable and extremely hard but that is because it was made to suck up your loose change. That is all I have to say.


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