Monthly Round-up: October 2021
In Case You Missed it: FFIX and Nodding Off / Blur - Why Not Play Something New? / Long-term Resident
I really enjoyed Resident Evil Village. It's far more consistent than RE7 and does a decent job of harkening back to previous Evils whilst continuing, and improving upon, the series reimagining. And it was a steal at that 6-months-after-launch nice-price. I did more detailed words, and a picture, on Village the week before last. The link's above.
I wasn't going to buy Deathloop, but then I did. Mainly because I found a copy at a silly price, but also because it has certain qualities that appeal. I'd been imagining it as a kinda-successor to TimeSplitters, what with the time manipulation and slightly exaggerated art style. It's not TimeSplitters, obviously, but it is rather good. It took me a little while to get to grips with the ins and outs of the looping story, and how I'm supposed to manipulate it, but once that clicked I really got into it. It's fast, smooth, linear in its repeating settings yet open to player interpretation. I really like Deathloop, and I'm *this-close* to getting all my enemies to congregate so I can smash them all at once. Smash them with bullets.
I spend a lot of time trawling listings on the Mercari market place. I don't buy that much, and when I do it's inexpensive. I find the perusing calming, a compelling reason to pick up my phone when I have other far more important and stressful things to do. I've even got a routine, a series of categories I always check: Saturn, Dreamcast, Cosmic Smash, Final Fantasy Tactics Millennium Collection, PS3 games. I am an expert at knowing what things should cost, within those groupings. A highly marketable skill.
So what did I buy in October, I hear at least one of you ask. Well, I bought a set of three Saturn games, a Dreamcast title and something for my PS3, each at around ¥500. The set of three was Gale Racer, Defcon 5 and Wipeout. I wanted to try Gale Racer and see Sonic's first ever appearance in a video game, as a furry dongle dangling from the rearview mirror; Defcon 5 looked depressing and Wipeout is a duplicate. Gale Racer is fucking awful, and I have no strong opinion on Defcon 5 either way. On the Dreamcast, I picked up Ready 2 Rumble Boxing, which I have yet to try, other than to confirm that it works. For the PS3, Lightning Returns piqued my interest, as I remember hearing some positive things about how it took a different direction to the mixed bag that was FFXIII up to that point - XIII was fairly boring but OK, and I thoroughly hated what little I payed of XIII-2. I was disappointed to learn that, despite being set several hundred years after the events of the first two games, most of the core cast are somehow still alive and still annoying. I'll give it a proper go later.
Words: Wii Nostalgia
Of late, I've been getting nostalgic for the Nintendo Wii.
I can get nostalgic about pretty much anything game-related, as long as I have some connection to it, no matter how flimsy, and it happened at least five years ago. It's one of my special powers. I guarantee you, come 2025, I'll be getting all wistful about PS5 lotteries and stock scarcity. Fondly recalling how we all bonded over failed applications, and how we shared tips about what time to refresh Amazon or where the Rakuten delivery guy parks his van overnight.
I liked the Wii at the time, so this nostalgia didn't need much forcing. While it came a distant second to my PS3 in the living room pecking order, it was first when it came to in-person, social gaming. I miss playing Wii Sports with my wife, wriggling the Wii-mote until my wrists could wriggle no more, using Joysound to scratch our karaoke itch once we'd moved back to the UK, and blasting my way through the final glory-days of the on-rails shooter (Umbrella and Darkside Chronicles, Dead Space Extraction etc.). And there were even some "normal" games, my favourite of which was No More Heroes. I continue to remember it fondly and that fondness has me considering buying NMH3, even though I probably won't like it.
Seeing the Wii-shop Wednesday video reappear on my Twitter timeline every week isn't helping.
I almost bought a Wii in Book Off just the other day. They have stacks of them, but the low-low price is very misleading. The console, cables, and controllers are all sold separately like a plastic pick and mix, and the price soon shoots up. I still have my original console, but it's sat in a box back in England. I'll definitely bring it back with me next time I'm there, but I have no idea when that'll be. The harsh quarantine measures still in place for when I return to Japan makes a visit highly unlikely for the time being.
I guess I'll have to wait a little longer before I can introduce my daughter to Wii tennis and the final hurrah of SD gaming.
The Month Ahead
Once I've finished with Deathloop, I expect to retire my PS5 for the rest of the year and lavish attention on my Series X. With a couple of exceptions, that means Game Pass, and more specifically Forza Horizon 5. I loved 3 and 4, and am delighted to be getting such a high-profile new release day-one on Game Pass. It's still the best thing to happen to gaming in years. I have a bunch of other games I've been queuing up since the summer, but they'll keep until December.
Game Pass aside, I've also paid money for a handful of older games that appeared in one sale or another earlier in the year, all of which I'd like to get to very shortly. Panzer Dragoon Orta was a no-brainer, having enjoyed revisiting the Saturn games earlier this year, as well as the PD remake. Radiant Silvergun at ¥500 is a far more palatable prospect than paying fifty times that to get an original copy, and I'm far more likely to actually finish Guardian Heroes in its updated, digital form than I am on my Saturn.
It's a nice time of year for games. Enjoy it.