Bravely Second: End Layer

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I was interested in playing the original Bravely Default game, but never got around to it. I’ve been in an RPG mood of late, and my first instinct was to play that game, but when I checked our company lending library it was already out, and so I decided to go for its sequel, Bravely Second, which was available. I’m about 3 hours in, and enjoying it quite a bit. Initially, it was the overall look that really grabbed me, from the character designs to all of the environments, that look quite distinct. Then, I started appreciating how interesting the “brave” and “default” aspects of the combat system work, which add a neat level of strategy. And now I’m also really into the soundtrack, which is a joy to listen to. So happy I picked this up to play, it’s going to make for some nice holiday memories.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Yup, this is far from being a new game – it came out for the 3DS in 2012 – but I found myself in a 3DS playing mood of late, getting back into playing Fire Emblem Awakening (that I had never finished, and decided to start up a new game), and wanting to play something else as well I decided to give this a try. First off, I hadn’t realized that it was developed by Intelligent Systems (who develop Fire Emblem titles), and so that was a nice coincidence and surprise (and embarrassing to admit, since it’s something I should have known). As for the game itself, man, what a fun time. I’ve never played much of Paper Mario for some reason, even though it’s an aesthetic I quite like (especially the papercraft environments in Sticker Star), and I’m having an absolute blast playing this, pretty much my first Paper Mario experience (I sorta remember playing a bit of the N64 one, but not much). I’ve been playiny daily during my lunch breaks and at night since I started, and now it has me pretty excited to play the new one that recently came out on Wii U.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf (Welcome Amiibo Update)

So yes, that big update they released for Animal Crossing: New Leaf a month ago got me to play the game again (something I hadn’t done in at least a year, probably much more). Not only that, but it got me to buy a bunch of Animal Crossing amiibo as well (thankfully that I found on sale), including the Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival game for the Wii U (for the amiibo that come with it). I’m not completely sucked into it again, but I do go in every few days, play the new mini games, scan in an amiibo to see what they’ll be bringing over in their RV, and sometimes go cut a rug at Club LOL. Just gets me that much more excited for the Animal Crossing we’re sure to get on the Switch, and also the mobile game set to come out next year.

Pokémon Moon

Well, now I know that Pokémon games just aren’t for me. I’d never played a proper Pokémon game before (had never had an interest), but decided to take Pokémon Moon out for a spin, just to try and understand why so many people love these games. I put in 2 hours, and just couldn’t get into it. I can see why people could get addicted to the collection aspect, but I had zero love for the aesthetics, or the story, and although the battles were fine, they didn’t grab me enough to want to keep playing. That’s fine though, there are plenty of other games I’d rather play now anyway.

Picross 3D Round 2 (Demo)

With the release of Picross 3D Round 2 last week, and my newfound love for Picross thanks to the My Nintendo edition I’m currently playing, I was excited to give the 3D game a try thanks to the demo they’ve also released. Having played through that demo, I gotta say that I think I much prefer playing this game in 2D. The 3D aspect is interesting, but it got a bit annoying when trying to solve lines of cubes, with cubes hidden inside the shape – I know you can reveal the segments, but it still gets a bit confusing. It’s not to say I won’t want to play the full game, but for now I think I’ll stick with Picross in 2D.

My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

I’d unlocked this through the My Nintendo account I have with points a while back, but had forgotten to download it, something I finally got around to doing this past weekend. Boy am I late to this party. This is the first time I play a Picross game – I’m not particularly attracted to puzzle games – and I’m now finding myself to be ridiculously addicted. Something has clicked in me, and I just can’t get enough out of what is basically just a large puzzle box with numbers. It’s good to know that once I’m done with this one, there’s plenty more for me to play.

Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

I’ve been curious about playing one of these Shantae games for quite a while, and that Nintendo bundle has finally given me the chance. It’s a retro-influenced 2D platformer, and through the bundle you get both Wii U and 3DS versions. I first started playing on the Wii U, but then when I later tried on 3DS, I preferred playing that version – the pixel graphics just look nicer on the smaller 3DS screen, and the 3D effect is nice too. I haven’t played that much yet, but I’m definitely having a fun time with it so far – although the extremely skimpy outfits on all the female characters do feel juvenile (you get large HD views of the characters when they talk). Might just be for people – like me – who still love playing platformers.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

I got this game when it originally came out, and although I had some fun at first while playing online with strangers, when I started getting some trolling done to me (getting thrown off edges by the people I was playing with), it soured me on the experience and I just stopped playing – you can technically play it alone, but it’s not really fun, and pretty awkward. The reason I bring up this game again is because this past week I finally had a chance to play with two people locally (two of my work colleagues, during lunch time), and wow, did we ever have fun. This is absolutely how you need to play this game, with friends sitting next to you, so you can laugh together, get upset (sorta, jokingly) at each other when you’re screwing up, and of course freely talk to each other as you’re playing (although it’s still fun to use the icons sometimes). We’re now planning on playing once a week, and I really can’t wait for our next session. It’s also quite nice that even though only two of us have the proper game, the third person can play through the full game with us through shared play. It’s pretty great to re-discover a game like this, that I didn’t think I’d be revisiting.

Mario Kart 7

Last month, as I was feeling sad because the new tracks were getting released for Mario Kart 8 and I didn’t have access to my Wii U (it was sent by sea from Japan), I broke down and picked up Mario Kart 7 for 3DS (the fact that it was on sale was further incentive). It’s a great game, and I’ve been having a blast playing it, but it really hit me when I finally did get my Wii U again and went back to playing MK8, and was again blown away by how beautiful a game it is.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D

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As I’ve stated a great many times, The Legend of Zelda series has always been and continues to be my favorite series in games. There is a weird hole in my history with the series though (outside of all the portable titles) and that’s Majora’s Mask. I did own it and play it when it first came out on N64, but for some reason never got very far in it. I can’t really remember why that is, whether it was because of something in the game that pushed me away, or if it was just that I was at a point in my life where it wasn’t the right time to be playing it (it was around the time that the Dreamcast was out, which was a console I loved dearly). So here we are, with this new 3D version, and I got really excited to finally give it another try. And wow, how did I ever put it down back in the day, this is such a smart and innovative game. I do know that they’ve done quite a few things to make it a friendlier experience – more control over the time, more save points, etc. – and that may have something to do with it. I’m getting close to the end (I’m in the middle of the Stone Tower Temple right now) and I’m still giddy at how much fun I’ve been having playing it. I also think it looks fantastic on 3DS, and when I do finish it, I now want to go back and play Ocarina of Time 3D as well – I wasn’t particularly interested in revisiting that game before, but I now feel the urge.