Arms

When it first got announced, I liked what I saw in terms of the general aesthetic of the game — the same thing I liked about Splatoon at first — but didn’t think it was a game I’d really want to play, as I just don’t tend to play fighting games a lot. But I kept liking what I saw, the fun character designs, and the graphics that surrounded everything. Then, when they did the first Testpunch, I decided to take it for a spin, and it just took 15 minutes for me to decide that I was going to buy it upon release. More than a fighting game, it immediately reminded of brawler-type games like Power Stone — and I guess the colorful character designs contribute to that comparison as well. But yeah, it’s fun to play, I don’t feel like I need to memorize a bunch of combos to be able to win fights, and I like the variety of modes, and the way the online party mode works. And it’s been a hit at work too, playing with friends on the Switch.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

For some reason it’s been months since I’ve added games played to my Debaser diary, so I’m going to start trying to play a bit of catch up. First up, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which I got on release, and which I still play quite regularly. It’s a testament to how much I love this game that I played it EXTENSIVELY on Wii U, and despite that, I got it again on Switch, and I still keep on playing. It’s been great to play it at work with colleagues the few times I brought my Switch over there, and I still have a lot of fun playing online a few nights a week — and I love being able to play it out on my balcony or in bed. The big addition were the battle stages, which I admittedly don’t really play much, but for me it’s still been a worthwhile purchase, and I’m still hoping that they’re going to continue to support it by releasing new tracks. As I’ve said before, more than a new F-Zero game, I’d be happy for them to just make more F-Zero-inspired tracks for MK8D. I have some friends who find the game to be overrated because it gets praised so much and doesn’t have much in terms of “things to do” (like an extensive career mode). But I think it says a lot that despite all that, I just keep loving playing races online, and playing it with friends when they come over — and that it’s a fairly easy game for people to have fun with, even if they’re playing it for the first time (try doing that with a Forza game).

Graceful Explosion Machine

When I first saw the screenshots and video of Graceful Explosion Machine, I was smitten, and was really excited to play it when it came out — I do love me shmups, and the art direction looked fantastic. Then the game came out a couple of weeks ago, and since I was still juggling a bunch of big games (Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, Nier: Automata) I figured I’d wait a bit. But I couldn’t wait anymore, and so I grabbed it the other day, and oh my this game is fun. As expected, it looks beautiful, and the action is very satisfying. And although it can get a bit tough, it’s the kind of game that you just can’t seem to quit, trying again and again until you manage to finish off a level. Definitely something to add to your Switch game collection.

Fast RMX

I can’t for the life of me understand why I don’t see more people talking about Fast RMX. I got this on the Switch about a week after Breath of the Wild, and continue to play it fairly regularly. This is basically the F-Zero game I’ve been hoping to get for years, and to be honest, I can’t see what an actual new F-Zero game would give me that this doesn’t. It may also be heresy to say this, but I love the gameplay in this more than in the Wipeout games. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of the Wipeout games, especially for their aesthetic, but I always found the racing itself to be a bit awkward. Not only do I have much more fun racing in this, I think it’s a beautiful game to take in — the only aspects of the game I think look crappy are the crashes — and I really love the Ikaruga-like switching between colors to use the boost pads on the tracks. I never ended up playing the previous game in this series, Fast Racing Neo on Wii U, and although now I sorta regret it, I think Fast RMX is probably a better version of it. If you miss F-Zero and Wipeout, definitely pick this up.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I don’t know if it’s because of all the movies I’ve been watching of late, but I haven’t been keeping up with everything I’m playing in my Debaser diary — and I have in fact been playing tons of stuff, same as always. Might as well kick off my efforts to catch up a bit with Breath of the Wild, which not only is one of the best gaming experiences I can remember having, it’s certainly up there as one of my favorite games of all time — I know, maybe too soon to say something like that, but that’s how I feel. It’s no secret that the Zelda series is my favorite game series, and so despite everything Zelda I’ve played in my life, it’s amazing to be so excited and happy about a Zelda game at this point in the franchise’s history. It also made me fall in love with the Switch — even though I played most of the game on the TV, I loved being able to play sessions late at night in my bed, and now as I play Persona 5 and Nier: Automata, I just keep wishing I could do the same thing. But yes, I loved Breath of the Wild immensely, and although I “finished” it (defeated Ganon) after about 55 hours of play, I’ve already gone back into the game to keep exploring the world, and do more shrines (I had only done around 50 when I completed the game). I’m excited to see what the story DLC for the game is going to be like, and also can’t wait to see how they’ll follow-up this game — although I am still wishing they do another 2D sequel to Link to the Past and Link Between Worlds.

Yakuza 0

It’s been a while since I’ve played a Yakuza game — the last one I played was the 4th one, and I didn’t finish it — but with the release this week of Yakuza 0 and seeing screenshots from what friends were seeing while playing (as they share them on Twitter), I got the itch to enter that world again. I started playing it this morning, and had such a blast — I was transfixed enough to play straight through the first chapter (and only stopped then because I had to go out to run errands). I think it was good to take a break, and now I’m back to loving this series, and I’m absolutely wowed by how it looks on PS4. Makes me excited for the upcoming Yakuza 6 as well.

Last Window: The Secret of Cape West

Hotel Dusk: Room 215 for the Nintendo DS is a game I absolutely loved — and so did my wife. I never knew a sequel had been released, and part of the reason is because it never came out in North America — an English version was made and released in the UK though (I learned all of this thanks to this article on Waypoint). After I mentioned really wanting to play it, someone (thanks, Dan) was kind enough to send me their copy. I’ve played about an hour or so, and so far I’m absolutely loving it. It feels like I’m back in that Hotel Dusk world, and I had the biggest smile on my face the first time I heard that familiar audio cue when I did something correctly.

Shadowverse

First off, yes, this is absolutely a Hearthstone clone, but one I’m really getting into. Produced by the makers of GranBlue Fantasy (and I think it’s set in the same world) what initially grabbed me more than Hearthstone is the fact that it has a campaign, and also just the general art of the game – I’ll admit to not being a huge fan of Warcraft’s cartoony fantasy world. As far as playing, yes, it’s incredibly similar to what you’ll have experienced in Hearthstone, but with a few slight differences here and there that although I can’t say necessarily make it better, do make you strategize a bit differently. Since it’s free-to-play and I’m still new to it, who knows if I’ll soon get to a point where it won’t be fun unless I start buying card packs, but for now I’m having quite a bit of fun playing it.