Mario + Rabbids: Battle Kingdom

I’m having such a great time playing this. I was so excited when it first got announced at our Ubi presser during E3 — and was even more ecstatic to see Miyamoto join Yves on stage (and I even had a chance to tell Yves just that). So yeah, I’m super happy that Ubi has produced a Mario game, and I’m even happier (and relieved) that it’s a fantastic game. I’m not even that big into turn-based strategy games — I like them fine, but don’t seek them out — but I was easily sucked into Battle Kingdom as soon as I started playing (I played 4-5 straight hours the first time I popped it in). A few days later, I’m still having a blast playing it, and it makes me hope that we’ll see more great collaborations between Ubi and Nintendo in the future.

Batman: The Telltale Series

I’ve played the majority of Telltale games, but in recent years have definitely started feeling Telltale fatigue. I think the last one I played was their Game of Thrones game, which I did quite like, but I played it well after it was released. I’d heard good things about their Batman game, and so finally got to check it out this week, and I’ve found myself enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. I’ve played through the first 3 episodes (of 5), pretty much playing an episode a night, and I really can’t wait to finish the whole thing. The story is really interesting, and the game looks pretty damn good when played on a PS4 — I know there’s always a lot of criticism for their engine, with a lot of their games having serious issues on some platforms, but this one has been a smooth experience for me. I also like the Batman-y things they’ve done to spice up the gameplay, with the detective sequences, and it’s pretty interesting/shocking to see how they’ve taken liberties with what we’re used to seeing in the Batman universe (the way certain characters are usually portrayed). It’s made me want to play the Guardians of the Galaxy game too, although I think I’d rather wait for all episodes to be out before I play through it. My wish is still for Telltale to make a James Bond game though.

Subsurface Circular

I knew nothing about this game — I think no one did — until I saw a tweet by its creator, Mike Bithell, and that’s all I needed. I loved his previous games, but this is completely different: a short (about two hours) text-based adventure game that tells a very intriguing story about a robot detective. I love the way it’s presented, and the story really was fantastic. Can’t recommend this enough. I really hope he keeps making short game experiments like this.

Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 is a blast. I liked the first one a lot, even though I stopped playing online after a while, but when this came out for Switch, I was ready to dive into this gameplay again, and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I imagine I’ll eventually drop off from playing online as I did before — and I’m really disappointed that there’s no split-screen two-player mode, as I was quite looking forward to playing it at work with colleagues — but for now there’s a lot of stuff for me to still take in (the campaign, Salmon Run, etc.)

Just Cause 3

I started playing this over the past week — it’s part of this month’s PlayStation Plus offerings, which was finally the excuse I needed to get around to playing it, but it is in fact something I’d been wanting to play since it came out (almost two years ago now, man). I found Just Cause 2 to be pretty fun, but the game in this genre that I really loved was Mercenaries 2, and that’s what it really reminds me of. I’ve played a few hours now, and I am having a lot of fun with it — sure, it’s dumb fun, but sometimes that’s what you want, to just move around a giant map and make shit go boom. It can be a bit janky at times — I’ve experiences slowdowns quite a few times when there’s a lot of action on the screen — and I do find it frustrating sometimes when I’m in the process of liberating a town, and it takes me forever to find that last element or two that you need to destroy to complete it. I can’t really say if it’s going to keep me engaged enough to get to the end, but for now I’m having a lot of fun with it.

Final Fantasy XV

A few weeks ago I finally got around to playing this, renting it from our studio’s game library. I played about 20 hours (was at Chapter 10) before having to return it. I liked it enough that I do want to rent it again to finish it, but it’s definitely far from being a phenomenal game for me. It took me quite a few hours before really finding the fun — I found the early hours to be a chore when it came to travelling, and I’m just not a fan of the combat system, finding it to be too chaotic, to a point where I never feel like I’m in full control of what’s going on (I’d prefer some sort of menu-based combat system). Also, although the interactions between the main characters can be fun, I don’t like their design at all, and that kinda turns me off. But, despite all that, it’s an absolutely gorgeous game, and I loved being in that world, and discovering it bit by bit (and the travelling does get much easier eventually).

No Man’s Sky

No Man’s Sky just isn’t for me. I finally gave it a try this past week, and although my first night of playing (over a couple of hours) was pretty engaging, when I sat down the following evening to play some more, and I realized that I was just entering in a loop of going to a planet to gather resources (an activity I don’t find to be particularly fun) to then sell them and progress, I just didn’t want to play anymore. I still think it’s a neat game, and I dig the art direction and the idea behind it, and it’s quite possible that it gets much more interesting once you progress more, but I just couldn’t convince myself to care enough to get back into the act of gathering resources in order to progress.

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.