The holiday season is about to begin its reign of terror in the United States, and its citizens must prepare their bodies for food comas, gift shopping and wrapping, and a turkey or chestnut roasting on a fire that may or not be open. What better way to train for this grueling marathon than by honing one’s own skills at the sticks, and plunging themselves into the heart of calamity itself? While I have a few predictable choices on the docket for this weekend, there’s definitely a few games here that act as escapism from the fast-cooling weather.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars
Continuing my playthrough of this trilogy of ports, I’ll be returning to Super Mario Sunshine after finding the experience nearly unplayable thanks to its aiming controls and the jarring sense of button placement that conflicted with my GameCube Controller muscle memory. The recent patch for the game allows the y-axis camera controls to be inverted, and even adds GameCube controller support via the GCN Adapter, most often used for Super Smash Bros. Finally, I can play the game in just about the exact same way I did when I was younger! That’s… the point of ports, right?
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity
I was a huge fan of the original Hyrule Warriors. Although the game didn’t manage to buck its roots too hard, it added enough Zelda personality and mechanics that I was down for the entirety of its brutally grind-heavy Adventure modes, which were only expanded further with its DLC offerings. Having played the Wii U version way back when in 2014, I feel like it’s time for me to delve into the sequel/prequel Age of Calamity, which I’m hoping manages to tell a decent story rather than being a celebratory melange of Breath of the Wild goodness. Let’s be honest, though, one of the major selling points for this title is its almost absurd adherence to the art style and mechanics of Nintendo’s Open-Air Adventure title, which I always have a hankering for.
There are some games out there that simply exude coolness, whether in their game mechanics, soundtrack, or art style. I can’t say I know much about Star Renegade, other than its story focusing on a time-hopping robot and its roguelike mechanics, but it sold me simply on its incredible pixel art aesthetics. The game comes from the makers of Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander, an addictive but somewhat flawed title we previously reviewed on the site, so hopefully the developers have learned from their previous title and are giving a new-and-improved kind of experience on the Switch. I’ll certainly have more to say after I delve into this title later this weekend, so be on the lookout for a Libra in the near future!
Speaking of aesthetic appeal, Going Under’s odd, low-polygonal art style is a bit off-putting, but it’s coupled with some gorgeous character illustrations, smooth soundtrack, and quirky roguelite sensibilities, where skills gain experience the more you use them in dungeons, but you need to find them while exploring first. Its premise, which has its charming protagonist working for a start-up built on the bones of previously-failed businesses – literally – has some fun and cute writing on display, but I’m wondering if it can keep its momentum up and add complexity to its combat rather than simply offering more and more hordes of baddies and larger dungeons.
That’s all that I have planned for this weekend: a nice mix of summer vacation, utter desolation, and corporate devastation. When I put it that way, it doesn’t sound very festive. I wonder if there are any winter-themed RPGs on the eShop? Oh right, there’s always Cthulhu Saves Christmas!
What are your plans for this weekend? Feel free to drop a comment below on your gaming plans or if you’d like any updates for what is on my playlist!