Weekend Gaming Playlist
The start of a new year always finds me with a little extra downtime as many of my business clients spend some extra time with their families. This year the rule held especially true, which was probably just as well because, like many others, I caught a bit of the “next gen” bug and spent way too much time both thinking about and trying to secure myself a shiny new toy for the holidays. I eventually did get my brand new PS5, and so for the first few weeks of 2021, I was pretty focused on Demon’s Souls and Miles Morales despite the fact I secured a few new titles for my Switch over the holidays. This weekend, I plan on spending some time curled up on the couch while my wife watches football with my Switch in hand playing a few of the titles I’ve missed out on until now.
Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light
You may not know this about me yet, but Strategy RPGs are some of my favorites. I may not always finish all of them anymore, but they’ve been a favorite of mine since Shining Force and Shining Force II on Sega Genesis. Turns out, one of the first Strategy RPGs ever released on consoles never made it to America (as far as I can tell). Lucky for us, it was recently released on Switch for a limited time at a super reasonable price.
I’ve already gotten started on this one and am impressed that much of what I know about Fire Emblem started right here on the Famicom. It’s enjoyable and though I’m only on the third battle, I feel right at home directing Marth and his companions on what I can tell would have been one of my favorite games had I been given the chance to play when it originally came out. I started over after the third battle because I’d lost some people I wanted to keep with me. Luckily, this special version lets you rewind turns, so I should be able to keep them alive without restarting again.
Ori and the Blind Forest
One of the games this past generation that I’ve meant to play over and over because it looked so enchanting was Ori. I love side-scrollers and I love rich atmospheres that beckon you to explore mysterious locations. It’s been one of those games I promised myself I’d get into, but when I learned it would be released on Switch, I knew that’s how I wanted to play it. There is a part of me that loves to play a platformer on a handheld in a way that takes me back to when I first received my Original Nintendo Game Boy. Nostalgia is a powerful drug and I really think it helps us process the trauma of living through a global pandemic. I’ve kept my knowledge of Ori relatively spoiler free because I want the experience of discovery and to get swept up into the world the way I would have as a child.
I have been a huge fan of Supergiant Games ever since Bastion. I’ve grabbed each title on day one…until now. For whatever reasons, I failed to give Hades the same attention, DESPITE the clear love everyone on my Twitter feed has been showering it with since early access. I’ve loved everything I’ve seen about it – but the artwork really seals the deal for me. This is the game I’m most excited to play on Switch (until Disco Elysium comes out) and will likely take up the majority of my play time. I love how the gameplay is consistent with most of their other titles, yet they continue to refine what they are good at (or at least from what I’ve seen so far).
Demon’s Souls Remake
The last game on my weekend playlist is Bluepoint Games’ remake of Demon’s Souls. I’m actually near the end of my second play through and am just collecting ceramic coins and the final few miracles to complete my platinum run and grab the new Penetrator Armor. As someone who platinumed the first Demon’s Souls back on PS3, this is a lovingly crafted remake that is hard to believe was made by someone other than From Software. I personally feel that the broken 6th Archstone may appear via DLC, but that may just be me holding out hope. The game looks and plays exceptionally, if you are lucky enough to have secured your PS5.
Except for Demon’s Souls which I’m close to finishing, I know all three of these games are going to take some time to finish and I’m relatively near the start of each, so I’m really just looking forward to a weekend of gaming where the focus is on exploring new worlds, learning new systems, and meeting (hopefully) unforgettable new characters. There is something about the first few hours of a game that reinvigorates my sense of excitement and exploration. Now, at the start of a new year with new hope, I’m going to linger a bit longer at the threshold of the journeys I’m taking in video games. I’ll see you all in game!