Weekend Gaming Playlist
Let’s take a look at this weekend’s forecast, shall we…?
…Well, I guess we know what that means.
Crypt of the Necrodancer
I used to scoff at those who sank hours upon hours into roguelike, and rogue-lite titles. With procedural generation comes a large amount of unexpected and potentially unfair scenarios, but ultimately, any and all roguelike titles have their limitations. The quick exhaustion of the content available to be generated within its dungeons can be mitigated by unlocking via the completion of certain objectives and tough-as-nails difficulty, but that doesn’t change the fact that these games wear out their welcome usually because of their algorithmic generation, rather than their thoughtful construction.
Then I played and sank about thirty hours into Heart and Slash, an action-combat rogue-lite title, and promptly shut the heck up.
If you haven’t already noticed, the normally twenty-dollar Crypt of the Necrodancer- a roguelike title that blends rhythm game sensibilities with the brutal survivalist RPG mechanics of its genre- has been given a massive price drop. The now eight-dollar title won’t stay that way for long, and if you’re a fan of unique twists on the roguelike genre like this guy with a mouthful of eaten hat, this is one of the best chances to snatch it up. As a musician and fan of video game music, I long for the perfect blend of rhythm gameplay and my own genre sensibilities. Although titles like Bit.Trip Runner and HarmoKnight have scratched my itch somewhat, I have struggled with picking up games like the Guitar Hero and other plastic instrument simulators. Hopefully, I’ll have some groovy material to offer the site as I take my first steps into Crypt of the Necrodancer this weekend.
Valkyria Chronicles 4 Demo
For a long time, I have mulled over a specific question- do I actually like Strategy Role-playing games? I have a hate/hate relationship with Fire Emblem, but I have tried, and enjoyed, a number of other games like Tactics Ogre, Crystal Warriors, and, depending on your definition, Code Name S.T.E.A.M. I also quite enjoy Real-Time Strategy games like Starcraft, Roller Coaster Tycoon, and Command and Conquer. In truth, while utilizing formations and factoring in terrain has some level of appeal, I find that I am able to enjoy the same sort of sensation of turn-based combat and environmental navigation in dungeon-crawling titles.
When I found that Code Name S.T.E.A.M. Was the right blend of ranged strategy and absurdity, however, I was told to explore titles in the XCOM and Valkyria Chronicles series. Lucky me, Sega has dropped a substantial demo for the fourth entry in the latter series in the past week. Although my initial impressions are somewhat lukewarm, hopefully the rest of this pastel-flavored, ranged-combat glimpse at the combat of Valkyria Chronicles will end up having me transfer my save data over to the full version when it launches later this year.
If you haven’t already heard, I’m a big fan of first-person dungeon-crawlers. From Etrian Odyssey and the older Shin Megami Tensei titles, to the original Phantasy Star (which is getting a re-release on Switch as a part of SEGA AGES!) and independent titles like The Keep, the sense of mystery, claustrophobia, and a properly-equipped team or protagonist never feels stronger than when viewed from the first-person perspective.
While it doesn’t claim to be a Role-playing game, Drinkbox Studio’s Severed still mixes a blend of first-person exploration and dungeon scouring with its touchscreen-oriented combat system. Though I still have plenty of Etrian Odyssey V to dismantle and Shin Megami Tensei Strange Journey Redux to unearth, Severed is the light, brief sort of respite I am looking for, a six-to-seven hour game that can be chewed up and spit out over the course of a weekend. Look forward to more impressions as I cut into this one.
Salt and Sanctuary
If you have played any of the Souls games, then you also know that the end of a single playthrough is hardly the end of your journey. In the same way that Salt and Sanctuary repurposes much of the Souls series’ gameplay mechanics and fundamentals, it offers plenty to those who wish to continue experimenting with its punishing Metroidvania environments. Each consecutive New Game+ run offers a boosted challenge, but with a staggeringly high level cap (somewhere in the 300s) and higher material and experience gains from enemies, players can explore new avenues of their previously-established builds or maximize the potential of their armor and equipment.
With a risky Axe/Greataxe build that centers around heavy armor, there were moments in my initial Salt and Sanctuary run that were less than stellar. However, investing in the right areas towards the latter half of the game helped me bolster my damage output and choose the proper equipment for each of the trying endgame bosses. With that said, I’m looking forward to getting ground into the dirt on a second playthrough, which will truly test the effectiveness of my current build.
And hey, now I have an excuse to post that lovely title graphic. Man, is that pretty or what?
ARMS Party Crash
For honor. For glory. For Lola Pop.
Let me know what you think of my playlist! Do you think I should be playing something different? Too bad, I adhere to a very strict diet! What are you playing this weekend?