Weekend Gaming Playlist (3-11-22)
The weekend rears its ugly head once more, and despite the Switch having turned five years old, its amount of releases doesn’t seem to be slowing. The RPG scene is just as alive and well as ever, also, with a number of recently released titles vying for attention as we are now three months into what can now be lovingly called “2017: The Revenge.” Though not completely in lock step with the Switch’s first year, we’ve got a new Splatoon, a new Xenoblade, and potentially even a new Zelda on their way, as well as new Mario Kart… technically. But it’s all the stuff in between that I find more fascinating, and the nature of my playlist will hopefully prove to be an odd melange of new and old. Read on to see what I’m playing below.
Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition
Spoilers for Xenoblade 2 and Xenoblade 3 ahead! Upon first picking up this glorious revision of the Nintendo Wii classic back when it first released, I went straight to the Future Connected content in order to see what was new, as I had already completed the original release. However, with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 on the horizon and a partner not very well-versed in the lore of the trilogy, I wanted to circle back to this game in order to bring her up to speed on the likes of Shulk, Melia, and others before their eventual return later this year. She’s been enjoying it so far, though we both agree that the word “Monado” is brought up a few too many times.
You might be asking yourself, “where is Evan’s usual deck-building roguelike entry?” Well, here it is: Neurodeck is all about characters facing their mental unrest by engaging the eponymous device. The Neurodeck is an interactive simulator that allows users to plumb the depths of their own psyche and come face-to-face with their phobias and nightmares. The way one of two protagonists attempts to conquer these is by utilizing concepts depicted as cards in tandem with two particular resources: stamina, which is the energy to summon cards, and sanity, your health points. Encounters are snappy, and deck size doesn’t always need to grow in order to create an effective or exploitable strategy. Your build may only work against specific kinds of phobias, however, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with them in order to take on increasingly difficult challenges as you delve back into your psyche again and again. Fun!
Potato Flowers in Full Bloom
Although there have been plenty of first person dungeon crawlers released on the Switch, they sometimes overcomplicate the pure joy of exploration with gaudy aesthetics, convoluted settings and mechanics, or an overemphasis on story. Not so with this title. Potato Flowers in Full Bloom tasks players with retrieving a fabled stock of seeds that can grow on contaminated lands by delving deep into the mysterious floors of a complex labyrinth. The straightforward turn-based gameplay is enhanced by enemies that telegraph their attacks, which can only be hard-countered by specific sorts of skills. Your party is highly customizable in their build and physical appearance, but it all comes together with a simplistic and charming aesthetic that further enhances the immersion possible when your mind is given the opportunity to wander through the corridors of an unfriendly maze. It’s hitting all the right notes for me, and I guess that’s all that matters.
That’s all I’m playing this weekend, how about yourself? Feel free to leave a comment below, or let us know on our social media channels. If you have any impressions of the above titles, don’t be afraid to let us know what you think of them, as well. We’ll have more coverage of new releases as we progress through 2022.