Weekend Gaming Playlist (6-17-22)
School is finally out, and whether you’re a teacher or a student, that means summer has officially commenced. With such newfound freedom and oppressive heat, it’s one thing to chill out by the pool or visit the beach, but it’s another to relax with some quality gaming time. For RPG fans, the summer can be a great opportunity to sink some time into the genre we love, but with a few major releases headed our way in the near future, it’s crucial that we clear out our backlogs in the face of a massive title like Xenoblade Chronicles 3. With that said, here are my plans for the weekend, organized conveniently in the form of a nice, neat playlist:
FTW: For the Warp
This roguelike deck builder is sci-fi themed, boasting turn-based naval battles between a colorful variety of ship types. Similar to other games of its kind, FTW has players draft cards into their deck as they progress through randomized maps of encounters, events, and the like. Where this game differs most is in its relative accessibility- there is no experience system locking out card types, but instead an achievement-based ship unlocking mechanic.
If you should progress to certain points, you can gain access to new crafts for runs that operate on specific card mechanics. Another nice, risk/reward-based feature are the grid-based exploration phases, which leverage the lust for exploration with limited fuel resources, forcing the player to make choices. It’s simple and straightforward, but checks off all the right boxes for deck-building enthusiasts.
We’ve already previewed this Neo Geo Pocket Color re-release, which seemingly came out of nowhere to offer a bite-sized RPG experience on the Switch. After building a playable character, you’ll set out to become the best Unitron pilot there is by entering challenge tournaments and exploring the four elementally themed dungeons with your Unitron. While your protagonist will accrue experience, the game challenges the player to develop new parts for their Unitron that will enhance their combat capabilities. It seems like a novel and pocket-scaled experience, which might be great for a weekend or two of playtime.
Shantae and the Seven Sirens
As a longtime consumer of Wayforward titles, I’ll admit that I was a bit late to the party with this purchase, but you’ll have to forgive me after being burned from Half-Genie Hero, which was not one of my favorite titles in the series. With the 20th anniversary of the character recently passing, a return to the brightly-colored, boppy and poppy world of Shantae seemed like the perfect celebration- in addition to the game being half-off on the eShop.
This installment thankfully returns Shantae to her roots, featuring a Metroidvania-style environment with small dungeons nestled in secluded areas. There have been some quality of life alterations in order to streamline exploration, which somewhat detracts from Shantae’s premier power being her dances, but it’s a small and necessary sacrifice in order to give the game a brisk pace.
Part turn-based strategy, part-speed-focused score chaser, Evertried is a roguelike I’ve been looking to try for some time. While enemies only move and perform actions once your turn is complete, there is a time-sensitive element to building a specific resource known as focus. Charging more focus causes the amounts of in-game currency you accrue to rise when you defeat enemies, but the gauge will only build while attacking enemies.
This means you’ll need to think on your toes if you want to maximize the amount of resources you can gather, but also carefully learn the attack patterns and behavior of each enemy in order to survive and exploit their weaknesses. It’s a skill-based wrinkle that presents a compelling and dynamic element to the game. While it will probably be slow-moving at first, I’m looking forward to trying to sink some substantial time into this in order to try to reach its most intense challenges.
That’s all I’ve got planned for this weekend, though we’ll see if I actually get to play all of it. Do you have a love of deck-building roguelikes? You should probably read the majority of my reviews, then. How about smaller RPGs? Did you enjoy Half-Genie Hero? Feel free to comment on any of these games below, or reach out to us on Twitter or Discord. Have a great weekend!