The Polar Vortex has come to play, which means this is the prime time to stay in and play video games. This weekend, I’m hoping to do a victory lap through a few titles so that I can clean them out of my backlog in preparation for what will hopefully be a productive February.
I’m only about an hour into Iconoclasts, and I’m not entirely sure what it wants to be. I’m compelled, in a weird way.
Although the game uses a Metroidvania-style map system and non-linear progression, its areas still seem too small and its plot too rigid to allow protagonist Robin to go off and do her own thing. However, there have been brief signs of backtracking, such as elements I have been unable to utilize and conspicuous treasure chests. Its narrative repurposes a number of familiar terms and phrases, which makes it a bit convoluted. Still, its art style is endearing and I feel that Robin will unlock a number of tricks I won’t expect. I hope to deliver my final impressions of this quirky title soon, but outside of its very flashy presentation, the game hasn’t wrenched its way into my heart just yet.
A friend of mine has gifted me this lovely title, though I should probably explain my relationship with simulation RPGs. I’m more of a tactics and tabletop sort of person, though I sank an unruly amount of hours into Rune Factory 4 and Fantasy Life on the 3DS. With that said, I’m still not sure if I’m sold on the store management elements of an RPG – I tend to think of them as a secondary mechanic in any simulation title. Seeing Moonlighter parade it front and center has me a bit tentative on the whole thing, and if the game feels it is necessary to weigh the pacing down with tutorials on how it all works, I might as well get those elements out of the way this weekend in order to start the game proper.
While Moonlighter did review well with critics and on this site, I’d be curious to hear the thoughts of others. Is the action combat of this title still worth the price of entry? Sure, I did get it for free, but the question still stands.
Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP
This trippy-looking experience feels like an episodic, short session adventure title, and due to its original release on mobile devices, I don’t believe that description is far-off. Superbrothers is more far-out, if anything. Its warped character models and fantastic setting are both off-putting and enthralling. Though it doesn’t have much in the way of combat, featuring a block and shield timing system, its more the presentation that is meant to rock your socks off. Music swells with specific actions, helping the player along to each objective and further cementing the storybook nature of the whole experience. Still, it does feel as if you’re fighting through water to get the player character where you want them – the detail in the environments and controls quite obviously designed for touchscreens don’t help much. And sure, I could use the touchscreen controls in handheld mode but… I don’t want to smudge my screen. 🙁
I don’t expect this title to last all that long, but I want give this game my full attention and bask in its bizarre glory as long as possible.
Thea: The Awakening
I’ve already spent a sizable chunk of time in Thea’s world, but this fascinating game keeps pulling me back. Part board game, part roguelite, and all fantasy survival and simulation, Thea’s unique scenario crafting mechanics allow the player to pinch and drag the game’s parameters to their liking, so returning back to the world and continuing to complete quests in an attempt to beat the individual deity objectives can be as easygoing or brutal as you’d like. I strongly recommend taking a look at our review of this game, but its methodical turn-based planning and execution make for a very cozy and relaxing experience.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
That’s all I’ve got in mind for this weekend, what about yourself? Please feel free to post impressions of any of these games below, I’d love to hear your thoughts and pick your brain on any and everything!