Though Halloween has come and gone, that doesn’t mean we can’t still indulge in a bit of sorcery. Though alchemy might not be the most magnificent magic in the land, its allure still calls to me, among some other titles in my backlog. Let’s finish off October with some monstrous deck battles, mystical gathering quests, and whatever the heck Dusk Diver’s creatures are supposed to represent.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Although Ben is our resident Atelier expert (having played a number of the more recent Switch ports from the series), I also had the chance to dip my toe into this maddening alchemic series with Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists earlier this year. While that game was fairly different in comparison with traditional Atelier gameplay, I would be lying if I said the infectious charm of the characters and cathartic synthesis projects didn’t woo me somewhat. With Ryza as my latest review copy, I hope to see how some of the more recent quality of life improvements have benefited this time-stringent series, hopefully allowing a newcomer to the series the chance to fall completely in love. So far, Ryza’s adorably charming musical tracks and lush graphics are winning me over, despite my mixed feelings towards the title’s narrative simplicity. Keep your eyes out for a Libra and review in the near future.
Slay the Spire
I love Slay the Spire. I hate Slay the Spire. There are certain decks in this indie darling that feel incredibly satisfying to use, and there are some that infuriate me to no end. As a deck-building fan, I found the straightforwardness and relative lack of flexibility on display in Game Freak’s Little Town Hero to be a major mood-killer, but Slay the Spire is on the exact opposite of the spectrum. There’s so much variation that it can be hard to get a grip on the tactic you want to utilize, but as is the case with any Roguelike, you’ve got to double down on your early-game choices if you want them to have any sort of meaningful, long-term benefits. You can only pray that the cards and relics you receive after your first few rounds will synergize well with what you unearth down the line- if not, you might end up dying in a last-boss, last-hit scenario. It’s the stubborn refusal to believe I’m subpar at a deck-building title that makes me come back to Slay the Spire every few months or so, but I guess that means I’ve had my money’s worth. And that maybe I need to chill out a bit with the card games.
As an odd mish-mash of aesthetic and gameplay flavors from a number of franchises, Dusk Diver has a certain something that keeps pulling me back. Sure, the localization isn’t perfect, and the combat scenarios are sometimes a bit too Musou-like to warrant protagonist Yumo’s plethora of attack options. But Dusk Diver certainly has style, and the ability to retry chapters on greater difficulties, testing your knowledge of effective attacks and your reflexes against the slew of ranged and melee attacks enemies have to offer, has drawn me back to that Switch menu icon again and again. My review for this title should be dropping soon, so I hope you’ll swing by to see what makes this game so unique and special.
Meowtroidvania. It’s a pun. It’s a cute cat. It’s a non-linear action platformer. While Gato Roboto doesn’t have the expanse, discovery-oriented gameplay of the classic Metroidvanias, it is still heckin’ cute, and that’s good enough for me. Also, after playing so many RPGs, I need a good action platformer with some precise attack animations to dodge in order to keep my reflexes up. You know, in case our alien overlords force us to perform well at video games.
That’s more or less what I’ll be working on this week, and likely next week, as well, as it’s going to be a massive FOUR DAY WEEKEND for me. I’ll do all the things I couldn’t do, see all the things I couldn’t see. What are you going to be playing? Share with us in the comments below!