It’s the most wonderful time of the year, which means everyone is likely busy doing last-minute shopping and generally stressing about the holidays. Don’t forget- it’s important to give yourself a bit of down-time in between gift wrapping, gift unwrapping, gift returning, and gift burning. Over this weekend, I’m hoping to relax a bit after a particularly hectic week leading up to a brief winter break, although the games I am hoping to play are heavily reliant on the participation of others in order to enjoy. We’ll see if I can squeeze some time in with friends with these titles:
There’s no shortage of games out there that feature atmospheric exploration and brutal combat, but Ashen is one of the few that has managed to grip me wholly without letting go. Perhaps it’s the unique, yet limited nature of the game’s exploratory moveset and environmental design, which encourages you to take risks in making specific jumps and managing resources while out in the field. Maybe it’s that sweet, simple, and chunky combat that rewards patient play and brutalizes a less-than-observant player. Ashen’s world might not be all that open- the King’s Road is a central aspect of the world bordered by a whole lot of “shoulder space,” but there are a healthy amount of caves and structures to poke through in order to obtain some precious loot.
I’m debating whether or not I should continue the main campaign, or hold off until my friend has defeated the second boss, so that we can play co-op together. The co-op system in Ashen is… complex, to say the least, and while I appreciate the idea of “passive” participation, I’d really just like to play a souls-like title with my friend. Just… let me do that. On the plus side, my friend and I can venture through the DLC campaign together, as both of us haven’t started it yet. Also, the DLC for Ashen is listed as a separate game on the NA Switch eShop. Just a friendly reminder.
Risk of Rain 2
If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you’re likely unaware of how obsessed I am with this game. Though PC users are currently basking in the glow of the recently released Hidden Realms update, Switch users have only just gained access to the prior update, which added a number of new skills, items, and a unique, melee-based character. While this means there’s a whole bunch of new and exciting elements to unlock, it also raises a new problem: playing on Monsoon-level difficulty.
Because the developers seem to enjoy human suffering, they’ve locked many custom skills behind highly-specific, incredibly difficult challenges for every character. Each must complete a number of stages while on Monsoon difficulty, which… is pretty difficult, in case you didn’t already get the gist. If there’s one way to circumvent this difficulty, it’s via the game’s online multiplayer- which isn’t really all that active. Coercing friends to give the game a shot has been difficult enough, but finding time to get a few Monsoon runs under our belts is almost as difficult as playing the game itself. Here’s hoping this weekend proves fruitful.
Puyo Puyo Tetris
I’m a big, old Tetris fan- I have been ever since I picked up my brother’s classic Game Boy copy when I was younger. You might wonder why I’m choosing to play Puyo Puyo Tetris rather than Tetris 99, then, but the title of the former should reveal the reason, in itself. After having watched some high-tension Puyo Puyo matches among my friends a few weeks ago, I realized that I am not great at the game, and I’d like to improve at it. While many Puyo Puyo games- including the free ones that exist on Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES App- feature puzzle tutorials, I also like the idea of having Tetris close at hand, even moreso considering I will likely get smoked by my friends when attempting to keep up with them in Puyo Puyo. For those who aren’t aware, you can actually play matches in Puyo Puyo Tetris where players duel with game types- meaning I could hop over to Tetris and retaliate while my friends continue to play Puyo Puyo. Hooray for technology!
Children of Morta
I’ve been on something of a roguelike kick lately, though this is mainly because the offerings added to the Switch eShop have been so strong at the end of this year. Featuring brilliant pixel art and rich narration, Children of Morta is just as taxing on the gameplay side as it is easy on the eyes. I’m looking to push further into this game, having assembled a team of four Bergsons to combat the darkness, though I’ll admit that only the archer play style has sat well with me. I hope that I can help that little pup feel a bit better, as well.
Those are my plans for the weekend. Do you have any of these title on your plate? Are you looking to hear more about any of them? Do you have any other games on your own list? Let us know in the comments below!