24 Hours of Gaming 5

August 9, 2014

Here we go again. This is the fifth trial in the attempt to clear the backlog of games. The focus today is getting some more time in with some longstanding unfinished games; mostly older ones, but there are some 2014 games that I still need to beat sprinkled throughout the day.

Missile strike from FFVIII.

Missile strike from FFVIII.

5:15am

This is the earliest I have started one of these. I was planning on starting at 6, but anticipation as it would have it would not allow for that.

Unsurprisingly, I am starting the day with 3 hours of Final Fantasy VIII, as per tradition. I won’t finish it today, but I should some time in the near future, as I tire of seeing Squall’s ugly face. It’s a fairly easy game, but mechanically, it is strange and kind of everywhere. The need to Draw spells that can be cast instead of having a Mana system is more annoying than it is original.

FF8-0212-Galbadia-Missile-Base-Control-Panel

I died a couple of times losing some precious time. There are some great looking scenes in this game. Rinoa looks a little too much like Tifa from FFVII, especially in the CGI cutscenes. I destroyed a missile base and saved “The Garden” from certain destruction by turning it into an enormous hovercraft, now we drift endlessly across the ocean not knowing how to steer the thing.

8:15am

Grandia II, it has been too long since we have held company together.

Grandia-2-image-grandia-2-36239508-500-537

Grandia II is staying consistently good. The story is starting to ramp up and the combat system remains unique and engaging.

10:15am

Next up is an hour of BlazBlue: Chronophantasma. Despite having spent two hours with the game so far, I have yet to actually get into a fight in the game. Aksys and Arc System Works really seem to be taking the virtual novel genre very seriously.

Kokonoe (left) is the coolest new character in the story so far.

Kokonoe (left) is the coolest new character in the story so far.

Still no core gameplay, but a couple of options surfaced that offered alternate paths. At least there is some form of interaction so far.

11:15am

The abstract puzzle game, Metrico, is up next. The Sony published Vita-exclusive has an austere and clean aesthetic that is matched by unique movement-based puzzles. The music is strange.

Metrico

The game grabbed me after an average first impression. The game layers in smart mechanics to help keep it engaging. There are a lot of Vita-specific features that are well implemented, but can be a little cumbersome for the precision that the game requires.

12:15pm

Punch-Out!! section.

Punch-Out!! section.

Now for 2 hours of The Wonderful 101. This game is getting close to the end; I can feel it. I’m starting to come around on it. It is starting to mix up the gameplay with a schmup and a Punch-Out!! clone that were both kind of neat and a great change of pace.

2:15pm

Quite possibly the worst box art ever created.

Quite possibly the worst box art ever created.

Brock and I beat all the bosses in Megaman, the original Megaman for NES. Good times. Well, it was all-good till the system froze on us… We got to see all the levels though.

3:45pm

megaman2boss-610

Megaman 2 is up. Megaman 2 is a lot easier than Megaman. It also looks nicer, the soundtrack is stronger overall, and handles better. So, after all of the robot masters and a couple of freezes (thank goodness password generators exist), we moved on.

5:00pm

Let’s keep this NES train a’rollin’ with Meganman 3.

Snakeman's level is pretty cool.

Snakeman’s level is pretty cool.

Megaman 3 is hard. Maybe even harder than MM1. It adds a sliding mechanic that is a lot of fun to use, but the levels in general are not satisfying. Perhaps we are just getting burned out after nearly 4 hours of Megaman, but #3 kicks our cans.

6:15pm

Yoshi’s New Island is generally despised by most fans of the original game. I’m going to give it a little more time before deciding what level of garbage it is.

The second boss is insultingly easy (especially coming hot off of Megaman).

The second boss is insultingly easy (especially coming hot off of Megaman).

I completed the second world and the first level of the third world in an hour. It is a very easy game. It is a slower paced, exploration and collection based, and largely inoffensive aside from its ear-melting soundtrack that is truly terribad.

7:15pm

It’s been a while since I played Super Paper Mario, so hopefully these two planned hours go smoothly.

super-paper-mario-and-bowser

I got Bowser to join my party and finished chapter 2 and got a good jump on chapter 3. Super Paper Mario is such a weird game with its perspective changes and platform action with slight RPG mechanics.

9:15pm

Back to some delicious Atelier: Escha & Logy: Alchemist of the Dusk Sky. I have been hitting this game hard the last several weeks with hopes of finishing it soon. It is so deep mechanically. It has some of the best character designs I have ever seen in a game. It has some of the best music of the year. The game really is fantastic.

Atelier-Escha-Logy-10

The three hours fly by as I craft a mountain of items and weapons and complete pages of assignments.

12:15am

Time to ramp things up again with Drakengard 3.

This game is insane.

This game is insane.

The game remains consistently hilarious with its irreverence, fourth-wall breaks, and fantastic writing. The action is still below average to serviceable, but the characters are more than enough to keep me playing.

You know what, I take it back, only about half of the writing in Drakengard 3 is fantastic, the other half eventually boils down to immature sex jokes that get old very quickly.

When you see this character, prepare for a constant stream of endless eyerolls.

When you see this character, prepare for a constant stream of endless eyerolls.

Three Intoners down at least 2 more to go.

3:15am

The last two hours of the day belong to Oblivion.

I finally got unstuck. I had to wait in a specific spot at a specific time in order to continue the main quest. It is a little obtuse and the menus are still garbage. But the game still offers an enormous amount of freedom that few games have pulled off to date.

tes4_knights02

I ran out of lockpicks and I’m pretty sure I have to unlock a chest to continue… ugh.

Wrapping Up

Well that’s a day. There are still not enough hours in a day. The backlog is still too big, but some serious progress has been made today. Here’s to hoping I can do it again soon.

Summary

5:15am-8:15am – Final Fantasy VIII

8:15am-10:15am – Grandia II

10:15am-11:15am – BlazBlue: Chronophantasma

11:15am-12:15pm – Metrico

12:15pm-2:15pm – The Wonderful 101

2:15pm-3:45pm – Megaman

3:45pm-5:00pm – Megaman 2

5:00pm-6:15pm – Megaman 3

6:15pm-7:15pm – Yoshi’s New Island

7:15pm-9:15pm – Super Paper Mario

9:15pm-12:15am – Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky

12:15am-3:15am – Drakengard 3

3:15am-5:15am – The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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