Leading up to Extra Life I did not get a lot of sleep, and posting the donation and stream link here on the blog slipped my mind. However, it was a success nonetheless! Once again we had a goal of $200, but we literally doubled it and ended with $400. I said it during the stream and after, but I can't express my appreciation enough. As someone who doesn't stream or make videos very often it's absolutely crazy to see so many people come out and show support by donating.
We're here to talk about the video games of October though. The Switch has finally become exactly what I wanted it to be. The amazing games are piling up, and I want to snuggle with the thing at night. However, I can't let the Switch bogart all the attention, so I'll throw a bone to Shadow of War on the PS4. We'll launch into the video game discussion with Fire Emblem Warriors, bring the hype down a bit with Shadow of War, and then let the hype build back up and explode with Super Mario Odyssey. It's game time!
Fire Emblem Warriors
Every time I choose to write about a Warriors game I don't know why. There isn't a lot to say, because they're mostly the same. You play as a character and mash the same button a whole bunch to beat down thousands of enemies. Fire Emblem Warriors is very much more of the same, but now there are Fire Emblem characters! I used to find these games a guilty pleasure, but now I have come to terms with the fact that I genuinely love them. There's something so relazing about turning my brain off and mashing the same button for hours on end. Sure it's not hard, but it sure feels good to strike down foes with little to no effort like you're some kind of all powerful warrior.
|Blindly mash and get tons of kills!|
What's cool about FE Warriors is that it actually incorporates a handful of gameplay elements from the franchise it's drawing from. In case you're unaware Fire Emblem is a turn based tactical strategy game. In FE Warriors you control not one, but four characters. You can freely switch between them, but it's more efficient to open your map and give the units you're not controlling orders. This way you can focus on going ham while your AI companions defend or take over what they need to. It also makes use of the classic FE weapon triangle, which is another reason for controlling multiple characters per mission. Yes, you can beat enemies who you're weak against , but it takes forever. So if you bring the right characters into battle you can cover all the weapon types and never really run into trouble.
It's odd to see elements from the Fire Emblem franchise blend so well into a Dynasty Warriors game, but I guess it makes sense. Near invincible soldiers are the bread and butter of a Warriors game.
Shadow of War
I loved Shadow of Mordor and its nemesis system. Fighting orcs and having the game create dynamic rivalries was fascinating, and I couldn't get enough of it. Now that the sequel Shadow of War is here I'm not quite as excited as I thought I would be. Once again you take control of Talion, who is being inhabited by the spirit of the elf who forged the one ring. I am well aware of his name, but don't have the patience to try and spell it. In classic video game fashion you lose all the cool powers you amassed over the previous game and need to earn them back. I didn't even play the game long enough to earn them all again, because I just didn't want to keep going.
The fact that I didn't get way into this game continues to baffle me. The game is much larger and added a whole slew of new mechanics and content. A lot of the changes are interesting, but for some reason I just can't get into it. Part of the reason is that encounters with orcs in the original game felt special, and now in Shadow of War you can't turn a corner without running into a new orc to face off against. It happens so often that the encounters lose their luster and that's just a huge bummer. What's even more of a bummer is that all of the story missions are an unending slog. I still feel like the Lord of the Rings license isn't even needed for this game, but it's still here. You get to hang out with Gollum and Shelob, which is kind of cool I guess. The part where it turns sour is that all the missions are super generic and not fun. Have you ever wanted to follow Gollum around for way too long? If so, then this is the game for you! It's just a huge drag, because the draw of the game is the nemesis system and it isn't well implemented into the story at all. It's way more fun to run around the world like a moron and see what trouble you can get into.
|The nemesis system makes its triumphant return.|
This is one of the few games that I want to try and get back to, but right now I just want some time away from it. After playing a handful of hours I had to put it down, which made me pretty sad. Shadow of Mordor was one of my favorite games the year it came out, but this one just isn't doing it for me at all.
Super Mario Odyssey
I'm kind of distracted right now, because I have the TV near me playing Super Mario Odyssey speedruns. I have been enjoying watching Trihex blow through the entire game, but a few moments ago he brought up a valid point. He's doing the any % run, which means he's just trying to beat the game as fast as possible, but he doesn't want to be. He wants to move up to other categories that have him playing the game for longer periods of time, because he likes it that much. He wants there to be more Mario in his life, and I totally get where he is coming from.
|This image makes me so happy.|
Odyssey feels like the culmination of what Nintendo has been working towards with Mario for years. It has so much content that it's bananas, and a lot of it is catered specifically to long time Mario Fans. I won't spoil any of what that stuff entails, because witnessing it for yourself is magical. I won't lie, it was magical for me. Part of why I enjoyed Odyssey so much is that it made me feel like a kid again. It's a feel good game, and I felt good while playing it. What makes it special is that it feels both old and new, but in a proper blend. Mario 64 had you collecting stars, while Odyssey has you collecting moons. You still need to complete objectives to get them, but there are way more objectives now. You'll get them for beating a boss, but you might also get one for kicking a can the right way. There are over 800 moons to collect, which is mind blowing. It might seem a bit like overkill to have so many, but I personally think they're fun to collect. They give you a reason to explore, and you definitely don't need to get them all.
What really sets Odyssey apart from its predecessors is the fact that Mario can possess enemies with his hat. It's been possessed by a being called Cappy, which allows him to literally become his enemies. Yes Mario has his platforming skills, but now you can literally become a freaking Goomba. When you throw your hat and enter an enemy they wear Mario's hat and grow a freaking mustache. Possessing enemies allows for all kinds of new experiences that add a lot of fun to the game. That's what Odyssey is to me. It's a fun video game. A lot of modern games are cool and have a lot going on, but aren't necessarily fun. Mario Odyssey is exactly that for me. It's an amazingly crafted game with a lot of love, but above all it's just freaking fun to play.
The Wind Down
2017 has been a hell of a year for video games, and it's finally starting to wind down. There are very few games left that I want to play this year, and that is kind of relieving. I still have a ton of stuff I want to try and finish, but know I won't. I've finished a lot of games this year, but I have also found myself putting a lot of them down. I no longer have the patience to play things I don't particularly enjoy. In the past I'd power through games I didn't like just to say I did, but I think those days are behind me and that is probably for the best.
I'm trying to play through the re-release of the .Hack//G.U. trilogy right now, but I'm having a bit of trouble getting into it. The Steven Universe game is the only thing I'm actively playing right now, and I am enjoying it quite a bit. I would have finished it already if I wasn't trying to stream the whole thing. The new Pokemon games come out in about a week as well, and I'm kind of exited to play those.
It's hard to continue to be excited after beating Odyssey. As I said this year has been bananas, and I might have gotten my fill of what it has to offer, but I must continue on! See you guys in a few short weeks.