I keep talking about how I haven’t been reading very much since buying my Nintendo Switch in November, so I figure I should take some time to talk about them. I’ve so far purchased eight games which is a bit ridiculous but the e-store makes it too easy to purchase games and there have been so many sales. I’m not very good at reviewing games (or books for that matter) but here are my thoughts.
This is a pretty decent turn-based battling system, though I suggest checking the Wiki page when it comes to weapons upgrades as that’s the least intuitive part of the game. The graphics and music are lovely and particularly effective at bringing out the melancholic nature of the quest and ruined surroundings. I finished it twice, and will probably replay it at some point. The biggest downside to it is the cheesy rhyming dialogue - there is actually a character who breaks the rhyme and is continuously corrected by all the other characters. On the second playthrough I didn’t find the dialogue as stilted though. Lots of fun, definitely worth getting if there’s a sale going on.
Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu - Because of course. And while there are people who spent a long time debating over which version to get, I'm of the generation that played Pokemon Yellow so there wasn't really any other option for me. Lots of people were initially grumbling about how we really didn’t need a Kanto remake given that we already have Fire Red/Leaf Green, and the Ultra Sun and Moon remakes were deeply disappointing after the original. But I am so glad that I got this; the remake is done so well, and I am ridiculously excited that I can take my Pokemon out and have them trail after me. You can ride your Arcanine! Your Charizard actually flies you around! It is everything a child who grew up playing the first generation of Pokemon could have asked for!
Dark Souls (Remastered) - I guess I’m a Souls veteran? I didn’t play Demon Souls but I did play DS 1-3 and Bloodborne, but only finished one playthrough with each game and with long long breaks during the games. It is so magical now that I can play this on a tiny console.
I am so upset that there are so few people playing this! Co-oping was one of my favourite reasons to play the Souls series and now that there just aren't as many people playing on the online system; it was once really easy for me to get summoned/summon others to play with me but there just aren’t many players around. I got to the Depths and then got distracted by other things (namely other games) and was too busy sobbing at the difficulty level of the game to continue. Things are so much harder when you don’t have jolly cooperation with other players.
Edit: Typing this now in late January (this post has been sitting here for over a week) and I have killed the Gaping Dragon, Hydra, Moonlight Butterfly, and helped others with Queelag in the last three days and it feels so good to be back.
Oxenfree - I was playing this obsessively last year on an iPad and then bought it on Steam. It's a lot more tedious without a touchscreen though, so really best played on an iPad or Switch. It features beautiful graphics (apparently the design team used to be part of Disney) and top-notch voice acting. There isn’t any action and much of what you do involves directing your avatar around the map and choosing from a variety of options, but the voice acting is so good you still feel very much involved in the game. I highly highly recommend everyone plays this, especially if you’re into puzzles and character-driven games. Bonus points to your experience if you understand morse. Oh and do play it without a guide the first time.
Gris - A lot has been said about this new indie game. The trailer got me so excited, and was a big reason why I bought Child of Light because who doesn’t love soft watercolour backgrounds? The puzzles aren’t terribly difficult, but the entire immersive experience of the game was truly lovely as the smoothness of the animation matched the beauty of the graphics and sound. Make sure you play with headphones on!
I also finished reading this 55 chapter manga “Kiss Him, Not Me”, also known as Watashi ga Motete Dōsunda after seeing the video clip going viral on Youtube which is one of the most adorable things I have ever read. The manga so so self-aware of how fangirls behave and the problematic tropes in shoujo manga and portrays both really well. It is also so cute that all the love interests have numbers in their names so they are actually just love interest #4, #5, #6, #7 etc for easy reference and shipping.
After that, YouTube threw some clips of "Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku", so I watched that as well. I’m not usually a fan of the slice of life genre, but I think I have grown into the genre after actually entering the working world and sympathising with the office worker protagonists. It was just nice to watch this while eating dinner after work. The show's basically about two couples at the same workplace who are huge otakus, though each are fans of different genres, and how they just have fun hanging with each other without (too much) judgement.
Also, I was thinking the other day about how I made it a point to not talk about fanfiction or anime in front of other people because I’d be afraid of being judged, but I need to say that finding friends who actually support these same interests, as well as getting older and caring less about what people think of you is great and is an attitude I intend to continue to cultivate.
If you have read this post ‘til the end, please do recommend anything that brings you joy - movies, books, games, anime, fanfiction (I have gotten into fandoms just because my favourite author has and I wanted to read her work this is literally how I got into the new Star Wars Trilogy despite not being the biggest fan of the originals). I’ll be happy to give it a shot!