Reflections on Games Played During Quarantine

I finished Sekiro right before quarantine….

since then this period of time has really been me going through the Castlevanias in order (I’m on SOTN right now) with a few other metroids (zero mission and Momodora reverie under the moonlight)

I played all of that ff7 remake and enjoyed it so much that I immediately replayed all of the original right after.

I bounced off that new Jedi fallen order game very hard.... and gave Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze a second try after thinking it was bad last year. I think it’s good now!

oh! And at the very beginning of quarantine I played both Saturn Panzer Dragoons which was a great experience. Oh yeah and animal crossing probably helped me cope through all of this, although it didn’t hook me quite as hard as the 3ds one.

played some good beat em ups... SOR3,4, Final Fight...

Enjoyed Ape Out and a Short Hike...

And one of the neatest things for me was replaying Cave Story but the genesis hack.

Lately I’ve been working on that Spider-Man game which I’m not totally bouncing off of... Blasphemous which seems cool, and I’ve got FFTA in my pocket basically at all times in an attempt to stop looking at my phone so much.

@exodus#6311 I‘ve been pondering Ys a lot as a series as I’ve been playing them where I can think of competiting titles that I‘d instantly think to recommend first but as a whole there’s a level of comfort to the series. Each title tries a few new things, they aren‘t always implemented perfectly, but then Falcom manages to polish it by the next game. You can see a clear progression with the series. The majority are shorter with smaller-scale stories that don’t overstay their welcome.

5 (arguably), 6, Oath in Felghana, and Origins all come from a similar design philosophy. Oath I think nails it best, fine-tuning the story you might already be familiar with from Wanderers, and features some fast-paced combat you won't see elsewhere.

Memories of Celceta is also really good, taking the fast-paced combat realized in the above games and going full Sonic Heroes on it letting you switch characters on the fly for whoever fits the situation best. Maybe that's a bad comparison since Sonic Heroes is bad, but more like if Secret of Mana rewarded you for swapping around characters quickly based on your preference for the situation or just who you feel like playing. Also, the world is just fun to hang out in and there's a similar small-scale feel.

I'm about to start Seven which I hope turns out good.

I‘m a fan of Y’s and have played them all, def agree that Oath (and by extension, 6 and Origins, moreso Origins) work the best/play the best. I do enjoy the 1 and 2 (and 4) bump combat though! For 7 and beyond I‘m really not a fan of adding party members. I think it does very little other than give you more equipment to manage. Switching characters to target enemy weaknesses is no different than switching weapons, but doesn’t feel as good. I‘ve always liked Adol as a solitary adventurer (even if he has a friend like Dogi who’s in and out) so none of that really does it for me. They also got a lot easier as far as giving you easy to execute dodges or parries which, if you‘ve ever played DMC or Bayonetta you’ll have zero issue trivializing almost everything you come across.

The setting of 8 was enjoyable, I'm always a sucker for building up a community from nothing and the exploring a desert island thing works well. Music in the series is always great to my taste, but I still love that cheesy Falcom studio guitar sound. Looking forward to 9, haven't looked up what Japan thinks of it.

I‘ll second the thing about quitting games much faster, like if it doesn’t completely hook me in the first hour, I‘m out. The things that I have played since March have been comfort food type stuff like Etrian Odyssey IV, Bloodstained, EDF, and Dead Space. Basically, either stuff I’ve played before or things that are basically not really new or challenging. In hindsight, starting Dishonored in the beginning of March was kinda odd considering the game starts with this whole rat plague thing.

Here's what I've beaten since March: Dishonored, Record of Lodoss War-Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth, Prey, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain, Bloodstained, Etrian Odyssey IV, Mighty Gunvolt, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, Dead Space 3, Brave Dog's Road.

I started a bunch of other games but nothing really sunk its teeth into me. 2020 feels like such a complete blur.

I’ve been leaning on PUBG even more than ever during all this. It’s the only thing that can truly overwhelm my consciousness, even more so than VR.

Things like the new Trackmania have been a blessing using the Steamlink app on my phone, but it’s been harder and harder to onboard myself into a new game as the world has gotten bleaker.

Weirdly I’ve had a lot more patience for strategy RPGs? I have both Front Mission 5 and Xcom on the Vita I keep on my nightstand.

Definitely a weird year for gaming.

Hmm, if the Ys switching verges closer to Magic Knight Rayearth (Saturn) I‘d be into it, but it sounds like it might be a bit more involved? Either way, I guess eventually I’ll get something - if they did a compilation of the newer games that'd be real handy!

For some reason everybody in my group of irl friends decided to blast through the whole Ys franchise this year, but I didn't get past 2 because I got distracted with other stuff. Everyone loved the whole thing so I guess they are good!

Talking about Ys I would like to give a shoutout to Xanadu Next, another action-RPG from Falcom that doesn't get enough love and a game I did not play this quarantine but it was one of the games I enjoyed the most of the stuff I played last year. Some Matsuno vibes with a faster gameplay and a satisfying loop of exploring and returning to town to do stuff.

This is 100% a pre-quarantine thing, still very relevant, as it was the start of my year-long road trip, that I was still on when covid hit.

I rented Death Stranding from the Red Box, and played with the buddy I would end up spending way more time with do to quarantine hitting. Anyways the anecdote here is that for Christmas before I rented Death Stranding, I got new vibram-soled minimalist running sandals, for my new daily wear, but also for hikinig. I spent the lead-up and first few months of covid breaking them in on trails in the california redwoods and stuff, and it was a major Death Stranding vibe after I had played that game for 49 hours over the course of like 3 days. You know how playing one game a whole bunch gives you visuals while trying to sleep or whatever? Try going for a hike after playing Death Stranding. The 1mm thick sandals I was wearing also gives me a super sense of the shape of the ground, since they‘re made to feel like you’re “barefoot”.

edit: also I got some waterproof vibram sole hiking boots from REI right before I left, sometimes I would upgrade to those, sometimes brought them with, tied to my bag or something haha