Game Completion 2018 #13 – Fe

  • Game: Fe
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Zoink
  • Publisher: EA

Played this over two days and really enjoyed it. Previews had it down as some sort of Zelda/Metroid-like in structure, but I found it had more in common with the likes of Journey or Abzu (and not just because of those beautifully stylised visuals), but with greater player agency.

There’s no real combat, the mechanics centre around singing to communicate with the world’s wildlife and using them to assist or attack for you. The puzzles are pretty light and focus more on getting around the world than having an impact on it.

Minor complaints involve the controls feeling a little finicky and oversensitive, which can frustrate those coming off the back of more tactile controls, such as Mario Odyssey or even 2D games like Celeste, but it doesn’t detract from what is, overall, a lovely experience.

Also, the music is absolutely amazing.

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Game Completion 2018 #12 – Celeste

  • Game: Celeste
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Matt Makes Games
  • Publisher: Matt Makes Games

As someone that’s not massively into the type of platformer that Super Meat Boy opened the floodgates for, this wasn’t on my radar at all when it was revealed on the Nintendo January Direct Mini. However, I picked it up because of such a positive buzz, and boy does it live up to it.

Not only is the platforming action absolutely top-notch, without going into spoilers, it deals with subjects very close to my heart and in ways I could not have possibly imagined from its aesthetic nor its trailers. It’s terrific. Highly recommended.

Also, it does this, which I adore in so many ways:

Life lessons

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Game Completion 2018 #11 – Rayman Legends

  • Game: Rayman Legends
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Ubisoft
  • Publisher: Ubisoft

I’ve completed this twice before (and reviewed it), so won’t bang on too much about it, other than to say that it’s great and that you should play it.

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Game Completion 2018 #10 – Battle Chef Brigade

  • Game: Battle Chef Brigade
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Trinket Studios
  • Publisher: Adult Swim

I originally had no interest in Battle Chef Brigade, and there were multiple reasons for that. Firstly, match-3 games just aren’t my go-to genre, even on mobile. Secondly, I can’t cook in real-life and have never really enjoyed cooking or time management games. Lastly, when I watched trailers of the combat, to me, there was no way the game could be anything other than clunky.

Its popularity, however, has forced me to reconsider all of the above, and I’m glad I did, because this is one wonderful game. The art style is utterly gorgeous. The match-3 mechanics are simple and thoroughly enjoyable. The combat is surprisingly slick; it feels great. The story is also abundantly charming, propped up by well-written and interesting characters, and I think its charm went a long way in getting me on board in the early stages.

It’s weird. I feel like it shouldn’t work; that its mechanics too separate to equate to a cohesive game. Yet these mechanics are merely tasty ingredients that combine beautifully to make one hell of a dish.

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Game Completion 2018 #9 – The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes

  • Game: The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes
  • Platform: 3DS
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Tri Force Heroes might just be the first ever Zelda game I’ve outright disliked. It’s a multiplayer game first and foremost, and does go out of its way to hammer that home, but allows you play solo, similarly to Zelda’s other multiplayer spin-off, Four Swords. However, while the Four Swords entries are still relatively fun in solo, Tri-Force Heroes is simply not.

Structurally it’s not what I expected, less an adventure game, more of a mobile-style puzzler with short levels revolving around a single core principle in each. This is fine in itself, but the fact that Link’s two clones have zero automation as they did in Four Swords, means you’re constantly switching and micro-managing their positions. This gets pretty tiresome very early in.

It also means that boss fights, which require you to switch between them, stack them quickly, and attack with precision, makes a lot of sections pretty tricky, and in a way that’s frustrating or tedious more often than it is rewarding. This is escaerbsted by terrible checkpointing that sees you lose progress should you lose your three lives.

It might be more fun in multiplayer, but I’ve zero interest in trying it. It now exists only to be part of my Zelda collection. What a huge disappointment.

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Game Completion 2018 #8 – Lost Sphear

  • Game: Lost Sphear
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
  • Publisher: Square Enix

I came into Lost Sphear as a big fan of Tokyo RPG Factory’s previous game, I am Setsuna and, for 30 hours, it was every bit the worthy sequel. Lost Sphear, however, really suffers towards its end, where a lot of unnecessary padding sees the final third become a chore, and that’s before it hits you with a fake-out ending, behind which hides another 10-15 hours of padding and eventually the true ending.

I enjoyed it overall, but that final 15 hours really soured me on it, and I am Setsuna remains the more rounded experience.

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Game Completion 2018 #7 – Pokken Tournament DX

  • Game: Pokken Tournament DX
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Bandai Namco Studios
  • Publisher: The Pokemon Company

Pokken has a pretty lengthy and grindy singleplayer campaign, which I’ve just beaten, so I’m counting it here. The Chroma league was painful at times, especially when I hit a wall because my skill level wasn’t quite there, but I’m not one to give up and got there eventually.

It’s a solid fighting game overall, one that I’m finally glad that I’ve sunk some time into after ignoring it a lot on Wii U.

Game Completion 2018 #6 – SteamWorld Heist

  • Game: SteamWorld Heist
  • Platform: 3DS
  • Developer: Image & Form
  • Publisher: Image & Form

I grabbed this on 3DS for $8 just before the Switch version was announced, and didn’t particularly fancy paying another $30 for the privilege of a higher resolution after it was. So, for once, I made the sensible choice to stick with what I already owned.

I’ve been chipping away at it slowly – one or two missions a day for the last month or so – and it’s been pretty much what I expected; a solid if unspectacular turn-based strategy game set in the SteamWorld universe. No more, no less.

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Game Completion 2018 #5 – Doki Doki Literature Club

  • Game: Doki Doki Literature Club
  • Platform: Steam
  • Developer: Team Salvato
  • Publisher: Team Salvato

Holy fucking hell.

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Game Completion 2018 #4 – Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King

  • Game: Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King
  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Castle Pixel
  • Publisher: FDG Entertainment

This wasn’t on my radar at all until I saw a couple of people say it was an excellent little homage to A Link to the Past – one of my favourite games of all time – and that it definitely is.

There are a couple of minor caveats: On the whole, it matches Zelda’s structure brilliantly, except for one or two moments where one ‘screen’ in a dungeon will be, frustratingly, more difficult than the rest, which is jarring considering how easy even the end bosses tend to be.

Still, I enjoyed my eight hours with it. Definitely worth a look for fellow Zelda fans.

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