Game Completion 2018 #38 – Pokémon Yellow

  • Game: Pokémon Yellow
  • Platform: 3DS (Originally Gameboy)
  • Developer: Game Freak
  • Publisher: Nintendo

Although I’ve started both Pokémon White and X previously, I’d never completed a core Pokémon game before. I think I’d just missed being the right age for it originally.

Yellow, then, due to the 3DS virtual console release over a year ago, becomes the first I’ve seen through to the end. An enjoyable JRPG-lite, a piece of history, but full of design decisions that were common in its original era, but simply frustrating now.

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Game Completion 2018 #37 – Splatoon 2 (single-player)

  • Game: Splatoon 2
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Nintendo EPD
  • Publisher: Nintendo

It wasn’t until the Octo Expansion was announced that I realised that Splatoon 2 already had a decently-sized single-player component. Since then, I’ve been using it as a Saturday afternoon game, chipping away at each of the five worlds every week.

It’s been a fun experience overall, but one that gets annoying at times, and I’m not sure it’s wholly convinced me to check out the DLC, but maybe I could pick it up in a sale down the line.

If you’re interested in the multiplayer side of things, which of course is the main event, then I wrote at length about why it’s the perfect team-based online shooter for those that don’t tend to enjoy team-based online shooters.

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Game Completion 2018 #36 – Inside

  • Game: Inside
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Playdead
  • Publisher: Playdead

Another interesting puzzle-platformer from Playdead, and wow is it a wild ride.

I have thoughts, but won’t share them due to spoilers, but will talk about it in more depth in episode 39 of the Switch Focus Podcast.

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Game Completion 2018 #35 – Limbo

  • Game: Limbo
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Playdead
  • Publisher: Playdead

A terrific puzzle-platformer that I’ve played twice before on 360 and Vita, and was all too happy to revisit again on Switch.

I’ll talk about it in depth in episode 39 of the Switch Focus Podcast.

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Game Completion 2018 #34 – Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

  • Game: Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Machine Games (ported by Panic Button)
  • Publisher: Bethesda

I am a big fan of what Machine Games have done with the Wolfenstein series, and last year’s sequel was easilty one of my favourite shooters this generation. I enjoyed it even more this time around with the added bonus of portability.

This Switch port is a technical marvel. Rather than cut features or make substantial changes to make it fit on what is a battery powered handheld, Panic Button have managed to port the game in its entirety. The only cost is that it can get blurry at times, especially in outdoor areas, but it at no point hampered gameplay. It runs extremely smoothly and looks terrrific in motion too, even handling some of the biggest moments incredibly well.

I’m so happy to have replayed it.

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Game Completion 2018 #33 – Mario Tennis Aces

  • Game: Mario Tennis Aces
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Camelot
  • Publisher: Nintendo

I’ll be honest, I would have had zero interest in Mario Tennis Aces were it not for the promise of a full story mode, and that campaign – the ‘Adventure Mode’ – is not at all what I’d have expected from a game with Nintendo’s mascot on the front.

It’s gruelling and unwelcoming, with painfully uneven difficulty spikes, and doesn’t do a great job of explaining its fighting-game style mechanics, nor make any effort to ensure you understand them. The rhythm of ‘easy, easy, easy, fuck you, easy’ is utterly baffling, and at times it simply feels completely unfair. I’m not one to shy away from a challenge, I love and beat Celeste, for example, but even I nearly walked away from Aces at least three times.

Although it has definite issues, I am glad I stuck with it until I beat it. I had fun in places, and beating the matches and challenges that at one point seemed impossible was definitely pleasing, yet I felt the need to press on in spite of it, rather than out of enjoyment.

We talked about it in Episode 37 of the Switch Focus Podcast, and I’ll talk some more about it in 38.

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Game Completion 2018 #32 – The Banner Saga 2

  • Game: The Banner Saga 2
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Stoic Studio
  • Publisher: Versus Evil

I loved the first Banner Saga when it launched on Switch last Month, and the sequel managed to solve my only real issue with it – its end-game difficulty spike. The Banner Saga 2 is mechanically a friendlier and all round easier experience, but the story is every bit as harrowing and bleak, and brilliantly so.

I found myself role-playing this one more, though, with the adventure split between two parties helmed by two very different personalities. There was one decision in particular that I sense will have huge ramifications on the upcoming threequel and, though I desperately wanted to go in one direction, I felt that there was only one action the character in question would have taken, and it was the one that went against my own logic as the player.

I agonised over it, but ultimately went with what I thought the character would do instead. I may well regret that, but I can’t wait to find out.

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Game Completion 2018 #31 – Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn

  • Game: Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Big Deez Productions
  • Publisher: Mad Dog Games

I can see why they gave this away to early adopters of NBA Playgrounds on Switch, because after playing it my advice is to not pay money for this.

It’s mechanically fine if mindless and annoying in places, but is overshadowed by offensive, juvenile humour, and a barmy plot that was reaching for ‘so bad it’s good’, but just languished in ‘so bad’.

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Game Completion 2018 #30 – Sonic Forces

  • Game: Sonic Forces
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Sonic Team
  • Publisher: SEGA

I started this in-between games merely out of morbid curiosity and ended up finishing it in one sitting.

What a weird fucking game. Not great, certainly not bad – hell, it’s even fun in places – but it’s absolutely forgettable.

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Game Completion 2018 #29 – Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition

  • Game: Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Omega Force
  • Publisher: Nintendo

When I played the original Hyrule Warriors on Wii U over one public holiday weekend, I thought it a terrific celebration of the Legend of Zelda franchise, and what a terrific celebration it still is the second time around.

I won’t bore you with the finer details as it’s been out a while, but I talked about it at length in Episode 32 of the Switch Focus Podcast.

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