Hi all, it’s been a while! I was thinking it would be a good time to give an overview on what’s been in my gaming cycle recently, as well as what I’m looking forward to!
SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated
The remaster of what appears to be a collectathon title that many looked fondly upon its release in the early 2000s, the game tells a fairly basic but charming plot around Plankton unleashing robots within Bikini Bottom, with the objective being for SpongeBob (as well as characters such as Patrick and Sandy) to collect Golden Spatulas (the game’s version of Stars/Jiggies) and put a stop to the techno-menace.
While mainly put on my radar due to my enjoyment of the chaos that was ai_sponge (may it rest in peace), the game is filled with charm and characters on a show that I very much enjoyed growing up. While the gameplay isn’t groundbreaking, and some voice acting is a bit off (e.g. not having Clancy Brown voice Mr. Krabs), it was an enjoyable and inoffensive experience with an approachable level of difficulty for the most part, with exception of some the slide levels!
THEATRHYTHM FINAL BAR LINE
No, I’m not yelling at you. This title is a rhythm music title RPG based on the music from Final Fantasy titles, as well as other Square Enix games – the base game boasts close to 400 tracks on the base game, and over 500 on the deluxe version. The core concept is simple – hit the notes at the right time to play the songs – the key twist is that for each of the songs you play, you can have a party of up to 4 members which have a variety of skills which you can switch out between songs, with the members themselves being able to level up. Each time you miss a note, your party takes damage – you take too much damage, you fail the song, meaning the objective is to perform the songs well enough to avoid that. However, each song has got a quest associated with it, which could be a variety of criteria – play the song on a certain difficulty, with a certain member within the team, defeating a boss within a certain timeframe, etc. By completing these quests, you can get items such as potions, or collectible cards which can provide buffs to your party members, or allow you to do more damage to certain types of enemies.
This combination of a rhythm title, with some Square Enix-flavoured RPG elements makes this a very unique title for me – there’s also a free demo available, in case you want to try it out for yourself!
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey
While I have played this title when it first came out, I was recently able to get the full game for cheap during a PlayStation sale. With my last AC title being Valhalla, I’m very thankful that this game isn’t Valhalla – it does have a lot of the hallmarks (as expected, considering it’s the middle entry in the “trilogy”), it’s nowhere near as bloated, and exploring ancient Greece is an interesting experience! I haven’t got to the expansions (which I haven’t experience before), so I’m hoping that they’ll be able to add to the overall experience in a positive manner!
Remnant 2 – also being referred to as a Souls-like with guns – is a sequel that I heard was getting some buzz, so I checked it out. I haven’t played the original, but jumping into the second one, I feel that comparing it to a Soulsborne is a bit reductive – the game is definitely challenging, and does have some similarities – you can rest at points to refill your supplies at the cost of enemies respawning, you do have consumables to refill your health (like Estus Flasks or Crimson Tears, etc.), but the game carves out its own niche – one of the main marketing points being that the game is procedurally generated, meaning that no two players will have the exact same experience! While I haven’t got too far into the title, I’ve been enjoying playing as the healer class, with the combat and movement being a lot more fluid than in the Soulsborne titles that I’ve played.
Speaking of procedurally generated…
The Binding of Isaac: Repentance
Of course this would be on the list – having been a fan since the earlier iterations for well over a decade, I’m always happy to make time for Isaac! Now that I have a physical copy of the complete package, I decided to start completely from scratch, so I have been enjoying trying to (and oftentimes dying in the process) complete the wide range of runs with different characters in order to unlock alt paths, new items, and new endings.
For those of you who are not familiar, The Binding of Isaac is a challenging procedurally-generated dungeon crawler – this means that each run (getting to an end point) will involve different room layouts, enemy placements and types, bosses, and items, with death being the ultimate punishment – if you die, your run is over, and you will need to start at the beginning. This title is packed to the seams with content and replayability – this is something I would absolutely recommend!
Red Dead Redemption 2
Not too much to say here – just replaying Red Dead Redemption 2, with it having been a few years since I completed my last playthrough – Rockstar’s cowboy Western title, which serves as a prequel to the first game, is somewhat relaxing, albeit tedious and slow at times – a nice palette cleanser from time to time.
Despite having it since launch, I still haven’t been able to complete the title – I tend to get distracted by other titles, so while it’s definitely a great game, I feel that restarting from the beginning may be on the cards…