The Games of January

As some people may remember, I used to do a weekly update every Sunday/Monday on this here site. I stopped doing that around August or so because I figured out that people didn’t want to read about the fact that I had played NBA 2K15 every week for the past 3 months and really had nothing interesting left to say about it. I still like writing about games and I’m going to do that on a monthly basis now.

FIFA 16 (XBONE):

Can you believe that I bought an in-season FIFA game for the first time in 2015? Really! Before I bought FIFA 15 last summer, I had only ever played FIFA 96 and 2001, and I had only ever gone after Pro Evolution 2013 before that. This month I broke a number of personal barriers in terms of sports career modes – I finished a full season with a team (first time I’ve ever done that in a soccer game) and I figured out what I’m actually supposed to do most of the time. I still feel lost sometimes just playing as one player, but you get better if you take control of what you’re doing for the most part and I just got better at that. Near the end of the month, I definitely got burned out on this game. It was like hitting a brick wall with the game, and finally looking down and thinking “there are so many things I’d rather do right now than play more FIFA 16.” I hit this with sports games all the time, so I’ll probably pick it back up once the MLS season starts back up. But for right now, I’m sick of FIFA.

Undertale (PC):

I killed Toriel. I didn’t know that I wasn’t supposed to but I did, and now I feel bad, and now the game’s also letting me know that I should feel bad. I uninstalled the game and then reinstalled it after deleting every file on my PC with the word “Undertale” in it anywhere. I don’t like this aspect of the game, but I suppose it’s a cool effect if only I didn’t feel as much guilt as I do over video games. I’m just a little upset with it is all. I get upset when people show that they’re smarter than I am.

Halo: Combat Evolved (XBOX):

I started this back up last weekend for a few hours and I still like it. I think I was just trying to waste time with it, but eventually it started to be something I was legitimately invested in. I hope I can someday reach the end of Halo because I get stuck about 75% of the way through the game every time I’ve ever played it. The first two-thirds or so of the game is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had in a game, and then the Flood come and I start to resent the game more and more. I’ve done that twice before and I don’t want it to happen again. It probably will.

The Beginner’s Guide (PC):

I think I’ve only ever written about The Stanley Parable once. It was one of the games that actually did define early 2014 gaming for me. I always liked comedic games and that game did humor incredibly well. I knew this game wasn’t going to be comedic but I went after it because I wanted that sort of indie storytelling that I enjoyed from Technobabylon and Her Story. I didn’t exactly get that, but I still enjoyed experiencing this. I recommend playing this to everyone because the discussion that would follow would be fun to have, but that’s about as much as I need from it. I like it for the same reason I like Primer, or that multiple universe episode of Community, or basically any piece of art – It’s good quality and it’s fun to talk about your interpretations.

WARNING: SPOILERS (that won’t really make sense unless you’ve started but not finished the game)

Personally, I believe that in the fictional world created by this game, Coda is a real person, and Davie is just a well-meaning but ultimately imperceptive friend. The last level was my least favorite part of the game, but I don’t know what he could have done better with it. Maybe it was just the story that wasn’t compelling to me at the end, but (and I believe this is intentional) Davie (the character, not the actual man) took something that wasn’t about him and made it his own thing. The line of dialogue in the last level where he reveals off-handedly that the house-cleaning game didn’t originally have an ending is the most revealing factor about the game and was probably what stuck with me the most (along with the final puzzle).

I didn’t love it, but it was memorable as hell and I recommend it to everyone.

Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament (GBA):

I like this game a lot. I played it last almost an entire year ago. I bought a Game Boy Advance SP this month amid some complications (I had to return the one I bought because of a defect and have it replaced). For as long as I went between instances of playing it, I feel like I have to clarify that I actually do really enjoy this game. It’s the good type of puzzle platformer where you actually feel like you have to put effort into learning where to go with an already very accessible toolset. I’m to a water-based world now, feasibly the second-to-last world (it being the semi-finals of the tournament as referenced in the title). Hopefully I get to the end and can start a new leaf on my new GBA within February.

VIDEOS RELEASED IN JANUARY

1/1/16 – Donkey Kong Country 2 But on Batteries

1/19/16 – Crazy Taxi But on Batteries

1/24/16 – Sports of the Day 1/24/16: College Hoops 2K6

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About Joe Bush

The guy behind JoeBush.net and a lot of other things
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