James’ Games #11

What I’ve Been Up To

Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage (Playstation 4)

It took me way too long to finish Spyro 2. Partially because I abandoned the game right before the end. I had spent the entire game collecting orbs, and when I finally made it to Ripto’s Lair, I didn’t have enough orbs to enter. I didn’t even have half of the number of orbs I needed. To be honest, having to go back to previous levels and collect more orbs really killed my momentum and it’s surprising that I ever finished. Overall I enjoyed the game, but I wish I had gotten more orbs along the way. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Spyro 1, but still worth a play. I won’t get the platinum, but I’m glad I finished it.

Super Mario Maker 2 (Nintendo Switch)

I finished the offline single player in Super Mario Maker 2, and I’ve been playing levels that have been sent to me on Twitter. I’ve gotten a bunch from Kevin and Sean from the 2 Player Co-Op Podcast. I’ve only made one level, and I’m not sure if I’ll make more. If you’ve been making levels, send them my way and I’ll give them a shot!

Days Gone (Playstation 4)

I lost momentum in Days Gone when I started playing Mario Maker 2. Now I feel like I’ve done everything that I can, but I’m stuck on a story mission that involves a bike chase. I understand that motorcycle culture is part of the game, but I don’t like these chase sequences at all. Even with a fully upgraded bike, I find them to be a chore. Other than those few sequences, I’ve really enjoyed the game. When I started the game I was nearly certain that I’d get the platinum trophy, but the last few hours I’ve hardly gotten any new trophies, and many materials that I need for crafting have become incredibly rare. I still might go for the Platinum, but it would need to be immediately after I finish the main story. I don’t see myself taking a break and returning.

New Super Mario/Luigi U Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)

I’ve always had a soft spot for the New Super Mario Bros series. I was one of the few people that actually owned a Wii U, and on that Wii U I’ve played through this game once before. I’m not sure what drove me to purchase this game (again), but I’ve loved having it on my switch. Similar to Captain Toad, the levels are short enough that I can jump right in at any time and know what’s going on. I’ve enjoyed taking my switch to work with me and playing through a couple levels on my lunch. I don’t think it’s any better than the Wii U version, but I’ve loved it so much more.

Pokemon: Let’s Go! Pikachu (Nintendo Switch)

I started Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu when it was released, and I got about half way through the game before stopping. My wife recently started Lets Go Eevee, and I decided to restart mine so we could play through together. So far I’ve defeated three of eight gym leaders and caught 54 of 151 pokemon. Let’s Go is different from the other mainline pokemon games, but I love it just the same.

State of Decay 2: Heartland DLC (XBOX One S)

The Heartland DLC for State of Decay 2 was announced at E3 and I waited until yesterday to try it out. I don’t remember how to play this game, like at all. I think in order to enjoy it properly I’ll have to go through the tutorial in the base game again, but I might place this one on hold for now.

John Wick (Movie)

John Wick is the story of Keanu Reeves killing lots of people after his wife and dog die. Keanu Reeves really delivers in this action packed movie. I’d like to watch it again, but even more than that I can’t wait to watch John Wick Chapter 2.

Toy Story 4 (Movie)

Toy Story 4 is the newest installment in the Pixar Universe. I enjoyed it. I’m arguably a little old for movies about talking toys, but that doesn’t really matter to me. When Toy Story 3 came out I was in high school, thinking about college. Just like Andy, I was leaving behind many toys and childish ways as I stepped into adulthood. Toy Story 3 hit me on lots of emotional levels, and so did Toy Story 4. In Toy Story 3 I related to Andy, but in Toy Story 4, I related to Woody. For three movies in a row we saw Woody make personal sacrifices for Andy, because being there for Andy was his job. In Toy Story 4, we get to see what happens to Woody when, basically, he is no longer needed. Similarly, at work I’ve been in the same location for 2 years, I have many friends at my current location, but they don’t need me there anymore. It’s time for me to move on and help develop a new store. I’m not sure if Toy Story 4 is quite as good as Toy Story 3, but I think it’s definitely a fine addition to the list of Pixar films.

Spider-Man: Far From Home (Movie)

Spider-Man: Far From Home is the newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, quite possibly my favorite series of all time. Far From Home directly follows the events of Avengers: Endgame. I don’t want to give too much away, but I enjoyed the movie. It’s probably a mid tier MCU movie, and bottom half when ranked against other Spider-Man movies. I think that the chemistry between MJ and Peter worked much better than in Homecoming. I thought that Jake Gyllenhaal did a phenomenal job as Mysterio and that Tom Holland is a perfect Peter Parker and Spider-Man. I liked that they incorporated his spidey-sense more, and felt that they also did a good job humanizing Peter. I’ve seen lots of mixed reviews for this movie. Many people saying that it’s terrible, but some saying that it’s one of the best movies they’ve ever seen, and I really don’t get either of those viewpoints. For me, it was enjoyable and I like the direction they went with it, and it falls right in the middle for me.

The Art of Self Defense

The Art of Self Defense follows the story of Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg), as he seeks to learn karate after being the victim of a mugging. The movie plays on many of the things that are considered “manly” by society. Types of dogs, what you eat, the music you listen to, and of course combat. For the most part, the movie is exactly what the trailer promise. I think that they could have used the side characters more, but I was still able to enjoy the movie. Of the 14 new releases I’ve seen this summer it’s probably right in the middle.


Months ago I shared that I was writing my own campaign. I wrote an outline of what I wanted, and we started playing. After about 6 months my party has finally finished the entire story! All together, it took about 30 hours. It was a lot of fun to DM, but I’m slightly relieved that we’ll get to take a break for a while. If you’re interested in my story or have any questions I’d love to help wherever I can.

What I’m Looking Forward To

Starting Spyro: Year of the Dragon

I spent way too long on Spyro 2, but I think that I’ll like Spyro 3 more. I’ve heard that it returns to the form of Spyro 1, which I liked much more.

Batman: Arkham Knight

When I first played the Arkham Series, Arkham Knight was my favorite. Maybe I rushed Arkham City and Arkham Origins on my first playthrough, but I really enjoyed those both a lot more on my second play. Im curious to see if I still like Arkham Knight the most on my second play.

Recent Pickups

Mariokart 8 Deluxe (Switch)

Yoshi’s Crafted World (Switch)

Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3 (Switch)

Olympus has Fallen (Blu-Ray)

Neighbors (Blu-Ray)

Crazy Rich Asians (Blu-Ray)

Kong: Skull Island (Blu-Ray)

Rampage (Blu-Ray)

Les Miserables (Blu-Ray)

Thanks for Reading!

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