James’ Games #20

What I’ve Been Up To

God of War (Playstation 4)

I finished up God of War. I defeated the final Valkyrie and earned the Platinum Trophy, my 7th ever. I love this game. I think I enjoyed it just as much as my other top games from 2018, and I’m excited to see what comes next. The entire world is fun to explore, and even getting the Platinum there were only two times where it felt like I was grinding. One was the Treasure Maps, and the other was collecting Mist Echoes in Niflheim. With the Mist Echoes, I learned later on that you can sell stuff to Sindri for extra echoes, making it actually quite easy to finish. I loved the story, the gameplay and the little interactions between Mimir and Boy. The only thing that stuck out to me was difficulty. Even on the ‘Give me a Story’ difficulty, with all fully upgraded gear, the Valkyrie Queen was incredibly difficult. I still loved the game, it’s a solid 10/10 for me. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to just anyone, but anyone who’s up for a challenge and willing to stick with it.

Halo 2 (XBOX One S)

I mentioned last week that I’d started Halo 2, I’m a decent chunk into the story now, and to be honest, it feels kinda ‘meh’ to me. In Halo 2, we learn a lot about the lore of Halo. We see lots of cutscenes from the Covenant(Alien) point of view, and I feel like it adds a lot to the story of the series. However, I don’t like playing as an alien. In Halo 1, I felt like I truly became the invincible Master Chief, slaying Covenant and Flood alike. In Halo 2, the Chief seems a lot more passive and I’m not really a fan.

Luigi’s Mansion 3 (Switch)

Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the long awaited sequel to Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon. I never played Dark Moon, but I was easily able to pick up the story and understand, since it’s not too different from the first game. My wife, who’s never played any of the series, has also started playing right here at the third game. Having only read a wikipedia summary of the first two games, she was able to pick up Luigi’s Mansion 3 and follow the story just as easily. I’ve made it to floor 6 and so far, I think it’s a solid entry in the series. I think that the building and the atmosphere of the hotel feels much more dynamic and active than what I remember of the first game, but the ghosts seem to be lacking in personality. In Luigi’s Mansion on the Gamecube, every ghost had a backstory; they have names, you can read about how they died, what their motivations were, and even how they ended up in the mansion. I don’t think it’s a big deal, but I think that the discoverable lore in Luigi’s Mansion 1 allows for more exciting exploration and a higher replay value. I look forward to playing more Luigi’s Mansion 3, make sure to check back for more of my thoughts in the coming weeks.

Death Stranding (Playstation 4)

Death Stranding is a new PS4 exclusive from Hideo Kojima. I haven’t played a whole lot yet, but from what I can tell theres a lot to experience in this game. All of Hideo Kojima’s signature are on full display here; deep and complicated story, lengthy cutscenes, and lots of celebrity cameos. In the first 2 hours, I think that I only played about 15-20 minutes, the rest were all cutscenes. It can get a bit overwhelming, and I’ve had to make sure to only play the game when I’m ready to pay attention. The bulk of the game seems it’s going to be spent delivering packages between the different camps, in an effort to unite America again. The pod baby, BB, is important, I’m not sure how, but all, the characters make a big deal about it. I got attacked by a sludge-whale, and I ran away. So far, I’ve spent about 85% of my playtime confused, but I’m looking forward to playing more soon.

Red Dead Redemption (XBOX One S)

A couple days ago, I decided to fire up the original Red Dead Redemption and see where I left off. I’m eager to start Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most well-reviewed games of 2018, but I want to finish the first game before starting the second. I feel like I’m just grinding through the story. I’ve met lots of people along the way, and I believe I’m about 75% of the way through. I think one of the reasons that I’ve had a hard time getting immersed in the story is that the ending has already been spoiled for me. The gameplay is still decent and I’m enjoying getting to be a wild gunman, but that’s really all I’m getting out of it.

The Lion King 2019 (Blu Ray at home)

The Lion King is a remake of the 1995 animated film with the same name. I thought it was an enjoyable, yet unnecessary, remake. I was worried that the live action animals singing would be weird and feel like a National Geographic voice-over, but it didn’t. I thought that most of the voice actors did a great job, with a special shout out to Seth Rogen as Pumba. One that did feel noticeably lackluster to me was Scar. He just didn’t capture the essence of a slimy-scheming villain for me. I think I actually been more satisfied with a cliche casting choice, like Mark Hamill. It’s still a movie that’s worth seeing, if not for the songs and excitement, for the incredible CGI. It’s my understanding that the entire movie is CGI (making it technically an animated remake), but it’s so flawless that it is indistinguishable from real life. It’s truly incredible how far visual effects have come.

What I’m Looking Forward To

This week I’m looking forward to trying some of my new games, and hopefully finishing some old ones! Also, Pokemon, Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order and new Amiibos launch on November 15th.

Recent Pickups

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (Switch)

Death Stranding (Playstation 4)

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Blu-Ray)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (Blu-Ray)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: A New Hope (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Blu-Ray)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Blu-Ray)

Thanks For Reading!

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