James’ Games #21: Halo 2, Red Dead Redemption & Pokemon

What I’ve Been Up To

Red Dead Redemption (XBOX One S)

After nearly 10 years, I’ve finally finished the original Red Dead Redemption. It’s an XBOX 360 game, but I’ve been playing it on my XBOX One S. I like the story of the game but it felt too long for what I was actually doing. In nearly every mission, you’ll start at point A, ride all the way across the map to point B to start the next mission, and then the NPC will say something like “get on that horse and follow me” and you’ll ride all the way back to point A. It feels like a lot of unnecessary padding and it was one of my least favorite things about the game. Additionally, there are a lot of missions that require you to go to start them at a specific time. These were particularly annoying because there isn’t a reliable way to know what time it is in game. There’s also not a reliable way to pass time in-game. The best method that I found was going to a bed and saving, and just hope you wake up during the timeslot for the mission. I think that they did it this way so that you would do side quests and explore the world between Story Missions, but I would have preferred them to just auto advance to the necessary time. On top of that, the ending of the game nearly killed me. The last 3ish hours are incredibly boring. John Marston returns home to be the husband and father that he always wanted to be. In the missions you play as John teaching Jack how to hunt, ride, and shoot. It really feels like the introduction or tutorial to a new game. It’s slightly made up for by a heartfelt cutscene with Jack and an incredibly fun defend-the-castle style final mission. All in all, I’m glad I played it, but probably won’t replay it.

Halo 2 (XBOX One S)

I also finished Halo 2. Pretty much all of my first impressions held through until the end of the game. I liked the additional story and lore in Halo 2, but I didn’t like playing as the Arbiter. Additionally, since it’s the middle of a trilogy, the ending felt inconclusive and left me feeling like there should be more. I’ll probably start Halo 3 soon, or early next year.

Yoshi’s Crafted World (Nintendo Switch)

I believe that I’m getting very close to the end of Yoshi’s Crafted World. I’ve collected five of the missing gems, and now I’m collecting Smiley-Flowers to enter the final area, or at least I believe it’s the final area. I think the game is fine. I don’t know who I’d recommend it for though. If someone wants to try a multiplayer platformer, it’s not as good as New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe, and if someone likes the puzzle aspects of it, it’s nowhere near as good as Captain Toad Treasure Tracker. It’s a simple game that doesn’t require much effort or attention. Good to play handheld during Sunday football, but not quite fun enough to hold my attention on its own.

Pokemon Sword & Shield (Nintendo Switch)

Pokemon Sword & Shield released November 15th on Nintendo Switch. It’s the first original mainline Pokemon game on the platform. I’m playing Sword and my wife is playing Shield. I chose the Fire starter and she chose one of the others. I’m barely past the first gym, I’ve caught around 20 Pokémon and seen around 50. So far I really like it. It seems like a pretty standard Pokemon game to me, and it’s the first main Pokémon game I’ve played since Omega Ruby (Gen 3). I have no idea which Pokémon are from Generations 4-7 and which ones are brand new to Generation 8. It’s what I wanted from a Pokémon game. At this time, I have no intention of completing the Pokédex, I’m mainly planning to play the story, collect the badges and defeat my rival. That might change as I play more, but for now I’m just looking forward to discovering more pokemon.

A Simple Favor (Movie at Home)

A Simple Favor is listed on IMDB as a Comedy Thriller. I picked it up from a $5 blu-ray bin, and we watched it this past week for the first time. It stars Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as friends who are incredibly different. When Emily (Blake Lively) seemingly disappears it’s up to Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) to dig into her past and figure out what could have happened. The movie is enjoyable, and entertaining, but a bit cliche in the end. Also, we were only about an hour in when there was a twist, and the rest was kinda slow. I would have preferred about 90% thriller, with an answer revealed, and then a quick ending.

X-Men Dark Phoenix (Movie at Home)

This wasn’t my first time seeing Dark Phoenix, but I purchased the Blu-Ray, so I decided to watch it again once I brought it home. X-Men Dark Phoenix is the final installment in the Fox X-Men series. Now that Disney obtained Fox, it is unlikely we will get any more movies in that universe. Dark Phoenix isn’t the worst movie in the series, but it didn’t do anything too great either. There’s some cool action, I really like the chemistry between Charles (James McAvoy) and Hank (Nicholas Hoult), but the writing and story is where it kinda falls apart for me. It’s a fun movie, but it didn’t leave me wanting more from the series.

What I’m Looking Forward To

Knives Out (Movie)

Knives Out released a couple days ago (11/28/19). I haven’t seen a whole lot about it, but it appears to be some sort of murder mystery with a bunch of famous people in it. It caught my attention, and I’m looking forward to seeing it this weekend.

Star Wars

I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan. I bought my tickets for Star Wars Episode IX, and I also picked up Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order for XBOX One. I’m looking forward to both and experiencing more of the Star Wars Universe/

Recent Pickups

Star Wars – Jedi: Fallen Order (XBOX One)

Chrom (Amiibo)

Incineroar (Amiibo)

Simon (Amiibo)

Thanks for reading!

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