Fire Emblem: Engage Is Anything But

While I did not manage to finish my most recent Fire Emblem: Three Houses play-through, I decided to go ahead and start playing Fire Emblem: Engage anyway. It had just come out, after all, and I needed something new and exciting after the week I’d had. I needed something to keep me engaged and, well, it was right there in the title. Unfortunately for me, my first evening of playing the game was marked by multiple restarts, no ability to shift the difficult up mid-game (which accounts for one of the restarts), and a whole lot of trying to figure out if the mouth movements were bad and making everything else seem good by comparison or if I just couldn’t see anything because the mouth movements for the English dub prevented me from noticing anything else happening during the dialogue and cut-scenes.

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My Video Game Schedule Is Full Through Next Winter

I played a lot of video games during my two-week vacation over the winter holidays this year, but I feel like I barely scratched the surface of all the games I got and want to play. This feeling isn’t entirely based in reality, since half the games I currently want to play are games that I don’t own. I put a bit of an embargo on buying things in the latter half of the year, specifically on games I would be alright waiting to play but definitely wanted to play eventually so I’d be able to give people ideas for what to give me as a gift. Now that the holidays are over and I’m not expecting any more gifts, I’m looking to buy everything I wanted and didn’t get. It’s not a huge amount of games, to be sure, but it’s enough that I’m probably going to be busy for months, especially with all the other games coming out this year.

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My Pokémon X-perience Is Kinda Forgettable

I’ve been doing a replay of the Pokémon franchise over the past year or so (very casually, mostly while riding my exercise bike or for a few scattered minutes here or there) and I started Gen 5 a month ago with Pokémon X. Now, I’ve never actually finished Pokémon X before. I’m not sure I’ve even gotten to the point where I’d fight or capture the titular legendary Pokémon in either of my past play-throughs. I honestly can’t remember how far I got in any of my previous runs because they were all fairly focused play-throughs that happened with multiple years between them. I think I did my last attempt at beating the game in the months before Pokémon Sword and Shield came out, and the one before that was in the year or two after the game originally released. Long enough ago that I don’t remember exactly when it happened.

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Wildermyth Is Great In Single AND Multiplayer

I’ve been steadily working my way through Wildermyth during my vacation. I meant to play a bunch of other games during my winter vacation time, but I wound up getting sucked back into Wildermyth thanks to a combination of my Wednesday night gaming evening with a friend and watching the VODs of a collection of the Friends at the Table crew playing through one of the stories (something they started doing as one of the donation goals from their charity stream back in July). I don’t regret it, aside from how much I’ve wrecked my sleep schedule by “one more task before I stop for the night”-ing my way to four in the morning, because it’s a lot of fun to grind my way through mechanically and narratively. The battles are satisfying, the random events are interesting, and the storytelling is always fun to read through. It really is just a great game to sink my time into.

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Spending Christmas In Valheim

The time has come for my yearly return to Valheim. There’s a new major patch, I’ve got some amount of time off coming up that is pretty much unclaimed due to the world shutting down for a holiday I don’t celebrate, and I have a huge backlog of podcasts since I spent the last three or four months doing a re-listen of the entire Sci-Fi side of Friends At The Table in preparation for the upcoming new season. Now, all I need to do is figure out how to get my friend who hosts the world to leave his computer on so I can play while he’s busy with family. Then I’ll be set to build the new base we’ve been discussing and maybe go on a bunch of hunts to finally have enough feathers so I’m not constantly rationing all of my arrows. He’s the tank and I’m the DPS, so I have been running out super quickly now that we’re in areas that take some real work to deal with all kinds of more-mobile enemies (the plains are full of smaller enemies that really just love to change their movement direction the instant I loose my arrows).

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The Best Game I’ve Played This Month is Lil Gator Game

Recently, I purchased and played through the entirety of a game in a single day. I stayed up very late to do it, but I managed to one hundred percent Lil Gator Game in an extended evening. I’ve been following the development of the game on Twitter for a while now, ever since I saw a retweet and was instantly charmed by the blocky but detailed aesthetics and the clear homage to The Legend of Zelda that the main gameplay revolves around. Over the months since then, I’ve watched as more and more detail has come out via small videos and trailers for Steam and then, on the 14th, I bought it immediately. While I’m normally leery of any kind of hype train, I can definitely say that this game delivered on every promise it made.

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The Latest Update to Splatoon 3 Looks Pretty Chill

A new season has begun in Splatoon 3. I haven’t been playing the game much lately, and the idea of new stages, game modes, and weaponry doesn’t really appeal to me in the “let’s try out some new cool stuff!” kind of way, but it might just get me back into the game anyway. After all, it’s always been fun when I haven’t been getting disconnected and put in time out as a result. The core gameplay loop is pretty fun and fairly low-stakes since the matches only last a few minutes, so the only thing that ever really gets on my nerves is the communication issues. Sure, there’s still some issues that the game’s creators need to address by improving communication overall, but my ISP also shares some of the blame at this point and there’s not much I can do about it unless I want to call so I can get sales pitches thrown at me for an hour while I get transferred between various departments multiple times before someone just as tired of the rigmarole as I am finally confirms that they don’t offer any service plans that include what I want. And I would rather do just about anything else with my time than that.

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The One Thing I Can’t Escape in Pokémon Violet

I still have a few more plot events to run through in the latest Pokémon game, not to mention about one hundred to one hundred fifty Pokémon still to catch or trade for, but I’ve put a pretty serious dent in the game’s content, met most of the NPCs, finished my classes, and at least briefly visited every major area in the game. I’ve had some fun moments spotting Psyducks glitched into surfaces, finding Garchomps flying around in mountains, discovering that my shiny Psyduck really is visually glitched and I wasn’t just imagining it being weird-looking this entire time (it’s constantly under a “bright-light-making-colors-fade-a-bit” effect when it appears in the world), and getting revenge on the high-powered trainer I accidentally ran into in my first few hours of the game (a cabbie just outside the central hub city on the path to the Elite Four is stronger than most gym leaders). I’ve had a lot of fun exploring the world, searching for new Pokémon to catch, and discovering stuff some of my friends who already finished their Pokédexes never found. It’s been fun. Mostly.

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God of War: Ragnarok Is as Fun to Play as It Is to Read

I’ve gotten a bit further in God of War: Ragnarok. I’m still only about halfway through the game, I think, since I’ve been distracted by things like getting adequate sleep, other video games, and a new book release, but I’m enjoying myself. I’ve had a few issues in combat,specifically with the game responding sluggishly to my controller inputs, but I’m also hypersensitive to input lag thanks to my work as a software tester and my sort of high-precision style of gameplay. Other than that, and a couple weird moments where the camera got pushed somewhere useless when I dodge an attack near a wall, it’s been a fun, enjoyable experience. Even when I’ve been fighting some really angry ghosts who keep kicking my ass to the point where I’d just give up on the fight and start over if I got hit a single time before I got said angry ghost to half HP. All-in-all, the game remains just as fun as the first one and while I do miss some of the combat mechanics I used frequently in the prequel, there’s plenty of new and fun combat mechanics for me to use in this one.

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