What We’re Playing This Week – Fairy Tale Edition

Terry Randolph – Tom Clancy’s The Division (Xbox One/PS4), Dead Space (Xbox One), Undertale (Steam), Bravely Default (3DS)

This week is going to be unique because it’s going to be a lot of travelling – travelling to Fresno, Glendale and Oakland. It’s going to be relatively low key, and the games I have selected will be played very sporadically but enough to at least get some progress going.

Finally finished the story for Tom Clancy’s The Division (going to work on the review to have it ready either the end of this week or beginning of next week. Aside from having not been in the dark zone to explore, I’ve enjoyed my experience overall and found it more enjoyable than Destiny (some people might disagree with me). The ending of the game was anti-climatic, but has me excited enough to see what the DLC is going to add to the experience. Also got it for PS4 to join some other friends to play. I’m hoping to get back into Bravely Default so I can get to Xenoblade Chronicles (and subsequently, Xenoblade Chronicles X), and plan on playing Undertale in my hotel room on Wednesday night. Hopefully I’ll get to play a little bit of everything.

Jake Rushing – Pokémon Silver (Gameboy/Gameboy Color), Looney Tunes Carrot Crazy (Gameboy/ Gameboy Color), Pokemon Yellow (Gameboy), Miitomo (iOS/Android)

Here’s the latest update on Pokémon Silver: I have managed to beat all of the gym leaders in the Kanto region. All there is left now is to beat Red. But as it stands, my team is unfortunately not strong enough to handle some of his Pokémon, so I’m going to grind my team so it could be strong enough to handle Espeon, Blastoise, and maybe Snorlax without much trouble. Hopefully I can finish this game before Thursday.

Once I beat Silver, I’ll start playing Looney Tunes Carrot Crazy that I got thanks to a unknown eBay seller’s decision to include the game with Earthworm Jim when I purchased it a long while ago.This game shouldn’t take me long to play and beat it from the look of things.

Once I beat Carrot Crazy, I’ll get back on the Pokémon games and continue playing Pokémon Yellow. It’s fun game to enjoy, too bad that not many games would have the Pokémon-following-you feature.

Oh Miitomo, you know how to get players to keep playing the mobile game. There’s something captivating about interacting with your friends in your phone that makes me play the game on potty breaks, or just walking to and from work, or other points where I just feel like playing with the mobile game.

Sean Willis – Miitomo, Super Mario Maker, rom hacks
Miitomo, strange pointless social program thing which is kinda like talking about yourself to your own robot avatar who then visits your friend’s robots and chit chats. Bringing it back to you and asking pointless questions over and over again. You get My.Nintendo points to use on free games though, so there’s that. Miitomo is strangely addicting and its a bit of a controlled environment with lots of charm so less dumb things like other social apps and more just chit chat without worries. Also Miifoto feature is actually kinda fun for awhile. I take snaps of games and put my Mii in it, cause I can. Kinda doesn’t count as a game but the chit chat style social interaction is kinda nice. Hopefully they’ll update it with ways to customize our Mii’s homes and perhaps use content from Miitomo in future games as a sort of personalizing feature.

I rented Super Mario Maker recently and well, while I really dislike its limits it can have a little bit of fun. I run into a lot of trap stages online and get rather frustrated with them. Though I appreciate the Mario Paint references I really think some more advanced tools could have been added. Custom blocks, custom music, slopes, maybe those climbable fences I loved from Super Mario World on SNES? However I’ve come to terms with it as I think of it more as a new entry to the New Super Mario Bros series rather than a large level making tool. I do like some of the tricks some players did like a lock and password system. I wouldn’t pay full price for it but I guess its not bad on its own and for what charm there is in it. Tons and tons of charm, I’ll give it that.
(Oh and my recreation attempt at Alex Kidd Miracle World level 1 D53A-0000-0220-70A2  enjoy)

While I’m at it though Super Mario Maker had me wanting more tools like the many rom hacking tools I used to play with when I was younger. Probably best I don’t post links to the Mario rom hacks I messed with but I really enjoy it when they change the mechanics around. There’s still bad overly difficult levels in some but every now and then I stumble on something that sticks with the original Mario Style. Not to mention rom hacking tools sure have come a long way.
Hmm, now I just wanna finish my Pico-8 projects more.

Marshall Garvey – Jak II, Sac Indie Arcade Expo games 

My schedule continues to be hectic. But with my soon-to-be-published first book, Secrets of the Governor’s Mansion, at long last completed, I can now focus extra energy on gaming. After a long day of errands and a historical society board meeting, I decided to veg out with Jak II again. I’ve finally left the city, and while I still haven’t gotten far in the story, the game already feels like a fast favorite. One quality that’s increasingly standing out for me as I play is the open world aspect. Especially for a game released in 2002, the detail and liveliness is pretty stellar.

Of course, my biggest gaming preoccupation as of late was attending the third annual Sacramento Indie Arcade Expo on April 9 with Sean and Isaac. We’ll be running a full recap later this week, but I can tell you already that I’m still overwhelmed by the volume of excellent games available for testing. The Sacramento dev scene brought their A game, and I felt downright spoiled getting to play their offerings all day for free. There are really too numerous to mention, even when I go into detail about them in the recap, so consider this a blanket salute to everyone who was there. Whether or not I played your game, you are a pivotal reason the Sac gaming scene is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

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