52 Weeks of Gaming: Week 1 (12/31-1/6): Ninjas and Fire Emblem

To end 2018, I wanted to finish a game that I enjoyed that year but never really put enough time to finish. I ended up choosing The Messenger because I saw a lot of people put that game on their Top Games of 2018 lists.

            When I started playing the game this week, I decided to restart my save file to re-experience the game. Usually I restart games because I would forget how some of the game’s mechanics and feel like it would ruin my experience. Considering that I was only a couple of hours into the game, which isn’t as bad as restarting an RPG 40 hours in.

            As a platformer, the game controls are very responsive and I felt really comfortable playing as the Messenger. The game made me feel like I am playing the original Ninja Gaiden in a modern 2D action adventure game similar to Shovel Knight. The flavor text through out the game was something that I enjoyed since it kept me entertained throughout my playthrough. I always looked forward towards visiting the shop to interact with the shopkeeper.

            When I stopped playing the game, I was at the middle of Glacier Peak. Little did I know, I stopped right when the game started to become good. I felt that playing through the Tower of Time and Cloud Ruins put all of the skills I learned so far to the test and was an enjoyable challenge. When it comes to platformers, I feel the most satisfied when the game throws me a difficult challenge that makes me use the game’s mechanics to its full potential. That is what I experienced with The Messenger and why I feel like I will enjoy this game a lot. I also forgot that the game had a time travel mechanic where when you go into the future, the visuals and sounds get upgraded from an 8-bit styled game to a game from the 16-bit era. I can’t wait to get through more of the game next week.

            Something that will probably constantly show up on these weekly blog posts are my experiences with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that week. I am currently in the middle of the process of trying out all of the characters on the rosters and figuring out which ones I feel very comfortable playing with. This week, I played most of the Fire Emblem characters since I enjoyed playing Roy since Day 1. Chrom felt better than Roy overall, considering his power is balanced throughout his sword rather than the hilt being the sweet spot. However, his recovery move isn’t that reliable enough for me. In the end, I ended up playing a lot of Lucina who, just like Chrom, felt like an overall better fighter than Marth. With Marth’s speed, her sword power balanced, and a lot of combo potential, it felt like Lucina was the perfect sword fighter. It was interesting that I ended up playing a lot of Lucina this week because I had no interest in playing as her in Smash 4. Trying her out online, I ended up being very successful to the point where she had the highest GSP on my roster. I am definitely considering using her more often going forward.

            While cleaning up the apartment this week, I had the urge to pick up my 3DS and play some of my old games. Since I played mostly Chrom and Lucina this week in Smash, I decided to play Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. I get it, Chrom and Lucina originated from Fire Emblem Awakening and replaying that game makes more sense. However, Fire Emblem Echoes is the only 3DS game in the series that I haven’t finished yet and I want to clear up my backlog as much as I can this year.

            Just like The Messenger, I started a new save file because I could not progress further from my original save file. After playing the first few hours, I really enjoy some of the mechanics that are different from other Fire Emblem games. For example, you can actually interact with the different areas in some of the towns and villages you go through. Although it isn’t that much compared to most games, I think it is a step towards the right direction in the series. I also like how traveling through the map and each battle makes it feel like you are experiencing how your army is progressing through the war. With these changes, I hope Intelligent Systems builds upon them in Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

            I also bought Night in the Woods since it was on sale. The game has been considered a really good game that is similar to Oxenfree, which was a game that I enjoyed last year. I am debating if I should live stream the game at some point in the near future…

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