52 Weeks of Gaming: Week 9 (2/25-3/3): Welcome to Hekseville

Gravity Rush Remastered: Every year, I always have at least one game series that I try out based on what my peers recommend. I tried out and enjoyed the Devil May Cry series last year and the Zero Escape trilogy in 2017 because of recommendations. Gravity Rush Remastered is just another game that was highly regarded that I was curious about and finally got around to try it out. It turned out to be one of my favorite games that I played this year.

            Gravity Rush made me feel the same as when I played Spider-Man last year. Being able to traverse and maneuver in an open area with Kat’s gravity shifting techniques was as satisfying as web-slinging around New York as Spider-Man. Shifting gravity also makes fighting in the game refreshing since it makes it easy to target the orbs on the Nevi and figure out different ways to attack rather than just use kick combos. The challenges were tolerable since restarting the challenge after completing/failing it was quick. It also helped me master the game’s mechanics.

            What surprised me the most was the presentation and writing. Going in, I knew that the game was short and thought that it might have been a tech demo game. However, the characters in the game were fleshed out and likeable. I really liked Kat’s character, she has a child-like innocence and the energy of a teenage girl, which is different than other female protagonists in other games. With the fact that she lost her memory of the time before the game starts, her character reminds me of Goku from the original Dragon Ball. Raven was also another good character, as you learn throughout the game about her goals/motivations and why she was trying to stop you from saving Hekseville.

            Sometimes the story is told in a comic book style, which gives the game some charm. The cell shaded models and the environment made it feel like you were playing in a comic book. Hekseville and other environments were designed well, being open and wide enough where you can have fun travelling with your gravity shifting techniques. The orchestrated soundtrack works for the game, since some of the music makes Hekseville feel whimsical pieces while some songs makes battles feel epic. The soundtrack reminds me of Ni no Kuni’s music and Ghibli films.

Even though it only took me 13 hours to beat the game, I had a lot of fun completing Gravity Rush. I usually don’t go for Platinum Trophies for PlayStation games, but enjoyed how the game played enough that I got it for this game (inFamous: Second Son & Just Cause 3 are my other Platinum Trophies). I can’t wait to play the sequel later this week.

Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes: Trying to find a game to play after finishing Tales of Vesperia, I thought that I would spend time this week to beat Travis Strikes Again since I felt that it wouldn’t take me a lot of time to do so. After finishing the game, I felt that I had an okay experience playing it.

            I liked that each stage had a different gimmick based on the game the stage was based on. However, every stage always had a hack-and-slash part to it, which didn’t help make each stage feel different. For example, the Golden Dragon GP stage had a stick shift drag racing sections, but you played through a hack-and-slash section in between races.

            The game ended on a sour note with the CIA stage. It felt like it took too long to finish the stage, having multiple puzzles and too many rooms that felt like it unnecessarily extended the level. There was one room that I was in where I encountered two small enemies that had a machine gun like attack, which stun locked me and drained at least 75% of my health. At that point, I suffered multiple game overs at that part, which frustrated me since I had to redo the previous couple rooms each time. This was also the point of the game where I encountered the most glitches. I was stuck in one room because the game forgot to open the gate after I defeated every enemy, which led me to resetting the game. The game crashed twice for me at points where there were a lot of enemies and when the screen got fuzzy after a little while. Although I enjoyed the final boss fight, playing through the CIA stage left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

While the game was in development, Suda mentioned that this game was inspired by multiple indie games. If this game didn’t have the No More Heroes flare, I would say that the game is perfectly fine as a small indie title. However, since it is a spinoff to the No More Heroes franchise, I’m a little disappointed that it had the same quality of an average indie game. At least it seems like No More Heroes 3 will go back to the formula of the core games. I don’t see myself touching this game for a long time, and I can’t see myself recommending this game unless you are a hardcore No More Heroes fan.

Deltarune Chapter 1: I originally downloaded Deltarune on my computer last year but didn’t play it because I was thinking about recording my live reaction of the game. That however did not come into fruition and forgot about the game entirely. Since it came out for the Switch, I thought it was the best time to actually try it out.

            What stood out to me was the quality of life changes that was made to make it feel like an improvement from Undertale. Enemies are now on the field instead of having random encounters like old RPGs, the menus during battle look cleaner, and now battle sequences look like a typical RPG by being able to see both your party and the enemies. Deltarune takes the necessary step forward as a sequel by having a party and more strategical elements during battle.

            When I finished the game, I was confused if I got the bad ending considering the scary cutscene that played at the end. With all the improvements and the mysterious ending, I can’t wait for what Toby Fox has in store fore us with the next chapter.

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