I have been admittedly stagnant on the updates here on SlickGaming, but that doesn’t mean I’m not playing, creating, or, furthermore, abandoning the ol’ blog. In fact, far from it! I’ve had my hands full with a lot of games as of late, and there are no signs of slowing down with tons of great new stuff coming in the future! Just to give a quick update (and personally allow myself to play catch up with… myself?), here’s what I’ve been spending my time on as of late.
In case you have’t noticed (shame on you!) I have been streaming all of my console gaming on twitch! While my viewership is low, sometimes playing for hours without a single person watching/listening, I still enjoy getting my games out there for others to enjoy. I am pretty positive I am the only one streaming some of these games because they are so old, but perhaps with patience and dedication I’ll form a sort of following.
My 3DS has been taken over by Pokemon Shuffle. Nintendo’s experiment on Free-to-Play mobile gaming, Pokemon Shuffle is kind of like Pokemon Trozei meets Candy Crush Saga: there are plenty of Pocket Monsters to catch and level up, but you only have a small set of regenerating lives to do it. The match-3 puzzle gameplay is addictive, but the limited time to play unless you pay real money (a staple of F2P mobile games, I know) is a bummer. Still, since I can just close my 3DS and open it again after work it’s quite easy to play a few dozen matches a day and still feel accomplished. I’m waiting to see how the success of this one will influence Nintendo’s recently announced foray into the mobile gaming market.
One of the best, and strangely sometimes worst, parts of being a game collector is having a ton of games in your backlog to play. Some days it’s easy: I just look at a game and say, “Yeah, I’m playing that today,” while other days there just an insurmountable number of titles to occupy my time I don’t even know where to begin! Fortunately these past two weeks I was able to settle on a few games, one of them being the Wii classic from Capcom, Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure. You control Zack, a young pirate eager to impress his band of brothers by collecting treasure. Aiding him is a somewhat annoying robot-monkey thing named Wiki, who can interact with objects and do some other cool stuff. Gameplay is a mix of point-and-click adventuring with puzzle solving. For example, there might be a block of ice halting your progress, but if you go back and pick up a stick, light it on fire, and use that fire stick to melt the ice, you can continue. It’s fun and ridiculously adorable, but incredibly frustrating at times. In fact, I got so fed up during one play session, I decided I wasn’t going to play it anymore, haha! Having to start over after just one mistake gets old!
I’ve probably spent the most time playing Mario Party 10 on Wii U. I don’t really see why so many reviewers online are ragging on it: Yeah, it’s not like the first few Mario Partys, but if you have a group of friends (and that’s the key) then you’ll have a hell of a good time playing! The biggest new addition, and arguably best part of Mario Party 10, is the Bowser Party mode. It takes the all-in-one-kart concept from Mario Party 9 and makes it work much better, by having the players try to move away collectively from Bowser (who could actually be played by another person, bringing the total number of players to 5!). It’s a cooperative Mario Party, and that works. What also works are the minigames: they are fun, sometimes require luck, but usually always result in a chuckle. And yes, I do agree with some that the minigames are few and far between sometimes, and I hope this is addressed in a new mode or new style of gameplay in future installments. This game has also piqued more interest for me in amiibos, as the game has a mode for them as well. While amounting to nothing more than a glorified way to play the game, the amiibo Party mode is still fun, and actually does off some varied gameplay. Basically, if you have a Wii U and some friends to play with, this is a must have game.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the past couple weeks has been the Wii’s Little King’s Story. A mix of RPG, Strategy, and Sim gameplay, Little King’s Story has a lot going for it. It plays a lot like Overlord or Pikmin, having you command troops which excel in specific tasks by launching them at enemies or specific points to interact and do stuff. For example, you can send knights to attack enemies, carpenters to build bridges at certain landmarks, and woodcutters to chop down and remove giant trees or stumps blocking your path. Tasked with unifying the world (or as one obviously dastardly servant puts it, World Domination), the game quickly opens up to being much larger than I anticipated. After several hours I still find myself hooked, trying to think of ways to overcome comical foes like literal Onion Knights or giant “Mad” cows, enroute to expanding my kingdom and adding more citizens and occupations. I really dig the visual style as well: a sort of children’s book art direction mixed with fantasy elements. Worth nothing, a PS VIta re-release came out in 2012, but it oddly changed the art style to be less childlike and more adult, with, for lack of a better phrase, more traditional RPG visuals. If you’ve got a Wii/Wii U, this is definitely worth checking out if you can still find it!
With any luck, I’ll be able to create some video content out of these games. I’ll try to start with Mario Party 10 because it’s most relevant, but I’ve already got a lot of footage for Little King’s Story and I’ve pretty much wrapped up Zack & Wiki. Now I just need to find the time, which is kind of why this post exists in the first place.
What have you all been playing recently? Any new pick ups you think I should know about? Let me know!