Monday, July 20, 2015

Helldivers, Godzilla, Lost Dimension, Etrian Untold 2  


Hey hey! Welcome back to Coffeecola!

My apologies for the hiatus! I wish I could say it was due to something exotic like taking a trip to Tahiti or winning the lottery, but it was just a simple case of life catching up with me.

I was working too many hours, not getting enough sleep, having my oldest son over for the summer, and having too much of a backlog when it came to everything. I needed to take a few things off my plate for a while, and the blog was something that was temporarily expendable.

Now that things have calmed down a bit, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things. So, let's start off with some games. What have I been playing?

Since I've been so busy, I've been spending a lot of time with my recent go-to, which is, of course, Helldivers. It's really easy to jump into the game and get a satisfying 30-45 minutes in, and then walk away feeling like something got accomplished.

Even better, the developers have been steadily supporting the game since launch, and the most recent update introduced three superbosses for players to tackle. These guys are incredibly tough, and pretty much impossible unless you're dropping in with a full squad, correctly kitted out. The wife and I took one of them down with two randos, but the other two bosses slapped us around and took selfies while they did it. We will get our revenge, though.

If you haven't already taken the plunge into Helldivers, now is a great time. All of the  major game updates are included for free if you buy the base game, and the DLC is really affordable and super useful, although totally not necessary.

Also, the game has been so successful that Sony is putting out a hardcopy version in August which includes some special gear not found anywhere else. It's possible that the new stuff will be available to the fans via separate purchase on PSN, but no announcements have been made there yet.

Besides that, I took some time to review the brand-new Godzilla game from Namco-Bandai. As much as I wanted it to be good… it's crap. 

There are a few cool things in there for hardcore Godzilla fans, but they're buried under so much bullshit that it's not worth the time and effort of unlocking them. If you want to read more, here's a link to my review, which just went up.

In other review news, I wrapped up my piece on the Vita’s upcoming Lost Dimension. It's still under embargo so I can't spill too much here, but the embargo drops 7/27. Look for my complete writeup then. 

However, in a PREVIEW sense, I can say that fans of strategy RPGs will want to check it out, although there are a few caveats that go along with that. More later.

Finally, it took me too long to get started, but I'm now deep in the middle of Etrian Odyssey Untold 2: The Fafnir Knight on 3DS. This one also under embargo at the moment, but if there’s one series you can count on to be absolutely reliable, it's EO.

In a PREVIEW sense, it's another installment in the long-running series, and fans will know exactly what to expect: dungeon-crawling, mapmaking, and orchestrating nuanced combat abilities between party members. All great stuff.

However, one thing that I AM having a problem with is that it seems like series artist Yuji Himukai did not do the art here. I may be incorrect, but the style looks different to me, and I'm 99% sure it's a different person. I'm a big fan of Himukai’s art style, and it's tough getting over this new look. It's not bad, but the character art is definitely not as sharp as it has been in the past. 

Character art aside, I'm still really enjoying it in a PREVIEW sense, and would totally recommend it to anyone who's already a fan, or to anyone curious about it. The game has a reputation for being uber-hardcore, but the "easy" setting here is really, really, really easy, so it's pretty much the most approachable it's ever been. Have no fear.


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