If there’s one thing we know about here at Power Up Gaming, it’s the optimum temperature for storing salad cream in the fridge. If there are two things that we know about, the second thing would definitely be video games.
Using this expert knowledge, our writers have curated their thoughts and opinions on the games they’ve been jabbing at this week. Enjoy!
This week I’ve been on a Star Wars kick. Thanks to the recent discount on the Star Wars Mega Bundle, I’m now the owner of Super Star Wars, Racer: Revenge, Jedi Starfighter and Bounty Hunter, all of which I have been working my way through. Here’s a short summary of each:
Super Star Wars – Tougher than a sundried Mickey Rourke steak. It’s not actually a great game, despite what my memory informed me. This means that my memory cannot be trusted, causing me to rethink my stances on Pogs and Kriss Kross.
Star Wars Racer: Revenge – A surprisingly good racer, in spite of being the illegitimate child of Star Wars Episode 1: Racer. Sub par when compared to the likes of WipeOut, with odd technical issues, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter – HUD looks like an accident at the sherbet factory, but seems pretty good otherwise. Need to spend some more time with it.
Star Wars Bounty Hunter – I expected this to be the pick of the bunch, but feel pretty let down. So far it seems as bland as a sandpaper convention hosted by a slug, but I shall persevere regardless.
Overall, the package seems pretty mediocre. The two games I had the highest expectations for seem like letdowns, while the two I didn’t care about are surprisingly enjoyable. It’s funny how that works.
This week I’ve been hacking, slashing and cursing my way through the Hand of Fate DLC. My randomly-generated adventures have included a journey to the flaming underworld, tracking the footprints of the fabled White Minotaur and upsetting a rogue cabal of mages, but the crowning achievement has to be my victory against an honest-to-gods Kraken.
The Kraken battle mostly involves fighting off a few respawning lizard men (including the Jack and King of Scales) while dodging the Kraken’s tentacles and flame attacks, hitting the big beastie hard when you can. To be honest, I found the fight a little easy on my first try. But then again, I was already about twenty levels deep into Endless mode with enough blessings, gear and health to comfortably take half a dozen tentacles to various delicate areas before needing to be concerned.
But as Hand of Fate loves to remind you, the pendulum swings both ways. At least two of my subsequent runs were cut frustratingly short by encountering the Kraken card within the first few dungeons. Taking on this scourge of the seas with only basic gear is a whole different battle, from which I’ve emerged victorious only once. And I guess this is fair enough; it’s not called Hand-holding of Fate, after all.
I’ve gotten slightly further into The Last of Us, and have hit a bit of a snag. I’m not feeling invested in the characters, and the personal developments they’re going through just seem blatantly typical. The gameplay seems fine, I’m enjoying exploring the post-apocalyptic environments, but the next time I have to move a plank I’m going to just let Joel and Ellie be devoured by a zombie.
In order to alleviate my indifference, I started replaying Metal Gear Solid 2 on the PS3. I was thinking that I should probably get all the trophies in what is one of my favourite games of all time. Then, after realising that VR missions are boring, and that I don’t have the time for boring things, I started playing Bayonetta 2 instead.
I’m finally starting to realize that Bayonetta 2 is possibly the best game to come out on the Wii U. Its gameplay is challenging and rewarding, its music is wonderfully catchy, and it also has a staggering amount of content. I’m only now delving into some of the many moves that you can learn, exploring the corners of surprisingly large levels, and skipping cutscenes with the blatant disregard of someone just wanting to get to the gameplay.
Whereas the likes of Smash Bros, Mario Maker, and Mario Kart have all been busy collecting dust, with the former two relying heavily on multiplayer, Bayonetta 2 is still enticing me to return. Now, if only Platinum Games would stop working on games like Star Fox Zero, and release Bayonetta 3 or Metal Gear Rising 2.
I’m still playing Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward, like I was last week. However, I thought it was worth a mention in here because I just completed the Heavensward story last night! I hit the level cap on my Scholar and beat the story. I’m so chuffed about it, because at times I felt like I was just slogging through it to level up, which considering my style and times of play, it just felt like it was taking forever. But I’ve done it now, with the help of my Free Company friends we ran through the last dungeons with ease.
I have a couple of patches to catch up on now which shouldn’t take me too long, and then perhaps I’ll get around to moving forward with leveling other jobs and getting back to being a solid all rounder. I really, really enjoyed the story of Heavensward, but I think what brings me back to this game time and time again is that I just get to hang out with my friends and kick ass in a great game. They’re always someone there to lend a hand, and then newbies come and go who I’m helping out in the same way that I’ve had help. It’s the solid community of great people who elevate this game to the standard it’s at. Of course, having an absolutely nuts producer like Yoshi-P also helps!
Now, if only I can tear myself away from this game for something new next week…
Gaming has mainly been confined to my 3DS as of late, but that’s just fine by me after Nintendo finally decided to release some of their greatest classics on the handheld.
I’ve been splitting my time between three great mistresses in A Link to the Past, Pokemon Yellow and Shovel Knight. Originally, I was only planning on going back and forth between the first two games, but realized I haven’t yet played the Plague of Shadows DLC that came out last year; so I decided to dig into Shovel Knight again to get a feel for the game again. I’ve gotten all the way to the end and collected every upgrade, and I have to say that my respect for the title has grown even more. Back in 2014 I voted Shovel Knight as the best game of the year and I stand by that because of how easy it is to pick up and play. Even after not touching it for more than a year, Shovel Knight has proven itself to me all over again and has aged as well as Jennifer Aniston. I’m sure I’ll be playing it even in 10 years and I’m sure it’s going to be every bit as enjoyable as the first time I played it. I’m just hoping it’s not too long before they come out with a Polar Knight DLC.
Pokemon Yellow is awesome as always and was fitting considering the starters for Pokemon Sun and Moon were announced (Litten is my starter of choice in case you were wondering). As if Pokemon Yellow isn’t easy enough after getting handed all three original starters, I decided to do the infamous Mew glitch and really turn the game into one big cake walk. My party right now is Pikachu, Charmeleon, Ivysaur, Squirtle, Mew and a Sandshrew that knows cut. You never really realize just how broken Mew is until you compare its stats with starters a few levels ahead of it and do the math. The difference in stats between a level 15 Mew and level 19 Ivysaur is almost criminal, but hey, that’s what you get when you cheat. Remember back in the day when the rumor was going around that all you had to do to encounter Mew was use strength and the truck by the S.S. Anne? Man, I miss the days before the internet. Wait, no. No, I don’t.
Last, but not least, I’ll be participating in BAM8, Australia’s biggest fighting game tournament. Yours truly will be taking on some of the world’s best in Smash Bros. for the Wii U and to practice I’ve been taking part in friendly matches in a few locations around Melbourne. My traveling put me on a three-month hiatus that I am relieved to say is over. The tournament starts tomorrow and if you’re so inclined to see me get my butt kicked you can see the smash on twitch.com at twitch.tv/SASmelbournesmash. If you’re more of a Super Smash Bros. Melee fan you can watch that at twitch.tv/melbournemelee.
By next week I’ll hopefully be on to the Elite Four, Ganon and the Plague of Shadows DLC. Until then, stay classy everyone!