We're back with another issue of Now Playing at SUPERJUMP! Our writers are back from holiday and better than ever, with all the games they're currently playing, obsessing over, thinking about, and looking forward to in the coming weeks. So enjoy, and we'll see you back here soon with more recommendations, and odes to the games our team loves!
I’m back from a long personal hiatus to finally, FINALLY, finish FFXVI. I just beat the most recent DLC but haven’t gotten to the real end of the game (good thing too! Echoes of the Fallen is set right before the end). I struggled through the side quests because I’m determined to finish every single one, and this game tends to front-load them at odd times. Some of these quests surprised me with their poignancy, but most of them…didn’t. Either way, I’m excited to finally beat the game before diving back into FFXIV. I have tissues at the ready.
For the last few weeks, I've been bouncing between Power Wash Simulator and Slay the Spire, but I really wanted to complete a game from my backlog. I settled on Ender Lilies, and can say, for not being a huge Metroidvania fan, I adored this game. It was the perfect length and difficulty with a touching story, beautiful graphics, and a phenomenal soundtrack. I was overdue for a skill-based game, and Ender Lilies proved the perfect challenge. Maps maps maps... I did need a little help figuring out where to go next since the map was overwhelming.
I've been playing Persona 5 Strikers on weekends and the .hack//G.U. Last Recode game collection during the week. Persona 5 Strikers has been especially engrossing; the battle system is exactly the type of action RPG combat I've been looking for in a Switch game. It reminds me of the battle system of the game Kingdom Hearts' Dream Drop Distance', which lets you parkour your way through enemies using button commands and by interacting with certain objects. Besides the battle system, I have enjoyed reuniting with the Persona 5 cast on this epic summer adventure. There have been some endearing character moments and I'm looking forward to seeing how things end up for them.
This week I've been continuing to play the hot off-the-press Prince Of Persia: The Lost Crown. If my memory serves me right - please don't judge me - this is my first Metroidvania game that I might actually finish (I dabbled with Hollow Knight and Guacamelee! games, but did I complete them? Umm...no). The map might be a bit too large for my taste and the storyline is pretty basic (so far), but the variety of enemies and platforming bits that recall my ancient Prince Of Persia memories redeem all the weak points.
I've also been enjoying blasting hordes in Warhammer: Darktide, which I received as a belated Christmas gift! And if any folks are wondering how I'm doing on my Red Dead Redemption 2 progress, well, let's just say it's reaching a point where I spend more time staring at its icon, dreaming about being on the saddle again, than actually playing it.
I figured I should start Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen since the sequel is coming out in March, and I am pretty interested in the sequel. Dark Arisen's combat feels surprisingly fluid for the time, but it is very flawed. I took issue with not having a target lock or a dodge roll, causing most engagements to involve turning and running when you're surrounded, which bugs me heavily. The pawn mechanic is what makes Dragon's Dogma unique, but I feel like it's not fully realized in this game. I was a bit disappointed I can only create one pawn, and that you're unable to change the Skills of downloaded pawns.
Maybe someday there will be a game that lets me create an entirely custom party - that's the dream. Otherwise, while I found myself in the addictive phase of Dragon's Dogma where I probably played it too long in a day, I still find that the game does a lot of things well, but nothing particularly great yet. Everything feels good to just okay or even downright mediocre. But they're all interesting concepts, and I find that is possibly the reason for the appeal - and why I think a sequel has grand potential. I also later discovered that you can dodge roll as an Assassin, which is a much more fun class to play than the Fighter.
After wrapping up my review of Don't Nod's mountain-climbing adventure Jusant (coming soon to these pages!), I went looking for something less involved than my continuing adventures with Cyberpunk 2077. Months after buying it, I was finally able to dive into the acclaimed 2D side-scroller, Cyber Shadow. It's no surprise that the game is published by Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games because it's just as good as the spade-wielding medieval hero's adventures. Cyber Shadow is another wonderful example of classic ethos with modern trappings, a 2D actioner that feels like we remember it, not like it actually did in the 8-bit days. It controls wonderfully, with spot-on platforming, challenging combat, and levels filled with traps and enemies that are as fun to watch as to kill. I'll be enjoying my time with this one for sure!
That's a wrap for this week's Now Playing at SUPERJUMP! Thank you for checking out the veritable treasure trove of games our team is playing right now, and be sure to check back next week when we're back with more.
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