Now Playing at SUPERJUMP, Issue 17

A little AAA, a little indie...

Now Playing at SUPERJUMP, Issue 17

We're back with another issue of Now Playing at SUPERJUMP! With several high-profile games releasing in the past week and the gargantuan FF7 Rebirth just a week away, our team has chimed in with what is occupying their controllers in the meantime. So enjoy this week's entries and we'll see you back here soon with more recommendations and odes to the games our team loves!

Leah Isobel

I've been bouncing around different games recently. I'm close to finishing Mario Wonder, which I've found to be somewhat mediocre. I think it doesn't go far enough in playing with the tropes of 2D Mario, though I like the Special World stages and the badge challenges. I wish it was harder, or more mysterious; it just feels a little too smooth and theme park-y.

I started a new file on Owlboy, which has been in my backlog for many years. While I'd score it the same as Mario Wonder (3.5 out of 5), I like it more. The art in this game is really stunning, and put together with an eye for coherence instead of just what looks good in isolation. This is particularly clear in the color palette, which I want to describe with food metaphors like rich, sumptuous, and cakey. I like its writing, which I think articulates how societal structures create suffering without being too obvious. Just watching the way that characters speak to each other gets the message across, and it works with the visuals to give the game a solid sense of place. As a played experience... it's fine. The controls kind of suck. I'm not convinced that its moment-to-moment play is well articulated. But it has heart, and I like it.

Owlboy on Steam
Owlboy. Source: Steam.

Lastly, I played and beat an indie platformer called Sylvie Lime over the past week or so. It rules. Its big feature is the ability to turn into a lime, which basically makes the player act like a projectile; you'll maintain momentum and bounce off walls. It's exquisitely built around that central idea. Unlike Owlboy, which is underwhelming in terms of gameplay experience, Sylvie Lime is really smart and inventive on a moment-to-moment basis. And unlike Mario Wonder, which is way too polished, Sylvie Lime is slightly janky and crunchy in a way that gives the game texture and playfulness. It's a challenging game at first, but it feels like a good dare: low stakes, fun, and very rewarding. I felt like I got to know the developers by playing it - really cool stuff.

Guilherme Alves

Boktai 3 has the best colors ever put in a video game, I reckon. Everything is so lively, so alive, so delightful, and it doesn't even seem as a theming-related contrast to its post-apocalyptic, spaghetti-westernized, existentialism-filled story — no, it's not contrast, it's cohesiveness. The end of the world is not scary because it's ugly, it's scary because it shows what you are going to miss after it's done. It's nostalgic about life itself, about community, about technology. Instead of showing those as a melancholic throwback-y memory, it shows them fully fledged in the present, grasping at the hope they give like it's the only thing that is still there. It's probably the best game ever made. I can only meet it in the same terms it meets me, so yeah.

Rachel Alm

I'm going to be playing through Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth. There have been quite a few collaborations with local vendors that are featured in the game (Matsumoto's Shave Ice!), so I'm very excited to explore the pixelated version of home. Otherwise, Final Fantasy VII: Remake will be a mainstay until Rebirth comes out. I missed that world, and I'm very excited to visit it again soon!

My Work Is Not Yet Done on Steam
My Work is Not Yet Done. Source: Steam.

Ignas Vieversys

For those of you who missed my weekly instalment of 'How I'm never going to beat Red Dead Redemption 2', be at rest - the game remained untouched (surely there must be a psychological name for this phenomenon by now), just like my horse's saddle.

However, this week, besides reinstalling Hunt: Showdown to remind me just how bad I am at this brilliant PvPvE, I've been playing some odd (and not yet released) indies. Starting with My Work Is Not Yet Done by a would-be priest and solo dev, Spencer Yan, this monochromatic 1-bit narrative-horror game is one to look out for if you enjoyed the cruel realism of Cart Life (another indie gem) and find being in the woods alone scary. Another fun fact about this game: it tracks your character's calorie consumption together with the presence of solids and liquids in your body for no particular reason that in any way affects the player's experience.

Finally, there's Keepsake County, a midwestern thieving sim that has been keeping me occupied for the last couple of nights. I love it when game devs make their projects with a good amount of 80s MTV wackiness, which is precisely the case with Keepsake County. At the moment, it has a lot of rough edges (it's in alpha stage), but if you can ignore those, I'm pretty sure a lot of Thief series fans will be overjoyed to steal everything that isn't nailed down in this fast-paced, comical sim with one of the most original art styles I've seen since Hauntii.

Joshua Gautreaux

I've been logging some serious hours this week playing Yakuza 0. There's so much going on in this game, which has its pros and cons. I'd argue the side quests and mini-games are so fun that it comes at the expense of the actual story because I keep putting the main quest missions off until I've gotten the side stuff out of the way. It's so fun, I'm already weighing how many hours I'm willing to sink on the several sequels down the line, having almost hit 100 hours on this one.

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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