deKay's Lofi Gaming

Gaming Diary

Immortals: Fenyx Rising (PS5): COMPLETED!

The name change from Gods and Monsters to Fenyx Rising was enough to put me off ever buying this, and the quick price drop on release and middling reviews did nothing to convince me otherwise. What did convince me, however, was actual Real People saying it was alright actually but more than that was the dearth of things to actually play on my PS5. yes, Spider-Man, I know, but this was £21.

Also a negative was just how much like Zelda: Breath of the Wild it appeared to be. It’s all just in the graphics though, right? It’s actually more like Assassin’s Creed, right? Well, no. It’s actually much more like Breath of the Wild than I’d imagined.

Yes, adorable.

That’s not to say there’s no Assassin’s Creed here – it still feels a bit like it, albeit in a fantasy rather than realistic setting, and the voice cast is made up seemingly entirely from the same people as Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, but yeah, it’s Zelda. You climb things and have a stamina bar, just like Zelda. You can glide from high places, just like Zelda. Ride horses? Zelda. Shrines with puzzles or feats in? Zelda. Crafting buffing potions? Zelda. Four main “bosses” then a final “dungeon”? Zelda. Magnesis powers? Zelda. Bow and arrow? Zelda. Baddies that explode when you kill them? Zelda. Trees to chop down? Heart and stamina upgrades? Switch puzzles? Zelda. It’s very Zelda.

But that’s OK. Breath of the Wild was A Very Good Game, so anything which manages to be half as good – especially in the absence of Breath of the Wild 2 – is fine, really. And it’s not all Zelda!

Fenyx’s quest is to restore some of the Greek Gods back to their former selves, and defeat Typhon who has beaten all the Gods and turned almost everyone to stone. So you set off to find and return the Gods’ essences which restore them back the way they were – Ares has become a cowardly chicken (literally), Aphrodite has lost her vanity, and so on. Doing this mostly this involves climbing tall places, fighting big monsters, and solving block-on-switch puzzles and shooting arrows through a series of axe handles. Because, you know, that’s what I’d lock progression behind if I were a Big Nasty.

One of the better puzzles.

Besides the main quest, there are the usual Ubisoft plethora of side quests, things to collect, skill trees, upgrades, chests to open, and so on. I did quite a few of these, but some of the vaults (the Immortals version of BotW’s Shrines) were too fiddly, difficult, or dull for me to bother with. Turns out you don’t need to upgrade yourself anywhere near as much as I spent time doing anyway, as the final boss is a walkover and I didn’t need more than a couple of my potions or special moves I’d taken in with me.

Difficultly being all over the place aside, it’s a really enjoyable game. The mostly blue skies and great traversal and combat mechanics more than make up for the repetition and lack of variety in the enemies (there are only really about six types in the game!) and it’s much better than I was expecting.

Good as it looks, it’s not really screaming “PS5”.

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (Switch): COMPLETED!

This is a strange little thing. It’s a 4th wall breaking point and click game where you interact with things like the status bars and icons as if they’re normal objects. So, for example, there’s a bit where you need to dig a hole, but you’ve nothing to dig with. You keep getting pop-up adverts for cereal, and you can grab the spoon in the advert and use that to dig the hole. There’s a section where you come across a TV and playing on the TV – once you get it working – is a Lucasarts style adventure game about Sherlock Holmes. Only you’re able to turn the TV around and operate the game from behind the scenes, changing the set, and even making the look, talk and search icons drop off the screen so you can use them elsewhere.

It means it’s very different to any other point and click game I’ve ever played, and some of the out of the box thinking needed for some of the puzzles makes you feel very clever.

It’s varied, with several different subverted game genres to play through, is packed with game references and comments on the gaming industry (there’s a particularly long rant about free to play games, for example), and there’s even a hint system if you get stuck (although I didn’t need it – it isn’t that difficult).

My only real issue with it is that you converse with the game itself, who constantly tells you whats going on, is baffled by how your logic works, and sadly, often gives the puzzle solution away with not so subtle hints before you’ve had a chance to work it out yourself.

Cattails (Switch): COMPLETED!

Sold to me as Stardew Valley Only Cats, Cattails isn’t really that. There are a lot of visual similarities, and there are shared features like a day/night cycle, improving your home, getting married, foraging and mining, but it’s much more simplistic than Stardew Valley and much shorter too. And there are more cats.

Starting the game as a pet dumped by the side of the road for reasons not explained (one minute you’re in a happy home, then literally a second later the mum of the family kicks you out), you join one of three wild cat tribes and set about surviving in nature. Which mostly involves hunting for small animals and picking berries and flowers.

Me and The Boyz are off to f some s up.

You can improve your skills so you’re able to catch prey more easily or swim further before downing, and there’s some turf warfare going on, but it’s pretty light on RPG elements really. The main storyline, such that it is, mostly requires you to collect certain dead creatures and flowers for some standing stones, as well as solve some generally simple puzzles, in order to make The Guardian return. So I did that.

Cattails could not be described as a challenging game, nor is it deep or complex, and the story is… somewhat missing. But it is a simplistic and relaxing game, and did only cost me about a quid, so I can hardly complain.

I’ll be honest – I’m only interested in you Missy because you live next door and I’m a lazy, lazy cat.

Kunai (Switch): COMPLETED!

I was in the mood for a nice little pixelly Metroidvania, and then this appeared and was on sale. Also, Kendrick off of the ugvm podcast said it was good but of course it turns out he’s barely played it. Thankfully, he was right despite this.

The plot is silly nonsense about computers at war rebel computers and you’re a sentient iPad with legs who can save the world or something. Ignore that though, and instead enjoy the excellent traversal mechanics which are given to you piecemeal as per any other Metroidvania game. There’s a double jump, but then you get the kunai of the title which are actually more like ninja ropes – shoot them at a wall or ceiling and use them to pull yourself up or swing across gaps. You also get submachine guns that act as a sort of hover if you shoot downwards, and everything combined makes for a very nimble iPad indeed.

There’s lots of different baddies to swipe with your sword or shoot with your guns, and a few bosses (which are all surprisingly easy), which are fun too but getting around the areas is the main draw here for me, although I had to frequently refer to the map as some areas were confusing. It’s a shame there wasn’t a Metroid style mini-map on screen all the time as I think that would have helped somewhat.

I collected quite a few of the hidden items, but the game was easy enough to not need more health upgrades than I acquired, and I didn’t ever need more money than I found from just playing normally. Most of the rest of the chests that I missed I expect were useless hats – there being a lot of them in the game and aside from a bit of ridiculousness on your iPad’s head, they serve no purpose whatsoever, which was a bit disappointing. If they gave you, I dunno, higher jumps, or slower falling, or a money vacuum or something, that’d have been nice.

That aside, Kunai is a perfectly good game in the genre, that doesn’t do anything particularly special but is a lot of fun.

Nuts (iPhone): COMPLETED!

I discovered that, since they added an Apple app to my TV, I could actually Airplay my iPhone screen on there, and with a PS4 controller connected via Bluetooth, I basically have another console. And then, Apple gave me another free month of Apple Arcade. And then, I spotted Nuts on there, when I was about to buy it for the Switch. So here we are.

Nuts follows you, as a squirrel researcher, setting up cameras with which to watch what the squirrels get up to. You then wind through the recorded footage, print off screengrabs of important sightings, and fax them to your boss who frequently contacts you in your caravan via phone.

I caught a squiggle on the tree!

At first, you simply put a camera where you’re told, watch a squirrel appear, and then move the camera to where it runs off to. As it takes the same route each night, you can effectively follow it to its den. Later levels are more complicated, with multiple squirrels, no known starting point, or having to track them backwards.

It’s a fun little game, uncomplicated and clever, and there’s a whole overarching story as to why you’re doing this research too, which adds to it. It’s only a few hours long, but it doesn’t outstay its welcome and changes things up enough to keep things interesting for that time. Also, squirrels!

That’s my caravan.

Yakuza Kiwami 2 (PS4): COMPLETED!

Another PS4 game played on the PS5. I’ve not given this a go on an actual PS4 so I don’t know how much of this is the PS5, but having no loading is excellent, and it’s all in 4K and Kamurocho looks incredible.

Kiwami 2 is a remake of the original PS2 Yakuza 2 game, which I’ve never played. I knew some of the story from flashbacks in later games in the series, but none of the detail. Like the other Yakuza titles, the plot is all over the place – in a good way. People aren’t who you think they are, quite literally in several cases, and your allies have a tendency to swap sides. The story is mainly about the Korean mafia returning to Japan – having seemingly been wiped out 26 years ago – to take revenge on the Tojo Clan who killed them all on behalf of the police. More or less. Obviously, it’s not as simple as that.

As in the other Yakuzas, gameplay is a mixture of punching people in the face, and wandering round the city (well, cities – you return to Sotenbori too) finding people, places or avoiding things. There’s also the usual array of side missions, from the sensible to the nonsensical. In one, you might have to hunt down a kidnapper, but in another you’re a voice actor for a Boys Love video game. In the arcades there’s a fully working Virtua Fighter 2 machine next to the UFO Catchers, and you can play a golfing minigame, darts, or even run a hostess club should you not have enough to do in the main story. Oh! And best of all, a toilet arcade game called Toylets:

It’s Another Yakuza. It’s a very, very pretty Yakuza, and as always the voice acting and the characters are both fantastic. And, although I enjoyed it very much, if Yakuza isn’t for you then this isn’t going to change your mind.

If you want to watch my entire playthrough (bar the final chapter which Sega doesn’t let you broadcast), then you can here:

Pokémon Sword: The Crown Tundra (Switch): COMPLETED!

The second, and presumably final, expansion pack for Pokémon Sword/Shield, The Crown Tundra is set in a mostly snowy region and involves hunting for a lot of legendary pokémon in various ways.

Peony, a character you meet at the start, gives you three main legends to look into. The first has you finding the local “new to the series” legendary – Calyrex, then finding his horse by growing a carrot. Yeah, one carrot. Calyrex doesn’t have enough power for more. You can get one of two horses, depending where you grow the carrot – an ice type or a ghost type. I went with the latter. With them reunited, the next mission is to gain entry to four mysterious temples and capture the Regi-series pokémon within. It’s a minor puzzle task to open the temples up, and then a tricky task to actually capture them without killing them and they’re all alarmingly resistant to pokéballs.

Finally, you have to capture three Galarian variants of previous game legendaries – Moltres, Zapdos and Articuno – by chasing them across both the Tundra and both previous areas in the game.

With those done (and it essentially being The End), I completed a side quest for Sonia, who wanted me to find three more legendaries by discovering 50 sets of footprints for each of Cobalion, Virizion, and Terrakion and then catching them. Again, this was difficult, especially for Cobalion as I went through over 60 Ultra Balls even while he was on virtually zero HP and was fast asleep.

And then I went into the Dynamax mine area place where it had been reported a load of Ultra Beasts (from Pokémon Sun and Moon) had appeared, and caught myself a Tapu Fini. Phew, eh?

This was definitely the better of the two DLC packs. It’s bigger, more varied, and more interesting. When are the new Diamond and Pearl remakes out, again?

Fire ‘N Ice (Switch): COMPLETED!

What I first thought was a more simplistic Solomon’s Key type game, Fire ‘N Ice actually turned out to be a prequel to Solomon’s Key and was released as Solomon’s Key 2 in some countries. It loses the moving (and respawning) enemies from the original, as well as the attacks, jumping, and time limits, leaving just the ability to create or destroy ice blocks immediately down-left and down-right of you. And it’s all the better for it.

With no time limit and very few parts where timing is critical, the game is properly in puzzle territory and this suits it well. Solomon’s Key was too stressful for me! You only have to concern yourself with how to squash all the static (for the most part) enemies by dropping or pushing ice blocks onto or into them. That doesn’t mean it’s easier, it just means it’s lest chaotic.

With 100 levels to get through, some of which used your limited options really cleverly (like, how do you climb higher up the level, if you’re only able to create blocks below you?), it’s a long game despite each being just one single screen. I easily spent 5-6 hours on it. I’m not even sure why I started playing in the first place – but I’m glad I did as it’s a wonderful hidden gem of a game.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch): COMPLETED!

I’m sure this will cause complaints, same as previously when I’ve “completed” Animal Crossing games, but I have a system and I’m sticking to it. Yes, on one end of the scale people would say the game is complete when you’ve achieved all the in-game stamps from Tom Nook, or when you’ve made every item in the DIY list, or filled the museum, or any number of other things perhaps in combination. On the other end of the scale, you’ve people saying when they’ve seen the credits, which for me happened about 8 weeks in when KK Slider did his first Saturday gig. My criteria, is play every day for a whole year, and so, on day 365, that’s it. I’ve seen a whole year’s worth of events, never missed a day, and the game is completed.

Finished though? Of course not.

But how was the game? Well, it was Animal Crossing. It’s probably the most different from the rest Animal Crossing, though, in a number of ways. The main two are the DIY crafting, and the island construction additions, where you create furniture and special items with the former and restructure your entire island, knocking down cliffs, making new lakes and rivers and so on, with the latter. There’s also a fair bit missing, though – no coffee shop with Brewster, no parade of shops, no second hand shop, no Lyle, Kapp’n, Tortimer or many other regulars.

Ultimately, though, it is more of the same. You plant trees, harvest fruit, collect things for your house, chat with animals, pay off your mortgage, and visit other people in their islands. And actually, that’s fine.

Some people wonder what I found to do for all this time, and I’ve not really any idea. Each day has the same routine: Smack rocks, find the buried money, plant more money, “harvest” the grown money tree, collect the bottle on one of the beaches, dig up, identify then sell all the fossils, and that sort of thing. I’ve also had a vague medium term goal in mind which I’d then spend some time working towards: Early on, this was to grow an orchard with rows of trees for each fruit, later it was to hit various Bell targets (having long since paid off Nook’s mortgage), and more recently it has been to grow every type of flower – blue roses still elude me, sadly.

Mostly, though, it’s just relaxing to wander round and do menial tasks for no real actual gain. And sure, I’ve done a year but I’m still going to play it until I get fed up, which probably won’t be for a while yet. Especially if Nintendo are still chucking new stuff in every now and again!

One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 Deluxe Edition (Switch): COMPLETED!

Bought simply because I saw it for £9 and thought, even if it’s HYRULE WARRIORS’ rubbish cousin, it’d be a fun musou game for a bit in two player, and you know what? It was! Fun, I mean. Not rubbish.

OK, so I have no idea what One Piece is about, have no affinity for the characters and stories shown in the game, and it isn’t as slick or clever as either Hyrule game or Fire Emblem Warriors (even though it’s the same team that developed it), but it’s still great, mindless, button mashy smacky fun. It doesn’t actually matter that neither myself or my daughter recognised anyone in the game, because it’s simple to play and actually, who they are have no relevance to the gameplay anyway.

We’ve done the story, and there’s a lot more to unlock, but for £9 it was a bloody bargain,

Site News

I’ve merged the main Lofi Gaming site with the Gaming Diary site, and now I have a lot of tweaking to do. Should all be sorted soon, and the Diary is still working like normal at the moment!

Fantasy Zone (Switch): COMPLETED!

I’ve mentioned before, but side and vertical shooters are not one my favourite genres. Sure, I play them, but it takes a special one for me to really enjoy it and buy it multiple times. Like Fantasy Zone.

It was only recently (checks… SIX YEARS AGO?!) that I completed this on the 3DS, and now I’ve done it again. It didn’t take anywhere neat as long this time, thankfully, but it was still pretty difficult. Again, Level 3 proved the hardest part (except perhaps the boss rush at the end).

Why aren’t more shooters this colourful anyway?

Maneater (PS5): COMPLETED!

At first, Maneater is a great fish-chomping game with slightly annoying combat (with crocodiles and barracuda) and a funny faux Deadliest Catch style narration, but it soon starts to become tedious and repetitive. And then, even though the game doesn’t change, it becomes fun again. I’m not sure why.

You’re a baby shark, who eats to get bigger and evolve, ultimately to take down Scaly Pete, the fisherman who killed your mother. The waters you swim in are broken down into areas, with you starting in a swamp and moving through an industrial area, a nightlife filled city, the open sea, and so on. Each is opened up by completing tasks, such as munching a number of humans on a beach or destroying a fishing boat or culling some seals. Bigger water creatures attack you, and if you cause enough damage or eat enough people, the humans start to hunt you down.

There are RPG elements, as each thing you consume gives you certain “nutrients” which are spendable on upgrades such as gnashier teeth or a whippier tail. You also get different types of body part, such as bone or electric, for progressing. As well as this, you’ve 10 increasingly difficult hunters to coax out and eat as a sort of side story, and a number of Tony Hawk style floating objects to collect or Assassin’s Creedy hidden chests to smash open.

As for why I tired of the repetition before getting back into it and having a whale (a sperm whale, actually – I ate a few) of a time – perhaps I just switched off a bit of my brain and embraced the simplicity? There’s not much depth (except in the open sea, ho ho), and it’s not very hard (although I had a couple of hurdles that required levelling up a bit), nor is it very long, but don’t go in expecting Skyrim with Sharks and you’ll probably enjoy it too.

Xeno Crisis (Evercade): COMPLETED!

I was immediately impressed with Xeno Crisis. It’s a Mega Drive game (tailored here to fit the Evercade’s controls) with great sound and graphics, and really slick and lots of sprites on screen at once.

It’s a Smash TV sort of shooter, with screen after screen of baddies to shoot (and the odd soldier to rescue), with each level ending with a boss – some of which are bloody huge.

The only issue with the game is it’s so hard. So very, very hard. And then, when I completed it, I got a bad ending with no suggestion as to how I’d managed it. Mr Internet explained that because I’d used some serum which revives you, ultimately that caused my death at the end, and the trick is to Not Ever Die.

So, armed with the button combination to open up a hidden menu where you can make yourself invulnerable and start on the final level, I completed it again. And still got the bad ending despite not using any serum. Tch.

Super Double Dragon (Evercade): COMPLETED!

Or, in some parts of the game, “Return of Double Dragon”.

The thing is, I picked my Evercade up and the Technōs cartridge was still in it from when I played River City Ransom recently and the shelf with all my Evercade games on was easily six feet away and therefore too far to bother with, so I picked something from the cart already inserted and that was Super Double Dragon, which I’d never played before.

It’s very much What if Double Dragon was Final Fight, but it’s not as good as Final Fight. It’s not a bad game, but it was pretty easy and much less impressive both visually and sonically than Final Fight. Or Streets of Rage.