BACKLOG: 3/2/18 Habitual homicide in Kingdom Come: Deliverance, The Mummy Demastered’s Metroid-isms, & Secret of Mana remade.

BACKLOG is a bi-weekly (every two weeks) update column on how I’m progressing through “old” games that have been stuck in my ‘backlog of unfinished games’. Here I’ll generally update my progress in any and all games I’ve touched in the past two weeks, updates on reviews I’m writing, games I’m looking forward to, thoughts I’ve had, and things I’ve purchased. 

Hey. I really skipped out on this column/blog series for most of January and half of February because I spent the entire time finishing Assassin’s Creed: Origins. I didn’t want to write anymore about that game because I think my REVIEW said enough and I spent so much time with it that I want to distance myself from it’s tiresome reality. That isn’t to say I didn’t have fun with Assassin’s Creed: Origins but I exhausted that game to the point where I began to rethink my tendency for draining all of the juice out of every game I play. It isn’t that I need greater variety but I often overdo it and end up playing tons of extra hours in a game that I’ve removed all of the challenge from. So, instead of diving right into Monster Hunter World and Kingdom Come: Deliverance head first I took a break to play the kind of games I have far greater enthusiasm for: 90’s bullshit. So, without any fanfare:

> Assassin’s Creed: Origins (PS4) 100%

Secret of Mana

Ah, well I’ve just posted the review for this game today but here’s a few more thoughts on why I prioritized it. Because I love Super Nintendo games and Secret of Mana is one of the very few remaining SNES RPGs that still hold up to a replay to this day. But hey, this wasn’t the SNES version it was a full 3D remake in 4K with stunning clarity and a ton of extra care. Fully voiced dialogue throughout the game, remastered music (sucks), and a careful retention of the 16-bit gameplay that still feels just as it did back in 1993. The game looks great and has a few tweaks that make it far easier to play in 2018 though they’ve added a few issues that they’ve already promised to patch in the future.

I felt the same way about this remake as I did when Square Enix remade Final Fantasy IV on the Nintendo 3DS in full 3D graphics: It might look a bit cartoonish but they’ve done an amazing job of polishing the look and feel of an SNES classic. Now, I’ve read a few interviews surrounding this game and I’ve heard some talk of remaking Seiken Densetsu 3, the sequel to Secret of Mana that was never officially released in English. I can only hope it does get announced because it is a game I’ve replayed 3-4 times since it was translated into English by Niell Corlett back in 2000. So, I’ve completed this remake without issues as of February 28th or so and the REVIEW is up on here. I rated it 3.5/5.0 because I still think the gameplay holds up as a very simple, fun Action RPG and the remake was appropriate and respectful of the original.

> Secret of Mana (PS4) 100%

The Mummy: Demastered

I completely missed this game back in October because I was swamped with albums to review and I was blasting through Dishonored, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Prey in preparation for the end of the year. After I bought and started up SteamWorld Dig 2 I kept seeing people describe it as a metroidvania and kinda though, well fuckin’ dude it barely is and The Mummy Demastered is way more of a… Oh, I’d better play that. So, I picked it up alongside Secret of Mana and have made some decent progress. I’ve put about three hours into it and have just gotten increased running speed that allows for longer jumps. It feels so much like a Metroid game that it has been easy to overlook the artificial difficulty provided by aggressive AI and awkward level design. In fact it really reminds me of Metroid: Fusion in terms of story and progression.

The Mummy Demastered_20180218223410

What makes this game unique is when you die in game a new identical soldier is sent in the place of the last one and they’ve been turned to zombies when you find your dead body. It is kind of like if Dark Souls made you fight a shade of yourself if you wanted to regain souls after you died. I love this concept and began to wish Dead Cells had a single player campaign that was like this and not just randomly generated rogue-like levels. The game could use greater enemy variation or at least needed a bigger budget to compete with the meticulous designs of games like Tom Happ‘s Axiom Verge or even Strider. I will say the first boss was fucking incredible and I’ve seen screenshots of other bosses that are likewise fantastically animated and designed. I’m hoping this game doesn’t get as complicated in it’s controls like Guacamelee did, as I never finished that game due to some overly complex platforming. So far I absolutely love this game, though I will make slow progress with it unless it really grabs me soon.

> The Mummy: Demastered ~3 Hours/10%

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

The idea behind Kingdom Come: Deliverance is really a dream come true for a nerd like me. I am completely obsessed with medieval warfare, castles, and hell if you toss in a fuckin’ dragon or whatever I’m even more willing to throw cash at you. This game goes for accurate historical depictions of medieval life and actual history involving Czech’s medieval occupation under the holy Roman empire. Oh but you’re a peasant who needs to eat and bathe and is treated like the poor blacksmith’s son that he is. Oh and then the usurper to the throne decides to murder your family and burn your township (which actually happened, there are records of the order to raze Skallitz). Anyhow, the main character is a punk who doesn’t give a fuck about whatever trouble he gets into and like an old King’s Quest game you might just wander into death or a mess of trouble by mistake.

No gods, no masters. May all Emperors fall forever.

While the UI and the setting might remind you of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion in fact the game allows no great fantastic beasts or anything unrealistic within their historical medieval world. The swordplay in the game takes a while to get to as the tutorial and epilogue are quite long but once you’re in and learning it resembles a mix of For Honor‘s directional selection of attack/defense posturing and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare‘s weighted precision. It is complicated at first but still easier to get the hang of compared to something like Nioh‘s arcade-like stance switching combos.

I know this is the worst screenshot to show it. But the game is pretty.

I’ve been watching a couple of Let’s Plays on YouTube on the days when I don’t play this game so that I could get an idea of different play styles but I’m convinced becoming a bloodthirsty warrior is the only life for me. I absolutely love to win sword fights in this game and have a bad habit of murdering anyone that challenges me. The trouble is that there is a huge immersive simulation in Kingdom Come: Deliverance that keeps track of your reputation within each city-state that you’re in. Become known as a murderer and people will randomly attack you, hold grudges, and overcharge you in shops. But the bloodlust has already set in, with their misplaced courage reddening my blade I am the reaper of the glory. Though I might end up replaying the game due to my murder I won’t regret it because it has been a joy to play. Some of it is slightly buggy at points but the voice acting and graphics are just beautiful as all hell. While playing this game I’ve compiled a soundtrack/playlist composed of appropriate metal including: Obsequiae, Malokarpatan, Darkenhöld.

> Kingdom Come: Deliverance (PS4) ~5%

And since I decided to restart Monster Hunter World but haven’t had time to really sit down and get into it’s systems and tutorials… Here’s the new character I created because I didn’t like the “Jesus with tribal tattoos and goth make-up” character that I made before. The cat is meant to look like my cat that died back in 2016. Life is an endless stream of funerals and death awaits us all. I might get a wild hair up my ass and decide to pick South Park: Fracture But Whole again but I’m in no rush.

I figure the only new thing on my horizon is Dark Souls Remastered on May 25th so I have plenty of time to finish a few things before then. I kinda wanted to work through Monster Hunter on my own but I may decide to just co-op with strangers and experience what I can without getting too stuck on things beyond the main story. Another ‘remaster’ Dragon’s Crown Pro is coming out May 15th and I will absolutely be playing that, so I am setting a goal of finishing Odin Sphere: Liefthrasir before that. Yet it all depends on how much I want to stay in Kingdom Come‘s world or if The Mummy Demastered becomes too challenging to be worth the frustration.

That doesn’t even consider the free titles from PS+ and some PC stuff I’ve been eyeballing. I’m prioritizing music listening above games at the moment so I’ve decided to delete Grand Kingdom, Until Dawn, and forget about playing any more Assassin’s Creed games for a long time. Even though I’d like to try Mighty No. 9 since it’s free on Playstation this month, I’ve decided I’d rather go snorkeling in a diarrhea filled toilet. Without games like DOTA 2 taking up my time on PC I’ve lost my interest in most PC titles in my backlog, though I still plan on starting a serious go at Deus Ex: Invisible War this month.

 BACKLOG: Unfinished titles, in order of importance. % progress noted.

  1. Kingdom Come: Deliverance (PS4) ~5 hours
  2. The Mummy: Demastered (PS4) ~3 hours
  3. Monster Hunter World (PS4) ~1% (Restarted)
  4. Odin Sphere: Leifthrasir (PS4) 0%
  5. South Park: Fractured But Whole (PS4) 50% [No progress]
  6. Dishonored 2 (PS4) 0%
  7. The Surge: A Walk in the Park DLC (PS4) 0%
  8. Persona 5 (PS4) 10%
  9. Risen 3: Titan Lords Enhanced Edition (PS4) [Recent purchase]
  10. Tales of Zestiria (PS4)  ~1% (in first town across bridge)
  11. Arcania (PS4) 0%
  12. Thief  (PS4) 5%
  13. Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PS4) 0%
  14. The Technomancer (PS4) ~5% finished introduction
  15. Mass Effect: Andromeda (PS4) 0%
  16. Batman: Arkham Knight (PS4) 0%
  17. Batman: Arkham City (PS4) 3%
  18. Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition (PS4) 0% tutorial
  19. Divinity: Original Sin (PC) 0% (restarting)
  20. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (PS4) 60%
  21. Hitman: Absolution (PC) 0%
  22. Pillars of Eternity (PS4) 1% Tutorial
  23. FEZ (PC) 20%
  24. Metro 2033 (PS4) 0%
  25. Metro: Last Light (PS4) 0%
  26. Deus Ex: Invisible War (PC) 0% (restarting)
  27. The Witcher: Enhanced Edition  (PC) 0% (third restart…)
  28. The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings (PC) 0% post-tutorial
  29. Dragon Age: Inquisition  (PS4) 0% tutorial
  30. Dust: An Elysian Tale (PS4) 0%
  31. Bioshock 2 (PC) 0%
  32. Metal Gear Solid 2 HD (PS3) 15%
  33. Guacamelee! (PS3/PS4) 0% (restarting on PS4)
  34. Prototype 2 (PS3) 0%



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