Ahoy, Joy+Sticks readers!
I thought at the onset that February would be a quiet month. There weren’t very many new games to look forward to, and certainly no new Nintendo Direct, like we were all hoping. But I kept myself pretty busy, and actually ended up playing way more games than I even initially intended.
Now, March has arrived, and with it comes a fair amount of new releases that I’m excited to play on my PC and Nintendo Switch. Still, my backlog has my work cut out for me, and the only exciting news I’m really hoping for this March is a release date announcement for Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition and some footage of Dark Souls Remastered on Nintendo Switch.
Without further ado, here’s what I played over the last month, what I’m playing now, and what I want to play next.
— Stephen, Joy+Sticks Editor
This remake is absolutely gorgeous. The world is vibrant, haunting, and beautiful, and the colossal enemies are terrifying, huge, and so intricately detailed it makes me hurt. It was my first time ever playing this game, and I loved every second. In fact, I wrote a short piece about the ways in which it also made me appreciate the ways it’s influenced other games I love.
No spoilers, but the ending of this one really had me scratching my head. It was kind of a let down, but the gameplay more than makes up for it. I got so addicted to solving the games many puzzles that I purchased it for my iPad after I finished them all on my PC. I never would have imagined that a game like this could be so difficult, but it so, so is. Some of the puzzles even had me wondering how in the world anybody could come up with something like it. Maybe that’s what we were being a witness of? The developer’s pure genius? Who knows.
Okay. I know I ripped into this game for being so poorly optimized and looking so crappy, and I know I laid into the developers for releasing it on the Nintendo Switch and then blaming its specs for the reason why its game runs so poorly. But they released patch 1.0.2 about a week ago that makes the game look much better and run somewhat better. I originally planned to play this on my PlayStation, but… well, it’s a long story. The point is I got the game on Nintendo Switch, and I loved it. There are still lots of little hitches and frame-rate dips throughout, but it doesn’t look like a blurry mess in handheld anymore, and the ending (which I won’t spoil) made me cry literal tears.
Yeah… I don’t have a whole lot to say about this one. It’s been on my wish list for a while because, you know, “support my gay family!” It was refreshing to play a game where everyone is assumed gay, instead of vice-versa, but it just highlighted how much I’d like to see these kinds of gay characters in more video games. I chose Joseph, by the way, but I think I might try and play it again with someone my character can actually end up with.
I started this before RiME, but ended up switch when one of the levels made me tear up. This game is rife with emotion, and it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m taking my time with it, because I already know I love it. I’ve only played through about half of the game, and it already haunts my thoughts while I’m going about my other business. I’m afraid to see how it ends, though.
I dug out my dusty New Nintendo 3DS, much to my own surprise, to play some Pokémon. A coworker found his old GameBoy Color and was playing it at work, and something about seeing it and his Pokémon made me want to relive some of that nostalgia. I really love that Nintendo re-released these on the eShop, but what solidified my purchase was the fact that you can play the game in its original, non-stretched resolution by holding down START+SELECT while launching the game. I love playing this way, and I can’t really justify why except nostalgia.
If you were around during the heyday of of the PlayStation One, you may recognized the name of this one. Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo is all grown up, and Capcom has adapted the game not only for smart phones, but also competitive online multiplayer. The micro-transactions in this thing are pretty aggressive (there are many events and characters that I’m pretty sure you can only get if you continue to pay for what essentially amounts to loot crates), but the whole experience is pretty great, and I’m enjoying the crap out of it.
This game released on the Nintendo Switch on February 20, but with RiME and Fe on my plate, I haven’t gotten around to starting it. The art style looks really beautiful, though, and all of the people who’ve played it say they really enjoy the symbolic nature of the narrative, so I’m really looking forward to it.
As if some kind of answer to my prayer, PixARK is an ARK: Survival Evolved spin-off game that’s slated to come to the Nintendo Switch later this year. First, though, they’re releasing in Early Access on Steam, and since I was a part of the Early Access for ARK I feel it’s only suitable that I give this game the same treatment. From what I’ve seen so far, it seems to improve upon all of the things that prevented me from getting into Minecraft. Fingers crossed it lives up to my hype!
I wrote about this tittle when it was announced all the way back in 2017’s Nindies Summer Showcase. It’s based in Northern Mexico and takes its inspiration from the indigenous culture of the Tarahumara. It came out the same day as this article, but you better believe it’s already been pre-purchased and just waiting to be unlocked.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding this game, but I haven’t yet decided if I’ll be one of the first players taking on the game when it launches this month. Regardless of what I choose, it’s got me interested because it looks as though they took the idea of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and multiplied it by 20. It looks like a lot of fun, and so far reviewers seem certain it will live up to its hype.
What have you played recently? What are you playing now? What’s got you hyped? Let us know in the comments below, or connect with us on Instagram and Twitter.