While in Japan I was lucky enough (read: my wife was kind enough) to get my hands on a copy of Monster Hunter Cross. For fans of the series, this game represents something of a massive refinement of everything that’s come before (as well as a load of new features). For newcomers, it’s another excellent and friendly chance to finally hop in (though why everyone isn’t already playing is something of a mystery to me). Though I have pretty much no Japanese under my belt, this isn’t my first time playing a Monster Hunter game in Japanese, and it’s even better than last time.
Recently, I’ve had a real thing about games that are just damn fun to play. Dark Souls 2 (well, if I’m p,aging it fast and loose while dual wielding), Metroid 2 (don’t judge me), and of course, all the 3D Mario games (64, Sunshine, Galaxy, etc). There is a pure fun that comes about from interacting with really well designed mechanics that I just can’t get out of my usual go to (if you’re curious – it’s RPGs with simple, repetitive systems that can be executed with or without full attention (see also Pokemon and anything old)). With the rise of story being important in games, perhaps we should take a look at something that moved in the opposite direction – a series of totally unrealistic worlds trapped in paintings that were just incredible fun to move through.
Aside from the fact that I use the 3D function about once every 6 months, I think the 3DS is a brilliant entry into a long line of brilliant handhelds from Nintendo. But it also introduces a new issue that’s new to Nintendo handhelds (though certainly not consoles) – region locking.
The topic of playing games correctly recently came up on Idle Weekend (definitely in my top three gaming podcasts, alongside Retronauts and Insert Credit), and it’s nothing if not an interesting topic. Is there a right way to play a game? The easy answer is “sure,” there is a way to enjoy the game as much as possible. The actual answer is a bit more complicated.
I really want to enjoy games that are “free.” I mean, wouldn’t a life where my primary hobby is playing games be better if I was playing games that were free? Unfortunately, free games have other costs, so much so that as soon as I see “free to play” mechanics I delete whatever I just downloaded. Why do these mechanics fall so short? You can bet I’m going to go on and on about it.