It's already February, and that means another year is going by way to quickly. You know what else is progressing quickly? The conquest of my videogame backlog, that's what! January was an absolutely great month for games because I finished out a bunch of them that were just sitting at like 90% completion. From here on out, things may go a bit more slowly since I'm embarking on adventures that have never been touched. All this free time playing games is fantastic and all, but sometimes it's too much of a good thing. Just how many enemies can one guy mow down in Warriors Orochi 3 before he gets tired, anyway? The answer is "A WHOLE LOT", but I digress. If you'd like to help take some of that time off my hands, why not put me to work? I'm currently available for commissions starting at $15, and I'm ready to slave away over a hot Wacom tablet for YOU! (I'm FischHead, and I approved this message)
Mushroom Men: The Spore Wars [Wii] - 8.5/10 - Since I now own a WiiU, I can finally play this game, and I'm pleased to say that it holds up to my expectations from way back in 2009 rather nicely. Spore Wars is the first of 3 games in the Mushroom Men series, which tells the story of Pax, a sentient mushroom adventuring across a world (or possibly just someone's back yard) that has been irradiated by meteorites, and it feels like the wacky and creepy offspring of Rareware and Tim Burton. Pax sets out on his quest to replace a village's meteorite that he accidentally absorbed, and eventually finds himself embroiled in war between the peaceful Morels and the savage Amanitas. Gameplay consists of a lot of satisfying jumping and item collecting, but combat is disappointingly shallow. Pax has a full menu of weapons at his disposal, but they all feel more or less the same because fighting consists of nothing more than shaking the Wiimote to attack, holding the guard button, and repeating until the enemy is down. There are 4 different weapons types as well, but the only difference between them is how they affect your aerial attack, so you'll just wind up picking whatever does the most damage. The graphics are crisp and vibrant with very few jaggies, and the expertly crafted setting really gives you a sense of Pax' diminutive stature. Even thought the Wiimote doesn't lend itself to controlling a 3D camera well, Spore Wars does a good job of getting past that limitation with good speed, fluid movement, and the option to invert each axis. Mushroom Men's soundtrack is quite the oddity. It was partially composed by Les Claypool of the Band, Primus, so it's toe-tappingly weird, and really helps to set the mood for each stage. This adventure clocks in at only 6 hours long (6-7 if you're a completionist), so you could beat it in a weekend if you really wanted to, but I definitely see myself replaying it. Mushroom Men's pros easily outweigh its cons, so if you're a 3D platforming fan, this is a fantastic addition to your Wii library.
Senran Kagura: Shinovi Versus [Vita] - 6/10 - This game wasn't even on my radar until a week or two before it launched stateside, but it didn't take many gameplay videos to sell me on the idea of a big-boobed button masher. Outside of the fanservice, the reason I bought this title day one was to support XSEED and their stance on censorship, and I'll probably do the same for Estival Versus next month before I even own a PS4. Heck, might as well since the disc copy of the game comes with an artbook and soundtrack for just ten bucks more than the digital release that gives you nothing extra. Anyway, Shinovi Versus has you fighting as a ninja girl to defend your academy/ dojo. That's really all I can remember of the basic story because similar to last month's DW Gundam 3, too much of it is conveyed through text on a blank screen. Cutting costs was probably the deciding factor here, but it makes the serious parts of the story unnecessarily painful to take in. In the end, I just started skipping anything accompanied by solemn music because I knew it would be hell to sit through. The game follows the basic Dynasty Warriors formula, but on a much smaller scale. You're usually dropped into a room with a small crowd that you need to beat before moving to the next room where you'll eventually face off with the boss ninja. Attacking your opponent will tear up her clothes, and let's face it, that's really the selling point of this game because the shallow, repetitive combat would make even a seasoned Warriors veteran cringe. The flow of battle is excruciatingly predictable, so it's sometimes a fun diversion to try knocking out your opponent before they have any chance to drag the fight out. My biggest complaints are, as always, the atrocious camera (using the rear touchpad is helpful, but not a true fix), defense tactics that range from iffy to completely useless, and a myriad of balancing issues that have never been patched. At it's best, Shinovi Versus is an OK action game featuring a lot of scantily clad ladies, and at it's worst, it's an absolute cluster**** of spotty mechanics and dull storytelling. Anime fans are the only crowd who will be able to justify the game as anything more than pervy otaku garbage.