I ran into a major bump when it came to playing games: overtime. Busiest time of the year for me leading to over 60 hours of work, so there were many days I struggled to even get 30 minutes of play time. However, I did get some in, and heeeeeeeeerrrreeee they are!
The Chronicles of Quiver Dick
If the title didn’t give it away, The Chronicles of Quiver Dick is not something your six year old should be playing. It is full of mature language albeit used in a comedic fashion. If that isn’t something you can get behind, then move on to the next game. If it doesn’t, then read on.
The Chronicles of Quiver Dick is about a grandfather telling the story of how he met his wife to his two grandchildren. While it is in a japanese role playing game format, there are not that many battles to be won or sweeping environments to explore. Instead it feels more like an adventure game with some RPG mechanics mixed in. Yes you will be in boss battles, but no, there aren’t any random encounters. Yes you can buy things from a merchant, but no, there aren’t any improvements to items as the game progresses.
Simply put, The Chronicles of Quiver Dick is a two hour short story where our young hero Quiver Dick (named Richard Longshlong in his youth) is a mostly straight-laced character just trying to make a living with the weird happenings and awkward strangers surrounding him. Unfortunately the world acts in mysterious ways, and it’s made even more troublesome when his older self narrates into trouble. No seriously, like, his older self will straight up be the reason fights begin because other characters hear him as well. It is these moments of dialogue that made me laugh on numerous occasions. Sometimes the language was used as a additional jab of humor, most times it wasn’t. So if that is a fear, you can tuck that away.
Now let me be honest – the world is small with not much to explore. The fights are basically and overly tedious. I did not have anybody join my party. The gold and experience gained could be of use, but in reality, this game could strip all of that and be purely an adventure game. It probably should. I did see at least one follow-up with another on the way, but I can’t say if this stuff is in. The bottom line is, don’t go into this game looking for an RPG because you will be disappointed. Go into it for a stress free time looking to laugh.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with The Chronicles of Quiver Dick. I thought the interactions between characters was great, certain events were clever, and I always appreciate nods to bands like Pantera. It’s only a few bucks and a couple of hours. So what do you really have to lose?
Astro Bot Rescue Mission
I thought all the talk about Astro Bot Rescue Mission was hyperbole when comparing it to Super Mario 64….but it’s not. Games like this are why VR should exist and it sells it wonderfully. I liked what I saw in the demo, and I love the full game.
The biggest knock against the game would be its simplicity. Astro Bot doesn’t have special moves outside of a spinning punch and his rocket boots, and the enemies rarely pose a threat. Even with this though, it doesn’t dampen the fun at all.
The player acting as a larger robot following Astro Bot is incredibly smart as you traverse levels to discover missing pieces of your friend and lost companions. This allows for wider views of the area and viewing angles you wouldn’t be able to if in the shoes of Astro Bot. I don’t have a ton of VR games under my belt, but this has felt the most natural and I would be shocked if copycats don’t pop up because of it.
Collecting coins throughout levels is another task that leads to additional perks in the form of home base. There, you can use your coins in the vending machine to purchase diorama pieces of levels and enemies to decorate the base. Then using Astro Bot, you can run around and play on these smaller pieces for fun. It doesn’t add a whole new dynamic or anything, but it’s a fun little side activity that gives purpose to something in the game.
Astro Bot Rescue Mission was the reason I wanted PlayStation VR. I wasn’t sure if it would live up to the hype (or the comparisons to an iconic game like Super Mario 64), but it does just that. If PlayStation VR is on your horizon, do not pass this game up. You’ll be hard pressed to find something better in my opinion.
As a heavy PlayStation gamer, I was pretty bummed hearing Cuphead wouldn’t find its way to the console. I would eventually get a gaming laptop and play a bit there, but by that time, I was bogged down in other games and couldn’t give it it’s fair dues. That changed with the Nintendo Switch release.
First and foremost, you can’t discuss Cuphead without reveling in the art style chosen for the game. It’s a brilliant throwback to the old-school cartoons of the 1930’s that no developer has done previously to my knowledge, and it hammers home the love and devotion as it was all hand-drawn. From the backgrounds to the animations to the transformations, everything looks and sounds great because of it. Easily one of my favorite aesthetics of all time in video games.
Cuphead itself is a very simple game. Shoot enemies and dodge their attacks. That proves difficult though as you are limited on health and attacks can come furiously. It’s likely you will die (and often), but it’s not punishing as you learn their different forms and attack patterns while keeping your upgrades.
The run-and-gun sections however didn’t do much for me. They do feel tacked on, and they kind of were due to the boss rush backlash, but they give coins you can use to purchase upgrades from the pig merchant. As someone who was hesitant about it being a boss rush game, that’s truly where it shines and the run-and-gun levels (though sparse) don’t add much to the overall experience.
While I really dig Cuphead, I have a feeling I’ll never complete it. That’s the trouble with games heavy on difficulty. Eventually I’ll give in to other games I want to play and never find my way back. I’m not sure if the two-player mode makes it any easier, but if so, then at least there’s hope. Only have to rope someone in to be my Mugman.
The next month may be rough on my schedule, but I’m hoping to get some games in still. A recent PlayStation sale had me purchase Resident Evil 7 to give that a try, and the Player 1 Podcast inspired me to pick up an indie game on the Switch I plan to review.
Until then, check out everything we have goin on here at Los Harrow including:
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– Anything on the main website including the PlayStation All-Stars Ultimate Roster Showdown(and VOTE).