Happy Video Game day, gamers and casuals! Welcome to another (another??) brand spanking new article from Fanboy Lu – The Console Casual! Every month, Luis will be sharing what games he’s playing, how much sleep he’s losing over it, and was it worth his time & money?
The quick & dirty about me and gaming: I’m the most laid back, unskilled, and least serious gamer in our bunch. So why write articles about it? Because as casual as I may be, I still love video games. It’s not passive entertainment: YOU are part of the action. Your skills, knowledge and experience will dictate your enjoyment. So I’m no expert, but I do like being entertained . You’ll also see that often, Fanboy Lu will either dig through the discount bins or scour the free-to-play sections of his Nintendo or Xbox Game Pass for the best deals. He is, after all, a fandad on a budget. So if there’s a deal, I’ll let you know too! So with that said, what did we play?
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Let’s get this out of the way first. Playing this game when it launched more than two years ago shows the depth of how casual I am as a gamer. As a Nintendo console exclusive, I knew the price of this game would never dip too low, but I took it as a sign to finally scoop it up when Walmart took a $10 off the price tag during a summer holiday sale.
The game is as amazing and encompassing (and as flustering) as the critics and reviews have said. There’s nothing more I can possibly add that IGN, Kotaku and all other blogs haven’t said already. I can, however, add that it’s a great value, even years after its launch. As the casual gamer, I am reaping the benefits of two years’ worth of guides, tips and tricks already out there. The game promised an ‘open world’ for the gamer to explore, and it absolutely does not disappoint. Literally after the first scene, you can go anywhere in this version of Hyrule. This could be a good or a bad thing. Many casuals might be used to having their hands held through a game – walking you from dungeon A to boss B, but trust that this freedom is an amazing game mechanic. You really feel like you’ve earned every upgrade, armor and weapon. Exploring this huge world and uncovering its secrets becomes such a rewarding experience. My only reservation is one that’s already been complained about since the game’s launch: weapon durability. Its a painful game mechanic where the weapons you use will slowly (or quickly, depending on your use) deteriorate until it ultimately breaks. This gets frustrating fast when you consider how much time and effort it takes to acquire some of these weapons, only for them to break when you fight more than one Lizalfos or Bokoblin. However, this is but one component in a truly engaging and immersive video game experience.
If you have a Nintendo Switch, for the billionth time on the internet: this is a must-have. Take your time exploring Hyrule or bust through to Ganon right away – either way, the choice is yours.
When one of the best reviewed games of 2018 was on sale on the Nintendo Switch, I just had to get it. If you haven’t noticed a trend yet, its that when there’s a discount, you’ll find this guy.
Cost aside, the game itself a magnificent throwback to the old school 8-bit games of yore. But don’t let the pixelated look fool you – the game is wonderfully made and is deceivingly deep. You control a nondescript ninja from an unnamed village from a time and place familiar yet fantastic. The retro tropes are all there; hundreds of generic (yet challenging) enemies, awesome stages and difficult bosses. A tremendous part of the game is its banging retro soundtrack. Playing this on my Switch with headphones was definitely a great way to go through the levels. On the topic of levels, this game has some beautifully rendered environments in that 8- and 16- bit design. The levels also take a whole new coat once you get through a good portion of the game, taking this from a straight forward platformer to an awesome Metroidvania game where new abilities unlock new levels and more story. The controls are thankfully as reactive and responsive in this current gen of consoles, as I was afraid that along with the aesthetic, the controls were also going to be finger numbingly painful as they were in my youth.
Overall- this was a great game, worthy of all the recognition its received. This game has been out since 2018, and is available now on the PS4, Switch and PC for around $20. A definite steal!