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Week 22 of Trying a Different Game Every Day

For the week of May 27 to June 2

Click here to see the games I played last week

My two weeks in Asia is over and I am now back in North America. I enjoyed this trip and we have another one planned in October where we’ll return to Japan for a week. I’m glad to be back because now I can shift from playing mobile games. But of course, this week includes three mobile games.

A collection of screens from the fan-translated version of Love Hina Advance

May 27 – Love Hina Advance

I wish I had read Love Hina when I was younger. It’s such a fun series and I am halfway through it. I have yet to watch the anime but I learned that there were a series of games released around the same time of the anime. These were never released in North America but they have been fan-translated. So, I downloaded Love Hina Advance and I think I’m about halfway done.

This is a visual novel game that allows you to decide what Keitaro, our main character, does. Like the manga, his decisions often lead to comical results with the girls he interacts with. For the most part, this doesn’t follow the timeline of the manga. There are quite a few liberties, especially with how characters are introduced. Most of the girls from the Hinata Inn, where most of the game takes place, were already boarding there. But in the game, some are introduced later for gameplay’s sake.

Most of the game uses static images but there are a few animated sequences, probably taken from the anime. This isn’t a difficult game. You can lose the game if you say/do the wrong thing too many times.

With my continued interest in manga/anime, I want to play more games based on those properties. I’m surprised more don’t go the visual-novel route. It’s the safer route, considering there is no risk of poor gameplay ruining the experience. If I can find more games like this to play, I will.

May 28 – Piyotama

I don’t know how I got Piyotama. This is a Sony-developed puzzle game for the PlayStation Portable. I don’t think I bought it, so this might have been given away at some point many years ago.

This is a game I knew nothing about before starting and when I began playing, I was pleasantly surprised. Piyotama is a match-three puzzle game with the pieces being different colored eggs. It’s not a difficult game but one that is perfect for handheld. It is fairly limited, with only two modes. However, I was absorbed and had a lot of fun learning the game’s intricacies the more I played.

I understand why Sony doesn’t develop/publish these kinds of games anymore. They only back high-end stuff. But it’s nice to go back and remember the quirky games that they would release on their older platforms. I’d love for them to back and release these kinds of games. They might not be million-sellers but there is an audience for them.

A battle in AFK Journey

May 29 – AFK Journey

With the mobile gaming I was playing over the last couple of weeks, a game I was seeing a lot of ads for was AFK Journey. I’m not familiar with this series but understanding the logic of the title, I knew what to expect.

I like the visuals of this game. The art style is cool but the rest of the game is pretty standard. It’s yet another “you forgot who you are” mobile game. Then you couple that with a heavy focus on recruiting characters and leveling them. I don’t care for the story but the combat is nothing remarkable. I just let the game play and it does its thing.

I haven’t encountered too many challenges yet. My squad of heroes is decently leveled with room to grow. There hasn’t been a fight I’ve lost, but I suspect I will hit a wall soon if I put in more time. For now, I won’t invest too much more time into AFK Journey but I’m glad I got to try it out.

My squad from the Northern War

May 30 – The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel – Northern War

I’ve followed The Legends of Heroes series for a few years. It helps that I’ve covered the last few console games on my blog. I like their emphasis on story, even if they throw a lot at you and it can be hard to follow for new players. But, it’s the combat that keeps me engaged. When I learned that they were releasing a mobile game, it piqued my interest. I went into “Northern War” not knowing it was an adaptation of an anime series. At the same time, I wasn’t ready for how different this was going to be from other games in the franchise.

This is another auto-battler. Unlike AFK Journey, this one’s story is a bit more interesting. It helps that it references the series and the more recent games I’ve played. I don’t quite see where the paid aspects come into play. I’ve been able to level up the squad easily and most of the battles don’t challenge you too much.

Unfortunately, while I am enjoying the game, I don’t know if it has the staying power to keep me coming back. I like the callbacks to the rest of the franchise and I enjoy the visuals and combat. But, I don’t know if I can see myself logging in every day and chipping away at what it has to offer.

Luigi wandering around in Luigi's Mansion 3

May 31 – Luigi’s Mansion 3

This is my first time playing any Luigi’s Mansion game. I was never interested in the series but have heard good things about it. With the upcoming release of Luigi’s Mansion 2 remake in a few weeks, I thought about trying Luigi’s Mansion 3

For Luigi’s Mansion 3, I feel like you need to have some knowledge of the previous games to understand the events that take place early in this game. At the same time, the game doesn’t tutorialize you at the start. When I gained control of Luigi, I had no idea that this game incorporated the Z-axis. Meaning, that you can walk Lugi toward the screen to interact with doors and other objects. Because of that, I didn’t know where I was supposed to go or if I needed to do a specific thing to trigger a cutscene.

Also, I don’t know who the ghost dog is that accompanies Luigi. The only thing I do know is that they can assist you in some areas. I thought I reached a dead end but then the dog interacted with a door an object, so I learned that I needed to clear an object to progress further.

Even though I spent about an hour with the game, I need more time. I’m not quite sure it’s encouraged me to pick up Luigui’s Mansion 2 HD when it releases at the end of June. I might wait until I visit Japan again later this year and see if I can’t get it for cheap.

My character in Mario Golf Super Rush celebrating a birdie putt

June 1 – Mario Golf: Super Rush

Of the Nintendo Switch Mario sports games, the only one I haven’t played yet was Mario Golf: Super Rush. With Mario Tennis Aces, I got bored of the single-player portion and didn’t connect with the multiplayer. For Mario Strikers: Battle League, the lack of a proper single-player mode disappointed me. So, I went into Super Rush with the lowest expectations because of how the other sports games disappointed me.

Surprisingly, I am enjoying Super Rush. I jumped into the Adventure mode and while the story could be clearer, the golf is fun. The first tournament is easy but not a walk in the park. I finished below par but only because my character had improved enough on the back nine that I was able to hit the green on my second stroke. 

I didn’t get to experience some of the Wilder courses. The second course you get access to in story mode starts to incorporate the environment more. I can’t wait to see the competitive hijinx you can do to your opponents. The idea of running on the course to get to your next shot is fun but I haven’t seen it impact a match. It’s better utilized in multiplayer. 

Of the three sports games (excluding the Mario and Sonic 2020 Olympics game), this one might be my favorite. That’s only because I am enjoying the single-player part the most. It helps that golf is a solo sport. I want to play more to see the other elements in action. I might not get a chance to try multiplayer but that’s fine if the single-player keeps me occupied. 

A player celebrating a win in Streetball Allstar

June 2 – Streetball Allstar 

Being my last day in Hong Kong, I hope it’s also the last time I try a mobile game for a while. I found some enjoyment with the ones I tried. Unfortunately, Streetball Allstar is the worst and ends this trip on a sour point. 

This is a familiar mobile basketball game. I saw someone playing a basketball game on their phone while riding the MTR and I thought this was that game. From what I watched, it looked like a competent sports game. But I couldn’t believe how bad it was once I started playing. 

There is no depth to the game from the start. The first few games I played felt like I was playing with and against awful AI. My teammates were making foolish choices and it was only coupled with questionable decisions by my opponents. The controls feel sluggish and unresponsive. After three matches, I didn’t want to play anymore. I won all three but I wasn’t having fun.