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Week 23 of Trying a Different Game Every Day

For the week of June 3 to 9

Click here to see the games I played last week

Being back in North America and the comforts of my office, I can expand the games I’m trying. This week, I wanted to go back and check out a few of the console/pc games that came out while I was away.

Wonder Woman from Multiversus

June 3 – Multiversus

When Multiversus first launched back in 2022, I didn’t play it. I’ve played Super Smash Bros. and PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, but this one didn’t grab my attention. Sure, there are characters I know and love but this felt like a cash grab that was 10 years too late. Now that the game has relaunched, I thought I’d try it out.

I can’t compare this version with the original release of 2022. From what I’ve played, I am having fun. Like the other Mascot-fighters, this is easy to get the hang of. If you’ve played any of them in the past, you’ll jump right in. As this is free-to-play, they’ve locked most characters, only making a few available to try each day.

What is frustrating is that some missions are character-specific. For example, you might have to win a battle as a particular Looney Toons character. If you don’t have one unlocked and one isn’t available to use from the free set, then you’re out of luck. While fun, for now, the single-player gets a bit repetitive. It feels that after a while, you’re going to see the same fight types and mini-games.

I’ve heard/read that unlocking characters is incredibly tedious (and time-consuming). Also, the game relies on monetization. I don’t see myself playing Multiversus long-term. This was fun to try but there just isn’t enough here to keep me engaged.

Andy Murray serving against Roger Federer from Top Spin 2K25

June 4 – Top Spin 2K25

I went into Top Spin 2K25 with high anticipation. This is a series I was so thrilled to hear was making a comeback. I haven’t played a tennis game since EA’s Grand Slam Tennis 2 back in 2012. Yes, there have been other tennis games since I was never eager to give them a shot. Having had such fond memories of the Top Spin series, I wanted to see what was new.

Unfortunately, I’ve been incredibly disappointed with the first hour or so of the game. They start you off simulating the last set of a Federer v Murray match at Wimbledon. It’s a great start but they don’t use it as expected. This isn’t a tutorial match where they use the two characters to show you serving, hitting, etc… Instead, you just play a modified fifth set with no instructions about how to play or what to do.

The fact that they start the game assuming you know the game is odd. It doesn’t feel right considering it’s been 12+ years since the last game. There is a training mode once you get into the game. But there, it’s mostly just mini-games with John McEnroe directing orders at you.

I jumped into career mode and it’s pretty standard. You go from Training to a special match, then into a tournament. I played two tournaments but failed to win either of them. My character isn’t strong yet, so I’m not expecting to win for a while. As it stands, this feels incomplete, especially with its weak audio and small roster. If there is a Top Spin 2K26, maybe that will address the issue here. I have no plan of playing more unless it goes free through Game Pass/PS+.

A triple elimination with the Sentinel in Star Wars: Hunters

June 5 – Star Wars: Hunters

Star Wars: Hunters has been a game on my Nintendo Switch “Wishlist” since it was first teased many years ago. Now that it’s finally playable, I had to jump and see what we’ve been waiting for. For a squad-based shooter, this is a lot of fun and I still have more to unlock.

When I first started playing, I thought there was only one game mode: most kills win. But more modes need you to keep playing to unlock. It was only after about 10 or so matches that I unlocked the next game type, “Control”.

I like that the game is easy to grasp and matches are quick. Yes, this is a mobile-focused game as you’re not spending more than five minutes per match. While maps are small, they keep the focus on action. One thing that I can’t tell is how many “Bots” versus humans are playing. After 15 matches, I still haven’t “lost” one. This leads me to believe that I am still playing with Bots.

It would suck if human players are only unlocked after you gain access to all the different match types. Unlocking those modes is slow. While I can see myself playing more of Star Wars: Hunters, I wish these unlocked at a better rate.

Gameplay from the Android version of DoDonPachi

June 6 – DoDonPachi

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that DoDonPachi would be the game I would try for the first time. I recently got the Miyoo Mini Plus, so I started looking at games to play. While scrolling through the MAME games included, I saw DoDonPachi. I remember hearing about it and thought it would be fun to try.

For a genre that I am awful at, I enjoy seeing how far I can get into a bullet-hell game before I get game over. It’s even better when they offer an easy/casual option because I’ll never get far otherwise. For DoDonPachi, it’s super simple in the concept but I was dying a lot. With MAME, you can play this to your liking. So, I was adding virtual credits until I reached the end. In all, it only takes about 20-30 minutes to reach the end credits, but I had fun doing it.

There is also an Android version of the game. DoDonPachi on Android has some minor differences to the MAME version. For example, you can’t change your ship when you continue the game. Also, it incorporates a stage-report screen after a boss fight, which is missing on MAME. But considering it’s free and you only have to watch ads to get more credits, it’s an easy recommendation.

Senua walking around a deserted village

June 7 – Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II

The first Hellblade game is one that I started but never finished. Before starting Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II, I thought about trying it again. I didn’t remember much of the plot and was worried that I wouldn’t understand the sequel. But after all the discourse around the sequel, I had to give it a look anyway. Let’s just say that I agree with all the people who are disappointed with the game.

My biggest gripe with the game is how unfriendly it is to newcomers. There is an intro that highlights the first game but it’s so dull and failed to keep my attention. Then, once you start the game, there is no sign of what you can and can’t do. It’s nice that this doesn’t hold your hand but everything looks the same early on. You’re wandering around a deserted seashore, but it’s unclear what you should be doing or going. For a good chunk of the game, I was walking around in circles because it was unclear which parts were accessible.

This game has a lot of invisible walls. You might be able to climb one section but a nearly identical one is off limits. There is a patch of grass here but this tiny little separator makes it impossible to climb over. For a game that has so much walking around, the limitations are incredible.

The puzzles are not fun. One requires you to find these “markings” around your environment. You must look at them at a certain angle to trigger a seal preventing you from progressing. But these are just so dull. I wasn’t having fun walking around looking for specific objects. I have zero interest in continuing and this is up there as one of the most disappointing games of 2024.

A sample of a puzzle from Monster Hunter Puzzles

June 8 – Monster Hunter Puzzles

In last week’s blog, I mentioned that I hoped I wouldn’t be playing too many mobile games but that didn’t last very long. I recently got an M4 iPad Pro, so I was looking for a few games to try. A new game was Monster Hunter Puzzles. As a fan of Monster Hunter, I wanted to check this out. For what it is, this is a nice distraction but nothing that will wow people.

This is another match-3 game but with a Monster Hunter twist. The story here is that you’re completing quests to help rebuild an island. The puzzles start easy. But after 20 or so, the challenge ramps up and that’s where the monetization options kick into gear.

You only have a limited number of hearts, so once you’ve used those up you’ll have to wait for them to refresh. You can buy hearts and other tools to make the puzzles easier. Each puzzle has a limit to the number of turns. Once you run out of turns, you can spend crystals to continue or use a heart to start over.

I’m having fun but I wouldn’t spend money to make things easier. I can see myself playing this here and there but I don’t know if it has legs to keep me playing long-term.

A sample from XDefiant

June 9 – XDefiant

XDefiant is not a game for me. It’s clear that unless you began playing this game at launch (or even in Beta), then you’re against the wall. As soon as I started the game, I was getting matched up with double-digit leveled players. When I’m a level 1-5 character and my opposition is all leveled 10+, there is a clear sign I’m out of my depth.

My biggest gripe with XDefiant is its time-to-death (if that’s the term). You can spawn in after dying and almost instantly get shot down. This is because maps are small and there are only a finite spots where you can begin. At first, I was enjoying the frantic nature since everyone was dying 12-20 times per match. Yet, after dying mere seconds from a spawn, you only get more frustrated and the fun disappears.

Even when my team won our match, I didn’t feel “good” about it. I was frustrated because I wasn’t having fun in the process. In a lot of these squad-based shooters, even if you’re not a strong offensive player, you can be effective in other ways. But because I was dying at such a fast rate, even trying to be a healer proved pointless. I tried to contribute by capturing zones or escorting when I could but rarely had fun doing it.

As a personal preference, I need team-based shooters that offer variety. All XDefiant does is make me want to play something else. Star Wars: Hunters is significantly more enjoyable. Heck, I wouldn’t mind jumping back into Overwatch or giving The Finals another try. On the list of shooters, this for me is at the bottom of it.