Games I’ve been playing this week (Episode 3)

I’ll be doing a weekly round up of some of the games I’ve played.  Today, I’ll cover some obscure-ish Japanese games I use to, er, study.

As you may know (or probably not) I’m in the middle of learning Japanese.  Mostly for fun. I’m still learning the Kanji (850 baby!) but part of my setup includes listening only to Japanese music, and playing only Japanese video games.

Obviously, I’m not doing so hot on the last one, but I do have a bunch of Japanese games for my DS that I’ve been playing recently.  Here’s a few of them!

Ketsui: Death Label (Nintendo DS, 2008)

This game is research for me on two levels: I’ve never really played a Bullet Hell game before, plus it’s in Japanese.  And holy crap, I think I remember why I never really got into bullet hell games.

So yeah.  It’s basically just a boss rush with a bunch of different difficulty levels, and scads of bullets.  I’m not very good at it, but I am having fun with it.  I can’t really tell the difference between the two available ships, though.

The biggest problem I have with this game is also its biggest feature: too many damned bullets.  I don’t mind dodging the bullets that the enemies fire, as those are always on top of everything else visually, but the player ship also shoots a ludicrous amount of bullets.  This becomes a problem when the player’s bullets entirely obscure the enemy, which can actually come in contact with your ship and kill you.

So yeah, I might not be the intended audience, but it’s good fun for a while.  And those bullet patterns certainly make math pretty.

Croket! DS Heroes of Sky (Nintendo DS, 2005)

So…this is a tactical RPG, except the combat is hashed out in fighting-game style reminiscent of Super Smash Bros.  Sort of.  I only played the first level before accidentally picking the wrong option and deleting my save file.  Hooray not knowing the language of the game!

It is interesting though, and reminds me somewhat of Super Ninja Boy, which was a traditional JRPG where combat was resolved through a side-scrolling beat-em-up style game.  It wasn’t great, but it was interesting.

I have a feeling that’s where this game is headed- it looks decent, but not super amazing.  We’ll find out!

Slitherlink (Nintendo DS, 2006)

I hate sudoku.  It’s like math homework plus a word search to me.  I’m fine with other people doing them, but I certainly can’t stand them myself.  I’ve never really liked puzzle type games in general either; I feel like I’m organizing an Excel spreadsheet without the payoff of never having to do it again.

However, I am having problems cutting myself off from Slitherlink.  It is everything I hate about puzzle games: repetitive, number-y, has only one solution…but I like it a lot anyway!

The idea is that you have a square grid of a certain size, and some of the cells have numbers in them.  To solve the puzzle, you must trace a line that touches each number the allotted amount of times, and connects at both ends.  For example, if you have a 3 and a 1, the line must touch the 3 on 3 sides, the 1 on 1 side, and somehow also loop back around.

Maybe it’s the added spatial dimension, or maybe it’s the physicality of drawing a line, or maybe it’s all the shiny lights, but I really really like Slitherlink.  I’m sure there are non-digital versions of it as well, so I’d suggest it to anyone with an eye for a new puzzle game, or any game at all really.

That’s my game round-up for this week!  Got any new games you’re playing?  Any suggestions for me?  Let me know.  I’m sort of a comment whore anyway.

  1. #1 by Marty on September 16, 2011 - 8:10 AM

    You should totally play some classic SNES rpgs in Japanese, I bet that would make your brain sweat!

    • #2 by Clint Emsley on September 16, 2011 - 8:17 AM

      I’m planning to at least play Mother 3 when I’m fluent-ish, and probably the Metal Max game(s). There’s some pretty rad Japan only RPGs out there!

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