One good deed deserves another, as they say, right? Well, that's exactly why I chose to play the game I did for this blog entry. You see, a little while ago, I wrote about Puppeteer, which I praised highly, and even boasted about how fantastic it was on some podcasts. Well, my buddy Ben was highly intrigued by the game, especially so that he could play it with his boys, as it is a fantastic game for all ages to enjoy. Because of that, we met up one fateful day so i could lend him the game, since I was done with it and the only reason I would keep playing it would be going back for missed trophies.
The last thing I wanted to do was trophy hunt, with two new consoles and other various new games just around the corner. With my backlog and everything else going on, trophy hunting wasn't beneficial to me in any way, despite how much I loved Puppeteer. I would love to go back and play it through again, but I'm afraid playing it simply for trophies would knock some shine off of it for me. Maybe not, though, but regardless, I just couldn't do it.
So I passed it off to Ben to let him enjoy it. At the time, I didn't need anything in return, as I told you how much was on my plate already and coming up. But recently, I found out he was done with a game that I was extremely interested in, and so, he returned the favor by letting me borrow it from him, since he was done with it and all.
LEGO Marvel Super Heroes has been a game I've wanted to play and write about since it came out several weeks back. But I held off on getting it for any current systems, because I had my eye on the PS4 version of the game. I did actually pick up a copy of the game for the PS4 version, but because of Amazon having some "difficulties" with my orders recently, I didn't actually get the game in time to make it part of my PS4 week. That's okay, though, as there are still a few days left in the year, I thought.
Well, then I caught wind that Ben had the Vita version, and instantly, I wanted to play that version first, especially for the blog. Why, you ask? It's simple, really. The console version of the game is massive and open-world, which means I would be able to get little progress in, especially with my attention being all over the place. The Vita version (along with the 3DS version) are stripped down games, which are completely linear and compiled into chapters, not just a large, open-world hub. It is a very streamlined gaming experience, which all LEGO games that have come to console and handheld have been like. It's a tried and true formula, and it works.
The reason I was so interested in it, I shamefully have to admit, is for the trophies. Usually, the Platinum trophies in these games are far and above easier to obtain than the console versions. Sure, you have to put in the legwork and beat the game, then do some grinding, but once you get going on it, the task isn't nearly as dubious as it would be on the console version. Truth is, I have never even come close to getting a Platinum trophy on a PS3 LEGO game, but all of them I have played for the Vita, I've got no problem.
So there you have it. I gave up Puppeteer to prevent myself from trophy hunting, only to borrow LEGO Marvel Super Heroes with the sole intention to trophy hunt. I'm skipping over the story and everything, mainly so I can experience it all on the PS4 when I get to it. But for now, it's just me and the trophies for the Vita version.
Thanks, Ben. I'm glad you seemed to like Puppeteer as much as I did, but just know, you are an enabler in my sick addiction to trophies. Hope you can live with yourself.
Several months ago, I put together a list of possible franchises I would like to a "Week Of..." series about, in hopes of having some planing going forward with the blog. I know I've been pretty spontaneous and unpredictable when it comes to which game I would be playing each day, although I still contest that there are some patterns and subtle hints I give every so often than can aid in guessing which games to look forward to seeing me write about. The thing is, with the popularity of my week-long series, I wanted to ensure that I was ready for each month, and I could make the each week something special, something of an event.
I shared this list of franchises with a few of my closest friends to get feedback on what they wanted to see, what they thought the readers would like to see, and what kind of stories or experiences I could share with each franchise, as all the ones I picked not only fit my criteria for having an entire week dedicated to it, but also had special meanings to me and my gaming history in one way or another. After spitballing and brainstorming the list, I was pretty set on the franchises I would be writing about for the rest of the year, even going as far as to decide which months each franchise would be spotlighted in.
Long story short, I put more planning into the "Week Of..." series for the rest of the year than I had put into the entire blog all year. And as they say, the best plans always look good on paper. Going into October, I had pretty much stuck to my plans, but as the month started to get underway, I realized how excited I was for the new Batman games to be released. I started doing some research and realized I could easily do seven days of Batman games, even though one of my favorite ones I had already written about. In hindsight, I'm glad that I made a post about the NES classic Batman game, as that blog was one of my favorite one's I've written all year, so I'm not regretting it. I just wish I could have incorporated it into this week.
But alas, c'est la vie.
With that, I want to kick off my Seven Days in Gotham with the game that actually completely reformed my opinion of the Lego games overall, as before this one, I didn't care for them at all. Sure, they were serviceable, and my kids like them, but I guess I just didn't see the overall broad appeal of popular franchises being redesigned in the Lego universe. But then, Lego Batman: The Videgame came along, and I not only fell in love with the game, but I finally understood what all the hubbub was about.
I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that this was the first Lego game to replicate a well-known franchise that didn't follow the plot or story of the movies those franchises had. For Lego Batman, they created their own storyline and plot for the Caped Crusader, not forcing him to follow movie plots, but simply creating their own story within the Batman universe. And they did a fantastic job of it, also.
Being as long as it has been since I played this game, I forgot how much it truly captivated my fascination. The ability to play as all the characters from the Batman universe than I knew and loved, both heroes and villains, was an awesome feeling. I can't ever remember playing as Batman's villains before, and if I did, it obviously wasn't a very memorable experience. This time, with the combination of all the iconic characters combined with the whimsical charm of the Lego series, and it was a match made in heaven.
It was clear from right then and there that Lego games were meant to feature comic book characters.
And sure, Gotham city has always meant to be dark, seedy and little sketchy, but sometimes it's okay to step back and just enjoy Gotham in a different light, and laugh a little about what all makes it the best fictional city in the world. There is no way a Lego game could replicate the grim state of the city properly, so instead, they just went the other way with it. In the end, it's an exceptional Batman game, and one that truly depicts how great the franchise is.
That's all that really needs to be said about the release of Lego City: Undercover for the Wii U last week.
Finally. Finally a new game for the Wii U which had a huge launch lineup of games (albeit a lot of ports from already released games), but since then hasn't had one decent retail release to speak of. In fact, I don't think a single new game for the system has been released retail since its launch at all until the release of Lego City: Undercover.
Now, there have been a handful of eShop games to be released for the console, and most of them have been anywhere from "good" to flat out "amazing." Without these random appearances of new games, I would swear that Nintendo had already quit on this system and chose to not even bother making anything else for it, focusing instead on the now uber-successful 3DS.
They couldn't keep Rayman Legends as an exclusive to their console, and lost the release date from "launch window" to "when everyone else gets it too." Even Aliens: Colonial Marines didn't want to come out on the Wii U... And that's saying something.
So, with the release of Lego City: Undercover, I hadn't been this excited for something from Nintendo since, well, the launch of the Wii U. At the point of this game hitting retail shelves, I was ready to buy anything - and I mean anything - that had that Nintendo stamp on the box art wrapped around that beautiful Wii U blue box. Seriously. I would have just bought an empty box, no game included, if it said "NEW WII U GAME (box)!!!!" on it. Seriously.
I am dead serious people. And I'm probably not the only one.
But I didn't buy an empty box, did I? No, I bought Lego City: Undercover. And thankfully, the game is as good as the wait for it to come out. It is your typical Lego game, but without the license of a movie or comic book franchise attached to it. It is a unique story centered around Lego City, and a cop that has the dubious task of keeping it safe from the recently escaped villain of the story. Everything you would expect from a Lego game is in here, from collecting studs and Lego blocks, to rebuilding broken Lego pieces into usable objects, to costume changes and everything in between. The humor has never been better, as it pulls from a countless number pop culture references to anchor down the overall feeling of this game: fun and funny.
Oh, and did I mention it is an open world, too? Lego Batman 2 tried this open world idea, but Lego City: Undercover put that attempt to shame. Think Grand Theft Auto, but in Lego City. There are dozens of different sections of the big city to explore, all equipped with their own set of collectibles and unlockables to search for during exploration.
The story is great, and constantly evolving styles as it progresses, but the meat of your experience is embedded in the free play exploration of the giant city. While I haven't beaten the game yet, I noticed right away that wandering off in between missions to explore isn't ideal early on, because of the lack of costumes you have, making everything you would need to unlock virtually impossible. Unless you just like doing your own thing, sightseeing and what not, I'm sensing that you probably want to complete the story before venturing out to satisfy your collecting/hoarding tendencies.
Overall, I am having a blast with this games, despite it's ridiculously long loading times. It's a Lego game, it's funny and humorous without being cliche, it's a completely open world city, and best yet, it is a new Wii U game.
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Games played for project : 365