Tag Archives: Nintendo Switch

Hades is a Gift

Introduction

Merry Christmas!

Welcome and Merry Christmas! Last year, my son bought me Hades for the Nintendo Switch on the recommendation of Chris. Therefore, truly Hades is a gift. I played the game some during the week of break. After that, I needed to concentrate on not losing my job, so I had little time for such frivolity. Then, I misplaced the game. Finally, I completely forgot about it until I realized break neared again.

I bought the game digitally in anticipation. Then, while putting my clothes away, I found the cartridge. So, if anyone wants a digital copy of Hades, I might be able to gift it to you. Send me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

What is Hades?

I never reviewed the game last year. I thought I did, but maybe I just included it in one of my Game of the Year articles at the end of the year. Hades follows your character, the son of Hades, through the land of the gods as he hacks and slashes his way to more power.

It resembles Diablo in game play. That alone gave me reason to try. I enjoyed all of the Diablo clones I played. Torchlight II became my favorite game for several months about 5 or 6 years ago. It was the subject of the lost episode 2 of the original run of the podcast.

Why is Hades a Gift?

Hades sweetens the deal with unique gameplay that follows the lore of the pantheon. One of the ways that you advance in the game is by dying. You come back and increase your abilities before plunging again into the dungeon of the Underworld. I like that wrinkle to the game. It takes a frustrating part of other games (dying and having to start over) and removes that frustration. Further, it almost makes dying an incentive. You die to take a breather from the dungeon crawling.

The game also has a unique, cartoon graphics engine that works seamlessly with the cut scenes to build a living, breathing world. The characters add to that with their own personalities based also on the lore of the gods if available. Some characters are specific to the game, but they still made me laugh more than once with their antics.

The Verdict

I played Hades again some last week. I managed to pull the Switch away from Quinn and Liam (they’ve been playing the new Pokemon game) to get a couple of games in. I still enjoyed playing even though it took me some time to get used to the controls again. In between games of Mario Party, Mario Kart, and them playing Pokemon, I hope to play more during this break. I also bought new controllers for the XBox, so I’m sure Quinn, Aiden, and I will get some Minecraft in, too. Be prepared for reports on all of it.

Thankful for Multiplayer Mario Games

Prologue

On my other page (currently defunct with no ETA on a return), I structure my posts like stories with a prologue, a story, and an end. As I drove to work this morning, I got the inspiration to do a similar thing with this post. Originally, I only wrote Mario Kart on my schedule, but then expanded it to include other multiplayer Mario Games like Mario Party. Let’s begin.

Once upon a time, a young man of 12 or 13 sat in an uncomfortable bench in front of a video game. The marquee read “Vs. Super Mario Bros” and featured a man clad from head to toe in red. Our intrepid young hero placed a quarter into the coin slot and the game began. As I remember, I only lasted to the first Goomba before dying. Okay, another quarter and then another and I’m going to be honest. I doubt that I even cleared the first level of that game after five dollars.

Leveling Up

We went without the new hotness video game system for quite a while. My parents never saw a reason to upgrade from our old Atari systems. Eventually, they relented and bought us a Nintendo Entertainment System for Christmas. Finally, I owned a copy of the game. No more quarters. I used this newfound power to finally beat that first level and, in due time, the entire game.

If I’m being honest, it wasn’t until we owned a Super Nintendo (that I purchased for myself and my brothers) that I beat the game. If my parents noticed little difference between Atari and Nintendo, then putting a Super in front of that Nintendo did little to persuade them to upgrade. That notwithstanding, my brothers and I playing together finally defeated the evil of Bowser.

And, y’all, we are always pissed every single time this happens, even today.

A Reason to be Thankful

Unfortunately, as you all know, our victory was short lived and Bowser returned again and again. I often say that all Nintendo has to do is release a new Mario, Zelda, and Metroid game on their console for me to buy it. I thought having kids might give me a built in play group for the various games that I play. While that proved mostly untrue for things like Magic the Gathering and Dungeons and Dragons, they all quickly became Nintenerds.

I took what life dealt me and cultivated their love of video games. We almost burned down our hose playing Mario Kart. And, so, began our enjoyment of multiplayer Mario games. Okay, time to come clean. I admit to taking some creative license with this article. I don’t remember my parents’ exact attitudes towards video games. I remember my father played Atari with us and even watched when we played Nintendo. Also, Christine and I hosted a few Mario Party get togethers with friends and roommates over the years.

Epilogue

With all of that being said, we found great joy in the most recent Mario Kart on Switch last year during Christmas. We may or may not have made some inappropriate comments during those play sessions. But, it was all in good fun and we’ve been meaning to do it again. Perhaps over Christmas break during this year. An annual tradition?

Who knows? It might happen earlier. Liam bought Mario Party a couple of weeks ago and he and Quinn played a round. He asked me to bring home some joycons from our school’s Nintendo club so we could play as a family. I told him I would over Veteran’s day this weekend and then again over Thanksgiving break. Here’s to hoping that it leads to some Mario Kart, too.

Top 5 January 2022: A Look Ahead

Introduction

This Top 5 January 2022 article comes about a week late. We here at 2 Guys Gaming consider that a victory after disappearing for two whole months at the end of last year. Also, unless I come up with something else while writing the article, this top 5 January 2022 might be only a top 4.

Will I make it to 5? Stay tuned to find out.

Top 5 January 2022

Well, that wasn’t at all suspenseful, was it? I learned over the last few years from people that I love who suffer from anxiety that suspense is overrated.

5. Geocaching – I will talk about this more on my other page. However, it became such a part of my life over the last 3rd of last year, I’d be doing a disservice by not mentioning it here, too. I currently have two goals for the year. Finish out my 365/366 consecutive days of caching and finding 1000 caches in the calendar year. Check out the other page to keep tabs.

4. Homebrew Games – I recently hooked up my Atari 2600 emulator to the downstairs TV again. I only played a few minutes of Frostbite and Circus Convoy. The latter reminded me how much I enjoyed the other homebrew games I purchased at the beginning of last year. So, I found myself on the Atari homebrew page again thinking about what new games I want for a 50 year old video game system.

3. New Games – I actually put together a Christmas list for the first time in years. On the list, I asked for a few new games. I saw Chess Ultra at Walmart for 13 bucks and Chris recommended Hades. I also asked for the new Metroid game before realizing it cost 60 bucks. But, I got Hades and Chess. I played through a few minutes of Hades, texting Chris the whole time and can’t wait to play more. Plus, Chess is always a winner.

2. Dungeons and Dragons Duels – I talked about this in my previous article wrapping up my favorites of last year. Quinn and I never got a chance to sit down and have a session. But I remain committed to making it happen. We have the same February vacation this year. Expect an update after that.

1. MtG Commander – I also wrote about this in my year end wrap among other articles. Unlike Duels, though, Chris and I actually got to play some Commander while watching Alabama eviscerate Georgia in the SEC Championship. As it turns out, Georgia gave Bama the rope a dope in that game and turned the tide (ha ha) earlier this week. I’d have lost my house if I didn’t think the line was super fishy. But, alas, back to the point. More Commander not this weekend, but next.

The Verdict

Our top 5 January 2022 seems less intriguing than our preview last year. However, it is far more sustainable over the long run since I’m not promising to play 75 games that I’ll never even speak of again as long as we live. Also, honestly, I’m not sure what else to write this week, so it might be a bit of a dry stretch until we play Commander again next week. Plus, there will be at least three of us there! See you then.

Mario Kart 8: Games We Love

Introduction

I think I mentioned last week that we might take this week off. Then, I got an idea to talk about the games that we received for Christmas. Little did I know that this was the year that we only got Mario Kart 8 for Christmas. Oh, I did find Mario and Rabbids while I was organizing my closet, but I don’t think that one is going to be worthy of a post.

It’s only been three days and I already have a rivalry with this mofo. So, yeah, Mario Kart 8 is going to be heavily played.

Not so with Mario Kart 8. We’ve played several rounds every day since Christmas. Heck, Christine who barely plays games (I mean, she’ll bug me about a round of Mortal Kombat 11 now and then but that’s it.), jumped in for a couple of circuits with the boys last night. Then, she talked about playing again today after dinner.

Okay, now that I’ve started this article, I’m not sure how I’m going to structure it. Generally, I do a “Great, Good, Decent” review. However, I have branched off more into other formats like top 5 lists. I don’t know if I actually have 5 reasons that I love the Mario Kart series so much. But, let’s find out.

5 – Trash Talk

Before this version, the last time I played Mario Kart was at a faculty party in the basement of one of the staff at the time. This was probably 10-12 years ago, so the statute of limitations has run out. If that sounds sketchy, you’re not alone. As a 45 year old father of three, I’d definitely give younger me a smack bottom for that decision. So, what’s the point of this particular story?

If you are patient, I’m getting there.

As often happens with this game, I sucked the first few circuits that we played. It always takes me a bit of time to adjust to the strategies. Then, I start winning. That’s what happened here. And, I let everyone know it. Trash talk is just a part of that winning strategy in Mario Kart. Last night, for instance, I shouted, “Whoever just hit me, your mom’s a hoe.” Mind you, this is while I was playing against two of my sons. Luckily, the shell came from a computer player. Otherwise, that could have been more awkward than just my 9 year old laughing and repeating the line.

4 – Easy to Play (Hooks Non Gamers)

Actually, the easy to play line is a lie. The game is difficult and complex for new players. However, twice during this vacation, we got non gamers to play the game with us. The familiar characters and cartooony graphics fool people into thinking that it’s an easy game. Then, once they play, they have fun and eventually adapt their own strategy.

Hit them sick tricks, Noob, and pwn the competition.

My wife, for instance, who never plays video games (other than the aforementioned occasional round of Mortal Komat), actually asked to play this game again. Sure, some of that is because we have two teenagers and a preteen and family time together is precious. But, still, any game enjoyed by the whole family is a winner. We came close with Minecraft. And, I think she might have asked the other day for someone to teach her how to play that. So, who knows.

3 – Familiarity

I keep insisting that I feel no effects of nostalgia. And, yet, I keep listing nostalgia as a reason that I enjoy these games. Hey, you don’t come here for consistency in analysis? If so, I’m afraid you will be sorely disappointed. Just look at my various articles on Hearthstone for evidence of that.

I mean, the Reno game where he transformed sure lethal into random murlocs is just the latest of my salty rants that ended with, “This game is BS. I’m uninstalling.” That, of course never happened. And, actually, I think the tantrum that ended with my busted phone came more recently.

I don’t have burning nostalgia for having played Mario Kart as a kid with my brothers like I do with some games. I don’t even have fond memories playing in high school with friends like I do with other games. But, I do have my “frat party” memory. Plus, the characters are all familiar faces from my childhood. That’s where the nostalgia really kicks in for me.

2 – Supreme Memes

My kids figured out early that I don’t care much for the strategy of this game. I mean, I don’t care much for any game theory. That’s especially true in this game. I understand that different characters, vehicles, wheels, and parachutes have different abilities. I just don’t care.

Thanks to YoshiMan for the image

Instead, I try to look for the most ridiculous looking builds. That’s how I’ve landed on Dry Bowser on the standard bike with the roller wheels and Peach parasol. Last night I tried another meme with the teddy bear car and wooden wheels, but that turned out poorly for me. Back to the old stand by. It is truly the Supreme Meme build for me.

1 – Playing with Kids

I already eluded to this in my introduction. Since the entire family has been playing, this is one of those games that I’ve been able to play with the kids. Regular readers of the page know that’s my number one reason for enjoying games. Any time the kids show an interest, I will go crazy investing in that game.

When Aiden and Quinn were into YuGiOh, I spent a stupid amount of money on cards for them that they really wanted. As often happens, that phase didn’t last long enough to warrant the money spent. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted. Also, who knows. Their interests recycle, so there might be another YuGiOh phase in our future.

The Verdict

When texting Chris, I said, “I’m sure we’ll play Mario Kart 8 non stop during this break.” Sometimes I say those things and they don’t come to pass. So far, this one has. We’ve played at least 3 circuits once a day. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Sure, we might slow down next week when school starts, but I have a feeling there will still be weekly Mario Kart nights to go with our board game nights.

PokeMon Shield Review (Finally!)

Introduction

I’m probably the last person in the world to write a Pokemon Shield Review. I did a first impressions article back before the game came out. Then, my son got the game (because he’s a huge Pokemon fan and always buys the games), but I never played it. Since this week has become Pokemon week, I figured why not play the game and write my review finally.

It could be worse, I suppose. I could be the literal last man on earth.

Besides, it’s not like the article isn’t topical. As I was trying to figure out how to load the game without screwing up Liam’s save file, I saw that they’re coming out with an expansion for the game. It’s releasing next month. So, you might get Pokemon week two months in a row! I mean, after the news I just got, we are going to do Minecraft twice this month, so anything’s possible!

The Great

Hot Keys – Since I only play the games once every other generation or so (though I have played the last two releases), I’m not sure when this became a thing. However, it is quite the quality of life improvement. I noticed as I was battling once that the Pokeball came up as a hotkey of the “X” button. Again, not a big deal, but that means that you can throw a Pokeball without having to navigate through the menu. Great addition. I will have to look to see if you can expand that capability to other things like potions.

Graphics! – That’s exactly how I wrote it in my notes. I knew there was a reason that they moved the Pokemon series to the Switch. I mean, besides the obvious of trying to sell more consoles. The graphics on this game are like nothing I’ve ever seen in a Pokemon game before. I mean, Sun and Moon were good, but this is great. It’s like you are playing a cartoon. I’m blown away.

I mean, I’m not usually a graphics guy, but it’s impressive what they can do these days.

The Good

Story – Those of you who know me at all know that about 90% of the reason that I play games is for the story. Pokemon games aren’t exactly know for their strong stories, but they are consistent, at least. Honestly, this one is pretty decent. Maybe not as fun as Sun and Moon, but it will keep me coming back to play the game.

So Many Pokemon: I’m also on record as being a grumpy old man gamer who wants all these Pokemon to get off my lawn. However, I’ve eased on that stance a bit and I quite enjoy there being so many pocket monsters. It means I’ll never in a lifetime “catch em all”. However, that was always the reality.

I mean, who has time to chase down all 151?

The Decent

Wild Area – Maybe I’m proceeding through the game too quickly, but it feels like this came very early. There is just little warning for what you will potentially face in the area. Sure, they tell you (more or less) to stay away from the glowing parts, but I could figure that out myself. The thing that really blew me away was the overpowered Pokemon wandering around. The first one I tried to fight and got destroyed. The second I ran into accidentally. I mean, they’re easily avoided, but that was a rude awakening.

The Music – There should be some nostalgia factor to this and I guess there is. What I should have said is the battle music. It’s loud and grating and repetitive. I mean, my youngest likes it and he’s the target audience, so they must be doing something right. I just have to mute the whole game because of it. Maybe it’s good that they haven’t gone to voice actors since people like me just mute the game.

Visual representation of the music.

The Verdict

Thanks for taking the time to read my Pokemon Shield review. Overall, the game is a lot of fun and I’ll be playing it quite a bit in between the new Mortal Kombat story and Minecraft dungeons over the next couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll revisit after that to see if it is still fun. However, both of my kids are still playing it 6 months later, so that seems like a rousing endorsement. Go catch em all!

First Impressions Pokemon Sword/Shield

Introduction

Thanks for reading my “First Impressions Pokemon Sword/Shield” article. It’s been a while since I’ve played a Pokemon video game other than Pokemon Go. The last one that I purchased was Pokemon Sun and I only played through the first island on that one before Quinn took it over from me and probably beat the game. No, I just checked with him and he hasn’t beaten it because “something, something the Tapus”. I have no idea what that even means.

However, since there’s a new Pokemon game coming to the Switch (?!, more on that in a bit), I thought this would be a good time to focus on Pokemon for a couple of weeks as a preview to the game. I hope to even record a podcast with at least Liam to preview the game as he probably knows more about it than I do. I did do a bit of research on Bulbapedia about the game, so I’ll give some of my impressions in this article.

Notable Notes

Nintendo Switch: The first thing that I noticed and surprised me is that the game is coming on to the Switch. Now that I think about it, Liam probably told me this at some point. It’s just not information that I internalized. However, this changes everything. I thought it would be a 3DS game again and we have two 3DS systems. We only have one Switch. There’s going be a battle daily for who gets to play their Pokemon game come November.

Also, Nintendo, can we finally get multiple save slots?

Gyms are back: So, guys, apparently gyms are back? I never played either of the Let’s Go games. I found out that they were a different design from traditional games. Granted, I should have known by the name and the fact that Nintendo likes to live by the motto, “If it’s not broke, let’s break it and see if it makes it better. If not, we can always go back to the original and nobody will fault us for our decision to break this thing they loved.” And, it works every single time for them.

Battling is back: Hey guys, battling is back in the game, too. The Let’s Go series worked more like Pokemon Go where you encounter Pokemon and can only catch them. Now, it will be like the older games where you randomly encounter and battle Pokemon. I mean, that just makes sense. Since battling is 99% of the game, I don’t understand the decision use Pokemon Go encounters with the main series. But, like I said, we will forgive them come release.

Me too, Kid. Me too.

New Evolutions: I know a bit about the new types of evolutions that they’ve been releasing in the games. Mostly, I only know them from the card game. Again, as I mentioned in my first cube article, we don’t play the card game much, either. However, I do watch the stream and have seen cards with GX and such on them. I don’t know how it affects game play in the video game. Perhaps Liam will enlighten me when we sit down to record.

The Verdict

I’m always excited when a new Pokemon game releases. I rarely ever play them, but it is one of the series that I’ve been interested in since the beginning. My children have helped to keep me interested in the game by collecting cards and playing themselves. I’m a little worried about the switch to the, uh, Switch. But, Nintendo usually knows what they are doing. And, who knows, they might even port it to the 3DS at some point in time. I doubt that will actually happen now that I given it some consideration. They seem to be consolidating so that the Switch is their only console. Oh well, I can dream.

However, I am excited about the games. I usually buy the one that Liam doesn’t. Therefore, I’ll have more information about that during the podcast. Thanks for reading my “First Impressions Sword/Shield” article. Let us know what you think about the new games and if you’re planning to buy one of them in November.

As long as the professor asks me if I’m a boy or a girl, I’m sold.