Weekend Whammy: Bloodstained, Yu-Gi-Oh! & Warcraft

So I woke up the other day and suddenly unleashed what can only be described as a machine-gun burst of sneezes so violent and so loud that any war veterans in the area would have been diving for cover. Yes, I’ve gotten yet another sodding cold. I’m not going to blame anyone, but….*glares accusingly toward my brother’s house*

But anyway, my dreadful illness has given me an awesome excuse to be a lazy bastard and so I’ve not played heaps or done much review work. The only thing of note was that I reviewed World of Warcraft 3: Reforged, the remaster/remake of the classic Blizzard RTS and man, it was a letdown. And so Blizzard’s reputation continues to crumble around them, the once proud company that was a shining beacon of game development now holding the dishonourable record for having the lowest user-rated game on Metacritic. Blood hell, Blizzard.

Due to my review I wound up getting sent an Email which gave me what my be the best compliment I’ve ever gotten: ” Your recent Warcraft review had just the right amount of information and snark.” I’m blushing. The gentlemen who sent me the message runs a Youtube channel called The Icon and asked me to feature a video. I reckon a compliment that amazing certainly warrants a video, eh? So here’s The Icon’s list of the top 10 amazing works of architecture in videogame:

If nothing else playing Warcraft 3: Reforged gave me a good reason to go put time into Age of Empires 2: Definitive Edition, a prime example of how an RTS remaster should be done. The A.I. got completely redone, there are loads of quality of life improvements that make playing it a pleasure and the remastered graphics are awesome, including the fact that buildings actually crumble when destroyed. Of course, it helps that Age of Empires 2 is also really, really bloody good. I’m genuinely astonished by how well it plays even in 2020. Plus, it lets me build massive walls and hide behind them, grinning like a maniac as the enemy smash themselves against my defenses.

On the topic of Age of Empires 2, over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun writer Nate Crowley has decided to get really good at the game and wrote a piece on his first attempt at a ranked match. It’s a good read.

Thanks to Games Pass I’ve also been sticking a bit of time into Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, which is basically a Castlevania game wearing a big coat, a hat and talking in a silly voice so that you won’t recognize it and sell it some beer. I’m only an hour or so in and therefore can’t really comment on the whole game, but what I’ve seen so far is very promising. With that said, I also get my ass handed to me nearly a dozen times by the first boss because apparently I just can’t videogame anymore in my declining years. That’s what I get for starting something like Bloodstained when my nostrils are more choked than a BDSM lover. Anyway, given the massive amount of praise that Bloodstained got when it first released I’m sure I’m going to be in for a great time.

Finally, I was in a nearby CEX (second tech, game and movie store) when I spotted Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. Now, when I was a wee nipper causing havoc in my dad’s shed I was big into Yu-Gi-Oh! I used to sneak downstairs to watch the original series and GX on the TV in the mornings, and then later I got into the actual card game. Like a lot of kids at the time I spent a lot of money on booster packs and decks, but eventually I stopped, mostly because I didn’t have any friends who were into the game to play against. It was a choice between going out and making new friends to play against, or giving up Yu-Gi-Oh! and since I’m an anti-social dick it wasn’t a hard decision.

Seeing Legacy of the Duelist though, sparked a desire in me to check the game out all the years later and see how much it has changed. Unsurprisingly, it has transformed a lot with heaps of new rules and card effects that have honestly altered the game to the point where it has become cumbersome, at least in my aged eyes. The simpler card game I loved once is gone, but I can still see why it remains popular, and naturally a card game needs to change to stay relevant.

But back to the actual videogame. I don’t know how veterans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! videogames feel about it, but for me Legacy of the Duelist has been a blast. You get to play through matches based on “historic” duels throughout the various series, there’s something like 9,000 cards to build a deck from and it’s the perfect game for my Switch Lite because you can pick it up, play a quick match in five minutes and then put it away again. There are some annoying things about it, too: the UI is clumsy, and I hate that I can’t slow down or pause the action to check out a card that was just used, meaning that quite often I’ll be left wondering what the hell just happened.

Because I’ve been getting back into building decks and summoning monsters I’ve also been watching episodes of my favourite Yu-Gi-Oh! series, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, and some of the original series, too. Hearing the theme music of the English version of GX is like travelling back in time for me. But man, the whole show was crazy bonkers. It was bad enough in the original series because they didn’t have any actual rules for how the card game was played, but even with proper rules governing everything it’s…it’s fucking mental. I mean, there’s dark light that wants to take over the world, rich princes with brainwashing satellites, mad cults, some guy running around in the woods and all sorts of other weird shit. And somehow it all revolves around a card game that typically solves everything when it’s played.

But Yu-Gi-Oh! did give me one of my favourite characters ever in the form of Seto Kaiba, a rich douchebag with an ego the size of a planet. He’s a guy who built a jet shaped like monster portrayed in his favorite card: The Blue-Eyes White Dragon. He’s a guy that held a competition where people designed cards which would be put into a Kaiba-corp satellite and launched into space because in his own words he reckons if there is intelligent life out there then they should be taught how to duel. He’s a guy that spent a fortune building an honest-to-God time machine purely so he could go back in time to beat the Pharoah at a fucking card game! The sheer sass and snark that Kaiba possesses is something I admire. Kaiba is a legend.

I think that’ll do it for this week folks. I’m going back to bed to sulk, drink copious amount of Lemsips and play on my Switch Lite.

Night night.


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