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Digital Down-Low for 09/02/2022: Don’t just Cow *a* bunga, cow EVERY bunga!

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
I hope you didn’t like your wallet, because this week is going to destroy it.

First, and arguably most significantly, is this weeks headliner; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection a collection of not one, not two but THIRTEEN TMNT games from the 8 and 16 bit eras; which was (until very recently) also the apex of TMNT games; both Arcade games, all three NES and Gameboy games, Turtles 4 and The Hyperstone Heist, and all three versions of Tournament Fighters (the SNES one being a contender for the best fighting game on the system). There is roll-back net code multiplayer as well, but only for a handful of games; the two Arcade titles (fair), SNES Tournament Fighters (EXCITING) and… oddly… Hyperstone Heist (the Turtles game everyone forgets exists).

Anyway, I’ve been hangry for this collection since it was announced, and my wait will be over in… about three hours from when I’m typing this sentence.


Next is something I didn’t know existed until I sat down to type this thread, and then I said “Oh, hey!”; Tinykin! Which appears to be very much in the Pikmin mold; right down to scrambling over very large environments because you’re very, very small, and also you have a swarm of widdle-bitty varmints to command to smack enemies and solve puzzles, like Whycome You So Small? And “Weird Bugs?”

Explore Scenic “A House where you’re the size of a grape!”


Duskdiver 2 is a sequel to a game I HAVE played before and deemed “Not great, but pretty solid”. And that game was called “Duskdiver”! This one… really does not look appreciably different as an experience, but hey, there’s always room in my heart for a very nice looking beat-em-up with RPG elements, even if there are many other examples of that in existence.

Visit scenic Taipei, and punch the absolute god damn hell out of the monsters that secretly live there and most people can’t perceive while working a 9-5 at a bodega.


Prinny Presents: NIS Classics Volume 3: La Pucelle: Ragnarok and Rhapsody is the *other* retro re-release this week that I’m deeply jazzed for and am impatiently waiting to be unlocked in the eShop so I can start playing it. The previous NIS collections were One Game I Remember Liking and One Game I Did Not Care About, both presented with some pretty nasty visual distortion because they were PSP games stretched out to TV dimensions, poorly.

This… still has that latter problem, but it’s two games I always really wanted to play, but never could. Technically I played the DS port of Rhapsody, but that was an absolute train wreck of a video game. Furthermore, this is the PSP re-release of La Pucelle which was never localized and had a lot of extra content added over the original release.

Both are SRPGs, but one is about a highly violent nun in a Monster Hunting church who wants to explode her way to Lady Pope status, and the other is a musical. Which… is less immediately appealing as a premise, but it is pretty gal dang charming.


Ooblets seems to be one of those “Pretend to Farm” games, but the vegetables all can dance Because they’re also weird critters. So, y’know… have a cozy time making friends with a potato. This is the best way to show bravery in a farming community.


Anno Mutationem is the *third* game that made me go “Oh SICK NUTS!” This week, and then i tried the demo and deemed it “Neat!”. It’s a 2D side-scrolly cyberpunk game set in All The Animes, like if Blade Runner fell into a display at Suncoast Video. The visuals are real spiffy, and I immediately declared it to be “Like what I assumed Fear Effect was like, except a side-scroller and with more nano-mutant guys. Maybe Ghost in the Shell, if the cyborgs got really freaky lookin’”.

This is not a helpful description but it is TRUE TO HISTORY of my thought pattern. YOU CAN NOT CALL ME A LIAR ON THIS SUBJECT!


And speaking of ghosts in shells, we have ghosts in houses next, with Restless Soul! It’s an adventure-em-up where you’re a g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-GHOST! One that says “Nah, I don’t want to be spooky” and has to track down some tchotchkes to revive themself. Meanwhile, puzzles and monsters say “Nah man, being a ghost is rad? Didn’t you ever listen to Oingo Boingo?”

It’s a valid arguement.


And speaking of ghosts; you often make them by committing murders. Murders like the titular event on Murder on the Marine Express! It’s a pixelly-lookin’ text-based MURD‘EM-UP where a train passenger Dunn got killed because They were SLICED AND DICED and you’re just the kind of meddling kid what doesn’t like it when teachers get totally chopped to pieces on your watch and you got a bunch of train passengers to investigate and say “WHYCOME YOU SHANK A FOOL?!?!” At.


City Wars: Tokyo Reign originally had the much more enticing title of “Chronoforce” and then they said “No, let’s make it much more generic sounding”. But it is still interesting LOOKING, so their plan failed. It’s a super-stylish looking CCG game where you’re building CYBER BATTLE DECKS in order to beat evil hackers and… umm… security cameras (?) at Future-Yu-Gi-Oh.

Anyway, the trailer wouldn’t load properly for me in the eShop, so that’s all you’re getting from me; looks neat though.


Now if you’re tired of all the games about Cyberpunk Murder Sprees I mentioned so far, and there’s been a bunch, how about a self-described Cozy Platformer? Well Here Comes Niko might be what you’re looking for, because… it is that. You’re Niko, a Professional Friend, tasked with bein’ buds at a scenic beachfront community. Find a turtles husband; play with a tamagotchi. Catch a bug. Swim?

You know… that stuff.


The diametric opposite of a game where you relax with friends is JoJos Bizarre Adventure: All Star Battle R, a massive Jojos Bizarre Adventure crossover fighting game, with combatants across the entire dang series; including characters you wouldn’t really reasonably expect to make a cut in a fighting game; like that little spiky head kid, or Zeppeli. It’s a JJBA fighting game, so I would imagine that you can take whatever your normal choice is for Most Absurd Fighting Game Aesthetic, and multiply it by a factor of fifty.


And speaking of New Video Games Based on Anime, we have Made in Abyss: Binary Star Falling in Darkness. And while I did not watch Made in Abyss, I understand the creative rationale behind it was someone wishing for an Etrian Odyssey anime on a monkeys paw.


And finally we have a puzzle game that… umm… is hard to describe. Please, Touch the Artwork is a game where you’re presented with modern art displays, which are also sliding block and Color-matching puzzles, and you gotta weird-em-up by poking the hell out of them, despite every urge your internal museum docent is screaming at you.


And I think that’s everything. Go to bed, you sleepy babies.


I think I'm going to wait until September to get TMNT budget-wise but definitely want to try to play with other people once I have it!


Aging Hipster Dragon Dad
Played the Steam version of Anno Mutationem, and it's a solid 7/8 out of 10, but man is the plot all over the place.