A Week in the Life of a 40-Year-Old Gamer: February 26 – March 3, 2016

1. Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 3 – Judgment (PS4): $2.99

2. Resident Evil Revelations 2: Episode 4 – Metamorphosis  (PS4): $2.99

3. Resident Evil Revelations 2: Extra Episode: The Struggle (PS4): $2.49

4. Resident Evil Revelations 2: Extra Episode: Little Miss (PS4) : $2.49

5. Fire Emblem Fates DLC: Museum Melee (3DS): $2.49

6. Super Mario World SNES (3DS): $7.99

7. Pokemon Red Gameboy (3DS): $9.99

8. Jigglypuff amiibo: $0 (retail $12.99; gift)

YTD Total: $369.49


1. Fire Emblem: Fates: Birthright (3DS): 9h 12m

2. Street Fighter V (PS4): 2h 29m

3. Pokemon Red (Gameboy): 1h 47m

4. The Order: 1886 (PS4): 1h 45m

5. Mega Man (NES): 1h 14m

6. Super Mario World (SNES): 27m

7. Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze (WiiU): 12m

8. 3D Super Street Fighter 4 (3DS): 7m


This week in Fire Emblem Fates (3DS), I had to say goodbye forever to Silas, Hayato, and Azama. They fought with valor, and did all they could to support their friends. But in the end, I was just not a tactical enough leader to keep them out of harm’s way.

Since I’m playing in Classic: Hard Mode, dead means dead – forever. And this past week, I’ve managed to avoid the temptation to restart when important people die. It’s a really emotional thing to lose characters you have been carefully bringing up the ranks. Hayato was a particularly painful loss. He was nearly up to level 10 – the point at which he could have been able to transform into a formidable warrior. But near the end of Chapter 9, he got surrounded by winged enemies, and I had no way to send out support in time. I could see three moves ahead that he was a goner; it was devastating.

The level of strategic depth in Fire Emblem is so satisfying…. I measure every move carefully, being sure to double check what kind of range my opponents have before placing my heroes in a new slot on the map. And with the stakes being so high, I get a real thrill out of slim-margin victories. My heart stops for a beat when one of my characters are down to 2 hit points, but they manage to dodge an oncoming attack and run to safety on the next move.

There’s been lots of talk this week about Clash Royale on iPhone, and it’s… fine. I played for about 45 minutes when it was in soft launch, and I understand the appeal. But in the world of portable gaming, Clash Royale can’t come close to the quality, sophistication, or depth of Fire Emblem.

I put a few hours into the Ranked Match mode of Street Fighter V (PS4), and this week, matches have run very smoothly. I win about 60% of the time, which is much better than my Call of Duty runs, where I end in the bottom half of players about 70% of the time. I just love Street Fighter V‘s quick matches, and being able to see how many consecutive wins your opponent has experienced reinforces the feel of being in an arcade. Can you knock a long-time winner off of his/her perch?

I’m not an expert in Street Fighter by any stretch, so I can’t really articulate why, but Street Fighter V feels better paced and more responsive than Street Fighter IV. It seems the combat has been reduced in complexity, bringing it a bit more in line with the way old Street Fighter II matches used to feel.

When I’ve been away from my home machine, 3D Street Fighter IV (3DS) has been a nice way to get a few rounds in, as well.

I had never played The Order: 1886 (PS4), but I had picked it up during a holiday sale for $9.99, and decided to finally gave it a spin. It is without a doubt the best-looking console title I’ve ever played. That said, the mechanics feel stiff and the enemy encounters are dull. I like the setting and characters, and it’s set by default at a comfortable level of difficulty, so I think I will finish it, but I understand why people saw it as a letdown. If it had come out on the PS4’s launch day, I think audiences would have been a lot more forgiving, considering what a visual showpiece it is. Even today, it’s a good one to show friends that might otherwise be skeptical of what a big step up PS4 is when put beside the PS3.

Thanks to the 3DS, I’ve been enjoying a lot of retro treasures this week. My daughter and I both bought different versions of the original Pokemon (Gameboy). She’s playing through Red, I’m playing through Blue. I never played the original, so I was surprised by how well the black and white classic holds up – and how little has really changed since the series’ inception. The ability to have wireless matches is a really great feature add… battles against my daughter have been a great draw for us both to keep playing and collecting. I only have earned one gym badge so far, but I’m committing to getting at least a couple more.

Mega Man (NES) is another game I never played back in the day… I had started with Mega Man 2, and always tended to go back to that sequel when playing compilations. It’s been satisfying to get into the original, and slowly figure out in what order bossess should be knocked out. So far, I have defeated Cut-Man, Elecman, and Bombman. I just love the Mega Man Legacy Collection, which I now have on box 3DS and Xbox One. 


The announcement of SNES games coming via Virtual Console to the New Nintendo 3DS was very exciting. I don’t love having to spend full price to buy Super Mario World (SNES) again, but it’s worth it, given the quality of the game and how well it works on-the-go. The bite-sized levels are just perfect for things like long lines at the grocery store or waiting to be let into a movie theater.

I look forward to writing about Zelda: Twilight Princess HD (WiiU) next week….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s