Elden Ring has lain dormant for a week now. It’s been pretty nice. I’ve been playing some new games and I’ve been returning to some old favourites. This week’s post is concerned with the return to old favourites. One game returns more or less as I left it, and another returns in a different manner, retooled as an attempt at education and fun.
Every once in a while I catch myself wondering why isn’t Elden Ring my favourite game of all time? I dig the environments; I dig the lore (even if I’m not watching too many lore videos right now) and I dig the combat. I dig the boss fights (well, most of them – twin Gargoyles and Godskin Duo aside). It’s all good. Then I visit Ashina, fight Isshin the Sword Saint on boss rush mode and go “oh, that’s why Elden Ring isn’t my favourite game of all time”. There is more to combat than Sekiro – far more – as an example Senpou Temple is still my favourite place in video games, despite all the brilliance of the Land’s Between.
But that combat though. It’s so good. It’s been four years since this game came out (damn) and no other games combat has come near it for me. Sometimes I think it does but then I go back to Sekiro and all it takes is one clash of blades and I’m home. There is an intimacy and flow to Sekiro that is hard to replicate. That being said I still dig Elden Ring’s combat a whole lot – the game gave me Giant Hunt. That alone is worth a lot. I’m not a big fan of people praising something else only by shitting on something else. I’d like that to go away sometime soon.
It’s nice doing a medley of 3 or so boss fights on any given night. I get to keep up my Sekiro skills and getting reminded that Isshin is the best boss fight. That’s nice.
Mutazione is now a Japanese game. Well, not really but I am playing the game in Japanese. This point will be returned to in more detail later. I would like to dedicate a whole post to it in the future, as there a few things I want to talk about in more detail.
I’ve tried playing games in Japanese before with varying degrees of success (read: very little success). Even with Mutazione, I’m still in the first chapter but I am making an effort to stick with it. It’s all I can do – keep at it until it becomes routine. It is dawning on me how big of an effort this is going to be though. But I’ve got to keep at it. The more I do it the better I will get at it – well, I should get better at it.
What is helping is that Mutazione is a narrative game first. In action-based games I get frustrated when I can’t understand stuff and end up just skipping to the game play. Here, that’s not an option. And there is a lot of text. More than I remembered. I’m not going to encounter all of the text – the conversations have dialogue options, so there are branching paths. I shouldn’t dwell to much on this – I should push ahead before the enormity of the whole thing can crush me.
I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I can read though. I mean, I’m not understanding everything but a lot more is getting through than I was expecting. And I am making notes and taking screen shots of things that I don’t understand.
There is going to be a fair few screen shots by the time this is done. It’s fine though. It’s all in the name of progress. And I get to learn more new words – I can dig that.