Tagged With kotaku game diary


Lately I’ve been playing more Smash Bros. than I have in my entire life. That sounds like a lot, but it’s really not.

I missed out on all the Nintendo consoles after the SNES, so I never owned a version of the game before Smash Ultimate, which came out for the Switch last year. I moved constantly, which meant constantly shifting friend groups, making Smash Bros. parties a relatively rare, yet fun, occurrence. Like a trip to Disney World, or making a quiche.


One of the nice things about being an adult — or even a teenager with a reasonable level of autonomy — is the freedom to decide to do whatever you want with your free time. The older you get, the odder your windows of free time get. This is one of the reasons I like video games. I seldom have a consistent amount of free time, but I can usually find something well-suited to filling a few minutes or a few hundred in a fun, engaging way. That’s getting harder, though. My games all seem to want me play at very specific times.


The spectral foe towered over me, her sheer size outmatched only by her overwhelming poise. The pole arm she held in one hand was twice the size of my character, and the loose robes and prayer beads draped over her hulking figure only served to make her more intimidating. With a grace that only made her enormous size more horrifying, she sprung forward effortlessly, slowly.


I’m not very good at stealth games. I like the idea of trying to sneak around undetected, but as soon as I get caught all hell breaks loose.

In real life I’m happy to be a wallflower, but in games I often want to be at the center of the action, or violently creating it when none exists. Mutant Year Zero successfully thwarts that impulse, showing me how dramatic and satisfying stealth tactics can be.


I’ve been playing the same fight in Thronebreaker, Gwent’s standalone story, for a few hours now. I still haven’t beaten it. In most games, that would make me frustrated with myself or furious at the designers. But thanks to Thronebreaker’s unique mechanics, I’m itching to keep trying.


If Pokémon Let’s Go is banking on my nostalgia, it’s working, but it’s also bringing to mind some disturbing questions about the nature of Pokémon. ’90s kids’ idle fantasies of weed-whacking our way through forests alongside some loyal, sweet Pokémon companion are realised in the latest Pokémon game, which even lets you pet and play with your Eevee or Pikachu.

Seeing Pokémon out in the world and interacting with them as living, moving monsters, and not just bits of code, makes them feel more real. It’s easy to get attached. Though in Pokémon Let’s Go, most of the time, you probably shouldn’t.


For the last couple weeks, cube monsters have been rampaging through Fortnite matches (don’t call them zombies or you’ll hurt Epic Games’ feelings). But on Sunday, they, along with their namesake, disappeared from the game.

It was beautiful, but I was sad. Cube monsters have been my favourite thing to happen to the game since the introduction of the game’s 50v50 mode nearly a year ago. So I was relieved when I woke up this morning and learned they’d be sticking around for a little bit longer in the game’s new limited time mode, Team Terror.


I have Assassin’s Creed Odyssey installed and updated on my PS4, but every time I boot up my console, I select the game right next to it: Assassins Creed Origins. I want to beat the older game and move on to the newest one, but I can’t, because I keep accepting new side quests.


The other day, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey hit me with a real slobberknocker: It told me that a family I’d decided to save from impending slaughter earlier in the game was carrying a disease that ended up spreading to a whole island. My character, Kassandra, was immediately distraught. “We can go back anytime you want,” another character on my ship said in a conciliatory tone.

So I went back. Nothing happened.


When you’re a busy monster hunter, it’s easy to focus on the next big thing, whether that’s sieges against golden dragons or getting caught up in challenging event quests.

That means the game’s other option, arena quests are easy to ignore. I’d been putting them aside for a long time and it might be my biggest gaming regret of the year. Arena quests are tricky, and it turns out they’re just what I needed to breathe new life into Monster Hunter: World.


Call of Duty’s hardboiled new battle royale mode isn’t a lot like its candy-coloured cousin Fortnite except for one thing: Players’ gratitude for public transportation. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 players have taken to “thanking the bus driver”, a custom in Fortnite, for transporting them to an island of near-inevitable death.


Last night, I finished The Missing. My initial impression of the game was that it’s a sweet but extremely bloody puzzle-platformer, peppered with queer overtones. As I pressed forward, I found a game that was transgressive and shockingly frank in talking about LGTBQA+ issues. It’s been on my mind all morning.


Thanks in large part to God of War and the Final Fantasy Tactics iOS port, I’ve been gaming regularly for the first time in about a decade. As I emerged from my dumb hibernation to become a Gamer once again, I realised I could now fill a huge gap in my cultural literacy.