2014 is off to a great start for me

I haven't touched my Wii U at all this year, so far. And it's not because there's nothing to play on it, there's plenty waiting for me there to finish off. I actually spent most of the pre-Christmas break playing and finishing SUper Mario 3D World, which is a great game. But I'm not here to talk about that.

Instead, it's the 3DS that has commanded most of my gaming time in 2014. Fire Emblem: Awakening, in particular, and then the Bravely Default Demo, more recently. There's just something about being able to grab a few minutes pr gaming (or a few hours) here and there, wherever I happen to be, that's just magical. Fire Emblem: Awakening was my first Fire Emblem game. Approaching it as a noob, I really appreciated the new "Casual" mode offered this iteration, which lets you play through the game without permadeath of characters found in what they call "Classic" mode. I figured, I have no idea how to play, this should be the perfect mode for me.

And it was. I fought, I died, I continued on without major consequence. But then a funny thing happened along the way. Around about Chapter 12 I found that I was really enjoying the game. I mean really enjoying it. Something clicked for me.

I decided to restart the game on "Classic" instead of casual, and started right from the beginning again. It was a wholly different experience. No longer could I make a mistake near the end and just throw everyone at the last boss to win. I had to keep everyone alive, and I played much more conservatively. Any mistake was usually punished by losing a character, accompanied by the frustration of having to restart the game and try again.

But I learned through those restarts, and through the mistakes. I began to understand how to position my units, who was going to win which encounters, and who would die if I left them there.

And the game rewarded me with a wonderful little story, told in anime, and layered moving stills, and in game engine rendered sequences. I wish there were more of the anime cut scenes, but what was there was excellent. (I wish they had an anime series for Fire Emblem, it would be great)

This year is my "Year of the Pile", and after Fire Emblem I am working on finishing Dragon Age 2, and then maybe dip into Dark Souls a little bit. February I'm looking at the release of Bravely Default (also for 3DS) and then working through New Super Mario Bros U. Through 2014 I want to get at least 12 games off the pile, if not closer to 20.

Wish me luck, and here's hoping your gaming 2014 is filled with great experiences!

Posted on January 13, 2014 and filed under Article.