What Are You Playing This Weekend?

Illustration for article titled What Are You Playing This Weekend?
Screenshot: Queen Bee Games

This weekend is for decompressing after a week and change non-stop playing Marvel’s Avengers. Something simple with pretty colors is in order, I think.

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Something like Spinch, a surprisingly challenging little platformer from Canadian studio Queen Bee Games. See all the colors? Those are the work of Canadian cartoonist Jesse Jacob, whose psychedelic hues make the fact that I am having a hell of time escaping the massive worm seen in the screenshot above not quite as frustrating. I mean, I want to avoid the worm, but it’s just so pretty. Check out the trailer.

Seriously, the art style is like nothing I’ve seen. I’m playing Spinch on Switch, it’s also out for Mac and PC. It will eventually be the subject of very impressive speedruns by much better players. Can’t wait.

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What are you playing this weekend?

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.

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DISCUSSION

I’m just gonna copy my post from the AVClub thread, ‘cos it’s a chonker.

I beat FF7-R earlier this week (thoughts below), so I’ll be moving onto something else this weekend. Maybe I’ll pick Darksiders Genesis back up, I was having fun with that before I shifted focus to bigger games.

But yeah, I have OPINIONS on FF7R. In a nutshell, I liked that it did its own thing, but it didn’t quite stick the execution for me; and it irks me that it presented itself as a remake only to turn around and lean hard on familiarity with the original.

SPOILERS FROM HERE:

Honestly I think the biggest mistake was putting Sephiroth in it. There was already plenty going on with Avalanche and Shinra; throwing in a last-minute supervillain and the spooky destiny ghosts made the plot a bit too busy. The additions felt jarringly shoehorned in too, going from the act 1 motorcycle escape to fighting a city-sized monster and Sephiroth himself. In other words, it felt like they only put him in this game for the sake of having him in the game.

In the original there’s a fantastic sequence where, shortly after leaving Midgar, the party’s way is blocked by a big snake. They can’t take it on at that point, it’s too strong; so they have to go through a bunch of malarkey to get a chocobo and sneak past it. Then they see a similar snake spiked on a goddamn tree, and they’re like, “yep, Sephiroth was here”. You can even go back in the late game, when you’d be challenging Sephy, and kick that snake’s ass yourself. It’s a wonderful bit of ludonarrative synergy.

In the remake this same party, at the same sorta power level (going by the other encounters), is suddenly (and I mean SUDDENLY) fighting giant endbosses and going toe-to-toe with Sephiroth. Cloud is flying through the air and slicing buildings and cars a la Advent Children. Will the snake be in the next entry? Will they break a sweat fighting it? Who knows. Everyone’s getting excited about “fighting destiny”, even though noone knows what that destiny is, and just a few minutes ago they were thanking the destiny ghosts out loud for keeping them alive.

Speaking of, the mysterious destiny ghosts just appear and disappear, and noone talks about them when they’re not onscreen. That is, until the point where Aerith and Red just happen to know exactly what their deal is. For some reason it’s Aerith too that gets the big speech about how awful Sephiroth is, even though Cloud and Tifa actually have history with him, while she just intuits that he’s totally the worst.

END SPOILERS

I know this reads at a glance like a rant at the changes the game made. It’s not, I like that the game is different; I’m going into detail because my gripes are specific. I respect what they were trying to do, and I’m looking forward to seeing where they go from here; I just don’t think they quite pulled it off.