Hi everyone, and welcome back to My Week Unwrapped, where I discuss all the games I’ve been playing over the last seven days. This was a pretty quiet week and I mostly continued with Dicey Dungeons and Hero Emblems II. The new Genshin Impact update also arrived, so expect to see a lot of that in the coming days. Overall, it wasn’t the most eventful week but I still have plenty to say, so pull up a chair and let’s get started.
Now that the 4k Netflix plan costs $20 per month, I’ve been subscribing for one month at a time to watch a few things and then cancel for a few months until there’s more I want to watch. So when Poinpy released as a subscription-only mobile game, I wasn’t able to play. But now that all of season 4 of Stranger Things is available to watch, I subscribed again and was able to give it a try. As expected, I’m impressed with the presentation and can see there’s a solid game here, but it’s just not for me. It’s a little too hectic and I’ve also not been a big fan of slingshot controls in games, especially while racing against the clock. But for those who are on board with it, the idea is that you bounce upward — like a combination between Ordia and Leap Day. As you climb higher and higher, you have to collect fruits and make juice for a big blue monster that’s chasing you. If you don’t make it fast enough, he gets angry and kills you. So it’s an endless runner, with the goal of getting farther each time. Again, I can see the appeal but I just find it too stressful. You can watch some of my gameplay video below to see what it’s like and whether you want to subscribe in order to play it.
Triennale Milano Game Collection 2
Six years ago, the Triennale Milano festival released a collection of five short and experimental games by different indie developers. Now they’re back with Volume 2 of the collection, featuring five more games that will each be released several weeks apart. The first is called Wade by Optillusion and has you wading through water and solving light puzzles to get rid of obstacles in your way. It should only take a few minutes to complete, but it was interesting enough to make me want to check back in for the rest of the games. It’s also completely free, so there’s no reason not to try it.
Dicey Dungeons released on mobile last week and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying it since. In my last roundup I mentioned that I was able to beat the first episode with 4 of the 5 main characters but the Witch was giving me trouble. I’ve since completed the second episode with the first four characters but have been afraid to try the Witch again. I did unlock the secret character, the Jester, but after 2.5 hours attempting to complete episode 1 with him, I failed miserably. I know my problem is that I’m terrible at deck building and his play style has you shuffling through a big deck of cards and you decide what to add to it. I’m still going to try and beat it with those two characters, but if it proves too difficult I’ll first move on to episode 3 with the others. In any case, it’s a really great game and everyone should play it.
Hero Emblems II
I’ve been playing through Hero Emblems II for the past few weeks and, after 60 hours I finally made it to the last boss, the Demon Lord, and defeated him. I still enjoyed the matching part of the game, but I can’t help but feel like it was more of the first instead of something that was seven years in the making. It kept all the flaws of the original — slow and interrupted travel, grinding, and terrible writing. The part that frustrated me the most was that the game wants you to explore and find gear and skills that are easy to miss. But every time you move you have the chance of entering a random battle that wastes your time. It wore me down little by little. Even at the end, when I had my flying vessel to re-explore old lands, I was afraid to venture too far and get stuck in random battles. I enjoyed visiting the secret islands and finding spots on the map that can only be accessed by flight. But even with all that, I managed to miss one of the characters’ passive skills. I thought I searched every inch of every land mass and dungeon, but somehow I never found it. I still beat the game without it, but it’s a little frustrating that there isn’t some way to keep track of these things. Overall, my impressions on the game were mixed. A lot of the battles started feeling like the same thing over and over and it just didn’t capture the joy of the first one for me. It certainly looks better, but everything about it feels sluggish and in the end I wonder if it was worth spending 60 hours playing it. I think each person will have to make that decision for themselves, but liking the first doesn’t automatically mean you’ll enjoy this one. If you want to see more gameplay videos, I’ve embedded them here.
And last, update 2.8 finally arrived in Genshin Impact. It brought a new story quest for Kazuha that renewed my obsession with him. It also comes with a new 4-star weapon that matches his design but doesn’t really fit his kit. I’m using it on him anyway because it’s absolutely gorgeous and has a flaming visual effect that no other weapons do. Besides that, we got a new character called Shikanoin Heizou, who’s a police detective. I’ve been doing his hangouts and they made me really want him, but I’ve already gotten my pity to 25 and can’t risk pulling anymore. I still want to try to get Yoimiya in the next banner and save some wishes for Sumeru and dendro in 3.0. Aside from that, the Golden Apple Archipelago is back and I’m excited to have a new area to explore. So far I only played through the story part that takes us there, but I’m already excited to have Kazuha with us. I’ll definitely be playing more over the weekend, so keep an eye out. And make sure not to miss this temporary area if you play the game yourself.
And that’s everything I’ve been up to this week. I also stuck through to the end of the first season of Severance. I think it could have been a lot shorter. And even though the final episode was worth the wait, I’m annoyed that it ended on a cliffhanger. I also binged Shining Girls, which was highly uncomfortable to watch, but worth the payoff in the end. I’m now watching Slow Horses, but will interrupt it for some Stranger Things over the weekend. Anyway, let me know in the comments section which games you’re enjoying and I’ll see you back here next time with more of My Week Unwrapped!