What's up nerds. I'm on lockdown and life sucks, so I'm just gonna write, play videogames, and write about videogames. So here's What I've Been Playing: Vol 3: The Games Strike Back.

Nioh 2

For a very long time, I thought no soulslike would ever beat Bloodborne for me. I don't like the Dark Souls games, and Code Vein was fun enough, but doesn't hold a candle to a game where you can use a cane that is also a whip. I figured Bloodborne would always be the epitome of the genre for me.

And then I got to play Nioh 2!

I figured I'd like Nioh 2, but surprisingly I'm absolutely loving it. And it's even more surprising considering I barely put in any time into the first Nioh. I think this is the case for a few reasons. For one, getting to play as my own player character certainly helps. Cutting down yokai and soldiers with an extremely buff samurai Mint is infinitely more entertaining than doing the exact same thing as the boring, white-bread William from the original game. But beyond that, Nioh 2 just feels better than its predecessor on every level. The new weapons like the nunchucks and switchglaive are entertaining, the combat feels tighter, and ki pulses seem more forgiving. On top of all that, the new Yokai Burst feature, which basically operates as a Just Counter, is one of the most satisfying moves I've pulled off in a videogame in recent memory.

There are so many options and systems in Nioh 2 that they could end up overwhelming, but they end up linking together perfectly, resulting in a game that with an addictive loop with a difficulty curve that ramps up steadily, barring two rough bosses near the beginning of the game. Deaths never feel cheap, and the map design is vastly improved over Nioh as well. It's better in every single way, and I'm excited to finish it in the near future.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

About as far on the opposite end of Nioh 2 as possible in terms of gameplay, ACNH has been no less addictive, and a great relaxer after a difficult section in Nioh 2. Yep. It's great for that reason alone, and has nothing to do with the current state of the world, heheh.

Anyways New Horizons has been everything I could have wanted from a new Animal Crossing game. I wasn't sure about the crafting at first, but it's just the push needed to feel like you're making a difference in the game. It's the slowest starting Animal Crossing by a country mile, but the tangible feeling of progress is so sweet that it all balances out.

The QOL improvements are wonderful, as are all the new options when it comes to both Island Development and personal customization. On top of all that, the online is easy to use, and I've enjoyed meeting up with all my friends online to hang out and trade fruits and whatnot. I don't think there's enough to change someone's mind if they found themselves not enjoying the previous Animal Crossings, but otherwise, it's a great game.

And I guess that's the theme, isn't it? Life sucks at the moment, but at least we have some good games to get us through it. I give a lot of flak to games, especially in regards to their communities and how stale they can feel. But in the end, I still love them, as is demonstrated by the general vibe of this little café. Right now, games are more useful, perhaps even important, than ever, and I hope people find enjoyment in them in these trying times.

That's all for now. If you like any of the stuff I write, please consider hitting up my Patreon or Ko-Fi. Thanks.