Pikmin 3 Deluxe

It’s been a while! Suffice it to say, around mid-december, real life started hitting real hard for me and my family, and I took some time off streaming or doing really anything fun. And now finally in mid February, we’ve managed to have Christmas, whereupon I was gifted this game partially by someone who wasn’t able to watch me open it.

I’m kinda cheating here since I played the demo before it came out so I already knew I wanted to Fin it. I’m a pikmin fan of old and can remember the discussions of which of Pikmins One or Two was the better title. Back when both would cost a spicy
£40, and you wanted a lot of bang for your buck, the sequel was much longer, but the first title provided superior replayability with trying to get all the treasures in as few days as possible.

Personally, and with the gift of hindsight, I feel the first title is a far stronger package overall, with the impetus provided by the 30-day time limit giving a mild sense of urgency to proceedings that is missing in Pikmin 2 (which has no time limit at all). It’s an argument which probably would cross eras, if not for Pikmin 3′s very neat bridging of the two concepts.

Rather than a strict time limit, Pikmin 3 has you searching for food to sustain your survival while you search for a way to get off the planet. Realistically, there’s very little chance of actually running out of food, with each day’s work usually providing several day’s worth of supplies, but it puts just enough subtle pressure on the player to think about the most optimal way forward.

Fin or Bin:

All the usual Pikmin frustrations remain intact. I dread the day I encounter a burrowing snagret, and I’ve already deftly avoided dealing with a spotty bulbear. I spend most of my time playing Pikmin screaming and crying, but somehow I still enjoy it. I’m sure the Final boss will be just as terrible and awesome as ever.

(No video for this one! I don’t have a capture card for my Switch. Maybe one day I’ll be able to buy one with twitch subs and patreon income, but that’s a long way off lol.)

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Starlink: Battle For Atlas

I’ve talked at considerable length before about how I was a Starfox kid, so I’ll be totally honest here- I bought an Arwing figure, and I got a free game with it. I’m certain I’m far from the only one, and that’s kind of a shame; news that it bombed quite spectacularly was sadly unsurprising, and I have a lot of thoughts about why.

Most obvious issue is that few people have the storage space or disposable income to support a fleet of ships plus their arsenal of weapons. I think the weapons in particular were a bridge too far; the ships alone look pretty cool and make for nice display pieces, but with the weapons attached they look a bit silly- meaning those’re destined to live in a drawer forever once the game is done with, or just not bought at all.

But lets address the Landmaster in the room- the inclusion of the Starfox team in what was a multiplatform game.

Their inclusion is- seamless, almost. There are segments of the storyline cutscenes where Fox and co are noticeably absent, although even this is handled very well, with them walking off screen for actual reasons before what I assume is the original cutscene continues. In-game though, Fox and friends banter with the other characters perfectly, interjecting in ways that don’t at all feel “ALSO STARFOX IS HERE!”- it feels organic and like it could have been a Starfox game.

And that is what I think the real kicker is- it’s not a Starfox game, even though it could have been. People on other platforms are very clearly missing out on a lot of content so why would they bother?

Flip the balance a little, have the other characters star in the game as secondary to Starfox, make it an expanded Starfox Universe, and keep it Switch-exclusive, and I think they would have had a winner.

Maybe it’s useless to theorycraft this sort of thing, but just being a game by itself doesn’t feel like enough. If it wasn’t going to wholeheartedly be a new Starfox, it needed a different hook. A cartoon series, just like the 80s and 90s, could have been the deciding factor. I know kid!Beebs would have absolutely gone nuts over a game like this- a toy spaceship that lights up and you can put your actual ship into the game and play with it there too? That’s the coolest shit. Even as an adult I really like this sort of thing, though it comes with the sad ability to recognise why few developers ever take such risks.

To speak briefly on the build quality of the Arwing itself- really flippin’ good. Solid chunk of plastic, paint and decals are perfect, and you can even switch it from regular to All-Range mode. Very impressive, worth the cost of entry alone. You can arrange the wings and weapons in any manner you like, forwards or backwards, inverted left to right, and even stack both wings on top of each other, and the game recognises your configuration and will play accordingly. Magic!

Fin or Bin:

I’ve talked a lot about the game without talking about the game. It reminds me a lot of a Bethesda RPG, but in space. Object markers over a free-roam map, a quest indicator you’re going to completely ignore because there’s a million other things to do, even some statsy min-maxing to do. I’m having fun with it, and pretty much treating it as a Starfox And Friends title. Would’ve loved to watch the cartoon series based on Atlas if it existed, but I’ll settle for Finishing the game.

Super Mario Odyssey


I debated putting a post up for Odyssey at all. It’s obviously a Fin, and what can I say about the game that hasn’t already been said?

But it’s been over a month since my last post, during which time I have played and finished it (and also moved house, and also not played Wuppo at all oops), and it was on the backlog, so I thought I should at least write something.

Obviously, it’s good. It’s absolutely packed to the rafters full of moments that just make you smile, clever little extra puzzles within puzzles, and smart uses of the central mechanic.


For some reason, it never grabbed me. I played it a little when it came out, and then it languished on the backlog until about a year later, when I picked it up again for a couple of hours, then onto the backlog it went again. Only having rolled it for the BBLC did I stick with it- even though both of those other times I definitel enjoyed it and had all the same feelings and impressions.

I can’t really explain why I couldn’t get attached, but even this most recent time I had to remind myself I was playing Odyssey. I had thought it was due to our living arrangements (which sees the Switch being in our living room area which was midgi’s personal space) but that didn’t prevent me demolishing SSBU when that came out. I dunno.

Fin or Bin:

I already said it was a Fin, so I’ll use this space to note- finally, a game that rewards pretty much every single instance of ‘I need to check this corner just in case there’s something here’. In other games, that kind of obsessive exploration doesn’t pay off 99% of the time, but there’s always something in Odyssey- even in the places you’re obviously not supposed to go. Hugely impressive.