Crystal Anne with An E comes to us from a sunny clime, but prefers to remain a pale indoor cat. She enjoys reading, cross-stitching something nerdy, going to see live music, and playing video games. She works as an autism consultant by day, got a degree in information science for fun, and currently serves on her local library advisory board.
You can read Part I of Adventures of a Middle-Aged Gamer here.
Hello, kids. She’s back, and this time she has a PS5.
A few months back, my daughter had racked up some gift cards from some camps she has attended over the past year. She is a WWE fanatic, and wanted to be able to play the upcoming WWE 2K23 video game. Problem: not available for Nintendo Switch, which was the only console we had.
I had been rolling around buying a PS5 for a bit, largely because there were several games that I wanted to play that weren’t available for the Switch. So I made the teenager a deal, we could buy a Playstation, and she had to kick in half. So that’s what we did.
It came in, we set it up, and then went…
Well, like any proper nerd, I had, a few months before that, made up a couple of lists of video games that I wanted to play, one for the Switch that we already had, and one for the PS5 that I eventually intended to have.
Teenager’s game wouldn’t be out for a bit, so we conferred and eventually landed on…
The Guardians of the Galaxy
I had been eyeing it, thanks to the inestimable Preeti Chhibber on Twitter, and decided it looked like the perfect first game. Now, while I do play multiple games simultaneously, for my first PS5 jam, I wanted to keep things focused and play something in which I would already have some experience and emotional attachment to the characters.
The gameplay is fun, if sometimes a bit confusing at times, but I loved exploring the environments. You play as Star-Lord, and he controls the other characters during combat, which is where things could get a bit overwhelming. Rocket and Groot remain very cute, and some of the backstory with Drax and his family was fairly emotional.
Also, there are space dragons and space llamas.
I will say that if you are expecting the MCU iteration of the Guardians, you’re not going to get them. Groot and Rocket look like their cinematic counterpoints, Star-Lord, Drax, and Gamora do not. The humor in the game is great, with some of my favorite one-liners coming from Rocket and Drax.
I had been eyeing this little horror joint since last summer when I read about it in The Mary Sue. Fun fact: ya girl loves a good slasher story.
A video game in which I get to control a slasher movie?
Why, yes, I think I will.
Well, it’s not that I didn’t like it. I did.
But I don’t think it’s going to have a lot of replayability value for me. It’s less action-based, and more about making certain choices or finding the goobers that progress the story. You do have very occasional times when you get to hit someone or use the shotgun, but they don’t happen a lot.
That said, I did have fun being as chaotic as possible, since I know horror tropes very well and was basically out here going “Go in the murder trapdoor? Don’t mind if I do!”. My husband, who is not much of a gamer, but does sometimes enjoy watching me play them, was quite amused.
The graphics and voice work are top-notch, with horror icons like David Arquette, Ted Raimi, and Lance Henriksen providing both voice and motion-capture.
If I do it again, I’ll probably do it in movie mode (this is where basically you, the player, rather than actively play the game, make certain choices and input them at the beginning, and then watch the game play out as a movie would) because I don’t feel like spending another 10ish hours on it.
This game was another one that was a contributing factor as to why I wanted this particular system. In this one, you’re a cat lost in a post-apocalyptic landscape. No humans, but there are robots, and I, as a cat, have to help them and also get back to my cat family.
And since I am a cat, I am incredibly cute, completely unfazed by narrow and high surfaces, and a bit of an a-hole.
Am I purposely going around the environment knocking shit over? Of course I am, because I am AUTHENTIC, but also sometimes I have to in order to accomplish a task.
It has some stressful moments, as…
Important Spoilery info:
It’s not graphic, but the first time you see it, it can be genuinely distressing, even though you as the cat will respawn almost immediately and start back at the last checkpoint.
However, generally, it’s all about cat adventuring and the adorability value is off the charts. Adding to the amusement, my own cats were riveted and trying to figure out where all the unfamiliar meowing was coming from.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales
This one I actually have not played yet, because the daughter went straight in. Therefore, you’re getting the Gen Z input on this one.
We got back from Across the Spider-Verse, and bought this then and there, because we just wanted to keep the Miles Morales love going, and Beyond the Spider-Verse doesn’t come out until March 2024.
“I like the webslinging, and the humor is really good. It really makes you feel like you’re running up walls and swinging around New York City.
Also, the graphics are BEAUTIFUL. I had a little trouble learning the combat, but once I got the hang of it, I really liked beating people up.”
Mom note: I can’t say I wasn’t amused when she was yelling “STOP HITTING ME!!!” at the goons. Reminds me of me at her age.
I imagine as time goes on we’ll continue finding some fun options (I have been eyeing Uncharted, Dragon Age Inquisition, and Tomb Raider with a high degree of interest), and I think I am likely to revisit some of the titles from my PS2 days (already downloaded Ratchet and Clank, and plan to play some of it before I make a decision about the new one).
Also, we have absolutely not abandoned the Switch. Daughter is absolutely obsessed with Disney Dreamlight Valley (think Sims, but Disney) ( A ) and is very interested in the upcoming Detective Pikachu Returns (this child loves Pokemon) ( A ), and I have been playing Dredge ( A ) (which I learned about on this very site and have lost SO MANY hours to) and Have A Nice Death (playing as a grouchy little Grim Reaper is as naturally appealing to me as playing as a kittycat) ( A ).
So until next time, I hope that whatever you’re playing, it brings you joy. Speaking of which, what are you playing?