When METROID DREAD was unveiled at E3 2021, I immediately had mixed feelings – massive excitement for a new 2D METROID, naturally, but also tempered expectations as it was being developed by MercurySteam. I never had the chance to play their previous METROID game – SAMUS RETURNS – but I did play through their earlier attempt at the genre, the absolutely abysmal CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW: MIRROR OF FATE. That game showed such a fundamental failure to understand the appeal of this style of game, that even with SAMUS RETURNS having a decent reputation, I found it difficult to have too much faith in MercurySteam’s ability to deliver a worthy sequel.
Still, I knew that I wanted to play the game, for academic purposes if nothing else. I spent the months leading up to the game’s release playing through a number of 2D METROID games – some for the first time, some not – and as I kind of charted the series’ evolution from playing them all back to back, I became increasingly curious to see specifically how DREAD fit into that equation. Would it be a largely toothless retread of SUPER METROID the way ZERO MISSION had been, or would it actually incorporate aspects of FUSION… or perish the thought, break some new ground?
Hey, it’s a yearly tradition! Even after a full year of apparent inability to get even a single article written, I am once again compelled to document some thoughts on a handful of standout experiences I’ve had with old games in the past twelve months. With my backlog of old used games already being several hundred deep, I’d set out to cut down on game purchases in 2021, and with considerable amounts of time being spent with FINAL FIGHT, METROID and ONIMUSHA games, I was a little unsure I would even be able to come up with a full list of 10 memorable games – but after a bit of digging in spreadsheets and stream VOD archives, it turns out I was definitely worrying for nothing!
I definitely played a lot of interesting old games in the past year, but I was able to narrow it down, so let’s go: In rough chronological order – Ten old games I really enjoyed playing for the first time in 2021:
2021 was a productive year for me in many ways, but blogging sure wasn’t one of them! I’ve felt bad about neglecting my website (outside of keeping the gallery updated), and although I’ve never really believed in new year’s resolutions, I do feel compelled to plant some kind of figurative flag in the ground and commit to resume blogging in the new year.
We’ll be kicking things off soon with the traditional look back at a bunch of cool old games I played for the first time in the past year, but after that I hope to be putting up new articles with some degree of regularity again. I’ll try to at least reach a point where a majority of posts aren’t just me going “hey I have a blog I should write for some time, don’t I?” 😩
In the meantime, here’s a little summary of the artwork I’ve created in the past year in case you haven’t been keeping up. Of course, you can see the full versions and more artwork in the Gallery.
Happy new year everybody, and see y’all in 2022! ✌
Last year, I chronicled the sprawling and convoluted history of DOUBLE DRAGON games – this summer I decided to follow up that undertaking by giving the same treatment to another beat ’em up series that arose in the wake of DD’s success – FINAL FIGHT!
While the FINAL FIGHT series features significantly fewer games, not to mention fewer bizarre spinoffs and alternate interpretations of the source material, it was nevertheless a highly interesting and entertaining endeavour! I got to experience several ports of the original game I’d never seen before, and finally had the chance to try out the black sheep of the series, FINAL FIGHT REVENGE (spoiler alert: turns out I hadn’t really missed much).
In any case, the recorded stream archives of this entire project are now available on YouTube for easy viewing! If you’re interested in a deeper look at some of the darker, deeper corners of the FINAL FIGHT series’ history – check it out!
How about this, a rare non-stream related artwork! Cammy is one of my favourite characters, but I hadn’t drawn her in a long time. January 6 is Cammy’s birthday, and I had a little time to spare, so I decided it was a perfect opportunity to finally draw her again!
Click through beyond the break for some bonus alternate versions! 👇
Just like last year (and I guess, every year?), I have not felt particularly compelled to put together any kind of “Game of the Year” article – partially because it’d have to be a woefully incomplete list given how many contemporary games I didn’t bother playing yet, but more so because I’m far more interested in championing the games that managed to make an impression on me without leaning on the novelty of being brand new. I play a lot of old games, and I go out of my way to procure games I’ve never played before (and in many cases, barely know anything about) – and although I’ve got my fair share of stinkers in my collection, whenever I get a batch of old games from Japan, more often than not at least one of them seems to really stick with me.
So here’s a look back at some of those games! Presenting, in rough chronological order – Ten old games I really enjoyed playing for the first time in 2020:
In what started as an arbitrary choice to dig up some Halloween-seasonally appropriate games from my back log – and what quickly turned into a series mini-marathon – I’ve been playing through the three CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOWS games. I had never thought or expected much of the games, not having much trust in reboots of Japanese game series outsourced to western developers in general, and perhaps even less trust in Konami’s late-era output in particular.
The original LORDS OF SHADOW ended up… well, if not impressing me, at least exceeding my (admittedly low) expectations in some ways, while in other ways being even more mediocre than I would’ve thought. Still, at the end of the day I definitely came away from it more positive than I went in.
The same, however, can not be said for the 2D spin-off game CASTLEVANIA: LORDS OF SHADOW: MIRROR OF FATE.
Due to public demand, I have opened an official merch store! Now you too can be the proud owner of various t-shirts, coffee mugs and other items featuring artwork from the Jiggeh.com gallery. Just click the link in the top menu (or just RIGHT HERE) and check out the items for sale! More items featuring more of my art will be made available in the future.
Any purchases made through my merch store will send a few dollars my way, and help support my streaming, game collecting, website and art – so in addition to nifty stuff, you’ll also get my eternal gratitude! You can’t really beat that deal.
After a little bit of fiddling, the GALLERY section of Jiggeh.com is finally online! The permanent link is up there in the header.
This gallery is a repository for all the artwork I create for the “Draw this game” Kahn Coin reward on my Twitch channel – where viewers can request artwork of the games I play on stream. The gallery will be continuously updated as I create new artwork – more is already on the way!
So, as part of DC’s “FanDome” online event this past weekend, we finally got our first look at what Warner Bros Games Montreal and Rocksteady have been working on for the past several years, something I’d been looking forward to for a long time. I feel like I’d expected to see Rocksteady’s game for a couple of E3’s at this point, and with WBGM quite conspicuously teasing their game just before E3 2019, by this point its unveiling had started to feel overdue. With the cat(s) finally out of the bag, I sure have some thoughts.
WB Montreal’s game was something I’d been very anxious to see since it was first teased over a year ago. With their previous game BATMAN: ARKHAM ORIGINS being my all-time favourite Bat-game, and with five years passed since the kind of underwhelming ARKHAM KNIGHT, I was really excited about another WB Montreal-helmed ARKHAM style adventure. The teasers all seemed to point towards the “Court of Owls” storyline – which I know nothing about, but is apparently very well regarded, so sure, cool.
However, what we’re getting seems to be, uh… not that.