In the last entry of my gaming backlog countdown I went from 30 games to 25, and checked off five games I played by myself. Two games on the PlayStation 4, and my last three games for the PS3.
This time I’m checking off five games I played with my girlfriend Renate. Three on the PS4, one on the SNES Classic, and on the Nintendo Switch.
I have already written a huge post about our experience playing Borderlands 2 and all its DLCs.
Tldr: We absolutely loved playing this game as a couple, and I would encourage anyone who has someone to play with to try this game together.
Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
This game is not quite as good as Borderlands 2, but we still had a lot of fun playing it together.
This time I played as Claptrap, Borderlands’ erratic robot mascot, while Renate played as the Baroness class.
Claptrap was very fun to play as. Playing as him felt random and chaotic, much like the character’s personality in Borderlands 2. Pressing his special ability button would give me a random special ability, as opposed to other Borderlands characters where each character always have the same ability. Each of Claptrap’s special abilities could be beneficial in some situations, while being detrimental in others.
As if all that was not chaotic enough, Renate would also get my random ability hoisted on her, without the benefit of choosing when it would happen. This would result in a lot of crazy slapstick-esque battles where we would suddenly start bouncing around the battlefield like a rubber ball, or just start shooting our weapons non-stop until we were completely out of ammo, even after running out of enemies to shoot.
Renate did not enjoy playing as the Baroness as much as she had enjoyed playing as the Psycho in Borderlands 2. She felt that her character’s special abilities pretty much did the work for her, as opposed to the Psycho’s abilities, which required some skill on Renate’s part. Just as in Borderlands 2 Renate would favor sniper rifles, supporting me from a distance as I haphazardly ran into the thick of battle.
Other than the characters, the major difference between Borderlands 2 and The Pre-Sequel is the setting.
Whereas BL2 is set on the planet Pandora, BLTPS is mainly set on Pandora’s moon Elpis. Since this game is set on a moon, the gravity is much lower in all the outside sections of the game, while the insides of moon-bases have artificial gravity technology.
There’s a fun ability in this game which allows players to slam into the ground from high up the air after doing a moon jump, hurting enemies when slamming down nearby them. This ability can also be used to quickly get down on the ground, instead of waiting for the low moon gravity to slowly let you drift downwards.
There’s also a new O2 oxygen meter that Renate had to deal with, making sure her character would not run out of air. She found this mostly annoying. I didn’t have to worry about it, as Claptrap is a robot.
There’s a big focus on laser weapons in this game. One of my favorite weapons was a Ghost Busters inspired beam weapon, which served me incredibly well throughout most of the game.
All these things makes this game feel much more like traditional science fiction, as opposed to BL2’s Mad Max inspired wasteland.
This game may not be as good as Borderlands 2, but it’s still a great experience. And there’s novelty to what this game does differently to other games in the series.
The Holodome Onslaught DLC
This piece of downloadable content is just a big battle arena, and that’s great!
The best parts of the Borderlands games are experienced in the heat of battle. So just being locked in a room with a bunch of enemies is just about as fun as the game can be.
Some of our favorite parts of BL2 were the different battle arenas, battling our way through each round of enemies as they came. The base-game in The Pre-Sequel had very few battle arenas, so it was great to see that there were some more in the DLC to cover this.
Claptastic Voyage DLC
In this DLC you get to go inside Claptrap’s robotic mind, and Claptrap’s brain is just as erratic as his character is.
We had a lot of fun running around in the weird levels generated by his mind, battling computer bugs and insecurity software along the way.
The only part we really disliked about this DLC was an area inspired by M.C. Escher paintings, which was so geographically confusing that Renate started feeling sick by navigating it. M.C. Escher paintings are confusing enough to look at from the outside, but actually navigating a space like that is a bit too trippy for most casual players. I could in theory have enjoyed this area of the game, had it not made my partner too ill to enjoy it with me.
After we had finished this last piece of DLC, we decided to try starting the entire game over to play around with some of the other characters. It was fun for a short while, but we soon lost interest.
While we had spent a lot of time and effort getting every single little PlayStation Trophy in Borderlands 2, we barely went out of our way to get any of them in the Pre-Sequel.
And with that, we had completed our time with Borderlands: The Handsome Collection. We’ll probably try going back to play the first Borderlands game at some point, if we don’t just continue our progression with Borderlands 3. But not before we finish the rest of this backlog.
Super Mario Odyssey
We already finished the main quest of this game ages ago. But we have been picking it up again every now and then, trying to find all the hidden collectibles hidden around the game world.
We have now finally 100% this great game! But we may still pick it up again from time to time, as it really is very very good.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
This is the first Zelda game either of us have played, and it is a great one to start with!
I may not have a direct nostalgic relationship to Zelda games, but a lot of the games I liked as a kid were inspired by them in some way. I had even played as the main character Link on many occasions, only in the first Super Smash Bros. game, on my Nintendo 64.
Despite never having played it, A Link To The Past felt very nostalgic to me. Yes, for the reasons I mentioned above, but more importantly because the game is inherently childlike and pure. The game feels like stepping into a kid’s imagination. My imagination. From way back when.
Everything about the game seems very sweet to me. From the art-style, to the music, to the relatively simple story. I absolutely understand why so many people have good childhood memories of playing this, and can only imagine how well it would have hit me during a time when I would have had time to slowly figure out how to progress in the game by myself. As it is, we ended up looking up a lot of what we needed to do online. Still, really enjoyed my time with this. And I’m looking forward to my next Zelda game, Breath Of The Wild..
Batman: The Enemy Within
This is the second season of Batman: The Telltale Series. We had already played the first episode of this five-episode season in 2017, but we fell off for some reason.
I really like the story in this game, especially the build-up in the earliest episodes. The relationship between Batman and The Joker was a high-point, and handled differently to how I’ve seen The Joker portrayed in other stories. I also like how they portrayed a number of other villains from Batman’s rogues gallery, including The Riddler.
But the last two episodes seemed a bit rushed, and felt shorter than the first three episodes, making the ending feel a bit underwhelming.
I now have 20 games left on my gaming backlog list!