Stellar Blade | oprainfall gaming

While we here at Operation Rainfall love covering the latest in gaming news and sharing our reviews of titles new and classic, we also just enjoy playing games in our downtime. So with that, sit back, relax, and check out what the oprainfall gaming crew have been up to this week!

I spent most of this week finishing up Unicorn Overlord. I will have a full review coming very soon, and despite the last battle being a bit crazy it was still pretty fun. I’m playing one very familiar game for review on a console I never thought I would see it on. It feels very strange, and I’ll have more to say on this one shortly as well.

I started playing Azur Lane again as well this week. I left cause I felt the designs were getting very boring with every boat being huge tiddy bunny girls, but they added some fantasy skins and new girls to the mix I thought looked very nice. I mean she’s a cute maid, it’s like a moth to a flame! I’m hoping to dig into Yohane the Parhelion – NUMAZU in the MIRAGE later this week. I do love a good card game and Yohane as well so I think I’ll really love it! – Steve 

Princess Peach Showtime | key art

Last week I finished Stranger of Paradise and had a great time with it but wanted to follow it up with something lighter. Princess Peach Showtime! fit that bill perfectly. This game was oozing with charm and creativity with every level featuring Princess Peach as the lead actor in a play. From decorating cakes to becoming a martial arts master or saving the world from an alien invasion, Peach was allowed to express herself in ways we rarely get to see. The variety here was incredibly welcome even though I can see some of the slower paced plays like the detective one not being as engaging on a replay. Still, it’s refreshing to see her exist without Mario or even Bowser for that matter. They even managed to throw in some platforming sections so the game can still feel like it belongs in the greater Mario series. Princess Peach Showtime! was not an especially long or challenging game, but it was one that had me hooked from start to finish and left me wanting more. Despite there being some decent post game challenges, I do wish there a couple extra unlockable plays or a two player mode as I can see this game being a great one to play with friends or kids. – Justin

Stellar Blade | oprainfall gaming

This week I dug my teeth in the Stellar Blade demo for the PlayStation 5. The first thing that hit me when booting it up was how Nier: Automata it felt, to the point I started naming all the similarities that cropped up in just the opening sequence to my husband. Scantily-clad female androids? Check. Disastrous decent that leaves most of your squad dead? Check. Trying to reclaim Earth from an alien threat so that humanity can return? Check. Floating drone sidekick? Check. Music? Check. This is not in and of itself a problem – lots of games lean into their inspirations, and Shift Up was pretty open about Nier being one of several influences for this game. But it did end up veering just this side of derivative. The caveat here, of course, is that the demo is just a slice of the game so how derivative it pans out to be remains to be seen, but it constantly tickled the back of my thoughts as I played.

Stellar Blade | EVE | oprainfall gaming

That being said, I found the character and enemy designs quite appealing. EVE is lovely, and I’m a fan of the blend of human skin and cybernetic prosthetics. The fanservice itself isn’t even all that in-your-face, at least during gameplay (unless you want it to be), though I did find it borderline distracting during a couple cutscenes. I don’t necessarily need to see an android’s ass jiggle while she’s being impaled, that just comes across as silly and undercuts the horror of what’s going on. It’s not deal breaking or anything, but I do find it a touch crass. (Ogling EVE’s ass while she swings from an overpass is whatever, you do you fellow nerds. Goodness knows I had fun with the camera.) EVE feels great when she’s running around and swinging over obstacles, but water sections were a chore. She’s difficult to redirect when swimming and because she does not latch onto items you need to move in the water, directing them is a struggle. EVE also feels super sluggish in combat, at least when it comes to parrying and perfect dodging. I am not going to completely rule out user error here, but inputs felt incredibly laggy, and Shift Up’s cheeky Tweet about making sure your TV is set to Game Mode was unhelpful. (Mine is, and it didn’t help.)

Overall I enjoyed what I played of the Stellar Blade demo, though I still haven’t done everything it has to offer. I’m concerned about input lag and the game borrowing too heavily from other titles, but I’m also excited to see how the total package comes together. The monster designs are fantastic and I think there’s some really neat worldbuilding to be had here. The lack of a Japanese voice track in the American demo is annoying, but you can download the JP version and not have an issue. Imports of the game will also include English text so if you want the entire package there are options. I’ll be playing the game with Korean VO so it’s not a particular issue for me outside principle, but JP VA contracts are weird.  If you’ve got a PS5 this one is at least worth checking out the demo for. – Leah

What games have you been playing this week? Let us know in the comments!

You can read previous Week in Gaming entries here!

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