What I'm Playing - No. 58
Image source: Suzy Hazelwood

What I'm Playing - No. 58

Welcome back to another weekly wrap-up of the games I’ve been playing over the past week!

Be warned, minor spoilers may be contained within. Generally, I do try to keep things spoiler-free but this isn’t always possible/practical! If you want to totally avoid all potential spoilers so you can play these games yourself in a blind run, you shouldn’t continue reading! Click a title to skip to that section. Games contained within this post:

Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore (Switch)

I again didn’t play much this week, but what I did play was a lot of fun. There were only two real things I accomplished. First, I did a character side quest for Ellie. She needs to prepare for a role in the show she stars in on TV. The part requires romance, which Ellie doesn’t have any experience in, so she forces Itsuki to pretend to be her boyfriend and go on a date. In the beginning, she’s bossy and demanding, but after a while she eases up and admits that she really doesn’t know what she’s doing, and Itsuki basically tells her to just be herself.

forces Itsuki she's bossy and demanding she eases up

On the dungeon front, I made it to the first mini-boss of the dungeon I’m on, and got destroyed during my first attempt. The enemy exploited the weakness of a character in my party, and it was downhill from there as they hit me with a 4 combo Session attack. That was my first Game Over, but the battle wasn’t an unfair challenge or anything. I battled some other enemies to level up each of my characters, rethought my party structure with the boss’s elemental attacks in mind, and returned to have a much easier time.

they hit me with a 4 combo Session attack my first Game Over returned to have a much easier time

Even though I didn’t play much this week, I’m excited to see what Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE Encore has in store for me next. Hopefully I’ll play a lot more of it soon!

excited to see

Advance Wars (GBA)

I was looking for a relatively short game that I could play in small increments, and that lead me to start playing the original Advance Wars for the Game Boy Advance.

Advance Wars start playing

I’ve played a lot of Advance Wars Dual Strike on the DS, and a little bit of Advance Wars: Days of Ruin on DS as well. But, I’d never played the game that introduced the series to the West! Immediately, it has all the unique charm I remember from Dual Strike. The story is focused on war, yet mood is very light-hearted. The main characters, COs in their respective armies, are all quite cheerful and optimistic, despite the destruction of war all around them.

unique charm the destruction of war

Advance Wars was developed by Intelligent Systems, who are known primarily for Fire Emblem these days. While Advance Wars is a strategy game, unlike Fire Emblem it does not have RPG elements. It’s all pure strategy here, and sometimes feels like a puzzle game instead, especially during the missions where you have pre-deployed units and can’t create more.

pure strategy missions

I’ve really enjoyed the variety of the campaign missions. They can all technically be won by capturing your enemy’s HQ, but often times this either isn’t the best tactic, or it’s downright impossible. Instead, sometimes you’ll be tasked with finding and defeating a specific enemy unit on a Fog of War map, or maybe protecting a specific one of your own units. A few missions are even won by capturing a given number of bases around the map, so combat takes a back seat for those! Different win conditions like this really keep things interesting.

defeating a specific enemy unit protecting a specific one of your own units by capturing a given number of bases

Although I’ve been defeated during my first attempt at several maps, repeat attempts always go much more smoothly. For one, Nell gives you pretty good advice when you lose a mission, and the missions are always easier in hindsight anyway.


I think I’m nearing the end of the campaign. It’s been a great time, Advance Wars is a great game to just pick up and play! There’s other modes besides the campaign, such as the War Room and even a Map Editor, but I’m not planning to get into those at all.

other modes


The self-proclaimed "Guy with the Backlog", as of this writing his Steam backlog is slowly growing to the point of consuming him. Meanwhile, he spends most of his time trying to catch up on the retro classics he missed, as well as replaying the games he grew up with.

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