At the end of last month, I’d been looking into games that I’d be happy to stream, having recently started doing so over on Twitch. GTA V would be an obvious one, showing off the races I create along with those of others. And of course, I wanted LEGO City Undercover to be my first full playthrough of a game.
As usual, I found myself looking at the latest eShop updates over on Nintendo Life, where the title of Mask of Mists jumped out at me. An action-puzzler within a world of magic, I jumped over to the eShop to give it a look. I liked what I was seeing, as the game had a nice art style that complimented the world.
It looked a relaxing game to spend a few hours with, and while I did jump to the extreme of calling it a small-scale Skyrim, the description is still fitting. Across my play of it on that first stream, I did feel that description was certainly jumping to the extreme, but it wouldn’t be until the second stream I featured it that I found a better comparison.
Each dungeon is designed around a particular gimmick, with puzzles within the overworld not being all too complicated for progression. Despite that, I was still finding myself missing easy things, being completely oblivious to the obvious. But a puzzle game thrives on people figuring these challenges out, and though I had to resort to guide at some points (otherwise I would never have got myself back on track), such a feeling was still always there.
Of particular note is the combat, and how it ties into the mechanics of the game. There’s just two weapons that will always be active, with more powerful variants found across the game. The sword requires you to get in close, make a strike or two, then dodge out of the way. The pistol will deal massive damage to enemies, wiping nearly all of them out in one hit, but there’s limited ammo around the world, so you cannot waste what you have.
However, the two styles of play are at odds with each other, at least on a console where the stick controls the camera. See, the sensitivity is set low to help with interacting with the various objects around, which seem to have a small area that allows interaction. But that low setting causes problems when in combat, as the turning circle is terrible to keep all enemies in view. Combat would be the more important to the two to worry about, so as long as you don’t mind being extra careful when trying to interact with things, crank that sensitivity to full.
The comparison that would be more apt for this game, then is that it’s a small-scale Legend of Zelda. With a lot of puzzles to solve in a linear fashion, with monsters to be defeating, there’s a good three-to-four hours’ worth of adventure to be found here. Aside from the opening and ending passages, there’s a few smaller ones to be found that offer up hints of the puzzles and the progression of the person you’ve been sent to find. Such makes the feeling of discovery better, since this is a strange new world to you, after all.
There’s a sense that this world was once a mushroom infested biome full of various fungi, and that is apparent with the various sized mushrooms found within the world along with the enemies having a distinctly mushroom-like look. If that is what the developers were attempting, it hasn’t gone all the way. It could have been this weird half state of the mushrooms that were once part of the landscape poking out from the wizards who tried to tame it.
Instead, the world is full of the typical ruins and standard stone walls and grassy plains that dictate a magical society within a normal world, yet that shouldn’t be the case here. Then again, the wizards would easily be able to terraform the place to their liking, so I feel that maybe I’m expecting a bit too much. Looking at it like that, you can clearly see that the world is trying to right itself back to how it once was.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed playing through it, and will want to return to it again in the future to see how much I can remember of it. While it won’t appear on stream again, it certainly helped me gain confidence when live on air, and that was clear enough when I started with LEGO City Undercover.
The full streams can be found on my Stream Archive Youtube channel, or if you’d rather watch the cut down versions that skip through most of the aimless wandering, they’re available on my main channel. They don’t have the best commentary, since they were played before I got my hands on a microphone, and it’s never recommended to use an internal one of a laptop for any sort of quality.
However, before you watch me tackle the challenge, I recommend you give the game a go yourself. For anyone who enjoys puzzle games, this one is well worth experiencing for yourself.