Every week on The Free Cheese Podcast, we begin with a segment called Now Playing where we talk about the games that we’ve been spending time with. In this article, we’re bringing a bit of that conversation to the written word because it isn’t dead yet.

We’ll share what we’ve been playing and we encourage you to ask questions or share your own thoughts on what you’ve been playing in the comments.

After Matt and I played a little Patapon this week, I wanted to fire up my Vita and dive back into the series. Before I could, I opened the PlayStation Store, curious to see if it’s still receiving updates on Vita and was surprised to find some current releases. Amidst them was a publisher sale for Bandai Namco. I looked through the sale and found that Touch My Katamari was only a few dollars and one better – I already owned it.

I redownloaded the game I had begun some years ago and started a fresh save. During the original release of Katamari Damacy thirteen years ago, I was more in the Tony Hawk, GTA, and break shit with my skateboard kind of mentality. I wasn’t necessarily exploring the depths of what was coming out of Japan and didn’t learn about the quirky puzzle game.

Touch My Katamari was a launch title for Vita. I was able to play it while lying in bed with headphones in and really soak in the music and atmosphere of the game. It’s got a lot of character packed into it and each stage offers its own brand of weird humor. I’ve enjoyed returning to multiple stages just to see if I can do better than my previous run and to see what other collectibles I can discover.

After playing through Patapon, I was reminded that we’ve seen fewer and fewer games that are willing to do weird things and create something unique. The best experiences I’ve had with game’s released this year were those that were willing to define themselves and fully realize something to its fullest. Playing NieR: Automata and Breath of the Wild have provided the same satisfaction as something like Patapon or Touch My Katamari as they’ve been able to step outside of expectations and give me something new. There’s safety and comfort in what you know but I’m much happier in the end having been surprised and provided with something outside of my own sense of normalcy.

I’m the guy who eats the same sandwich for lunch, every day. I drive home from work and I toast some potato bread. I pop provolone and roast beef between a dollop of mayonnaise and a heavy shot of mustard with two pickles. It’s easy to make and I’ve come to expect it. Once a month or so, I grab something different. It helps to break up the monotony and experience a change to the routine. Yet, if I ate differently every day, it wouldn’t be special.

 I played Dead Space because I wanted to replay the series. I decided to do hard mode with only the Plasma Cutter – the starting gun – ’cause I’m a big boy. I made it all the way to chapter 8 (out of 12), and realized I reached a point where I was not able to be combat efficient, died, and uninstalled the game.

I’m going back to Resident Evil 4.

Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day. He has a disorder that causes him to believe that he is Batman and his favorite video game is Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

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