I dunno, I am starting to think I should probably turn assist mode on.
I dunno, I am starting to think I should probably turn assist mode on.
I started playing Granblue Fantasy about… a week ago now and I’m really into it! I’ve bounced between several gacha games for the past year or so and Granblue seems to excel in a lot of places that I found to be lacking in the games that I quit playing.
For one, there’s a lot of story content split between the main storyline, side stories and the rotating seasonal/crossover/story events. I’m still very much in the early goings of the main story but that and the few events that I’ve done have been very endearing so far! The localization seems pretty good as well!
Another thing I appreciate is how much backstory and characterization all the party members get. Granblue has at least two (from what I can tell, anyway) missions detailing how each character comes to join your party and what their motivations are for doing so. I’m so used to there not being anything to characters in gacha games beyond an interesting character design and a few quips or combat barks.
The combat system is also pretty fun but I’m still trying to figure out how all of the upgrading mechanics work. I’ve got a lot of upgrade materials due to just starting the game and the amount of stuff they’re giving away for the holiday season and I have no idea how to use any of it effectively. Still though, I’m having a blast and I could definitely see myself playing for a very long time. Also, check these out of context screenshots from the New Years event:
Where do you play that? I didn’t realize it was localized since I didn’t see it in the play store on my phone.
I’m playing it through my browser (Safari) on an iPhone.
Funnily enough, I also assumed you had to jump through a bunch of hoops to download the app and get the game in English. As it turns out you just go to the website (http://game.granbluefantasy.jp) and select English as the language from that page and you’re good to go!
No shame in putting on any of the assist mode sliders. The music and art and story are wonderful, and are such a good experience no matter what level of skill you are at platformers!
I finished The Hex.
You should go buy and play The Hex as soon as possible. It is infinitely better than Pony Island in every single way. This just snuck onto my top ten of the year.
I’m starting to learn that maybe I just don’t like platformers as much as I want to. I love the music, I like watching other people play Celeste… but even with assist sliders, I’m not feeling it myself. There’s too many buttons - I can’t get “holding onto surfaces to climb them” not being an automatic thing, even if I’m playing at 50% speed.
Hey, nothing to be ashamed about that either. If you can’t get it, you can’t get it. Nothing much to do about that. I’ve watched Lets Plays of games that i like more in theory too, so you are alright!
My first game of 2019, Minit. The “one more run” itch is strong with this one.
Playing Nioh on PS4 since I got it as a gift. Played through the prison area last night, had a decently ok time. Got to where Geralt steps off the boat onto some dark creepy island and decided to call it a night, so I spent my skill points, read the codex, and quit the game.
Load it up today and it replays the cutscene where Geralt is stepping off the boat. All my codex entries are unread. I have no skills. All my skill points are gone. All my weapons are gone. All my items are gone.
Thanks game. Great system you’ve got there.
I’ve played a bunch of games in the past couple weeks (and even finished a couple), so this’ll be an exercise in brevity.
I started playing Dragon Quest VIII for the 3DS just before my last exam, and it’s been a nice thing to grind away on while watching Metal Gear Scanlon for the first time. Super love the art (which is no surprise because it’s Toriyama), and I especially love the Hero’s design but I’ve been having a rough time reckoning with Jessica’s chest situation. The jiggle makes it a lot to deal with.
I started Katamari Damacy REROLL on Switch after bombing my last exam, and it was both super calming, and a bit tense (due to the aforementioned exam). I had only ever watched LPs of it, so finally playing it was nice. Music’s still boppin, and it’s so satisfying. The only thing that bums me out about it are the stages that end once you roll over a certain thing (bears or cows).
On Christmas Eve I decided to finally get around to Return of the Obra Dinn, and I finished it the next night. I’ve had a sudoku game on my phone for a bit that’s been feeling worse and worse to play, but this game fired all those same cylinders with no bad feeling whatsoever. I defo feel what Rob said on his list/pod about the story not weaving together everyone on the ship, and how most of the non-white characters are primarily defined by their non-whiteness. But damn if it’s not fun to play. The thing that haunts me about this game is that I submitted the book with the fates of everyone but the escapees’ fates filled out, and only realized the answer when I saw Henry Evans’ name on the last letter he sends to you (before it’s fully spelled out).
I asked for Super Smash Brothers Ultimate for Christmas because Brawl and Mario Party was always the go-to party game for me and my Indian friends whenever our parents would have a get together. The single player’s fun, but I really just wanna unlock all the characters so that I can play with my friends when they come over.
Bought Diablo III: Eternal Collection because I’ve heard for years that the console ports were actually pretty cool, and since I have no history with Diablo, I figured why not. It’s fine, not hitting anything particularly spectacular with me. Mostly it was something to do while my mom watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
While listening to Giant Bomb’s GOTY deliberations, I realized Donut County was on Switch, so I got it, and it was nice. I played it with the music off most of the time because it was another play-while-the-TV-is-on game, but it was very satisfying. Very comfy. I still feel like something didn’t hit me quite right with it, but still, very satisfying.
While looking around for more multi-tasking fuel, started Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright again. It’s been a good podcast game (pausing for cutscenes and support conversations of course), and as something to just dive into. That said, I’m quickly remembering why I’ve put it down a few times: finding out who to pair with who is exhausting, and causes me to be obsessive in ways that are just not me. Also I want gay pairings, let Rinkah have a girlfriend. Almost finished the Birthright route, so now I just gotta plough through the other two so that I can comfortably get into Three Houses next spring.
The overall brevity was so-so but I managed to keep most of my thoughts to relatively short paragraphs, so I call this a win.
I got Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey for Xmas as is tradition. Really enjoyed Origins last year and it must have kept me occupied throughout the first three months of 2018. I think what I liked most about it was in how it depicted this version of BC Egypt in which the ancient mythology is still very much there under the surface. I loved all the tomb raiding basically and the photo mode was fantastic.
As a general fan of Greek mythology I was so looking forward to Odyssey. From the start the island of Kephalonia is a small enough base to explore and the myth buff liked going over to Ithica to explore the home of Odysseus. I’ve now moved over to the mainland in my boat, and I’m pleased to see naval combat back in the game, along with whales breaching the surface and absolutely COLOSSAL sharks that are just swimming around.
I’ve decided to play as Cassandra because of the Xenia/Wonder Woman thing, I guess the second playable character was given a short thrift here. I know this is the first time that one of these games has had dialogue choices but maaan, the romance options are insane. Like I think in adopting dialogue trees, they probably figured that people would want the Mass Effect styled romance options, but what if you could just try it on with everyone? I was doing some of the missions for Odessa, and because the romance options are there, I’ll always pick them, because why not? Basically even before doing the quest, Cassandra is just propositioning her. But she keeps changing the subject, acting like it isn’t a thing. You complete the quest and she still says no and tries changing the subject. Basically Cassandra keeps pushing it and it’s kind of hilarious. She’s just here to fuck.
Odessa: So, I need these special herbs for my father.
Cassandra: Sounds great. Listen you’re pretty hot. Why don’t we go upstairs and get up to a little mischief?
Odessa: Oh you! Maybe later. But seriously… these herbs.
Odessa: Thanks for the herbs!
Cassandra: You’re welcome. Shag now or later?
Odessa: Maybe not right now.
Cassandra: If you say so.
Odessa: These dudes have shit on my. I need you to go over there and sort them out.
Cassandra: They say Odysseus was a great lover, why don’t you show me what you got upstairs in the bedroom.
Odessa: If word gets out, my family could be in danger.
Cassandra: Okay, you’re the boss. Mayber later.
I think I returned some sheep to some dude, looks way too old, and Cassandra just propositions them and away they go…
It’s absolutely bonkers. I’m not really concerned with what I’m actually doing in the actual quests but it seems like I can sleep with everyone. That’s the real game. Fuck Creed: Odyssey
Yeah, I think the romance stuff in that game is mostly pretty silly (in a good way) and I think that’s mostly due to the performances more than anything else (Melissanthi Mahut as Kassandra is great). There are a few times where I feel like they do a really great job with getting more of a relationship-y feel and I think those couple of times are when it really shines. They don’t totally nail it; I was never attached to anyone as much as I was attached to anyone in Mass Effect or Dragon Age, but they still do a pretty solid job. I do like that for most of them they were able to do the “Hey I finished this quest for you and now I’m going to hit on you (fade to black as they walk into a house together)” without messing it up because it just seems like it’d be so easy for that to end up being cringey and bad.
My hopes to run with a group of friends on a Diablo III hardcore playthrough were dashed when an errant explosion killed my monk, so I’m back to square one with that. On the bright side, I now have more time to get to all the games I’ve bought/obtained in the past two weeks.
Vampyr so far is as good as Patrick and Rob advertised. The mechanic of using hints to uncover character secrets is intoxicating and takes me right back to playing KotOR on the Xbox. In short, this game is extremely my shit.
I also wrapped up Donut County, and if I did a top 10 for 2018 it would definitely be in the top 3. Do we need to start thinking up a genre name for games inspired by Katamari? I vote for “mari-likes”.
I also finally got the Switch version of Into the Breach, and surprise surprise, an excellent PC tactics game becomes even better when it can follow you around. That sale on Civ VI for Switch is looking mighty tempting now…
I’ve had an almost supernatural craving to give Final Fantasy Type-0 a second look. I traded it in after 10 hours or so and immediately felt like I’d been too hasty. What I played wasn’t the greatest thing in the universe, but it’s got hooks in me in way that has me, years later, thinking “fuck, I gotta get back to that”. So there’s gotta me SOMETHING there, right?
I like Type-0 but I’m not sure I’d call it a good game, if that makes sense. It has a whole bunch of very cool ideas although I’m not sure it really sticks the landing on any of them at all. The large cast of main characters is cool, but none of them really get all that much time to develop in interesting ways. The game starts to get into some larger political machinations of the war going on in a way that most other Final Fantasy games don’t, although it moves on and ends pretty abruptly and doesn’t get to dig in too deep. Then there’s also the part where it’s a PSP game so it doesn’t look great (even on the PC re-release) and the controls are a bit wonky (IIRC there’s no direct camera control in combat?). It’s one of the few FF games that I wish Square Enix would revisit and maybe not make a direct sequel to but at least revisit a lot of the ideas and mechanics in a new game because having a proper console/PC version with a larger budget would probably go a long way to making something really good.
Also, if you play the PC version it’s super easy to use the offline training to over-level everyone by changing your system clock and I highly recommend doing that because sometimes you just want to blow through the combat to see what all that game has to offer.
I’ve played and completed a few games since Thanksgiving, and just haven’t made a post. So going in order,
Yakuza: Kiwami I got it from PS Plus, and was really interested in checking it out since I’ve heard so many great things about the Yakuza series this year. I enjoyed it a bunch, and even in this first game there were so many options/activities to do. There wasn’t as much wackiness as I expected based on what people have said about the series, but I’m guessing that is a later development. Though the Majima fights/story did add some of that wackiness. I’m debating if I want to get more into the series, especially since I’m hearing more about it during the game of the year debates and all. I just know that a game with so many options/activities will just suck up all of my time, and I don’t know if I want to do that. I have limited time to play games already, and I don’t want to spend so much time on just one game.
Hitman 2: I didn’t play the first one from a few years ago, but similar to Austin watched a ton and loved hearing the stories from it. I was really excited to finally play since just a few days before I had watched the UPF on Giant Bomb where both Brad and Vinny did the first elusive target mission. The game is so much fun! I play much more Brad (clean professional) style than Vinny (bombast and improvised). I meticulously made my way through all the maps. I calculated every move. Made sure I hid every body. It was fun and made me use my brain to make sure I could take down my target without being seen. But what really made me enjoy this game were the moments where it went wrong. In Miami when taking out Robert Knox I didn’t have a picture of him to feed to the robot so the test went as normal and he left. So I explored the area, and still couldn’t find a picture of him (I just overlooked it), but I did find a cool robot arm! I took that with me, and continued to explore. As I was sneaking around all of a sudden a character was right next to me and said something which startled me. I just hit the “attack” button without thinking. Who was it? Good ole Robert Knox.
Also when doing the General elusive target I was so carefully infiltrating the compound. I had lured a guard over to steal his disguise and hid his body. But his buddy was still around. So I just did the same thing to lure him over and knock him out too. No problem. Except in all my planning I didn’t plan for a patrol to walk around the corner and see me dragging this unconscious man towards a dumpster. It devolved into a firefight (shooting is not a strong suit of the game, but I shot more here than the rest of the game combined). I took out more than I thought, but I was simply outnumbered. I failed the elusive target, but I wasn’t angry. I had a ton of fun, and just imagined on how that mission would have gone if I had managed to escape that compound to find a new disguise. Could I have turned that mission around? After playing the game I totally see why so many people really enjoyed the first one a few years ago, and I might just pick up the maps from the first game to play through as well.
Jackbox Party Pack 3: I’ve been wanting to get one of these to play with the family I finally did for Christmas Eve/Christmas festivities. I decided on 3 rather than the new one because of Tee-KO and Fakin’ It. I think I made the right choice. Both games made super strong impressions, and even the other games in the pack people enjoyed. Fakin’ It took a bit for people the get the hang of, but once they did it was a blast. The highlight being learning that my father’s tell when he is the faker to raise his hand/put up fingers before he is supposed to. Don’t know why he did it and why it took so long to discover, but it was a really funny discovery. Also Tee-KO was a blast! It was a blast with a ton of great shirts. The best being one with a picture of a fancy crown (as fancy as something you draw on your phone with your fingers can be) with the subtitle “I just got nailed!”.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: I got this one for Christmas. I’ve flown through the game. I had gotten all the backpacks even before the main villain had been introduced. It is just so fun to traverse the city in the game. So I just swing around grabbing collectibles, taking pictures, fighting crime, and mostly ignoring the story missions until I’ve done everything I can in the districts. The combat is meh. It’s fine and serves it’s purpose. Having the benchmarks and gadgets at least get’s me to change it up a bit. The story has been pretty basic superhero story so far too. According to the game I’m about 80% complete so I don’t have much left, but I’m definitely considering getting the DLC just to get more Spider-Man in my life.
Some years ago, I remember seeing Megaton Rainfall on Steam Greenlight and being utterly baffled by it. The screenshots didn’t make any sense. They showed nuclear bombs exploding inside of cities, and there were some blurry images of some kind of structure or UFO. I didn’t understand it, but eventually it got greenlit and some very positive reviews began pouring in, so I threw it on my wishlist just so I could figure out what the hell everyone was seeing that I wasn’t.
I was gifted it for Christmas this year and I guess the key piece of the puzzle I’ve been missing this entire time is that the game is first-person, and your hands are semi-transparent, making it easy to miss (especially when they get lost in the motion blur in some screenshots).
So, then, what kind of game is Megaton Rainfall? I guess the best way to describe it would be it’s a Superman Simulator. But it’s a little more complicated than that.
It does, however, solve the problem many other Superman games faced: when you have a character that is effectively invincible and stronger than every known force, how do you make that challenging? Megaton Rainfall’s answer: by implying it’s actually incredibly difficult for Superman to exert control over his own powers and not accidentally kill millions. In a twist DC would probably never go for, Megaton Rainfall lets you make mistakes. A lot.
The third power you get in the game is called the “Gigaton Blast.” You’re told it will vaporize any enemy instantly, but it has a cooldown. Then it sends you to go fight the next set of UFOs. Hovering over the first wave with my flight, I aim down at a UFO and charge up what is essentially a Kamehameha and cut loose, itching to see what this looks like.
Sure enough, the beam slices through the UFO, which is instantly turned to dust.
The beam keeps going. The moment it strikes the ground, a tool tip pops up. “HINT: Only fire the Gigaton Blast upwards, or you could destroy the entire city.” There’s an explosion of light, the sounds of people screaming, and a shockwave crawls across multiple city blocks. Whole entire buildings begin to topple over. There’s smoke and debris everywhere.
The city’s health meter begins to drain as popups flood the screen. +25 casualties. +108 casualties. +78 casualties. +521 casualties. +786 casualties. +16 casualties. I pulled a Man of Steel. Game Over, load from last checkpoint.
Where it differs from a Superman Simulator is when it comes to explaining what, exactly, you are. A cosmic cube of sorts gives you information about what you’re doing, it bestows upon you new powers, but it’s all treated with a very mystical, ethereal, heavy tone. Some of that fits in with the idea of Superman, but it goes even deeper (maybe a little too deep) about the time the game gives you an ability that lets you travel millions of times the speed of light, essentially enabling you to reach distant galaxies in under a minute.
It’s here you’ll find a handful of monoliths – “signs” the game calls them – that begin asking questions about the creation of the universe itself, and your role in that. It’s all a bit “college theology/philosophy” in a way, but enjoyably weird regardless.
Obviously, this means that the scale of the game is absolutely nuts. You can go from earth to the literal furthest reaches of space and back. There are galaxies, solar systems, planets and even black holes out there of all shapes and sizes, but this isn’t No Man’s Sky. The game straight up tells you (early on) that there’s no life out there in space, just the monoliths, but it’s an impressive accomplishment just the same.
But that also means that the small scale stuff gets lost. Earth is not very detailed, a lot of cities feel cut and paste, but the game does try to put in identifiable landmarks. You fly through Dubai early on, you visit Stonehenge, and the most recent mission I completed had me fighting UFOs around the Empire State Building. So they do try, and it’s a game that normally sells for $16, so the fact it’s this good is kind of a miracle.
It’s also kind of short, I guess. Seems like there’s probably 16 missions (maybe less), and you don’t do much else besides fight UFOs. But the game also seems to continue the drip feed of powers right along side introducing new types of UFOs to fight, so as long as you know what to expect, it’s actually crazy and insane what this game does.
…this post got really long.
Finished the two games I picked up over the holidays.
Even the Ocean, a narrative platformer. It has some neat tricks, in particular to its later levels. Most of all though I’ll remember it for its small but strong cast and engaging story. There’s also some drop dead gorgeous character and background art.
Sagebrush is a short story about looking through the aftermath of a mass suicide cult. It has that lovely lo-fi 3D art that is becoming popular and gets pretty creepy, since while it’s fictional, these events do occur. Maybe not a replacement for a documentary if you want to know more about their workings but solid work nonetheless.
Also got through one session of Paratopic, that other creepy lo-fi 3D game people talk about. I feel like I’m only scratching the surface of getting something out of it, but I love how it plays with time, movement and actions. I’ll likely be going through it again.
Well i did it, i splurged and bought Smash Ultimate even though i have like 5 games i need to finish. Yeah, i’m pretty happy, this game just rules.