An owly owl doing owly stuff I^v^I
Beaten peasant games
Assassin’s Creed IV
Devil May Cry 3
Devil May Cry 4
Killer is Dead
Metal Gear Rising
MGSV: The Phantom Pain
Shadow of the Colossus
Red Dead Redemption
Batman: Arkham Knight
Beyond: Two Souls
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided
Final Fantasy XV
MGSV: The Phantom Pain
The Last Guardian
The Witcher 3 (+ both expansions)
The Last Guardian
2016 was hardly an amazing year from an overall perspective, but I do believe that it turned out to be a pretty good year gaming wise. Various ambitious titles, both AAA and indie, have been released onto the market, but when I’ll to choose my favourite game released this year then I’m gonna go with the best carrot farming/plumber/rage quitting due to precision jumping simulator 2016, Final Fantasy XV.
This is most likely going to end up as a rather long post with various instances of fangirling and a bunch of screenshots so you have been warned. In case the pictures won’t look this amazing, then blame the in-game photo share thing and not my complete inability to not butcher screenies, please. :p
Fangirling material Characters
First of all, let me just say that, as is clearly visible by what I have done to my car (third pic below), I am absultely not obsessing over one of the characters Ignis at all.
Well, now that we have that out of the way, let’s go into the more substantive aspect. Both good and bad guys&gals have sadly a thing for being a bit underdeveloped from a personality standpoint, but this does in no way mean that they are not well designed characters. The entire cast is presented so as to make them as likeable without forcing it down your throat as it’s only possible, or at least in a way that you are able to understand their motives in the case of the baddies. It doesn’t sadly change the fact that the background of some characters seemed to be rather neglected and I honestly hope that their stories will be the focus of future DLCs.
Also, I played the game in Japanese with English subtitles and I thought that the voices matched the characters perfectly especially Iggy ♥ and portrayed the atmosphere and emotions of the scenes perfectly. I later watched some English VO gameplay and cringed immensely…
Story and main missions
So here is sadly the department where the game lacks a bit more. FFXV had some serious amounts of cut content and it shows. Plot holes are in no way something you come across at every corner, but there are visible due to the rather lack of serious indepth storytelling. Still, it certainly doesn’t water down to the rather basic “getting your throne back and fighting for your friends and loved ones” way of storytelling, it’s much more than that, but noone can deny that with the proper care it could have been even more and even better.
On the other hand, I don’t really have any issues with the way that the story was presented. Main missions were designed pretty damn well in my opinion and that’s basically it. :p
Also, let me just say that I certainly overestimated my emotional stability, since I could definitely use a few more packs of tissues then I had while playing through the ending.
It was more than I could take…
Hunts, tours and other side missions
Side stuff is divided into a few different “categories”.
First there are the most regular side mission given by various NPCs around the world. They’re hardly out the ordinary, since they mostly consist of fetch quests and/or killing X monster in Y location and they aren’t necessarily something to write home about, but they are still enjoyable, little distractions.
Secondly, there are hunts. Many hunts. 102 of them to be exact. And since I’ve done 99 of them, I think that I have the right to say something about them. :p Besides the fact that your “bounty targets” are much more dangerous than your average random mob, hunts are also highly rewarding activities as you get paid for doing them in both money and valuable recovery items and accessories. Also, I absolutely adore them and that includes the turtle superboss, which took me 2h, cause I was underleveled and simply wanted my Platinum fast. :p
Lastly, sometimes when resting in specific locations your party members may take you at the break of dawn at a “tour”. Those are short, adorable little events which are simply there in order to create some more happy moments between Noctis and the guys and because of that shouldn’t be disregarded. :)
Combat and summons
FFXV is after all a jrpg, so obviously you’‘l be fighting stuff. This entry in the series continues to utilize real time combat and does that in a really good way for the most part imo. Noctis, unlike his teammates, isn’t restricted in terms of weapon usage and has a wide variety of gear at his disposal, that should be suitable for most rpg playstyles.
Team AI is truly well done and the boys basically never derp around the battlefield in times when you need them to do stuff on their own.
Summons are a different story, as time was cut short during their development, but I tolerate them for what they are, even if it’s miles away from perfection..
And now onto the stuff you’re actually fighting. I wouldn’t say that FFXV is ridiculously creative with it’s monster designs, as many of them are basically simply a bit “monsterised” versions of existing animals, like leopards, rhinos, snakes, etc, or variations of already famous creatures like griffons and dragons, but I don’t really see this as much of an issue. The inhabitants of this world fit it rather well and keeping things simple in that regard the way that FFXV can be seen as something positive. Nevertheless, I definitely had the feeling of “Wow, this creature is beautiful. I must kill it. :3” rather often. I^v^I
Speaking of the actual world in the game: it’s gorgeous. The scenic views are incredible, various ecosystems coexist with each other rather nicely and the few cities and bigger outposts feel truly alive.
Totally not making this point only to post an Altissia screenie :3
Dungeons obviously possess a huge role in the game’s world. The regular ones follow the simple rule of spawning some mobs and later putting a boss just before your goal, which is almost always a Royal Arm, basically a really fancy weapon which belonged to one of your ancestors. Some of those dungeons are also more puzzle oriented/maze-like than others.
After beating the game and doing all of the nonsupermegasecret dungeons, you can unlock a series of sidequests where you explore dungeons within the regular dungeons. They pose a much greater threat (recommended lvl ranges from 55 to 99…), but also give some truly nice rewards.
And there is the supermegasecret dungeon known as Pitioss, which is basically 5 long hours of platforming hell and I don’t have the strength to talk about this one (that spikeskull thing is from it)…
Let’s start withe the most addicting one: Totomonstro. It’s basically a betting arena minigame, where you bet which team of monsters will win in a versus match. The stakes are low, the prizes are sweet and the fights are sometimes incredibly interesting.
Then there’s Justice Monsters Five and I have no idea what this game is about and I saw no reason to try more than once. It’s basically a bizarre arcade pinball game with rather nice rewards for achieving high scores, but I don’t understand it. IiviI
After that we have Chocobo races and it’s just what it sounds like: racing your friends on chocobos and trying to not act like a sore loser when they whipe the floor with you and your giant chicken. :p
And lastly you have your obligatory fishing. Noctis’ fishing skill grows with every fish he catches which later translates to some nice bonuses. I generally love fishing in games (it was my fav thing to do in Okami. :D) and the fishing in FFXV is done really well.
Glitches and technical issues
For the most part it was just your usual clipping errors due to the enemies’ sizes/small dungeon rooms. But there was this nasty soft lock that happened like twice when a group of enemies spawned when I was already fighting something, luckily it was incredibly rare. Other than that it was a rather stable experience, it didn’t even crash once through the 90+ hours I put into the game! :O
Anyway, whether you survived through this horrendous wall of text or not, me and this adorable chocobo chick wanted to wish you all a Happy New Year! I^v^I
See you in another post or somewhere on SG. :p
Early December post
Ok, so my PC progress this month is kinda pathetic (but I have a bunch of excuses for that! :p), but thankfully not completely non-existant. Pony Island turned out to be a truly unique and rather surprising experience. I might have mentioned it before, but I absolutely adore when a game brutally destroy the 4th wall, like Pony Island likes to do. Without going into too much detail, because of potential spoilers, Pony Island is a game within a game and consists of 2 “gameplay modes”. The first one being the actual Pony Island arcade game created by a truly particular developer, in which you majestically flap your demonic wings and annihilate stuff with your highly destructive lasers. The second one is sort of a small puzzle “hacking” game where your ultimate goal is to destroy Pony Island’s core files and finally free yourself from this madness.
The game has a thing for messing with you by means like performing fake crashes and has an incredibly particular sense of humour that should definitely be experienced by most.
So now, we move onto the excuses. :p December 6th was a cold and snowy day here, but this certainly didn’t stop me from rushing into my fav console store and asking if they still have some copies of The Last Guardian left. And indeed they did. Someone made the comparison that The Last Guardian is like Ico, but you’re Yorda and there’s definitely some truth in this statement. The relation between you and the creature (known as Trico) is simply incredible. Trico isn’t simply a mean of achieving your goal, which is returning to your village after finding yourself in “The Nest”, he is your companion and as dependant on the protagonist, as the protagonist is on Trico. Throughout the whole journey you assume the more “passive” role in the relationship, guiding Trico through more or less hostile environments and thus enabling both of you the possibility to advance. Gameplay is mostly puzzle/platform oriented with various combat sections being handled almost exclusively by your companion. Sadly though, sometimes Trico’s AI derps out a little bit and he start wandering around cluelessly, but you can’t be mad at such an adorable face for long. :)
It’s a stunning game from both a emotional and graphical standpoint. The environments are truly breath-taking and Trico’s whole design, which according to the director represents all the childhood memories of his past pets, is on point. Many people have issues with the boy’s design, but I honestly feel that this is a great representation of how alien this world is to him and alien he is to this world.
I truly love it so much, and in case anyone asks, yes, I obviously did cry…
My only real big problem with the game are the trophies. xD I honestly feel like it’s going to take me at least 4 playthroughs to get a Platinum in it (one already done, one complete leisure, one no-death and one speedrun).
Speaking of Plats, I got one in Crimes and Punishments! :D It was a relatively laid back game which I played to just kinda relax a bit. The cases are interesting although rather easy, with some more obvious than others, but I enjoyed it. Sadly, I had the feeling that the overall background story of the game could be handled with way more attention than it actually was, so when the ending came I was kinda like “Uhm, yeah, sure, that’s a thing we’re doing now. Whatever you say.”
I guess it’s one of those “simply good” and rather casual games that are worth it on sale and that’s kinda it. Still, it was an enjoyable title even if I traded it away a day after completing it, but shush :p
Those aren’t all the games that I’ve finished this month, but seeing how the title which I skipped in this post is basically my GOTY 2016, I feel that it deserves it’s separate post which I’ll write on Dec 31/Jan 1. :)
Anyway, wishing you all a Happy New Year from the silly little owl. I^v^I
Ori and the Blind Forest was my latest SG win and it was a truly special one indeed. It made me cry. It made me laugh. It made me rage and almost toss out my controller out of the window. It made me relax and let me enjoy the incredible beauty of this little masterpiece from an art style, gameplay music point of view. It was challenging, but never unfair. Emotinal, but never using cheap tricks in order to make you cry. And beautiful from every angle. It was a truly majestic title. I even almost got 100% map exploration. :D 97/98%
Oxenfree was given to me by an incredibly kind soul ♥ and it was a truly unique experience. I went into the game without much of an idea about the plot and I consider it to be a wise decission. It proved to be engaging, surprising and highly intriguing. I’m most likely going to 100% it this month, so I’ll write something more when that happens (already started my silent run). I^v^I
Thanks Monthly Theme for finally making me beat the game that served as an inspiration for my custom Steam URL. xD What can I say other than it’s an amazing p&c classic?
It’s intelligent, dark, creative, is free of the typical p&c ridiculousness and overall a great game.
Ah, Mankind Divided, how can you even mix “bland” with “eh, it’s OK, I guess” so perfectly? Adam’s as shallow as he was in Human Revolution, if not more, but he isn’t necessarily bad. The supporting characters are incredibly forgettable (except maybe Talos Rucker for me), the story feels rather rushed, pacifist was waaayyy too easy and I’m sure that I won’t remember a single situation (either story related or derived from my playstyle) from the game in a week. Also, I’m still annoyed how bosses were handled. I-v-I
I might come off as overly negative towards the game, but I simply feel that it’s made “correctly” and nothing more. Nothing memorable, nothing challenging, just “correct”.
But hey, at least it stopped ripping off MGS. :p
This one’s cheating, cause I forgot about it while making my October post. :p Oops. Anyway, it’s an incredibly beautiful and relaxing (as much as something that almost made me twist my wrist can be considered “relaxing”) game, even tho it’s very short (like “shorter than Journey” short) and kinda lacks replayability value other than trophies (which I’m not sure I gonna really bother with). I do find it impressive though that TGS manage to create some sort of story in a game, where you control a petal.
Just wanted to write a little update on my “progress” from the past month. When it comes to Steam, I’ve only been able to finish 2 of my SG wins: Epistory - Typing Chronicles and Downfall.
Epistory turned out to be a truly adorable and incredibly relaxing experience, as you’d expect from a game where you ride a giant fox. I♥v♥I I was playing it when not-so-fun stuff was happening in my life and the beauty and innocence of this little game helped me cheer up a tiny bit.
Downfall on the other hand was anything but cheerful and fun. The artstyle and atmosphere is fairly similar to the ones in The Cat Lady, but the way the storytelling acts is severly different. In Cat Lady you sometimes get this tiny sense of accomplishment whereas in Downfall there’s only darkness, despair and forcing yourself further down the rabbit hole. It’s a depressing, dark (but never in the edgy way) and heavily dreamlike experience that you will not forget easily.
Oh, and speaking of The Cat Lady, I won’t be touching this game again after getting the “neutral” ending in Downfall (can’t even begin to imagine how the bad ending looks like, brrr)…
As for my console stuff, I’ve decided to make good use of my new acquisition, a PS2, and play Persona 4. Long story short, it’s my new gaming obsession, I adore absolutely everything about it and I’ve quickly purchased 3 other SMT games and will be preordering P5 shortly. I^v^I
A console game that I’ve finished only yesterday (Halloween, heh), but definitely didn’t adore everything about it was Batman: Arkham Knight. Driving sections and tank battles started to get rather repetetive after a while, boss fights were kinda pathetic and I had to look up the ending on youtube because of a flawless design choice. I-v-I On the other hand, I loved every single moment with Mr. J and kinda felt like dear ol Harley while playing the game just hoping for the Joker to comment on every single one of my actions. Predator stuff was fun, combat same as in other Arkham games (which I enjoyed), gliding around Gotham felt really smooth, most side missions were rather neat and Riddler was, of course, garbage. So yeah, overall mixed opinion, but leaning more forward to positive rather than negative.
So yeah, that’s sadly all for October. I^v^I