Terry Randolph – Persona 5 (Playstation 4), Prey (Xbox One), and Overwatch (Playstation 4)
While I have been absolutely glued to Persona 5 (because it’s the kind of game that’s difficult to break away from once you start it up), my friend bought me a game they have raved about nonstop and sworn I’d absolutely love for my birthday: Prey. The studio behind the new reboot, Arkane Studios, has become one of my favorite video game developers to follow. I absolutely enjoyed Dishonored (and have yet to finish Dishonored 2 but enjoyed it when I played it). I also love the approach that Arkane took with this game; it’s a spiritual successor to System Shock 2. Exploration, suspense, science fiction, it has all the elements to create an excitingly terrifying game. I am going to have to steel my resolve in no longer purchasing games: I feel like I’ve been falling back into bad habits that I hope to eliminate quickly.
That said, I’m going to continue playing Persona 5 because there’s no way I cannot play this game. I’m already dreading finishing the game and I know I’m nowhere near the end point. I’ve talked about this game so much, so I’ll cut it off short by saying this: this is a must-own for your Playstation 4. It’s a JRPG turn-based dungeon crawler that, although difficult, can be accessible enough for someone new to the genre. Add into the mix some anime-like storytelling, capturing and fusing creatures, and the pure aestheticism built into every aspect of this game, and it’s worth the time to explore.7
Lastly, Overwatch is having an anniversary event so I’m going to try and play it a bit. I’m a little disappointed in myself for having stopped playing competitively — but I’m happy it’s come at the cost of enjoying some solid games.
Jake Rushing – Xenogears (PSOne), Inside(PS4)
I decided to dedicate my Saturday evening of playing Xenogears to ensure that I will make it to the end of the first disc. And I am happy to finally reach that milestone for the game. I played quite a bit into Disc 2, and I am thrown off by the drastically increased pacing that the game decided to take on. Instead of dialog interactions between characters, walking around the map, going into a certain place, fight the boss, and fight many enemies in between, the game decided to go with ‘Hey, let’s have one of the main characters give a monologue on what’s going on, and then lets have a boss battle right after that!’ I felt that the pacing has turned me away a bit from the game because of that, but I felt that I have made so much progress it would be a shame if I ditched the game. So I went a little further into it. Eventually they went back into dungeon exploring aspect of it, but they kept having monologues, and even they threw in an anime sequence right after I have long forgotten that anime sequences exist in this game. On the bright side though, I feel that I am getting closer to the end of the game, as I am getting Omnigears for the rest of the party members right now. Hopefully I can get pretty close to the end of the game by next week? One can dream.
This Is The Police was fun, but after progressing a third into the game (64 days out of 180 days), I feel that it is time to play something different. I have always been curious about Inside and seeing what the deal is about this Inside game that won so many awards. So far I am enjoying this dark atmosphere experience. I have no idea on why the boy wanted to get inside of the facility, but I am curious to know more about what is happening. It is a fun treat for sure and I really dig the agency that the game allows. It seems to be a short game so hopefully I can beat this by the end of the week.
Benjamin Fitzgerald – Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero? [VGA], Quest for Glory II: Trial by Fire [VGA Remake], Quest for Glory III: Wages of War (PC)
I never got very far into the third entry in the Quest for Glory series. I think it had something to do with swapping computers out and losing the save file. I thought about simply starting a new character in Wages of War, but the stats were so much lower than they are for an imported character that it seemed like a waste. Plus, I enjoy playing a hybrid thief/mage, and the starting magic level of Wages of War was simply unacceptable. So I decided to replay the first two games again.
The first game is pretty easy. I’m really familiar with it, so I breezed through it in a matter of hours, with pretty good stats in everything except dodge. That ended up coming back to bite me, and I spent hours (literal playing time) training with Uhura in the Adventurer’s Guild so I stood a better chance of surviving my desert encounters with brigands and jackalmen.
Trial by Fire plays quite a bit differently than does So You Want to Be a Hero?. The bulk of the action takes place in [two] sprawling Arabian city[ies] rather than the wild, forested setting of the first game. Where in the first game all the shops were covered in about four screens, you have to traverse a vast mecca to find the people you need to meet in the second. Time is also a much different factor. The first game can be accomplished in seven to ten days (game time), whereas the encounters in the second game take place on various days, with the caravan leaving on the 17th day, which definitely affects the way you approach the game.
Wages of War again offers a significant departure from the style of the first two games, but I haven’t really delved too deeply into it, so I shall save that for another entry in WWPTW.
Sean Willis – Phantom Dust (PC), Ziggaruat (PC), Ridge Racer 3D (3DS)
Phantom Dust is not only back from the Xbox days but they brought it to PC which means I finally had a chance to play it. It’s released as a free game with microtransactions mostly as a shortcut to obtaining rare items or items that take a long time to earn. On PC it runs pretty well on my Win10 PC using a Radeon 6850 video card which even the minimum requirements on the game’s page reads as being too low. It runs great though since it is after all still a much older game and they didn’t do much to improve it besides control options and a higher resolution. Gameplay is essentially a 2vs2 arena battle game where you collect powers like cards, put them into decks and then pick them up on the battlefield in whatever random order they end up. It’s pretty interesting really and heck if you can put up with the Windows Store system then its worth a try, grab some friends play together. Doesn’t cost a thing if you’re all patient.
I finally grabbed Ziggaruat from a recent Humble Bundle as I’ve been waiting to buy the game at a discount. It’s essentially a rogue lite FPS and easily reminds me of Hexen or Heretic wizard based FPS games. Each floor is random and you run around collecting items clearing each random room of enemies and tackling a boss. It’s fairly simple and doesn’t get too complex for better or worse and enemies are varied enough between the floors. Somehow I feel like the gameplay could flow a little better but it has a lot of different ways it changes battles and things so not so bad. It’s good for quick runs but might not hold one together for longer play sessions as it might feel a little repetitive after awhile. Worth a try though at least.
More Ridge Racer 3D, I just have to say a few things about it. I finally got to the harder stages of the campaign mode and well, with Ridge Racer games the later races tend to show of some problems with mechanics. Not as bad as its previous game on the NDS and I can’t compare the PSP versions too well but, little things like computer racers clipping through your car on collision is a bit annoying. It doesn’t happen as much as the NDS game did for me but it did sometimes. Still I’m having a lot more fun with it at higher speeds and the nitro mechanics are starting to make more sense as I need it almost constantly to keep up. I’ll have it beat eventually but I’m enjoying it as a portable game and taking breaks from the real world to enjoy a fast game. I dunno racing games like this kinda put me in a good mode for some reason. Least when it flows well anyway.
Isaac Smith – 7 Days to Die, Party Hard, Subnautica
As “the indie guy”, I play many more 2D games than 3D. I thrive with games like Binding of Isaac, Braid, or Cave Story. I decided to take a break from that and check out two first-person procedural games: 7 Days to Die and Subnautica. They both sort of belong in the “survival exploration horror” genre, but take two totally different approaches. Obviously, 7 Days involves zombies, and Subnautica is about being under the ocean. But the gameplay, progression, and goals of the gamedevs (and the player) remain unique and interesting in both games! Expect a more in-depth comparison and analysis early next week.
As for Party Hard, it’s like a goofy mix between a stealth game and Hotline Miami. In spite of the two main characters obviously being voiced by the same person, it’s awesome. If you love gratuitous pixellated violence, give it a whirl!