The Brands are Coming For Us
Reviews about videogames help me focus my thoughts about things having nothing to do with videogames. Since even the most read of reviews receives nary a comment it is safe to deposit my thoughts on everything here in diary form . You should find correlations throughout life with life. The amount of free-time that i have after becoming underemployed has been staggering, but i still do not have enough time.
Today is the day after cyberpunk 2077 announced their 3rd delay. I promptly went down to my local Gamestop and cancelled my pre-order. I also moved my pre-order from Call of Duty Cold War to Immortals: Fennyx Rising (How many ways can you spell Phoenix?). This was because Activision has opted to make the next gen upgrade for Series X an additional purchase. Call of Duty games have held their value better than the rarest of earth metals so no surprises here. I guess I could GameFly it or gameshare as some of our poorer brethren who seek to benefit would suggest. I need to gameshare with Major Nelson or Phil Spencer for it to be worth my while. Activision is going to Activision so this policy looms large over the entire next generation for me. Besides I feel like game consoles have entered the realm of cellphone technology. I don’t need something new until I do. Have you ever been texting on your phone and wondered where your phone is? Last-gen (Xbone and PS4) encompasses so much of everything I need for games that reaching for a new console is me reaching for something I already have in hand.
Digital makes me feel powerless. What company doesn't aspire to be the next Activision? Your affinity for these companies should be higher unless you are a stockholder or made the game. I jumped ship from Nintendo when I first experienced the Twilight Sword at a Gamestop and waggled their controller. I don't currently own a Nintendo product. I refuse to give them any permanence, they have shown their hand. I just chuckle everytime they do something ridiculous. Sure, I still buy some stuff because to dismiss good ideas is just jealousy and bitterness personified. Any purchase is just transient in nature. They know better than to send me coupons or take a survey. I'm out of their ecosystem. Activision’s refusal to respect Smart Delivery out the gate for Series-X and Series-S leaves alot of us out in the cold. Sure i just said i’m not interested in next gen at all but when i can’t transition seamlessly you’re making it extremely easy to not care.
Final Fantasy XV makes me feel powerful. New game plus even more so. At the gym where patrons refuse to wear their masks as we workout makes me feel powerless. I'm recovering from arm surgery and I absolutely need to be able to work out. Also, personal sanity is a thing. But for these frumpy, no she won't sleep with you if you get muscles, and the never played and never will play team sports so what's the point people that are so highly tuned of an athlete that mask is going to hinder their ability to go from morbid to less morbidly obese is infuriating. Infuriating. I just need to breathe. Since I can avoid the constant scrutiny of the message boards police in my reviews it is here where I can spout my opinions. These people are working on their XP at the expense of others.
XP is the backbone of RPGs. It is necessary to level up. In real life going to the gym is a form of XP. It is necessary if you want to go on a date or lose weight. I don't know about you but the people working out at my local YMCA (excluding the public safety personnel) do not need to work out to maintain or enhance their livelihood. Sense the hypocrisy? I am there observing. Well my issue is that none of these jokers are wearing masks as if they are training for the 2021(?) Olympics. They are training at such a high level that their obstructed breathing is intolerable. I'm starting to see a whole class of people that I just don't even want to know. The nice feature about the maskless is their visage is clear.
This is my second playthrough of Final Fantasy XV. I brute forced my way through the first game. I really enjoyed what it was doing. I've been writing reviews for a while and have them locked away in some spreadsheet. The menus that seemed to dense and intimidating make more sense on a second playthrough and speak volumes about how i learn, through repetition.
I am finally of an age where I can examine old movies that were formative for me as a child and identify parts of my that were influenced by them. If i say 'Murder,' then 'Death," the next expected word will be 'Kill.' That comes from Demolition Man (which i learned from a recent reviewing of the Snipes|Stallone vehicle). How many more things like this are part of my vernacular? Dominate my speech? Dominate my thoughts? Well if i examine hard enough i can try and dig up everything. I'd rather not. Final Fantasy XV's writing between battles has done just that. The voice acting and writing in this game is very easy listening. It comes off natural and despite being a game from 2016 the writing seems current in the year 2020. It's good enough to be a bot catfishing you on Tindr|Grindr. That is all i want from my games I like contemporary enough to have cars incorporated so something like Mafia. But having a cellphone and emails to read like Watchdogs is very much my bag.
There are a lot of firsts coming my way in my gaming history. I don't think i've ever replayed and beaten a xbox360 or more recent console. Never. As much as I liked a lot of Call of Duty(ies), Gears of Wars(s), Watch Dogs(es), Assassins Creed(s), Bioshock(s), or Tomb Raider(s) campaigns it has all been one and done. Final Fantasy XV is the first time I am going through and am replaying a game and utilizing new game plus. There's a really neat feature where the title screen goes from a dark nighttime setting for your first play through to a more light and daybreak appearing background for the game. A very nice touch. My newly acquired desire to go back to old games makes it hard for me to buy Series-S. I can’t even consider a PS5 because their backwards compatibility standards and paid for cloud saves means if i play game day one on PS5 and decide to replay that game 10 years from now I damn well have been subscribed to PSPlus that whole time. No thank you..
Everyone likes to decry the advent of the never ending DLC model. I on the other hand welcome it. A cursory review of howlongtobeat.com will give you enough information on how long you have to invest in a game. As I type this I consider posting my review for FFXV early. There is so much to the game that I'm starting to get frustrated with not playing other games. I recently bought Watchdogs 3 and am buying Immortals, and Cyber Punk. I probably won't open these games until well into 2021. There is really no rush. I don't have a paucity of games especially if i'm starting to get into replaying games. Who knows? Maybe I'll get into FFXV again later on a third playthrough. This is why Xbox's free cloud saving features are essential. Under Sony and Nintendo's model you have to play for that feature. In my mind there's nothing more magical in gaming than coming back to an old save. I can imagine in 5 more years when I come back to FFXV to complete my bestiary I might finally get around to doing some of the DLC and maybe scouring the remainder of the map. If they make some revisions or there is new stuff to buy, well keep it coming.
I define my game of the generation as a game that a 12 year-old me who got a brand new system for Christmas and was only allowed to have one game then that game would have to be perfect. Taking control of Pronto and using a rocket launcher or SMG with sparks and magical lighting effects is damn near perfect. I didn't know that you could take control of other characters in this game. My first playthrough was a mad dash through the game. I just wanted to see everything that was there. Now on a second playthrough I'm trying to explore every inch of the map.Single player wise this is my game of the generation. I want to go back to it and play it again. I want to hear all the dialogue and read all the wikis. At this point am i supposed to start writing a wiki? That’s a new feeling for me. Because of this game I’m giving more JRPGs a chance.
I'm going to have to pick up and play Dragon Ball Z Kakarot [I did just that]. I don't have any anime love, although I did like the Lupin the 3rd movie and I appreciated the cutscenes of Catherine and Persona 5 a million times more than the games. The lack of resolution in any episode of Dragonball Z took me a couple of episodes to realize. I enjoyed the recap and cliffhanger model. If wikipedia had been a thing back then i might have read the entire entry and appreciated just 1 episode knowing exactly where in the arc of the complete story the show was and I would have moved on with life. Kakarot may be my most overlooked game of 2020. And the fact that it's going to be some complete story arc that might intersect with my limited knowledge of Dragonball that might make Kakarot the next game on my 'must play,' list. The Back and Forth of and visual for 'Taking Damage' is what I love about comic books and movies. It’s what i like about Dragon Ball Z and Final Fantasy XV made me realize that.
It would be nice if the clothes were real brands. I guess this game missed the microtransaction wave and I can't buy a North Face jacket featured in the game. There are brand deals with Coleman camping supplies and Cup Noodles which i just love in games. My entire PS5 purchase hinges on what Final Fantasy 16 is and if it truly is exclusive. I am not a George R Martin or Tolkien fan of anything like the knights of the round table so 16 is going to be a tough sale for me. Sign me up for contemporary games with cell phones and Zoomer dialogue.
I love the music and the battle theme is awesome and if 16 can pull of that futurist vibe with the medieval setting then I might be in.
Besides the obvious issues with 2020 the pandemic has exasperated my feelings about the length of games. I have access to 500 games between my Xbox and my PC. I've dipped into the PlayStation and Nintendo ecosystems and quickly backed out because my backlog can sustain me for years to come on Xbox alone. I absolutely do not need a new console and I am glad that the community rejected the digital rights of Xbox One the way they did. If they hadn't, my 500 games would be in jeopardy in the next 1 to 2 years. They still might be but there shall be hell to pay. So games wise I'm looking to play next:
Halo 4 (Not interested in old Halo)
Final Fantasy 7 (replay the PS1 game from when i played it 20 years ago)
Vampyr (Pandemic game)
Jedi Fallen Order (Hitting EA Access and I liked Battlefront 2)
Dragon Quest 11 (will knock out the Demo and if this grips me Gamepassing the full game)
Watch Dogs Legion (Loved the first 2 games and i prefer this to the GTA series)
Immortals (Stick drift, weapons that break, and Nintendo kept me away from Zelda so i'll see how the master of the knockoff, Ubisoft, does here)
Yakuza Like A Dragon
Cyberpunk 2077 (why not it's going to command the podcast discourse for weeks)
5/5 Stars 9.6 out 10. I should be able to swim. A motorcycle should be an option for the crew. Needs branded clothing since they branded in other facets of the game. Would really like more distinct magic visuals; it just ends up being a blur of light, less would be more. Could not do summons in the manner or quantity that i could in FF7, need to do my research to see if I’m doing something wrong (I’m not). Don't really know what's going on story wise but I could barely give you a plot synopsis of The Lion King so it might take a 3rd or 4th playthrough for me to get it and this game is fun enough to get me there. I wanted more cellphone visibility and acknowledgement of the idleness of cellphones and just shooting the shit with pals on a road trip. The absence of women is disappointing and I wish I didn't have to hand wave that away with “It’s a JRPG.” I will play through this game again at some point and i’d play the Pocket Edition for a price other than what it is currently on the Xbox store at $29.99 with 16 hours on howlongtobeat.com will be useful on a trip to Japan or Hawaii once the pandemic lets up. Loved this game. Now that I’m most fully retired for online gaming it’s nice to know there’s enough in the final fantasy series on an initial play through yet alone a replay to keep me gaming for a while. I cook more because of this game.