What I’ve Been Playing: 03/23/2020

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haz

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Edited By haz

Hello, Giant Bomb fam!

Considering all that’s going on in the world with the COVID19 pandemic, I figured I’d continue with my weekly blog series (Is it a series now? I guess it is)

Yakuza 0

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I’m still playing through Yakuza 0 whenever I can, though it’s mostly between other games. I actually think that’s a good way to play through the game since a lot of the quests are pretty short and fun to jump into one or two at a time. It’s a fantastic game so far and I’ve already put about 8 hours into it. I’m still really early on in the game, only on Chapters 2.

I’ve always heard great things about the series but I‘ve never had a chance to play it until now. This is probably my favourite thing about Xbox Game Pass. I can give these games a shot without an upfront fee and if I really like it, I end up buying it at a reduced cost to support the developers. Also I have to say, all of the side missions have been extremely funny so far.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

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I played the shit out of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It was the first one I truly fell in love with. That said, I was holding off getting New Horizons for a few reasons. I thought the game was mostly going to be like New Leaf and I felt like I got enough out of that game, that I wouldn’t want to go through another one again. I also didn’t want Animal Crossing: New Horizons to eat up into my game backlog time because I have like ~60 games I want to play through at some point. Then over the course of March 20th, 2020 (the release date) it seemed like everyone was playing it except me. I got tempted, quarantined in my house, so I downloaded it onto my Switch. I’m so glad I did.

With all the COVID19 news, I was feeling pretty anxious, weird and uncomfortable. It’s a relaxing, fun escape during pressing times – which is exactly what I needed right now. I’ve had a lot of joy starting the game off, exploring my island, starting to build my house, talking to neighbours and just see what is going on. This will probably end up being my most played Switch game, along with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This one is a bit different in that it’s going to be fun visiting it everyday for 20-40 minutes at a time. It’s pure joy and everything I love about video games.

For the record, I named my island Nagusame, which translated from Japanese, means comfort. I think that’s fitting during these times.

Gears of War 2

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Not too long ago I finished Gears of War Ultimate Edition. When I purchased my Xbox One S back in 2016, it came with Gears of War 4 and download codes for the previous 4 Xbox 360 Gears of War games. It also came with all the Halo games, and having never played that series before, that is where my priority was. When I was at home for a 2 week period on a staycation, I marathoned through each Halo game until completion. It’s kind of funny how now with Gears of War, I’m looking to do the same considering I’m staying indoors.

I’ve only ever played Gears of War 2 before on my Xbox 360. I don’t know why I never bothered to pick up Gears of War, Gears of War 3. or Gears of War: Judgment. It’s odd because I truly loved Gears of War 2 back in 2008. The cover mechanics, shooting and level design all still feel top notch in 2020. I’m glad I can go back and play through them all now, though! I also cannot believe the series is almost 15 years old — insane!

Gears of War 2 was a fun trip down memory lane. I beat it last night and absolutely loved every minute of it.

Gears of War 3

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Surprise! I’m continuing my streak and starting Gears of War 3. I just started Act 1 but so far so good. It‘s improved on Gears of War 2 in a lot of ways and just feels even more refined than Gears of War 2 did. Plus, The Lambent are crazy mofos. They’re fun enemies to fight so far. I can’t wait to complete this and move onto Gears of War 4 or Judgment, I haven’t decided yet.

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nateandrews

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Looove the Gears of War series. I recently wrapped up a coop playthrough of the series with a friend and we had a great time revisiting those games.

Yakuza 0 is a serious contender for a spot on my top 10 of the generation list. Absolutely amazing story and writing. I'm so glad it came to Xbox so more people can experience it.

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haz

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@nateandrews Yeah it’s been great! I had only ever played Gears of War 2 on the XB360. With BC on the Xbox One it was a good time to play through the entire series.

I can’t wait to dig more into Yakuza 0. It’s been a huge surprise for me and I’m super glad it’s on Xbox Game Pass.