Games Played in 2018
Probably my retroactive GOTY for last year, if not one of my favorite games ever. It's as if Falcom looked directly into my brain and made a game that would nail every single one of my pleasure centers. The combat feels fast and fluid without being slippery or unwieldy, and was challenging enough that I had to consider timings and whatnot without feeling too punishing. The map exploration is great and really captures the feeling that you're taming this unexplored island. Building up the Castaway Village and filling it out with survivors is fun, and the crafting is involved enough to feel rewarding without being a burden or requiring excessive grinding. The music is stellar, as is typical for Falcom. The only glaring problem is that I had played it with the godawful original localization, but there still seemed to be some quality writing underneath it.
A+ 10/10 GOTY will probably go through it again for the platinum.
Some Mario platforming goodness for my Nintendo Switch-box. It's maybe not the hardest in terms of challenging platforming, but it's fun and colorful and happy and that's pretty great.
I never got to play much of the original Splatoon, so I was excited to play this, but it seems like everyone still playing Splatoon is way better at it than I am. Oh well.
My second Fire Emblem game, after Awakening. The presentation is great and I love the character art, and the core tactics goodness is still there, but I think that original map design that is apparently present really hurt it for me. I still enjoyed it on the whole, but it was hard for me to want to trudge through either another big open field or a map that just felt more frustrating than challenging.
My second Tales game. The writing felt pretty top-tier; the story was good, and the characters and their dynamics were honestly some of the best I've seen in a game. The chemistry within the cast is stellar, and the way their relationships intersect is great (Eizen and Rokurou's more lighthearted, teasing big brother act with Laphicet vs. the way Velvet and Eleanore's conflicting personalities influence him), and it's all elevated by really great performances. It's also genuinely funny in places (Magilou is the best). Legit one of my favorite casts in an RPG/any game.
I'm cooler on other aspects of the game: the combat feels really mashy and was just sort of boring for me by the end, many of the areas felt really boring in terms of design, and I really didn't like the way you level up gear. Having to sort through a dozen of the same item to see which stats and bonuses are good, or trying to figure out who has gotten the bonuses from which pieces of gear, is just a straight-up hassle. I was longing for the skill tree from Xillia by the halfway point.
Still though, the writing is great, which I definitely wasn't expecting, and I very much had a good time with it.
Apparently, this was the first Ys game after it went on hiatus for a while, and it kinda shows. It's pretty easy, for one, much easier than Oath and even Origin. On it's own, I'd say it's a pretty breezy action RPG, with the speedy Ys gameplay managing to make it enjoyable enough.
Played a little bit of the Vita version, but I'll probably hold out for that PC release that's coming soon, since playing an action game on a Vita makes my old man hands hurt.
I found myself in some kind of "Play all the Ys games" hole. Ys I feels kinda short and undeveloped in comparison to its successor, and both games definitely have some obscure old game-ness to them. Ys II is much more fun and has more going on than the first game, with the addition of stuff like magic. Playing Ys I felt a bit like going to a historical artifact, but Ys II was much more enjoyable in a modern context.
I went on to Ys Seven after playing I and II. Playing it after VIII makes it just feel like a prototype of what's on display in VIII. On top of that, it feels a bit held back by what I can only assume are hardware limitations from its origins on the PSP, with stuff like enemy density being really low, meaning you only fight a few enemies at once. It reinforces that prototype feeling, although it's still enjoyable in it's own right.
Finally decided to check out Monster Hunter, and it's pretty great. It scratches the MMO/loot/grind itch, but with really fun combat. I've mostly been using the Switch Axe and the Longsword. I put about 35 hours into it and started to feel a little burned out, so I decided to put it down for a while and return to it at some point.
That farmin' game I've heard people talk about. It seems cool.
Finally started this. It seems hard!
Picked up that 'Samurai Dark Souls' game. It is, of course, very much it's own thing, seemingly boosting the skill ceiling with a ton of extra mechanics, between stance changing, Ki pulsing, variation between the weapon types, and combos n' shit. Seems pretty excellent, although it's definitely hard.
In which I descend into weeb hell. A pretty comfy and wholesome game about alchemy and crafting and stuff. The combat seems a little basic so far, but the crafting has enough going on that it seems pretty interesting.
Felt compelled to check out these Devil May Cry games people like, inspired partly by the Super Best Friend's LPs of them. The first game is definitely clunky and old and has some weirdness going on, which isn't really a surprise considering its development and the fact that it's kinda the origin of its genre. Despite all that, I actually enjoyed it a decent amount; when the combat is working at its best (like in the Nelo Angelo fights), it's a good amount of fun. I would have maybe possibly considered going through it again on hard mode had I not had 3 to go to.
(finished, as Dante)
DMC 3 is a much better game than the first in basically every way; the combat and movement feel better, the camera is better, the moveset is expanded in a great way, and the story is meatier and way crazier in a way I can get behind. I did still have some issues with it (I kinda guessed where I had to go more than a couple times, the camera still gets wonky in places, and fundamentally, I don't think I like how moves are based on the direction you're facing), but overall I think I definitely get why people are so fond of these games. I'll probably play through Vergil's campaign at some point before I move onto 4.
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