Games played in 2019

'Ere we go again, lads.

SPOILERS

OBV

Same rules apply as last time - It'll mostly be finished games but I'll mention games that I drop if I feel like talking about them.

Platforms: All Nintendo and MS consoles. Ps2/Ps3 and Vita. All Sega Consoles. Shitty laptop and marginally better desktop that I barely use.

Update: Second hand 1st Gen Surface Book - 16gb, I7 and..not a great GPU. It's for work tbh.

edit: ps3 dead again...predictabo

Edit 2: It was the hard drive - it's alive again!

I made a New Years Resolution to do the following:

1. Buy no new games (exceptions are OLD games, trade ins and pre orders made before this vow)

2. Finish a 3d Zelda (done)

3. Finish a Wizardry game (or offshoot) (doing)

4. Finish a 3d Mario (hell nah fam)

List items

  • PC Original Eng Release

    (Old Sprites - I find them more effective..Rena's crab hands are the thing of nightmares alone)

    5 hours?

    Have you ever had a nightmare that felt like it never ended? Where everything that you held dear slowly fell apart around you?

    This is that story.

    The writing in this series consistently surprises me at how effective it is at making you care for the characters, and then..well..watching it all come down like a jenga game set above an active volcano.

    I could have done without the scene on the bridge, however...that was, unnecessary.

    4.5 'pick up your towel goddamit'/5

  • Ps2 (via ps3)

    30 hours

    In my round up of last year I explained that I had not enjoyed my time with Xenoblade 2...in fact I didn't enjoy my time with Xenoblade or Xenoblade X much - apathy would be a better way to describe my reaction to the first two Blade games (though X does do some interesting things and has a fantastic world which is nearly impossible to navigate) I mentioned to a friend of mine that I thought Xenosaga was far superior...or at least I remembered it being so. So in order to either destroy or validate my opinion I went back to the first Xenosaga game.

    First up - this game was released in 2001 according to the title screen. That's just crazy. Secondly this was never released in the EU so I had to import and rip it onto my ps3 (this is important to a later point).

    So does Xenosaga hold up? Yes, mostly. I say mostly because there are more than a couple of issues that may put off most people. For me they were minor.

    Let's start with the obvious - this game tries to out do Kojima when it comes to cinematics. If you cut all the FMVs from the game I reckon you'd have about 10 hours less on my clock. The thing is, I enjoyed these cutscenes - unlike the later Xenoblade games, 'Saga 1 is really well written. You have an exceptionally strong main character - Shion, along with Rubedo/Jr, Momo (her arc is good..her appearance, not so much), Ziggy and chaos. Kos-Mos, 'Saga's most famous character is just a robot, at least in this first game. She's by far the least interesting character. Each of these characters have story arcs - where they are at the beginning of the game is not where they are at the end, emotionally or physically. None of the Blade games have this - Shulk is still Shulk, Rex is just a fucking waste of space from the start.

    There's also the nice change of not having a teenage protagonist - Shion's design might be..different (and progressively gets sexed up over the games) she is a strong female character who is not controlled by men's desires.

    Second issue is how long the combat can go on for - each 'cinematic' attack can be up to 10 seconds..which means grinding takes foooorever.

    Third issue - game explains nearly nothing about how some of the systems work. I'm sure people have finished this game without putting TP into their stats or haven't used the skill system. This can be hard to understand and makes the game far easier.

    Fourth issue - bugs (at least on emulated ps3)

    So..I had one crash during a cutscene after a really tough boss. That can be worked around, but annoyingly it is impossible to go to the Robot shop in Kukai - which means no best spell in the game, which means that the last bosses can be really..really...tough. With Erde Kaiser you can one shot nearly everything (including Albedo)..without it's a slog.

    With all that said - this is probably the best JRPG I've played in years. Probably since FFXII. I highly recommend the game if you have the patience to deal with long battles, annoying bosses and some archaic designs. Hey, at least it's not random battles?

    5/5

    Seriously though...this is just the japanisation of the crazy cult that Bush was part of, trying to bring about Revelations.

  • WiiU

    25 hours, maybe less? Why can't all games have a time keeping function?

    Yeah, it was pretty good.

    4/5

  • Switch

    It says more than 10 hours..so anywhere between 10-30?

    I swear this lack of precision time keeping in my gaming habits is going to give me a complex.

    Female Saiyan

    Lvl 58

    End Credits

    Anyway - Xenoverse 2 is just Xenoverse but better. Better combat, more options, better storyline...kinda. If you want a quasi-mmo that's kinda like Destiny but with more punching and infinitely more customisation, you could do a lot worse.

    The major issue with the game, from a single player perspective, is the DLC. It's stuff that should have already been in the game or sold for far less than they're asking. Not to mention most of it was out before the Switch version was released and they didn't even bother to include it.

    They didn't

    Even

    Bother

    Scamco gotta nickle and dime I guess.

    Saiyans are also heavily favoured in the game...so if you want to get through the story, play a Saiyan. If you want to be a badass, play female buu character.

    3.5/5

    I would kill for a Bleach version of this - but that's never gonna happen.

  • Vita

    A literal year in real time - game time: 35 hours?

    Top Ace: Ryoma Nagare 130 kills

    I try to do one of these every year, at least one, but I failed by about a month on this one. Too many games, too little time.

    So - as the first OMFG actual mainline SRW in English - how did SRW Victory stack up?

    Not bad. It's no W - but, as most agree, W is the best Non OG SRW there is. V is kinda around Z I guess? It's good but very very easy and the story is - well let's start there shall we:

    3 dimensions and 9? storylines meet in SRW Victory. The main storyline is based around the superb Battleship Yamato, and their attempts to get to a distant system in order to stop a war. It's a great story with great characters and meshes well with every other main storyline bar Eva. Eva has no business being in space but that's kinda offset by how much of a beast Shinji becomes later in the game.

    Yamato and Getter/Mazin were the highlights for me - it was also nice to have FMP back again - Kurz is a demon of a sniper. As to other series - Cross Ange was interesting enough to get me to watch it - I can't say that was a good idea given that it comes across as a straight man's idea of what lesbians are - but with mechs and dragons..and prison rape. Look, Ange is just...weird. It was great to have Combattler and Daitarn back again - Banjo is a great character, though the lack of Layzer to tie in to that made me sad.

    I think it's time to retire all but Unicorn from the Gundam series - even Skull was tiresome this time, and I'm a massive Kincaid fan. 00 and Seed need to be put in the bin where they belong and the UC stuff needs a long holiday. I even wanted Wing back at moments...which says a lot. Nadesico needs to go as well - it's been used too many times.

    I'm happy if FMP stays and there are laws about Getter and Mazin that cannot under any circumstances be broken.

    Apart from that it was standard SRW stuff - the addition of the Ex meter (every kill fills up a meter that allows you to spend say, 3 points on an extra turn if you kill in one hit, or 2 points to make your attack crit) made the game faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar easier than needed. Kurz went full rambo in the second to last mission and took out 40% of the map by himself in one turn...and he's in a real not a super. Lottie in Grungust could almost one hit bosses with some spirits. It was kinda hilarious.

    Shinji could one hit bosses without spirits in Unit 13.

    It was actually kinda scary.

    Anyway - as with all SRW games, if you like the characters and series you'll enjoy the game. If not, wait or look elsewhere. I'm really looking forward to X due to Cybuster, Dunbine and a more fantasy based approach closer to my beloved Masoukishin series.

    V was good, great in some bits but very convuluted and..Cross Ange...urghhh.

    4 'the power of love is a curious thing'/5

  • Xbox 360

    Less than 10? Gonna go with that - probably about 7.

    Farewell Starbreeze - you made some really good games (Riddick,Darkness) so mediocre games (that heist game) and some really bad games (the recent ones) - this reboot of the old Syndicate property is probably somewhere between the first two - it's an ok game.

    When they said that they were rebooting Syndicate - a series that I loved waaaaay back when it was originally released (on the Amiga in my case) I was hopeful - bare in mind this was pre EA going faaaaaaaaaaaaar down the shit hole.

    Syndicate was originally an isometric..tactical game? You had four agents who could persuadatron the public to fight with them, or just minigun the crap out of enemies. The reboot is an FPS because OF COURSE IT IS - that said, it does have some interesting ideas.

    First up - Richard Morgan of Altered Carbon fame wrote the story...and it shows...kinda. It's not a great story, but you can see what he was trying to do and where the limitations of the game shut the more interesting stuff down. Given a more open world like Deus Ex, this could have been really interesting. As it is..it's workable.

    The Dart Chip: Essentially a hacking system tied to the LB that allows you to cause 3 effects - a suicide bomb, and backlash, and essentially a charm spell. Each of these effects a single enemy (though backlash can effect up to 3 in an close area) Unsurprisingly persuade is the best as it means you have an extra gun shooting - the annoying thing is that you can't use them in boss battles, or for 3 missions whole missions. They play the old 'now we take your toys away from you' nonsense - which isn't really fun and shows that they ran out of ideas.

    The chip's other use is as a bullet time/defense/xray camera all in one. Pop it on and you can see through walls (useful for shooting through them) move faster, take more damage and generally bulldoze everything.

    These are interesting ideas and fun to mess about with in the first couple of levels...and then it just turns into a corridor shooter with too many to shoot. You start getting cloaked enemies but they go down easy, or armoured enemies that you can hack and then shoot, and then hack and then shoot and the explode...and then drones that you hack and then shoot...you get the idea. The levels start well, including a great nightclub shootout, but then turn into halls, sewer, halls - typical EA FPS design. The future is very..concrete.

    It's not a bad game, it has the makings of a fantastic one, but there's just not much there from the single player perspective that you don't see in the first couple of hours.

    There is Co-Op online but..not my scene and it's 7 years old on an previous gen of hardware.

    3 'true story - when I was 11 I wanted to write my own Syndicate fanfic, I started writing and the head of my school looked at it (without permission) and mocked me for even trying, and encouraged the other kids there to do it as well - so I never wrote again. I found that nonsense 10 years later and looked at it - it wasn't bad, especially for my age. So fuck you former headmaster of my school I could have been making JK Rowling money with my Cyberpunk novels...but probably not'/5

  • Vita

    Less than 10 hours - probably about 6

    Hinata ending

    It's a VN that serves as a quasi-prequel to the Blazblue series (it's...complicated). For a VN the story was a predictable Shounen fantasy with magic and harems galore. Fair play to the writer - the girls didn't come off as being just eye candy and they actually played a significant part in the action.

    Speaking of which, I was actually impressed by the VN's presentation. Action scenes were handled well, conversation wasn't just a static picture - I guess this was closer to a kinetic novel than a pure visual one.

    Couldn't be bothered to go for any of the other endings, including the true one as I kinda knew what it was anyway.

    2.5 'I went to school with a girl who looks like Es - it's not that unrealistic, but still...*eyeroll*'/5

  • Xbone

    Stopped after 3 hours.

    After enjoying the first two reboot games, I just found this one really boring. It didn't do anything interesting with new mechanics (I guess the survival stuff?) and the storyline was just..tired.

    A shame

  • Xbone

    Only played most of a level by myself.

    Clearly a game meant to be played in Co-Op. I really enjoyed the ZAT games just playing by myself - but this game (despite the Pulp trapping which I adore) really felt like a chore to play alone - it just kept going and going and going.

  • Xbox 360

    God these games are a drag. I enjoyed 1,ODST and Reach but just going from essentially what amounts to, room to room, shooting everything really slowly before moving on to do the same thing with barely any sort of driving factor or personality can really grate after a while. I think I played about 4 hours but I can't really remember.

  • Vita

    28 hours to the credit roll (that's just mission level 7 - it goes up to 10)

    I actually bought Burst (which this is a remake of) waaay back in 2010, so it's been almost 10 years for me to actually get around to finishing this game.

    The best way to describe this game is a fast moving mixture of Monster Hunter mixed with Phantasy Star with an emphasis on actual story telling. Yes, there is a story here. YMMV but I actually enjoyed it - it's very 90's anime - specifically reminding me of Blue Gender, which is a good thing. The VO isn't bad either - each character (even Kota..sigh) comes across well and actually has depth beyond what you would expect in this kind of game. Is it Planescape? No - but it doesn't need to be.

    This is a hunting game - you go out into the field (a single area, as opposed to most MH/PSO type games) and beat the crap out of small monsters and then fight the boss/main monster - get materials to build better weapons (not armour...only your shield matters for defence) and items - rinse and repeat. Same old same old. What's different here is the speed - it's much faster than MH - standard movement and dashing is like dual blades in demon mode..but all the time. Weapons (3 sword types, polearm, hammer and scythe) can morph between melee and gun at the touch of a button (sniper,minigun,shotgun and..blast?) allowing for long and short range fighting. Bullets come in a range of flavours and can be edited to be completely insane - from standard shots to flamethrowers to icbm to laser death from the sky. The bullet editing is so obtuse I spent hours trying to get it to work and in the end just used what I originally had.

    Then there's the devour mechanic - holding triangle (heavy attack) causes your weapon to take a chunk out of the enemy. This is used to not only collect your items/carve from corpses, but on a live monster it'll give you a damage/speed/defense boost and give you the ability to shoot a specific bullet depending on the monster. The burst mechanic, as it is known, is kinda insane and plays a massive part in battles - knowing when you can go for a chomp or when you should block/dodge.

    If I had complaints it would be the female character designs - banging an old drum here but they're really dumb. Sakuya is a tough medic but dresses like a T'ang Dynasty hooker - the funniest shot is of her room with tons of bras hanging up in one of those drying carousels and yet she never once is seen wearing one. Alisa is..more problematic. She's apparently 15 and yet suffers from sexualisation (Sakuya is in her 20s) and also doesn't have a bra and barely anything covering her chest. Why do I give a shit? Well - Sakuya has a great storyline, she's a tough cookie who ends up dealing with tons of grief due to her boyfriend dying in front of her eyes. Alisa deals with PTSD and is manipulated in horrific ways - they're both more than just your typical waifu bait. Tsubaki is constantly struggling to stay within her clothes, all of them. It's just...boring and a shame. From my brief look at GE2 the main female character has even less clothing which is...impressive.

    I enjoyed the mechanics, storyline, characters and setting. My only complaints are the esoteric nature of the bullet editor (but how cool is it that it exists) and the female designs. If you can look past those issues - I highly recommend this game from people who enjoy MH or PSO.

    4 'omnomnomnom'/5

  • Patched Evo version - Vita

    27 hours

    Bracer Rank 1

    I bought Trails when it first launched on PSP years ago and tried repeatedly to get into the series - I just bounced off it time and time again. With the release of the Eng patches for the Vita versions of the series (which adds elements from the PC release like full voiced main dialogue and a turbo mode) I thought I would pick up the Japanese version of the game and try again.

    I'm very glad that I did.

    Trails in the Sky First Chapter (FC from now on) is a JRPG that calls back to the best of the best of the PSX and PS2 era. In fact I think the game was originally released in Japan during the PS2 era - and it shows. The amount of love that has been put into the world building, characters and story is exceptional. Add to that the labour of love that the translation team clearly made of the script (not to mention SC - but that's a story by itself)...it's really something.

    FC (and the FC/SC subseries as a whole) is a coming of age story - as many of these games tend to be. What sets this game apart is the quality of the writing and how much time the characters are given to grow. Estelle and Joshua, the two main characters - are great. Estelle is tomboyish and a bit dense but sweet, Joshua is quick witted, kind and..well...mysterious. Both characters develop enough throughout this first game that you come to care for each of them, Estelle especially. She has (as the main character) an actual, gosh darn it, character arc - which is very very rare in this day and age. By the end of FC you can see how far she has come, and how much further she has left to go. Then there's Olivier (best guy), Agate, Tita and best girl Kloe..and then there's....look I could go on. Even side characters you meet for 5 mins have enough character to actually be 'present' and not just wallpaper.

    The next thing of note is how side missions work within the game - as part of the Bracer guild you are given optional side missions that reward you with Bracer points, money and occasionally items/quartz. We'll get to Quartz in a minute. Side mission do a fantastic job fleshing out the world around you - you'll hear about the past of the area you're in and how they relate to other states in the area - you'll learn more about character's backstories - or you'll just help deliver a love letter to a girl in the factory. It's the little things that make the world feel alive, and FC has them in spades. The occasional problem rears its head, however. There are hidden quests that go towards your completion and that can be annoying, as well as hard time limits on when you can take certain quests. The game could be more forthcoming on those matters - but it;s hardly game breaking.

    Next is the battle system - it's a turn based system, on an isometric grid that allows for free movement. Turns are based on character speed and there are bonuses that apply to certain turns - like in Xenosaga. These can range from free magic or skills to extra items and money. It's a good system that can drag out at times - I played on easy which made the game ridiculously easy but kept the pace that I wanted for the story. I play RPGs for the story, not gameplay. Possibly the most interesting part of the battle system is Quartz. It's essentially a modified/upgraded materia system that also acts as the money system in this game. Essentially you have a small grid of about 8? slots that you can open during the course of the game. Into these slots you place Quartz which, like materia, allow you to cast spells. However, unlike materia that determines exactly what spells you can cast (like cure or fire) Quartz works on a numbered system. Each Quartz has a certain amount of sepith (element points for lack of a better description) tied to it. When you slot the Quartz into your grid, those points transfer to the character and then you can cast the spell that corresponds to that amount of elemental points. Take a fire spell - slot in attack 1 which has 1 red elemental point and you can cast fire. HP (blue) allows for healing spells...etc. What makes this interesting is that there are 10? different elemental sepith and mixing and matching them can get you all sorts of different spells ranging from speed boosts and buffs to AOE damage skills and revives. It's an experimental system - and that's cool.

    I do have complaints - the first I've covered; that being the side quest system is a wee bit obtuse at first. The other is the lack of map in dungeons - I can understand not showing where you haven't been but it really should show places where you have been. It's not game breaking given how small dungeons generally are but annoying - especially given that enemies respawn upon moving areas. At least its not a random encounter type game.

    In all FC is one of the best JRPGs I've ever played - easily. I'd put it up there with XII and Xenosaga. I highly recommend this game to anyone who remembers how JRPGs used to be and misses that time.

    5 'I teared up at the end'/5

  • Xbox 360

    Soviet/Allied finished, half of Japanese campaign.

    Roughly 15 hours?

    I didn't really think a RTS would work on console, but I'll give the remnants of Westwood/EA credit, they did a great job of making the control system work. Placing most of the major build/control options on the right trigger frees up UI space as well as the face buttons to do more basic functions. It works very well given the limitations.

    11 years is a long time...the representation of women in this game is..well it wouldn't work today. The end of the Allies campaign has a former playboy bunny (Jenny McCarthy) with a popular actress (Gemma Atkinson) in tight dresses trying to get the 'player' to go out to dinner with them. It's...kinda off. That said, given the tone of the game as a whole (it is in no way serious) it makes sense.

    I dropped the game half way through the Japanese campaign due to the fact that I found their gameplay..boring. Soviet is based around armour and naval, allied on air and control - Japan is a mixture of both and a master of none. I loved the Soviet campaign for being dumb as shit but revelling in it. Infiltrating and 'murdering' George Takai with a single conscript and a grumpy bear was great.

    Russia - 4/5

    Allied - 3/5

    Japan - 2/5

    3/5 overall. Fun but dumb..in both good and bad ways.

  • Xbone

    2:30 hrs? Game pass

    A nice 'walking simulator' game. To be honest I dislike that term. They're just 3d representations of old point and click games but without the dumb puzzles (put a chicken on a hook to do what now?). For me, its about the presentation, atmosphere and storyline...a short story if you will.

    The problem with most of these games, however, is that you're always expecting a twist - which diminishes the actual impact of any twist you may, or may not, encounter. Fullbright's infamous Gone Home may not have started this cliche, but it certainly popularised it.

    I enjoyed the game, the presentation was clever and I liked how they attempted to include more than the standard stereotype characters - the doctor being my favourite. It's a short game with not much to say about anything beyond the stereotypical 'corps are bad mkay' line - but that's okay.

    3/5

  • Xbone

    Too long

    Rogue

    I hopped back into Neverwinter after a couple of years just to play something set in the DnD universe - I mostly read the novels (not Salvatore) and I'm fond of the setting.

    The combat is probably the most interesting part of the game compared to the usual cooldown approach. It's far more mobile, especially as a rogue, and can be a lot of fun. Sadly the new patch apparently ruins EVERYTHING (so I've been repeatedly told by YT) and after grinding my way up to level 50 or so I just couldn't be bothered any more. I dislike games that make me feel that I need to play them every day otherwise I'm missing out on login stuff or crafting or..whatever. I don't like being tied to a single MMO in that manner - monthly fees are even worse.

    nil

  • Switch

    Faaaaaaaaaaaaaar too long.

    As with Neverwinter, so with Warframe.

    It's just a slog that punishes you for not being a dutiful whale...and despite appearances it really is just the same loop over and over and over again without much in the way of variation.

    It's fantastic as a free to play game, and I'll return to it every now and again - but it just saps away my free time and I have better things to do and better games to play.

    lots and lots of better games to play.

    too many better games to play.

    send help.

  • Xbone

    As above, so below.

    A great F2P Diablo clone that ends up doing everything that Diablo did right, and suffers from the same obsession with speed and room clear builds - which is rather played out for me.

  • Xbone

    This time I levelled a Romulan up to level 46 so...more than 10 hours, less than 20?

    Fair play to Cryptic - STO is the most Star Trek game I've played since that Bridge command simulator roughly 10 years ago or so (a truly great game by the way) - the space stuff is pretty good if a little simple, the ground combat is...ehhhhh.

    The problem is the myriad of systems - from duty officers to fleet ops to the various currencies to R&D - none of this stuff is well explained within the game. You can work it out by messing around with it but I doubt many people will have time for that.

    It's telling that my achievements generally stated that 2-3% of the player base had actually bothered to play any of the Romulan campaign (better than the Fed one at least) - it's clear that the game doesn't have the greatest retention rate.

  • PSP

    8 hours or so? Maybe less.

    Of all the big 3 mid 2000s Shonen manga, Bleach was my favourite. Don't get me wrong - I like Naruto to a certain degree (it has generally better writing) and One Piece (ehhhh) but I prefer the style, characters and..presence? of Tite Kubo's work. (Soi Fon fanclub right here)

    Sadly, unlike Naruto and One Piece, Bleach never really had the big budget chance to shine on the mainline consoles. Sure there's Treasure's Versus Crusade on the Wii - but that never made it to the West. PS3 Soul Ress..Resur..the Musou type game was underwhelming to say the least. It was left up to the portable PSP and DS to provide the best Bleach games.

    Heat the Soul 6 is a 3d fighting game in the style of the Naruto games of the same period. You've got light punch attacks, heavy sword attacks, spirit charge and jump. Spirit charge is an odd one, as you can use it to stun characters upon release or destroy projectiles. You also have supers, combos and bankai release modes that change your moves and stats.

    There's a story mode - this one covers from the start of the Soul Society arc all the way to just before the final fight between Ichigo in Vasto Lorde form (I unironically love how dumb these names are) and Ulquiorra's second form. It literally cuts before that match. Each mission can have different rules or objectives (survive 30 seconds against X) or beat Tosen without being about to see his life bar etc etc. It can get pretty tough - Hiyori vs Shinji was broken levels of unfair (Hiyori is trash) but it was never annoying, like MK9 Shao Khan.

    Hts6 is by no means a great game, but it is a fun game. Recommended if you like the source material.

    3/5

    Soi Fon for life yo.

  • Xbone

    10 hours or so.

    I checked out of Naruto after the Pain fight in the manga. Like Bleach and Aizen, I felt that was enough. Sadly, here we are..still going. Anyway, recent sales (and the fact I've had this on PC since it's release and have never actually played it through) lead my to pick up 3 and 4 of the Ninja Storm games because, let's be honest here...they are fucking insane.

    So - Ninja Storm 3 starts just before the 5 Kage Summit with Danzo twirling his useless moustache and finishes after Naruto bodies the rest of the tailed beasts by himself. The level of power creep in this manga is ridiculous. Tailed beasts are supposed to be WMDs and Naruto can body 6 of them by himself...that's just dumb.

    Anyway - as expected the game still looks pretty good, the action sequences are ridiculously over the top, the emotional beats hit pretty well and the roster is pretty damn good. It's nice to see people like Darui and Choji get some time in the sun. Darui is a monster by the way..dude is awesome.

    My only issues come from the 'brawl' type missions where you fight a bunch of people at once - the controls and camera can't really keep up with all the mess. The mission fighting the other jinchuriki was so damn frustrating I had to go back and take the easier option with only 3 of them because it was such a mess. There was also examples of button lag, ignored inputs and general dumb crap - but it was a fun time overall and didn't out stay its welcome.

    I will say that I understand why 4 dropped the open world aspect - I don't get why people enjoy travelling to fights. Would anyone want that in SFV? It's not an exact comparison, but I'm there to play the game..not spend 3 minutes of walking through static maps to pick up whatever a bird left behind so I can actually beat Deidera in the face.

    Still don't get what happened to Kabuto and why he was even interested in any of this nonsense. Dude should have just made money off his...ninja info cards.

    3 'with my..ninja info cards'/5

  • Switch

    less than 10 hours on the story.

    And that, hopefully, is that.

    9-10 years (for me) playing through the story modes of these games. I think Blazblue Continuum Shift Extend was the best of the series in term of gameplay and story - which says a lot considering my main Kagura turns up in the sequel to that game.

    What can I say? It's been a wild ride of bishies shouting NIISAAAAN ever ten seconds as if Liquid Snake didn't exist..then there's Mai and whatever is going on with Amane..a distinct lack of sports bras..or any bras for that matter (poor Bullet)...A big red devil dude who makes it his mission, which ever game he's in, to make my life a living misery...4000 year old vampire lolis...This game is the literal definition of the anime cliche character vault.

    That said, it plays wells - the single player modes, especially Abyss mode, should become standard across the fighting game genre, and the music is almost as good as Guilty Gear...but it's not Guilty Gear so..yeah.

    4 'ending tease for even more nonsense, not enough squirrel underboob action I assume'/5

  • Xbox Game Pass

    3 hours?

    I think I'm really really done with Dark Souls style open world games - I have neither the patience nor the desire to enjoy this sort of thing. Thank god for Gamepass.

  • Xbone

    10 hours or so.

    The premise behind the game is interesting, the setting is well realised and the missions aren't terrible...but everything else is so boring. To create a loot based MMO without wild character abilities and setting it in a 'reality' based world is just..so restrictive.

    I will say that I find it amusing that a French company is okay with depicting American agents shooting and killing people who, at least in some cases, are only looting (...hmmm..loot based shooter) in order to feed their families. In the middle of a plague and lockdown people would do what they can to survive...and you shoot them regardless.

    Hey, it's not political brah.

  • Xbone

    5 hours

    I'm not giving up on the game - despite the looong load times...but I have two things to note at this moment in time:

    For once I thought I would play as a priest...I usually choose rogue or mage but I felt that priest would be an interesting change. Looks like the writers didn't expect many people to be interested in that path - there's not much in the way of priestly dialogue choices, nor is there much latitude in not taking a mace to every creature you come across. I just wasn't feeling the priestly vibes....

    Secondly: one of the first missions involves storming a castle and dealing with the duke there. Instead of talking my way through or trying to reason with anyone I was given a choice of kill this guy, or kill this guy - but not before killing everything between him and I. After tons of killing I get to a door that I can't unlock without a rogue - of which I had none. So I had to leave, hire a rogue and go all the way back..just to unlock a door to talk to a mission critical NPC.

    That's...not good.

    In fact it reminded me of a similar mission in the original Dragon Age...so much so that I downloaded Dragon Age to play instead.

  • Vita Evo patched version.

    38 hours I think..give or take.

    Bracer Rank B+

    The second part of the Trails duology. I can't really talk about much of the story without spoiling the first part - I will say that I was not as drawn in by the second part as the first. Sometimes the answers that you are looking for just aren't as interesting as the questions. Some of the new characters - especially Kevin Graham (confusing having two first names there....) and he's the lead in the next game..so that's good.

    The addition of chain attacks is nice (a system that gets refined as the series continues) and the addition of more spells and quartz levels is cool.

    I think the standout for me this time was the music - the boss themes were pretty damn great and there was this really weird Eurotechno track in one of the later dungeons that threw me off a wee bit - in a pleasant way.

    The real issue was that the game was long than it needed to be - chapter 8 could have been cut completely - it was just there to pad and allow you to clean up anything you'd missed. I was beginning to feel the game should have been winding up around the 6th chapter and the final chapter should have just been the tower rather than everything that came before it. WAAAAAY too much backtracking in that area.

    Still, it had a near impossible legacy to live up to - the first game is one of my favourite RPGs of all time. This one is..more of the same but with less heart? I guess. We learn more about the villains this time and..yeah, they kinda suck. Anime cliches the lot of them. The reveals were also kinda half hearted.

    Bearing in mind this is only part 2 of a...err..9 part series? You can see why they'd hesitate to put all cards on the table but..ehh..it needed more.

    4.5/'I'll never get that damn harmonica track out of my head' 5

  • Xbone

    11 hours

    Full story missions - 5 scout missions.

    I'm not the biggest fan of the manga - I think, like most modern mangas, that it jumps the shark post time skip - but it's still a great concept and manages a bleak bleak bleak world better than something like Game of Thrones.

    I think this game is probably the best manga - to - game adaptation I've played...and I've played a bunch. Make your own character? Check. Invest them in the story without breaking continuity? Check. Nail the themes and mechanics perfectly? Check. Even without the AOT brand this would be a fun game.

    So - you're an unnamed member of the 104st Cadet squad (along with the main characters) and you follow the story up until the timeskip. Some things change from the manga - I don't remember Annie being rescued at the end...but it stays as is pretty much. The people who die, die...I think 120 members of the Cadet and Scout regiment died during my playthrough within levels...there's actually an achievement for that.

    Gameplay wise...it's a variation on the spiderman traversal system (hooks instead of webs) married to a point attack/targeting system. It's difficult to describe beyond 'target body part/nape of neck' and hope to slice/kill the titan with proper button timing. It sounds boring on paper, but in practice it works very well. The strategy comes in choosing which limb to strike (you can cut limbs off to make the fight easier and get rewards) and keeping your blades sharp and gas cannisters full - both wear down through use and have a limited amount of refills. On top of this basic gameplay loop (swing, attack titan, dodge, kill titan, swing) there's also a simple tower defence system that allows you to build turrets or resupply points as well as team options.

    The team options are a blessing - you generally work in 5 man squads and you can swap characters in and out at will. Each character has a separate ability that you can use while out on the field - ie Levi kills titans better than anyone, slicing all of their limbs off. Armin can boost your attack, Jean can kill low level mobs and best girl Hange can capture titans.

    There are a ton of other systems on top of this, including skills, stats, crafting of gear and upgrading, online co-op and multiplayer, never ending scout missions....this game is bursting with content on top of the already great amount of story content.

    In my opinion it's probably the best anime tie in of its kind - with the finale DLC coming in July to really tie things up.

    Recommended.

    4/5

  • Switch

    Less than 20

    Final team - Wukong, Athena, Ares.

    This was a bit of a slog.

    Orochi 3 Ultimate was a great game - it had great guest characters, a fun if irrelevant story ans some great extra modes. This game has none of those. No Ryu, no Ayane, no random person from Trinity of Z'ill or whatever it's called. The story goes nowhere and the twist is so obvious it hurts....and the extra modes? Nah not really.

    The real problem is the roster and the way they unlock. You only unlock characters like Wang Yi, Zhou Tai, Cao Pi so late in the campaign it's a drag. To be honest once Ares and Athena are unlocked you'd be stupid to use anyone else. Athena kills mobs like crazy and Ares can burn a single target boss down in a second. I haven't used Zeus or the other gods enough but - why bother when you have these two?

    2.5/5 - a let down in comparison to the previous game, and a dull game in it's own right. Even the inclusion of magic attacks - which I actually forgot about until just this second...thus showing how interesting they are...does little to lift this game up from mediocrity.

    Also..Athena's chest is ridiculous..she's not Aphrodite ffs.

  • WiiU

    14 hours or so I think.

    It's a delightful game that is just too long. I have this problem with nearly all 3d Zelda games - it's the repetition that kills it for me, followed by the length. That said - apart from the creepy children, this is a wonderful game that I just don't have the will power or time to finish at the moment.

  • and various other MOBAs on mobile.

    About a month

    The problem with Mobas is the player base - they're nearly always either completely incompetent or toxic. Rare was it that I had people in my team who could actually play, or play around the massive lag spikes. Then there's the gross imbalance in the characters - AoV's Valkensomething who is Twisted Fate as an ADC. Johnson's transforming bullshit in Mobile Legends. Sasori in Onmyoji post rework (pure cancer). Nearly everyone in Heroes Evolved.

    Great characters, faster mechanics but eventually the same issues as League or Dota.

  • Vita

    14 hours

    Such potential turned into a slog of random encounters and tired anime clichés. Limiting the enemies to lower evolved Digimon so that you can't capture them means it's just rinse and repeat turn based battles that go on and on and on. Add to that the boring storyline that takes the almost worst parts of Persona (without the school and romance crap)...nah fam, I'm good.

  • Switch

    5 hours

    Move left..cut cut cut...move right...cut cut cut...where am I? cut cut cut..oh it's Dark Souls but Metroidvania...sigh...zzzzz...zzzzz

  • Switch

    15-20 hours? Doesn't have a clock.

    I played through about half of the game last year on the Vita and loved it enough to pick it up on the Switch to finish it (unity is a buggy engine!)

    Many people seem to either have no interest in this game or outright dislike it. Many call it boring (not enough anime bullshit probably? See Xenoblade 2. Or no Waifu's? See Xenoblade 2...) or uninspired. I wonder how many of those people actually played RPGs back in the late 90s, early 2000s? Doubt many of them did.

    I am Setsuna is a loveletter to Old School RPGs - Chrono Trigger especially. Personally I'm not a big fan of Chrono Trigger - I've tried to play through it many times and nothing about it is interesting to me. IAS on the other hand..well...I find it a beautiful, melancholic RPG about the nature of life, death and what it means to sacrifice yourself for the greater good.

    The initial story will be familiar to many - it's essentially a more character focused FFX with a 10th of the budget (if that). The titular Setsuna is sent as a sacrifice to 'THE LOST LANDS' in order to stop the mounting monster attacks. The protagonist joins her on this quest through..not your average means...and the rest of the party join as you go. It's very standard in its setup - even the ending is rather obvious. However, it's the manner in which the story is told and the journey that actually matters - IAS is a game fully drenched in both snow and melancholy. It is beautiful and haunting - the music...all but one of the tracks is played solely by a piano with no other backing. To say this lifts the Nordic infused environment to the next level is an understatement. Haunting is the only word that truly comes close to capturing what they've done here...

    Gameplay wise, it's ATB based, like Chrono Trigger - you can see mobs on the screen. There's a timing based mini game which modifies damage and effects of spells - a massive boon to the combat system. There's also a materia type system that allows for combo attacks - by the last 3/4 of the game you'll have one combo attack (as well as access to passives that heal mana and health on kills) that outright breaks the game - but you can ignore it if you wish.

    I feel many unfairly compared this game to RPGs with massive budgets or to things like whatever that Mother clone that people went crazy for a few years ago is called. This was never for them - it's a low budget throwback to 90s gaming with an eye to concepts that are probably of no interest to people in their 20s and under - ie mortality.

    For those who it is for though, this is an achingly beautiful meditation on life, death and meaning.

    Highly recommended.

    4.7/5

  • Switch

    Normal

    4:07

    Finished Dark Zone or whatever it's called.

    I actually have this on my Xbox….still.

    Anyway, Genma Onimusha...whew, what a great series. I first played Onimusha 2 just as I was starting Uni..back in the oooo...last Ice Age? I think it was just before the release of 3 (actually around the pre-release hype of MGS3) and I loved every second of it at the time. Wonder if it still holds up....

    I picked up the HD rerelease on sale, and I happy to say that it mostly...mostly..holds up. Graphically it looks..okay. The character designs are excellent, especially the demon who looks like he's taking a holiday from the GODHAND just to make an appearance in Onimusha. There's some weird graphical stuff going on, but it may be just the way the port is. Adding in the extra control option helps as well..tank controls wouldn't really work these days.

    Buuut:

    1) Like all fixed camera angle games of the period, the camera can really fuck you up.

    2) Unskippable cutscenes are a no. Especially due to

    3) THAT puzzle sequence - random tile puzzle followed by a timed sliding puzzle? fuck that.

    4) Super Marcellus - the cheapest boss in the game.

    Still...seeing the prerendered backgrounds and the boss fight that would be recycled for RE7 was a good time.

    4/5

  • Xbone

    Book 1 (Chapters 1-7)

    3-4 hours?

    Based on the book of the same name, this is a Germanic take on the Telltale formula with a gorgeous quasi-handpainted aesthetic. It looks like it's the offspring of the original LOTR movie from the 80s.

    It, like the Telltale games, are very simple point and click affairs - with the odd mini game thrown in. Like the TT games, it very much depends on the quality of the source material. Here, at least initially for book 1, it knocks it out of the park. The story is interesting, well delivered and with some great voice acting. I'd put it up there with S1 of the Walking Dead, above GOT and below Fables. It's pretty damn good.

    Like all of these games on the xbone, there was some minor bugs, but nothing compared to the trash heap that was Batman, so there's that.

    4/5

  • Xbone

    10 mins for a single arcade playthrough...with Raphael.

    I never play Raphael.

    This is the only game I've ever attempted to refund on Xbox Live within an hour of playing it. It look like trash on the console, the AI is dumb as bricks, good luck getting the online to work....

    Course I can't get a refund so now I'm stuck with a really shitty port of a..I dunno. 2 is best, 4 is dumb and 5 is just..urgh. This seems to be between 4 and 5, even if the speed has been buffed.

    For a game all about impact, there just wasn't any there...it felt dull. Glad I got it on sale but...urghh..naah fam that ain't it.

  • GBA remake

    13:53

    I'm a contrary bastard. While people are playing Waifu Wars 14 or whatever number that series is up to now, I decided to play through Sega's answer to Fire Emblem - Shining Force...but not the original, nope. This is the remake from 2004 which some love, and others hate. I can see both sides of that argument - the additional scenes add to the story, but the extra characters and the card system kinda make the game trivial. Course, you can ignore them - but for some people that's just a step too far.

    Anyway, the story is your typical saviour sent to stop the rebirth of an evil dragon god - I don't know who did it first, FE or SF but I'm damn sure that SF did it better and with far far better graphics and aesthetics. There's also a nice twist in there that shakes things up enough to differentiate it from FE but it's not really about the story. Another change to FE is the cast - usually it humans and the odd dragon loli, here we have centaurs, werewolves, elves, actual dragons, steampunk suited armadillos...it might actually be a good thing that this series isn't as popular as FE - Waifu wars is bad enough but add furry waifus into the mix...aiyaaaaa.

    There's no weapon triangle, which for me is a good thing - it's just superficial anyway. Nor is there permadeath, so you elitists will turn your nose up at this anyway. It's just a simple - go kill this dude or kill em all type stuff. The one thing that does stand out is the graphics - especially during attack scenes - they look gorgeous and have far more charm than even the 3ds Fire Emblem scenes.

    There's also the added RPG aspect of walking around towns, talking to people and gearing up.

    It's not going to set any houses on fire, but Shining Force is a charming, gorgeous to look at, SRPG that is a nice change to the FE way of doing things.

    4.5/5

  • Xbone

    Book 2

    Roughly 3 hours

    After waiting for the xbone to install updates..every..time..I..turned...it...on...I was finally able to finish the second book of PoTE. Not as strong as the first book, as the twists were pretty heavily telegraphed. Aliena is just such a great character, as are Jack and Philip. There was some of the 'err that's not what I chose but whatever..' plot problems, like in all games of this type. The real issues I have with any 'oh no, what can we do against Mr X' type storyline is that they tend to miss the most obvious one - just kill the fucker. It's not like he's Thanos, and even then just aim for the head.

    4/5

  • Xbone

    Full playthrough 10:49

    As far as this style of game goes, it may be one of my favourite - still not as good as Fables, but better than many of the other games of this type that I have played. The ending had many eye rolling moments in it - especially the epilogue, but they made sense within the plot.

    I felt that I had sidestepped some of the more interesting aspects of the game's narrative and that people who did survive probably shouldn't have in the over arching scheme of things.

    Favourite characters? Aliena, Regan, Cuthbert and Milius...personally I thought Jack was insane for walking away from what he had in Spain.

    There were some bugs, especially animations not triggering when talking..and some input lag on the mini games (which I could have done without to be honest...QTEs are a pain)

    Overall a strong 4.5/5

  • Vita

    19:05 - clear data

    A sequel to a game we won't see on the vita, with the original going to be released on the PS4 next month...4 years after this game. Not the brightest of ideas considering how this is a direct sequel...

    Anyway - this is a VN/SRPG hybrid with the VN being probably 80 percent of the game and the SRPG being the rest. As such it's important if the writing is decent as opposed to gameplay - and..err..

    It takes a hell of a long time to get good - the last 5 or so hours to be honest.

    The game starts as your typical 'amnesiac harem fantasy isekai' type situation and doesn't really move beyond that until the final couple of hours - and I get that some people like that sort of thing but the characters...ughhh. The MC is just a piece of shit until near the end, the majority of his harem are a bunch of anime clichés with few redeeming features (if any) and there are far, far, far, faaaaaar too many hot spring/ecchi/tittyfall type scenes. I get that the original was an eroge, but this isn't. The constant whining from both sexes is also really irritating. Bar Kuon - the main girl, Oshtor - a cool dude, Mikazuchi - another cool dude, Ougi and Ronin dude, and Munechika - clearly best girl, they can all die in a fire tbh.

    So why keep playing? The SRPG element is actually really good. There are multiple systems in place for attacking and defence - some nice finishing moves..it might be one of my favourite systems in ages actually. It's great. It's just hidden within a very dense (in both senses of the word) game.

    And then you get to the final 5 hours or so and the game stops being a harem comedy and turns into..well what you would expect an SRPG storyline to be..and it get's good. Not great, just good. By the end of it you're left wanting to see what happens next - as Haku has finally become a bareable human being, Kuon..well..yeah, and you really want to see whether someone will slap the shit out of Nekone for being a piece of crap.

    I don't think I'd recommend this game to anyone who isn't super into these types of VNs to begin with - I nearly gave up multiple times. But, if you're the demographic I should think there's something here to find, beyond all the "fan service".

    3.3/5