As most people probably already know I definitely purchased and played Inazuma Eleven GO 2 Chrono Stones. It's the newest European release in the Inazuma Eleven franchise and I streamed the whole game, well at least the story. If you want to watch that you can check out the archives on my YouTube channel. I am continuing to stream my post-game adventures on Twitch if you interested in that as well. There's been enough of that though, so I'll wait a bit before I talk about it on here.
I also got Bloodborne, which is incredible. It's exactly the kind of Souls game I was hoping it would be. The release of Chrono Stones really sidetracked me, so I haven't played as much Bloodborne as I would have liked to. Still, I played for around 15 hours and have loved it. Sure, I get incredibly frustrated dying to bosses over and over, but my deaths are well deserved. When I finish the game I'll definitely write up a Game Time ID and record a podcast with my thoughts, so look forward to that later this month!
With those two huge releases out of the way I still have a few games left to talk about. The first is Life is Strange, which is an episodic adventure game about rewinding time and high school life. So far I've only played the first episode, but it seems pretty great so far.
I've wanted to play Final Fantasy Type-0 for some time, but sadly it seemed like it would never be localized. Lucky for me it finally happened and I got it! To be honest I really only picked it up for the free copy of the Final Fantasy XV demo it was packaged with, but Type-0 is actually a really cool game. There's a lot going on and I haven't played a bunch of it, but what I have played I liked a lot.
Without further ado, it's game time!
Life is Strange
I tend to build up a lot of rewards points on my PlayStation credit card. I almost always spend the points on PSN cards. In this case I used the PSN card to buy the season pass for Life is Strange. It's an episodic adventure game about a girl named Max who discovers that she has the power to rewind time. She's attending a private highschool in her home town that she has recently moved back to. She doesn't really know anyone or have any friends. She is way into taking pictures, so you can snap photos of things around the world, which net you extra bits of dialogue and trophies.
This first episode is essentially to have Max learn about her special time-rewind power and introduce most of the characters, Each one of them seems pretty interesting and since it's an adventure game you'll want to talk to them as much as possible. The world seems really interesting, and I like a majority of the characters that have been introduced so far. I've seen a lot of talk on the Internet about how the dialogue is terrible, but I thought it was alright. I don't really know, but I'd assume it's hard to write natural dialogue for a high-school girl, or even guy for that matter. It's an awkward time in life.
Throw in the added bonus that Max has magic time travel powers and it gets even weirder. The time
rewinding mechanic is mostly used to solve puzzles. Any items you pick up will be retained when you rewind time, so it makes it easy to experiment with things. Where the mechanic kind of breaks down for me is that it makes choice somewhat meaningless. When given a major option you can rewind immediately afterwards, but once you leave the area you're stuck with the choice. Yes you have to live with the choice, but you can flip-flop beforehand making it less interesting.
I guess I don't have a lot to say about it other than I really liked the first episode. I played through it on stream, so if you want to check it out you can do that here. The second episode is out now, I just need to find the time to play through it.
Final Fantasy Type - 0 HD
It's no surprise that when you try to upscale a PSP game to an HD resolution it doesn't look so good. The textures in this game look absolutely awful, while the character models actually look quite nice. That's what I would have expected. I would not have expected that whenever you move the camera the motion blur is so severe it actually hurts my eyes! I'm not even kidding. Check out some videos of the game. I made one, which you can find here. I never get eye-strain or motion sickness when playing a game, but I sometimes have to look away from the screen or close my eyes while I'm playing.
That issue is a shame, because I think Type-0 is really cool! It's an action game where you play as a group of super powerful military students. There are 14 characters to choose from and each one has a unique weapon and fighting style. The game recommends you use everyone and keep them at a similar level so that's what I've been trying to do. The combat is simple, but fun. You essentially mash square Dynasty Warriors style and occasionally use triangle for magic abilities you can equip. It's not complex, but the act of figuring out how to do various combos is kind of fun. You can also absorb the souls of your fallen enemies, which can be used to upgrade things later.
|The models look great, but the textures look like garbage!|
Other than traditional missions to kill tons of dudes there are RTS style missions on the world map. You need to control and create various forces and direct them to attack enemy cities. You can run around the map as well and attack soldiers and infiltrate cities. So far this was probably my least favorite part of the game, because the controls are a bit clunky and nothing feels quite right.
What I do absolutely love is that you get to attend the military school when you're not on missions. There's a timer until the next mission and each interaction will make the counter tick down a bit. You can chat with students, tackle sidequests, or go to class and learn a bit. These character interactions are generally pretty interesting. The character interactions are my favorite part so far, because I really don't understand the story at all! Right off the bat they throw out about a million names of places and things and expect you to know what they are, when in reality it's all a bunch of gibberish. I'm going to keep trying to play the game, but the camera can be so off-putting that my play sessions tend to be rather short lived.
Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae
I've always said I wouldn't believe in the existence of Final Fantasy XV until I had a playable version of it in my hands. Now that it has happened I'm not nearly as excited as I was for a number of reasons. I'm still very excited for it, but most of my excitement has been replaced with apprehension.
See, this game has been in development for nine years. Games are known to get caught in development hell, but this specific instance is crazy. It started as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, and years later is was re-branded to become XV. The whole time Square-Enix insisted it was still being developed even though the game had dissipated from all trade-shows and media coverage. What I'm worried about is that it's not going to be the same game it was originally intended to be. Hell, the demo is even vastly different than the trailer that was shown a few years ago at E3 when the title was changed to Final Fantasy XV.
That trailer made the game look incredible to me. The main character Noctis is flying through the castle throwing out tons of weapons and teleporting around in order to defeat enemies. There are tons of explosions and huge monsters. It looked like the Final Fantasy equivalent of an action movie. Prior to that when it was Vs. XIII they claimed that the game would be very bloody, dark, and gritty. All the trailers for Vs. XIII were super dark in terms of their color palette while everything for XV is insanely bright. Now, if you look at the demo and the things the game's director has been saying about the game I'm not so sure it's like a cool action game or dark and gritty. Well, it's certainly not gritty.
The demo starts with Noctis and his band of friends waking up in a tent in the middle of a wide open plain-like area. A phone is vibrating and each character wakes up in a manner that lets you know what their character is like. Turns out the royal car has broken down and they're on a quest to hunt down a behemoth so they can get its horn and sell it for a ton of cash. So that's the entire goal of the demo. Other than the initial scene and a few where they're following the behemoth, and the closing cutscene there's little to no story involved with the demo. Sure, the characters will speak to you as you wander around, but that's really it. It's a shame, because all of the characters seem very interesting and all the information being released about the game make it seem like it's all about the group bonding as they travel across the land.
|Hopefully these characters get the development they deserve.|
A majority of the demo is dealing with combat. I like it, but I think that if it doesn't increase in depth it will get boring incredibly fast. For some reason Noctis has the ability to use thirteen different weapons, he can only use a few in this demo though. If you hold square, then he will kind of auto attack and do a basic combo. You can alternatively jam square if you prefer. In order to doge you have to hold L1 and you'll automatically dodge hits at the cost of some of your mana. Mana is also used to cast abilities, which are chosen from a menu similar to Kingdom Hearts battle system. Oh yeah, you can also parry blows by pushing L1 right before you get hit. What's weird is that it's kind of hard to die. If you lose all of your HP Noctis just kind of limps around holding his gut until one of his friends pats him on the shoulder. He then regains a fraction of his HP and can fight again. If you get hit enough in danger state you will then die, which only happened to me because there a billion enemies attacking at once.
Combat was fun, except for the part when you're fighting five or more enemies at once. My main complaint about the combat is that there are too many enemies in battle at once. You can lock on to a specific one to make things easier, but even then the camera kind of goes wildly out of control so it's not always worth doing. Focusing on a single enemy can work, but you tend to start getting hammered on by four or five others. It definitely doesn't help that your partners AI is horrendous and even if you stand directly next to them they won't always help you back up. The tons of enemies in a battle issue was compounded for me by how often enemies re-spawned in the overworld.
|Check out all the nothing!|
So now let's talk about the world. In this demo it was super bland. Like I said you're in a wide open plain. There are some sizable bodies of water and a forest with a lot of boulders but for the large part it's an open plain. You know what's exciting about an open plain? Nothing. It wouldn't have bothered me so much if the whole place wasn't so god damn huge. It takes forever to run anywhere. Yes I realize you can probably ride Chocobos around in the main game, but they definitely weren't in the demo so it was excruciatingly slow.
I will say the the game looks gorgeous despite having some real serious pop-in and frame rate issues. I'm sure all of that will be ironed out by the time the game is released though. What upsets me is that this game has been in development for nine years at least. I should realistically be praising everything about this game, but all I have to say is that I hope the full retail product is better than the demo. Sure, the combat is fun, but it got stale pretty quick. The full package will have more variety so I'm not super worried about that. The huge open world full of nothing is a very large concern to me though, because I hate that in games. There's no purpose to making a huge world if you're not going to put anything in it! Then there's the characters. For a game that's supposedly all about characters bonding and hanging out they sure didn't show off a whole lot of that! I don't know. I so desperately wanted to be in love with the demo, but I just couldn't do it. I hope that Final Fantasy XV is an excellent game.
Despite the fact that I have to finish Bloodborne, and Type-0 I'll continue to play Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Chrono Stone as well. However, I'll obviously need to play Mortal Kombat X when it comes out in a few weeks.
I feel all talked out this time, so I'll just end it here. Have a good month, and see you next time!