It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! What are You Playing?

I like video games. I like weekends. Let’s roll!

The game that’ll be getting most of my attention this weekend is Stormcloud Games’ ASCII-art dungeon crawler Brut@l, which releases August 9th on PS4. The fine folks over there were kind enough to grant me early access, which means I’ll hopefully have my review up shortly after the rogue-like goes live on PSN.

So far I’m enjoying it, mainly its unique aesthetic and admirably balanced gameplay, but I find myself getting frustrated at times due to failing its required platforming segments. Since it’s a rogue-like, dying means packing my shit and moving back to the start screen. This mechanic is fine, it’s commonplace and part of what makes the genre stand out, but when the platforming just doesn’t feel right and a missed jump counts as a death, I end my run more irritated than fulfilled.

Perishing in other rogue-likes like Spelunky or Risk of Rain is always a learning opportunity, and sometimes Brut@l is as well. But having a solid run marred by wonky platforming has yet to become fun. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The entire world is made up of letters and symbols, some of which are collected in order to craft or enchant weapons. I’ve only played for 4 hours so far, and I’m not sure if the letter discovery is randomized or not, but I went four straight floors on my Ranger without finding the right letters to craft my bow — the sole reason I chose ranger to begin with.

Four classes are available to choose from, and although they all share the same skill trees, each has their own starting talents chosen for you. For instance, the Mage is more adept at magic and can identify potions, while the Warrior has a beefier health pool and starts with an earthquake-summoning special move.

I’ve also been playing a bit of Compile Heart’s new PS4 JRPG Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, thanks to their publisher Idea Factory hooking me up with a copy to review. I never got around to the original Fairy Fencer F on PS3, but Advent Dark Force is supposedly more of an improved expansion than any form of sequel. That’s working out perfectly.

The idea is that a good-for-nothing “hero” named Fang acquires a sword, which also doubles as a vessel for a magical fairy named Eryn. He’s lazy, annoying, and only cares about food, so this hero stuff is definitely not up his alley. However, Eryn’s story about freeing additional fairies in order to awaken The Goddess intrigues him, since it’ll grant him any wish he desires — i.e.. food.

So far the vapid story has yet to hold my interest, but the combat mechanics are interesting — fusing together with fairies to open up additional spells and abilities, like in Tales of Zestiria — the characters are holding it together well, and I’m a sucker for flashy games with loads of side-quests. I also like the idea of freeing fairies and using them as a kind of card game, whereas you can use them to slowly free The Goddess in return for permanent buffs, like improved magic damage or increased experience gains, should you equip them or use them on the world map.

If I need a break from all of the dying in Brut@l, or the anime trope-ridden Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force, I have Samurai Warriors 4-II to take the edge off.

I’ve been pretty busy lately, and nothing helps me relax quite like the mindless hack-n-slash of a good musou. I really like this one in particular, as it’s the most similar to Hyrule Warriors (which pulled me back in to the genre). There’s weapon fusing, unlockable characters, mount collecting, base defending, and none of the menu surfing that turned me away from the Dynasty Warriors Empires series.

What about you folks? What are you getting in to this weekend?

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13 thoughts on “It’s the Freakin’ Weekend! What are You Playing?

        1. I don’t necessarily mind short, considering I’d pay $15 to see an hour and a half long movie in a theater. $20 for Journey to beat it in 2 hours, but it’s an experience I’ll remember forever =).

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          1. Well if you like a good, Chrono Trigger style RPG with a soothing atmosphere and soundtrack, then I’d say go for it. I’ve stretched my gameplay out so I’m still working on it after several days, but I can be slow sometimes. :P

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  1. Per usual I’ll be working most of it, but a couple of weeks ago for my birthday a couple of friends chipped in, and got me a key for Overwatch. So I’ll finally see what all the hoopla is about with that game.

    I also found a few Atari 2600 games to add to the childhood collection I’ve been slowly rebuilding over the years. I have Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, a classic game that lets you relive the famous tow cable scene for a high score.

    I also found Title Match Wrestling, a VERY late game by Absolute which was distributed by Activision. Which makes sense since Gary Kitchen was an essential part of Activision in its infancy, and he left to start Absolute. Anyway it’s one of the earliest wrestling games to incorporate tag team matches. It’s not insanely rare, but it is fairly uncommon. There was also a superior 7800 version.

    Rounding things out are Warplock, which along with the aforementioned Title Match, I didn’t play as a kid, and the 2600 port of Wizard Of Wor. I played the hell out of that game as a child with good reason. It’s awesome, and if anybody reading this has a PS2/GCN/XBX still knocking around, the arcade version is on Midway Arcade Treasures Volume 2 which can be had fairly cheaply.

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    1. I’ve seen Title Match Wrestling around, but I never got around to playing/buying it. I had a pretty great 2600 collection back in Maryland, but had a falling out with a friend and lost it all (along with my boxed copies of Splatterhouse 2 & 3) since it was all being stored at his folks’ place.

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      1. Man. My heart goes out to you. The Splatterhouse games are worth bank these days, and there’s really nothing quite like the VCS. Thankfully most of the library is affordable these days, though it’s inching up a little bit. So unless you need something like Swordquest Waterworld, you don’t have to break the bank building a modest 2600 collection. Stuff like the upcoming PS4 compilation discs are great too. I even like the Atari Flashback line, even if you can’t use cartridges on it. Though you can mod the Flashback 2 with a cartridge slot if you know your way around modding a PCB since it’s the one version that had similar hardware rather than emulating every last thing.

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  2. It’s going to happen. I’m going to finish my Giant of Babil months long grind session (that…sounds terrible on multiple levels). I only have one character to level, and I’ve taken to turning the volume down and watching/listening to Netflix while I do it. I may have to make a special blog post when I finally get out of this dungeon.

    Your gaming sounds far more interesting than mine despite the over abundance of anime tropes. I of course can’t hear the word “advent” without thinking of FFVII and Christmas, too, to a lesser extent hehe. I didn’t know the term really or its source until that sequel then my little researching brain had to have all the details.

    Happy playing!

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    1. When Final Fantasy VII first came out, I spent two straight weeks grinding random encounters to reach level 99 and I muted the sound and listened to music instead. Definitely dulls the sting of repetition, that’s for sure! Best of luck on the grind!

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