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

Today marks my official last day of the Fall 2016 semester, and boy, what a stressful trip it’s been. I’m actually in the midst of my Film Genre Studies term paper as I write this, but I just needed the break. So you can bet I’ll be spending the weekend unwinding with a good game or three.

What about you folks?

Over the past week I’ve managed to finish two games in my backlog, being Doom and the remaster of Dishonored. After watching the credits roll in Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization, I knew I had a bit before Final Fantasy XV released. With that being the next big game I wanted to focus on, I figured I could fit a shorter title in between.

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I started off with Doom, as I mentioned last week, which ended up being one of my favorite games of the year. It’s a fast-paced visceral shooter that just seemed to do everything right. The world design blends the line between modern day science fiction and the fiery depths of hell in a way that kept me equally intrigued and terrified. The enemy A.I. is unexpectedly vicious, the soundtrack is a phenomenal playlist of electro-metal, and the overall aesthetic and gameplay work in tandem to be just *kisses fingertips*.

Doom fully exceeded my expectations and is currently duking it out with Inside as my potential Game of the Year. This has been a spectacular year for fans of shooter campaigns, hasn’t it?

I was so sucked in to the world of Doom that I ended up completing it the very next day. “Well, shit,” I thought, as I still had nearly a week before Final Fantasy XV’s ten year wait came to an end. I’d been hearing so many great things on social media about Arkane Studios’ Dishonored 2, but the original game never gelled with me.

dishonored

I tried it once on PlayStation 3, then later on Xbox 360, and the opening moments failed to hold my attention. This always surprised me, as it seemed like my kind of game–first-person, stealthy, actiony, dark and brooding world that’s gone to shit and changes based on your actions.

Even as I installed the Definitive Edition of Dishonored on my PS4, I questioned my reasoning for doing so. I had done this already. Twice. And it didn’t take, either time. But I wanted to give it one last chance, hoping that I’d finally latch on to what others found so special about the world of Dunwall and its corrupt denizens.

I’m certainly glad I did.

Here the hero of the story, the Empress’s Lord Protector Corvo Attano, returns from a months-long trip in search of help from the other kingdoms to calm Dunwall’s spreading rat plague. He arrives with unfortunate news, as the other kingdoms have decided to shut off Dunwall in order to prevent the plague from spilling over in to their territories. The once thriving whaling town of Dunwall is in now in deep, deep shit, and not because of the rat plague.

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Shortly after Corvo’s arrival, a mystical group of assassins appear, murder the Empress, and kidnap her child, Emily. As life tends to bring bad news in droves, making those matters worse, they frame Corvo Attano as the murderer. Six months pass and you’re set to be executed for your “crimes,” but a group known as The Loyalists slip you a key, assist in your escape, and provide you with the tools necessary to plot your revenge while rescuing Emily from the clutches of evil.

This sounds great, and it really is. Dishonored has a solid build up that I hadn’t appreciated before, and I’ll chalk it up to not being in the required mindset. I have to be in the mood for something, regardless of how good it’s claimed to be. I wasn’t in the mood for Doom at its release, but when I was ready and willing I ended up loving it. The same goes for Dishonored.

The folks at Arkane Studios did a stellar job of building this fictional universe, full of rich history and characters built up through found documentation and side-quests. The level design is equally fantastic, giving players many different paths and special powers to complete their objectives. I assumed Corvo would have been rage-fueled and murderous, so that’s how I played. No one survived, and if I got caught, I fought my way out with bullets and grenades.

This “high chaos” playstyle began to affect the world around me, littering it with shambling corpses and swarms of hungry rats. I can’t wait to go back for a “low chaos” run to see how that changes Dunwall instead. Now I can’t wait to play Dishonored 2 and Arkane Studios’ upcoming Prey 2.

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With Dishonored and Doom finished, I’m finally ready to begin Final Fantasy XV. I picked it up on launch day, along with the hardcover collector’s edition guide book, and as much as I wanted to dive in immediately, I was constantly bogged down by school. These last two weeks have been riddled with assignments and final exams, which made it easier to swallow something like Doom or Dishonored that could be completed in 12 hours.

Once this post goes up and I finish my term paper, it’s on. I’m ready to escape in to the world of Eos, having already watched (and loved) the Kingsglaive film. I’ve even gotten back in the Final Fantasy spirit with the PS4 port of Final Fantasy VII.

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I’m determined to casually platinum it, and when I have 20-30 minutes to spare I’ve been grinding away at limit breaks and materia AP. I have everyone but Yuffie unlocked up to Limit Rank 3, but I just reached Fort Condor for the first time and haven’t recruited Cid, Cait Sith, or Vincent yet.

I’m still very much in love with the world of Gaia, the characters, and the soundtrack, and I dig that so much of the story is open to interpretation (maybe due to the quality of the game’s translation?). It was a very special game to me growing up and over the year’s I’ve kind of forgotten how much I truly enjoy Final Fantasy VII. I’ve always appreciated what it did, bringing RPGs to the mainstream and pushing the PlayStation in to millions of households, but along the way I forgot how much I adored it as a whole.

Then again, I also forgot that Tifa calls Barret a “retard” at one point and woooooof. Sign of the times, I suppose.

The addition of a 3X Turbo Mode and God Mode have made the grind significantly easier than I remember back on PlayStation. I’m in no hurry to platinum Final Fantasy VII, but I’m sincerely hoping that Squeenix ports over the PC version of Final Fantasy VIII as well. Man, I love that game.

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

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

    1. I’ll probably be splitting my time, though not evenly, between FFXV and VII. Grinding in VII has been a nice pre-sleep ritual, since I’m usually ready to pass out after half an hour. I don’t need to pay attention to it as furiously, since it’s my 4th or 5th go at it, so it’s a nice late-night unwind game.

      Have fun with No Man’s Sky. I’m definitely curious to revisit it later on during a dry spell to check out that casual scrublord mode. Will you be doing a write-up about your time with it? If not, I’ll have to live vicariously through your Twitter feed, lol.

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      1. I’ll do a write up once I’ve tried a few more of the new features. At the moment I’m lacking resources needed to access quite a few of them so am bouncing around trying to get something that will let me add to my base. It’s kind of given the exploration some purpose should you choose to care to find a specific thing or not. Plus, I need more units so I can buy a freighter. Carry more resources, yes please.

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  1. DOOM would easily be on my game of the year shortlist, it was just so well executed! Shame the multiplayer was a bit plain.
    I think I’m finally going to play Virginia this weekend, but I might finally get around to Evil Within too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doom went from not being on my list at all, straight to #1 or #2. I loved Inside. LOVED it. But Doom was just as well executed, just on a grander scale. Inside has stuck with me since it launched on PS4 though, so I’m torn between which one gets the nod as GOTY. It’ll definitely be one or the other, pending FFXV doesn’t blow me away.

      I really want to play Virginia and it may be one of those last minute playthroughs. I did the same thing last year with Axiom Verge and Undertale, which ended up in my #1 and #2 slots.

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  2. With the exception of one thing I bought myself for an upcoming review, I haven’t purchased or played any new releases. I did find some time to play a bit evenings this week, so I fell back on one of my favorite games of 2012: Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams. I know I’ve waxed on about this game forever since it came out, but it is honestly one of the most engaging, and entertaining platformers I’ve been enthralled with over the last few years. Outside of the obvious Nintendo stuff. It is so good though, and I wish more people would check it out.

    That isn’t to say it hasn’t done well, it has. It made its crowdfunding goal. It was greenlit on Steam, where it did fairly well for itself. It made it to GoG. It had an expansion pack. It found itself on the 360/PS3/WiiU digital stores. It was bundled with its expansion on PC storefronts, it saw a Director’s cut physical release on the PS4, and Wii U.

    But a lot of people still aren’t aware of it, and I usually find that once they are, they usually enjoy it quite a bit. The game has a high bar of difficulty, but it’s a fair one. When you die you know you weren’t up to the task. But it also balances that out by not giving you lives, and continues. Instead it rates your performance. Higher performance has you unlocking stages, and boss fights. But even there, BFG gave in to those who couldn’t keep up by putting in an easy mode. An easy mode that is still a challenge though. The light/dark mechanic is played to its strengths, and everything is built around it. Including the visuals, the soundtrack (which is excellent by the way). I’ve already reviewed it, so I won’t prattle on anymore, But I just get excited every time I replay it, which is one of the hallmarks of a great game. It’s far from perfect, no game is, but it is a joy to play.

    Other than that, getting in some more post update Toxikk. Another game I hope more will check out. It doesn’t have a very big community, but there are enough you can find people in the evenings, and the pay version supports LAN. But there is a freeware version that has nothing to do with F2P or P2W nonsense. If you just want to play it you can see every stage, experience the competitive fun. Then if you enjoy it, and buy it you get customization, a server browser, and can set up private games, as well as LAN matches. Gameplay hearkens back to the days of Unreal Tournament 2004. So anyone who has missed the fun combining arena shooting with trick jumping might want to try it out.

    On the less esoteric front I’ll probably get in a few Overwatch matches. It really is a fun game when you have friends to play it with you.

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    1. Giana Sisters is still on my PSN wishlist for a rainy day, but every time I have an empty slot for a shorter game I forget about it. The next time it’s on sale I’ll pick it up. I’ve been meaning to, as it looks excellent and I highly value your opinion on games.

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  3. Yeah…adding to our convo on Twitter, there’s a LOT in FFVII that would be considered problematic today, but heck, if I look back at 18-19 years ago me, I’d never stop bitch slapping myself hehe. We all learn as we grow up…or we hopefully do to become better people. I really wish the remake would have the same battle engine as WOFF, but that’s wishful thinking on my part, and it’ll probably be in the same action-y vein as FFXV. I’m VERY curious about your take on that, and I hope you get time to play a ton of it this weekend, but not for my selfish reasons. You def need to unwind from school!

    I’ll be continuing my WOFF playing. I love that game so hard. I finally unlocked Sephiroth, but I’ve only used him once of twice. I have the Warrior of Light and Refia Champion medallions, too. I’m also playing FFIV still on the DS/GBA, and I’ve started Dawn of Souls with FFI. I’ll be writing an review/comparison of that. It’s is much, much easier than the original, and I’m really curious if they kept the awful leveling system with DoS’s FFII or if they got wiser with it. I also need to start playing FFV to continue with my great playthrough project. I may very well be playing four Final Fantasies at once. Thank goodness I keep notes!

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    1. I’m four hours in to FFXV and I like it a lot so far. The open world is a little boring, since monster spawns aren’t very frequent (and when they DO appear they come in packs of 5 or 10 at once lol). I like the combat, but wish it was more fluid about letting you dodge or block in the middle of a combo–especially with faster weapons like daggers, where it’s easy to keep chaining together attacks instead of dodging stuff. I plan on digging it to it all weekend and maybe writing up a first impressions post on Monday or Tuesday.

      If they want to do a more actiony approach to FF7 (I’d prefer they stuck with turn-based, but I understand “remake” is in the title and they’re going to want to modernize it a bit) then I’d be happy with a more refined FFXV system.

      Have fun juggling a bunch of beefy RPGs, haha. I can barely juggle one.

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      1. I guess I just don’t see why they can’t use the system they used in WOFF, but I’m grumpy and old haha.

        It’s not too terrible since two are on the handheld. I have no idea how I’m going to fit FFV into this mix. I may start playing that on Wednesdays and leave WOFF for the weekends. I’m off this Friday and Monday, and I see much gaming in my future. I’m 25 hours in, and I’m guessing it’s going to be your typical 40-50 hour experience.

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      2. I think it just boils down to only having a core FF audience that would be interested in a new turn-based FF. Turn-based is also hard to market to folks outside of RPG fans, where an action RPG like this or like Witcher 3 was actiony enough to draw in people who would have otherwise passed it up completely. Though I really would love a new turn-based FF, and I assume WoFF is just that.

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      3. Yuuuup that is what it comes down to. It would be the long time fans who’d be most interested in it and most big RPGs are actiony (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, I assume Skyrim) now and they have to “stay competitive” ugh. It may be why they put WOFF out to appease the fans who like turn based, but again original FFVII fans would like turn based, but they want to draw more than just the original FFVII fans; they want to market it to the generation that was too young or not yet born when the original game came out.

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      4. I’m assuming they used things like I am Setsuna and Bravely Default as way to see how a turn-based RPG with the Square Enix name would sell and then estimated how a Final Fantasy in a similar fashion would have potentially done. Ah well, there’s always Dragon Quest and Persona!

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  4. Doom was fun, but I don’t think it’s going to be in my top 10. I really loved the single player campaign, but hated every second of the multiplayer.

    I never got into Dishonored. I thought I would love the game because of my love for the stealth genre, but I didn’t. It was okay, but forgettable to me. I might get the second one in a year or so once all of the bugs are worked out and it’s a lot cheaper than it is now.

    Since I finished Pokemon Moon I haven’t been gaming much lately. That’s about to change since I just got some mods for Grim Dawn, and Starbound. My wife is also making playthrough Divinity Original Sin with her again…

    I don’t see myself doing much gaming this weekend and my wallet hurts from going Christmas shopping so I can’t buy anything new for myself to enjoy this month :(.

    Should I keep an eye out for a Doom review from you? :)

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    1. I don’t think I’ll be reviewing Doom or Dishonored, since I finished them during an incredibly busy time for me. Pretty much what was said in this post is all I had time to do, haha.

      I have zero interest in Doom’s MP, but loved the campaign immensely. Dishonored took three tries to really sink its claws in, but I can definitely see why it didn’t the first two times. It’s kind of slow and doesn’t really evolve in to anything great until you unlock some of the more interesting powers and bone charms.

      I picked up Divinity on PS4 with the idea of co-opping it with my girlfriend, and I hear it’s incredible.

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      1. The original version didn’t have voice acting and that’s the one I prefer to be honest. The voice acting is terrible. The story is bad in both versions too. Never cared what was happening to the world. Hopefully part 2 is much better on that front. The gameplay is fantastic though.

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      2. I love Diablo III. If you’re playing that for the story you won’t find much enjoyment in it. Adventure mode is where Diablo III shines. aRPGs are more loot focused than story focused. They’re one of my favorite genres, but I can’t think of a single one that I’ve played over the years that has a good story. Divinity was praised for pretty much everything and it’s story is really forgettable to me. It tried to be funny, but it just annoyed me.

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  5. Congrats on your IRL school achievements, and nice gaming progress! I failed to get into Dishonored when I first played it. It’s on my list to try out again, someday. FFXV looks awesome but I know FFXVII will be out by the time I play it, lol.

    As for me, I finally went to Diamond City if Fallout 4! I’ve had the game since launch day… I’m focusing on the classic Metroid for the NES this weekend though.

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      1. Does it ever! I’ve been to Goodneighbor now too and even have Hancock as my companion. I was also shocked to find the ghoul version of the Vault-Tech Salesman in a hotel there. Thanks! I’m trying not to use the “NARPAS SWORD” code in Metroid…

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      2. We always used the JUSTIN BAILEY code as kids, and the one with all 9’s on the top row and all K’s on the bottom that starts you with upgrades and the game clear outfit.

        I had the most fun with Fallout just randomly exploring and doing the companion quests. The main story and the factions were pretty boring and repetitive.

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  6. I hope the mobile version of FF9 eventually comes to PS4. The port has those snazzy features you mention (speed turbo, god mode etc.)

    Sadly I haven’t played much this week, as I am in the process of moving house. Still reading Steins;Gate 0 (working towards the second ending) and whenever I have a free moment I play Marvel Puzzle Quest.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I played FFVIII again on Steam and those features are AWESOME, especially for someone who has already played through normally and just wants to revisit the story, world, characters, etc.

      Fingers crossed for the IX port. There’s a rumor that FF 1-9 are getting ported to PS4 as part of FF’s 30th anniversary. FF1-9 with trophy support and god mode toggles would be ace.

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