The hits keep on coming this year, but rather than running down the list of things hampering my mood this evening, let’s focus on the good instead, shall we? It’s the weekend. The bright flare shot in the darkness; the arms of the weekday providing a warm hug; the killer in your bedroom who thinks you’re pretty when you sleep.
How will you be spending it?
I’m incredibly busy this weekend, so I’m not sure how much gaming I’ll get in. I have a major essay on Haiti, a group discussion on Richard III, Act IV, a group discussion on the Dada artist movement, and two math assignments due by Sunday. Woof.
I did start A King’s Tale: Final Fantasy XV, now that it’s free. It’s a retro brawler that takes place before the events of the main game, wherein King Regis recounts one of his early adventures to a young Prince Noctis as a bedtime story. It’s a bit like The Princess Bride, where the narrative and the action often interrupt each other. Combat is more satisfying than I imagined from a free game, mixing light and heavy slashes, shield bashes, dodge rolls, magic, and companion summons to topple Final Fantasy XV’s bestiary in specific ways.
I hear it’s quite short, clocking in around 2 hours (which is perfect). It’s been fun so far.
Side-note: If you’re curious about my thoughts on Final Fantasy XV, you can check out my review right here.
I started playing through Catherine on PS3 to break away from my MMO juggling, but I put it aside after getting slammed with homework. I really loved the style of the characters and the game’s world design, and the story wasn’t at all what I anticipated. In short, you play as a guy unsure how to proceed with his current relationship. His longtime girlfriend, Katherine, keeps bringing up marriage and kids, and Vincent feels suddenly paralyzed at the mere thought of change. He heads to the local bar to drown his woes in alcohol, gets shitfaced, and wakes up the next morning next to Catherine. Not Katherine. One night stands are probably a bad idea, no?
It’s a visual novel/puzzle game hybrid, where you’re encouraged to make incredibly tough dialogue choices and live with their consequences. You can reply to text messages, interact with your friends across the table, and watch events unfold in both anime and in-game cut-scenes. The narrative bits are strongly written and do an excellent job making you feel for Vincent while understanding he’s just done something incredibly shitty.
The gameplay bits see him climbing towers made of blocks, pushing and pulling them at a frantic pace to avoid being massacred by whatever’s chasing you from the bottom.
Catherine is… different. But in a good way! It blends two genres together in a way that feels incredibly natural and has the expectedly chic Atlus aesthetic that apparently inspired the look of their upcoming JRPG, Persona 5. I can’t wait to get back to it.
Those of you that have followed me for a while know of my extreme disinterest in competitive multi-player games. However, a buddy of mine (and fellow podcaster Chuck Zodl) hooked me up with a copy of Overwatch on PS4. I’ve been having a pretty rough go of things lately, and since Overwatch cheered him up when he was down in the dumps, he thought maybe it’d get me out of my own personal funk.
I. hate. competitive. games. I just do. I no longer have a competitive bone in my body. The mere thought of playing against other people fills me with anxiety, and I have no idea why. I wasn’t like this as recent as ten years ago, where I’d happily jump into Call of Duty, Street Fighter, or NHL 2K7 and compete against others for hours on end. Now I just can’t do it.
However… Overwatch is pretty fucking good. There. I said it. I’ve only managed to squeeze in about 4 or 5 games, but I can see why everybody tends to love it. It’s easy to pick up and play, but clearly has a ton of depth as you explore the nuances of each character. Of the ones I’ve played thus far, I like Mei. A lot.
On the MMO front, my Control Wizard in Neverwinter is sitting at level 65. I’ve been jumping between Stronghold, Sharandar, and Elemental Evil dailies, and by then I’m usually out of time. It’s just important to keep up on the campaign progress to benefit from their time-consuming boon rewards.
Someone in my Alliance (a group of guilds, essentially) was kind enough to give me a Fire Archon, which is not only my class’s best active companion but can also be quite expensive to obtain. He had an abundance of the necessary currency and just told me to “pay it forward” when somebody else needs help. Guilds are all about camaraderie and altruism, and it appears I found a good home for my Control Wizard.
My girlfriend and I took a bit of a homework break last night and leveled together on our WoW Hunters. We quested through parts of The Hinterlands before moving along to Western and Eastern Plaguelands. I checked out the melee-focused Survival build and really enjoyed it, but went back to Beast Mastery for leveling purposes. I’ll probably switch to Survival permanently once I hit 100 and grab the artifact weapon. Right now my Hunter is only 42, so I still have quite a ways to go.
I still haven’t touched Elder Scrolls Online since the latest update. It’s not for lack of interest, though. I’m still looking forward to leveling out my Templar and checking out Morrowind in June.
That’ll about do it for me. Like I said, not much time this weekend. What about you folks? What are you getting into?