It’s the First Freakin’ Weekend of 2018! So What are You Playing?

Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!

wk12
*image via cagesideseats.com

I’ve spent the last few days in wrestling mecca, as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s annual  Wrestlemania-esque show Wrestle Kingdom aired at the lovely hour of 3am EST on Wednesday morning.

After that incredible extravaganza, in which Kenny Omega squared off against the legendary Chris Jericho in a “dream match” and Naito main evented against Okada, this morning was New Japan Dash — a three-hour follow-up to Wrestle Kingdom where the match card is a mystery until the show begins, and the battles within typically lead in to the promotion’s upcoming feuds.

The Bullet Club seems to be imploding as Omega defended his former Golden Lovers tag partner Kota Ibushi, Los Ingobernables de Japon remains dominant, and holy shit is Minoru Suzuki even more terrifying after losing his hair to Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom.

I… love Japanese wrestling.

episodeignis

On the games front, I finished off Final Fantasy XV’s latest DLC chapter, Episode Ignis. This was easily my favorite character DLC, both in terms of storytelling and gameplay.

Ignis wields his spelldaggers, which can be shifted between fire, lightning, and ice damage. Each has their own specific function, as fire deals increased damage to single targets, ice dishes out area-of-effect punishment, and lightning allows the Keeper of the New Recipeh to zip between distant targets. This, in addition to his ultimate Total Clarity ability and Dragoon jump, felt really, really good.

Oh, and he gets a hookshot. Yep.

In regards to the story, there are definite spoilers so I don’t recommend playing it until you’ve beaten the core game. Episode Ignis features three endings (one true, two non-canon) and really improves on the character growth of Ravus and Ardyn. If you were ever curious as to why Ignis went blind late in the game, then you need to play this. No excuses. The lead-up is epic.

rime

I also finished up the puzzle platformer Rime last night, which felt like Ico if it looked like The Witness. The characters and story were a bit unremarkable and the puzzles weren’t very imaginative, but the world design was pretty fantastic and the game was never *not* fun. I just didn’t get sucked in as much as I’d hoped, given my adoration of Ico and The Last Guardian (different developer, but Rime was clearly inspired by Ueda’s work).

I missed a handful of collectibles and costumes, but I don’t think I’ll revisit it anytime soon. It’s definitely one of those “solid 7/10” games and a nice, short experience to knock out in a weekend. I was just hoping for something more emotionally engaging.

I have Hob, Pyre, and Observer installed right now, but I’m not sure which to start next. Hob is another puzzle platformer-type game, so I’ll probably roll with one of the other two.

pyre

Pyre is part visual novel, part fantasy basketball, which seems like an odd pairing. I loved Bastion and Transistor, though, so I have high hopes going in (yay, Supergiant Games!). Observer is a first-person sci-fi horror game, which seems like a nice palate cleanser after taking in the vibrant, colorful world of Rime for 5 hours.

On the reviews front, I’ve fallen behind because of the holidays and I’d really like to start rolling some of these out sooner rather than later. I’m considering doing bite-sized reviews for the smaller games, like Slain and Morphite, because they’re still fresh in my mind but I don’t have the focus right now to deliver a 1,000+ word critique. Smaller experiences don’t always need a full-length review, though. If I can still get my points across in far less time, then why not?

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One of my goals this year is to read more books. I used to read all the time, but as I focused more on writing and freelancing, my drive diminished.

I started reading Brent Hendrick’s memoir A Long Day at the End of the World, which chronicles his pilgrimage to a crematory site in Georgia where America’s largest mass desecration took place. Brent’s father was one of the nearly 400 bodies found discarded by a local funeral director, and his family assumed his remains were cremated, as someone’s ashes resided in the urn they received.

It’s a dark read with many layers, which makes for an interesting dose of non-fiction. He goes into the history of his father’s hometown, which was flooded in order to geographically alter the landscape, and how that parallels his home in life and death. Brent had a rocky relationship with his dad, which not only made grieving difficult — something I can fully relate to — but was unapparent until he began his pilgrimage.

Good stuff.

Anyway, what about you folks? Got any big plans this weekend?

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27 thoughts on “It’s the First Freakin’ Weekend of 2018! So What are You Playing?

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  1. Making progress on “Sébastien Loeb Rally EVO” (2016). Began the World Championship today in Monte Carlo. Each rally takes place over four days, with two stages on each day. And, because I like role-play, I’m playing in real time. That means two stages over each four-day gap in my week (Friday – Monday). So far I’m leading. I’m even keeping a spead-sheet on my stats. (“That’s dedication!” – the Well-Red Mage). Plus, it means I can plan my gaming time, which I find more necessary as I become busier.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t play a lot of racing games, but this kind of reminds me of Test Drive: Le Mans on Dreamcast, where you could actually play the 24-hour race in real time (with pausing and save mechanics, of course).

      I hear you on planning things out. I try to keep a few shorter games on hand to squeeze in when I have bursts of free time and usually have a meatier RPG going as my top priority.

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  2. I’m going to try to finish up Mario Odyssey this weekend even though I’m (optionally) working overtime (the money. I needs it); continue playing Etrian Odyssey V, which I still have quite a lot to get through, and I want to finish watching Cry’s LP of What Remains of Edith Finch, which is pretty damn awesome (and something I totally could’ve played myself). I downloaded Grim Fandango on GOG, which I only heard of because someone told me it was free on GOG, and I downloaded Doki Doki Literature Club on Steam. I’m trying to limit the number of games I play at a time, and do a more finish then start rotation rather then try to cram 6 games into my time schedule. I think I’m going to cap it at 2 or 3 with only one being an RPG, so once I finish Mario, I’ll pick up Assassin’s Creed again, and continue FFV once I’m done with EOV.

    Haha I’m actually cutting down on the number of books I’m reading. Because I”m insane I was doing seven at a time, but I cut it down to four with one being a graphic novel, which is way easier. Still chugging through Death Note, which is phenomenal. That book you’re on sounds like something that would cause me to have a not good day. What an absolutely horrifying situation.

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    1. Woo, Mario! I’ve been itching to go back and collect moons but Xenoblade 2 is still in my console and I’m incredibly lazy. Switching carts is hard, okay!

      I keep hearing Edith Finch is great. I wasn’t super into their previous game, Unfinished Swan, so maybe I’ll take a page out of your book and just watch Cry play it.

      I started Doki Doki Literature Club and dig it so far. I hear it’s best to crank out in one sitting but I ran into a distraction and haven’t made it back yet. It’s been a few days so I may just start her over.

      I loved the Death Note anime so I wouldn’t mind checking out the manga. Right now I’m reading Junji Ito’s horror manga Gyo, which is fuuuuuucked up. I saw that his works were being adapted into an anime so I’m playing catch up. Still have to read Uzumaki and Tomie. I can’t juggle books like I do games, though, so it’s slow going.

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      1. Are you liking XC2 now? I was at Best Buy today with my gift cards, and I considered it, but in the end just went for FFXV and some Switch and Steam cards. I probably would’ve grabbed FFXIV, but they only had Stormblood, and you have to have Realm Reborn first. Oh! I went for that $30 gamer club thing BB has, because why the hell not? I used my gift cards and wound up only paying maybe $10 more in my total due to the discount I got on XV. I’m sure people might scoff at my buying it, but I don’t care. Whenever something has such mixed reviews, I always want to check it out myself.

        Edith Finch was amazing. I honestly could’ve played it myself. I *could* be considered a walking simulator, but there are some pretty cool mechanics to it, plus a whole lot of unanswered questions. I think there were only four videos. I just started watching his LP of Okami, but I’m not sure how I feel about that one yet.

        I’m guessing DDLC isn’t a very long game then. I keep seeing videos on YouTube about it, so I’m dodging spoilers like a champ lol.

        Haha I was talking to someone NYE about Death Note and he HATED the anime, but since he also thinks FFVII is overrated, I’m not really taking his pov too seriously :p This was the anime not the manga, though I’ve heard they’re damn close.

        I read Gyo and yeaaaaaah. Fucked up is the best way to describe it. It’s like…I don’t even know how to explain that. I can juggle books, but I suck at juggling games lol. With books I use my to-do list, and I’ve tried the same with games, but for some reason I’m just terrible at ones I have to play on a console. If it’s handheld, I’m all over it, because I can pretty much just pick those up LIKE a book (though it’s been a week or so since I’ve play Odyssey). I’m going to try to just stick with two games at a time and just one RPG. I need to set up my PS4 so I can jump back into Assassin’s Creed, though I might just play that on my hubby’s system since I started it there.

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        1. I *love* XV. It’s probably tied for VIII as my favorite. Hopefully you find something to enjoy!

          I wouldn’t say I’m liking XC2, but I don’t hate it right now. Still have a few complaints and can’t be bothered to play for longer than 30-45 minutes at a time.

          Okami is supposed to be fantastic and Zelda-like in a Twilight Princess kinda way. I never played it, though.

          A lot of anime fans don’t seem to like the stuff I latched onto, like Death Note, Sword Art Online, and Accel World. To each their own, of course.

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          1. Oh sweet. We have pretty similar opinions with games insofar as I don’t hate anything you’ve recommended lol.

            It sounds like you’re committed to playing it, though, so hopefully it’ll get better.

            It DEFINITELY has a Twilight Princess feel to it. That’s why it seemed so familiar.

            Like everything anime has its elitism, too *sigh* I keep hearing/seeing things about Sword Art Online, but I couldn’t tell if it was a video game or an anime. There’s this FFVII/SAO AMV that’s fucking amazing in how seamlessly it transitions between the two.

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            1. If you have Netflix, they have all of SAO. It’s cheesy, but it’s about a kid who escapes life to a VR MMO and gets stuck in the game (along with all the other players). The only way to exit is to kill the final boss, but dying in SAO kills you IRL. The first arc was great (or, at least I thought), but the 2nd arc is… weird. Then the sequel, SAO II, I’ve never seen. But I’ve played all 3 games and enjoy them as a fan of the source material, but they’re flawed to hell and back.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s cool about the Japan Pro Wrestling. I haven’t kept in touch with wrestling for some time, but the thought of Chris Jericho wrestling there sounds appealing to watch. Theres some match on YouTube from way back in the day from Japan of Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit incredible stuff and I love how their crowd really appreciates the technical side of things.

    As for my games, I’m plowing theougb ME Andromeda. Coming back to it after some time and having to restart my file has actually somehow made me enjoy it more than my first ttime through.

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    1. Yeah, WWE has been pretty rough for years now but NJPW is consistently good. If you like wrestling and grew tired of the soap opera nonsense, then check out NJPWworld.com. They have some free shows you can stream to check it out. I sub for ~$10 USD per month.

      I’m glad you’re digging Andromeda more this time around. It took me two attempts to get sucked in, granted my first attempt wasn’t ruined by cloud storage issues like yours was.

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  4. I also watched Wrestle Kingdom and it was amazing. That Jericho/Omega match was fantastic. If Wrestlemania is half as good this year I’ll be happy.

    I’m playing through Skyrim again and writing about my adventures over on my blog. I’m also back into Total War and I want to play more Xenoblade, but I’ve been ignoring it for Skyrim this last week. So… I’ll be on Skyrim this weekend and watching the playoffs :).

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        1. If you get bored, cycle back around to July on their website and watch all the G1 stuff. It was packed with great matches. The G1 Special in USA was 2 days of quality matches too. Omega vs Ishii in that one is one of the best matches I have ever seen.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’d love to watch NJPW, but I know the subscription would be a waste as I wouldn’t spend enough time watching it!

    I’ve just finished a game called Innerspace for review, so I’m at a loose end now. Might start Danganronpa 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely consume enough to warrant the $10 USD monthly sub fee, haha. My GF and I are both obsessed with NJPW and there is so much content to stream at NJPWworld.com.

      I have Danganronpa on my Vita but picked up 1+2 Reload on PS4 for cheap so I may be delving back into that world here soon once I finish up Final Fantasy Type-0 HD for this FF collaboration project.

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  6. More Splatoon 2!, Really enjoying it a lot. I would have loved to see the Omega/Y2J match but I had no way of seeing it. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they reference it whenever they have Chris come back to WWE. He cleared it with the company before doing it. So I’m sure they would at least give it a passing mention.

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  7. I bought RiME and What Remains of Edith Finch yesterday, so one of those will be next up I think. Observer and Hob are also on my list so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of them!

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    1. RiME was pretty fun, if not a bit forgettable. Definitely worth playing, though! Edith Finch has been on my wishlist since launch, but I keep forgetting about it whenever I have the required free time.

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  8. The book sounds quite awesome. I should read it as well! Hmm but let me think what did I play last weekend…. Okay I now, I played Rocket league, Playerunknowns battlegrounds and some Human Fall Flat! I almost finished Human Fall Flat which will make it the first game I will finish in 2018 haha!

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