Friday! Video games! Hurricanes! Let’s talk!
I reside in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina, which is about to get its ass kicked by a hurricane. We’re far enough from the coast that we’re not in danger of property damage or anything; just a bunch of rain and strong winds. Still, we’re likely to lose power at some point and that’ll put a damper on things.
I prepared, though! My Switch is fully charged, but that thing’s battery life in handheld mode is absolutely abysmal so I charged my 3DS — the same 3DS that will no longer hold a charge for more than 2 or 3 hours. So I also charged my Vita. Curse you, batteries!
As for what I’ve been up to, I finished up Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD on PS4. As you probably know, I’m in the Pro Final Fantasy XV camp, having loved the game immensely and awarding it my personal Game of the Year when it released.
Pocket Edition is a neutered version of the core game, dumping the open world exploration, monster hunts, driving, fishing, photography, and some of the deeper combat options in favor of a linear, direct 12-hour experience. It tells the same story and the combat is still fun, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who hasn’t played the core game unless the things I mentioned were missing aren’t usually things you’re into with these types of games.
Overall, I thought it was a neat way to revisit one of my favorite games and the runtime was short enough to fit it in between meatier RPGs.
Speaking of which, I started Ni no Kuni 2 like I said I wasn’t going to. My original plan was to kill time until today when Xenoblade Chronicles 2’s prequel DLC, Torna: ~The Golden Country~, releases on the Switch. For most story-driven games, DLC doesn’t seem to add much. Torna is said to be the length of a full game, clocking in around 40 hours. That’s fucking insane.
I loved Xenoblade Chronicles 2, though, so I’m all in here — I also bought the expansion pass early on, so it’s already paid for. They picked a great group of secondary characters from the original story to give players a deeper dive into.
But yeah, here I am 12 hours into Ni no Kuni 2. I’m on chapter 4 of 9, which is when the game introduces kingdom building. It was recommended by folks online to just mainline the story quests until this point because the rest of the game is quite time-consuming.
Backing up a bit, Ni no Kuni 2 focuses on a young boy named Evan. His father has recently passed away and he’s the heir to the throne. However, the mouse-folk his father aligned with have started a coup to rid the world of Evan and rule the kingdom themselves instead.
Evan is pushed as the game’s “hero” character, but you’re introduced to an older gentleman named Roland after a batshit insane opening cutscene in which the president of the United States is transported to Evan’s fantasy world after a terrorist attack in New York City. I was as baffled as you are right now, trust me.
Anyway, Roland decides to stay in this fantasy world and help Evan rebuild his rightful kingdom elsewhere. You earn a steady influx of currency used to build shops, barracks, fishing huts, mines, etc., and then scour the world looking for people to recruit. Each new citizen has their own specialties and by placing them in the proper building they’ll provide faster research, better items, and more. It’s pretty in-depth and these types of things aren’t really my jam, but I’ve been absolutely hooked since the opening cutscene.
Combat is a far departure from the original Ni no Kuni on the PS3, which was a traditional turn-based affair in which you issue commands through a menu and recruit monster-like things to battle with, like Pokemon. The sequel drops that method entirely, instead focusing on a Tales-style action-based combat system that lets you bring up to four little ghostly things into battle and provide beneficial effects to your party (healing, attacking, etc). Fans of the original may be disappointed in this, but as a fan of the Tales games, I feel right at home.
If our power stays on, this is likely what I’ll stick with over the weekend. Knowing how big Xenoblade’s DLC is, I want to stay far away from it until Ni no Kuni 2 is finished. Then it’s on to Dragon Quest XI.
I did receive a game to review by the name of Punch Line, which is based on an anime that I’ve never even heard of, but the premise was absurd enough that it immediately caught my attention. You play as a boy who faints whenever he sees panties and if he sees to many panties the world explodes. That’s basically it.
I don’t know what kind of game it is, but maybe I’ll find out this weekend.
What about you, folks? Any gaming plans over the next few days?