Friday! Video games! Let’s talk!
We’re nearing the end of October, which always makes me a little sad. It’s my favorite month with my favorite holiday, bringing with it my favorite seasonal weather. Not to mention, everyone is in the mood for horror stuff when they normally aren’t, which always makes me happy.
Anyway, video games! What are you folks playing this weekend?
On deck for me this weekend, I’ll be juggling…
The House in Fata Morgana (Vita/PS4)
This lengthy visual novel is narrated by a seemingly immortal maid through the eyes of a mysterious mansion over the period of multiple generations and inhabitants. It’s as bizarre as it sounds.
Apparently, the mansion appears to those who need it most, be it a starving beggar or a monstrous, blood-starved beast. Each chapter acts as their story, with the first few not having much in the way of player engagement. I hear chapter 3 is when things open up more and that’s about where I’m at right now.
The narrative so far is expertly written and always has me looking forward to reading the next page. It’s sublime. The soundtrack is also the best I’ve heard in 2019 and I can’t wait to share more about it whenever I get around to reviewing it.
For now, if you like creepy stories, gothic art styles, and weird French (maybe?) Classical music arrangements, The House in Fata Morgana is probably in your wheelhouse. Well, not “probably.” It is. I’m absolutely loving it so far.
The Alliance Alive HD Remaster (PS4)
I’ve only managed to squeeze in about three hours into The Alliance Alive’s new HD remaster and I’m definitely enjoying NIS’s JRPG quite a bit.
Story-wise, daemons have divided the world using a mysterious object and rule over humans with their underlings, the beastfolk. The game begins with Azura, a young woman, conversing with her friend Galil about wanting nothing more than to see what a blue sky looks like (since their world is blanketed in overcast and rain). Rumors circulate of a painting held within a far off building that showcases said sky and the group adventures off to find it.
Immediately following their discovery, though, they encounter a daemon who blinds Azura after she views the painting with her own eyes. At least she got her wish, right?
I honestly forget what my goal is right now since I’ve been spending time grinding out battles. The Alliance Alive has a great progression system where every character can equip every different weapon type and using said weapons in combat has a chance to unlock various new skills. There are no traditional level-ups either. Rather, winning battles has a chance to award characters with increased health and mana pools at random.
TL;DR – battling monsters is always rewarding.
The Council (PS4)
This narrative adventure game has been recommended to me countless times by different social media friends and I finally caved when it went on sale last week during PlayStation’s Halloween sale. The five-episode season pass is only $8 USD for those of you who are interested.
In short, your mother is the head of an occult-based secret society who has their fingers in everyone’s Kool-Aid, and one day she goes missing while attending an aristocratic party on a faraway island mansion. You play as her son, who visits the rock in the middle of the ocean, with the goal of investigating her disappearance.
As it turns out, only a few people knew she was even there and all of the guests are in one way connected to your mother on a personal or business level. They all have their own motives as well.
The Council is very much a better version of a Telltale adventure game, in my opinion. It has a progression and class system that offers many different ways to approach the game’s conversational choices and scripted events, and after having played the first episode with each of the three classes, I can see the appeal of replaying the entire thing more than once.
The three classes (detective, occultist, and diplomat) have their own skills to unlock, with detective focusing on stuff like psychology and logic, occultist dealing with booksmarts and subterfuge to manipulate people, and diplomat being the aristocratic branch focusing on etiquette and politics.
You’re given a specific number of skill points to use during each chapter, with unlocked skills using them up whenever you decide to use them. You can level up skills to reduce or remove their skill point cost or refill them by using consumable items.
It’s a really neat RPG system coupled with a super intriguing occult mystery, and it’s basically everything I’ve ever wanted a Telltale game to be. It’s not just choice with consequences — it’s giving you the tools to overcome skill checks and challenges in different ways every single playthrough.
I’m nearing the end of episode two and look forward to playing more this weekend whenever I can. So far, I’m *very* impressed.
What about you? Any big gaming plans for the final weekend in October?