On Mass Effect Andromeda

On Mass Effect Andromeda

Posted by on Oct 2, 2017 in Commentary, featured, PS4 | 0 comments

Mass Effect: Andromeda is a half-baked mess. What was supposed to be a new and exciting adventure turned out to be a broken, limited game with lackluster characters and no compelling story. It’s like Bioware suddenly forgot what makes Mass Effect what it is after releasing the original trilogy.

I’m going to start with what they got half-right: the action. Combat in Mass Effect features third-person shooting mixed with the spellcasting. The game does not call it spellcasting, of course, but when characters are throwing fire and lightning from their hands then it’s just semantics. Andromeda got rid of character classes so players can buy any ability they want, which is great because mixing and matching abilities is something the series has never done before.

The problem is that the game limits usable abilities to three. Yes, only three. This design choice does not make any sense. First, what was the point of making all abilities available if you can only use three of them? Second, previous Mass Effect games had no such limit, even while running on last-gen consoles! Dragon Age Inquisition, another Bioware title, also allowed multiple ability usage.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Read More

On Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker

On Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in 3DS, Commentary, featured |

 

I went into Record Breaker almost blind. I knew it was a Shin Megami Tensei spinoff and that it plays like a tactical role-playing game. That’s it. Now that I’ve finished one playthrough, my thoughts are a mess right now but I’m going to try to summarize them as best as I can.

I found the Persona elements surprising if a little forced. Once again, the protagonist is almost a blank slate. Choosing the responses that play it cool and make large leaps of logic usually result in a relationship boost. It can be off-putting at times, but the latter can also be said of any Persona protagonist. What makes it rewarding in Persona is the series’ dedication to relationship-building. Record Breaker makes a half-baked effort at it, with matching results.

Demon fusion is fun thanks to the skill transfers. I found myself going back and recreating some of the lower level demons in order to give them late-game skills, ones that they would not normally have access to. I was mostly doing it for the ridiculousness of it.

Demon fusion also feels more important than it is in Persona because I wasn’t only concerned with the protagonist’s demons. I had to make sure that everyone’s minions were up to par. It was tedious at first but eventually got better once the interesting skills started appearing.

The plot was standard SMT fare. That means it’s bleak as hell. But I’ve always found it difficult to take anything chibi seriously. Sure, the characters are drawn like normal people during dialogue scenes, but anytime things switch to gameplay mode then things turn chibi. Or chibi-ish. Chibi-like? Anyway, you get the idea. And yes, I’m aware that horrifying things happen to some of those super-deformed figures. I remain unaffected.

By the way, I only played the Septentrione Arc.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Read More

Persona 5 and Fighting Games

Persona 5 and Fighting Games

Posted by on May 21, 2017 in 3DS, Commentary, featured, PS4 |

Finishing Persona 5 created a Persona itch so I scratched that with Persona Q. That game was release in 2014. I bought it then, played it for a bit then ignored it until recently. Now that I finally finished it, I now know that Etrian Odyssey-style floor puzzles are not my thing. I don’t have enough patience to figure them out by myself.

Playing on the 3DS led to purchasing two more games for it: Bravely Second and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Since they’re both old games I got them at a lower price so that’s nice. I haven’t decided which one I’ll play first.

As much as I love Street Fighter, my interest in Street Fighter V is waning. I bought it on launch, gave it a year to improve, and now I think not only did it not do that, I believe it got worse. I don’t like the direction that the game is going.

With that said, both Tekken 7 and Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 are looking good though. I’m also waiting for Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 to go on sale.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Read More

A Dishonored 2 Essay

A Dishonored 2 Essay

Posted by on Nov 25, 2016 in Commentary, featured, PS4, Reviews |

Overall, Dishonored 2 is a proper sequel. The core gameplay from the original is kept intact so if you loved those mechanics then you’re in for a treat. If you didn’t then there’s nothing in this installment that will make you change your mind.

Dishonored 2 is the sequel to 2012’s stealth action game about a man falsely accused of assassinating an empress. The new installment follows the footsteps of the original so closely that they’re within arms-reach of each other.

Similar to the first Dishonored you can cast spells, use weapons and tools to traverse the environment and fight your enemies. Corvo and Emily have different powers so there are incentives for at least two playthroughs. There’s also the option to play with no powers, giving cause for a third. Some of the spells are usable in lethal and non-lethal ways, so those who prefer the latter won’t feel too restrained in their restraint. The high/low chaos system returns and, thankfully, not only affects the ending and the environment but NPCs as well.

The plot is unimaginative. It’s a rehash of the original: you are removed from your position of power and then you go out to set things right. Even the false accusation of murder is back, although this time you’re allegedly responsible for several deaths instead of one. And similar to the original, you take out a key target per level with the option to do it lethally or not. From a plot and gameplay standpoint, Dishonored 2 plays it very safe. You get more of the same—a lot of it.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Read More

Backlog Clearing: Dying Light: The Following

Backlog Clearing: Dying Light: The Following

Posted by on Nov 21, 2016 in Commentary, featured |

I had trouble finding new, interesting games after finishing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided so I thought it would be a good idea to look backwards. I ended up getting Dying Light: The Following. I played the original but never got around to finishing it because I found it tiring. And I mean that literally. The game is constantly spawning zombies so even after clearing an area of them, you still have to stay vigilant. Now, I know that’s how things are supposed to work in the zombie genre and Dying Light pulls that off magnificently. However, while it’s fun to fight an endless horde of zombies, it’s still exhausting in the long run.

Learning from that, I tried changing my approach to the game: I ran more than I fought. I thought that at least running had a destination, which meant I would eventually stop. Adopting that method allowed me to actually finish the main game.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
Read More