Friday, March 17, 2017

This Cannot Continue

Most of my time spent with 2010's NieR was spent staring slack-jawed at the screen. Between its bizarre genre shifts, oppressively dark anime-esque narrative, and patchwork mechanics, there was a fascinating and bizarre game. It indulges itself in almost every flaw and merit allowed for a video game, all while weaving a weird tale about humanity's extinction and your role in it. It became one of the few games that I've played that has aged as well as Metal Gear Solid 2[1] in terms of what it's actually doing as a video-game.

(*this is your spoiler warning*)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

“A Final Fantasy game for fans and first-timers.”

I guess this is sentence will count as your spoiler alert.

As of last week, I’m pretty confident that I’ve hit the point where I’ve seen everything that I think I’m going to want to see in Final Fantasy XV’s universe. We’ll see if one of the updates that Square recently detailed will interest me enough to boot it back up, but I’m skeptical as of now.

Final Fantasy XV is simultaneously a confusing clusterfuck of disappointments and a handful of intriguing steps for the series. What began in 2009 for me was being sold on the premise of something I’ve wanted since I was a child, a Final Fantasy game with a real-time combat system (even if it was only a spin-off at the time). Instead it entered a prolonged state of development hell and was eventually re-purposed as Final Fantasy XV.

That ‘process’ took ten years and what we ended up with is a mess as far as I’m concerned. It’s not an offensively bad mess, but definitely one I’m flabbergasted whenever I just sit and think about it.
What it was, what it is and what it could have been are so separate it’s fantastic.

So what is it?

2016 Biggest Surprise, 2017's Biggest Hope

I definitely did not expect this to be my personal game of 2016.

Dragon Quest Builders is a game that while flawed, wears those blemishes on its sleeve. It upends the lore of the first game in the series and runs with it to deliver one of the more endearing times I've had with a game this year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Variety Hour | Eating My Words

Some brief updates and musings on a few of the rabbit holes I've jumped down over the past few month.

Final Fantasy XV

More ironic than a franchise called “Final Fantasy” being one of the longest-running gaming franchises in existence is this new endeavor Square-Enix has made to stubbornly turn entry since XIII into its own platform. Though some good came out of the weird mess that was who-knows-how-many-games-with-Lightning, there’s clearly something counterproductive at work here, and it’s something SE refuses to acknowledge. FFXIV I will give a pass because it’s an MMO, but I’ve already started to see the signs in FFXV’s production as well. I still plan on giving the game a chance whenever it releases, but I stopped actively caring about it years ago, along with Beyond Good & Evil 2 and The Last Guardian. There’s a reason why plenty of us are so enamored with Final Fantasy XIV and it’s because it’s actively showcasing what made the series unique and loveable before X happened, which is the point where the series began relying on a weird and heavy-handed gravitas it never earned in titles past IX (again I’m exempting XI and XIV because their natures are very different). Right now, XV looks like it’s going to be the same mess that XIII was initially, which isn’t surprising but kind of sad, especially since Square clearly is reacting to this (even if they don’t realize it), by doing this platforming of single worlds and things like dragging VII out of its casket for a remake. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if I wound up enjoying World of Final Fantasy more than whatever XV eventually presents as, hell I wouldn’t surprised if I enjoyed Heavensward’s next patch more than I do XV.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ansel - Mirror's Edge Catalyst (2016)

I recently built myself a machine primarily aimed at making use of NVIDIA's new Ansel technology[1]. Mirror's Edge Catalyst was updated yesterday, becoming the first game to make use of it. Unfortunately there is no super resolution feature or other whistles available for it as of now, but a solid freecam is always welcome as far as I'm concerned. Expect similar albums to turn up making use of this in the coming months[2]. Make sure to click on the images if you wish to see the full resolution (4096 x 2304), the full album will be posted below[3].