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So About Them “Videogames”, December 2013

December 18, 2013

Hello folks. Video game monthly time.
Let’s see… As far as news is concerned, I guess the only big thing worth noting would be the numerous Persona announcements late last month (with the most exciting one clearly being Persona 5), though I suppose at this point, it’s hardly news.
I’m curious whether Dancing All Night and Shadow of the Labyrinth will see Western releases, though I feel pretty confident in saying that Persona 5 most likely will. The question with Persona 5 is whether it’ll be PS3 exclusive, or if they’ll put it out over here on the 360 as well (as they did with P4A and Catherine).
It will be interesting to see what happens.

 

What I’ve been playing:

250px-USA_MP_FrontMario’s Picross:
Talk about an unexpected gem from the past.. This game was one of this month’s Club Nintendo rewards, so I snatched it up and have seen much difficulty in putting it down since. I’ve been enjoying it so much in fact, that it has pushed me towards purchasing a more current version of the game off of the eShop.
I’m sure they’re still around, but it seems as though there was a period in time in which puzzle games such as these were the go-to games to have for portable systems. Tetris immediately comes to mind. But with more powerful hardware, I suppose the desire for puzzle games has fallen in favor of something a little more complex.
There are tons of puzzles included, and since each one can be completed in a matter of minutes (save for some of the later ones, which get pretty challenging), or can be partially completed here or there, I’ve been finding myself keeping my 3DS at arms reach, and reaching over to take it out of sleep mode whenever I have a minute here or there.
“It’s addicting.” is a thing I feel like only 60 year olds say about video games, but what can I say… it’s addicting. It goes to show that you don’t need fancy graphics or complicated mechanics to make a fun video game.

 

grfs_x360Ghost Recon: Future Soldier:
I like how many of the animations are more stylish than they are practical, and overall this game seems as though it is striving more for “coolness” than it is “realism”.
While military shooters are sort of weird when you sit down and think about them, I think a lot of the moral haziness involved with seeking enjoyment out of something attempting to simulate (even very, very, very loosely) modern combat could be alleviated if more of them detached themselves from reality in some of the same ways Future Soldier does.
It isn’t an especially pretty to look at game. It’s detailed, but very grungy looking, which is sort of unfortunate. They do a great deal with all of their augmented reality stuff not only from a player heads up interface perspective but also a world-filling one, and while some of the huge white text explaining objectives in single player reminds me of Splinter Cell: Conviction (and offhand I’m unsure which of the two came first), it’s different enough to feel like it’s doing its own thing, and as said above, lends itself to style quite well.
The multiplayer is where most of my time has been spent though, and since the movement and gunplay feels really nice in Future Soldier, the multiplayer is just as fun to play as the Campaign, this game could have benefited from some better map design.
They’re diverse looking and seem balanced enough considering they’re mostly asymmetrical, but the flaw with these maps is that there are very few routes out of each teams designated spawn area, which causes the vast majority of matches to devolve into one team sitting outside of the other’s spawn and preventing them from getting out into the map to complete objectives.
Being on the giving end of this makes the matches quite boring, and being on the receiving end makes them frustrating.
It’s pretty rare to find a match where spawn camping isn’t an issue, and the whole issue is unfortunate, as when this happens, matches can be pretty intense.
It isn’t a bad game. In a world over-saturated to the brim with military shooters, it’s cool to see one try to do things a little differently, it’s just unfortunate that the multiplayer isn’t as good as it should’ve been.

 

box_large_leagueoflegendsbox1League of Legends:
I’ve also been playing this new game called League of Legends. Maybe you’ve heard of it?
League, or moba games in general I guess I should say, are odd things. In contrast to the above-mentioned Picross, which has a super tight player enjoyment feedback loop, moba games not only require a tremendous amount of time to play (with games taking anywhere from 20 to 60+ minutes to complete), but I also feel like the room for player enjoyment is much more limited as well. It takes a large portion of each match to get your character into fighting shape, and even then, it takes only a matter of seconds (if that) for champions to die in a fight, especially when they’re lop-sided.
It’s all about teamwork though, so it makes sense that someone like myself would get less out of a moba than someone with a group of teammates which they can regularly bounce around with.
And even if I don’t always enjoy my time playing League of Legends, it is always fun to hop on every once in awhile just to see what mechanics have changed or what new champions they’ve added (The most recent one is a very samurai-esque swordsman named Yasuo, voiced by none other than Akihiko Sanada himself, Liam O’Brien, so naturally I had to try him out.)
I’ll be very interested to see what Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm ends up being. One of my biggest gripes with mobas is that they’re all pretty much the same game, with one large three laned map with towers and the like. From what little I’ve read about Heroes, Blizzard seems to be doing some new and interesting things.

 

I haven’t been spending as much time with games as I used to, and with things being very slow as far as releases go, I’m not especially happy with where video game monthlies are at the moment. A new year is a good opportunity to try new things, so maybe I’ll think about how to alter how/when I talk about games in the future.
The anime monthly will indeed come this month, but I’m unsure when. I think the last Fall series I’m following that isn’t going to be 20+ episodes which will end this month is Little Busters! Refrain, so I suppose I’ll wait until that wraps up to post the monthly. Then there’s the yearly retrospective coming as well. The next few weeks are sure to be plenty busy.
I’ll see you then!

From → Games

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  1. Spitz’s Year-end Wrap Up 2013 | Spitz's Soapbox

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