Jun 072016
 

Status: Finished DLC up to Maria, got tired of it, completed main game (Moon Presence ending) Most Intriguing Idea: Guns don’t kill people, they stun them. Best Design Decision: The health-regain mechanic Worst Design Decision: Vast, overwhelming grayness Summary: I bounced right off of Bloodborne‘s introductory segment—a textbook case of tedious bullshit passing as difficulty—the first time I tried it, but I returned to the game after Dark Souls 3 because the games seemed to be communicating on a mechanical level (seemingly to DS3‘s detriment). Bloodborne favors pairing conservative strategies of engagement with aggressive tactics of combat, and playing DS3 [Read more…]

Tales of Zestiria

 Role Playing Games, Short Take  Comments Off on Tales of Zestiria
Nov 092015
 

Status: Completed Most Intriguing Idea: A Tales game where the hero isn’t a moron! Best Design Decision: Sorey’s palette of elemental attacks. Worst Design Decision: The water temple, which is just awful, continuing a proud tradition. Summary: Look. Zestiria is still a Tales game, all right? Its themes are not exactly deep, its villain has stolen his motivation and possibly his jacket from Final Fantasy X’s Seymour, and the game can barely keep its lore straight. Zestiria’s main break comes in the tactical qualities of combat. In almost every Tales game to date, it has been possible to win by [Read more…]

Foundering in Skellige’s Seas

 Critique, Open World Action Games, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Foundering in Skellige’s Seas
Aug 182015
 
Foundering in Skellige's Seas

With different degrees of success, Velen and Novigrad use their structure, their quests, and their storylines as an integrated whole to project Geralt’s inner life into the game world. In Velen The Wild Hunt airs Geralt’s worries that his “family” won’t fit back together after their long time apart. In Novigrad the game threatens the relationships that have already been working in The Witcher games. Once he reaches Skellige, the game turns its attention back to Yennefer and Ciri. In this region, however, the game loses coherence and as a result feels much more ordinary and even dull. Skellige’s failure [Read more…]

Fear and Loathing in Novigrad

 Critique, Open World Action Games, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Fear and Loathing in Novigrad
Aug 122015
 
Fear and Loathing in Novigrad

I called the emotion Geralt feels in Velen “anxiety” because he’s really fretting about something he hasn’t got anymore, and wondering if he can get it back. This sense of dispossession is shared most specifically by the Bloody Baron, but it broadly afflicts everyone in Velen, whose old lives have been swept away by the war and may not return. Velen is a land afraid that things will not get better. In contrast, Novigrad is defined by its fear that things will get worse, and it attempts to inflict this fear on Geralt. Velen and Novigrad are shown separately on [Read more…]