This week I played a demo for a highly anticipated game and a game that is often overlooked when considering the best games ever made.
Final Fantasy XV – Windows Edition: (Now available as of 3/6/2018)
I played my life away on the ps4 version of this game, I loved it! Sure, the story wasn’t perfect and it had it quarks, but the continuous stream of updates and DLC have certainly improved this game. For starters, Final Fantasy XV is the latest entry in the Final Fantasy franchise that makes some huge strides in the right direction. The game features a big and beautiful world with plenty to explore. The combat is now 100% real time with an emphasis on high paced action laced with strategically timed skills. The summons are totally bad@$$, the crafting is an interesting addition, and the skill trees are simple but well balanced. The game has made MANY changes since launch (discussed below). But, how does the Windows experience improve this? Not too much, but where it counts! Being able to play this game in stunning graphics and a full 60 FPS allows players to experience the breathtaking world in all its buttery smoothness the way Square Enix would want. Combat is now more fluid than ever! Zipping around the battlefield has never looked or felt so good. While this version of the game does not add any substantial content unique to the PC, it should be noted that those who may not have finished the game or were waiting for the PC version should certainly look into buying this now. In addition to the added awesomeness of 60FPS, high resolution are the multitude of changes this game has received since launch:
- Story tweaks were introduced to help alleviate some of the plot holes
- Multiple combat tweaks to help with responsiveness and fluidity
- The ability to switch the player controlled character (should have from day 1)
- A first person mode (cool, but not needed)
- Additional dungeons, monsters and events
- An online component that is far from perfect but VERY promising
Square Enix has proved that they recognized the mistakes in the game and have done much more than most in the industry to fix these changes. I think that their commitment to improving their product should receive recognition and praise. The game has also released some DLC that follows a side story associated with each character. Some are…experimental to put it nicely. But, they do offer a really fresh change in pace from the base game and are a welcomed addition. Everything mentioned above comes with the windows edition.
Persona 5 is an almost perfect game. I do not think it is hyperbolic if someone wanted to say that Persona 5 is the best and most complete JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) ever created. It would be hard to find a counter argument. For those unfamiliar, Persona 5 is a JRPG that offers a unique blend of being a high school student by day and crime fighting bad*** by night. It features many traditional JRPG elements but what makes the game great is something called “Personas”. These are enemies that you can befriend and use in combat. Personas alter all of the skills and survivability of the character using them. They can be swapped, released, trained, combined and evolved. This gives way to MANY playstyles and strategies to approach all of the awesome and uniquely challenging boss fights. Aside from that, the art style of Persona 5 is one of the best I have ever seen. The color choice and comic book like aesthetics tie in really well to the cartoonish nature of the combat and dialogue. In addition, Persona 5 somehow finds the perfect blend of balancing the social life aspect and dungeon crawling aspect we have come to know and love from the series. Each day in Persona 5 is divided into time slots (which vary based on story location) where players must choose if they want to develop their characters socially or train them in dungeons. Each decision will impact how your character behaves in certain situations, e.g. leveling up will give players an advantage against bosses and monsters but increasing social attributes can give players access to better weapons through unique quest lines only obtainable with the correct skill levels. Everything in this game is engaging and has such great attention to details. The decision to stray away from randomly generated dungeons (for the story missions) has led to some of the best designed and most cohesive dungeons I have ever played. The style of the dungeons blend so well with the story elements that you will often find yourself in awe at how well everything fits together. I could (and will) do a full length review on this game. It should be noted that each story is unique and Persona 5 does not require any prior knowledge of the franchise. If you were on the Fence about this game I could not recommend it enough. I genuinely feel that this is one of the best (if not the best) JRPGs ever created.
Metal Gear Survive
The latest and greatest addition to the Metal Gear Solid series pieces together artwork and assets from previous games and throws you into a world of red cone-headed zombies. I started playing the game at the same time as everyone else (the release date of 2/20/2018), as all servers were down until the actual game release. A lot of long time Metal Gear fans and review sites are bashing and laying into this survival game, but I feel like they judged without giving it a real chance. About 4 days ago I reached lvl 40, and previously I had thought that it would be the end… the story was over, the credits rolled, and I felt a jolt of disappointment. Yet to my surprise my good friend Virgil (the quirky AI support system similar to HAL-9000) comes blasting through the debris and changed my mood in an instant. Immediately I was thrown into some great end game content by unlocking sub-classes, boss-monster hunting, rare creature collection, and periodical home base defense. The game offered many hours of playtime so far and I anticipate many more. Sure, there could be more dungeons and multiplayer modes but maybe Konami will be adding some things! I purposely left out a lot of features since we will be releasing the official Metal Gear Survive review very soon! So stay tuned.