: Ben's Week In Review: March 1

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Ben's Week In Review: March 1

As the insanity surrounding The Order: 1886 winds down, the hype for Bloodborne amps up. Fun time to be a PlayStation 4 owner. ;)

Know what we really haven't seen much of in all these Final Fantasy XV videos?

Story. Know why? I'll say it again: Because open-world games can never have a cohesive, ultimately involving plot simply due to the nature of the gameplay.

Now, they claim they're more than 60 percent done with FFXV and "the end is in sight." They say the playable demo sidetracked them for a while but now they're back for the final push. It sounds like gibberish to me (I wouldn't waste all that time and money on a 2-hour demo) but whatever. The point is that if they're so close to done, we'd have heard a lot more about the characters, setting, plot, etc. The reason we haven't is not because these things don't exist, but because they always take a back seat in any open-world adventure. The developers have no choice in the matter. If you're going to give the player the freedom to do just about whatever he wants, whenever he wants, and go wherever he wants, it's impossible to maintain a continuous thread.

The worst part is that story and characters have always been at the core of this franchise. But, like so many other things Square Enix has ditched - like, say, actual role-playing - in this series, it's falling by the wayside. I get the feeling nobody will care one jot about the characters in FFXV, and it will go down in history as having one of the most forgettable plots in the franchise's history. Perhaps more forgettable than FFXII and yes, the story wasn't memorable because that game was more open. That's how this works.

That study didn't surprise me at all

When I read the results of Nielsen's gaming study, I just shrugged and went, "yeah, so?" I mean, who didn't see that coming?

I'm always surprised when I hear that people buy Xbox because of the brand, and then I chastise myself for being surprised. Of course they buy it because of the brand; the sad truth is that for the most part, consumers are stupid. Marketers have been making money off that truism since the beginning of time. As for PlayStation 4 getting the nod on "resolution," I don't doubt it, but that system really needs to step up with the exclusive software. That's what has always set PlayStation apart; it needs to be there for PS4 as well. The Wii U's "fun factor" is a little annoying...this implies that nobody buys PlayStation or Xbox to have "fun," and it also insinuates that games for a younger audience are inherently more "fun." I think the proper term is "accessible" and that doesn't automatically equate to "fun."

It's great to see how many different gamers Sony has enticed this generation, though. There's a hefty percentage of current PS4 owners who never owned the PS3 and in fact, owned another console. That's a big win for PlayStation and honestly, the #1 reason they remain in the lead this generation.

Personal gaming update

Now that we've got The Order: 1886 out of the way (again, thanks much for all the kind comments on that review), it's onward to Bloodborne this month. It's not my thing but I know quality when I see it and unlike some of my peers, I don't ignore quality for the sake of my own personal preferences. I can't stand RTS but Age of Empires is hardly worth a 5. However, I still believe there's a trend in the critical community to reward harder games while punishing easier ones. Perhaps it springs from the unspoken elitist streak that often runs through game reviewers; I don't know. I just know that "easy" often equates to "bad" in the eyes of many core gamers.

Oh, and if you never played DoA5 or the Ultimate version, you should probably check out Dead or Alive 5: Last Round. However, as I said in my review, if you've already got Ultimate, there's not much reason to spend another $40. There just isn't enough extra stuff to warrant the upgrade, unless you're an extreme graphics whore. ;)

2/28/2015 Ben Dutka

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Comments (34 posts)

xenris
Saturday, February 28, 2015 @ 10:20:29 PM
Reply

Ben are you going to review Final Fantasy type-0, it comes out in March before Bloodbouren.

I think that FF15 could have a great story but I hope they limit the open world like in FF9 where it slowly opens up. This would be the best solution, otherwise you are right the story will be forgotten.

I am optimistic about this game, I love Kingdom Hearts and Crisis Core and this game is being directed by both of those games Directors so I think we are going to get something good here.

PGU

Platinumed The Order, and was going to platinum Shadow of Mordor but decided it was too much work. I'm going to try and 100% complete Ground Zeroes before FFtype-0 comes out and Bloodbourne.

On a side note if anyone here has a good PC or an Xbox360 and you want a fun FF inspired game check out The Last Remnant. It is fantastic has old FF sounding music, really cool races and an interesting turn based battle system, with the occasional twitch button prompt. I specifically recommend it to Ben and World, if they get the chance.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 1:12:27 AM

"Ben are you going to review Final Fantasy type-0"

Yes, I intend to.

"I hope they limit the open world like in FF9 where it slowly opens up. This would be the best solution, otherwise you are right the story will be forgotten."

Unfortunately, this is what will happen. Nobody can stand being restricted at all these days. I think it's a little odd that in a lot of ways, even our old Final Fantasy games were "open-world;" we just had to EARN that freedom as we progressed. Once we had the airship, nothing was off-limits, really.

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xenris
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 2:25:17 PM

Yeah I remember in an interview Tabata was saying he wanted to take Final Fantasy back to its open world roots, but I don't know if he remembers that you had to slowly open up the world.

I'm probably going to enjoy this game anyway but I hope for the sake of other fans that it hits some of the same notes of the old FF games.

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DemonNeno
Saturday, February 28, 2015 @ 10:35:50 PM
Reply

I gave up on SE and FF as a whole. While I'm more than happy to revisit my favorites in the series, it seems like I'm too disappointed by tomorrow to really appreciate yesterday... As long as FF news keeps coming through to the tune of repetitively missed opportunities.

See the end of the tunnel? No, no. That's the car they're so proud of introducing into the game. Coming back. Or broken down. Who cares.

Question: Isn't this Gen getting a bit of the hurt for lacking exclusives? I feel like every generation feels flat the first two years. Maybe it's because the PS3 generation lasted so long? Not sure. I can say that I wasn't as inclined to pick up the PS3 during the first couple of years. Maybe it's because everything on PC wasn't entirely shooters... Blah.

PGU: Powered up the PS3 to play GT6. Got the urge to toss in GoW3. Wow! That game has aged well. It still looks great! Granted, a bit too much for me to play effectively at my last save point with the years of it being at idle. I must say that the DS4 has definitely grown far too much on me. The DS3 has been out of my hands for a month, tops, and it just feels so different. Smaller, caught myself hitting select when maneuvering, and overall less coordinated with it. It's a shame that the DS4 didn't get full implementation, but that's life. That's what all the people say.

I know people are going to hate me for saying this, but I just don't care about GTAV. Is that weird? I feel too burnt out by the overwhelming amount of things to do and never know where to start doing it. I'm not big on dressing up my character and it's confusing to me. I don't know where the hell to find my side quests! I'll keep picking it up, though. I love how ambitious it is and keep telling myself that it's a matter of time before its purpose coincides with my appetite for it.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 4:44:59 AM

yeah no i get it about GTAV it has quite grown on me either just yet but that doesn't mean i can't appriciate what it is and what it accomplished that it is a great game in its own right. but i have yet to see it as my cup of tea , in that the type of open world games similar i style that i prefer is just cause where as i'm not so inclined to pick up GTAV is that strange idk maybe that helps man

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Temjin001
Saturday, February 28, 2015 @ 10:40:14 PM
Reply

If FF wants to be a new kind of open world action game then fine. But this new kind of FF needs to stand in line and show it's a game worth my time because name recognition alone is no longer enough.

PGU: It's been DOA5 LR and Drive Club this week.
And yes. I went against my better judgement and snagged Order today with my gift card. The Best Buy employee went out of his way during purchase to let me know I was buying an awesome game that is a lot of fun (reassuring. though I do worry when someone describes these sort of experiences as fun.. because that's not exactly what I'm looking for in it). I figured if it blows I could quickly sell it off and get either Bloodborne or at the least Batman in June.
It's really because of this very community that's coddled this game so much that caused me to get it. There have been a number of games over the past I've picked up and enjoyed because I allowed myself to go against my own nature and see the gaming world through the eyes of some folks here. So you guys should feel good that your influence did in fact boost the game's sales.
I did play the first 30 min or so already and so far it's been quite engaging and nothing yet has stood out as being a big issue. The graphics are really amazing. Though I will say it felt so weird not being able to jump right off the balcony when Galahad walks out to view the city early on.. That's AC's fault.

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xenris
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 12:42:36 AM

Hopefully you enjoy it, I did quite a bit. However I recommended you Binary Domain and you didn't like that game sooooo I'm not on a good track with game recommendations for you :P

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Shams
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 8:07:11 PM

Aye, sensei Temjin. 'Tis a delight for the eyes. I'm kinda shocked. Not angry, just genuinely surprised. I wasn't expecting to like the game, though I knew how talented RAD is, just because the game's pre-release exposure came across as really generic. Coming from PC gaming, I also figured i wasn't going to be impressed by the visuals, having experienced "next-gen" well before PS4. However, for me, so far, it has impressed me in the same way, even more so, than Uncharted:Drake's Fortune when it was released in Summer of '07, if I remember correctly. I rented Order, though, i wish i just purchased it. I'll hold judgement until i complete my first playthrough. FYI, i've been here all along. Just being a Ninja, ya know, lol. I hadn't signed in for a while, but when i rented Order, i figured it was worth submitting some feedback as a part of the 'ol guard. Domo Arigato for the warm welcome, though!

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Temjin001
Monday, March 02, 2015 @ 10:45:51 AM

Xenris, binary domain wasn't a bad recommendation. The game play itself and its story was compelling. It came about during a cramped gaming timeframe with me and the campy dialogue, lackluster graphics, and bland art design bothered me. Though the big robots and boss battles themselves were quite cool. I still may pick that one up again and finish it.
And hey, I still gotta try Knack!

Shams, welcome back. And yea, Order is definitely a rare offering today. I've made my way several chapters in. While I can see some of the hang ups with some gamers the experience definitely doesn't play as something following a conventional set of gamer requisites. That in itself feels refreshing.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 3/2/2015 10:46:59 AM

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bigrailer19
Saturday, February 28, 2015 @ 11:08:26 PM
Reply

It might be awhile longer before I get to play The Order. Until yesterday I didn't realize The handsome Collection released March 24. We will see but I'm knee deep in Destiny and I'm sure that will be the case until the 24.

PGU: speaking of Destiny Max Pontiac joined my raid party last night and got us through. My buddies and I hadn't been able to try a raid with a full party considering there's a lack of matchmaking for the raids. Max graciously helped and we all reaped in the rewards! Good times. That's pretty much all I have been playing lately.

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mk ultra
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 3:29:03 AM

If you ever need party members in the future I usually have the same problem.

PSN ID: EuRoRaT

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bigrailer19
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 3:57:08 AM

Oh man I feel ya haha. For sure I'll add ya tomorrow. If it wasn't for Max Pontiac I'm not sure we would have found a 5th or sixth to run it with. Of course we could have ran it with 4! ;)

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 12:13:00 AM
Reply

yeah idk if anyones even knows what SE is doing anymore cos its confusing to most ppl. but yeah i think ur analysis is pritty spot on the work on characters and story tend to take a back seat in open world games unless ur just cause or the elder scrolls etc. this is the exception to the rule in my estimation. but with said you can tell me other wise feel free i may be wrong on that side.

yeah ad the study doesn't surprise me for the most part the only think that did surprise me was the brand for playstation. and yes accessable is a much better term. but i suppose the games library for those in the know is sorta the same as brand indirectly cos everyones knows the playstation "brand" is know for a diverse library of games so if thats whta they mean then sure i can agree if not thats my objection there. i suppose they aren't really specific enough with the terms used to me.

and lostly on the PGU as far as the review for the order 1886 i appriciate a decent review when i see one. and as far as bloodborne goes i think it'll be great but i wondering as you weither the review score will be hurt the scores cos "its too hard" and my view on scores varies cos idc always about scores. but the community seems to be reward or be more incline towards hard to games i guess cos of this whole thing about the game length and the hard a game is the game tends to be longer to get through and the whle bang for your buck thing comes in which i think nows days and so difficulty and so length comes in for the $60 game

as for what i playing atm i started a play through dark souls 2 and just finished majula(i think thats what its called) the first proper town which was frustating to start with getting to grips with the controls was a bit of challenge

happy gaming

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xenris
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 12:44:28 AM

Just remember that the game always gives you the tools you need to succeed. Dark Souls 2 has some challenging moments but you can overcome them without a problem if you are patient :)

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 4:50:16 AM

yeah for sure it does require patience which i learned pritty quick but good to know man thanks for the advice anyway i appreciate any help i can get most of the time

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mk ultra
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 3:25:25 AM
Reply

I think a major flaw in that study was having the minimal age so low. 13 year olds don't know why they do things.

I didn't have time to comment this week, but for what it's worth, i'd like to extend another job well done in how you handled The Order review.

PGU: Platinumed The Order and started Ground Zeros for the first time. I was going to wait for PP but decided what the hell. Now I have the urge to replay the entire series in chronological order. I'm trying to resist as I know how long it will take, but it might be mandatory before PP comes out.

I'm also getting stuck in Super Stardust for longer than I plan all the time. Why did they need to port that game to PS4? I forgot how much I enjoy it and now it's eating too much precious time I could be spending with new games.

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 3:31:57 AM
Reply

I disagree that "accessible" is what they mean with "fun", Ben. I think I understand what they mean, and that word is indeed "fun".

Little Big Planet is just that: Fun. Jump around, put on silly dresses and giggle with your friends.

But the games that really make out the majority on the PS4/Xbone are not primarily "fun" when it comes to content. Getting chased through a plagued city by zombies in Dying Light is not "fun", mad drug barons and getting malaria in Far Cry is not "fun" either, neither are wading through he future wars of Call Of Duty with comrades falling around you.

The cheerful feeling of the typical Nintendo games are in that respect much more based on "fun" than anything else.

*That* must surely be what they mean with the word. Not if it is accessible or not to a newbie, but in regards to type of content.
And they are absolutely right in saying so, imo.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 4:58:07 AM

i see your point and i think maybe that is a much more accuate assessment of the situation and the points u made are require relevant true for what they are saying now that you mention it they way you do

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Beamboom
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 2:10:16 PM

Ah btw: PGU!

Well not really a Gaming update - it's still just Dying Light and a return to Borderlands 2 who is an absolutely gorgeous game - but I did see Maze Runners this week, and it was pretty cool too.
Great to see new, young actors doing a good job, and most of these kids really did well, plus the script writers avoided the most obvious and predictable events (although the framework for the story were anything but original), making it a nice thing to spend a couple of hours on.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/1/2015 2:10:53 PM

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Underdog15
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 7:04:29 PM

So fun ain't fun anymore.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 9:32:45 PM

Fun is entirely subjective. That's the point. If you say you buy one thing for "fun" and another thing for a different reason, the obvious conclusion is that the former item is more "fun." But that's hardly the case for everyone, which is what bugs me.

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Beamboom
Monday, March 02, 2015 @ 3:31:21 AM

I just think it's a bit pedantic, when it's not hard to understand what they did mean with the term. It becomes a bit constructed.

Also, to be honest: I don't know if I'd say I have more "fun" when playing Dying Light than LBP (just to use those as example) even if I clearly want to spend less time with the latter. I'd say there are other subjective keywords that better describe the experience.


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/2/2015 3:31:41 AM

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wambo
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 3:49:19 AM
Reply

Now i've finished the order i've gone back to Dragon Age: Inquisition, hope to have it finished by the time bloodborne arrives this month.

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 4:58:46 AM

sounds good to me man have fun

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daus26
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 4:55:41 AM
Reply

I think I've heard enough of the story of ffxv. Anymore, I'd rather find out through playing. No, we don't have full details of every character or whatever, but the basis of the game's story and plot is out there and it's easy to understand. For sure, much easier and better than ffx13 imo and that game was super restrictive. Seriously, even from the dawn of ffx release, I'm as knowledgeable about it as I am now with ffxv. It was until I actually played ffx that I got to fully understand it, not before. So no, I don't understand what you mean exactly. The main plot of ffxv is out there and it's rather pretty interesting imo, better than ffx12. Loved that game btw.

Yeah, if you read the plot and story, the trailers you've seen until now and the future, you'll be able to make more sense of it.

To anyone that are clueless, basically;

There are about five nations, 4 of which had the power of four crystals. 3 of those 4 used the crystals for war and weaponary while lucis, where the kingdom of noctis lies, used it to advance in technology in society thus being the only crystal remaining as the others got destroyed from fighting in wars. I can say more but obviously, from this alone you can sort of imagine what's it's like to be the only nation with a crystal. Everyone's gotta have it right?


Last edited by daus26 on 3/1/2015 4:57:21 AM

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Snaaaake
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 5:53:04 AM

Thanks for the info mate.

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Snaaaake
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 5:50:47 AM
Reply

Being open doesn't mean it's gonna sacrifice story.
I mean, it's not like we don't have such freedom for FF older than FFX, we just don't have it from the get-go.
When I had airships, I just explore everywhere possible and not giving a damn about the story for a while.
But you know........, looking at Noctis, he's just like Terra, Cloud, Squall and Lightning.
A cool-looking person with a cold personality.
I think it's about time we get sick of this kind of MC.
The best MC has to be Zidane, FF never had an MC like him.
Now for the Nielsen's gaming study, I kinda agree that Xbox's brand power is strong.
Why do you think some people are willing to get their 360s replaced 4 or 5 times?
Microsoft is an American company and is the darling of the richest man on earth.

PGU:
Guess what guys, some time ago, I inserted FFXIII into my PS3, after 3 hours, I got sick of it and I put it aside for a long long time.
Last week, I was reminded of that game after I read an article about the FFXIII trilogy coming to Steam.
Then I think to myself, what a waste of money so I finally forced myself to play FFXIII and finish it.

Well, the result is that that 20 hours in, I'm hooked to the game, the battle system gets more and more fun, I think the idea of controlling only one character is logical since it'd be too chaotic to control all three.
I'm fine with the fact that it's Game Over when the leader die, but the game's biggest flaw is that I CAN'T FRIGGIN' GRIND IN THIS GAME!!!!
If I ever found out who's idea was it to make the crystarium to progress only with the story, I'm gonna burn his house and beat his dog.
An RPG where you can't grind.........now that's totally unheard of, even for western RPG.
Though at chapter 9 on the Palamecia, I'm grinding for the incentive chip so I can sell it and buy more upgrades for my equipment.
I can't grind my characters, but at least I can grind my weapons.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 3/1/2015 5:51:40 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 6:02:58 AM

Yes, that is a problem with XIII for certain, especially when encountering the last boss of Chapter 9, I found it brutal even at max stats...

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xenris
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 2:31:01 PM

Zidane is my favourite FF main character. He was just so enjoyable, not emo or angst filled like some of the other main characters. Zidane has one moment of being all sad and then his friends cheer him up and he's all good.

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 5:59:57 AM
Reply

Ben... stop you're scaring me! I genuinely cannot deal with another bland experience like XII. I need the game to have a progressive story, not one which is the the background so much that you just end up forgetting about it. I dont want this to become like Elder Scroll where the side-quests and main quests play out the same and blur into one. Actually I dont want the term 'main quest' to be even referred to in this game at all. I want it to flow, much like the previous FF games did. Where you're on an adventure traveling and when you reach to a new location the story progresses and circumstances arise to maximum peril.

I still have faith in this game. As I said I have enjoyed everything I have seen of the game so far and I look forward to playing it next- No, this month! :D

PGU: Persona 3: FES - I'm 95+ hours in and I haven't even completed the main story! I think it may be reaching to a close very soon, but I am determined to train before the last encounter, then afterwards... I have the 'FES' Extra content, which is another additional 30+ apparently. I just hope I get it beat in time for Final Fantasy: Type-0 HD.

Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 3/1/2015 6:04:59 AM

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Kevin555
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 8:37:17 AM
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Bit the bullet and grabbed DOA5 The Last Round just so i had a fighting game to play on the PS4. Pretty disappointed with the new characters and their "new" move-sets but i will get over it.

Game is still a blast to play and it really is a good looking game considering it's a port, i didn't pay full price either which is a bonus.

Solid game but Tekken 7 and Street Fighter V is where it will be at for me when it comes to beat em up heaven.

Also went back to a PS2 classic for my nostalgia session. Anyone remember Silent Hill 4 The Room? Forgot just how evil that game was.

Last edited by Kevin555 on 3/1/2015 8:38:35 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 9:02:47 AM

Silent Hill 4: The Room is really a decent game but guiding Elieen was such a pain! Even when she was near me when I exited a room she'd still be stuck in the previous room. Also, the game feels so tedious how it makes you essentially visit every location twice in the same order. It got very stale. But still, it's a decent game and worth putting up with the faults just for the story and atmosphere.

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Kevin555
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 9:24:10 AM

Definitely agree with the second half of the game being a lazy, sloppy retread of the same areas, and dragging that AI partner around who can't even kill anything just seemed like pointless padding imo.

Looking at the positives though i thought the room segments were superb, especially when the hauntings begin. The death scenes were also pretty brutal which added to the dread of the game and some of those monsters especially that baby-headed thing that walks on it's hands were really unsettling, in a walking-face-first-into-a-spider-web sort of way.

Far from perfect and far from the best in the series but a good solid horror game nonetheless which is probably better than most horror games we have seen this gen to be honest.

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Solid Fantasy
Sunday, March 01, 2015 @ 9:17:37 AM
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I think MGS:V will prove that open world games can still have a compelling story. Unfortunately no other game will match this, and for a MG it may even a touch off the standard set.

Are there any other big RPGs hitting this year? If it's only FFXV and The Witcher it may be a close race. Both are looking to be too action oriented for me, but if FFXV has that so called living world feel to it I would go for that over The Witcher. But if the reviews bring up some inherent flaws in FFXV then The Witcher would be back on the table.

PGU: The Last of Us Remastered ! Now I remember why I replayed this game back to back three times in a row. And... there is still Rainbow Moon on the Vita. Really liking it, but sidequest aside I'm 3/4 through with 60 hours. Once that game is done (if ever) my friends are hell bent on me playing Chrono Trigger. They say it's a classic that no one should go with out. Since I was finally able to lend my PSP to my friend and have him play Crisis Core it only seems fair that I make the plunge into Chrono Trigger.

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