I delay something, again, we finally get a substantial look at Andromeda, and Zelda makes a (season) pass at us.
What was Played
In case you haven’t noticed, I promised my Battlezone 2 piece to up by the 14th and it has not gone up. This is due in part to my own laziness and the fact that I finally found out how to mod BZ 2. These mods include simple texture and bug patches up to fan made campaigns complete with voice acting. I want to play some of the more stable version of the game before I finish my piece and also give myself more time for editing and making insert images. I think I’m going to stop trying to give solid dates for my pieces and just give updates, since I haven’t ever met a deadline. That said, Battlezone 2 still holds up, especially with stability patches. If you can track this game down and install the fanmade 1.3 patch, I’d highly recommend doing so.
The “Tales of” series is the gold standard of mediocrity for RPGs. I don’t necessarily mean that as a negative or a slight on the series, but I’ve played through three of these games now and everything about them, characters, plot, setting, visuals, are all appealing enough to keep me playing but not nearly interesting enough to impress. The result of that is that I really don’t have anything to say about Tales of Zestiria, the main character is bland but motivated, and what characters that are around are stereotypes but they have enough personality so that they don’t full bore me. The plot is standard “evil beings taking over” fare, and the art is nice but very “anime” standard. Not sure if I’ll stick this on out, but I said that about Xillia 1 and 2 and Vesperia so who knows.
I forgot how much the tone of Mass Effect 3 turned me off. In the first two games you’re a free agent with free reign over what you do.Shepard chooses to go after Saren and chooses to go after the Collectors. Sure you have the Council and Illusive Man overseeing your actions, but you’re frequently given the option to ignore them. In Mass Effect 3 you’re a soldier, regardless of what class you choose at the start you’re a solider as far as the writing is concerned. Shepard’s dialogue is a lot more abrasive and there’s a lot of “for Earth and humanity” undertones. I understand that Earth is being wrecked and you want to look out for your own, but Shepard and the Alliance frequently ignore the fact that all the other races are undergoing the same assault and ask for support from these races. The whole overall feel of ME 3 just rubs me the wrong way, but it’s still the best playing Mass Effect game, at least until Andromeda releases.
Breath of the Wild Season Pass
In a first for the series, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will have a $20 season pass. The pass includes 3 treasure chests at the start of the game containing new clothing and items which will be available at launch, a Hard Mode, a Cave of Trials/endless mode, and an “additional map feature” coming in the summer, and a new original story, new dungeon, and “additional challenges” in the winter.
If this pass was over $20 it’ be a poor value. A Hard Mode and the cave of trials feel like they should’ve been New Game+ features, not DLC, and we aren’t aware of the scope of the additional story content. Nintendo has been really good about pricing their DLC so far and for $20 this seems like an ok deal, but it’s hard to say until it’s all out.
Resident Evil 7 has Broken Even
Capcom has stated that Resident Evil 7 Biohazard has made back its development budget. RE 7 seems to have earned the praise of both fans and critics, and is hopefully a fresh start for the series after a couple years of missteps.
Mass Effect Andromeda Gameplay
Finally, we’ve been given a quality look at Andromeda’s gameplay.
Up until this point it has been hard to determine exactly how Andromeda will play moment to moment, and this new video feature makes it look like a blast. Inquisition had a problem where its gameplay was too slow to feel actiony, and too fast to feel tactical, making wandering around the world doing all the side quests feel like a dull chore. Andromeda looks like it’ll be more fluid and just plain fun, making this the first preview of Andromeda that has me actually excited for the game. The idea is that there are no actual classes/specializations now; every power and gun is available to everyone. There are three main upgrade classes: Combat, Tech, and Biotic and 4 gun types: Assult Rifle, Pistol, Shotgun, and Sniper. Finally, I can have a combat drone and Biotics. Cover is dynamic, no need to hit a button to lock to cover, and overall movement is greatly enhanced from the previous games with the assistance of a jetpack. We can only hope that this game runs at a solid 30 FPS on consoles and isn’t a choppy mess, otherwise this gameplay could become frustrating instead of fun.
John Hardin Leaves Atlus
Atlus USA’s PR Manager, John Hardin, has left the company.
He said he isn’t leaving the video game industry or moving far away so it isn’t known where he’ll end up, but he did great work at Atlus USA and I wish him the best of luck.
Persona 5 Update
Persona 5 still is not available in North America.
VA-11 HALL-A Vita Update
VA-11 HALL-A still isn’t out on the Vita.
What’s on the Plate
I’m putting the finishing touches on my Battlezone II piece. I’d originally planned to call that series Belated Love Letters, where I’d talk about old media I liked, but since I don’t love everything I changed the name of that series to “”. I’ve dropped SAO for the time being, apparently harping on SAO has been done enough across the internet and I don’t want to put my measly kindling on a several year old fire. Instead, I’ll be bring you guys my hot take on Guilty Crown, a show that is supposedly just as divisive as SAO. I couldn’t find any actual, in-depth reviews that I could take seriously so I won’t feel like I’m echoing things other’s have said, like I ended up inadvertently doing for Sword Art. My GOTy list is also coming along, I’ve got my nominees and categories done so now I just get to have discussions with my friends and myself to try and parse out what I think about each nominee. I want to apologize again for missing so many deadlines, I continually underestimate my college workload and my own laziness. As always, thanks for reading.