Happy Thanksgiving! (Or, happy Thursday if Thanksgiving isn’t your thing.) Though it’s a holiday for us, we’re not taking a break from posting our monthly highlights from YouTube. If anything, we’re more than thankful for our subscribers and supporters there, and here…and everywhere. Thanks to you, you..and YOU! To everyone who’s motivated us to keep writing and playing. We hope that what we offer lends a little joy. 🙂 Speaking of which, November was a rousing good month for us video-wise, so let’s get on with the highlights!
First and foremost, we are incredibly pleased to have introduced this month, care of The Duck of Indeed, two brand new Let’s Plays: Ratchet & Clank (PS4) and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask! We hope you’ll follow along as The Duck takes on these exciting titles.
At the beginning of 2013, I finally got around to playing Red Dead Redemption. We had rented to game some months earlier, and though it looked interesting at the time, I was too engrossed in other games to really take notice. But rather than just forget about RDR completely, I instead picked it up on sale around the holidays. It became one of the best decisions I’d ever made.
I loved Red Dead Redemption. Like, loved loved it. I called it one of my most favorite games of the Xbox 360/PS3/Wii generation. I loved its sights, sounds, and gameplay. I loved being in the “Old West” as modernity encroached. I loved taking the reigns as John Marston, ye gruff seeker of right in the face of wrong. I loved the game despite some glaring flaws, particularly with its endgame. And ever since I put down the controller nearly three years ago to date, I’ve wanted to play the game again. But as with gaming, other games prevailed, and Red Dead was set on the backburner. Our “favorite” games challenge (big ups to the friendly purveyor of Murf Versus for planting that idea seed) that we set last month finally gave me the perfect opportunity to not only replay the game, but to somehow revisit it in a different way than I had before. How did things go in New Austin the second time round? Why, I’m so glad you asked!
Maybe there’s no question, right? I mean, in the years where VHS takes overlapped with DVDs and cassettes stood alongside CDs, the newer tech won without question. And here we are now with the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, both of which easily outpace their predecessors in terms of capability and power.
So why would any gamer in her right mind think about buying a current game for anything other than a current system?
It took about 95 hours, but I am finally done with Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns, and I don’t think I want to play another RPG again for a long, long time. Nevertheless, I ended up having a lot of fun with the game, even if my initial impressions weren’t great. Before I get into my thoughts, however, it would probably be best to summarize what you can expect from this game if you haven’t already played it.
In this game, the world is going to end in about 13 days (less, if you aren’t careful), and Lightning has been tasked by the deity Bhunivelze to save the souls of as many people as possible so they can make it to the new world. You will have more or less time in order to complete this monumental task depending on the number of souls you collect, which is accomplished by completing several main quests and a bunch of side quests in four main locations. The game’s battle system is far better than that of the first two games of the trilogy, as you actually have control over Lightning. Plain and simple. The battles of the other two games largely involved watching your characters while they did everything pretty much on their own, while this one allows you to control Lightning on the battlefield, guard, attack, etc. You have three different schemas you can switch between during battle (kind of like in Final Fantasy X-2, but not quite as…upsetting), and each schema can have up to four commands. You do not level up from fighting, however, but through side quests, which was actually a nice change from traditional RPGs. Continue reading The Completion of Lightning Returns and a Question→
I have mixed feelings about leveling up in video games. As we all know, this common feature of RPG’s allows us to make our characters more powerful and, in any game that includes it, it is typically a requirement. You simply can’t get through RPGs without leveling up your characters, or else you’ll be doomed to inflict 1 HP of damage per attack to bosses whose HP is in the millions, while your own feeble health bar of a whopping 100 HP is crushed to powder by the weakest attack from the weakest weakling…in the final level, at least.
While leveling up makes battling feel a lot more productive (honestly, once you have the maximum number of Deku sticks in Zelda, you may as well leave the Deku Babas alone), and it can make some games easier because, if you can’t defeat an enemy, you simply level up until your abilities far outmatch that of your foe’s, it is also one of the biggest things I despise in video games. Seriously. Aside from games that give you a big fat game over once you run out of lives, I hate leveling up. Continue reading A Better Way to Level Up→
I think it’s safe to say that many gamers find tutorials tedious, whether they be an entire level devoted to teaching the basics of a game or frequent interruptions where we are forced to read pages of text explaining every detail of every action we can perform, even such simple tasks as buying a potion in a store. As if the Buy option was not intuitive enough.
I have long been bothered by tutorials. They cause me to rush through the beginning of a game just so I can get through the boring…hand holding. I don’t think any of us want the game to hold our hands along the way. I bought this game to have an adventure, to have fun, to do things I can’t do in the real world. I’m not having much fun when I try to run ahead and explore and am tugged back by the game’s belief that I still haven’t learned the basics of jumping yet, so I ought to try it a few more times. Continue reading No More Hand Holding→
When I think of hack and slash games, one of the first things that I always associate with them is a sense of style. Generally games that are classified into this particular genre of video games are a visual spectacle, juggling enemies in DMC looks amazing, perfecting the dodge mechanic in Bayonetta and learning the combat intricacies is a visual delight and the fast paced over-the-top combat featured in Metal Gear Rising, in addition to the game’s blistering soundtrack, is a treat for all the senses. At times Killer Is Dead looks like it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as these games, the cel-shaded visuals look gorgeous and the combat on the surface looks awesome, but Killer Is Dead is a game that ultimately, flatters to deceive, like a footballer’s wife, it looks good but contains little substance. Continue reading Killer Is Dead Review→