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This review contains spoilers
I haven't truly enjoyed a game's story like this for a long time. I got attached to characters and continuously hoped that some wouldn't die (aka my boy Gav), akin to my thoughts while watching a good show. With that said, there are moments in shows and movies that slow down in order to build character development and focus on world building. In FFXVI, the pacing between story events and unrelated sidequests really broke the immersion. It's an unfortunate pattern in this game where after you clash with the Eikons that shake the earth, sidequests are dropped on you in a batch instead of being spread out naturally throughout the course of the game. While you do unlock a few quests here and there when visiting new locations, the majority of them are dropped as a batch immediately after story moments. One of the best examples is actually in the late game after finishing Waloed. Right before you're given the option to launch the last mission, a batch of 10+ sidequests appear at the Hideaway that are actually quite good. Why would I want to take a break to pick a flower for Dion (just kidding, I'd do anything for Dion) when I can launch myself at Origin and stop Ultima from ending the world? The last few sidequests related to Dion, Joshua and Jill were my favorites, but having them all dropped in after Waloed, right before the suicide mission just seemed like odd pacing.
Additionally, the quality of the majority of sidequests weren't engaging or interesting. Clive was an errand boy for half of them (looking at you, Mid) and SO much of it was "I need this, find it here, fight enemies, pick up item, deliver back to npc". Classic fetch quest, but there were way too many that made it a slog to complete.
With all the downsides of the game out of the way, I can't gush enough on story, characters, gameplay and music. Those factors were enough to bring it to a 4.5/5 even with the pacing and sidequest disappointment. I loved the smoothness of combat, especially swapping Eikon abilities mid animation to chain things together to get the largest stagger damage possible. I ended up never swapping out TItan's powers after unlocking them, the oomph (and damage) of the punches was too satisfying to give up. Additionally, I can't stop listening to the OST even after completing the game. The music, in addition to the cinematics of all Eikon fights was such a perfect chef's kiss moment for each one.
The last thing I'll gush over is the Eikons themselves. So spectacular in their design! The first time I saw Odin and Bahamut on the field, I was in LOVE. Every Eikon looked fantastic and I was excited like a little kid every time a character primed into one. My personal perfect definition of "epic".
My initial review of Season 0 after binge playing the game since early access.
I like to call Diablo 4 the "modern Diablo 2". It took the slower gameplay and darker atmosphere from D2 and incorporated some of D3's QoL changes. The game looks fantastic, voice acting is great, it's perfectly dark and gritty and I enjoyed the story for the most part. I have some gripes about the pacing of it, but that's a review for another time.
Here's where it gets difficult for me to criticize the current end game for Diablo 4. It's still early and I think the game will be completely different in a year or two. However, the lack of end game activities outside of Nightmare Dungeons isn't very enticing. My party and I spent some time grinding a dungeon for EXP and item drops, which really burnt me out. They're short, the objectives are more or less the same (see locked door, bring items to podium to open door) and the mob density doesn't have the same dopamine rush of greater rifts in D3. I have hopes that Blizzard will implement new activities that'll keep the player base going outside of the current options, but at the moment it falls short.
This review contains spoilers
Paranormasight was actually so, so deliciously wonderful and the reason I gave it a 4.5 instead of 5 was because I wish there a bit more (challenging) puzzles and that it could be longer.
I'm aware it's a VN at its core and that I ultimately read through a great horror/mystery story, but there were some wonderful elements introduced but then weren't referenced again (turning the sound off in settings to avoid a curse? Genius.). I loved the weaving stories of each protagonist and that you couldn't continue with just one until playing the others to that specific point of their investigation. The game guides the player really well so that you don't miss a drop of the story.
I came for the horror element, but stayed for the art. It's absolutely wonderful and reminds me of a modern day Phoenix Wright style of characters and their expressions.
I thought I'd get a few days or a week out of this game, but I ended up finishing it one weekend! I was absolutely HOOKED! Couldn't stop playing until the end. I really hope that Square Enix continues with this line of adventurous VN, because I will be here for it on Day 1.