49 Reviews liked by LucaZ93
Final Fantasy XVI
Final Fantasy XVI definitely exceeded my expectations and I couldn't be happier about it. I like how the game falsely leads you to believe it's going to be yet another revenge narrative but it swerves into oppression and revolution after they solve that issue. Some people might be disappointed if they go in expecting a complex political thriller, but what we get instead is a compelling narrative revolving around destroying a divine foundation and return mankind its freedom.
I also really like what they did with Clive. He is actually not half as edgy or bloodthirsty as I expected him to be. He never dives into blind murder territory, so excellent choice. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Jill. Don't get me wrong, I like her and was really hype for her after her arc, because I feel we learn why she was so muted before and placed priority on Clive's emotional needs over her own. But after her revenge they slipped her back into the role of Clive's love interest and echo of kindness. I hoped to see her be more of her own character than Clive's emotional crutch, so I'm bummed they didn't deliver on Jill's potential. Seeing strong female characters reduced to that is just a waste and a huge pet peeve of mine.
But overall, I'm glad I got to experience a highly immersive, mature and dark Final Fantasy game filled with phenomenal visuals, stunning cinematics, an immaculate soundtrack and a simplified but fun DMC like action gameplay featuring epic Eikon fights. You could tell the developers really cared about making this game great, which they did.
On a sidenote, it's interesting to see people try to define what a "true Final Fantasy" game is, because I feel like it's a franchise that has recreated itself on multiple occasions. There are some common threads of course, but gameplay style, plot style, etc. seem to always have morphed.
Destiny 2: Lightfall
Hi-Fi Rush is - without a doubt - one of the funniest games I've played in a while. What a ballsy move to just shadow drop it out of nowhere. There are so many reasons to recommend this game: the combat is spot on, the cast is great, the overall story works well and the style... man, the style might just be the best part! You should definitely give Hi-Fi Rush a chance if you have Game Pass. And if not, then I would still recommend it, because it's simply that much fun!
And if you're afraid the game might be too difficult for you, then don't worry. It does an amazing job of teaching you the basics and giving you all the help you might need. A toddler could play it. Well... maybe.
It felt like this game, more so than MW2019 was just rehashing so many of the iconic moments from the original trilogy to the point where it felt like we was just playing through updated versions of missions like All Ghilied Up, Crew Expendable and The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday. Not that I necessarily think this is a bad thing, you couldn't choose better missions to use as inspiration, it just made it feel like they were playing it very safe with the campaign. Still very solid and I appreciated the variety it gave you throughout even if some things were silly like the abrupt ending, that reveal half way through and that very funny mission at the US/Mexican border which everyone knows about by now.
As for the multiplayer, it is a bit worse than MW2019 but I also believe it to still be very good and better than Midguard and Black ops Mid War. The maps aren't the best, the removal of red dots on the mini map when firing is not a good idea, the new perk system is taking me some time to get used to since it is so iconic and the progression system is very 50/50. On the one hand I love the fact it requires you to use all the guns as this really helps someone smoothed brain like me to keep playing. On the other hand, fuck using all these guns to unlock my 67th red dot sight for pistol 42 please it is silly.
Also need to mention that it has not launched very well, very buggy, crashy and not well optimised but hopefully season 1 fixes these issues, at the very least it is adding back hardcore which is fine.
Overall, its better then the last 2 and given its the first COD with a 2 year cycle, even with its rough launch I do believe it has the potential to be very good.
it really just feels like a step back from CSD 1 overall. in theory, i like most of the new mechanics like as the holding stations and pre-prepping food, it adds too many buttons to the mix, making the simplified control scheme of CSD 1 (one of its biggest draws for me) obsolete. it also really removes the money system as a whole, because now its only used to buy food the the main restaurant, and i hardly play that mode. which brings me to the best part of the game: the chef for hire shifts. they maintain a good level of difficulty and the earlier shifts well-suit you for the later shifts and its very fun to try and score golds on each of the shifts. overall, i'd still recommend it. heard CSD 3's supposed to fix a lot of these probelms.
At first, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy Neon White. The game seemed extremely sweaty to me when the first trailer dropped, but seeing the incredible scores it received after launch I couldn't help myself (yet again). And boy, was I wrong. Neon White is is fast paced, highly engaging and easy to learn. The levels are fairly similar to each other in the way you play, but often offer different routes and combinations of actions to complete. There wasn't a moment I was bored going through one of the more than 100 stages in the game. The charaters and dialogue (and there's more of that than you would initially expect) are cringe, but in a good way. I see a lot of people commenting on this and from the looks of it, some are actually bothered by it, but I think it perfectly complimented the whole vibe of the game. You shouldn't take anything, except the actual gameplay, too serious. Beating the levels, finding all the gifts and always trying to sharpen your times is one of the most entertaining gameplay loops I've seen this year. The game also brought back some nostalgic memories of myself playing the original Mirror's Edge on my old 360. If you love that one as well, you should definitely give Neon White a chance!
Beautifully put together roguelike in the (mostly) classic style. Very reminiscent of some of the best and brightest of the DS era, maybe most notably Shiren the Wanderer, but with WAY more flexibility, character classes, skills and the like. I got reasonably far in but in my stubbornness to play on the classic roguelike setting (i.e. lose all skills, levels and items on death), I've never gone back to see what lies on the surface...
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