808 reviews liked by MrProg

For me it's hard to get into a game where the hours of battling and looting and treasure hunting is all put to waste the when it disappears the next time I log onto the game.

became rich and don't have anything to spend the gold on :-?

As a day one player, I've truly enjoyed this game at various stages. Duoing with a friend when skull forts were the pinnacle of content, into tryharding a brig for the Reaper's Bones over a year later, into finally returning to a sweaty sloop PvP experience, it's been a long run. However, updates have slowed down with less and less meaningful content. Seasons that take months to produce fail to provide as much content as old monthly updates that brought game changing playstyles. The anniversary of this game might be the greatest update ever released by a live-service game, but I can't give the past years nearly as much commemoration.

I may be one of the few people who actually enjoys the Ubisoft formula (I actually LIKED Far Cry's towers!), but even this game can be a bit much. The gameplay itself emulates Far Cry but with enemies who are either 4 feet smaller than you or in mech suits, so it's of good quality. The world for this game is easily one of the best looking games I've ever seen, and the amount of imagination and love poured into both fern and fauna is astonishing. What really hurts this game is it's open world exploration loop. While you no longer need to climb towers or anything else to arbitrarily reveal nearby landmarks, anything that you CAN find in the world struggles to be interesting. No interesting quest lines, no secret easter eggs, and no major sense of variety.

The repetition cannot be overstated. You will find either a plant you tap to receive skill points, a plant you tap to give you a (very) small permanent health boost, or do a small twirl of your looking joystick to fix an object. While there are some exceptions, such as the memory painting activities and the totem scavenger hunts, these are absolutely overwhelmed by the sheer number of other repetitive functions.

The writing itself also struggles to be particularly interesting with very flat characters and unremarkable dialogue. Some credit has to be given to the player VOs, as they absolutely sell the joy, terror, and surprise you will put them through in the 30-60 hours it takes to beat this game. They'll even emit an audible "Ow!" when you bonk your head against an object above you! Unfortunately, almost nothing notable happens outside the already mostly ho-hum main campaign. My only other exception is the final level, which actually manages to live up to it's expectations and deliver a memorable conclusion to the game. If only it didn't take dozens upon dozens of hours doing boring fetch quests and touching plants to get there.

There's a point somewhere in the middle of this game's third act where I thought "wow, they're really about to deliver something incredible here, why is the good stuff buried so deep into this game?" Unfortunately, that feeling evaporated not long after, the writing once again failing to meet the mark.

Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora is an absurdly beautiful game, featuring the flora and fauna of Pandora in all of their alien glory. Seriously, this is one of the best looking games I've had the pleasure of playing on my PS5. The game also delivers a movement system that feels far better than I expected it would, and a deep resource gathering and crafting system that rewards delicacy and planning in meaningful ways. Unfortunately, other than gather and play the main story missions, there's not a lot to do in the stunning world this game provides. The side content is largely boring and forgettable. Worse yet, that's also how I'd describe most of the plot. I really like both Avatar movies, so I was probably an easier get than most, but by the end of this game I was almost completely disinterested in the story's conclusion. I think with some more work this could have been a really solid RPG, with narrative decision making and good story-integrated side content. Alas, it's clear the effort here went into the game world, not the plot that takes place within it.

Though decent, most of the combat in this game didn't really capture me either. The bow feels good, but it's somewhat limited in its use, and the enemy variety isn't really there. It's mostly either foot soldiers or variously skinned mechs that generally act the same, and while I enjoyed clearing out the outposts I never went seeking combat for its own sake. I'm just a sucker for a game focused on reclaiming territory. At 99 hours (hey, I did say I loved Avatar), I can't say that I didn't enjoy my experience, at least a little. But it's not a game I think I'd recommend. With as many hours as I've sunk into it, I'll probably come back for the DLC. Maybe I'll find something more to enjoy here. But I'm not as excited as I'd hoped I would be.

Beautiful artwork and environments. Gameplay is pretty basic though.

Side plot is boring and somewhat simplistic but the world of Avatar leaves much to be desired considering the movies anyway. Still fun to explore and be in the beautiful and colorful world Avatar, just don't expect much else from it

All the parts that are faithfully re-created are incredible. I got teary-eyed during a bunch of different moments. However, the story changes (especially to a pivotal scene) and some really tedious gameplay elements sprinkled in at some parts make this far from perfect.

And yet, its still the best FF since FFX (2001). Yikes.

As I was playing this game, I kept a running note of thoughts I had about the game. I'm pasting them here:

- Solid gameplay, has increasing depth as the game goes on. Combat is really fun and engaging throughout.
- Retains the spirit of the original: Its lighthearted and goofy, while still balancing the tone of the rest of the story.
- Most side quests are worth it for the character interactions or the reward (summon battles become easier, new materia).
- Music is fantastic. There’s so much effort put into making sure every character, every region, and every scenario has an accompanying soundtrack. Nobuo Uematsu still got it.
- Mini games are abundant and fun, once again staying true to the original
- The way they've recreated all the areas and their traversal options (buggy, bronco) is incredible and done exactly right. I am in awe of what the environments look like.
- There’s just generally so much love and care put into recreating this world and its characters, and it shows.

- Some parts are REALLY tedious. There’s sections where you have to slowly move through corridors, or perform boring tasks to progress through the level. A glaring example of this is Chapter 11 that has a 2 hour section that is extremely boring and should not be mandatory.
- Writing for all new content is bad. There’s also generally a bunch of unnecessary exposition.
- Chadley is a really annoying character, and his Battle Simulator for summons is unnecessary (Summons should be fought in the wild)
- Ending is unnecessarily convoluted and antithetical to the ethos of the story. The emotional impact is lost and does an injustice to the most important character in the story. All the “multiverse” stuff hurts this game significantly. Ending aside, all the other multiverse content (Zack, all of Chapter 14) is incredibly stupid, and also just has no real impact on the core story beats.

Fun loop, despite it being really simple. The VC in game is surprisingly unique and probably the main reason this game stays fun

Recent updates allow a private session allowing one ship with it's crew to sail with out worries from other pirates. A great option for tall tales and going after all the achievements you want.

I no longer have the patience to force myself to finish a game if I'm not enjoying it. This feels so janky, and the level design is terrible. All the textures look muddy, and there's no clear indication of what is intractable and grab-able, making it frustrating to figure out what I should be doing.

On top of that, everything is so jittery and imprecise and unpolished. The first game got a pass for those imperfections because it was the first game in a new franchise and it's always a struggle to get things off the ground, but what excuse does Jedi Survivor have?

Tie the bow with a boring protagonist and a milked universe, and you get a pretty bad game. Wont be finishing this.