Life is Strange |first impressions

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I have never been a fan of episodic releases. Partly because I’d rather have an instant access to a whole picture and decide on the pace of the progress myself but also because I have not found one I could get into. However, having spent a couple of hours with the first episode of Life is Strange last night I’d be willing to say I might have found the one.

As soon as I was given the control of Max, the main character, I found myself intrigued by the amount of details and strikingly charming visuals. Both add volumes to the exploration therefore I ended up happily snooping around the Blackwell Academy campus and other people’s houses and belonging finding out more about the characters, their secrets and the initial plot. At the end of episode I was heavilly engrossed by the events and the hearfelt writing.

Life is Strange has a good selection of characters, even though initially they might seem a wee bit cliché quickly you are soon to discover a lot more depth to them. Although I do not find Max relatable personally it does not make the experience less enjoyable. I still find her likeable and, as much as I dislike the word, believable.

In general, I am more than happy with the outcome; the setting, the characters and the script in particular and I look forward to see how the story unfolds.

Have you had a chance to try the title? If so, let me know what you thought in the comment section below!

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F 2nd

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I had never imagined I would want to play it in the first place but seeing all the fun and excitement in the room whenever it has been on I decided to give it a go myself.

The closest I have ever been to experiencing a rhythm game was Patapon 3 on the PSP if I remeber correctly and I very much liked it. Hatsune Miku though is a whole new world of entertainment. It consists of a vast number of tracks to master across four diffuculty settings and believe me they all can be equally challenging, customisable characters and the interior plus online features. It is more than enough to keep you both occupied and satisfied and quite possibly addicted. It is fun, the only problem is I struggle a lot.

In case rhythm games are not your thing or you are, like myself, hopeless with them, at least watch someone else play it instead. I promise you will be singing along in no time even if you claim Jpop is not something you would listen to voluntarily, you might make an exception for those immensely catchy tracks.

Drakengard 3//First impressions

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You know the feeling you get when it seems like you have got nothing to play eventhough your backlog thinks otherwise but then you stumble upon something that makes you excited again? That’s Drakengard 3 for you.

The moment the previews for this title emerged I immediately knew I wanted it. There are several reasons for that. One- Taro Yoko, and his quite unique approach to storytelling, script and characters, being involved, two-one of my favourite composers Keiichi Okabe partaking, three- the fact that I loved NieR, obviously I could not have felt any different about Drakengard 3. Although I am fairly new to the series I do recall bits and pieces of the first two games and from what I remember it was not half bad.

Gameplay is nothing I have not seen before, it’s pretty basic yet fast-paced and engaging especially with different types of weapons to upgrade and acquire. Being able to switch between them in battle and mid-air fights including your dragon add an element of variety as well. Relying on your companions though, who join you later, might not be the best of ideas as it can be futile which is a shame especially because it really is a nice selection of characters. The AI on the whole is rather horrible.

Appearance-wise I know it has gathered plenty of criticism and I can understand why, but personally the quality of graphics does not bother me as the design ticks all the boxes and you know how I pretty much value a good design above everything else these days. Texture is something I barely ever focus on and I always am finding it hard to complain about because in this case I’m too busy bonding with the characters. And those in Drakengard 3 paired with the horrifyingly odd (or oddly horrifying) sense of humour are the star of the show.

Drakengard 3 is an interesting pick. It knows how to tell an intriguing story, it offers a great range of personalities with heaps of chemistry between them and an aesthetically pleasing both level and character design. If you appreciate those more then you will likely look past the earlier metioned technical and visual issues and should not be dissapointed since the title is flawless in the other departments.

Tales of Xillia & Silent Hill:Downpour impressions

Tales of Xillia

This one has been my introduction to the ‘tales of’ series for a few weeks now. I haven’t really felt head over heels with it eventhough I believe I’m well over half way into it and there’s plenty of outstanding aspects of the game. Combat and interface/design are probably my favourite features. The first is fairly fast-paced and multidimentional, the latter is beautifully crafted. Consequently, both make the battling and exploring highly exciting. I would be entirely happy with the title if it wasn’t for the in my opinion mediocre storyline and characters. Both are interesting just enough to keep me focused although the abundance of dialogues between the protagonist and the companions can sometimes be tiring. All things considered, it might not be entirely fullfilling but it is a solid and enjoyable title.

Silent Hill: Downpour

I was avoiding playing it for a long time mainly because I had seen plenty of footage and had a general idea of what the story and characters are like and frankly speaking was not really interested. So I did not really see the point of playing it myself until I had no other option but to press start. In short the game has got a decent beginning and an end but the main body is pretty lackluster. The characters, the setting and mainly the horror feel very flat and uninspired which for a Silent Hill game is pretty bad. I do not mind the monster design that much but the inventory is frustrating. Healing yourself while being chased or in battle is a pain, map could have been more accessible and I lost count on how many times I accidentally launched my weapons in the air. Sadly, it might actually be my least liked entry to the series.

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

After having played it for a good couple of hours I can safely say it has been a weird experience for me. I’m enjoying the gameplay mechanics a lot although initially I was a little sceptical about not having team members. The schemata concept works really well though and in way it reminds me of the grids from X-2. That and collecting different varieties of grabs, customizing them and crafting your own sets of schematas make the battles both exhilarating and addictive.

The online features and screenshot snapping & sharing add another fun element to the game.

One major aspect I am struggling to get used to is the clock. I’m not sure if I am playing it the wrong way or not but why put a time limit in a game when you have got dozens of quests you would like to take on and a vast amount of land you would probably like to explore? I do have a hard time trying to focus on one thing and appreciate what the game offers seeing the clock ticking. I guess it does make sense in the context of the story though …

Overall, I am liking it. Currently I’m doing my best to understand how the actual making yourself stronger works, because from what I have seen it won’t be a conventional grinding.