Normally I use December as a month to finish up smaller games I missed out on earlier in the year. I did a bit of that, but for Christmas I also have myself the gift of an MMO addiction... I decided it would be a good idea to get Final Fantasy XIV on the steam sale and try that out. Now I'm deep down the MMO hole!
The short game I finished was SUPERHOT, and boy did I enjoy the hell out of that game. It's about two hours long, but those two hours were ridiculous and awesome. At some point I also bought Gravity Rush Remastered on a PSN sale and have been chipping away at that.
Let's talk about all of these video games! It's game time!
Final Fantasy XIV
I tend to not play MMO's because I have can get addicted to things very easily. I've gone pretty deep in the past, so I tend to stay away from the genre. It also helps that I generally move from game to game very quickly. I don't generally have a lot of time to stick with one thing for the amount of time an MMO requires. However, I have a few friends who really like FFXIV, and they had been wanting me to try it out. The cost of the game and expansion were $20 during the Steam winter sale, so I took the plunge.
At first I was really not enjoying the game. The story was so slow, and boring that I almost stopped playing. The thing that kept me going was the fact that leveling up makes me feel good. After playing for around ten or so hours the "real story" starts and the story actually got interesting. I started to do cool and challenging missions, and began to have a great time. I've played for around 30 hours and am currently at level 28 on my main job.
|It's me, Manny Manatron!|
If FFXIV was a traditional MMO in every sense I may have dropped it already. It does have the usual combat. The main attack is an auto attack, so you click on an enemy and your character starts to go ham. The real "challenge" comes from using your skills and managing their cooldowns. I chose a Pugilist, so I use my fists to attack. I chose the class, because you have to pay attention and use the skills in a certain order to get damage buffs. That way I don't just zone out forever while I play.
Where FFXIV differs from other games in the genre is that you can have every class at once if you want to. They all start at level 1, and can go up to level 60 if you have the expansion. Currently my highest level job is a pugilist, but I have also leveled up the rogue job to level 12. This means that at any time I can change to a rogue and use a completely different set or armor, weapons, and skills. The benefit to doing this is that each job gets specific skills and perks that carry over to other classes. It's a really interesting system that reminds me a bit of Bravely Default.
|It looks and plays like an MMO|
I guess I don't really have a lot to say about this game. I'm enjoying my time with it, but outside of my addictive personality and the job system there isn't a whole lot of unique stuff going on. I just wanted to give the game a shot, because I've been on a bit of a Final Fantasy binge lately. I'm going to keep playing it, but I don't know for how long. I want to try finishing the content in the game currently, but that's a crazy amount of time I could spend playing newer games. I just have a weird compulsion to do everything in MMO's even though most quests are absolutely worthless and don't give you good rewards.
You may be thinking the title should be Super Hot, but you're wrong. It's SUPERHOT, and boy is it something to behold. I initially saw someone try out the browser game that the SUPERHOT Team put out to show their initial idea. The game revolves around a simple concept that doesn't sound cool, but when you're experiencing it in practice it's one of the coolest things I've ever done. It's a first person shooter where time moves when you move, and moves very slowly when you stand still. This allows you to pull off amazing feats that never really get old.
Initially I thought that the browser game was a cool tech demo that wouldn't really be able to become something more. I was proven wrong on every level. The setup for the story is that you meet someone in a chatroom and they hook you up with SUPERHOT.EXE. It's a cool new game that everyone's playing. You boot it up to be greeted by white environments filled with red polygonal men who are trying to kill you. Depending on the level you may start with a gun, or nothing. If you have a gun, then you can shoot your foes until you run out of bullets. The best option when you run out of bullets is to throw your empty gun, which will cause your enemy to reel and throw their gun into the air, which you can then catch and use. That description probably doesn't sound very exciting, but imagine pulling off that string in slow motion, and feeling like a badass. Then when you've cleared the stage your character inexplicably chucks whatever they're holding and the words SUPER, then HOT, accompanied by chanting of said words will happen until you click to start the next stage. It's awesome.
|Shoot your enemies.|
Outside of guns you can also pick up objects in the environment to throw, or punch your enemies to death. A bullet will kill an enemy in one shot causing them to shatter. Throwing objects will cause them to drop their gun for you take take, the same goes for throwing your gun at them. There are various points where you will also get a sword, which can be thrown for one hit kills, or used to kill enemies by swinging until it breaks. In my opinion the sword, and other melee weapons like the baseball bat are the most fun to use.
When I use the words first person shooter to describe SUPERHOT I'm only using them to describe what you're doing. You're shooting people in first person. Despite that fact it actually plays more like a puzzle game due to the time mechanics. The fact that you can essentially pause time means that you can think your way out of most scenarios. If you're skillful enough you can dodge bullets, or even shoot them out of the air with your own. If you get hit and die, then you can start the level over almost instantaneously. Each level offers a completely new challenge.
|Melee weapons are my favorite.|
While the story is over in about two hours, it felt like no time at all because I was having so much fun. Once it's over you unlock challenges like katana only runs, and things of that sort. There is also an endless mode which you can use to test your skills. The story is interesting and will sometimes have you quitting the game to chat with the person who gave you the game, and then going back in. It takes some pretty weird turns, but it just adds to the game's extreme sense of style. Overall SUPERHOT is an experience I would recommend to anyone.
Gravity Rush Remastered
Gravity Rush is one of the Vita only games that I was interested in playing. When I got one I tried to play the game for a few hours, but had to put it down. I loved the characters and the world, but using the gyroscope to control the main character Kat's gravity power was not something I wanted to do at all. Lucky for me the game was re-released on the PS4, but I almost let that pass me by as well. The only reason I'm playing it now, so far after its release is that Gravity Rush 2 comes out in a few short weeks and it looks amazing. In order to be ready for it I decided it was time to play through the original.
Gravity rush follows the amnesiac Kat who finds herself in the unfamiliar town of Hecksville with her gravity controlling cat Dusty. The central crux of the game is using gravity powers to traverse the world and destroy floating enemies called the Nevi. I really enjoy the gameplay now that I don't have to move the Vita around like a moron. On the PS4 you can just push R1 to activate Kat's abilities and then aim a reticle with the right stick to get you where you need to go. You're traversing a lot of floating islands and going to high areas, while upside down. It's like a super intense version of Mario Galaxy. There are often times where I forget if I'm actually on the ground or not so I have to look at Kat's scarf for reference.
|The gravity powers are fun to use.|
Throughout the world there are crystals you can collect that are used as the currency for upgrading your abilities. These crystals can also be gained by completing challenged like racing through checkpoints, or defeating a ton of enemies. It seems like none of the upgrades are necessary to complete the game, but they sure make things a lot more fun. You can upgrade things like your falling speed, kick attack, and gravity meter. It's always good to be able to use your powers for longer.
The thing that strikes me about Gravity Rush the most is the world and its characters. The models and the world of Hecksville look beautiful. There are a lot of bright colors. Each district of the city has its own style, so the visuals change greatly over the course of the game. As a character Kat is very charming. Despite the fact that she's lost her memory she is very witty and genuinely funny. A lot of games recently get a little too heavy on the Internet humor and memes, but Gravity Rush is able to be funny in its own right.
|For a remaster of a Vita game, this looks incredible.|
I am about 3/4's of the way through now and the story is really heating up. New characters have introduced themselves and I actually don't really know where the story is going to end up, but I'm happy to go along for the ride. There's something about Gravity Rush that's super endearing to me, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Yes, the world and characters are great, but there's something about the package as a whole that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside while I'm playing it. I look forward to the second game!
We're a few weeks into 2017 now, and I have yet to do any serious gaming, Like I said I've been on a trip for the majority of it and now I have a stupid cold. As we speak I'm hacking up a lung and it's very unpleasant.
In two weeks I will start my 2017 gaming binge by diving into Gravity Rush 2, and Yakuza Zero. I am super excited for all the games coming out this year. The Nintendo Switch is going to be detailed tomorrow night, and I'm getting super hype about it. I set my money aside as soon as the NX was announced, and the rumors are that it'll be cheaper than the $500 I put aside for it. If that's true it means I'll be able to get more games at launch than I anticipated!
Man, this year is going to rule and I seriously cannot wait!