A Good Ol' Blood Bath Cleaned Away My RPG Fatigue.
I finally finished Dragon's Dogma. I was much closer to the end than I suspected when I stopped my previous session.
I only finished Dragon's Dogma proper even though I have Dark Arisen. I'll leave the Bitterblack Isle expansion for another time if I ever decide to return. I really loved parts of the game but I think the good parts barely hold the whole game together.
The combat and creature design are simply amazing but this is tempered by dreadfully boring travel, a broken economy, and ridiculous amounts of inventory. I never crafted a single potion or curative and only used the never ending variety of pickups as materials to upgrade weapons and armour. Also, while I hardly used much of what I picked up, there was a distinct lack of replacements for my classes weaponry. The shops seemed to run out of different bows for my magic archer quickly and I don't think I ever found one. Normally I like few weapon acquisitions because it makes the ones you do find seem that much more important and impressive. However, I believe I spent almost the last third of the game with the same bow and this seems to run against some of the joy in an RPG experience.
I guess my other gripe is that the story and characters in Dragon's Dogma are terrible. I'm hoping this is improved in the Dark Arisen content. Overall, it is a tough game to recommend, but if you have it free with your PS+ account then you certainly could do worse for an RPG. I would be very interested in a sequel if they could have the time and money to work out the problems. Possibly even something with much less RPG elements and maybe some real co-op. I think had the game had a co-op option, it would have been much easier to overlook the glaring problems with the game. It is a shame really, the creatures and combat are really some of the best I've seen in an RPG but the rest of the game really takes away from what is good here.
With Dragon's Dogma wrapped up and The Elder Scrolls Online out of the way, I am finally RPG free...well, mostly. There are many RPG elements in Borderlands 2 and I played a couple sessions of that this week with my friend. The inventory management is maybe marginally more tolerable now that I don't have another two games in play with vast inventories as well. I'm liking Borderlands 2, but I really wish it was harder. When we play a "Tough" ranked mission the game is a hellova lot of fun. The AI is actually quite good and the gunplay is excellent when the baddies are an actual threat. Overall though, the game is just way too easy. Some more dynamic scaling of difficulty would make the game far more enjoyable.
Having Dragon's Dogma finished also freed me up to start a new game and, oh man, what I game it is.
Shadow Warrior (2012) is just so much fun, I can't get enough of it. It is a frenetic, gory, and often funny romp that is the antithesis of an RPG. Sure, there is some minor skill upgrading and weapon upgrades, but 99% of the game is just pure action. I really haven't had this much fun with a first person shooter in a while...and shooter is a bit of a misnomer.
I love first person melee games and my favourite all time games are populated with titles that allow me to beat my enemies up close and personal. I've actually hardly fired a gun at all in Shadow Warrior since the sword combat is so satisfying. I can see why DocSeuss had it for his top game of 2013 and why so many people recommend it. If you haven't played it, you just missed the Steam sale of $5 for the game this past week. Definitely keep it in mind for your next Steam Sale.
I also played and finished Brothers with my wife this week. It was good, but not great, at least not for me. It looks and sounds wonderful and the gameplay works pretty well given the unique controls. I can't say I was as emotionally invested as I think the game was trying to make me but my wife and I enjoyed the experience.
It evoked memories of older games in that style like Little Big Adventure and Silver mixed with a little Ico. However, I don't know that Brothers is as good as any of those games, but it is a solid title that thankfully doesn't wear out its welcome.
The rest of my week in gaming was filled playing Minecraft on the 360 with my kid since the new update came out. Lots of new things were added to the 360/PS3 version as you can see here. It always amazes me how much fun I have with Minecraft and how exciting the world is to explore. Playing splitscreen with my son is really a wonderful way to spend time together.
Hopefully I'll be able to get some time in this weekend for the Chroma alpha which I have been neglecting, though, it will be pretty hard to resist playing Shadow Warrior any chance I get.
So, what are you playing this weekend?