Back on that Grind!

Happy Weekend, TAY!

Hope everyone’s doing well around these parts. I’m covering for our pal, Datacide this week, because he has to have a conversation with a turkey. Or something along those lines. I’m not exactly sure. Are turkeys a thing for Canadian Thanksgiving? Or is it just loads and loads of Tim Hortons?

But I kid.

So, after completing Spider-Man earlier this month, my choices for next game were either going back to Yakuza Kiwami 2 or starting Dragon Quest XI. I chose the latter, if only because I couldn’t find myself going from one brawler to another in such a short time period. I’ll get back to Kiryu’s adventures in Kiwami 2 soon enough, but I needed a palette cleanser for Spider-Man since I mostly played through the game for the plot and less for the combat. It’s not a precise hack and slash like a Devil May Cry or a Bayonetta, so combat becomes janky every once in a while, leading to frustration and tedium. But if you have a PS4 and dig Spider-Man as a character, definitely play this game. This was enough for me to hope for a sequel from Insomniac, especially given the teases the game drops at the end.

But I’m getting slightly off track.

We’re here to talk about Dragon Quest XI. I’m about six or so hours in, and so far, this feels like a Dragon Quest game. More particularly, it feels a lot like Dragon Quest VIII, down to the mute protagonist who someone communicates to people around him via hand gestures and now grunts due to the vocal recordings in XI. But so far, I’m enjoying what I’ve played so far. It’s kind of like coming home, if that makes any sense. Like slipping on a comfy pair of slippers and reading a book by the fireplace. If one has a fireplace and slippers.

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Regardless, this is definitely the game I needed right about now after completing Spider-Man. It’s less about frustrating combat and more about world exploration and faux real time battles. That latter part annoys me somewhat after coming off of three decades on Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (I’m estimating a bit here), since you can actively move on the battlefield in both games. But only movement in XC2 matters since you can attack from any direction. Not so much in Dragon Quest XI, since even if you move around and manage to flank an enemy, they automatically launch their bodies at you to attack you, ensuring that they’ll make contact, regardless of where you are to them. I would have rather this movement meant something combat-wise or not have it at all since I instinctively move the Hero around the battlefield, knowing full well it doesn’t really matter in the end like it did in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.

But other than that minor gripe, the game is pretty good so far. I haven’t fallen in love with it like I have with Dragon Quest VIII, but that’s probably because I haven’t even gotten the full party yet. I’d guess that once that happens and the game begins proper, I’ll be invested in this plot like I was in Dragon Quest VIII a few years back on the 3DS.

So in between bouts of Dragon Quest XI, I do want to get back to Assassin’s Creed Origins since I have a new game plus run of that waiting for me to get back to it. And given that Odyssey dropped this weekend, now feels like a good time to get back to by boy Bayek and his god-tier ways in new game plus.

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I really fell hard for Origins after two failed starts. But I’m glad I stuck with it, because Origins became one of my favorite games, and Bayek became one of my favorite protagonists. Which is why the recent coverage for Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is leaving a slightly bad taste in my mouth because most outlets are dumping on Origins because Odyssey is “bigger” and more “sprawling” than Origins was.

Uh, yeah, I guess that’s one way to go, but Origins was a pretty huge game once you hit the endgame. And that was without the two expansions. So, right now, I’m in no rush to play Odyssey, simply because I’m not in the mood to go through an UbiSoft collect-a-thon more massive than Origins. I can only imagine how cluttered that map must look when compared to Origins. And regardless, I got my collecting ways worked out with Spider-Man. Hoo boy, did Insomniac come really close to emulating UbiSoft’s formula there.

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But, yeah, that’s probably my weekend along with more time in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, because at this point, I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep playing that game until Xenoblade Chronicles 3 comes out. Or until I complete this new game plus run. And that’s on top of the Torna DLC that dropped a few weeks back. Man, my back catalog is starting to build up again. And, what’s that on the horizon?

Aww, crap.

Stupid publishers and their stupid market shares and quarters and whatnot! But that’s my problem to deal with. And you didn’t come here to deal with my woes.

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So, what are you playing this weekend?