Backloggin’ the Year – August 2018 Edition
Can you believe it’s already September? I keep wondering every day where the time has gone. July was a blur, between #JRPGJuly and moving, and then August was a month of trying to settle in and get sorted before my long awaited trip to Tokyo, which is happening this month! Although things have been crazy, my goal after my trip is to try and be more proactive with the site providing time and life allow it.
But enough about me, let’s rewind to what I played in the month of August.
Completion Time: 18 hours.
Ahhh, Banner Saga, the game that made me curse at the television and sob like a teenage girl. I admit, I don’t have a lot to say about this one given I did a full review for it, but I really do love this series. Stoic did a fantastic job across three games to give us such an epic viking story about how when all hope is lost, how do we go on surviving? I think it’s an interesting thesis for a story involving dark entities trying to ensure that every viking clan is wiped off the face of the Earth. Please play this series, and then come chat with me about it. I need someone else to drink my sorrows with.
Completion Time: 33 hours.
Throughout #JRPGJuly, Final Fantasy XV was the bulk of my focus during the event. I want to say a few things about it without too much repeat, but I really enjoyed this game and went in with very low expectations. Final Fantasy is a series I don’t hold a candle for, it’s not one I have fond memories of, and it’s a series I grew apart from for many years. I am really happy I took the time to play XV, regardless of its glaring imperfections, its poor treatment of female characters, and its storyline being a haphazard disaster. I’m likely going to be an apologist towards this game and I recognize it is very problematic on different levels.
However, I won’t deny the fun I had. I loved the combat system, I loved the relationships between Noctis, Gladio, Ignus and Prompto, and had so much fun going on a road trip with them. The personal stories of this game were what I was living for, and being able to have the kinds of interactions that the characters have made this Final Fantasy feel much more personal than any previous one I played. I loved this boy band, and will continue to ship Noctis and Prompto as boyfriends. Fight me on it.
Other Games I Played…
In the month of August I ended up completing a lot of non-RPGs. One game I finished was Bad Apple Wars on the PS Vita, and let me tell you — that game was not my cuppa. I adore Otomate titles, but the gimmicks and writing in this one made me cringe most of the time. I wasn’t really fond of how finicky the touch screen elements were and the story just lost me in a lot of ways. I ended up finishing a playthrough, calling it done, and deleting it off my Vita instantly.
I also played Beyond Two Souls on PlayStation 4, and I keep asking myself why I felt the need to finish that game. It’s a bad game and there are so many story beats that had me yelling at the television. Here’s the kicker: I don’t mind David Cage games. I always think there are elements of his games that are interesting and unique. Beyond Two Souls is Cage’s weird attempt at a feminist manifesto that actually has no concept of what the feminist agenda actually entails. It’s hard because there are parts of Jodie’s character that are very interesting, particularly the sections of the game when she is much younger, but the moment we go through a lot of her memories an adult, the game has such a weird interpretation of what a Strong Female Character is supposed to be.
Even some of the decisions regarding the sections of the game that take place in the CIA made me so uncomfortable because of the way the story was moving and even some of the dialogue Jodie has scripted. But, I also know that I have this terrible habit of going down with a sinking ship, and part of me was still curious about the ending as well. I got to the ending and felt so much nothingness that it was an easy decision to remove it from my hard drive.
I also played through an awesome visual novel called Distress, and you can read my write up here. All I can say is: PLAY IT. Then come talk to me. Then play it again… and come talk to me.
In terms of RPGs I am working through, I should never have started a replay of Final Fantasy Tactics, but I love it so much and am enjoying it on my Vita. I am at the end of chapter two and basically need to fight my way through Lionel Castle to earn my first Zodiac Stone. My main party I have been running as of late is a White Mage (who has Reraise, Arise and Holy), Knight, Archer, Holy Knight, and Ramza is a Monk. Usually, I have Ramza stick to being a Knight until he gets Ninja and then I usually save up to get dual-swords and Counter as a combo. Monk has been an interesting experience so far and I am really enjoying it.
The other game in question is Yakuza Kiwami 2, and I am at the end of Chapter 5. I hit a snag in that I am horribly obsessed with the Cabaret minigame, and have made it my current life’s goal to make sure that the girls of club Four Shine do their best and become the Queens of the Osaka Host Club Industry. Ganbare, girl!
Number of RPGs completed: 10
Number of Non-RPGs completed: 9
Total Games Beaten: 19