Along with our return of asking staff about a topic each Month (February’s is coming soon, January’s is viewable here), I thought it’d be a great time to have the staff share what they are playing, not for review or other things here so much—just for fun.
I’ve been playing a lot of Pathfinder: Kingmaker lately – as a fan of Tabletop RPGs and of the isometric RPGs it’s definitely one I’m enjoying. They made some good tweaks to the Kingmaker adventure path storywise, though some of their adaptation choices in rules look a bit odd, and I clearly have different views on some alignment things than some of their writers. Before that, I was romping around a ton in Moonlighter which I finally got around to playing and think is absolutely great.
I’ve also visited back with old friends in Ironcast and Renowned Explorers: International Society, the former as a nice light puzzle game and the latter as a title I enjoy when I’m feeling a bit down.
I spent most of my time playing games I needed to review, such as Vane, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown, The Walking Dead: The Final Season, and Kingdom Hearts III. I’ll have thoughts about those games on the site, if I don’t already. I got to play a bit of the Resident Evil 2 Remake, which I am very much enjoying. I finished up the Kingdom Hearts series (well, pre-3) with Dream Drop Distance HD and A Fragmentary Passage as well. Dream Drop Distance is not great, by the way. In addition, I also played some of Iconoclasts, which I really enjoyed and want to play more of. Finally, I played through all of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday, a game I wanted to enjoy more than I did. It felt more like the first episode of an episodic game rather than a full release.
I played a pretty wide variety of games in January. Who am I kidding, I played mostly Battle Royales with some other games mixed in.
I dumped a boatload of hours into Assassin’s Creed Odyssey since I finally got around to picking up the game, and I’m loving it. Outside of that, it was a mix of different Battle Royales such as; Ring of Elysium, Realm Royale, Hunt Showdown, and Super Animal Royale both for fun and for our The Royale video series.
I’ve been playing some Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. The more I play, the more I have realized what a shame it is it did not have more of a presence on in our 2018 TechRaptor Awards. It has a lot of award-worthy craftsmanship in it, and it’s easily the best Assassin’s Creed game yet. The story is intriguing enough, and the world is awesome to enjoy. I am so glad ancient Greece didn’t come out until now so that Ubisoft could take full advantage of great hardware.
I was in the mood for some JRPG action, but I didn’t want to buy the recently remastered Tales of Vesperia in the lull before Resident Evil 2 and Kingdom Hearts III. So I decided to hop back into Tales of Berseria, which I hadn’t played in more than a year. I normally don’t like picking long, narrative-driven games up in the middle of the story, but I remembered enough of Berseria to muddle my way through it again. I still haven’t beaten it, of course. However, I kept finding myself falling back in love with the little things about the game. The English voice acting fit each character superbly, with Cristina Vee’s performance as Velvet really capturing the vengeance of the character. The combat is as action-packed as you’d expect from the Tales franchise, and the revenge story has enough hooks and twists to keep on giving. I’ll definitely be going back to it after I finish playing Kingdom Hearts III.
So apart from review games, I’ve been playing Subnautica. I first got it for free from the Epic Store back in December, but I liked it so much that I decided to buy it on Steam. It’s a very relaxing survival-exploration game with some decent bits of horror and suspense. It’s funny that I didn’t pick it up when it was on Early Access since December 2014, because it’s right up my alley. I have a lot of fondness for The Long Dark, which is one of the quintessential survival-exploration games that started in Early Access. I supposed I might not enjoy it as much if it was still in Early Access, but Subnautica feels very open-ended and relaxing. It’s a good game to play when I just want to shut the world out.
For multiplayer, Overwatch is still the go-to. Nothing else scratches the competitive itch quite like being in a full team where people are calling out targets and cooldowns and such. As long as you get good, close games, losses, and wins are somewhat irrelevant compared to the learning and teambuilding experience. Solo queuing in Competitive, on the other hand, remains a dice roll, and 90% of the time it’s more of an exercise to determine how much SR you want to lose (turns out that there’s no shortage of throwers and leavers in the Master bracket, just like in every other bracket). For more casual days, Battlefield V is better for comparatively mindless fun.
For singleplayer, Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor has been eating up a lot of time. For one reason or another, I missed it years ago, and it was on the Xbox Game Pass so why not right? Turns out that the game aged relatively well, especially when you consider how it was a cross-console generation game. It doesn’t hurt that Shadow of Mordor features some pretty meaty execution animations. The main storyline is somewhat generic though, which is rather unfortunate given the game’s setting, but the Bright Lord DLC (fortunately enough, it’s included in the Game Pass edition) makes up for it.
For the past month, I’ve been mostly playing Dragon Ball FighterZ. As a fan of both Dragon Ball and fighting games, I’ve really enjoyed it, and I love that it’s been a hit with so many. It’s just a lot of fun to unwind with casual bouts in arcade and story modes and play as my favorites who actually aren’t Saiyan. I lean more toward Cell and Beerus–and now, Videl! Very happy to see her get the FighterZ treatment.
This January, I’ve been mostly playing Team Ninja’s don’t-call-it-a-Soulslike Nioh. I didn’t give this game the proper respect when it came out back in 2017, probably because I was too fixated on the Dark Souls 3 DLC. Still, as the resident Souls lover and masochist here, Nioh is proving much more palatable the second time around. Still don’t have any idea what’s going on in the plot, mind.
I’ve been trying out My Time at Portia and YIIK: A Postmodern RPG last month as part of some internship obligations. Having not played Stardew Valley (among other games I really have to play,) Portia was decently charming. YIIK, on the other hand, was serviceable but disappointingly middle-of-the-road. For other games, I finished up the World of Light mode in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, played some games of Talisman: Digital Edition, and partook in my comfort food: Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. I have 2,457 hours logged into that game, which is 1 2/3 games of Campaign for North Africa. I’m really looking forward to the Repentance expansion DLC, which integrates the Antibirth fan mod into the main game.
I’ve spent the last month neck-deep in Final Fantasy XIV. It’s the first time I’ve stuck with an MMO long enough to hit the level cap and the number of activities has really opened up since I started playing again. I’m finally to the point where there’s just not enough time in the day for me to accomplish everything I want to do in the game, and that’s great! I’m not burning myself out on dungeon grinding anymore because there’s always some other activity I can be doing instead. It feels like a real playground now.