Announcement: JRPG JULY

-by Dylan DiBona

One video game genre I’ve always wanted to like but haven’t until a few months ago is the JRPG. After doing some research and playing some amazing games, JRPGs are quickly becoming one of my favorite video game genres for their lengthy playtimes, strategic combat, detailed stories, worlds and characters. I’ve decided a good way to continue my venture into the genre and play even more great games is to dedicate this month to them on my blog.

Summer evokes a gaming related nostalgia in me. Every night (sometimes day) my friends and I would gather on Xbox Live or have a sleepover to play games together. Now that summer is back I want to be busy during daylight, outside having a great time, but inside playing games late at night.

So I bring you JRPG JULY (the all caps  reminds me of when I see weird anime names online or on Netflix). So every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I will bring you one JRPG-related article. It can be a review, a top 5 (or 10), topic piece or whatever. 

Don’t like JRPGs? Don’t worry; Tuesday and Thursday  will still have normal posts that can pertain to anything.

I hope you guys really enjoy this theme with me, maybe read my posts on a nice summer night. This is a passion project, I want people who love JRPGs to join me in the comments for lengthy discussions. I also want people who don’t like JRPGs to maybe give them a try, because once you find a game in the genre you like- it’s simply addicting.

Get ready my friends, for JRPG JULY.


So guys, are any of you excited? What topics would you love to see me cover? I hope I satisfy not only JRPG fans but video game fans. Have a great summer. As always, thanks for reading.

We’re Back [PlayingWithThought Reboot]

-by Dylan DiBona

It’s with my full pleasure that I welcome you back to PlayingWithThoughts. Yes that’s right, the “s” is on its way out. Sometime during summer when I buy the domain that will be the new name, no big deal.

PlayingWithThought is exactly what it sounds like. Every single day we will take a look at interesting topics within gaming culture, the market, and of course the games themselves. I will analyze games and discuss why they succeed from a design point of view. I will also gush over certain titles, as I’ve come to realize that I write from my heart quite a lot.

So other than the name, what’s different this time around?

1. New Types of Articles

I won’t spoil anything specifically, but I’ve come up with a new series, and actually have the first installment of another type of article I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time. Get ready for some fresh ideas.

2. Branching Out

Part of any good brand is expanding one central idea into a web. Let me get the smaller things out of the way first:

Twitch – I doubt I’ll be using it much, but it’s a staple for any gaming online presence.

Twitter – You’re not reading it wrong, my handle is TurtleRaisins. Why? I’m not sure either. If I can get a small boost in followers I’ll start tweeting some game related goodness.

And onto the bigger one:

YouTube – Okay so quite some time ago I tinkered around with the idea of running a YouTube channel alongside this blog, hence the old Portal video, which I still kind of like. The thing I’ve come to realize about myself though is I don’t have the patience to edit lengthier videos on my aging laptop. I want to keep this channel as a very easy side project.

I have an idea for an unscripted series, but I’d like to hear what you guys want to see down in the comments below.

3. Weekends Off

I obviously love writing about games, but PlayingWithThought was the only thing I was doing every day of the week. Sometimes I need a little break to just relax, or maybe sometimes I need a couple of days to stockpile on blogs for the next week. I hope you guys understand.

4. This Time I Need Something From You Guys

Yes, I will admit I need some help in this endeavor. What do I need?

Honesty and support. That’s it.

If my article is full of boring language, is too long or just plain dumb- let me know. If you liked it and want to see more around the same style or theme- let me know. If you have any friends who would like to read serious pieces on video games- let them know.

Thank you in advance for any and all support.


It’s good to be back everybody. I have one announcement coming up tomorrow and then Monday kick starts blogging again. I hope you guys look forward to what’s coming up. As always, thanks for reading.

ICYMI #2

-by Dylan DiBona

Welcome back to another “In Case You Missed It”. So yesterday I announced a brief hiatus taking effect tomorrow, but I don’t want all activity to cease on my blog, so I decided to list some recent articles that in my mind “under-performed”.

Nintendo DS Retrospective

Castlevania Aria of Sorrow Review [GBA]

The Confessions of a Save State Abuser

Censorship in Video Games: When is it Okay?

Emily is Away Review [PC]

Emily is Away Too Review [PC]

And with that I officially tap out of the ring for a little while. My first order of business: sleep! My second: laundry! My third: figuring out the future of this page!


Thank you all for the support yesterday, it means the world. As always, thanks for reading.

 

The Future of This Blog + A Brief Hiatus

-by Dylan DiBona

I’m not the type of person to stay satisfied for too long after I’ve achieved something, I’m addicted to the sense of progression. True be told, PlayingWithThoughts is a bigger success than I first imagined. I’m not hitting a hundred views a day, but the usual twenty to thirty is absolutely more than appreciated. The daily blogs can’t stop, they keep this page relevant and growing.

But I’m tired.

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I want to do a lot of things in my lifetime and maybe it’s just the over-aspiration of a nineteen year old, but I’d like to write books, for a TV show and the king of all dreams: direct a video game.

I’m working on the first of those items, a book. I promised myself I’d write two-thousand words a day on my fiction novel. I realized that trying to stay inspired for two-thousand words, and then a five-hundred to one thousand word article for this blog, all after working an eight hour shift in Manhattan is tiring.

What is my next step?

I’m not sure if WordPress is the right platform for this, but on top of all those aforementioned goals, I want to be a gaming journalist. I don’t want to just discuss games in the usual “Review” or “Top 10” format, sure I like to do those, but I want to speak about either design or the human connection we have to video games.

I would love to branch out and maybe have a connecting YouTube channel, official social media, and find someway to make a living off of doing what I love. We live in a world where reading online isn’t fun to most people; in a world where most just care about the very same reviews and countdown lists I spoke of before. Pushing this idea into a professional territory is going to be hard and I need time to think.

I want to interview people, I even emailed the developer of Emily is Away for a ten question interview, but was ignored (unsurprisingly, I don’t blame him).

Most importantly, I think I want an actual team here. I started this blog with some very not-dedicated friends of mine and then moved onto a solo venture with daily articles. I’d love to have even one more writer right now, maybe build up a small crew.

As long as I’m here, PlayingWithThoughts will be different from other gaming sites. Everybody knows chocolate with peanut-butter is good, there are a million people making it; I want to make chocolate with honey, a bit sweeter and unorthodox.

Where is this going?

I will be taking a brief hiatus, possibly a little over a week. Don’t worry, I’ll still be writing stuff for when I come back, and tomorrow I will have another edition of “In Case You Missed It”. I just need some time to figure out how to make chocolate with honey.


If you guys are interested in maybe helping me by giving me some interview practice, or if you’re even curious about writing for this blog, let me know in the comments below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading. See you soon.

Nintendo DS Retrospective

-by Dylan DiBona

Was there anything quite like the Nintendo DS before it showed up? Nintendo has always been the king of the handheld video game market; it’s the sales of their handhelds that still keep them as the number one hardware seller in video games.

The Game Boy and Game Boy Color sold a combined total of 118 million units. These systems revolutionized portable gaming with addicting titles such as Tetris and of course Pokémon.

The Game Boy Advance sold a smaller 81 million units. This finale to the Game Boy line brought us interesting installments in age old series like The Legend of Zelda: Minish Cap and Metroid Fusion. Castlevania started its golden age and multiple Super Nintendo classics were brought to the handheld.

And then there was the Nintendo DS.

Standing at a whopping 154 million units sold, the Nintendo DS is not just obviously the best selling handheld system ever made, it’s the second best selling system period. The DS was not even one million units away from topping the PlayStation 2 as highest selling system.

But lets get away from the statistics and jump into the more important things; the games and memories.

The Games

I couldn’t possibly list every noteworthy game on the DS. Legends were born like Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright (in the West), older series were pushed to new limits with the touchscreen a la Kirby Canvas Curse and The Legend of Zelda Phantom Hourglass. Tons of new ideas and hidden gems were put onto the system like 999: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, and Radiant Historia. I haven’t (yet) played half the games I listed, but just go online and you’ll find non-stop chatter about them

Then there were the pieces of software that even appealed to the non-gamer:

The DS was not just a gaming system; it was a lifestyle spice you could carry in your pocket.

We’re talking about a revolution here. With a genius clam shell design and no more need for silly cables, connecting with friends and playing together was easier than ever. Much like with the Wii, this was a system even the non-gaming community bought and tried, because it seemed like a entertainment system rather than just a video game box (a goal Nintendo was trying to reach even in the NES days).

The graphics may not be the prettiest and the sound in my opinion, iconically choppy, but that doesn’t come close to mattering when it came to what the DS represented for enthusiasts of all ages and backgrounds.

The Memories

In my elementary school, we had this thing called “The Christmas Pageant” where all classes would put on a 3-5 performance with the theme of Christmas. It was a small private school where each class was only about thirty kids, we all knew each other.

Before and after our time on stage, we got to hang out in our classroom and play DS together. It wasn’t just the boys; girls joined the circle with their pink DS’ and played Mario Kart DS with us. My golden lab in Nintendogs would have virtual playdates with my classmates puppies, and of course we had Pokémon battles.

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Although my first model was the blocky blue one, I’ll never forget my first true handheld love: my white DS Lite. One of the worst days in my childhood was my father telling me he washed it with the laundry because it was in my pocket (you know, the place a handheld gaming machine would be). I was devastated and moved away from the DS. A few months later my dad felt bad and bought me a used gray fat original model. It was a major step backwards for eleven year old me, I wish I cherished that third DS more. The only game I remember being really excited for when I had that ugly gray box was the remake of Pokémon Gold & Silver. God was it a big deal, better graphics and music, two regions and the Pokéwalker! I’ll never forget waking my dad up way too early for him, begging him to drag me to Gamestop and running down the sidewalk to pick up my preorder. When I got home, I jammed myself into a cardboard house I had built in my room and played for hours, I chose Chikorita.

But probably an even more powerful memory for me, and an even more important entry in the series (for me again) was Pokémon Diamond & Pearl. Let me paint you a picture:

I was nine. Me and my dad were in a hotel room, I don’t remember why. I thought my favorite game in the world, Pokémon Leafgreen, was a standalone game. I didn’t have access to the internet or do any research on games before they appeared on shelves. It was dark in the room and I had control over the only source of light, a cruddy CR-TV. Commercials came on, monsters were attacking my home city of New York (at least I think it was New York). It was this:

Months later my parents lied to me and told me we were going shopping all day in the city (how boring!). But really they surprised me with a Diamond & Pearl parade Nintendo was hosting. At that moment I realized what a franchise was, what Nintendo was, and what my DS was- a portal to another world. I’ll never forget those memories, they’re beautiful but also bring a pain of their own because I’ll never be a like that again.

What was the Nintendo DS?

The Nintendo DS wasn’t just a handheld system, it was a way of connection. Pokémon, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Zelda, Mario, Kirby, Advance Wars, Monster Tale, Animal Crossing, Scribblenauts, The World Ends With You and so, so much more.

It was a success. It is a legend. It is memories. It is fun.

There is nothing like the Nintendo DS, and I never thought I would fall in love with another handheld quite the same way, but then a certain three dimensional sibling came along…


So guys what do you think about the Nintendo DS? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading!

Sony E3 Press Conference Review [E3]

-by Dylan DiBona

Sony’s press conference might just be the only one I review during E3 2017 for a multitude of reasons:

  1. It’s honestly the one I’m most excited for (I think a lot of people agree).
  2. It’s one of the few conferences I’m fortunate to catch live.
  3. The PlayStation 4 is and will be my preferred console for the next couple years.

Now with that out of the way, it’s time to discuss the big announcements, the aftershock from them, and any hopes I had that were unfulfilled. E3, the best time to be a lover of video games!

Let’s get the “bad” out of the way…


Skyrim Again?!

Okay so I respect Sony’s desire to fill up the PSVR with great games. The new hardware is supposed to immerse gamers into experiences never seen before…so why are we going back to Skyrim for the umpteenth time? I won’t lie, the idea is interesting enough, and it might even make the combat better! But right next to Final Fantasy VII, I can’t think of another single game being milked so hard.


And then the “eh”…

Uncharted 4/Horizon DLC

Starting off a press conference with trailers of DLC for already released games wasn’t the strongest way for Sony to go out this year. Granted I am excited for the Uncharted DLC, and Horizon looked interesting, but E3 is all about the new and yet to come, so it was fun to get some information on what’s coming to some already great games, but it didn’t start us off with the bang I had hoped.


Final Fantasy XV…Fishing?

Did you like the giant worlds and epic fantasy story of Final Fantasy XV? Then surely you wanted a PSVR game completely dedicated to the fishing that was totally irrelevant in that game!

A seriously bizarre idea, and I can’t help but see this game being joked about by YouTube gaming comedians in a few years. A weird fever dream come true.


Why are these VR?

My next entry explains that I’m happy the PSVR is getting some exclusive games, but some of them seem really odd. There’s a 2D Platformer, and a Puzzle-Adventure game, both with 3rd person camera perspectives.

Couldn’t those two games easily be on PS4 with touchpad control?


Ending on Spider-Man

While Spider-Man is tied for my favorite superhero, nobody is going to claim this game as one of the best ever for a Sony system, nonetheless PS4. Was this really the last thing we should’ve seen this year? It was an interesting trailer at least.


And of course the “good”!

PSVR Showcase

Unless I win one in a contest, I’ll never own a PSVR, I see no need and have no desire. I was actually afraid for early adopters that it would be another ditched peripheral device, but I’m being proved wrong! It’s a full fledged console with its own games.

Sony showed off a handful of interesting looking titles, and one silly looking Skyrim rehash.


Shadow of the Colossus “HDer”

Okay so this should really be in the “eh” section, but this is my review and I love me some Shadow of the Colossus!

The very brief trailer Sony showed presented us with some stunning graphics, and scary realistic looking colossi! I cannot wait to platinum this game and experience this gm one again.


God of War/Spider-Man Release Window

I don’t really care about God of War, but I might get this entry for the sake of it seeming like a new entry point. Plus the story seems cool. I realize this is a HUGE game for Sony, so props for them for giving us a trailer and release window.

Although I’m disappointed at a lack of a specific release date, seeing that extended Spider-Man trailer was great fun for a hardcore Spidey fan like myself.


Overall

Ehhhh. Sony didn’t really answer any of my biggest prayers this year. No new Team Ico game, no news on the Persona 5 spin-offs, no Dragon Quest XI news, and no PS1/PS3 games on PS4.

I’m disappointed that Sony really relied on last years lineup to keep their momentum strong, because it worked decently well, but not as well as I had hoped.

Sony had a meh conference at E3 2017.


What did you think of Sony’s conference this year? Who is winning E3 in your eyes? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading.

Confused on my review score? Click here for an explanation!

Discussing Ludonarrative Dissonance

-by Dylan DiBona

There’s a concept very specific to video games, Ludonarrative Dissonance.

Ludonarrative Dissonance: When a gameplay mechanic in a video game betrays a thought or motive explained in its narrative.

A good example would be Grand Theft Auto IV, in which Russian immigrant Nico Bellic comes to America to escape a life of crime. The player, even in the first second of gameplay, can drive around killing people and committing terrible crimes.

Freedom is what we value in video games, especially in sandbox games like GTA. But is it worth completely erasing the emotional progress of a story? There are teams of writers trying to produce something great, but when gameplay can contradict or even tarnish the value of a story, we have a problem.

Image result for uncharted

Charming, kindhearted man during story, ruthless mass-murderer during gameplay.

We’re talking about a medium that couldn’t exist without its interactivity, so of course we have to value gameplay over even the strongest of stories.

I’d like to discuss if we as consumers get too caught up on any example of Ludonarrative Dissonance.

Developers like Rockstar clearly don’t care about the condition, since the freedom of a sandbox game doesn’t allow for many “laws” given by the story. Even Naughty Dog is at fault with their Uncharted series; what’s interesting is in Uncharted 4, there is a trophy titled Ludonarrative Dissonance. The company is not only aware, but Neil Druckman (director of Uncharted 4 and The Last of Us) had this to say about the idea:

“Because we don’t buy into it. I’ve been trying to dissect it. Why is it that Uncharted triggers this argument, when Indiana Jones doesn’t? Is it the number? It can’t be just the number, because Indiana Jones kills more people than a normal person does. A normal person kills zero people. And Indiana Jones kills a dozen, at least, over the course of several movies.”

Perhaps Druckman isn’t the only one in the gaming industry with these opinions. The consumers could be the one making too much of a fuss about the small things. This is Uncharted after all, the game series where you can fall out of an airplane, climb mountains with your infinite amounts of stamina and survive hundreds of gunfights.

If we are the ones making something out of nothing, can you blame us? We want our medium to be taken seriously. In the world of sports, we would be hockey aka #4 (behind football, basketball and baseball). The gamer is a very passionate person and in most cases want their games to garner the same level of respect as a piece of cinema. It’s not too much to ask for our games to make sense, right?

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Of course you could take the concept of Ludonarrative Dissonance too far. In the Mario RPGs, you can have conversations with obviously sentient Goombas. So in the platformers, is Mario just murdering these innocent creatures for no good reason?

There are the occasional airtight pieces of entertainment, but most mediums require us to stay in a place of suspensed belief. It is fiction after all.

To me, Ludonarrative Dissonance is no small issue, and it should be avoided if possible. I could easily be deterred from something if it just makes no damn sense. Don’t get me wrong, I love the occasional nonsensical craziness like Uncharted, but if the idea of forsaking a narrative for gameplay ever became a mainstream idea, then I would seriously think we’re taking a huge step back for our medium.


So what do you guys think about the idea of Ludonarrative Dissonance? Does it matter? Is it a big deal? Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply! As always, thanks for reading.

READER VOTE: New Name

-by Dylan DiBona

Hope everybody is having a great Sunday! I’m at a bit of a crossroad and I need your guys’ input. I’ve hit my first set of goals here on my site:

1,000 Blog Views

100 Followers

500 Unique Visitors

I promised myself that once I hit and then top those goals, I would buy an official domain name and rid myself of the “.wordpress.com” in my URL. My problem is PlayingWithThoughts is taken!

It’s a very annoying situation because I love the name for so many reasons; I always felt like the name could be explained in multiple ways. I’m playing video games thoughtfully, then in turn I play with those thoughts and try and arrange them in written form. But because I cannot use that domain, it’s time to look elsewhere. So here are some ideas I have written on paper (I want the main theme to stay the same):

  1. PlayingWithThought (No S at the end is okay!)
  2. InteractingThoughts
  3. TheThoughtButton

Can you see the trend? I’m pretty sure I know which one I want to go with, but I always value you, my friends, opinions. Vote with 1, 2 or 3 and then I’ll decide soon enough. It’s a sad idea that PlayingWithThoughtwon’t quite exist anymore.


Thanks guys for your input and your time! The new domain might be coming in the next week! As always, thanks for reading.

Emily is Away Too Review [PC]

-by Dylan DiBona

For full comprehension, I think it would be best to quickly read through my review of the original Emily is Away. If you don’t want to, then here are a few quick things you should know about the first game:

  • It’s about 30 minutes long
  • It’s free
  • Gameplay is simple IM chatting with one person

I forgot about the cleverly named Emily is Away Too until about week before its release. Being a big fan of the original for its down to Earth tone, I was excited. It wasn’t until the day after release that I realized the sequel wouldn’t be free, this time the ticket fee was five dollars. I wasn’t sure if such a simple game deserved it, but I decided “why not?” and picked it up. But was Emily is Away worth double dipping and actually paying for?


Story:

You play a high school student who is entering his senior year. You have two good friends. Emily is the video game loving, semi-nerdy girl who doesn’t go to parties, drink or smoke. You and her are alike in interested and personalities. There’s also Evelyn, who is passionate about music, does go to parties and delve into that other stuff. Through the “EOL” instant messaging program, you have conversations with both of these people.

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As the artwork says, this is not the same Emily from the first game.

Due to teenage angst and other life problems, the story has many emotional ups and downs. It’s an enjoyable experience and I won’t spoil anything. I will say, one minor gripe I should’ve brought up in my review of the original came back up in the sequel; sometimes certain dialogue or situations seem a little unfounded. To best enjoy the Emily is Away games, imagine these teenagers as more anxious and emotional than most.


Gameplay:

The game is split up into five chapters which take about fifteen to twenty minutes to complete depending on your reading speed and reaction time. Like before, gameplay primarily consists of replying to your friends’ messages. I’m not sure if it’s just my keyboard, but with both of these games, typing the responses can be unresponsive at time. I switched over to the auto-type option, which does exactly as it sounds once I click my dialogue choice.

By far the greatest addition is all the immersion tools that developer Kyle Seeley implemented. The girls will often send you links to music videos on “Youtoob” which you can actually click on and listen to music. This gives the games a soundtrack in a sense. They will also send you files that you have to actually download onto your desktop and check out (they’re all safe files, don’t worry). The game actually opens up with allowing you to choose a desktop background and asks you to apply in reality. Sometimes you’ll be able to go onto “Facenook” and check out your friends profiles. The best part of these segments is figuring out which pages you can actually click on, it’s like finding secret immersion.


Presentation:

What can I say? It’s exactly like how I used to IM online friends back in 2006-2009. The game is set in early 2000’s and it captures the aesthetic perfectly. You can hear the hum of an old computer and all the real life AOL sound effects. In-game websites are decorated with fictional comments, logos and images.

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Once again, immersion.


Roundup:

By textbook definition, Emily is Away Too is exactly what a sequel should be. Instead of thirty minutes, it’s an hour to an hour and a half. Instead of only talking to one person, you talk to two (actually more through the power of easter eggs, which are so very well implemented, but I’ll keep those a secret because they’re funny). There’s not just one ending, there’s a bunch of them.

The simplicity of IMing isn’t an easy concept to expand on, because how do you do it without getting boring and repetitive? If Kyle Seeley goes for a third game, he has a challenge ahead of him for topping this entry. I went back for a second ending and with the hidden “profile pic” collectibles and my desire to see all dialogue, there’s a decent amount of replayablity here.

Emily is Away Too is an astounding game.

I really do hope there are more Emily’s in my future.


This is so far the highest rated game on my site since I’ve started using my new review scale! If you’re curious about Emily is Away, I recommend downloading the first game for free on Steam; it should take you just as long to finish as a cup of coffee. As always, thanks for reading.


Confused on my review score? Click here for an explanation!

100TH ARTICLE: How Was the First Half of 2017?

-by Dylan DiBona

Another day, another celebration! After recently hitting one hundred followers, I am currently writing my one hundredth article on this site! I was watching an old IGN podcast and one of the questions they answered was “How do I get a job in gaming journalism?” Their answer; “Do it every day.”

So I took that challenge and here we are, one hundred articles. I hope my topics stay fresh for you readers; sometimes I wonder just how many topics I can write about when it comes to video games, turns out a lot.

2017 was really the “rebirth” for my page. My daily blogging schedule pulled more people in and ensured within me my passion for writing about games. So it’s only fitting that I look back on what 2017 brought to us in the world of gaming. More specifically, the games I was looking forward to per system. It just so happened that my most anticipated video games of 2017 came out in the early months. So let’s discuss  them alongside any other game I purchased this year.


Persona 5

The fifth entry in the Persona series was not a let-down. In fact it was a genre defining title, the first JRPGs had seen in a long time. We’re talking gorgeous oozing of aesthetics within the art style, music, menus and more. We’re talking social commentary within the story, and most importantly we’re talking about making friends and strengthening bonds. Never have I seen a new entry in a series blow the older games out of the water so much. Persona 5 easily breaks into the category as one of my favorite games ever made, and with the power of hindsight it only gets a higher and higher place.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

I’ve spoken about this game extensively, especially in my Five Best The Legend of Zelda Games article.

It’s amazing, it’s freedom, and it’s wonderment.

I didn’t like it quite as much as Persona 5, but this game alongside P5 are absolute gaming history. If you want to see my review on Breath of the Wild, click here. Or here for my Persona 5 review.


Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia

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Fire Emblem is the only series I know where the game can actually beat you, and not vice versa. Because of my quickness to action, I had a few teammates die, and I’ve decided to take a break after twenty-one hours of playtime. Within those hours I adored the strategic gameplay, retro throwbacks to the original game this remade, and genuinely interesting story. I’ll go back to it one day because I love it in its own way, but this ranks at the bottom of my most anticipated trio.

Now how about the games I didn’t plan on buying months before in advance? Did I get any surprise hits this year?


Horizon Zero Dawn

Unfortunately genre burnout is a thing; after seventy-two hours in Breath of the Wild, I grew weary of giant landscapes and fighting monsters. I really enjoyed my short time with Horizon; after going towards niche or retro games, it was oddly refreshing going back to a more typical and modern game with designs similar to Assassins Creed.

I’ll be going back to Horizon soon for it’s stunning landscapes, great story and simple combat.


Yooka-Laylee

As a huge Banjo-Kazooie and Super Mario 64 fan, I had to get this game. It received lukewarm reception from critics, but for fellow fans and myself, I loved it. It was charming and fun, but most importantly it was exactly what was promised in its Kickstarter campaign.

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My review is here.


Emily is Away Too

I won’t say anything because my review drops tomorrow, but it’s good. Like really good.


And so that wraps up every game I bought that released this year so far! There are still a lot of experiences to look forward to in 2017. Let me know what you guys think of this year in terms of gaming. Like I said in my 100 followers post, thank you so much for sticking with me, it means the world to me.