What better way to spend Christmas holidays than to play video-games all day (no, not literally all day, but you get it) as if you were a kid once again! These last two weeks were spent with Nya‘s family in Portugal, so among ‘long walks on the beach’ (literally), time with family and lots of chocolate, there was also time to play games. We’ve always complained of how little time we had back home and how our new Playstation games didn’t leave the shelf, so guess what? We’ve brought the games AND the console with us and hoped for the best. For now, this is only a First Glance, with the possibility of a Full Review of some of these games once we finish them. Remember that at this point we’ve only played a few hours of each, so we can’t judge them as a whole. So let’s get started?
Fenrile’s First Glance:
I had my eyes on this game since a while ago, and as the amazing girlfriend she is, Nya gave it to me for Christmas – the Limited Edition! Dishonored 2 is a first person (one of the reasons Nya doesn’t seem too excited about it) action-adventure stealth game.
Without being a Final Fantasy XV (more on that later), Dishonored 2 has good graphics with a specific style. Somehow broken like a mirror, it fits perfectly the steampunk-inspired world. I haven’t played the first Dishonored yet, so I won’t be able to judge the story, but I do enjoy the way you follow it from a first person point of view, making you feel more immersed and connected to the character.
Despite the struggle between choosing Emily or Corvo, it’s a nice possibility given to the player. It doesn’t seem the game would change significantly based on this choice, but powers and skills are different from one to another, along with some dialogues during the story. Ideally, you will want to replay the game with the other character. I know I will. Not only for the character but also to change the way you play. If most of the beginning is going to be chaotic, during the replay you will be able to redo everything in stealth mode and maybe even sparing lives with the second character.
With the great graphics fitting the steampunk universe, the choice between playing two characters and the possibility of different types of gameplay (to kill or not to kill?), Dishonored 2 has everything to be one of the best games we’ve had in 2016.
Final Fantasy XV
Nya’s First Glance:
Even though Final Fantasy XV has been one of the most awaited games, I didn’t quite know what to expect. Once I’ve pre-ordered the Deluxe Edition, then that was it, and I could just hope for the best! I’ve been feeling a bit disconnected from the series for a while due to the latest boring releases, so I wasn’t overly excited about it. I’ve only become more interested in the game once the movie Kingsglaive was out, which we’ve watched and reviewed here.
Then the beautiful Deluxe edition arrived in the mail, and by that time I could barely wait to play it. Final Fantasy XV was the first game that me and Fenrile picked from all the others we’ve packed for the holidays. We ended up playing a lot – and we barely progressed in the story. This is because the game is full of addictive side quests (hey, I got a Chocobo!) and you can easily spend hours driving around with Noctis and his charismatic pals while the soundtrack of past Final Fantasy games plays on your car (nice touch). In fact, you can spend hours in about anything: playing side quests, riding chocobos, taking pictures, customizing your car, or even playing mini-games (oh, take me back to the Gold Saucer). It’s all very exciting, but you can forget to actually get back on track to find out about the story.
All of this to say that while, ironically, I can’t even judge the story yet (the core of any Final Fantasy), I already had lots of fun with this game. Holy hell, it’s so much better than what I thought it would be. I admit I am still not a big fan of the battle system (I’ll take the old-school system any time), but probably for the first time in Final Fantasy history, a real-time combat system actually works – that is, if you ignore the Wait mode, it’s pointless in my opinion.
Final Fantasy XV is indeed “a Final Fantasy for Fans and First-Timers”. Fenrile did seem to get into it and he’s not the FF fan I am (even though he refuses to be called a ‘first-timer’) so they must have done something right. They’ve also skipped the unnecessary complexity and boring linearity of some of the latest releases, making a game that’s it’s easy to get into and that still preserves many familiar elements from past Final Fantasy games. Full Review will come, eventually, and many things might change, when eventually, I’ll get down to the main core of the game, the actual story.
Stories: The Path of Destinies
Fenrile’s First Glance:
Stories: The Path of Destinies is one of the free games available on PS Plus this Christmas. We’ve downloaded the others, but I’ve only played this one so far, because, well, four games is already a lot for two weeks.
So, what is this game about? STPoD (to be easier), is an action-RPG game, but the top view gives a feeling of a platform type of game. Because you follow the stories from platforms to platform, this feeling is increased. The graphics are pretty simple but nicely done and the mechanics make it easy to get into the game.
You are Reynardo, a cool and charismatic fox, who’s due to intervene in a world where a mad Emperor sits on the throne and a civil war has broken out. You’ll follow the story you have chosen with weapons and friends you’ll make on your way.
The specificity of STPoD is that you often have to take decisions. Will you save a friend or chase old relics and relay on their power? Will you trust your old crush or will you turn your back on her? So many choices that will obviously have an impact on the story. On top of that, you may craft some relatively simple weapons that will help you open some doors (Hero, Fire, Shadow, etc), but you won’t be able to do it straight away. So I guess you will have to redo the game after you have crafted the right weapons and remember all your former skills from grappling hook to double dash.
Even with fighting mechanics that can get repetitive and the fact that you can’t jump (it’s frustrating, I need to jump in every game!), STPoD is worth it. If you have a PS Plus membership it’s free for now, but even £8.99 is a fair price. The story is rich, the game is easy and relaxing to play, you have different abilities to distribute your points, and you can redo the game to unlock the 24th alternative ending according to the choices you make. Another refreshingly good indie game.
World of Final Fantasy
Nya’s First Glance:
We already knew we would love this game because, as you might remember, we’ve been lucky enough to try the demo before World of Final Fantasy was even released – this was back in August! I’ve pre-ordered the game, it arrived in September, and the truth is that it hadn’t left the shelf until now. So I’ve packed this gem to play during the holidays. And I did play it! Well, me and Fenrile, to be more exact. Same as Final Fantasy XV, I didn’t know how it was going to be playing a single player game with another person, but he was as excited as me to try it out. Final Fantasy games are the best to play with others because there’s a lot of story and cut-scenes involved, so we’ve just taken turns for the actual game-play. It worked really well!
World of Final Fantasy was everything I’ve expected it to be. It really is a trip back to childhood, with the old-school battle system and the iconic references to past Final Fantasy games.
With that being said, the game is not perfect. For how simple this game aims to be, the amount of tutorials is a bit overwhelming, even if they are well done and entertaining enough. But a tutorial is a tutorial, and you’ll feel like skipping it, even if disguised behind a funny cut-scene. Yes, fun is a good word to describe World of Final Fantasy, I found myself giggling like a little kid during some of the scenes. I can see kids and adults alike enjoying this game, and no matter how not-perfect the whole thing is, it’s still a joy to play.
We’d love to know what everyone else has been playing and what gems have you found out this Christmas! Let us know in the comments.