Persona 5 (Review)

persona5

I think it is important that I clear my bias from the beginning if I could name my all time favorite game series it will be Elder Scrolls, Zelda, Monster Hunter and Persona, so it is very obvious that I am a huge fan of this series and I was looking forward to the fifth entry since the moment they announced it. but I think it is also important that I talk about my history with the series and how did I end up playing them in the first place, it all started with Persona 3 Portable on PSP I started playing this game after I finished Valkyria Chronicles 2 and it left a hole in my heart, I wanted to start something similar so someone recommended P3P for me and I started it, I really liked it and by the time I finished that Persona 2 came out and I played that and its sequel as well, I really loved the high school setting and the anime like pacing was right up my speed, then a year later I bought Vita and played Persona 4 and that was the top for me, I spend over 174 hours in that game playing it twice and I loved every moment of it, it was really amazing and I still have so many fond memories of it.

Persona 5 starts off really strong and just keeps getting better, you are a transfer student like every other game before it but this time you are branded a criminal and you are under probation, you live in an attic above a cafe and there begins your journey toward fame and adventure by establishing your very own Phantom Thieves gang. Every Persona game has some familiar themes like the alternative world and your party’s ability to travel to it, using Personas to aid you in battle and taking down a target every month, I really like this aspect of the series which allows the creative team behind the games a certain amount of freedom to craft a new story and setting and themes within the compound and limitations of the series, for example P3 was about a team of Persona users who wanted to study the Dark Hour and the mysterious Tartarus, P4 was about a group of students who discovered a hidden world within the TVs and their attempt to solve its mysteries, P5 is about a group of Students who navigate the Metaverse and use it to change corrupt adult’s hearts in spectacular fashion, it is this small difference between the games that make them very exciting for returning players of the previous games and also really fun for the new ones.

The gameplay went through little modifications from P3/P4, in those games, you explore a procedural generating dungeons which could get a little bit repetitive however in P5 the main dungeons or Palaces as the game calls it are not procedural but handcrafted with puzzles and challenges that you need to overcome to get to the end of it, the battles are mostly like the previous games you get to control four characters each with different abilities and you exploit the shadow’s weaknesses to either eliminate them or talk them into joining you, outside of battle you get to fuse these Personas to create new ones with other abilities, the game has four difficulty settings I started with Easy then I switch to Normal even at Normal the game was fairly easy and as soon as you get a hang of the battle system there won’t be much of a challenge to overcome except for couple of bosses, and that is basically 40% of the game, the other 60% is a simulation like every other Persona games where you spend your time with your friends and the girls you are trying to get with (Makoto in this case) which will also make you stronger by leveling up your arcana, as you notice there are SO MUCH to do in this game and that is why I spend 124 hours just finishing it up once, really long game.

The game has a slick and stylish design that looks like a playable anime, the animations, and special effects are so stylish and gorgeous and burst with attention and detail it will amaze you at times, all of this is accompanied with a perfect OST, the OST is so good that I have been listening to it every day for the past two months, some tracks are blood pumping and others are emotional and touching, magnificent work. every character is brought to life with their great voice performances (Not Haru) and amazing in the dungeons costumes (Again not Haru), the standouts are of course Makoto and Ryugi’s designs they look amazing.

maxresdefault

Perhaps my only gripe with the game is the same issue I had with P3/P4 which is most of the social interactions are not voice acted and that could get really boring if you are not that invested in one of their stories.

Verdict: Persona 5 is one of the best games I have ever played, it is a game filled with a style which highlights its substance, a very long story is complimented by one of the best designs and OSTs I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing. (10/10)

Advertisements

Favorite E3 2017 Announcements

E3 is really the most enjoyable week for a gamer with so many announcements coming from all the developers all over the world, during this week I usually sleep less because I want to watch every live stream available and due to the different time zones they are usually on at 5:00 am or something like that, except for Nintendo. the following are my most anticipated new game announcements from the show this year

  • Metroid Prime 4: it did come at some surprise for most people when Nintendo announced the development of Metroid Prime 4 for Switch, without any gameplay showing but the thought that Metroid is making a come back is good enough
  • Metroid Samus Returns: Speaking of which this one caught me off guard and made me really happy, a traditional 2D Metroid and a remake of the GameBoy version which is a very important title in the series, I really can’t wait for this one.
  • Days Gone: Sony’s open-world zombie survival game looks great and it seems like getting even better if only we had a release date.
  • Assassin’s Creed Origins: when the annual Ubisoft series took a year off in 2016 I predicted the series will reinvent its self in some ways before making a come back and it looks that way, the not aged so well free-flowing combat is gone and replace with a Dark Souls-like combat and light RPG mechanics the games seems to be a great place to go for the series.
  • Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle: a Ubisoft developed Mario game featuring their Rabbits characters and it is an RPG with XCOM battles, I can’t believe I said that.
  • Skull and Bones: I am not trying to overly excite myself for this game but it looks amazing and it could be really fun to play it with a group of friends, sadly I don’t have many gamer friends so I might skip on it but it does look great.

My five E3 hopes and dreams

With the press conferences just about a day away I thought I would share my five hopes and dreams for this year:

  • Project Re Fantasy
    atlus-rpg-details-fami-leak_12-21-16
    It is no surprise that a fantasy RPG from Atlus directed by Katsura Hashino is going to be on my top 5 anticipated titles and Project RE Fantasy has been on my list since the moment they announced it, while I doubt they will show it this year and I do think this game is coming in 2019 I still have my hopes to show up in some form hopefully at the Nintendo Direct event.
  • Starfield
    220px-toddhoward2010sm
    Starfield is what rumored to be Todd Howard’s next game, for years this man has been my top game developer and I have sunk in nearly a 1000 hours into his last 4 games, while Starfield might not be real it popped up everywhere this week and supposedly they are going with the same model they went with Fallout 4 to reveal it and release it within the same year, yes please.
  • Project Dylan
    new_bioware_ip_march_2018
    Lets face it Bioware’s last great game was Mass Effect 2, Inquisition was ok but wasn’t great, Project Dylan is supposed to be a Destiny like Sci-Fi MMO that has been in development for 5 years or so and it is coming out next year, which is a Smart thing because going against Destiny this year is not suicide, note that Bioware did cancel another multiplayer game Shadow Realms was cancelled in 2015, I wonder if it is the same game rebooted or something.
  • Metroid 2D
    gVVNFNBXnJTHerE-800x450-noPad
    for how long must we cry for a new Metroid game? seriously it is getting sad, and I am sure when it comes out it will not sell as much as most people think it will be but I will buy it right away, here Nintendo here is my money!!
  • Next Criterion Game
    criterion-games-burnout-paradise
    EA killed my favorite racing series Burnout and replaced it with a series of Ok-at-best Need for Speed games, and this year’s Need for Speed Payback seems like EA’s attempt at going after Fast & Furious movies which doesn’t interest me one bit, I just really wish for a new Burnout from Criterion with this year, I have been wanting that for a long time now and it is about time daddy gets his sugar!

 

Three games I want it to cross genres

With the booming popularity of genres like Hero Shooters, MOBA, Hunter and Online trading card games many games are crossing genres by releasing a spinoff game from the main series, some games do it exceptionally well like Heathrstone and Gwent, some games like Dark Nexus Arena fail or arrival and some others have the potential for greatness like Quake Champions, Many other games are already crossing genres like Metal Gear going Survival, Dynasty Warriors going open world beside the already released Zelda, MGS and Final Fantasy trying their luck with Open World genre, it is an interesting way to play some of the classic titles that we grew up with trying new genres and game styles.the following are three games that I would love to see cross genres.

  • Shin Megami Tensei x Monster Hunter
    shin_megami_tensei_the_first
    SMT series are fairly popular worldwide with spin-offs like Persona being even more popular than the main series, the games have very dark and mature themes to them and they contain many demons with various inspiring designs and I think it will be a perfect setting for a Hunter game, the game could also add the social aspect of Persona and make you form bonds with quests givers and forming these relationships being the foundation for gaining more recourses from them or even in mission supply drops.
  • Destiny x Overwatch
    7eb41adf98a16e129b5630c07a1a12ac1c3eeb1cc28f307cd3295c16cb501783_1
    Bungie created a big list of great characters for their shooter each with a different set of abilities and weapons and armors, I wonder how good they would have been if they were in a game like Overwatch, you get to choose a character with a preset of powers and weapons and you will help your team to complete an objective, with Bungie’s amazing FPS gameplay design I can only see myself sinking in a 1000 hours into this game.
  • The Last of Us x DayZ
    1
    Survival games are a genre in making, for years we have heard of Dayz and H1Z1 and none of them ever coming out all of them seems to be in a long development hell and stuck on Steam Early Access, I would like to see a game in this genre made by a studio that doesn’t fuck around like Naughty Dog and I believe their Last of Us IP is perfect for this, it could be the best Open World Survival games we have ever seen, scavenging for food and water and weapons while surviving hordes of clickers and other players who might want to do you harm.

 

The Legend of Zelda : Breath of the Wild (Review)

3181241-ig-lozbreathofthewildrelease-20170112

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is directed by Hidemaro Fujibayashi and produced by Eiji Aonuma, it was first announced in 2013 as a WiiU exclusive but later came out on March 3rd,2017 for both WiiU and Nintendo Switch. The game is one the most critically acclaimed video games in history.
I grew up with Zelda, I played Link to the Past in 1994 and this series always held a very special place in my heart, however Breath of the Wild marks the series’s foray into the the open world which in my opinion results in one of the baldest moves Nintendo has ever made with their landmark series, not only it abandoned all of the previous structures the series is known for but it adds things that is unexpected from Nintendo.
The game has a beautiful slick anime look to it that is not 100% cartoony but it doesn’t look realistic either I personally love this new style for the series and I would love it if they went with it for the future games, the attention to detail here is unparalleled by most games in the genre even after 120 hours I was still finding things to be amazed by and the game shines the most in that aspect. Nintendo doesn’t just give you the illusion of choice it actually delivers on it, you have technically the option to walk into the Hyrule castle and challenge Ganon and beat him the moment you walk out of the Great Plateau, he will kick your ass because Breath of the Wild is by no means an easy game but you have the option never the less, you can also forget the main quest for a hundred hours or so and just do whatever you feel like it, there are more than 120 shrines in this game and by beating four of them you will have the option to either increase your stamina or health bars, also there are seeds that you find around the open world to increase your inventory, you also have many many side quests to tackle and so on and so forth, but here is the thing the game never tells you any of this, you are 100% free to find what you want and do what you like however you chose to, if that sounds like a good thing to you then Breath of the Wild will blow your mind.

The Shrines are one of my favorite parts of the game because they are not easy to find, maybe the first 20 will be you can just scout them from the towers but the rest all have a puzzle or a quest to complete in order for the shrine to appear, inside some of them are a Portal like puzzle chamber you need to solve in order to get to the end of it, some of them are a test of strength and some have a lengthy quest to get inside of it as soon as you do it will reward you, these shrines also serve as a fast travel location which is very cleaver way of encouraging more exploration.

07

Hyrule is a very well designed and well crafted Open World it is not made to serves as a walking simulator every corner has a something to do in it, someone did the math and found out the game’s map is almost 1.5 times bigger than Skyrim’s which I think it is remarkable to jam this much content in a map this size. all of this won’t mean Jack if the game wasn’t fun to play, why would you want to climb mountains and glide off them and fight random monsters that you don’t have to and get your weapons to break if you are not enjoying everything that you are doing in the game, is it enjoyable? well the answer to that is a hard YES, Breath of the Wild is perhaps the most enjoyable open world game I have ever played, and it is quite a remarkable achievement on Nintendo’s behalf to make a game that is so much fun and also really big and immersive.

The main quest of Zelda is also a great one, it might not be for everyone but if you enjoy the Zelda myth and prophesy and story it will hit right at home with you, the side characters are all colorful and filled with personality and there is a small but very sweet romantic subplot that I really enjoyed.

Verdict :  Breath of the Wild enjoyed widespread accialm and I want to say it is all that, Nintendo doesn’t reinvent the wheel with this game neither for its open world sanbox nor to the original Zelda formula but it perfects it, the final product is what some calls it a perfect game and I think if any game is perfect Breath of the Wild is damn sure a good candidate for it. (10/10)

 

Three things Destiny 2 can do to make it a much better experience than Destiny 1.

Destiny-2-Logo-600x337

Destiny 2’s announcement was yesterday, as a huge Bungie fan and a big fan of the original game I am very excited to go back to Destiny later this year and I know I will have a good time but it got me thinking what feature Bungie could add to the game that will make the game much better than its predecessor, here are three things that I thought of:

  • Ditch the loot drop and pick up crafting
    One of the reasons why most players got really frustrated with Destiny was the Loot Drop system, every week I played the Nightfall hoping for a Hawkemoon and after one whole year I still didn’t get it, that is really terrible! but imagine if Hawkemoon was a craft able gun and I could have gathered couple of components and crafted it myself, it doesn’t matter how hard it is to obtain those components but knowing that if I put in the time and effort I will get what I want is the best way to motivate the player, Monster Hunter does that perfectly and it is in my opinion one of the best systems ever.
  • PvP enabled Patrol Zones.
    I am not talking about getting rid of the Patrol from D1 but I am asking for zones where PvP are enabled by default, having bounties and specific quests in those zones to encourage players going there will make them very fun and engaging to play, or maybe they could add a feature like The Division’s Dark Zone or some kind of survival element that could make even more interesting to play.
  • For the Solo player
    The fact that D1 didn’t have anything for Solo players was really sad, I really wish they did have something beyond Bounties, this is why I think the previous point could be very fun because it will allow solo players (like me) to find things to do and also not fall so behind, The issue with D1 was the fact that it appeared that the most skilled players were those who did the Raids while they just teamed up with someone and he carried everyone, I really hope this wont be the case with D2.

there are many other things I wish it will change with Destiny like Light Levels, but I think that could be ok if other aspects of the game is better designed.

Dishonored 2 (Review)

p1_2222335_ffa1b871

Dishonored 2 is developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Games, it is a follow up to the 2012 game Dishonored by the same studio and it came out on PC, PS4 and XBOX One on November 11th, 2017 to a lot of praise and critical success.

The story takes place fifteen years after the first game, Emily is now the empress she is a grown woman with her father Corvo beside her ruling over the empire from her throne in Dunwall, but happiness can’t last forever and her aunt shows up and takes her off the throne and thus begins a quest to win back the throne, discover her aunt’s secrets and assassinate her allies, good times. right off the bat the story is a lot stronger than the first game because now both protagonists can talk and engage with the cast and characters which adds a lot of depth to them, this time around you are all given more choices you can go with either Corvo or Emily and you can also accept or reject the Outsider’s powers which makes your experience very different, to make up for the lack of powers you are given some tools to fight your way through the levels.

The heart and soul of the game is definitely the level design and my god they did an amazing job here, I highly suggest if you are planning to play the game to spend some time just to explore the levels it is so well designed and so creative it surprise you, every objective can be tackled in so many different ways, you can avoid killing anyone in the game or kill everyone in the game the choice is yours, the game also has multiple endings so you are encouraged to play it multiple times to get the best out of it.

dishonored-2-0030-1280x720

The combat in dishonored is a first person action game, your right hand is a sword which can both be used to silently kill someone from the back or chop him to pieces, your left hand however is either a ranged weapon, trap, spell or grenade. you can use whichever weapon suits your need and help you with the situation you are about to encounter, you can also buy ammo and upgrades from black markets and find benchmarks and ruins to upgrade your powers and become an OP god.

perhaps my main issue with Dishonored 2 is the same I had with the first game which is there isn’t enough of it, I wish these games gave me the whole city of Karnaca to explore and not just some missions it is a shame that Arkane crafted this amazing world and mythology and I only got to spend 10-12 hours in it, this game deserves to be more open and bigger and I really want it to be that.

Verdict : Dishonored 2 takes the first game’s great design and game play to the next level by adding a fantastic new playable character and a good story to uncover, new enemies to fight in whichever way you want to. (9.5/10.0)