Updated My Journal: Bravely Default, Punch Club and Dark Souls 3
Man, I stopped playing Bravely Default a long way back (when I totally misplaced my 3DS), but it sure feels like a game that doesn’t want me to finish it. So, I feel like I should be at the end of the game. Each of my characters is basically a minor deity, level 85 with a bunch of maxed out Jobs and as cheesy as anything. So, if you don’t know, (spoilers ahead, obvs) as you play through Bravely Default you find yourself beating these four elemental bosses over and over again. They get a little tougher each time (I guess if you aren’t powerful enough you have to go grind) but, otherwise, nothing of note happens. And I know it’s a part of the story. But I’m not really sure I care. I have like 40 hours in this game, and I really want to close it out. To complete that mental circuit in my mind, but that’s all it feels like I’m doing at this point. I have Bravely Second in my queue right now and I hope that it rectifies this stuff. The interesting part of the game is min-maxing your characters and I’m done with that. Maybe I should just leave it behind, but it won’t take me that long to demolish these same four stupid bosses again. Still, I can’t help but feeling I’ve caught myself in some sort of weird mental feedback loop.
Speaking of which, I’ve also been playing Punch Club. I’ve not played that many games in the sort of simulation genre that it finds itself in. I played quite a bit of Game Dev Story (a complete playthrough anyway), but Punch Club has some issues broadcasting how players should be using their time. Like, you have a million different places you can go and a bunch of different stats to manage and none of them rise very quickly. I think I’ve got to a point where I realize that the skills are actually more important than the stats, but I don’t think that’s a very natural inclination. I do think, overall, I quite like it despite the grindy nature of the genre and the feeling that progression is a little unsatisfying. Like, in Game Dev Story I felt like I was always moving forward, making better games. Here, the fights at the end (despite having different skills) feel a great deal like the fights early in the game. It’s not just the kinda-brutal-feeling skills degradation, but the feeling that my character doesn’t feel more powerful. It’s kinda cool to look at and there are some fun references, but there’s something that doesn’t quite click.
And, finally, Dark Souls 3 (more spoilers ahead for Dark Souls 2 and 3). I’ve beaten the first ‘real’ boss (The Boreal of Vordt or something similarly nonsensical – Okay, I just looked and it’s the ‘Vordt of Boreal Valley’ so… Close enough). Anyway, it’s a pretty stunning game and it feels like a pretty marked improvement over Dark Souls 2, which I have officially finished (although I didn’t visit any of the DLC, although I did beat the Scholar of the First Sin and leave the throne). Dark Souls 3 feels like the great refinement of a game series that it feels like I have been playing forever, but in the best way. I haven’t gotten much into the Undead Settlement, but everything feels really well-paced and I love the feeling that the game feels so unfair until you figure it out and then it all becomes rather trivial.
Upcoming, there’s Total War: Warhammer and Overwatch that I am really interested in and I would like to have a go at the new, episodic Hitman after hearing the folks over at Crate and Crowbar discuss it. I haven’t played a Hitman game since Hitman 2 (which is fourteen years old, so it totally came out about the time a lot of kids that are playing this one were born, which doesn’t make me feel awful at all) so I’d like to have another go at the series, although it’s another one that only could get played after the kids are in bed, which is a tough list already. I may well end up getting Overwatch now, but I will probably hold off on Total War: Warhammer since I have no interest in playing Total War games online and so can probably get it later. That said, it does look rather sharp. Speaking of which, I am also somewhat interested in Uncharted 4, although I will say that I have mixed feelings about the earlier games in the series and would like to know if it feels a little less ‘on rails’ than its predecessors. Even so, it sure is gorgeous and is one of the few game series with what can actually be called great voice acting.
So, what’s cosign out that you’re interested in? What are you playing? Any of the above or is there something completely different?