HUMANKIND (Closed Beta) – Part 1

Initially, I planned on publishing a new review today but I not only need more time (heh, funny… you’ll see why tomorrow) but I also really wanted to write about HUMANKIND, Amplitude’s magnum opus… which I preordered a while ago. There’s a closed beta available right now and I was super excited to play and… I’m a newbie when it comes to 4X games, so that’s great. Hence, I wanted to write a few posts on this, especially as I’ve got to stockpile posts for the weekend (aka scheduling them for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) and therefore, I’ll write about my experience with HUMANKIND in the next few days some more.

But for starters, what exactly is HUMANKIND? This is essentially a Turn-Based Historical-4X-Strategy game that is heavily stylized and that features a whole lot of cultures, eras, and mechanics. You begin in the Neolithic Era and work through the Ancient, Classical, Medieval, Early Modern, Industrial and Contemporary Era and battle other civilisations… or you befriend them or you trade with them. There are a lot of different win conditions and the closed beta only allows you to play up to the Industrial Era or until the 200th turn, meaning that you can’t win the game just yet… but it gives you a good idea of how the game will play out. In each era, you’ll have to earn Era Stars by hunting animals, growing a population, finding resources, researching things, or building stuff. There are other conditions as well for these era stars and they depend on your culture, too, but in essence, you earn those to advance your civilisation.

And your civilisation isn’t tied to exactly one culture but it can transcend upwards or adopt other cultures traits based on what era you’re in. I started out as a Nomadic Tribe and then went ahead, advancing to the Zhou Culture which allowed me to gather more Stability and build up my influence. I had to fight the Nubians and Babylonians but eventually, I went ahead and adapted my civilisation after winning a few wars to become Carthaginians (mainly because of “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam”, lol). From then onwards I adopted the culture of the Franks to receive their heavy cavalry but it was all for nought as the English and the Huns were destroying me on two fronts and as I was losing every ally that I previously had…

I still have to learn a great deal about the game but it isn’t as daunting as other 4X titles, to my surprise. I loved it and time really flew by. I only managed to get to Turn 100 and learned a great deal… those four hours, though, were great! I really loved the Closed Beta so far. Next time, I’ll try to get further into the game and to maybe not switch from Aesthetes to Merchants to other Affinities but rather work on having one steady win-condition. I feel like that could help a lot. I’ll also have to get less absorbed into the game and make more screenshots because… I only made one. The next posts will have more screenshots in there!

Anyways, hope you enjoyed this post. With HUMANKIND giving me so much confidence, I may get into the other AMPLITUDE 4X Games again… aka ENDLESS Space 1+2 and/or ENDLESS Legend. I’ve played Legend for a while but it was only the tutorial and I learned so little… I think trying the tutorial is for noobs and I may actually learn a lot more by figuring out things by trial and error or rather by failing multiple playthroughs in a row. I also really wanna get into Stellaris and some other 4X titles that I own, like Age of Wonders, AI War, Sins of Solar Empire, Warhammer (?), Eador and others… I loved Warlock: Master of the Arcane to bits but it’s relatively simple as well. Oh well,… See you next time!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Summer Game Fest 2021!

Yesterday, the Summer Game Fest was kicked off and I honestly completely missed that it wasn’t today until I saw Bel’s post on it already having had happened (Is the grammar alright? I feel like it’s alright? In my head that works, right? Right? Right. Right!), so check out his post, and essentially, we watched most of it on-stream today and I enjoyed it. I completely missed a title but caught up on the beginning section because I apparently skipped too much from the beginning sequence and missed something truly magical. Anyways! I wanted to talk about the Summer Game Fest today and honestly, it was cool. I’ve never watched any of these game shows and stuff like the E3 or whatever… so this was a truly new experience for me and I’m glad I got to experience it with my community over on Twitch.

So, it’s basically like a Game Awards show but with Game Trailers and Announcements and without Game Awards… At least that’s what I got from Bel’s post (give it a read!) and honestly, that summarises it quite well. The host was Geoff Keighley who apparently also produced it and I’ve never heard of him before but apparently, he’s a game journalist who made it and hence, I respect him… kinda… I think… At least until I do more research on him. If he turns out to be a dickhead, I’ll call him Geoffrey instead. Anyways.

Uhm, most of the show was kind of cringy with Geoff entering the screen every now and then and saying a few words and cracking some jokes and honestly, I couldn’t care less. Instead, I decided to skip ahead to the important bits and it was fun to hear “World Premiere” a bunch of times with a new movie by Ryan Reynolds and a bunch of titles that I don’t care about… I mean, Death Stranding is still on my to-buy/to-play list and I guess I’ll get the Director’s Cut instead of the normal version but that’s so far in the future… I may as well wait until Epic Games gives it away for free. Uh, Tarkov was also there and was seriously underwhelming, showcasing a lot of shooting that was very long and very unsatisfying. I don’t know whose idea that was. But there were also some interesting releases there… and some information on some of the titles. The last 2 hours of the show essentially are about the “Day of the Devs” presenting most of the gems that I was looking forward to. Everything before that? Was hit or miss for me, at least.

Before I head into the interesting titles, I wanted to mention that I was super excited about five titles here: First up, I was hoping to see more gameplay trailers or whatever of Stray which is published by Annapurna Interactive and is supposed to come out in 2021, as far as I know,… and I also published a post on that in the past… Second up, I was hoping to see a trailer of sorts for the teased/leaked Outer Wilds DLC… Third up, I have seen the Endless Dungeon trailer already but I still wanted to see more about it by Amplitude Studios… I may actually publish another post on that soon… Fourth,… I was really looking forward to seeing more about Sable which is published by Raw Fury. Last but not least, I was really excited about the prospect of potentially getting more information about Tunic which is published by Finji and which I played at the GamesCom two years ago! Let’s see how much I actually got out of this event information-wise and hype-wise!

Here’s

As mentioned just now, I’m really excited about Sable. It’s developed by Shedworks and published by Raw Fury. Really excited to see another exploration-based game in the works and frankly, it’s beautiful. The presentation of the game was amazing with the game-trailer kind of blending in with the stage and Japanese Breakfast singing the song Glider from the game’s soundtrack (Geoff said a lot of words and promoted her a lot in a single sentence… a very long sentence… so not entirely sure here…?). It was really pretty… and her voice was amazing and the singing and everything, so well done on that part, I just would have wanted to see more information on the game, the story, the characters, and maybe even some talk from the devs.

I forgot to mention that I now after watching the VOD and after reading Bel’s post realised that I missed Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands. I’ve caught up and it’s honestly quite great. I’m really excited to play that spin-off as it features Tiny Tina (who’s great) from the Borderlands franchise and basically combines Borderlands’ madness with the DnD-campaign from that one BL2-DLC and I’m really looking forward to that, although I have yet to finish said DLC… or the other DLC I own… and I still need to play BL3! So, it’s gonna take a while until I get it.

Lost Ark looks super awesome but I don’t think I’ll sink my teeth into it just yet… I may have to wait until the reviews come in. Naithin just published a post on it saying that they won’t take his money. I’m sure you’ll like that post! I personally love ARPGs but I really need to have a group of people to play it with… so I’ll have to see if any of my friends get into it.

Initially, I wanted to mention that I’m surprised that the Among Us hype doesn’t die out… but I’m not surprised… I just don’t play it personally anymore which means nothing in the grand scheme of things. However, Finji just published Chicory: A Colorful Tale which looks cute but it’s not my type of cute. It’s interesting but I’m not sure if I personally wanna get into it. I’d love to see people play it though, just not my cup of tea, I guess. Salt and Sacrifice is gonna be the new game by the Salt & Sanctuary devs where you hunt down and consume mages… It reminded me of Vigil which is understandable since the Vigil people were inspired by Salt & Sanctuary but honestly, I’m not sure if it will be my type of game as the art style is really not my cup of tea.

BUT we’ve got something new here that is really to my liking: Solar Ash! Published by Annapurna Interactive (I’m such a fanboy) and developed by Heart Machine, this title basically plays kind of like Shadow of the Colossus. It looked super cool and I’m sure you’re gonna love it when you see it, too. It’s the second game by the team behind Hyper Light Drifter and I feel like it went through the same transformation that Risk of Rain went through: First game = 2D Pixel Art, Second Game = 3D Cell-shady stylised awesomeness. Really cool! The world is stunning, the soundtrack sounds good so far but I’m really excited about the prospect of something Shadow of the Colossus like… on PC. At least, it already has a page on Epic Games, not sure if it will be an exclusive title though!

Tarkov’s trailer was just “BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR BRRRRRRRRRRRRRR BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” aka “gun goes vrrrrr” and it was very underwhelming and boring and I couldn’t skip ahead fast enough sadly… I don’t know who they’re trying to win over with that sort of trailer but that was disappointing, even for someone like me who’s not in the game and expected more of a Tarkov trailer. Is there anything new? Probably… I don’t know… The Trailer was all about shooting into a corridor for what felt like ten hours straight. Meanwhile, the gunplay just felt off… Next up there was also Two Point Campus which basically looked… not good? I don’t know how to describe this impression but Two Point Hospital had the curious diseases and the management aspects and Two Point Campus seems to miss out on that… or at least it doesn’t tell you about any of that… and it just felt as if something was amiss but it’s hard for me to describe this feeling I have here.

BUT there’s an amazing game right here that reminded me of Left 4 Dead but in space?! It’s like Back 4 Blood… BUT IN SPACE! The Anacrusis looks amazing and like a lot of fun. It was hilarious and crazy and looked intense and in theory, it should have a lot of replayability where you fight off against hordes of zomb- ALIENS! ALIENS! LOTS OF THEM! A LOT OF ALIENS! And you yeet them off into the distance, move forward, shoot them, plough through them, kill them, yeet them some more, push them away, pull them in, and all of that… Looked like a lot of fun!

Planet of Lana was the next game of interest here where you have a small pet of sorts and you’re a boy… and it’s this beautiful and interesting hand-painted world that you explore in what felt like a Limbo-ish game that doesn’t murder you around every corner. It’s interesting. I got very *drawn* (ba dum ts) into it and am looking forward to this. We also got a trailer for Paladins (which apparently still exists?) and I loved the song in there but I can’t find out what the song is… big sad… didn’t care about the trailer itself. Can someone help me find out what that song is? Thanks! 

Next up, we got a trailer on Endless Dungeon (HELL YEAH!). I saw the trailer already and was hoping for more information but whatever… We also got more information on Tunic and the fact that there will be a bigger demo soon available to us all, which is great. I have high expectations for that demo… I mean, as in my expectations are that this demo will be better than the last Steam Game Festival demo… It was a buggy mess after all and unplayable when I tried it out and I hope that the next one is playable. The GamesCom demo that I played was amazing btw and it was nice to hear some insights about the inspirations for the game… Cute Zelda-lite where you’re a fox and where exploration and discovery are meant to be very satisfying… Up my alley! Looking forward to this next demo!

Tribes of Midgard is something I haven’t seen at all yet… It reminded me of a Valheim X Drake Hollow cross-over as in the DH-formula of building your village, upgrading your gear, exploring the world and fighting off waves meets the lore and style of Valheim, sort-of? Kind of reminded me of Fade to Silence as well and honestly, it really looked cool and I’m looking forward to potentially getting into this… again if I have a group of friends that are getting into it. 🙂 May need to do some convincing! Elden Ring was… it looked intense and awesome and I’m hyped about it but I wasn’t really aware of it until now btw.

We also got some more information on Phantom Abyss which is great. It’s this roguelike-dungeon-crawling game where you see the Phantoms of players before you conquer the dungeon but if you die, you get locked out and can’t see that dungeon anymore… and if you beat it and claim the treasure, nobody else gets the spoils of war. I feel like the concept is amazing but if some people were very good at it, they could lock a dungeon and ruin the experience for anyone that tries that same dungeon, if that makes sense? Maybe I’m overthinking this or maybe there is a mechanic that stops stuff like that but I’m excited regardless of that.

Next up we got more information on Garden Story (nice to see more gameplay trailers), TOEM (super excited but no new info), Soup Pot (looked cool but no new info), Vokabulantis (some behind-the-scenes stuff but it’s stop-motion and while I love seeing the behind-the-scenes stuff I would have liked to see more actual gameplay), as well as some more information on Death’s Door (interesting… but again, nothing new). I would have liked more actual gameplay footage for most of these titles but can’t be helped, I guess. The Wandering Village looked very interesting and has been wishlisted. Unbeatable also made an appearance. What was exciting was the new insights on Loot River… The premise was already super cool but seeing the new weapons, a bit of info on the level generation, the bosses, and the characters, as well as some more gameplay stuff, was very nice and I’m still super hyped for this one. And at last, there was Behind The Frame which is this anime-ish visual-novel-ish game that is super cute and wholesome and I’m excited to see it get published eventually…

But there was no more information on Stray and/or Outer Wilds, which was a bummer, but we got to see more Endless Dungeon, Sable, and some Tunic, so that’s cool. Game Shows like this are weird in a way where you hope for things and don’t get those but you learn about new things that you get very excited about. I for once am super excited about Sable, Endless Dungeon, Behind The Frame, Loot River, and Solar Ash. Seeing two more additions to my roster of interests (Solar Ash and Behind the Frame) is great and 100% worth the four hours of content I just consumed. 

Hope you enjoyed this post. What were you excited about after watching the Summer Game Fest 2021? Also, did you laugh at any of Geoff’s jokes? Let me know! Again, I personally haven’t really watched any of these game shows so this was a new experience for me… Maybe I’ll even watch the E3! We’ll see. 🙂

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Late to the Party #10 – Bioshock Infinite

After way too much time, I finally got around to play Bioshock Infinite by Irrational Games. Sorry, but I was about 8 years late to the party. Today, I’m hence talking about Bioshock Infinite and about how I liked the game after having played through it in about 15 hours. This doesn’t include the DLCs… since I don’t own the DLCs, I can’t play those, obviously… and I also can’t get the achievements for those but I got most for Infinite and 31/80 total (36%), which is honestly quite nice. This is not a review btw. Hence, there will be spoilers. I won’t spoil the end of the game or anything like that but I’ll get into some stuff… so a mild spoiler warning.

So, I basically started up Bioshock Infinite and loved it from the getgo: Instead of fighting mad scientists, their experiments and drug addicts, you fight police officers, soldiers, religious fanatics, white supremacists, anarchists, and robots. Bioshock Infinite really stepped it up and went into a whole new direction, I believe, which is nice. Instead of damp and dark areas, you have a lot of lights and colour open spaces that connect to other places, filled with secrets and life. You play as Booker Devitt who has to find a girl and bring her to his employee to get rid of his debt. The girl in question, Elizabeth, is trapped inside of a tower to protect her. She is the Lamb, Father Comstock is the Prophet, and you’re the False Shepherd, or so the people say. Hence, people are hunting after you. You can help the Vox Populi who are against the oppression by Comstock and his religious cult. There are other characters as well that help you or that don’t… and again, there seem to be choices.

Bioshock always had choices in there to a degree… In the case of Bioshock Infinite, you can choose between heads or tail, the bird and the cage, killing or sparing. It gives you the idea that you have a choice but more often not it’s such a minor change if any change at all, resulting in you not really having many endings or anything like that. You play the game and the game ends eventually. Apparently, I’ll have to play Burial at Sea Episode 1 and 2 to make sense of the story… but I don’t have the funds right now to buy those… Oh wait, never mind, someone just gifted me both of those DLC. How kind of them. What the fuck? Anyways, I’ll have to talk about the DLC eventually as well once I get to play them… and I’ll talk about Bioshock Infinite’s story now, essentially. I mean, the story was nice with a bunch of twists and it made sense for the majority of the time… but eventually, they just added pseudo-science to the mix and held it up against your face until you drowned in it. If you ever stop questioning the end of the game’s main storyline, you’ll notice that… it doesn’t make much sense. It contradicts itself in a way. It pretends to be scientific. It pretends to not have to explain shit to you after a certain point and if you pretend that much it looks pretentious eventually. I mean, it’s just the end, the game itself was fun. I played on the Hard difficulty but never felt like I’m stuck anywhere… apart from two occasions at the end. The endgame is kind of rough as you run out of ammunition quickly and as you seemingly deal no damage against the many armoured foes and as you have no choice but to suck it and see if you can somehow find a magical guide that allows you to deal with that boss or this encounter and… then you’re done with the game essentially.

Combat has been improved a lot. The game doesn’t feature a weapon selection like in Bioshock 1 and 2 where you have all weapons available to you at all times. Instead, you can carry two different weapons and just switch out what you have on the fly. Meanwhile, all the plasmids are now called vigors and only two of them can be equipped at a time as well but you can easily switch out between vigors by holding Q… which is something that I had to google because the game told me way too late that it’s possible at all, which was quite annoying. So, you basically can still use weapons and vigors (or plasmids or whatever) at the same time, like in Bioshock 2 but you only have 2 weapons at a time available to you unless you play the DLC. Bioshock Infinite features a plethora of weapons from pistols, snipers and shotguns, to hand cannons, machine guns, RPGs and salvos. There are a lot of different weapons on the side of the soldiers and on the side of the Vox Populi. You will end up helping the Vox Populi, the anarchist group I mentioned earlier, but they’ll fight you as well eventually, and so, you can use any and all weapons when you find them laying around to your advantage, which is fun. The gunplay was alright. The new plasmids were amazing. Uhm, the whole world was actually a lot of fun to explore, especially with the new vertical movement added through the skylines that you can access and from which you can execute enemies with a skydive. ALSO, the game now adds weapon and plasmid upgrades that you have to buy using Silver Eagles. The old upgrade and stat system is no more. There are no passives anymore but you can now equip gear with different effects.

Honestly, I feel like the game is a lot of fun and that the game is quite beautiful and that the game does have a great story. The ending is just a bit disappointing. I hope the DLC fixes that. On top of it all, Elizabeth is a great NPC and while we do escort her, she actually helps us out a lot by picking locks, giving us ammunition, salts (for vigors), health and coins. There is also this new shield mechanic in the game and it overall feels very much updated, even if the game is now eight years old.

I’m looking forward to playing the DLC eventually to round up the story… until then….

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

The Binding of Miss Magi

Gaming isn’t that accessible. A lot of times, I play a game and immediately know what’s going on and how stuff works. Attacking, moving, kiting, strafing, and all of that sounds logical to me because of experience but then I mention “accessibility” in my reviews and talk about subtitles, key remapping, graphics options, etc. but I never really talk about beginner-friendliness.

The reason why I mention this is because I can’t really talk about beginner-friendliness because I’m not a beginner. Even if I start a game from a new save file and no nothing about the game I still know how other games work and I end up winging it more or less. I get a grasp of things quickly… Meanwhile, Ms Magi hasn’t played that many games apart from maybe Mario Kart and some Wii Games as well as Animal Crossing: New Horizon, which she recently picked up and started playing on her Switch. So, I made her play Portal a while ago and she wasn’t really able to figure things out because moving while also moving the camera are quite hard for someone who hasn’t really played games that require that. I planned on making a post on that but forgot to take notes and… Razbuten made a bunch of videos on that, on YouTube, where he documents how “the lady he lives with” handles new games.

Either way, today I made her play The Binding of Isaac… She failed in the first room that had combat in it. It was interesting to see. I think the main issue is that Isaac may be a great game but it’s incredibly hard. She often wouldn’t realise that she can hold the shoot button or that she could shoot while moving and stuff like an enemy spawning flies would also not be that logical to her, which is why she died quite quickly. And I found this interesting because I haven’t had the chance of experiencing an all-new Isaac because I played the Flash-Version and Rebirth and Afterbirth and Afterbirth+ and now I started playing Repentance and while I was never really good at it, I enjoyed it and had a lot of fun with it so far… and the appeal of a very hard game that resets all your progress once you died sounds cool to me but Ms Magi still doesn’t get the appeal of it or it’s just not her cup of tea.

It’s gonna be interesting to let her play games like Hades or Forager in the future. I’d like to see how she’d deal with stuff like Yoku’s or Ori or maybe even Skul. It would be cool to see her play a bunch of different games and I may want to document it all. I personally can’t play Outer Wilds really because I know everything about it already. If I were to forget everything, I’d love to play it again but until then my first playthrough of the story ruined the game for me because a game that is all about Mystery and Exploration doesn’t work all that much anymore if you already know all of it. Hence, it’d be phenomenal to see her play it for the first time and to see her react to it and to her find out about all of it. It’d be amazing to see how she’d fare in the game or what she’d think about it.

Today, she found Isaac cute at first when I showed her the cutscenes and stuff but she found it quite disturbing once she realised that you’Re shooting tears. Yup. It may not be apparent really, especially since I didn’t tell her anything about it but she quickly realised when she saw me play a run that “tears up” means that your tears are stronger and hence, those orbs you shoot? They are tears! And then there’s all the poop piles and spiders and all of that stuff… Or me shooting a razorblade through my eyes as Isaac…

A game she spotted in my library though that looked interesting for her is Turnip Boy commits Tax Evasion, a cute little Adventure game that I’ll review soon once I get the chance to do so. Would be lovely to have her play that, too, or to have her check out A Short Hike or Ape Out or anything else that is Indie and that doesn’t require too much camera movement, etc.

Either way, I just figured I should talk about this for a little bit and I may write some posts on Ms Magi playing games and stuff. I’m having fun seeing her experience all of this stuff that I really love and adore… and even if I’m not the biggest Animal Crossing person, I enjoy letting her show me around her island and stuff. It’s super cool how much she loves it and how terraforming works in that game and stuff. 😀

Hope you enjoyed this post! Would be interesting to have Ms Magi on-stream eventually but I’d have to make an avatar for her, too, in that case. Oh well…

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

NieR: Replicant… Head Canon!

Today I finished playing through NieR: Replicant. Again, I talked a bit about it in my post on the most annoying quest and my post on endings but there are plenty of endings and I finished all of them today. Before I head into this… here’s a spoiler warning. You’ve been warned. I’ll talk about Ending B to E, so if you don’t wanna get spoiled on those skip to the headcanon bit or to another post.

Anyways, Ending A and B essentially tell the same story with a few additions in Ending B that let you in on the thoughts and feelings of the Shades because yes, Shades have feelings. The Shades you kill throughout your playthrough were human at one point but later turned into Shades because of stuff that I still have to piece together. The story is quite complex and since I haven’t played Drakengard (yet? pls port!), I’m not entirely sure how Legions, Shades, Replicants, and Humans tie into this world but still, the bits I understood were great and I loved them to bits and pieces. I loved the game. Anyways, once you complete Ending B, you have to unlock all weapons in order to be able to see Ending C and D. These weapons include the Iron Pipe that you automatically get at the end of Ending B or through a quest in the Mythic Forest, as well as the “Fool’s” weapon-set that you get through your Mother’s Diary after you completed Ending A… and when you have all weapons (you can check via the Wiki OR via the Grimoire-Weapons-Tab (it has a percentage there), you basically can fight a new boss in the Shadowlord’s Castle. 

After you beat the Shadowlord, you’ll be reunited with Yonha while Kayné turns away and behaves weirdly. This is because she has changed and her hate is gone. She learned to accept herself and the shade within her, Tyrann, because of us, “Nier” aka whatever you named your character. Since there is no hate to fulfil the pact of Tyrann and Kayné, the Shade wins over and Kayné gets fully possessed and is out of control, so we have to fight the Final Boss Kayné. Once we’ve beaten her, we have two choices:

Ending C: Kill Kayné to fulfil her request and freeing her from the burden of the shade within her and all the hatred that comes with it.

Ending D: Obliterate your existence in order to save Kayné.

Ending C is sad… but alright. Ending D deletes all your save files but saves Kayné. So, I went for both and while it was nice to see Kayné happy… it wasn’t exactly a happy ending. My chat and I wanted to see this true happy ending… so we, went for Ending D, then started a new playthrough on the route to Ending E. Ending E is just a normal playthrough from a fresh file that you cannot name after your first character. You start off in Part 1 and play the game until you go to the Aery for the second time where you fight Hook and save Kayné but Kayné actually awakens from a dream and goes off to kill things because she’s sad and lost because it’s been three years since *she* defeated the Shadowlord and despite it all being over, she doesn’t know what’s wrong. She feels like there’s something or someone missing… On our way out, we meet a guard that goes to the Forest of Myth where we get to Ending E that allows us to restore our memories and save Nier who now is back and everyone is happy.

This is where the headcanon comes in… which goes as follows. Kayné and Nier catch up and end up getting married. Emil gets to know someone who loves him the way he is. The wedding is held in Nier’s village and obviously, the King of Facade and his entourage are invited to as well. They all live happily ever after. Even Weiss gets to know a thicc dictionary (one of my viewers added that). The end.

It’s kinda boring… I personally loved Kayné’s story and her character to bits even if her costume is a bit much… and while I like her, I think that Emil and Nier should get married since it’s being hinted that Emil would like that… or maybe I just misunderstood it and he just identifies more like a “bride” rather than a “groom” or rather that he doesn’t know where he stands on the spectrum. Emil could very much be LGBTQIA+ if you think about it since he and his sister fused into one body and since he’s technically a weapon created during Project Gestalt. 

Anyways, I’d love it if the Postman from Seafront and the King of Facade and Jakob from the Junkheap as well as the chief from the Forest of Myth all came to throw a big fat wedding party in the… uh IDK… library? The library would be big enough for that. Nier and Kayné would still travel the world with Weiss and Emil on their side while Yonha comes along and gets to see more of everything, including the desert, the mountains, the sea and the rest of the world where they get all sorts of yummy food as they try to uncover a way of returning Emil to his former body. 

But yeah,…

Our headcanon stays headcanon.

Ending E is great because it leaves all of that to our imagination while still giving us a great ending. Once you get Ending E you get a “Thanks for playing” message by the entire main cast as well in the options menu, where Devola, Popola, Tyrann, Weiss, Kayné, Nier, Older Nier, Yonha, and Emil all have a very wholesome moment together and where they end up thanking the player for everything. It’s cute and wholesome… and while I know that our headcanon doesn’t exactly work or probably won’t ever be adapted as actual canon… it’s still cute in our heads and we thought about this for a bit and I promised that I’d make a post about it. 

Apart from that, I’ve got a post planned that is more akin to a review actually where I’ll talk about my thoughts on NieR Replicant. Obviously, I love it but I want to talk more about why I love it instead of just saying that I love it while I fanboy over all the small things in the game… and I also want to talk about things that bothered me… and that’d be great in a review. The question is only if I could really call it “Indietail” since Toylogic and Square Enix aren’t exactly “indie”… but we’ll see.

Hope you enjoyed this one! Looking forward to the next post.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

How do you execute multiple game endings well?

There are a lot of games that feature alternate endings or different variations and lure people in with the premise of “replayability”. Being able to follow different paths is amazing and it leaves you with the impression that your choices matter but ultimately, a lot of games don’t do it well. Hence, I wanted to share some thoughts on the topic today and share some concerns I have. I may not come to a conclusion here but I feel like it’s a nice discussion to have and would love it if you, dear reader, would take your time and maybe comment your opinion on the matter and share some insights.

So, first of all, spoiler warnings: There will be mild spoilers for some games. The TellTale Games and their premise, Undertales different routes, and Catherine’s endings get very mildly touched on and it may be a small spoiler if you don’t know anything about those games. I also talk about the number of endings in NieR Replicant and how they work but I don’t touch upon the story itself or anything that is actually spoilery…. Also, I talk a bit about Fable and Beacon Pines, so, again, premise-spoilers so not actual spoilers but I don’t wanna get shouted at for not warning you. So if you don’t wanna know stuff about relatively old games then don’t read this. Thank you.

When I talk about different paths, I talk about choices you make giving you the freedom of splitting off into different story-arcs or changing the outcome more and more with every choice you make. Beacon Pines does this quite well by splitting every choice into a plethora of branches on a literal tree. Some of these branches lead to dead ends but you bring something back from that: Knowledge. So you can basically return to a previous point and try out a different solution to see if that changes the way the story goes, which is great, in my opinion. Meanwhile, you have chapter selections in the Telltale Games and while they also allow you to change things, I don’t think that that’s quite the right choice game-design wise. So, you may think that these two solutions are similar or maybe even the same but the issue is that all the Telltale Games have an inherent flaw that Beacon Pines doesn’t have: Your choices don’t matter.

On the one hand, there is Beacon Pines where you can hit dead ends, you can hit bad endings, you get good endings and other possibilities that change the outcome of the story and how elements unfold. I know stuff like that because of the demo that I played and the Kickstarter promises but also because of an interview that is coming to YouTube soon. On the other hand, there are the TellTale games where you have a story that takes one character from point A to point Z. There are plenty of points where you make decisions that save or kill one person over another… Point B gives you the option of saving one of two characters: NPC 1 and NPC 2. You choose one over the other and there may be consequences but in the end, you still get to point Z which is the end of the game and it may play out slightly different but it doesn’t change the way that the game is played.

One of my all-time favourite games is Catherine Classic. That game has nine endings: Three “morally good” ones, three “morally neutral” ones and three “morally bad” ones. I add “morally” because “bad” in this context is associated with sins, Catherine, and essentially, things that are outside of the norms and morals of society… Meanwhile, “good” means here that you commit to Katherine, conformity and effectively, conservatism in a way aka marrying, loyalty and getting old together in a romantic way, I guess. The choices you make constantly alter the path that you’re headed towards. There is this karma-meter that changes to the right or the left based on your choices… These choices are presented to you as questions that often can’t be associated with “good” or “evil” and it’s hard to understand how being a “dog person” or being a “cat person” means that you’re good or evil… I guess dogs stand for loyalty which is good and… cats eat food everywhere where they get food, which is “bad”. You also can send text messages to Katherine or Catherine which, based on your choice of words, also gives you points on the karma-meter changing the path you take… Ultimately, this sounds like a great system but in essence, you end up playing the same game the same way every time and in the end, nothing really changes, apart from the end. You have different endings but not different playthroughs. Getting all endings can be not only frustrating but also boring and it destroys the fun parts of the game, in a way, which is sadly something I dislike about Catherine, but it’s fun when you get a new ending once in a while and it’s interesting.

So, TellTale has great characters and great stories but only one ending. Beacon Pines branches out the story itself and may have fewer actual endings than Catherine but at least the gameplay aka the actual plot changes along the way according to the path you take, unlike Catherine. I feel like these three games do things very differently… and TellTale Games tend to have the issue of endazzling you at first with the magic of “severe choices” but in the end, it doesn’t matter because you realise in your second playthrough that none of your choices actually mattered as you SPOILER end up alone as Clementine. And you may already know that because Lee doesn’t show up in the second game.

My issue with multiple endings is that it’s just a buzzword at this point that is used to promote games. “Immersive”, “Multiple Endings”, “Choices Matter”, etc. are words that people use to advertise but in the end, these are just shallow words thrown into the mix to get people to spend their money. At this point, I hate “multiple endings” because games make me replay the full game again… but it becomes tedious. 

I have nearly finished all of NieR: Replicants endings. I absolutely love the game and Ending A was great even if it made me a bit sad… but that’s just the way it is. Replicant is a dark game all in all even if it has its wholesome moments and I absolutely am in love with it. Now, NieR: Replicant actually features four endings plus one bonus ending that was added to the remastered version here. Ending A plays the story as normal. When you beat Ending A, you get to save the game and end up at a certain point in the second half of the game. Then you replay that second part and get more insights on the story and more background information on top of another ending after the final boss fight. After that, you get the same thing. You play the game with a bit more new content regarding the story and background info and you keep your stuff and go to the final boss and there you actually get a new final boss where you’re presented with a choice to make: Decision C or Decision D. C or D lead to different endings. If you pick D, you can now in Replicant get Ending E when you start a new game. 

Now, this approach may be something that you just kind of accept at first but over time it has the risk of losing your interest. When I noticed that I got more insights into the backstory of other characters and parties in the game, it got me invested but I ended up backing up my save file and instead of playing through Part 2 for the fourth time in a row, I ended up just reloading that save file and going for Ending D instead of C. Sure, you keep your weapons and you can fully upgrade the Fool’s Lament which is arguably the strongest weapon in the game, especially at Level 4 where it has 999 attack damage… Sure, you just breeze through the game and one-shot most stronger enemies that gave you trouble before but it gets stale fast if you do it too many times. Having different endings is amazing in a way because you get to see different parts of the game and tying new content to your choices is great but I would have loved it more in NieR Replicant if you could select chapters and reload more than three save files. I would have loved it if there were other options.

Undertale, another example of a game with different routes, basically has two routes that you unlock after your first playthrough: The pacifist route where you don’t harm enemies and find other ways of dealing with them… and the genocide route where you kill everything. Now, I haven’t played that game yet really apart from like an hour or something… but I like that concept and because of something that happens in NieR Replicant, I would have liked to see that as an option: Being a pacifist or not killing whoever in the game… It would have been great.

Having the option of choosing your playstyle and being able to choose the ending through the choices you make is great. Fable, at last, had stuff like that and despite it being an old game I feel like it ultimately did a great job at letting the player choose their own adventure and it shaped the way they were treated and looked at in the game as well by making people fear or hate them if they did bad stuff or praise and love them if they did great deeds. It’s not perfect but I feel like Fable was quite nice and NieR is quite nice and I’m looking forward to the full release of Beacon Pines and I’m looking forward to playing Undertale someday.

Essentially, I don’t think that there is one solution that I could think of but there are many ways of creating meaningful player choices and multiple endings that actually add to the game instead of taking something away. Having replayability with new content mixed into old content makes it interesting and intriguing, like in NieR Replicant, however, allowing players to skip to certain sections or chapters like in Beacon Pines and allowing players to try out different options in those scenarios also makes the game more engaging and makes “multiple endings” seem like less of an empty promise. Allowing alternate playstyles like in Undertale, Fable, and even The Binding of Isaac: Repentance (where you can decide to not kill a certain boss and you get rewarded for it) to create the choice of killing or not killing someone or something is great. Allowing players to create their own story is amazing but it doesn’t mean anything if your choices lead to one end and one end only, rendering every choice meaningless like in the TellTale games… so uh, those are just my thoughts from this post all summed up and I don’t have a degree in game-design so take all of that as just an opinion. I’m just someone who likes to play games and everyone knows that players don’t know what they want. So uh, there’s that.

I’d love it if people could have a discussion on this matter as well in the comments and I’d love it if you could add a comment with your opinions or good examples or anything you wanna say on the matter and I’d love it if we could engage in a discussion. You, me, other people. Could be very cool! Just keep it civil, we’re all friends here. 🙂

Also: At last, (I didn’t know where to insert this) I love NieR: Replicant and made that header image there by editing together a press image with my character and Emil’s face, so uh, overall edited by me and credits go to me and all of that stuff. I figured it’d be the best header image for this sort of post since Replicant inspired me to make this post. Also, this post features screenshots from Beacon Pines, NieR Replicant and Catherine Classic. I didn’t have any screenshots from Fable, Undertale or The Walking Dead, so I wasn’t able to link any of those/embed any of those into the post, so bear with me.

Hope you enjoyed this post! Stay safe, healthy, kind and hydrated!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

XCOM 2 Succession Game Series – Operation: Brooding Breath (Part 4)

Today I’m publishing my post on the XCOM 2 Succession Game Series that Naithin has organised. Please check out his post on that. The header image graphic was made by Naithin as well and we basically are playing a mission each and then doing base stuff before passing on the save file to the next person in line. You can find all of that stuff out as well in Naithin’s post! I’d recommend following the series along as I’m not entirely sure how much if at all everyone will sum up what happened before. I for one have no idea what is going on with the story in XCOM 2… Aliens said that they wanted peace but apparently, peace means war and now there are resistance groups everywhere and we try to make contact with them and defend Earth while building up our own squads and soldiers and all of that… But yeah… Aliens! 

So far, Naithin had to complete the first mission and managed to get away with no casualties. Peril also was successful but during his turn, things got a bit heated for Owl which is why we lost him early on. Next up was Rakuno with his flawless performance and well, today it’s my turn… let’s see how that turned out. I’d like to mention that I decided to record the whole thing as well and upload it to YouTube. I will not cover everything that happened in the mission in the post, mostly since I just did my turns and did what seemed like a good call and I forgot to take notes… So, there’s a video and it’s good to have that there as everyone can just watch that if they’re interested in my voice and my decisions… Oh no, everyone will tell me that I could’ve done better! D:

https://youtu.be/1bkxHA7Bnzo

First up, when I started my turn, I found out that we not only were somewhat broke… but we also were barely cutting it power-wise, which is why I made it my journey to build a power-thingy for the base… which wasn’t possible yet since we didn’t have any money and/or rooms available yet. Luckily, someone started excavating Alien Debris already which would take four more days for us to complete. So, it was time to scan/pass time! When I wanted to do that, however, the game acted up to tell me that there is a time-sensitive mission that needed my attention right now. So, I figured we may as well stop the ADVENT Retaliation in Operation Brooding Breath. Our squad for this mission consists of two grenadiers (Ramblin Red and Three), one sniper (Endalia), as well as a Ranger (Silentdeath). I equipped Tessa “Endalia” Hastjarjanto with a flashbang, just in case, as well as Rakuno “Three” Venmuel with a Medkit, just in case, so we were ready to go. Our mission consisted of rescuing at least six civilians while also taking care of the aliens in the area.

Since we had barely any vision, I decided to tread slowly and move some of our squad members carefully. Easha Dustfeather, our Ranger titled “Silentdeath”, moved inside of a building while staying concealed and evacuating one civilian. Red moved towards some barricades in hope of spotting enemies. Tessa climbed up a building and stuck to the walls as she spotted two aliens hiding in the fog of war. Rakuno snuck to the side of the battlefield and kept watch over the area. The Overwatch would trigger when enemies were moving into Rakuno’s field of vision, enabling Rakuno to shoot the enemies in a surprise attack. Sadly, this was for nought as the enemies sniped us with a rifle through the tree from lightyears away and got a hit on Rakuno who suffered three damage points. Also, Overwatch was removed, so that’s quite unlucky. Tessa managed to resist a mind attack by an alien before the enemies ended their turn. 

In the next turn, Red saved a civilian before moving closer to the enemy forces, effectively flanking them. Tessa took aim at the alien hiding behind a car and shot it with a 43% success chance for four damage points. Easha continued to save civilians while moving out of the building. The building proved good in terms of cover but didn’t actually do much for us as Easha essentially had nowhere to go in hopes of catching enemies off-guard. She was guarded but couldn’t attack which isn’t exactly great for a ranger. Hence, I sent Easha to chew some gum and kick some doors. She was out of gum, so the door had to go. Rakuno was in a weird spot, kind of flanking the enemies but also hiding in plain sight. So, I decided to send him onwards and let him wreak destruction since the enemies already knew about him being there. Rakuno fired his frag grenade over into the direction of a car, finishing off the alien that Endalia wounded previously and setting off an explosion. The car didn’t blow up fast enough, however, as the enemy had already moved away in time into the fog of war. Meanwhile, the ADVENT forces were executing civilians in the distance for whatever reason. 

Red chased after the retreating enemy getting full cover behind a tree. Endalia followed to the end of her roof but wasn’t able to take aim with her sniper, which is why she chose to aim with her pistol and deal 3 damage on the fleeing soldier. What a mad lad. Easha and Rakuno moved up ahead into the direction of the remaining enemy.

In the next turn, Red pushed forward, entering Overwatch. Endalia left the roof to take cover at a different building. It would have been great for her to enter the roof of that other building but sadly it wasn’t meant to be for this turn. Next up, Easha saved another civilian, before taking cover again. Rakuno pushed ahead and took cover yet again while moving closer to the remaining civilians. Right when our turn ended, enemy forces approached us with Red taking aim and shooting his mini-gun-like weapon, emptying all of the bullets in his magazine in a spectacular flurry of attacks. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that the enemies that carelessly approached the Rambling Redshirt himself survived every single shot. While Red may have tried his best to look cool, he failed miserably as every shot missed and as this game proved to me that miniguns are useless in XCOM 2 and that it doesn’t matter how many bullets are in a gun. The remaining two enemies took partial cover near a fence nearby after hearing Red’s glorious attempt of an ambush, ready to strike back and potentially even deal damage. Hence, I moved Red away from the location in cover so that he’s out of harm’s way. Since Red was now under cover and since he still had an action left, I decided to let him take a shot with his frag grenade, destroying the enemies’ fence and cover. The “Red” in Rambling Redshirt seems to stand for redemption as his shot not only successfully destroyed the cover but also took out one of the advent soldiers. Give this man a cookie! Tessa, Rakuno and Easha managed to save civilians silently, ending the turn, while the remaining enemy didn’t know what to do and ended up missing his shots at a stationary civilian, proving that he’s not the brightest LED in the spaceship. 

Since it was now our turn to strike, Red fired off a frag grenade finishing off the silly ADVENT soldier while creating some room to move in the building he was leaning at. Man, Red looked really cool right there. We should give him two frag grenades or maybe a shield or something like that so that he can’t miss anything. Right when that ADVENT soldier fell, a civilian transformed into a so-called “Faceless” which later greeted Endalia but only pointed at her. Endalia moved away as a sniper in close quarters looked like an easy target to the Faceless. Rakuno then took aim at the big alien and showered it with bullets, defeating it in one fell swoop, hence concluding the mission.

Tessa earned a promotion here, acquiring the “Return Fire” skill which allows her to shoot back once per turn when she’s being hit by enemy fire. Meanwhile, Red earned a promotion and he learned the Blast Padding skill, which gives him more armour and some damage reduction for explosive attacks. The Shredder skill could have turned Red into a heavy gunner that shreds enemy armour for us… but after his spectacular failure with the minigun earlier, I decided that his talents were needed in other areas. Hence, Red became tankier so that he can “try again” more often. If he were to miss every shot, the “Shredder” skill would have been useless. Rakuno was “gravely wounded” but should recover quite quickly once he’s back in the base.

In the base, I ended up researching the Faceless Autopsy after we finished the Research on Resistance Communications. We completed that research project as well as the ADVENT Trooper Autopsy in time for our next mission. I also started building a power-room so that our power isn’t at capacity anymore. I sent a Rookie called Sofia Vasilyeva into training to become a specialist, which would enable her to send out a drone to perform various tasks like healing or assisting allies. We unlocked the Battle Scanner giving us vision on the battlefield. We also unlocked a holographic decoy that we can throw that will attract enemy attacks for a turn. I paid my respects to Owl who died during Roger’s part before eventually assigning the research for Magnetic Weapons and saving the game as dark events were on the horizon. 

There is a new mission coming up, which is why it’s not my turn anymore… but actually Red’s over at Beyond Tannhauser Gate. His part should come up next and I’m looking forward to reading about it. My character, Lizz “Magi” Winterfield, didn’t make an appearance this time but I’d love to see her next week, potentially… I’m looking forward to reading the next parts and hearing other people’s reactions and opinions on my moves this time around, especially since there is now video proof of it. Any opinions or feedback? Feel free to comment here or on the YouTube video and let me know if there was anything that you would have done differently!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Another Indie becomes Neon Doctrine

I know that I’m a bit late here but essentially, I didn’t know if that change was really that important for the blog to the point that it warrants a blog post… until yesterday’s review. Yesterday, I review a title called Elden: Path of the Forgotten that is published by Neon Doctrine who were formerly known as Another Indie. At that point, I noticed that in the little info section that I add to blog posts, I had to enter Neon Doctrine instead of Another Indie since they don’t go by AI anymore. This may be confusing to readers who may not know about the change, so I decided to add the “formerly known as Another Indie” section there as well and tag the post with both Another Indie and Neon Doctrine… but this results in an issue since I’ll either have to label future titles published by ND/AI as “ND fka AI” (obviously spelt out but I’m lazy right now)… or I just go by Neon Doctrine, which is the best choice properly… but at the same time, previous titles published by Another Indie are still labelled as Another Indie and essentially, I decided to just go with Neon Doctrine from now on, have this post here in place to explain the change, and I’ll update previous reviews with the Another Indie tag to also reflect the change.

But yeah, Neon Doctrine is the new branding of AI and it reflects the darker nature of the many titles published by Another Indie a lot better than their previous name. I mean, from Elden to Vigil to Yuppie Psycho there have been a lot of darker titles. There are also other titles that I haven’t covered yet that are a bit dark in nature but they said that they’ll still publish other Indie titles… this branding right now just reflects a lot better on this darker vibe that a lot of their games have had in the past…

And it’s cool! They even added this interesting trailer over here that is quite well-made and enjoyable.

Rebranding comes with a trailer,… I see! *takes notes*

And honestly, while I liked the previous name of the publisher, I’m all for this change as it’s lovely. The new colours and the new logo are amazing as well and they did put a lot of thought into this.

So, to sum it all up:

  • Another Indie embraces their darker nature and becomes Neon Doctrine!
  • Past posts will be updated to be tagged and labelled as published by “Neon Doctrine”.
  • The “Another Indie” tag will still be there for those posts.
  • Future posts will be labelled as published by “Neon Doctrine (fka Another Indie)” or just “Neon Doctrine”.
  • Future posts will not be tagged with Another Indie and will just be tagged with Neon Doctrine (unless I forget about this).
  • May the Fourth be with you!
  • Vlad is a cutie but don’t tell him.

I just figured I should post about this small change on the blog and explain my thought process and procedure. If you have any other/better suggestions, let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure to reply! Hope you enjoyed this post! Stay hydrated and safe!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

NieR: Replicant – The Most Annoying Quest

Big Fat Spoiler Warning right here at the beginning by the way.

NieR: Replicant has been a lot of fun so far and I really have been enjoying all kinds of aspects of it but it’s become harder and harder to stay away from spoilers, especially as I was interested in a book we encountered in the Mansion since I thought it was Grimoire Noir. So I essentially took a look at the wiki where I found out that it was actually Grimoire Rubrum, the counter piece to Grimoire Weiss and Grimoire Noir. Anyways, staying away from spoilers is hard and browsing the wiki was kind of counter-intuitive in my journey to go at the game in a “blind” manner since I now know a lot about the backstory and since I now understand a lot of things that have been happening that looked mysterious until now. Anyways, there is an achievement called “Weapons Collector” that I wanted and because of that, I browsed through the wiki once again to see where I can find the remaining few. Apparently, there are two weapons that I can find in the last area of the first ending, as well as one that I get from a quest or at the beginning of Ending B. So, I essentially don’t need to worry about those weapons exactly… But again, that doesn’t take much effort. If you want to unlock all weapons, you’ll have to do what I needed to do in yesterday’s stream: You’ll need to complete the quest named “The Damaged Map”, which is only available during the second half of the game’s first ending.

This quest is probably the most annoying quest I’ve ever encountered in any game. You get it from the blacksmith in your home village and he asks you to find a treasure map, so you go to the library where you find a damaged map that you then bring to the Strange-Things-Store in Facade. Once you’ve arrived in Facade, the Strange-Things-vendor will tell you that he needs three eggplants, three goat hides and three drops of machine oil to restore the map. Luckily, I already had three drops of machine oil from the Junk Heap, and you can luckily hunt down goats at the Eastern Road to the east of the Desert to acquire the goat hides. The eggplants either need to be grown in your garden or you buy them at the grocer, which I did in the home village. Once you’ve restored the map, you bring it to the client’s wife who tells you to find the treasure since she’s worried about her husband. You then head to Popola to decipher the map before you go to the Lost Shrine to a specific room in the northwest of the second floor, where you find the “treasure” that you then have to return to the client’s wife. She then gives you an ornament that you can either keep and sell (as she asks you to) or you let her keep it. Despite having a choice here, you’ll need to keep the ornament and sell it in Facade for an old gold coin. That gold coin needs to be returned to the blacksmith who then gives you his very first map in return. This treasure map needs to be deciphered by Popola, again, and then leads you to the Northern Plains where you need to find it at the “start of a steel bridge” where you then find the Labyrinth’s Shout, the weapon you need for the achievement. Quest completed. As easy as that.

As you can see this quest is super annoying since there are a bunch of trips back and forth from the Village to Facade. What’s annoying is that you’ll need to make these trips back and forth on foot or while riding your boar unless you’ve unlocked the canal already. Even with the canal, you’ll still need to travel via “fast-travel” to the desert (since there is no canal in Facade) and then head to the opposite side of the desert to Facade and then you need to go to the Strange-Things-Shop… and then you make the same trip back… and you do that a bunch of times, essentially. Super annoying. Also, you need to gather the materials and find the treasure in the Shade-ridden Lost Shrine and it was just a nightmare of a quest really… Was it worth it? Kind of? I’ll get the achievement, after all, which is nice, but at the same time, the weapon itself is not that good really, so if you don’t go for the achievement, just skip this quest.

As for the last three weapons, I’ll need to complete “The Magical Stone” to find the Iron Pipe… and I’ll need to find the Dragoon Lance and the Pheonix Sword in the Shadowlord’s Castle. The Dragoon Lance apparently is a weapon found in Drakengard while the Pheonix Sword can be found in Automata, too, so that’s quite nice.

Either way, I hope you enjoyed this post. I hated that quest up there so much just because of how many trips it took and just because of how much that weapon wasn’t worth it stat-wise… but I got it! So that’s nice.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

NieR: Replicant is so much fun!

So, I’ve been playing NieR Replicant √(1.5) as of late. I’m not gonna type out the string of numbers because it essentially is the root of 1.5 and it’s annoying to type, so uh… let’s just stick to √(1.5) or “NieR Replicant” since it essentially is a remake/remaster (or as Yoko Taro calls it: an “upgraded version”). Anyways, today, I wanted to talk about my experience with NieR Replicant and my thoughts on it.

Hence: SPOILER WARNING.

So uh, what is NieR/NieR Replicant? Well, originally there we the Drakengard games and there was this alternate ending (Ending E) that placed two of the characters in present-day Tokyo where they defeat that bad guy and then they get shot by a Fighter Jet… and a few hundred years later NieR Replicant takes place and exclusively in Japan there was also NieR Gestalt, which is essentially the same game but you play as the Father of Yonha who’s naturally older than Replicant’s protagonist. Either way, the brother doesn’t exist in Gestalt and the father doesn’t exist in Replicant and also… apart from a few voice lines, nothing changes really between the versions. NieR Automata takes place a lot later than Replicant and is the direct sequel. Originally, I thought there was a game before that called Grimoire Nier but apparently, that’s just a book that adds further information into the story.

So, in Replicant, we play as the main protagonist (titled by the community as “Nier” but you can name him whatever you want) who’s trying to save his sister from the black scrawl, a fatal disease that plagues our sister. To do so, we fight the Shades and get to know Grimoire Weiss, a magical book that may be able to help us against the Black Scrawl, the Shades and Grimoire Noir, an ancient book found in songs and legends that apparently is behind the Black Scrawl.

From the get-go, I’ll have to say that NieR Replicant is pretty but it isn’t super pretty if that makes sense. A lot of the character models feel unpolished and clunky in contrast to the main characters’ faces and models. Kainé, one of the characters you meet along the way, is very detailed, for instance, to the point where you can see her buttcheeks at times during cutscenes, which is… eh. Speaking of Kainé, her storyline is amazing and I love the character to bits due to her harsh nature and how she’s super honest and straightforward, to the point where she seems almost rude… Also, she swears a lot, which I personally find super cool, actually… What I don’t necessarily mind is her outfit… I’m not a fan of it really but I don’t hate it either. It just feels so out of place. And then there’s Grimoire Weiss as well who is great and who I love absolutely. I love Weiss’ voice acting to bits, although I must say that the English Dub seems to fit him a lot better than the Japanese Dub. Grimoire Weiss is a magical book that allows us to utilize magic and accompanies us on our journey to find and discover the sealed verses in our fight against the Shades!

So, I love the characters… Especially Emil and Weiss. It was nice to see Emil’s backstory and how he became what he is in Automata. And the soundtrack is amazing! But what’s truly fun is… the combat. It’s great! Loved how different weapons combine into new move-sets in NieR Automata… but Replicant has a completely different system with sword combos and a bunch of combo attacks and on top of that, you can also use magic and charge up spells to unleash stronger abilities. Once you get past the (SPOILER) point of no-return (hate that it’s there) aka past the time-skip, you can use two-handed swords as well as swords as well, which is great… and on top of that, you can customise your weapons and spells with “words” that essentially allow you to enhance them with status effects, increased drop rates, increased damage, and other effects! I also really like that you can change all of your shoulder buttons/triggers and re-assign spells to them and move around the ability to evade or defend or you completely remove it.

But yeah, combat feels good and is a lot of fun and I love everything, especially since the story becomes a mix of “wholesome” and “edgy” after the time skip. I absolutely love the different jabs that Yoko Taro took at the game industry and Nintendo in particular with some of the jokes and references there. For starters, there is a boss fight where you fight against this huge robot and Grimoire Weiss complains about his weakness being too obvious. Meanwhile, on another note, the game plays a silly tune when you acquire an item, akin to the Zelda tune that you have when you get an item… but it’s out of sync and sounds silly… and there are other places where I noticed something like that but I don’t wanna spoil that since I found it quite funny actually.

Meanwhile, the themes of the different areas are amazing as well and I really like them. Similar to Automata you have a desert area and a city area with forest and stuff… and you can ride animals, but Replicant’s setting is rather medieval despite it taking place in the future, which is interesting. At the same time, you have a haunted mansion and this lost forest where people are trapped in deadly dreams and where the game suddenly turns into something akin to a Light Novel. There are places where the game shifts into a 2D perspective or a top-down view. Heck, there’s even a space where the game suddenly looks like an isometric RPG akin to the first Fall Out Games, which I found lovely. But the themes that change from the dystopian settings of the junk heap to the ominous Deathdreams in the Forest of Myth to the rule-obsessed masked people in the Desert, there are a lot of topics and feelings that I associate with these areas and levels and places and it’s lovely. I love it. It feels different. It almost turns into a different game suddenly.

And the soundtrack? Well, even with Grimoire Weiss at my side, I don’t have enough words to describe it. It’s fantastic! Anyways, that’s about it for today’s post. I’ll continue to stream the game on Twitch every Friday and Saturday around 9 AM Central European Summer Time if you wanna see me live!

Have you started to play it or have you seen anything of the game yet? What are your thoughts on it so far? I’m really loving it but I also love the whole universe and setting and this weird mix of Science-Fantasy, if that makes sense. Anyways, stay cosy and hydrated.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

MonHunLog #11 – The End (for now?)

So, the last time I played Monster Hunter World, I beat Shara Ishvalda and basically finished up MHW’s story… and then there wasn’t really much to do or so I thought! Actually, the world is not explored yet! Because… for whatever reason… there’s another place that we haven’t seen yet. So, let’s sum up everything up until now… We travelled to the new world, then we fought a lot of monsters and stuff before defeating Xeno’Jiiva. Then we found out that there is a new part of the continent… that’s where Iceborne takes place and where we also fought a lot of monsters before eventually defeating Velkhana and Shara Ishvalda… and then, this is what happens now, we find out about YET ANOTHER NEW AREA.

I feel like the A-Lister Scouts did a shitty job here. How did you not spot this new area? The Guiding Lands? Like what the fuck? So, there’s this whole new area and it basically consists of micro-biomes. Some areas look like the Rotten Vale and the Ancient Forest or the Coral Highlands… and by beating monsters there, you level them up and get new monsters to spawn, including new elder dragons… so that’s how we’ll encounter the Safi’Jiiva, Alatreon, Zinogre, Fatalis and so on. It’s an interesting concept but I’m not entirely sure how I like it and if I would have preferred it any other way.

Hey, look! It’s Zinogre!

I also completed the new event quest where you play as Artemis from the Monster Hunter movie and it was… alright. You hunt down a Black Diablos and a supersized Rathalos… and you then get an item to craft the armour set for Artemis. You initially fight the enemies using the dual blades but honestly, I’m not at all familiar with those weapons… and even the insect glaive and other weapons you have available to you aren’t exactly too good, in my opinion, making this quest rather hard. Diablos buries himself a lot and Rathalos does a lot of flying around… and I can’t deal with it that much but eventually I got it… The event quest was my true final boss, you could say.

But honestly, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the Guiding Lands and if I want to play more MHW for now. I mean, a lot of the friends that used to play it don’t play it anymore and I’m not entirely sure how much I like Monster Hunter World in Solo. Maybe I’ll get back to it again eventually but for now, I’m kind of burned out and don’t feel like playing a lot more Monster Hunter World… but I really enjoyed having an ongoing series on the blog that features one game with different parts to it and stuff… I may create some posts on the upcoming “NieR: Replicant ver.1.22474487139…” or I may stick to more review posts for now and some other ramblings.

Hope you enjoyed the Monster Hunter series! If you wanna go on hunts some time, let me know. I’ll be here. While I may not seek to play MHW right now, I don’t think that I’ll quit it immediately. I’ll just take a bigger break until I find some more motivation to play it again, if that makes sense.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Sekiro is a ton of fun!

It’s been a while but I started playing Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice and have really been enjoying it. I think there are a lot of reasons as to why I’ve enjoyed it so much so far… Hence, I’d like to talk about that today. So, I haven’t played a lot of Sekiro yet and I doubt that I’m anywhere near the end of it but I already got through my fair share of boss encounters! I’m currently 15 hours into the game and defeated the Horse Guy and Lady Butterfly already… I passed the Snake and did fight a fair few minor bosses… meanwhile I’m currently stuck at Mr Bowguy… and when I say “I’m stuck” I mean that I stopped playing since I’m frustrating and since I’m not good enough at this game.

Sekiro is a challenging souls-like Action-Adventure by From Software. In Sekiro, you follow a Shinobi known as the “Wolf” on his mission to take revenge on a clan of Samurai that attacked him and kidnapped his lord. After escaping death once, you’re given a second chance with a shinobi-tool arm-prosthetic that allows you to do new things… and all in all, it’s an interesting story that offers you a lot of challenge and lots of areas to explore. I personally really enjoyed it so far for a plethora of reasons:

Gyoubu Oniwa, a man on a horse wielding a naginata, is storming towards "the wolf" aka Sekiro's protagonist.
GYOUBU ONIWA! MY FAVOURITE BOSS SO FAR!

For starters, it’s very hard and frustrating but in a good way. Sekiro doesn’t feature stats or a stamina bar like in Dark Souls. Gear isn’t a thing and items don’t matter as much. It’s all about skill and mastery. Your enemy is your goal and to beat him is your mission. There are a bunch of attacks you can utilize from heavy and swift blows to special attacks you learn via the skill tree but overall, you mostly need to master the parry and the dodge skill in order to damage the enemy’s posture and bring them down in one fell swoop. As the wolf, you’re given a second chance after your first death, so don’t give up easily and fight on.

I personally found this very enjoyable. I never felt like an enemy was unfair. I never felt like the game was being unnecessarily hard on me. Instead, I’d rather have to learn patterns and tread carefully. Posture is important, something that is quite accurate in Iaido, the way of the sword. Alas, I enjoyed Sekiro’s combat and the way that From Software shaped the combat around “Samurai-culture”. From the design of all the characters and enemies to the stances and poses they take and even the sound design in the menu, the game feels rather polished and cohesive. There are instances of mythical creatures and ominous elements in the story that didn’t seem realistic, but Sekiro never claimed to follow a true story or anything like that. My point is that it combines real elements and values of Iaido and Iodo with mystical and magical elements and creatures and it… feels good. It works well. I, as a geek on that topic, can’t complain. I doubt anyone else really cares. The bamboo sounds in the menu, the stances that characters take in combat, and the different schools of sword fighting… Even if it’s only inspired by things that I loosely remember at this point and even if it’s not supposed to be “realistic”, it feels kind of authentic in a way, which is nice.

Anyways, I love Sekiro. And I’m currently stuck in this fight with General Bow-Guy (not his actual name). I get very close to the end but ultimately fail because I’m not good enough at the game yet. It’s not a matter of the fight being too hard… it’s a matter of me not being good enough and no matter how much I try, it never feels too bad really to fail because you have a chance! You immediately know what you’ve done wrong. That’s something that I love in this game.

Sekiro's protagonist aka the wolf is standing alone in a hall that is caving in and burning right now.

In Dark Souls 3, on the other hand, there are points where you can decide to grind to make the game easier for yourself… You need souls to advance your level and your stats. With stats, you’ll be able to dodge more as you have more stamina or to deal more damage due to your dexterity or strength going up. It’s nice and works well for an RPG but Sekiro is not that. Sekiro doesn’t need that. Instead of grinding for a certain weapon or for the next level up, you’re only relying on one thing and one thing alone: Your Skill.

Sekiro’s philosophy could be summarised using the words “If you suck, just get better”. It’s not about grinding the same area for ages but rather it’s about making the best out of the weapons that the game gives to you and mastering them. It’s about skill and mastery over grind and frustration. It’s about reflecting on your mistakes and instead of cursing the game… okay, you can add a bit of salt into the mix, too, which is understandable. Everyone gets frustrated at times, but what counts is that you have fun and for me, the fun comes with getting better and getting that super clutch kill all of a sudden after you lost your lives already in Phase 1 against Lady Butterfly and still managed to kill her not once but twice thanks to an incredible amount of luck and thanks to some form of transcendence that you’ll most likely never achieve again. Oh gosh, I hated that fight in so many ways!

Sekiro can be frustrating but it doesn’t have to be. If you die a lot, just don’t get hit. If you suck at the game, get better at it. If you don’t want to get killed, just kill the enemy before they have a chance to kill you. And I personally just love that about it. You can’t really avoid fighting. You’ll fight those bosses and you’ll murder them unless they’re optional. It’s fun. It’s hard. It’s rewarding.

General Bow-Guy asking Sekiro's protagonist how "grandfather" is.
There he is… General Bowguy!

Sekiro’s most frustrating moments made the victories, however small they were were, a lot sweeter, which is a nice thing that I enjoyed about it. I’m looking forward to getting gud again. I’m looking forward to beating General Bow-Guy in Sekiro.

Cheers.

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Forager – The Rise and Fall

Forager is an Indie Game that I really adored and praised in the past. I even recommended the game in a review a while ago but the game got updated and had a lot of tweaks to it… and eventually multiplayer got announced, which seemed rather promising… but just recently it got cancelled due to a plethora of reason, which is why I wanted to make a post about Forager, Hopfrog and the many issues that became more apparent now.

Forager always was sort of grindy. You need experience, materials, and money, but the relaxed nature of the game allowed it to make the grind-heavy mechanics never feel too bad and rather enjoyable. The grind eventually made the bright moments even brighter and it was a nice experience to dive into from time to time. The issues that the game has, however, are that certain updates made it worse and worse over time. The combat update was great but monsters became annoying later on and mods broke the game completely, despite mod-support being a thing. The multiplayer update, while announced a while ago, had a beta that was poorly made and several issues… but then it got cancelled as Mariano aka HopFrog mentioned on Patreon.

Initially, I thought that HopFrog/Mariano was the only developer that was working on the game. There was a free alpha ages ago and I remember the newsletter stating that he was the only developer for the game. He apparently made it in two weeks and it looked promising and I liked the demo and played it a lot and even subscribed to the newsletter that kept me up-to-date about the state of the game. Eventually, I found out that he hired a bunch of programmers and an artist that did all of the art without getting credited… And well, more stuff came out about him that is somewhat problematic. Usually, I’d think that it’s a “they said, he said” situation but… his message on Patreon (linked above) bothered me a whole lot.

Even if all the people on the team were only hired, it’s just bad manners of him as the lead developer to sit back for two years and not work on the game at all before cutting everyone off, claiming that they ran off with his money and quit on their own, and just blaming the quality to drop because of their work. Mariano claims that he’s not a programmer and that he left the work to people that know what they’re doing, yet he blames them completely for “creating poor updates” and basically ruining the game when he as a lead developer and founder should be the first one to blame in that case. You know that thing about the captain sinking with the ship? Well, Mariano just sat back and let the ship sink while refusing to pay people on time, refusing to respond to their messages, effectively ghosting them, kicking people from the mod/dev team for “mental issues” after they come out as trans, letting others do his work while awaiting his own paycheck from Game Sales and the Patreon, before eventually taking the only lifeboat of the ship. And this may seem like me dunking on him but it honestly, just pisses me off that he phrases things that way in his Patreon post and just ignoring everything that got discussed and posted on Twitter. The official Hopfrog Twitter account is gone as well…

One of the programmers of Forager, Vadim aka YellowAfterlife, posted a lovely post over here reviewing the announcement and how it could come to this. Vadim shared that on the Steam Boards, too, but got banned permanently from the Forager Hub for “breaking the Code of Conduct”… although he never insulted or attacked the mods or devs in his post. Simply put, Mariano is going for damage control: He’s deleted the Twitter Account, banned all discussions on the matter on the Forager Hub, didn’t respond to my e-mail on a statement (yet!), and won’t say anything on Discord, going as far as deleting the questions channel. I only found out about Vadim’s post through Gaziter’s tweet here.

More sources:

Forager Hub Code of Conduct

ShyNieke on the Transphobia on the Discord

Vadim’s post (just gonna link it again)

Vadim’s post on 2020 in review

HopFrog saying the devs ran off with his money after quitting

Mariano’s Patreon post

Mariano not crediting other people that worked on the game

Anyways, usually, I wouldn’t take information like that and allegations without a lot of proof at face value but Vadim and the others give a lot of information on this while Mariano doesn’t do anything like that, at all. Mariano phrased the post very poorly for sure and initially, I just figured that it may not be ill-willed but after hearing him say himself that he didn’t work on the game in two years, it got me fuming… and then that stuff came up when I was looking for an official statement or something, and at this stage, I just believe the allegations rather than Mariano’s attempt to make himself the victim here (“they quit and took all my money”).

Figured I should post about this since not enough people know about all of this and I’d love it if people could discuss it here or share opinions or maybe even go and support the people that have been affected by Mariano. I’ll also add a note to my review. Mariano ends up blaming the whole team that he himself hired for the “lack of quality” while saying that he is no programmer, especially as all of these people have been known for working on some very great projects before.

What do you think about the situation? Any thoughts on Mariano’s wording in particular? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Off-Role in League – ADC as Jhin, the Virtuoso

I know I said that I won’t play League again for a while… but I still like the game and Ranked is just frustrating, so I’ll get back into normal games. Initially, I felt as if normal games were as frustrating as ranked games, so I ended up only playing ranked for a while. Since people are never trying in ranked… and since they always do in normals… I figured I may as well play off-role in normal games with occasional support game.

Alas, I’ve been practising Jhin a lot since he used to be my favourite ADC and he essentially still is. My other three ADCs of Choice were Caitlyn, Jinx and Ashe, but I didn’t have a chance to play those yet. I’d like to get better at the other roles since there are a lot of cool themes in the jungle, the mid lane and the top lane but for now, I’ll just practise some ADCs… and since I love him so much, this post is about Jhin.

My favourite thing about Jhin is most likely this theme of the tortured artist that is going mad in search of his magnum opus. Jhin’s a bit of a serial killer if I remember the lore correctly trying to create the perfect murder of sorts and orchestrate it to perfection. His weapon of choice is a revolver with only four shots. Jhin’s obsessed with the number 4. His name, Jhin, has four letters. Four in Japanese is “Shi” which can also mean death. If you follow the letters J-H-I-N on your keyboard right now, you’ll see it forming a four. Forming? Fourming! The Four is everywhere. Jhin’s in your head now. But yeah, I just kind of live for that. I love it. It’s amazing. Him counting up from 1 to 4 with each shot he fires (he can only attack four times before reloading) and just the effects of his abilities make every game a lovely experience and I could never get tired of it. 

On top of that, his builds are quite versatile. You can go for a lot of different mythic items like Galeforce (which is probably the best item on Jhin right now), Eclipse (which adds a bit of survivability and a lot of damage against squishies) or even Krakenslayer (which makes his 3rd shot deal as much damage as his 4th shot) and they all kind of work. You essentially go for a lot of attack damage and crit chance or lethality. Attack Speed gets turned into extra attack damage which is great, although you don’t get to reach 1000 AD like previously anymore…

Anyways, I did seven games in the last few days and had a lot of fun. I planned on making this post when there were four games with a 100% win rate but… then I postponed the post and now there are seven games. Either way, I’m still out of 7 wins out of 7 games, so that’s quite nice and my positioning doesn’t seem to be the worst. My first game was annoying as the enemy team had a super fed and super tanky Rengar that could one-shot everyone and then just run away… On top of that, the enemy Akali also did a lot of damage to me while Teemo has a blind… yup. Hence, that was a very hard game for us and rather close as well! I ended up getting to my third item and suddenly, I was useful! Despite the many deaths I had. After that game, I ended up having a great game with Eclipse (16/7/12), an okay game with only a Galeforce (forgot to buy at the end so it only shows one item… but yeah 3/1/7), and a very good game that turned into a bit of a stomp with 18/2/6 for my final stats. That game was a lot of fun, to be fair, as I ended up getting interrupted a ton of times by either the enemy Senna or the enemy Leona, so that I’ve never been able to go back and buy items. Alas, I had no mana and was staying in lane with 4k gold… but I got one kill after another and it was hilarious in a way.

The other three games turned into okay performances (ha, pun intended!). My positioning wasn’t the best and it was a bit late over here, so there’s that… What I did improve on, though, were my CS skills in the early game as well as my mana-pool as those are issues I have every now and then.

Hence, 

  • I’ll have to figure out my optimal rune layout during the next few games… 
  • I’ll also try and get better at CSing
  • I’ll also need to bully enemies more early on while keeping my mana at an alright point
  • I need to be more careful about my positioning
  • and even though it makes me kind of sad… I want to try out AP Jhin, even if that will probably end in a loss.

Jhin is a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to making more progress and learning him some more. I mean, I know how to play him but I’d love to get even better at it and maybe pick up some tips and tricks from people that play him a lot more than me. That’d be amazing!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

Late to the Party #9 – Yakuza 0

For quite a while now, I’ve been hearing great things about the Yakuza series. I mean, thanks to Humble Monthly and Choice, I own Yakuza 0, Kiwami and Kiwami 2 already, so it was only a matter of time until I’d play one of the games and despite me being late to the party here, I was quite overjoyed with having played and beaten Yakuza 0!

Note: This is not a review… It may look like one… but it’s not… I just played through the game and made a post about it… Enjoy the post! Also remember to hydrate properly because Kiryu and Majima make me thirsty!

Kiryu may be scary sometimes but he ain’t a killer!

So, so,… where do I start? Uh, we play as two characters in the game. Kazuma Kiryu who’s a young yakuza in his 20s and who’s part of the Dojima Family gets framed for a murder he didn’t commit (because he canonically never officially killed anyone) and that’s quite bad for the Family since yakuza don’t kill civilians. Since Kiryu has been taken in by Kazuma, Kazuma is supposed to be held accountable for Kiryu’s murder, which is why Kiryu’s trying to leave the family and to find the actual culprit. This whole thing, however, is part of something much bigger because of the empty piece of land that the murder was committed on. Meanwhile, we also play as Goro Majima, an ex-yakuza that runs a cabaret in Sotenbori to pay off a debt and to get back into the yakuza. There are a lot of circumstances going on but eventually, his story gets intertwined into Kiryu’s and it all becomes a bit of a mess that can be a bit overwhelming and confusing… but in a good way. I won’t spoil anything but I loved it and loved seeing the parallels between the characters’ ideals and playstyles. Similarly, I had to pause the game now and then to think about what the implications and revelations meant for the story and why things were turning out the way they were turning out. There are a lot of parties involved, a lot of characters get introduced, and a lot of things happen, resulting in a brilliant story that ends up getting resolved with basically no plot holes left. I enjoyed it.

Kiryu is such a cutie. I love it!

At its core, though, Yakuza 0 is an Open World Action game where you fight off enemies using three different fighting styles (per character) and a plethora of weapons and techniques. It’s fun, it’s entertaining and kind of challenging, at first. For my playthrough, I played on the Hard difficulty and struggled quite a bit against the first boss, Kuze, but after that, the game turned out to be rather easy… which may be due to the upgrades I got. I ended up abusing the food system that lets you heal even during combat and ended up investing all of my money into my own body to unlock new abilities, more health, and stronger attacks. The damage you receive in fights can be healed using food from your inventory or by visiting eateries outside of combat. There are also a lot of side-quests and activities around town to get you sidetracked and make you lose your time. You know that amazing story I mentioned? Yeah, I delayed by an hour to play Shogi instead, after learning in the game how to play shogi… and then I delayed for another two hours after finding out about Karaoke and Pocket Circuit, the local racing game.

GOOOOOROOOOO MAJIMAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

The substories are the best part of the game, though. These sidequests are hilarious and ridiculous and it suits the game a lot. The rewards may not be worth it at first… but eventually, when you progress through the game, a lot of the side characters return to help you out, which is quite nice. And the ridiculous stories fit quite well into the game because of the fun little conversation choices and the over-the-top-combat. The story may be serious but when I can ram a bike into someone’s head and they still survive that, I can’t take a game that seriously… I mean… Again, the story is brilliant,… but at the beginning, I didn’t think that the main plot would be so good, judging from the amusing combat experience. Eventually, I ended up rushing through the game as I wanted to finish it before NieR Replicant comes out, so I ended up not doing too many sidequests for a while and didn’t regret that actually, at all. I even cried for a bit during one of the scenes.

It burns… a lot…. it pains me in my kokoro to be called out like that.

You may notice that I’m a bit all over the place right now but I still can’t believe that I’m done with Yakuza 0 already… and I’m a bit bummed out about it but there are still 34 achievements for me to collect and I really wanna clear them all… or at least most of them! Apart from that, the game’s somewhat old… I mean, it’s from 2015 as far as I know… but it still aged well! Don’t look at the water and you’ll be fine, though. The rest of the world is super pretty and the characters look and sound amazing. The Japanese dub is great and I loved listening to the fun soundtrack, too. It certainly aged well for a game that is six years old – I’ve seen newer games that looked a lot worse!

The future is NOW! (The game plays in the 1980s btw)

Now apart from that, there are a few things I don’t like. For starters, food is overpowered. Once you stock up on Sushi Sets you are nearly invincible. The combat felt great at the start but eventually, I noticed, that on Hard Difficulty the fights just turn into a button-mashing contest. Two styles aren’t that good in my opinion while the other two are overwhelmingly good, so there’s a balancing issue. The “Breaker” Style that you unlock later on, for instance, lets you deal with a ton of enemies at the same but it’s also great in One-on-One situations. I won’t spoil the other ones but I noticed that eventually I was quite strong and I frankly didn’t have a hard time at all. Fights were just me getting the heat gauge up and then smashing the enemies with motorcycles and stuff. Until the final chapter, combat felt somewhat easy, to be honest, so again, balance. I would have enjoyed a more even difficulty curve that would steadily make things harder, either by equipping guns onto them and other stronger weaponry or by buffing their damage more. There is also this one guy that you defeat a bunch of times and he just doubles up on health but doesn’t get stronger, in my opinion, making him a bad boss fight in a way…

Gotta beat up the imposter!

So, I’d love to talk about characters that get introduced more but that’d be a spoiler… the story then? Oh, right, that’d be a spoiler… The minigames? Well, one of them can get you banned on Twitch, but the rest are fine. Also technically spoilers. I’d recommend Yakuza 0 to anyone and everyone. It’s a great game and after 42.7 hours in it, I don’t think I’ll be done with the game just yet. There is still so much to do! I want to be good at most of the minigames and be friends with all the NPCs and fight Mr Shakedown until there is none left… and then there’s the different fighting styles I need to improve, all the food I need to taste, and just so much more. Great game! Looking forward to Yakuza Kiwami!

What are your opinions on the Yakuza series or Yakuza 0 in particular? Have you played it yet? Do you plan to? Let me know!

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.