So, the Final Fantasy 7 remake will be episodic. Sorry for the Forbes link, but it’s all I can access. Oh, and last week, Telltale announced an episodic Batman game, and a Walking Dead game starring Michonne from the TV show, but not the Walking Dead game we all want from them. 

While I think we’re starting to get a little over-saturated with episodic games, I also think that this is the only way Final Fantasy 7 would be remastered. Same thing with a Game of Thrones Telltale game – it’s not the Game of Thrones game we want, but it’s the one we’ve got. What do you think of these new episodic game announcements? Should companies do away with the format in favour of releasing the full game when it’s ready?

Thursday, 9:45 am – Ricky

No gaming has occurred since the posting of this post. However, more Battlefront is on the horizon for tonight! I also downloaded the Battlefront companion app, which includes a little mini-game that let’s you earn in-game credits. It’s a fun little time waster with some crossover between the game and the app – that’s about all you can ask for from a companion app. I also downloaded the Fallout Pip Boy app on my phone in anticipation of starting Fallout 4 this weekend, but I think I’ll get more use out of the app on my 9″ tablet instead.

I also picked up a new gaming monitor. I have a GTX 970 paired with a 5ms response time 50hz refresh rate monitor, so I feel like my graphics bottleneck is now the monitor. Enter the BenQ 1ms 144hz gaming monitor: this is gonna get real.

Monday, 9:02 am – Gavin

My experience with episodic games, like most people, has been that of Telltale’s The Walking Dead.  I play season 1 as one full game, and then each episode in season 2 as it was released.  I was very open about the fact that I didn’t care for the episodic release structure of season 2 because many of the subtleties and nuances of the characters’ expressions were lost to the fading mists of a failing memory.  When it’s two months between games, it’s nigh on impossible to remember all of the small details, like a character’s facial expression at one specific moment, or the way in which a specific piece of dialogue was spoken.  Unfortunately, those small details are what make the games as special as they are.  My parent-child relationship with Clementine might not have been as strong as it was if I’d let it just simmer for a few months, rather than playing it out to a full boil over the course of 13 hours in a week.

As such, I’m going to just let the episodic games release fully before I play them.  It’s hard to avoid spoilers, but this is necessary if I want to play the games properly.

GOTY 2015 is a tough call for me, mostly because I’ve actually only played one game released in 2015 – the demo for Puzzles & Dragons Z, a match-3 RPG on the 3DS.  Match 3 things on the board to launch an attack against your enemy, and the attack is multiplied if there are combos on the board.  It’s an interesting mechanic.  I played it for 15 minutes and that’s it.

The problem is that I don’t have a system worth playing The Witcher 3 or Battlefront on, as they straight-up can’t run on my graphics card, even at the lowest setting, nor do I have an Xbox One or a PS4.  So, they’re out.  I have zero desire for Fallout 4 or Metal Gear Solid V.  No PS4 = no Bloodborne.  The list goes on.  In fact, there really have only been two games I could have jumped on – Super Mario Maker, which doesn’t appeal to me because I don’t want to play a bunch of games made by people who aren’t good enough to be paid Mario level designers (i.e. I’ve already got the real Mario games, so let’s just leave it at that), and Yoshi’s Woolly World, which is currently wrapped and waiting for me to unwrap it on my birthday later this week.

I do intend on making use of Ricky’s Steam account on my PC to try out Rainbow Six Siege.  I don’t have any interest in the multiplayer aspect of it, but there are a few single-player missions I’d like to try.  Player reviews are suggesting that the tactical element is well-implemented and that the destructive environments are very solid, so we’ll see!  As such, perhaps this is a question I’d best answer in about a month’s time.

Speaking of tactical shooters, I tried a bit more Ghost Recon: Future Soldier this weekend.  My interest was waning, and it finally hit the pavement with one mission.  The problem is that as a tactical shooter, it wasn’t as involved as the original Ghost Recon or Rainbow Six.  As a stealth game, it was nowhere near as polished as Splinter Cell.  As a shooter, it lacks the punch and substance of a Call of Duty or Battlefield.  As a game set in the near future, it just wasn’t different or interesting enough to not be generic.  This seems to be a game that tried to be so many things and just didn’t succeed at any of them.  Now, I will mention that it’s very clearly designed to be a four-player co-op game, and that as a single-player, you’re playing with bots.  This is a game that will DEFINITELY be better with more people.  Alas, its time has passed in the multiplayer circuit, so I’m content to just let it pass.

I also played more Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.  I’ve had this in my possession for two years now, as I took advantage of that ridiculous trade-in deal at Future Shop (RIP).  I took a stab at it about 18 months ago and complained that it didn’t capture my attention.  I started from scratch and tried again, and unfortunately, found the same thing.  It had its interesting moments, but the actual gameplay just didn’t do anything interesting enough to make me want to keep playing.  I think it’s a sign that Assassin’s Creed as a series just doesn’t work for me, and that’s good, because Unity and Syndicate look like gorgeous games, but since they’re part of the same series, they just won’t strike the right chord with me.

(Man, Ubisoft is taking a beating this week from me!)

To cleanse my palate, I fired up Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, which I haven’t touched in at least five years.  It’s as mechanically sound as the original, but I acknowledge that I’m only in the opening stages, maybe 90 minutes in.  We’ll see if it holds up as well later!

Monday, 7:38 am – Ricky

Game of the year time is upon us! The Game Awards gave GOTY to The Witcher 3 – it’s the first, but I think it’s far from the last. There were a ton of other great games out this year, including Metal Gear Solid 5 and Fallout 4; unfortunately, I’ve only played and finished The Witcher 3, so my GOTYs will be a little dominated by one title. That said, I can’t wait to dig in to Fallout 4 in the coming weeks.

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