Spring is here and with it comes all of the usual things I’ve come to expect: out-of-nowhere cold snap, tree pollen making my face melt, seasonal depression making a 31-day Month go by as quickly as a 3-day-weekend and, me finally finding time to complete some of the games I’ve been sitting on since December. This March was actually pretty different though: I fully plan on building my first gaming PC once I get my tax refund but since my refund was delayed I’m kinda stuck on my aging all-in-one PC. I’m still excited to get into PC gaming again and that’s what inspired me to play what I played. The list of games I played during this lousy Smarch looks like this:
(Very few doodles this month. It's been a very 'blah' month for me)
I have a lot of trouble ranking my favorite Final Fantasy games. If I’m asked which is my favorite, I’ll likely reply with a number that corresponds to the Final Fantasy that I’m currently playing (unless I’m playing XIII). My usual cop-out answer is actually Theatrhythem: Curtain Call which is a 3DS Rhythm game featuring music from...I think all of the Final Fantasy games even before counting the DLC. The more I think about it though, I think I can confidently place Final Fantasy IX in my top 3 every time, if not my top 2. I started playing Final Fantasy IX last month and I’m taking my sweet time grinding at the moment. I’m confident in saying that I’m currently at what would be disc 4 though: I’ve enjoyed a 3-part boss rush in a place and I’m told to go to a place where the finale can begin to unfold. I’m not too fussed about 100% completion and even if I was, I’ve passed the point where that was attainable though I am considering a second run immediately after I beat IX this time but with safe travel and, 9999 on just to see how quickly I can get to The Excalibur 2 using those crutches.
(ALL HAIL BOBBY CORWEN)
I started playing Dark Souls III in January after it was gifted to me during the Destructoid Secret Santa. While I played through it, I definitely hit some points where the game annoyed and bothered me but in hindsight, Dark Souls III was an absolute blast. I played through as a depraved and had a lot of trouble with perrying but that’s pretty usual for me when it comes to the Souls portion of the Soulsbourne series. Like with DSR, I didn’t do too much with the DLC areas: I made it to a boss, was killed multiple times and, went back to the main areas of the game. Sister Friede might have knocked me around with the help of her chair-bound...father…(?) but I didn’t give up on the Storm Ruler and Nameless King. Of all of the bosses who I did fight against though I would rank the Twin Princes as my favorite in the game, closely followed by Pontiff Revan and Bloodstarved Oceiros, The Consumed. I started a second run from scratch but I think when I do start a second playthrough I’ll just continue on as my depraved user of large, blunt, instruments. My biggest criticism of Dark Souls III has to do with how most of the bosses are multi-stage. I don’t so much mind when a boss changes its style once it hits a certain percentage of remaining HP but what really annoys me is when you kill a boss, see a cutscene and, it comes back with full health. I understand how that Twin Princes does this and I just said it was one of my favorite bosses but that set of bosses in particular just engaged me more than it annoyed me. I can’t say the same thing for the Nameless Storm King, Abyss Watchers, Sister Friede or, Soul of Cinder. There’s only one Soulsbourne game I haven’t yet played and while I do have it on the PS4, I’m not sure if I’m going to jump right into it or wait until I can play it on PC.
Call of Duty 4 was a game I first played on the Playstation 3 about five or six years ago. I played through the campaign and recall enjoying it though not enough to play through it a second time or touch the multiplayer (which, admittedly, was likely dead on PSN, on the PS3, in 2014 or 2015). I was actually kind of excited to see that it was a PSN freebie and when I was able to, I downloaded and booted it up relatively quickly. I played for one session and haven’t returned to it. Technically, the remaster seems to be fine but I was just completely disengaged. Controls seemed sluggish for one thing so that kept me from really enjoying myself. The most fun I really had was commiting friendly fire in the training area. By the time I was on the ship in the first actual level, I remembered that I really didn’t need to DO anything. My squad members were able to dispatch enemy soldiers more quickly and efficiently than me and everybody looks the same to me in these games anyway. I might try giving this game another chance later on since, as much as I didn’t care for the game, it engaged me far more efficiently than whichever Black Ops was free on PSN a few months ago.
After Dark Souls III and, Call of Duty 4, I booted up something familiar but which I hadn’t played in a while, Bloodbourne. My current playthrough feels pretty similar to my first playthrough of Bloodbourne ie, I’m doing a lot of grinding but this time around I’m grinding for rocks. Unlike my previous playthough though I chose to play with something other than the saw-weapon whose name I don’t recall. I’m currently using Ludwig’s blade as my main weapon but I’ve been dumping so many points into strength that I’m able to use the cannon as my bloodtinge weapon. I chose to side-step Amelia for a while and wander around a chalice dungeon for long enough to kill a giant, flaming dog thing that looked like it was designed by Tim Burton. After I beat up Amelia I dicked around some more and wound up in Castle Cainhurst early though I’m not confident enough to fight Martyr Logarius quite yet. My build has become very much glass-cannonish and I’m not too confident in my dodging or parrying but I will be taking on the Martyr sooner rather than later. I also fully intend to take on the DLC which I don’t remember buying but it’s there so that’s something to look forward to. Unlike my first playthrough, I’ve had no issue with the snake-clump monsters in the Forbidden Wood. Another variant between my current and last playthrough is how this time around the Bloodstarved Beast killed me a few times whereas last time I managed to knock it out on my first attempt. I look forward to continue playing Bloodbourne, not only to put off playing Dark Souls II but also because I genuinely like Bloodbounre,
On my profile page, I’ve posted the specs of my computer. It’s an all-in-one dealy that I technically could modify if I was confident enough to open it up but which I don’t foresee myself trying to modify since the whole of my PC is attached to the touch-screen. There isn’t a lot my PC can play in terms of modern games but I know from past experience that my PC can run the original Deus Ex. The first time I played it, I stopped shortly after the raid in New York where you have to get into a terrorist base and turn a thing on...I think. I’m surprised with myself for not remembering the details any more beyond that because I’ve gone past that point in my current playthrough. I haven’t beaten Deus Ex but I do see myself beating it because every time I start the game up I do that thing where I play it for about an hour but when I check the time I see that 5 or 6 hours have passed. What stopped me from playing the first time around was my own stupid brain: I wanted to go through the game as a flat-out ghost but this time around I’m settling on playing a non-lethal playthrough. The problem is, I’ve hit a point in the plot where one character inevitably dies unless I kill another character. I’ve made a specific save file at that point in the game and I’m going through with the blood of exactly one person on my hands.
(Now that I've mentioned it, you're all required BY LAW to reinstall it play it)
The next game I tried on my current PC was Metro 2033 which utterly shocked me when it decided to run! This isn’t the remastered version of 2033 and with all of the visual settings on their lowest setting, the game ran extremely slowly but I was able to put up with it for the first level or so. I was only really able to play for about an hour or so but Metro gripped me much more efficiently than Modern Warfare or really any gritty FPS has in a long time. Even on the lowest settings I can tell that this is a game that’s going to look good when I have a machine that can actually run it. The monster design is interesting but the whole atmosphere is what kept me interested. This may not be the first game I play when I get my next PC up and running but I’m very much looking forward to the day when I am able to fully appreciate it.
Before I talk about Morrowind, I want to mention that both this game and its sequel Oblivion don’t just run on my current PC but they run well. This completely baffles me since I could have sworn I couldn’t run Morrowind on my PC but I am very clearly mistaken. Out of Oblivion and Morrowind though, I chose to put actual time into the third of The Elder Scrolls games. As usual, I chose to play as an Argonian because I’m a horrible, filthy, scaly and the combination of water breathing and disease resistance have always been more appealing than any other races’ gift. I started the usual way, stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down at Seyda Neen and selling it to the in-town shop. I got lucky and was able to steal the warehouse key which got me an Imperial Sword nice and early. After dropping off Caius Cocedes package (I apologize for misspelling all of these names by the way) I immediately forgot about The Blades so that I could join up with the Thieves Guild. I’ve been focusing almost exclusively on Thieves Guild quests, diverting only to talk to a man in Ebonheart about getting the Dark Brotherhood to leave me alone and somehow that’s taken me 10 hours in-game.
Like Deus Ex, Morrowind is one of those games that I’ll play for an hour but when I look at the nearest clock it tells me that I’ve actually been playing for a much longer stretch of time. The world of Morrowind has absolutely sucked me in again; I love the architecture and atmosphere of places like Balmora and Sadrith Mora but Vivic completely struck me with just how massive and impressive it is. Out of everything that I’ve played this past month, I’m probably going to be continuing Morrowind before anything else. This is another game that I played some time ago but never actually completed but unlike Deus Ex, I didn’t complete Morrowind the first time around because I played it on the original Xbox. That version of the game had much longer load times, I don’t recall quick-save and quick-load being abilities I had on the controller either but I do remember plot important NPCs being killed when I did try playing Morrowind seriously. This time, I fully plan on getting through the main campaign after completing the Thieves Guild quest line.
I can’t say that March was a bad month but that’s mainly because of all of the time during it in which I was prone or disassociating or working. I feel like I’m finally waking up, if only a little, so my April should be an improvement. As for what I plan on playing this coming month; I was recently gifted a copy of Nioh which I’m looking forward to getting into. As soon as my tax return clears, I’m going to be building a new PC, which will open up tens of thousands of games to me. I also have some games from this past month that I should just go ahead and finish up, like Final Fantasy IX. I’ve also heard it told that Fromsoft’s latest game, Sekiro is really good so there’s a fair chance I’ll be looking into that sooner rather than later. Until next time though, have a good month and a great Spring.