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Old 08-06-2020, 06:22 PM   #151 (permalink)
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Pokemon Sword / Shield
(Currently playing through Sword)

I recently got a Nintendo Switch, and one of the first games I wanted to play was the most recent Pokemon games, Sword and Shield. I haven't played a Pokemon game since Pokemon X so I know I have missed quite a bit in terms of the series progression. I have not beaten Pokemon Sword yet, but I want to point out a few pros and cons that I have come to find during my playthrough. I'm currently right before the next Gym battle, and I recently beat the Rock type Gym.

Let's get the cons out of the way, because despite there not being many faults, there's still a few that have made a bit of a difference in terms of playing the games:

Cons:
  • Gym battles: not enough things to do between each gym. feels like you go through them pretty quick
  • EXP ALL: I really don't like that fact that all your Pokemon get XP at the same time, even if they don't battle. I get it for balancing reasons, but it takes the entire point of the grind out of the picture. Good for some, not for me.
  • Difficulty has certainly gotten a lot easier as the series progresses. A little bit more difficult than Pokemon X, but that's probably due to these games not giving you strong Pokemon right off the bat. The fact that you got a Lucario in the beginning of Pokemon X was just a dumb move and it made the game feel way way way too easy. Again, Pokemon Sword fixes this a little bit, but it's still really easy. I miss the difficulty.
  • I find the fact that it tells you in battle that a move is super effective against an opponent or not. I've played these games for years, so evidently this game is more focused on catering to the younger crowd. That's fine. Again, just not for me.

Pros:
  • While I think some of the designs are god awful, I think this game brings a lot more creative designs than Pokemon X and Y did. I know NIntendo still has a lot to give in terms of Pokemon, so I'm curious to see what kind of designs they come up with next. I really like the ones in this particular game tho.
  • Soundtrack is fantastic. Especially the music that plays during the wild area and in routes. Reminds me of Fallout
  • The wild area is nice, though I wish they could've just made the whole game like that. It's really neat to be running around in an open field with catching Pokemon, but the game STILL manages to feel a bit too linear. Again, really solid idea. Weird way to go about it. But I like it nonetheless.
  • Battling is more fun than it ever has been, despite the game being painfully easy. The gym battles are really cool and it makes Pokemon feel more like a professional sport. Nobody really gives a **** about story anyway so I'm glad more of their focus went on the battle side. Plus so far, the story kind of sucks.

While there may be more to each of those lists, that's just what I could think of right off the bat. There may be a part 2 to this post as I make my way through the game, but those are my thoughts on the matter currently.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:08 AM   #152 (permalink)
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The Outer Worlds [First Impressions]

As soon as I heard Obsidian Entertainment was behind this, I knew I had to put some serious time into this game. Though despite that, I hadn't picked it up until very recently. Sony was having a great sale and The Outer Worlds ended up being 50% off. Not that I wouldn't pay full price for it. It just felt like the right time to play it, and coincidentally it was on sale. So it worked out.

Now, given that this is a first impression, there won't be a whole lot of in depth talk, given that I both don't want to spoil it for anybody, and I haven't done nearly enough to have anything super important to say. However, with the time that I've spent on it so far, I can certainly say that this is well worth your time.

Think of the first time you played a game like Fallout: New Vegas. It was a whole new world to you and the way it's laid out is done so flawlessly that everything feels fluid. Obsidian is not known to skimp out on things that make their games great. Rather, they'll continuously adapt to current gaming climates, and put everything into the project their working on. Which then provides a rich and fun experience in their games. Fallout: New Vegas did this very well, and The Outer Worlds does this well, also.

The game starts you off on a planet you know nothing about, and its your job to go around and figure things out. It's open world, and it plays exactly like you want it to play. It definitely feels like you're playing an all new revamped version of Fallout: New Vegas. I keep using that as an example, but it's the only one I can think of that makes sense. And it's not a bad thing at all. Rather, it's nice that the game wears its inspiration on its sleeve, very heavily. To be expected given that it is Obsidian. But y'know. Just my observation. The leveling system and the perks you can get are also great. I obviously won't spoil any of that for you, but it's a fun system and it works very well. Excited to see how much more it opens up as I level up.

Combat so far is really fun and satisfying. Nothing is necessarily too easy, but nothing is necessarily too difficult either. There's a nice balance. I haven't felt like I couldn't take an enemy down. You just have to be smart about it. The gunplay definitely feels like Fallout, in a good way. Nothing feels too powerful, and thinks lose durability all the time. But fortunately, you get enough loot to allow yourself to have a pretty great loadout, despite the durability loss. I haven't noticed much issue or stress with the durability. I tend to be able to use the weapons as much as I can, until I can repair them. And that's also nice that you can not only repair your items, but you can upgrade them too. Adds a whole other level to the weapon system.

The social interactions you have with characters around you is also done very nicely. And very Obsidian-esque. I've already had moments in dialogue where my persuasion mattered. And made a difference. As well, the dialog in general is very well written, and fun to go through. Games like KOTOR, and of course Fallout do this very well. And I can safely say that The Outer Worlds does is very well. I've had moments of literal laughter because of some of the things you find in the dialogue. And, the characters all seem interesting and fun to talk to. Especially when you can get those dialogue choices that are based on certain levels of your character. That's what I always appreciate. The depth of conversation. Obsidian always does this well. Bethesda sort of still does it well. But not nearly well enough.

Graphically, definitely top tier. I'm playing on PS4, and everything is super high quality and I rarely, if ever have any frame rate issues. I've actually not noticed any lag or what have you. Maybe a tiny bit here and there, but evidently not enough to notice. And, honestly it's just a fun game to run through because of how gorgeous it is. Everything feels unique and different depending on what planet you're on. And that's not an easy thing to do.

Overall, with the few hours I have in this game, I definitely recommend it for those that love games like this, and just want to see what Obsidian is doing with their time right now. I'm certainly going to love playing this more and more.
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