Game Completion 2018 #57 – Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

  • Game: Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Square Enix
  • Publisher: Square Enix

Yes, yes, there’s another 20 hours of game left, but I had a complete start-to-finish story that lasted 80 hours, and I saw end credits, so I feel more than comfortable calling it.

I have started the post-game, which so far seems completely optional, but will take more of a poke at it another time as I need to take a break and play something else for the moment.

I’m writing something more specific about Dragon Quest XI, so won’t say much more at this stage, other than the fact I enjoyed it a lot.

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Game Completion 2018 #56 – God of War: Ghost of Sparta

  • Game: God of War: Ghost of Sparta
  • Platform: PSP (Played on PS Vita)
  • Developer: Ready at Dawn & Sony Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony

Once again, a handheld spin-off that’s meant to be non-essential to the series has more heart than the mainline games, which is as baffling as it is sad.

One more to go and I can finally check out God of War 2018.

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Game Completion 2018 #55 – God of War III Remastered

  • Game: God of War III
  • Platform: PS4 (Original PS3)
  • Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony

Soooo, God of War III is certainly a God of War game with higher production values allowed by better hardware at the time of development.

Here’s the thing I’m finding with this series so far: I’m enjoying the moment-to-moment gameplay loop and the big set pieces that show the scale of the mythological world that Kratos rampages through, but I couldn’t begin to tell you what game a particular scene is from, such is the way they’re all blurring together into my memory. None of these games are, of themselves, memorable in any way.

The ending was… interesting, I guess, and I’m sure it’d have been really impactful had any amount of effort been made to make me sympathise with its raging protagonist. The only instance of trying to address any sort of sympathy so far has come in a non-essential handheld spin-off.

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Game Completion 2018 #54 – God of War: Chains of Olympus

  • Game: God of War: Chains of Olympus
  • Platform: PSP (Played on PS Vita)
  • Developer: Ready at Dawn & Sony Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony

Chains of Olympus is one of Kratos’s portable spin-off adventures, and therefore should be pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of the series, but wow if it isn’t both tighter and better focused than either of the previous mainline games I’d played up to this point.

It still has some childish crap thrown in the misguided name of ‘maturity’, such as a dumb sex mini-game that makes no sense in the context of the action or the urgency of the plot, but that blemish aside, this is my favourite in the series so far.

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Game Completion 2018 #53 – God of War II

  • Game: God of War II
  • Platform: PS Vita
  • Developer: Sony Santa Monica Studio
  • Publisher: Sony

I enjoyed God of War II a whole lot more than the original due to it feeling a lot more robust, but still came away with similar views: I like the combat mechanics, but did not really enjoy its juvenile approach to general storytelling – an approach that is sadly just typical of its time.

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Game Completion 2018 #52 – Star Wars Battlefront II (2017)

  • Game: Star Wars Battlefront II
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: DICE
  • Publisher: EA

I don’t know anything about the development of Battlefront II’s single-player campaign, but after playing it, I can’t help but feel that the creative team had the bones of a really interesting Star Wars side-story, and had it compromised by meddling corporate decision-makers. Forced to abandon their original characters at regular intervals to include trite segments with Luke Skywalker and his buddies, it leads to an uneven campaign that manages to feel bloated despite only being around six hours long.

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Game Completion 2018 #51 – Horizon Zero Dawn

  • Game: Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Guerrilla Games
  • Publisher: Sony

Hadn’t really expected to ever get around to playing this if I’m being honest. I’m not even entirely sure why I even started it this week, but I’m glad I did as it has managed to scratch all the Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider and Witcher itches I’d been having. I am, however, glad I didn’t play it on release, because I just would never have stuck with it with Breath of the Wild out at the same time.

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Game Completion 2018 #50 – Shadow of the Colossus (Remake)

  • Game: Shadow of the Colossus
  • Platform: PS4
  • Developer: Bluepoint Games (Original by Team Ico)
  • Publisher: Sony

I’ve owned Shadow of the Colossus on both PS2 and PS3 and never played more than an hour. That’s nothing to do with the game itself, just I had other priorities each time and never got around to going back to it. And while I should have seen it through previously – it’s terrific – I can’t deny that I’m glad I waited until now, to experience this utterly gorgeous PS4 remaster.

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Game Completion 2018 #49 – Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana

  • Game: Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Nihon Funcom
  • Publisher: NIS America

Ys VIII is a perfectly competent, action-focused JRPG, but never anything more. It features a number of elements and systems similar to those I enjoyed in the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Ni No Kuni 2, but does none of those things half as well.

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Game Completion 2018 #48 – Bastion

  • Game: Bastion
  • Platform: Switch
  • Developer: Supergiant Games
  • Publisher: Warner Bros.

I have been wanting to play this since it launched on the Xbox 360, nearly started it on Vita, but finally got around to it on Switch. A slick and smart mini-RPG with compelling, ever-evolving combat and a decent plot. Can’t wait for Transistor to hit Switch too.

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