Sunday, July 31, 2016

Month Overview: July 2016

Earth Defense Force 2025                                              7.0
Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale                8.0
Liberation Maiden                                                          7.0
Kid Icarus - Of Myths and Monsters                              4.5
Silent Hill 2                                                                     8.5
The Legend of Legacy                                                    5.0
Hot Pixel                                                                         6.0
Stella Glow                                                                     8.0
One Piece - Pirate Warriors 3                         8.5

 July was an annoying month because exams, nobody likes exams, but somehow I managed to play a sizeable amount of games. It probably has to do with my should-be-patented microbreak-study system that involves me trying to distance myself from what I just read and then try to see how much I truly remember. Or stuff.

Game of July:
 Pirate Warriors, man. It's probably one of my favorite Warriors/Musou games. Firstly, it looks amazing, it's not the first Musou game to use cell-shaded graphics, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3 for example, but One Piece's incredibly varied and distinct character designs couple with the very colorful cell shading make for one hell of a showpiece that looks unlike any other Warriors games. There's also the tiny details, like Logia users entering their Elemental forms, which look fantastic, and the shading trying to emulate pencil lines? Pure genius.
 Its beauty isn't just skin deep, it's one of the faster paced games in the franchise, movesets are very varied, with different uses( Crowd clearing, Kizuna-gauge builders, boss bashing') so repeating the same move over and over again is not only boring, but not as rewarding. I also liked how characters had very different tools. Luffy was a fantastic crowd clearing character, Sabo, my main squeeze, was more balanced, having a bunch of different uses while Enel was bad at crowd-clearing(At least until you unlocked his second special) but was a beast when dealing with tough enemies, then there was Blackbeard who could place 'traps' around his surrounding, or Nami that could zap enemies after comboing them.
 I could go on and on, but I loved Pirate Warriors 3. As much as I like One Piece's story, and as much as I think they did a good job covering all of it, as condensed as it is, it lacks the... impact? depth? emotion? etc of games like Dynasty Warriors 8. I also wasn't much of a fan of having bosses with three-tiered life bars, it was a bit boring and annoying having to wait for them to get up before I could start damaging them again. Or the Limit Break system... but all these gripes did little to diminish the amount of fun I got out of Pirate Warriors 3.

 Silent Hill 2 is something special. I can't stress enough how awe inspiring the amount of care that went into every facet of this game is. How the monster design, how the environment design and how the gameplay was tied around the main character's personality. Admittedly, a couple of the riddles were a bit too tough for me, and while I have no problems with easy games, as a Survival Horror game it could've been a bit more sparing with healing items and bullets, but it's easy to forgive its few shortcomings when you are so engrossed in the game's setting and story.

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