My Gaming Landscape [September 21st, 2015]

For the uninitiated, My Gaming Landscape is an informal blog post series where I discuss my thoughts on the games I’ve been playing recently, as well as recent news and events in the video games industry and with me in general. This means that these posts typically contain impressions, editorials, and personal accounts all in one post. Everything that comes to mind and I find worth discussing in my personal landscape of video games will be talked about here, hence the name. So without further ado, here’s My Gaming Landscape.

I mentioned at the end of my last MGL that I was starting up Final Fantasy VII to help get me out of the gaming rut I was it. I’m very happy to announce that it succeeded it doing just that. After about 35 hours, I finished Final Fantasy VII and completed something I’ve wanted to do for 13 years. I first played FF7 back in 2002, you see, and it was the first RPG I ever played. When I reached the section where you parachute back into Midgar, I saved and called it a night. However, when I came back to the game, I found my save file had been corrupted and all my progress was gone. Ever since then, I’ve never gone back and finished that game because that memory of my corrupted save has stung to this day. That is no longer the case. I finally finished this game and I loved the game. I even have proof!

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I want to write a review but I want to beat the game 100% before I do. So I downloaded a bunch of mods that make the game look a lot better and I’m currently going through it again, this time with a guide to help me get everything. I’m playing the PC Steam version, by the way. It took me five days before I finally got all the mods to work without crashing the game or not taking out all the music for some reason, but it works now and it’s great. I’m currently only at the part outside of Shinra HQ but damn this game looks good! Check it out here!

While I was playing FF7, there were a few moments when I wanted to play something else. I dabbled with some fighting games via emulators such as Garou: Mark of the Wolves, Street Fighter Alpha 3, and Capcom vs. SNK (which I actually streamed on my Twitch channel). I also played some God of War: Ascension since I got it free via PlayStation Plus. I stopped playing it when I got more serious with FF7 but I would really like to return to that game at one point. I was actually enjoying it a lot.

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My 100% playthrough of FF7 is sort of something I’m doing on the side since I know it’s going to take some time. So the current game I’m focusing on is Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater HD. I’ve been ranting about this game on my Twitter and Facebook and getting a lot of shit as a result. However, I don’t care because I just don’t understand this game. As someone who has never played a Metal Gear game aside from an hour of Metal Gear Solid 2 and a full playthrough of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, this game doesn’t explain itself well. I didn’t know you could grapple, interrogate, slam, choke, or cut the throats of guards until four hours into the game. And it wasn’t even from learning it in-game. I was having sort of a miserable time playing and just knew that I must have been doing something wrong. So I watched part of a let’s play on YouTube and found out this was even possible. Hell, I just realized you can hold up guards by pointing your gun at their heads! And again, it wasn’t from in-game.

This game does a shit job explaining what is possible. I know you’re supposed to call to learn more stuff about the game but to me, that sounds like annoying tutorial stuff that pops up in games except you have to activate it yourself instead of it being automatic. The voice acting is good and the characters are interesting (I like that the major is a James Bond buff) but that only makes it slightly better. Speaking of which, I find the story to be kind of dumb and cheesy but entertaining. I cannot take these characters seriously at all but I sure am engrossed when these guys talk. A dude covered in hornets, a young buck who’s fancy with a gun but doesn’t know when to shut up, and a guy who fancies himself a spider or something. It’s all very silly but enjoyable. The one character I do take seriously is The Boss, as I want to know what her reason for defecting is. What are her motives? My one complaint with her is her voice actress. Something sounds off with her. She has this strange tone and accentuation to her voice that just throws me off. A minor complaint, sure, but I can’t ignore it.

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Gameplay-wise, I’m conflicted. When I’m sneaking around undetected, the game is great. I like sneaking around, the camouflage systems, and fooling the guards to not knowing I’m there. The section outside of the laboratory is great. However, when you go into combat, this game falls apart. Part of the reason why I couldn’t figure out CQC is because everything is mapped to one button for some reason, making it unintuitive. Also, shooting in first person sucks. Every time I switch to the first person camera while moving the analog stick, the camera freaks out and I have to readjust before I can aim my gun and shoot. This made boss fights a lot harder than they should be. I know this isn’t a shooter game but this game does have shooter controls for the gun. Unfortunately, they’re bad. I think I’m about halfway through the game (I’m heading into the jungle after going through the lab). I’m starting to enjoy myself more as I learn about how to play but that is not coming easily.

In fact, I loaded up Super Mario 3D Land for some reason and finished the special worlds as a break from MGS3. 3D Land is such a safe game. Everything in that game is recycled from previous Mario games and it’s all the more apparent since this game wants you to replay it’s levels over and over again. Finish the game as Mario, then as Luigi, then make sure you get all the Star Coins, and make sure you land at the top of every flag pole. Holy crap, that’s a lot of replays and it doesn’t help that the special worlds are the same as the normal worlds except harder. It’s not a bad game, just repetitious.

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I’m going on a lot longer than I thought I was but I did watch to mention one last thing. I was strapped for cash this month so I almost sold my Wii U. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how you look at it), I managed to make enough money from selling almost all my disc-based Wii U games. Therefore, I kept my Wii U. Apparently, Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD, Bayonetta 2, Bayonetta 1, Sonic Lost World, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and my Wii U Pro controller were worth more than I thought. I still have New Super Mario Bros U, and New Super Luigi U, as well as all my digital games. That means my virtual console games, Metroid Prime Trilogy, and Pikmin 3. It always sucks when you got to sell your games but video games sell quickly so it’s a really efficient way to get cash quickly if you need it.

That’s about it for this Gaming Landscape! Not too much about current game events but as I’m mostly focusing on older games right now, I’m not playing games like Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain or Mad Max so I don’t have opinions on the games or the controversies associated with them (review scores, Quiet, etc.). So now I want to hear from you. What have you been playing? Anything else gaming related going on with you recently? Tell me in the comment section and get the conversation going. Peace and Love, gamers and players! Colorwind out.

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