What’cha Been Playin’? November 2016

WBP Nov 16.png

Not a lot of games played, but the holidays and a busy two weeks at work drained me. Plus, y’know, new Pokémon game taking up a bunch of time.

Dishonored // Xbox 360

I spoke highly about the original Dishonored last month, proclaiming that the combination of stealth and magical abilities is damn empowering. What the game doesn’t nail is the story. There’s few surprises along the way, and the pacing is so quick. Dishonored isn’t a long game, and while that’s not a complaint, it makes the story feel a bit rushed. A little character development could’ve gone a long way, especially when it comes to the allies I’m interacting with.

Corvo is a silent protagonist who carries out missions only to return and be immediately thrust into another. His companions give orders, but I’ve given little reason to care about what they’re saying. These missions could be given by a letter slid under the door into Corvo’s room and it’d amount to the same. The only exception is Cecelia, a servant that’s treated with such disdain by my allies that she owes her survival to people forgetting that she exists. Why couldn’t I interact with her more?

While Dishonored doesn’t tell an exciting story with memorable characters, the world itself is enjoyable. I’m generally repelled by gloomy settings (looking at you, Witcher world), but the developer created a layered city full of lore for those willing to read through the countless pages of text. Or do the lazy thing and look through the Dishonored Wiki.

Dishonored 2 // PlayStation 4

Occasionally, I read a complaint from someone with arachnophobia (fear of spiders) regarding how often BioWare tosses massive spiders into the Dragon Age series. Well, I have a similar complaint for Dishonored 2. Not spiders, though, but Bloodflies, the wasp-like insects that populate too many deserted apartments and other abandoned locations. Dozens buzz around their crimson nests, happy to pursue Emily and Corvo when they come too close. If the nest itself can’t be burned away, slow evasion is required, although more often than not I still manage to incur their wrath.

I abhor bees and wasps. Cannot stand them. I doubt my fear reaches phobia levels, but still a colossal chicken when it comes to those damned insects. Just hearing the buzzing of Bloodflies is enough to elevate my heartbeat, and the creatures are usually guarding an enticing object. I’m really enjoying Dishonored 2, but bloody hell those Bloodflies impact me in ways that few games manage.

Pokémon Moon // Nintendo 3DS

Against my better judgement, I restarted Pokémon Moon. The reason is because I wasn’t happy with the team I had built, so I decided to have a clean start. I traded the starter Popplio as quickly as possible, and continued trading until I gained the creatures I aimed to use. Afterwards, I rushed to the second island, skipping every trainer battle that I could, until reaching the area where I’m able to breed Pokémon. Four eggs later, I had my team, most sitting at level one. Carefully, I returned to the first island and ran through the trainers I skipped.

Stupid? Yeah. I’ve carefully built each Pokémon teams since the Japanese version of Gold, but I normally catch the Pokémon I want through regular jumping into tall grass, but this time? I wasn’t feeling that, perhaps because this is the third Pokémon game I’ve played this year. I find that Pokémon’s attempts to guide players restrictive, and it’s tiring not being aloud to catch that Cubone yet because of whatever dumb reason the developers come up with to force me into specific directions. So if I’m being forced somewhere, I want my entire team to benefit, I guess.

And the team in question? By the end of Moon:

Pokémon Omega Ruby // Nintendo 3DS

Sadly, Delta Episode wasn’t anything special. Okay, it was cool [SPOILERS] watching my trainer ride on the back of Rayquaza into space and smash a hole through a massive asteroid heading towards the planet, but the lead-up was tedious. It involved too much flying around for minor battles and talking about… I can’t even remember. Nothing exciting for about 95% of the content. Now I see why people crap on this. At least I’m able to put Omega Ruby to rest.

And, for the record, Pokémon Adventures did the Delta Episode thing so much better.

Stardew Valley // Steam

I wrote about Stardew Valley a few weeks past, briefly describing the circumstances of the night that I jumped into the game, referencing the chaos unfolding on Twitter. That chaos was, of course, the election results. As I lived within the tranquil Pelican Town, motherf**king Trump became the next president, a reality that felt like a smack in the face.

Frankly, my night was backwards. I should’ve played Stardew Valley after the election results, moving from those frustrations to the comparative few in the Valley. I don’t normally think of games as a break from reality, but on that night, they should’ve been. Instead, I went to bed (having to work the next day), and unlike in Stardew Valley, I gained no money during that night. Just a lot of worries.

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