Monday, March 5, 2018

Strike 2

It was something of a wasted weekend, gaming wise. I already said my piece about Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and the illicit drugs that were missing from my rental copy. It was arrogantly terrible. 'I am going to reuse character and plot points from a dozen other JRPGs , marry them to combat that makes early World of Warcraft look exciting, and you are going to love it because it is on the Switch and it will take a truly ridiculous amount of time to get through it.'

Well, no, if I was willing to discard an entire genre that I used to enjoy because I am, quite literally, getting too old for this shit, then I am going to abuse this newly found freedom and not play a JRPG that is bloated and boring.

So I fucked off and played through Trials of the Blood Dragon. It was free, fun, and took up about an afternoon. Then I tried Elex.


If Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is arrogantly terrible then Elex is incompetently terrible, which is odd, as Piranha Bytes has been making (bad) games since 2001. Elex drops the player into the middle of a poorly explained story, into the shoes of a protagonist who literally has no emotions, with little explanation other than 'walk to this town and see what's up.'

Little to no direction at the beginning of a sprawling open world RPG is not a bad thing as long as there is some hook, something interesting to do in that first area. In Elex that first area is both difficult to navigate and devoid of interesting content. Side quests are boring and, just like Xenoblade Chronicles 2, there is no clue given as to if you are of a high enough level to even attempt them. I found myself walking for several minutes towards a flashing spot on the minimap (which was a literal blank circle, no topographic info, nothing) only to find my target surrounded by enemies that I had no chance in killing.

Combat animations are stilted, movement animations are nonexistent, flying with the jetpack, which I am convinced is given to the player early on because the level designers couldn't be assed to design levels, is near impossible. There was no joy to be found, even ironically, in Elex, and this is coming from the guy who was disappointed that he could not finished The Technomancer due to a game breaking bug.

So fuck it, I turned it off. If I am too old for the stress induced by Street Fighter then my time is far too precious for more than a few hours of bad RPGs. On Friday I was worried about how much time finishing the next two games was going to take. Today I am digging through games that I purchased and never got around to playing.

Why hello Telltale, it's been a while, are you still using the same shitty engine?


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