Listen here for the first episode of our brand new podcast idea thing.
(Read below if you hate podcasts.)
Stop Saying it’s Episodic or Incomplete
At some point during the development of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, one of the devs mentioned that the game might end up being episodic due to the scope of the project. That was a while back, can’t even find a source for you on that one so my source is “dude trust me”. But later on, we found out that the release we were getting was going to be just the Midgar section of the original title.
Some people took issue with this, because that’s approximately the first quarter or third of the game. According to people on forums, the Midgar section of the original game took roughly 5 hours to complete, give or take a couple hours depending on if you’re rushing or taking your time. That in turn would give some people the idea that they are not getting a full experience with the first release. That’s not the case at all.
Calling it episodic or incomplete was a great mis-characterization. That might have been said at some point, but that’s not what the end result actually is. Unlike the new Resident Evil 3 Nemesis Remake, the FF7 Remake is actually long. Very long.
What you are looking at is a 30-40 hour complete experience. That’s right, according to HLTB, that sure as hell looks like the length of a complete game, doesn’t it? It’s not stuffed with garbage either.
What they did was build upon everything that happened in OG Midgar. Bits that were one-off comments became full conversations. Characters that were one dimensional now have far more depth added on. The script is new and fresh. The structure of the game takes on a more modern experience than the linear path of the original. No, it’s not open world, thank god, we don’t need any more of those. But it has hub locations where you can go around collecting side quests and other fun tidbits.
I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t picked this game up yet, because I already have several games that are occupying me for the time being. I’ve also never played the original. So, maybe I’m full of sh*t. But from what I’ve seen in demo content and reviews, FF7 Remake is a complete experience with a guaranteed sequel. Probably a trilogy.
Final Fantasy 13 became a trilogy, and it was a COMPLETE GAME before the sequels were added (albeit the FF13 trilogy was so unnecessary, it’s baffling). I fully expect FF7 Remake to do the same. Getting the “whole story” you appear to be chasing is going to last for something close to a decade. Either way, this game isn’t the first episode or chapter. It’s the first whole game in a new series. Come @ me in the comments if you disagree.
Fallout 76 Wastelanders is Out and I Totally Forgot
You know I feel like gamers have been rather apathetic as of late. We finally get Half Life 3 (sortof) and everyone shrugs. We get a “Remake” for the beloved Final Fantasy VII and judging by the comments on my previous post, people have several misgivings about the release (to put it mildly). Now we have the game fixer everyone has been waiting for.
The massive failure of a game, Fallout 76, has finally done the unthinkable. It’s become an actual fallout game with quests, plot, NPCs, you know, Fallout stuff. The brand new “free” WASTELANDERS campaign is available to all owners of Fallout 76.
It has also been re-listed as Fallout 76: Deluxe Edition with the store icon changed to a new Wastelanders icon. The game is back at full price right now @ $60, or so they would make you think. The Wastelanders update is free, this deluxe edition is just giving you all the extra fluff crap you don’t need. Search harder and you’ll find a the vanilla version of Fallout 76 for $40 USD.
Reminder that if you own F76 on disc, the disc is basically just a 520MB license file, the game is all download. At least on Xbox, not sure on the exact numbers for PS4 and PC. Still no announcement of we’ll be getting it on Nintendo Switch (as if!).
I purposely avoided reviews for several reasons. I want to go into this expansion blind, and with a fresh frame of mind as I haven’t touched the game since they did the “Nuclear Winter” mode (which was oddly okayish). I’m sure there are plenty of opinions, hot takes, and reviews pouring into the net as we speak.
So, are you gonna go back to play it? Did you get rid of your copy? Are you no longer interested? Have you seen the reviews? Come @ me in the comments.
There’s Only One Game Type?
I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Doom Eternal. Except any bit with the marauders. Screw those guys. But yeah, it’s fun. Beat the game, I’ve been going back through it finding secrets and collectibles. Only problem is I started getting bored of it.
So I checked out Battle Mode. Only recently have I gotten more comfortable with multiplayer games, which is weird because when I was younger I played the hell out of Quake 3 Arena. I used to do Splatoon 2 videos but then the Splatfests stopped. I digress, I didn’t pay any attention to the promo stuff regarding Doom Eternal’s multiplayer, so I had no idea what was in store for me.
It’s kinda cool. Kinda. But there’s only one game type in Battle Mode. One Slayer vs Two Demons. That’s it. You have some decent tutorials on how to play as the demons but you can’t really get a feel for them until you’ve played a few matches.
Problem is, I’m having a hard time finding matches. You can select to play as a Demon or Slayer if you want, sure. But more often than not, if I try to pick what I want to play as, the game will search for a match for about 15 seconds before giving up. Like, really? Can’t just keep searching? I was only able to start when I selected Quickmatch, which randomizes being a Demon or the Slayer.
I prefer to be a support type of character and while that is available, the small intimacy of a 3 person match is a far cry from 64 person Battlefield where I get to be a medic and just heal people who are better at the game than me. So, meh, could be better I guess.
But where’s the rest? That’s it for Doom? There’s no co-op horde mode? Really? That seems like the most obvious idea, you and other slayers face down an constant onslaught of demons that get harder and harder, until you’re left fighting three marauders, three doom hunters, and a baron of hell with only 3 shotgun shells left, and not enough zombies to refill your ammo, so you all panic and die. Sounds like a blast right? Well, where is it?
Horde mode is not an original game mode by any means. In a world where even Forza Horizon gets its own Battle Royale mode (I’m not even joking), you figure that a horde mode would be the first go-to. Oh god they’re not doing Doom Battle Royale are they? I hope not. Maybe I’m being too picky, it’s just really weird that there’s only one game mode and nothing else. Do they have a roadmap? One second. I stopped to look and see if there’s planned DLC. Looks like there is, but it appears to be single player content.
Welp, that’s fine by me I guess. I’d still like a horde mode though, can we please get it? Do you want a horde mode? Have you had a hard time with matchmaking? Come @ me in the comments.
Gamestop’s Ridiculous Pandemic Behavior
You’ve seen the myriad of shit they’ve tried to pull. Maybe you’re used to them taking advantage of you? I’ve not met one employee who likes working there personally.
But they are repeatedly putting you in danger with wanton abandonment of respect and dignity. They do not even try to hide the fact that they are more concerned with profits than you. At least other companies use corporate jargon to justify themselves.
But not GameStop. Go to work. Ignore the law. Buy your own hand sanitizer. Buy your own Lysol. And now my personal favorite, “tape plastic bags over your hands” (see YongYea’s video). Stop. Just stop it. GameStop is on life support and it’s a matter of months before they tank even harder.
I witnessed the death of “MovieStop” firsthand. They were literally “GameStop but for Movies” and were wholly owned by GameStop until the last few years of their existence where they broke off to form an LLC. And then they committed acts of desperation, and after act of desperation #3, I bailed. Turns out they closed approximately over a year later.
GameStop has been firing off non-stop acts of desperation for months. Read the signs. You, an employee of this heinous organization, need to get out. Have some self respect. Have some integrity. Need the money? Yeah so do 6.6 million other people. You also need to be ALIVE to spend money, don’t you?
Get out, this disease will end, and so will GameStop. Other big box retail organizations are going to see “GameStop” on your resume and they are going to know just how poorly you were treated. It’s a testament to your endurance. “Why did you leave?” Well, you didn’t see any future prospects in staying there. GameStop doesn’t have any future prospects either!
The time you can spend at home doing literally anything else is more value let than the peanuts they are tossing at you. Your time is valuable. Leave now, you will be glad you did, I guarantee it.
Assassin’s Creed Tattoos
This one’s slightly personal but here we go. I’ve been asked a few times why I don’t have any tattoos. I don’t have any super strong opinions on them, I just cannot imagine a single thing I like so much that I would like it permanently engraved on my body. Also, I’m a bit of a fatass right now, so no idea if a tat will look weird or wrinkled if I lose weight.
But I digress. An ex of mine wanted to get a Boston Bruins tattoo. She was a huge Bruins fan. I asked, what if she stops liking the Bruins? The team isn’t a permanent fixture, and the team has seen many great athletes come and go. I didn’t tell her not to get it, just literally expressing that same concern to her. What if you change your mind? What if I change my mind? Laser removal exists but I’ve looked it up and it’s hardly the best eraser.
You see the picture here, so you sort of know where this is growing. I’m a gamer, as you guys might have figured out. I run this website called Hard Mode Gamers, you might have heard of it. But is there a game with a logo I’d like burned onto my arm or back? Jet Set Radio Future is my favorite game ever but it’s too esoteric for me to get a tattoo. But then… there’s Assassin’s Creed.
I was on board with Assassin’s Creed since the first game. I only briefly lost faith in it when Unity came out, and the only time I missed out on a mainline title was when Origins came out, I handed it off to someone else to review for the web page. But the first game came out in 2007, it’s a big fixture in gaming. Hell, it was probably the game that changed Ubisoftcs game design strategy for the foreseeable future. Think about it.
But… I’m already aware people have Assassin tattoos. Here’s the REAL QUESTION overall. Are Assassin’s Creed tattoos cringe? Because honestly, if I were to get one, it would probably be the Assassin logo. “Nothing is true, everything is permitted.” That’s a surprisingly poignant mantra. I really identify with their ideology. Freedom and whatnot. But a tattoo? I don’t know, that sounds pretty cringe to me.
Is it cringe? Is my aversion to picking a tattoo reasonable? Come @ me in the comments.
Kenway’s Fleet Was Oddly Satisfying
As I muse on whether or not to get an Assassin’s Creed tattoo (see previous post), I now examine the games I’m playing. I haven’t picked up Final Fantasy 7 Remake because I’m fully content with the many other games I’m playing on rotation.
Doom Eternal, The Division 2, Forza Horizon 4, and Battlefield V. They are already seeing regular use on my Xbox. But my Switch! I recently moved the dock to a different TV because reasons. Am I playing a Nintendo game? NO! I’m playing Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection. It contains AC Black Flag, AC Rogue, and all DLC. Black Flag is one one of my favorites.
Now, let’s get to it. There’s a mingame in AC4 called “Kenway’s Fleet”. In this game, you manage a fleet of ships, send them on missions, and conduct sea battles to secure trade routes. Except I’m making this sound cooler than actually it is. It’s basically a free to wait auto-play mobile game before they invented the predatory microtransactions to accompany it.
In sea battles, you just select ships with stats to automatically fight other ships, then proceed to watch a handful of boat PNG files pretend to shoot each other. It’s incredibly lo-fi.
When you send your ships out on a mission, it’s to get you money and resources. Now, these trade missions work in real time. If I send a ship to Mexico, it will be gone for 8 real-time hours. Even when I’m not playing. I send a ship on a mission, quit, go to bed, wake up, “Hey, my ship is back! Yaaaay!” Today’s Ubisoft would have sold you a “Time Saver” MT for this feature. How sad!
Coincidentally, there was a companion app for Black Flag that essentially worked as a second screen for the map, along with other features. My old crappy phone could barely handle the real-time map. But it could handle Kenway’s Fleet! As a result, collecting my gains was the first thing I did every time I fired that game up.
The app doesn’t appear to be on the Play Store anymore, and I’m not sure if it would work even if I found the .APK file for it. In the meantime, I’ve got about 3 more hours before my frigate “Triunfo” makes it home. Did you enjoy this minigame? What minigames have YOU enjoyed? Tell me in the comments.