As of last night my wife and I (I will now say "we") officially finished the Kingdom Hearts series! This is a huge accomplishment for us, and one we've been working on together for the past three year as we awaited the launch of Kingdom Hearts 3.
If you're uninitiated, the first game originally came out in 2002 for the Playstation 2. The series has since expanded with games releasing on the DS, 3DS, PS3, and PS4. Since their original launches, all of the games are now available in some form or another on the PS4, contained with the Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX and Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue. (Links are to the official KH website)
The order we recommend for playing the Kingdom Hearts games is as follows, and this is the order we'll share our thoughts. Note that this is not the chronological order, but rather the order we feel the series presents itself best in, and the order where everything will make most sense -- if that's possible.
There are so many glorious things I can say about Red Dead Redemption 2, but I keep being thwarted by the game’s biggest flaw. RDR2’s control scheme and interface are beyond bad.
I have no idea why Rockstar is still using this antiquated and horribly unfriendly setup. I completely acknowledge that there are many, many different systems in the game and the scope of what you’re doing in-game is vast beyond what we’ve seen in other games, but there’s a line that’s been crossed.
For example, I want to take that bow off my horse. Can I go up to the bow on the left side of the horse and press square to take it off and carry it with me? No. I have to hold the right button on the D-pad until a radial menu comes up. While holding that, I have to push the right stick in the direction of the radial option I want to choose, then whole holding that there I have to use R1/R2 to cycle through the various items in that type of slot until I find my bow.
I should have been able to walk up to that side of the horse, face the bow, and press square.
Swapping weapons, making sure the right items are on my and not my horse, etc., has become a full-time job.
Remembering how to open up various contextual menus, radial menus, and multipage menus has become a full-time job. My wife was watching me play and started to take notes for us after we spent 5 minutes sifting through various menus and pages to find something.
After several play sessions, I can honestly say the controls have soured many experiences in an otherwise wonderful game. Time to innovate, Rockstar.
On other more positive notes, RDR2 is such an unusually slow-pace game that I feel no desire to rush through. This could easily last me many, many months. Rather than write any sort of review, I’ll just comment on various systems and things I find enjoyable or otherwise.
Fallout 76 snuck up on me. Just the other day Graev texts asking if we're going to play the Fallout 76 beta for pre-ordering and I was shocked to realize it's already coming out this month... like in two weeks.
I can't bring myself to pre-order the game.
I’m having a really, really good play-through of Stardew Valley right now. I’ve only ever seriously played through once, but that was immediately after it originally launched on PC. Right now this play-through is on the Switch, and I’m playing 100% exclusively with my wife.
Together we sit on the couch with the Switch docked so it’s on our tv, and she holds an iPad and looks up all the great little details on the wiki that she and/or I want to know (we determine how much we want to spoil) while I control our joint character.
We’re halfway through Winter in our first year, and I think we’re making really good progress! We’ve actually managed to finish the entire craft room in the Community Center, and made headway into nearly completing several others. Right now the biggest thing holding us back is actually getting to the desert.
Kingdom Come: Deliverance is one of those games I saw back at an E3 or during some game conference and thought it looked decent, but then forgot about it completely.
They were kickstarted successfully back in 2014 for four times their ask, and were planning to deliver the game much sooner but saw some setbacks. Now the game is coming out February 13, 2018 for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.
What are you guys playing this weekend?
I’m playing a lot of Skyrim on the Switch. I’ve been leveling a warrior-type using 1h and block. Having not played Skyrim for years, I wasn’t aware of so many of the little changes. The biggest change is to Smithing. My goal was the level up Smithing and craft some pretty epic items. Turns out, it’s a little more difficult now. Smithing in Skyrim now works off the value of the item. From what I read, the best ratio of resources to skill gains comes from making ‘gold rings’, but I’m also reading some info about Dwarven Smithing. Looking for some advice here.
As a devout fanboy of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, you better believe I’m diving head first into Assassin’s Creed Origins. Set in the Egyptian era, and featuring some of the first (in a long time) major innovations for the series, Origins has me completely engulfed in its wonder.
A formal review will eventually come (before the end of the year), but to lead up to that review I want to write about things I love and experience as they happen.
I want to really emphasize the world in Origins. The Egyptian setting features places like Alexandria, Siwa, Giza, and Memphis. There are all sorts of deserts and crypts and open-world areas to explore. There are waters with boats, huge open deserts, grand ancient cities, and deep tombs. There’s so much to explore and see that some may even find themselves suffering from open-world fatigue.
The best way to explore the world and experience Origins first hand really is to just set off in a direction (generally toward a major story objective) and just see the world as you go. If you play to “complete” the world, you’ll burn out. Play to live the journey, on the other hand, and you’ll see the world naturally unfolds around you.
The world itself really plays a part in the experience. Traveling through the desert, I’ve already be faced with a burning bush (yep), mirages, hallucinations, ambushes, heat exhaustion (that I feel like quite literally lights you on fire), and even curses — yes, it was raining frogs at one point.
You’ll also feel immersed in the world by having to hunt animals to upgrade your gear. There are more RPG elements I’ll go into in another post at another time, but suffice it to say you have to have leathers, hides, pelts, wood, and ore to upgrade your gear — and you NEED to upgrade — so you’ll have to hunt to get those resources.
The last part of the world that I find so wonderful is your eagle, Senu. This eagle companion has replaced your dormant sixth sense that you had in past Assassin’s Creed games, and literally become ‘eagle vision’. You take control of your eagle and fly through the skies. This provides both an aerial view of what’s happening below, and an awe-inspiring view of the scenery around you. I sometimes take flight just to look around and explore the big picture.
If you like open-world games, Assassin’s Creed Origins definitely scratches that itch for me.
In anticipation of the eventual release of Kingdom Hearts 3, my wife and I are playing through the Kingdom Hearts games together. This is the first time either of us have played one of the most beloved and popular RPG franchises of all time. As always, I regret not playing them sooner.
We started this journey over a year ago when Bri got really into Kingdom Hearts Union Cross (formerly known as Unchained X) for iOS. We both love Disney, and the characters and stories from Square games have always been interesting to me.
So we set out on our journey to play through the entire series via the newer remastered versions released on PS3 and PS4.
This order allows you to experience the story best. If you play the timeline chronologically, you will spoil much of the mystery behind the story and what's going on.
I want to do a review of sorts for each of the games. I want to talk about what worked, what didn't, what we liked, and what absolutely sucked, and the story overall without major spoilers.
As I said, we started this journey over a year ago. We're now on Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep, which means I have a brain full of information on the first three games as well as the HD Theater version of 358/2 Days.
This should be a fun way to work ourselves toward KH3's release! Stay tuned.
Short and sweet tonight, guys.
Red Dead Redemption 2 looks nothing short of amazing, and I don't even have the privilege of having played the original. That's right, this was one of those 'I watched Graev play it' titles.
Over the past 4 years I have gone back and played many games that Graev played while I watched, and I guess this is going to have to be one of them. Every time I go back and play, I end up loving them even more than he did.
Red Dead Redemption 2 definitely has a visual appeal, a setting appeal, and I bet it even has a gameplay appeal for me. I enjoy the wild west, and I love me a good story.
Now the big question...
Where and how do I get the original? I don't want to play it on PS3. I'd rather play on PS4 or Xbox One. Looking like it's $24'ish as a digital purchase from Microsoft. Any other recommendations?