Monthly Archives: January 2018

Bandai Namco, aka: Shut up and take my money!

So, this post has been going around my head for a few weeks now because I’ve been playing Dragonball Xenoverse 2 a lot, and while it isn’t perfect, it certainly has been enjoyable enough for me to consider it well worth the money I paid for it. I started thinking about how many games I’ve bought this year that start with the Bandai Namco logo; there’s God Eater 2: Rage Burst, a trio of 80s arcade ports for my PS4, and I bought all of Dark Souls AGAIN so I could have them on my PC whenever I felt the urge to try a new run in any of them. Today, I saw the teaser trailer for Dark Souls Remastered, and I know that this means I will again be buying another copy for my PS4, even though I’ve already bought the game twice before.

Add in to this the upcoming Code Vein, Dragonball FighterZ, God Eater 3, and another potential new release from FromSoftware and it becomes clear that Bandai Namco is going to be getting the bulk of my gaming budget for the foreseeable future. I really want to talk about this, about why I like so many of their games and like supporting their releases sight unseen where with most other publishers I have to be convinced by reviews and Lets Play videos before I will consider opening my wallet.

First of all, I think a lot of this has to do with my experiences playing games and memorizing who published what. Publishing a game is not the same thing as making it. For instance, Bandai Namco did not make the Dark Souls series. That honor goes to FromSoftware, but Bandai Namco has such an amazing plethora of game companies working with them, and each time I see that logo at the start of a game, it give me a positive impression that I’m going to be playing something good. It might be a fighting game, or an arcade port, or a hack and slash “RPG.” (I still dislike calling these games RPGs because my decisions don’t really alter the story, and I rarely have any sense of agency with my characters. The only role play in them is choosing where to spend my skill points, and while that affects how I fight in the game, it does not change the story or the outcome.) No matter what style of game it is, seeing that logo tells me “This is gonna be something good.” Continue reading

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This is not a review of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

You might be forgiven for mistaking this post for a review, given that there will be discussions of a game and what I did and didn’t like about it. However, this cannot be considered a review for several reasons, with the first being that I did not complete the game, nor do I plan on doing it. (Nor do I plan on watching the rest on YouTube.) I will not be issuing a score or suggesting whether you buy it or not. I won’t even be going all that in depth with the various game elements. These are just my thoughts after playing for a few days, and I’d like to share them with you so you have something new to read from me.

I got Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain for free as part of the PS+ collection, so that tempers my reaction to it quite a bit. I went in with low expectations for many reasons, the biggest of which was that the last few times I played any Metal Gear games (for reference I played the remasters of 2 and 3 on the PS Vita) I was bored to tears by the game play and annoyed endlessly by the interruptions for ten, twenty, and even thirty minute sessions of “plot”. In my opinion, Hideo Kojima is probably one of the most overrated game makers out there because it often seems to me that he doesn’t want to write for a game. He wants to write a visual novel or even a movie, with minimal interaction on the part of the audience.

The opening of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain certainly seemed to back that up, inviting me to touch the controls once every five minutes or so before playing out yet another lengthy (and often stupid) cut scene. (No, seriously, like my character would watch a nurse being garotted and not so much as point to warn the doctor? FUCKING STUPID.) However, once I got into the actual game, the cut scenes were greatly reduced, and while I really didn’t like the controls, I could at least work with them. Further, some of the missions were, gasp, actually fun to play. Continue reading