Welcome back, lovely men and women, to yet another delightful edition of Go West. This week, the big one. From the makers of that one game with a small animal that got crucified, or that other game with Jesus and robots, or that other game with the weird faces, comes another game about weird faces and giant robots.
I know you’re excited. I am too.
There’s a handful of other stuff releasing this week, including a new 3DS game that’ll probably sell a million or so copies, and a bunch of Vita stuff.
Come explore the future (past?) with me!
Nintendo Wii U:
I’ve played about five hours of Xenoblade X since its digital release, and I’m still putting together my thoughts on it. I’ll try to keep this brief since I’ll likely be writing a bigger piece later on.
Xenoblade X is an absurdly large game. I mean, yes, the game world itself is massive (I’m starting to believe I really can go anywhere I can see), but everything else is too. The first few hours of the game is composed of nonstop tutorials mixed in with the scifi story, as X attempts to teach you everything you need to know about its many mechanics, short cuts, and quality of life features. Hell, I’m five hours deep, and there are stil facilities and parts of the main hub city that I haven’t seen or used yet. I have no idea when I will, but it’s there for me to explore if I feel the urge to.
I spent a good three hours running around the main area outside of New Los Angeles, leveling up and fighting things without realizing I already had access to the class system, or even leveling up skills. This isn’t necessarily X’s fault so much as it is me being overwhelmed by how much stuff there is here. I’ve barely made a dent in the game’s narrative because I keep getting distracted by my urge to explore the wilderness and find more cool things. I mean hell, Xenoblade X rewards you with stuff for being a badass explorer, so it’s not like I’m not progressing in my own way, right?
There is one thing in Xenoblade X that’s decidedly small, despite the scale of everything else: the text. Dialogue is generally fine, but the text on the UI is smaller than I’d like, especially when I’m trying to make out complex kanji characters. I imagine it’ll be easier to make out in English, but for now, it’s kind of a pain. I have issues reading a lot of the side quest descriptions, so I end up getting out of my chair to get closer and see what the hell I’m supposed to be doing. I checked the settings for any options to change up the UI, but I haven’t been able to find anything as of this writing.
I’ll have more substantial impressions when I play more over the course of Golden Week. Until then, I plan to stream the game on and off over on our Twitch channel.
It’s fascinating to me that Square Enix has been running a successful Dragon Quest MMO with multiple expansion packs for the past few years, and yet almost nobody in the west knows anything about the game. I played for about a month back when it first launched and enjoyed it a lot, but couldn’t bring myself to keep playing on the Wii. Eventually it got ported to Wii U and PC, but by that point I was already knee-deep in Final Fantasy XIV, so I never ended up going back despite my intent to do so.
I do however have friends who have been playing all the new content, and they seem to have nothing but great things to say about the game, its story, and the general Dragon Quest-ness of it all.
This new expansion, Version 3.0, adds a new race, new visitable land masses, and of course the requisite grand storyline that this game has slowly come to be known for. Hell, there’s a new board game too!
Being an MMO, a small chunk of text in GW! is hardly enough to go over all the new changes, but just know that they’re substantial. Square Enix has done a great job with this game, and if you’ve been playing up until now, I can’t imagine you’d wanna miss Version 3.0. Everyone else? Well… if you have a good VPN in place and know Japanese, I recommend giving the PC version a shot.
I did my Puzzle & Dragons time, dammit, and no crossover is gonna get me to go back.
That said, I played the living hell out of Puzzle & Dragons on my phone. The game is just the right mix of brevity and depth, which certainly explains why it’s still so huge over here. The 3DS version of the game from a little whiles back, Puzzle & Dragons Z, was something of a different beast. While it maintained the core gameplay if P&D, it added a bigger traditional RPG shell over the whole thing, and took out the microtransactions entirely. It’s a different game.
I expect Super Mario Edition to land in a similar place. While the core gameplay is 100% P&D, everythign around it is completely different. This is going to sell gangbusters.
Two things that people in Japan love, together? Yeah, that’s gonna sell.
Hats off to the developers at Experience. Tthey’re pumping out a big, meaty dungeon crawler every year, which, considering their size, is pretty impressive. I’ve never played any of their releases, but I know a fair chunk of people who swear by them.
And hey, I’m not about to knock a dungeon crawler. The fact that the genre is alive and seemingly well is enough to help me get to sleep at night.
As for importing, I believe that the other games have been localized, so this has a fairly strong chance.
Just as I say I’m not about to knock a dungeon crawler, enter Dungeon Travelers.
I jest, but let’s be clear here, regardless of how good the dungeon crawling is under the hood (and I’ve heard positive things), you need to be able to stomach or enjoy the intense levels of fanservice present in the game. I’m not talking the occasional panty shot, but the more obvious sexual references like a girl being covered in white goo with a penis shaped thing with balls in her mouth as she blushes or has eyes filled with tears. If you enjoy that kinda thing in your game, be my guest. I’m personally not crazy about it outside of eroge, though I’m not gonna pass judgement on those who are.
I mean hell, the game is a spinoff of a popular eroge to begin with. Expecting anything else would be silly under these circumstances.
Hold off on importing this, as nutty as it seems.
Asuka was an ordinary ditzy high schooler until one day, her friends and loved ones started to give real thought to their futures. What did she want to do with her life? Who did she want to be? While digging through some old books from her childhood, she stumbled upon an old picture book she used to love. Written in Asuka’s handwriting inside the cover sleeve, “I want to be a nurse!”
Her little sister Nao, always a friendly face and supporter, has resolved to become a nurse. Seeing Nao so determined to reach her goals lights a fire under Asuka, and together they enroll in a Nurse School, dreams in sight.
Last week it was BL, this week it’s Yuri! Free love! Huzzah!
So Hakuisei Aijou Izonshou looks to be so sweet it’ll melt your goddamn teeth off. At least that’s my impression after looking through some screenshots. Having never played a Yuri-focused VN before, I admit to being kind of curious about it.
Any fans of these sorts of games out there? Talk to me!
Yay, a visual novel based on an anime/manga/light novel series!
We’ve never seen one of those before.
Okay, I’m being unfair, I know. Put down the bricks.
I’ve admittedly never watched Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata, but I’ve heard good things about it and its premise.
The game tells an original story about the doujin circle, three months before they’re set to debut their game. A rival circle reveals that they’ll also be selling a galge at the event, lighting a fire under the team’s collective asses to do better. Gameplay-wise, rather than being a fairly typical visual novel, Blessing Flowers sees you trying to produce a galge by getting close to the female characters, collecting keywords, selecting a genre, and siding with the girls during fierce arguments. The whole thing is animated through Live 2D, a system that’s popped up a handful of times in various other anime games.
To be honest, it seems kind of neat, and if it wasn’t based on a pre-existing property, I probably would have bit immediately just because playing KimiKiss has given me the dating sim bug. As it stands, I’ll probably wait till a price drop or at least watch the show first before taking the dive.
If you are a fan of the franchise already though? Sure, go for it.
[And that’s all for this week! A ton of big releases have come and gone, but thing’s should be slowing down just a little bit for a few weeks before the schedule goes insane again. See you all next week for a special, Golden Week edition of Go West!]