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The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

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Phaseknox
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The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Sat Sep 04, 2021 2:58 am

Played: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Finished: Nothing

Playing: Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

Added: Nothing

I’m still playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, I killed all of the cultists and now I’m finally going to start the two expansions starting with Legacy of the First Blade. The modern day sci-fi stuff in this game is completely bonkers, so I hope that it starts making a little more sense when I play The Fate of Atlantis expansion which I heard expands upon it.

In other news, I’m currently facing a bit of a conundrum when it comes to buying new PS4 games. The disc drive in my PS4 has been acting up again, so I’m starting to worry that it’s going to stop working in the future. If it does then instead of getting another PS4 I would want to get a PS5. I’m perfectly happy with my PS4 and I’m not really interested in a PS5, but I would rather put the money that it would cost to repair/replace my PS4 into getting a PS5 instead. The problem is that a lot of new PS4 games that I’m really interested in are coming out soon, and I would hate to buy them and then my PS4 disc drive stops working because if I get a PS5 then I will of course want the PS5 versions of the games. The only thing that I can do now is see how my PS4 disc drive continues to work, because it didn’t want to read my Assassin’s Creed Odyssey disc last night for some reason. After taking it out and putting it back in several times it finally worked. We’ll see how it goes from here.

Games releasing this week
The Artful Escape
BloodRayne Betrayal: Fresh Bites
Boulder Dash Deluxe
Bus Simulator 21
Crown Trick
A Day Without Me
Dream Cycle
Espgaluda II
F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch
From Earth to Heaven
Hindsight 20/20: Wrath of the Raakshasa
Life is Strange: True Colors
Lost in Random
NBA 2K22
The Rewinder
Sonic Colors: Ultimate
Struggling
Tales of Arise
The Touryst
Toy Soldiers HD
Ultra Age
Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodhunt
WarioWare: Get it Together!
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jfissel
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by jfissel » Mon Sep 06, 2021 8:27 am

Finished: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart PS5 (platinum)

Now Playing: Final Fantasy VII Remake, Psychonauts 2

Added to Backlog: Nothing

Current Backlog: 40 games

Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is in the books! I really enjoyed it, though I could see people saying it's on the shorter end if you just go through the story. And they are definitely keeping things open for a sequel, which I'm sure will be coming in a few years.

Also started Psychonauts 2, which provides a nice recap of the first game and Rhombus of Ruin. The first level is pretty weird, but that's what I'm expecting from this game!
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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Mon Sep 06, 2021 3:36 pm

I finished Assassin’s Creed Odyssey: Legacy of the First Blade (spoilers ahead). I said before that one of my biggest complaints with Odyssey is that a lot of the time it feels like it was designed to be played as Alexios instead of as Kassandra, especially when it comes to the romance options which there are many of throughout the course of the game. My Kassandra is straight, and the male romance options in the game are extremely limited. But my Kassandra is more of a fighter than a lover, so it’s not a big deal. Well, it wasn’t until they forced me into an unwanted relationship/romance in this expansion.

This relationship/romance like most prior in the game was clearly designed with Alexios in mind as the main character, and rings false playing as Kassandra. Also, the story in this expansion forces you to be straight which completely contradicts the freedom that you had to choose your sexuality in the base game. This upset people in the LGBTQ community (Google search Legacy of the First Blade), and rightfully so. It’s extremely rare for you to be able to choose the sexuality of your character in a game, and Odyssey was praised for this prior to this expansion.

Since my Kassandra is straight being forced into a straight relationship/romance isn’t the issue for me, it’s being forced into a relationship/romance that I have no interest in especially with the lame male character that is chosen for you. It’s obvious from the beginning of this expansion that this guy likes you, but I was never interested in him beyond friendship. You’re given the choice to friend zone him for a good part of the expansion despite them trying to make it seem like Kassandra is falling for him too. This character was clearly designed to be female which they are when you play as Alexios, and just doesn’t work being male especially how they made him look and act. The female version is really pretty, but the male version is a total milquetoast which doesn’t make sense since his dad is a gruff badass assassin.

You’re given the option to brush off this guy’s romantic advances throughout a lot of the expansion, and at the end of the second act you’re given the option to have him stay with you or let him leave. I of course let him leave since I had no interest in being in a relationship with him, but that decision was completely pointless because he ends up staying anyway and you’re forced into a relationship with him and have a baby with him. WTF? This was not my choice, my Kassandra would never do this. I was given the choice on many occasions to avoid this outcome, yet the game still forced it upon me to tell this particular tale. I skimmed a video walkthrough of this expansion as Alexios and the relationship made a lot more sense since there’s an attraction and chemistry between him and the female version of the character, there’s none between Kassandra and the male version.

By the way, you’re able to play this expansion before finishing the main quest line which makes absolutely no sense as you would not completely stop trying to get your family back together and stop hunting the cult just to live some quiet domestic life with this person and their dad. And it doesn’t make sense if you play it after you reunite your family either since they’re never a part of it. I just reunited my family before playing this expansion, yet they’re completely out of the picture which doesn’t make sense since Kassandra would obviously want to show them her baby.

I was enjoying this expansion up until the forced relationship/romance part because after redoing all of the content that I previously did when I first played the game it was nice to experience some new content. Thankfully the relationship part of this expansion is short lived. It’s not long until my husband is killed, and my baby is kidnapped. I can see how much more impactful these events would be if I was playing as Alexios since the love between him and his wife felt real, but my Kassandra couldn’t really care less that her husband is killed since she didn’t have any real feelings for him to begin with. She did want her baby back though which the entire third and final act is about.

Despite the entire expansion taking place in areas that I’ve already been to in the game, it was still a fairly entertaining little chunk of story content. The whole relationship aspect of it was kind of cheesy, but other than that it was a rather enjoyable storyline for the most part with some fun quests. It felt a little too self contained from the main game, but it was still nice to play some new content that I didn’t experience before. Now I’m going to start The Fate of Atlantis expansion which I hope is better.
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by argyle » Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:19 am

Games added: The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse (ps4, physical)

Last week: Finished Hades, played more Psychonauts 2.

This week: Psychonauts 2

I say I "finished" Hades, which means I beat it the first time. Being a roguelike, beating it just unlocked more options and the story wants you to beat it more times to get the full picture. I'm sure I'll play it some more off & on, but for the most part I'm done - don't really have the patience to beat it over & over. Plus for a while I didn't think I'd beat it the first time without enabling "god mode" - when I beat the final boss I had 0 health refills and 7hp left.

Psychonauts 2 continues to "slap", as I think the kids are saying these days? Who knows. It's an awesome game, that's all I know. The dialog is amazing, every single conversation is not only really interesting but usually laugh-out-loud funny. And yes J, the levels are definitely weird. :) But it's not just weird scenery, they do a great job of keeping the actual gameplay fresh by mixing things up. I really can't say enough good about it. Let's put it like this, I didn't think anything I played this year would compete with P5 Royal for my top spot, and now I'm not so sure...

I'm not picking up a lot these days, but I have some limited print physical preorders that are coming in. Many of those I'm just immediately flipping (for a tidy profit, I might add) so I won't mention those as "games added" here, but I intend to hang onto this one because it looks like it's right up my alley. Speaking of picking up games, Tales of Arise is the first game I've really been looking forward to in a while now - I should have P2 finished off by the time it comes in the mail (especially since I have it preordered from Best Buy, and they never get me games on the release date).
tales-of-arise-poster-alphen-shionne-uhdpaper.com-8K-4.jpg
"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

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crimson_tide
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by crimson_tide » Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:17 am

Played: Neo: The World Ends With You, the greatest game on all of existence. And Lego City Undercover. Which is fine. It's...fine :| .

Bought: shockingly nothing? Like, there's things on PSN sales but I think I just am satisfied with the library I have? As soon as I finish the game of the forever, I know all the things I want to play next. That will take me a good amount of time. And I don't know if I mentioned this but my shed gym...guys, my shed gym is awesome and I'm still want to buy stuff for that instead of games. I love Oleg the Swole Shack... don't be surprised if it ends up on my GOTY list :) .

This week: Neo will end :( ...and then...ummm...school starts back up. Probably jump into something super low key after Neo... Kakarot was fun and me and Cyber Connect 2 vibe (another one you should use argyle, in lieu of slaps. You're vibing with Psychonauts 2. Slaps is kinda...well it's kinda old at this point. You don't want that dad energy that old man brings to the table *insert Steve Buscemi hello fellow kids meme here*

Oh and quote fam Phase's thesis here, I 212% agree! While I enjoyed the Odyssey dlc, it was honestly in spite of itself. Between the awful framing with the garbage fire modern day nonsense and that forced romance resulting in a pregnancy that made zero sense with Kassandra (and honestly only makes sense with Alexios because it's the most heteronormative cis story beat possible). I played Kassandra borderline asexual. I had a brief dalliance with Daphne (she was such a good flirt!) But that resulted in a cool story beat and reinforced why Kassandra just flew solo. That lameass loser they force on her and then say that he somehow makes her happy...bah. Nonsense. There was such a great sense of flow and agency in Odyssey that the first dlc completely breaks. Kassandra being mad about the kid, yes. The idea of there being a kid at all is fine. It's how we got there that's not ok. It was just bad storytelling. There had to be some other way to get there. Have a member of her family have the kid and do the same things and they can get to the same outcome. Piece of Eden nonsense could have made this otherwise fine story work. And that's the part that makes no sense. This story was just fine. It didn't need to strip agency from the player and ruin their character arc in the process. Enjoy the rest of the dlc though fam Phase, I actually really dug it...except for the modern parts. Layla sucks. She sucks so bad...

Argyle, Berseria is on the short list of things to get back to this year after Neo. Let me know how Arise goes, looks like a fascinating change up for Tales! Also, you planning on doing P5 Strikers this year. I need help, I don't know what I am doing in that game, it scares me...
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by argyle » Tue Sep 07, 2021 12:53 pm

crimson_tide wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:17 am

Argyle, Berseria is on the short list of things to get back to this year after Neo. Let me know how Arise goes, looks like a fascinating change up for Tales! Also, you planning on doing P5 Strikers this year. I need help, I don't know what I am doing in that game, it scares me...
JRPGs I really want to get to sooner rather than later: Strikers, LIke a Dragon, DQ XI & Xenoblade 2 - honestly not sure what order to put those in, but since I'm definitely playing Arise when it hits and then Metroid Dread when it hits a month later, I'm guessing probably Strikers first? Since it's RPG but also hack 'n slash, so shouldn't be TOO much RPG overload after Arise. And I'd like to play it while P5 is still relatively fresh in my mind.

I picked up Monster Hunter Stories 2 during my hiatus, but I'm considering selling it. The battle system is great, but the story is pretty bare-bones, there just isn't anything there to keep me invested. My game time is more precious now that I have my second "job" taking up my non-work hours, so I don't want to waste it on anything that isn't REALLY hitting with me.

Speaking of, I mentioned that I finished Hades but I didn't really give any final thoughts - it's fantastic. If you like a good hack 'n slash rogue-lite, you absolutely can't go wrong with it. The way your deaths play into the story and you keep learning more about the different characters/gods as you keep playing really hooks you in story-wise. The gameplay is tough but fair & addictive, it definitely has that "one more run" pull that makes it very difficult to put down. And graphically it has this great graphic novel look that I love. It's by Supergiant Games who also made Bastion, which I loved as well. I *really* need to get around to their other two soon-ish, Transistor and Pyre, because I've heard nothing but good things from those as well.

"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:58 pm

argyle wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:19 am
Games added: The Swords of Ditto: Mormo's Curse (ps4, physical)
I hope that you like it more than I did, because it failed to really hook me and I stopped playing it fairly quickly.
argyle wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 8:19 am
Tales of Arise is the first game I've really been looking forward to in a while now - I should have P2 finished off by the time it comes in the mail (especially since I have it preordered from Best Buy, and they never get me games on the release date).
I’m definitely interested in Tales of Arise, but I’m not as excited for it as old JRPG lover me would have been. I’m more into western developed games these days, and I’m most excited for Far Cry 6 right now but still not enough to buy it on day one for $60.

Speaking of buying games on day one, if you want a physical copy of a game on day one these days then you have to go to a store and buy it. However, it’s really inconvenient for me to have to drive 30 miles round trip just to go to a store to get a physical copy of a game on the day of its release. It baffles me why if you preorder a physical game online why they don’t make sure that you receive it on its release day. That should be the norm IMO. Having to wait upwards to a week or longer to receive a game that you preordered after its been released is ridiculous. It’s just another reason why buying digital games has been more appealing to me lately (in addition to my PS4 disc drive acting up), because you can buy a game the second that it’s released digitally. Actually, you can buy a digital game before it’s released and predownload it so that you can play it the second that it’s released and not have to wait for it to download.
crimson_tide wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:17 am
Bought: shockingly nothing? Like, there's things on PSN sales but I think I just am satisfied with the library I have?
I need to stop buying games during PS Store sales that I’m not all that interested in just because they’re cheap. I’m getting close to owning 400 PS4 digital games half of which I probably won’t even play. It’s getting out of hand.
crimson_tide wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 10:17 am
There was such a great sense of flow and agency in Odyssey that the first dlc completely breaks. Kassandra being mad about the kid, yes. The idea of there being a kid at all is fine. It's how we got there that's not ok. It was just bad storytelling. There had to be some other way to get there. Have a member of her family have the kid and do the same things and they can get to the same outcome. Piece of Eden nonsense could have made this otherwise fine story work. And that's the part that makes no sense. This story was just fine. It didn't need to strip agency from the player and ruin their character arc in the process.
I agree. The Legacy of the First Blade expansion somewhat hurt the game’s overall flow for me a bit, and now I kind of just want to move onto something else at this point. But I heard that The Fate of Atlantis expansion is really good, so I’m looking forward to playing it. But I’m starting to feel some fatigue with the game after putting another 170 hours into it, so I’ll definitely be ready for it to end after The Fate of Atlantis.
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argyle
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by argyle » Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:09 am

Phaseknox wrote:
Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:58 pm
I’m definitely interested in Tales of Arise, but I’m not as excited for it as old JRPG lover me would have been. I’m more into western developed games these days, and I’m most excited for Far Cry 6 right now but still not enough to buy it on day one for $60.

Speaking of buying games on day one, if you want a physical copy of a game on day one these days then you have to go to a store and buy it. However, it’s really inconvenient for me to have to drive 30 miles round trip just to go to a store to get a physical copy of a game on the day of its release. It baffles me why if you preorder a physical game online why they don’t make sure that you receive it on its release day. That should be the norm IMO. Having to wait upwards to a week or longer to receive a game that you preordered after its been released is ridiculous. It’s just another reason why buying digital games has been more appealing to me lately (in addition to my PS4 disc drive acting up), because you can buy a game the second that it’s released digitally. Actually, you can buy a digital game before it’s released and predownload it so that you can play it the second that it’s released and not have to wait for it to download.
I've been the opposite lately - there are very few Western games outside of indies that have really grabbed me. They spend so much money on production values that they can't afford to take any risks gameplay-wise, so most of them have gotten very formulaic and stale. I have a handful of games preordered right now, and the only 2 of them that are non-indie Western games are Dying Light 2 & Horizon Forbidden West. Much more excited for Tales, Metroid Dread, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, and Shin Megami Tensei V.

As for Tales, turns out past-me did a good thing & ordered it for in-store pickup - I got an email late last night telling me it's ready for pickup today. :) So I won't have to wait after all!
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"When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed
if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I
became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the
desire to be very grown up.” ― C.S. Lewis

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Phaseknox
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by Phaseknox » Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:49 am

argyle wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:09 am
I've been the opposite lately - there are very few Western games outside of indies that have really grabbed me. They spend so much money on production values that they can't afford to take any risks gameplay-wise, so most of them have gotten very formulaic and stale. I have a handful of games preordered right now, and the only 2 of them that are non-indie Western games are Dying Light 2 & Horizon Forbidden West. Much more excited for Tales, Metroid Dread, Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water, and Shin Megami Tensei V.
Haven’t you always somewhat preferred Japanese games to Western ones? I always felt that you and my brother had similar taste in games, he also tends to prefer Japanese games to Western ones. I used to as well back in the day especially JRPGs, but now not quite as much. I still like them of course, but they’re usually not the games that I’m most interested in these days. The games that I’m looking forward to the most right now are Dying Light 2, Far Cry 6, God of War Ragnarok, Gotham Knights, Horizon Forbidden West, Kena: Bridge of Spirits, Life is Strange: True Colors and Saints Row. By the way, did you get a PS5 again? You mentioned having Horizon Forbidden West preordered, and I assume that it’s the PS5 version.
argyle wrote:
Fri Sep 10, 2021 8:09 am
As for Tales, turns out past-me did a good thing & ordered it for in-store pickup - I got an email late last night telling me it's ready for pickup today. :) So I won't have to wait after all!
Cool, I look forward to your impressions when you play it.
Last edited by Phaseknox on Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Backlog Check-in Vol. 192: 9/4/21: Life is Strange: True Colors/Tales of Arise Edition

Post by canedaddy » Fri Sep 10, 2021 2:42 pm

Played recently: Dead Rising 4

Finished: nothing

Added to backlog: nothing

Current backlog: 17 (13 PS4, 1 Vita, 3 Switch)


I'm still in a gaming funk. Nothing grabbing me. I got DR4 on sale per a friend's recommendation, and played it for a couple of hours one night... it was pretty fun, but it hasn't called me back.
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