So I’ve put over 70 hours into Fire Emblem: Three Houses – probably the most time I’ve dedicated to a single game since Assassin’s Creed Odyssey last year. I’ve still not completed my first route (Blue Lions represent!) but I’m closing in on the end. I don’t know when I’ll get to the second and third playthroughs for the other houses, but I legitimately want to see everything from the other perspectives. That’s how engrossed I am at the story level.
The mechanical level has also hooked me, obviously. Three Houses is the best Fire Emblem has ever been on the tactical battle level. Critical battle information has been streamlined and made much easier to access. Leveling up your characters outside battle is also more engaging and you have a lot more options at your fingertips to create bonds between your characters. And the characters are all stellar. I love the Blue Lion house and their interactions both on and off the battlefield. The recruitment system has also allowed me to nab the characters I like from other houses as well.
I’m starting off glowing about the game, but there are a few low points which I’ll also get to. As a heads up, this review won’t contain any major main story spoilers, but might contain minor support conversation spoilers.
Last week I was on vacation in New York City and before I left I took advantage of the Black Friday eShop Sale. I wanted to make sure I had plenty of games on my Switch for entertainment while we were taking it easy. I added The Messenger and Valkyria Chronicles 4 to my library, in addition to having Pokemon Let’s Go, and I figured between the three that’d be enough to keep my attention.
It turned out I only needed to buy one game because The Messenger was all I touched the entire trip. I started it on the Monday train ride up and beat the last boss on the Saturday train ride back home. And let me tell you something: this little game kept my attention the whole time. I was never bored, frustrated, or wanting to switch it up with another game. Once this fun ninja platformer got its hooks in me it never let go.
This fun, amazing game released on PC and Switch at the very end of August – basically when I was avoiding starting or grabbing anything new in prep for the upcoming Spider-Man – so that’s why I didn’t play it when it released. But I’d heard good things about it so I thought I’d give it a try as a fun distraction during vacation down time. I was not expecting it to charm me and become one of my favorite games of the year.
So let’s dig a little deeper into why I loved the game in a full review – general spoilers for the game will follow:
This week on Make Me A Gamer TMan & HarveyZ go on a wild ride of gaming tangents. We talk about the leaked Harry Potter RPG footage and somehow end up on the topic of how the world of wrestling and fighting games intersect. We also talk about Civilization 6 and Diablo 3 coming to the Switch, along with our views on gaming collectibles and collecting art in general. (This episode was recorded October 6th.)
Octopath Traveler is a very interesting game. I was originally only going to talk a little bit about it in a more general sense instead of giving a full review but after playing it off and on for the last few weeks I suddenly realized I’d accumulated 50 or so hours of playtime in the game. At that point I felt the game deserved an actual review instead and so here we are.
Octopath Traveler is a game that tries to hearken back to the old-school SNES days of JRPGs where sprites and beautiful enemy artwork were abundant. Despite the older games it tries to emulate, Octopath has its own unique graphical style that isn’t just “trying to be retro.” It’s one of the more perfect blends of retro and modern designs, unlike say Undertale that was fully pixel art. Not to say Undertale’s graphics are bad, but Octopath’s blend of 2D and 3D makes its landscapes pop and the beautiful art stand out.
Before I go any further in my review, I’m going to go ahead and give a mild spoiler warning for what follows – I’ll talk about a few plot details and the endgame and postgame content while giving a thorough overview of the whole game. So if you want to be surprised by gameplay secrets and what-not be warned I will go in-depth on them. I will try to keep any story spoilers as vague as possible, though.
If you missed it (or don’t care about video games) Nintendo announced something new for the Nintendo Switch yesterday. It wasn’t a game (well, it’s kind of a game) but more of an add-on to the system. Although I hesitate to even call it an add-on because it’s…well it’s weird. Here, take a look at this reveal trailer and then come back here.
So as of writing this, the in-game counter for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has me at about 50 hours of playtime. I haven’t finished it – in actuality I just finished Chapter 5 and it supposedly can take close to 100 hours to finish entirely – but I figure 50 hours is a solid enough amount of time to spend with a video game for a good review. And while I can’t say Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a bad game since I’ve spent over two days playing it, it definitely has issues that detract from the overall experience.