You know how dedicated MMO players say that the game is “just beginning” when you reach the level cap? Hyrule Warriors is a bit like that in some respects; completing the main story mode is far from the end of the game.
In fact, one might argue that the “endgame” of Hyrule Warriors, if you choose to look at it in that way, is in fact the most substantial meat of the package. Eschewing the narrative focus of the main story mode in favour of a non-linear, mechanics-centric experience that is all about just having fun as you see fit, this part of the game will keep you busy for a long, long time.
And, moreover, it will do this not by forcing you to grind the same things over and over again, but instead by offering you a huge variety of different, highly replayable challenges that each put their own fascinating twists on the core mechanics of the game.
Continue reading Hyrule Warriors: The Real Game Starts Here
Last week, we took a first look at the latest moe anthropomorphism mobile game, Girls’ Frontline (or “Gun Ladies”, as my wife calls it).
Since then, the game has officially launched out of open beta and got well underway, so I figured it was worth taking a closer look. With that in mind, I’ve been playing it a whole bunch over the course of the last week or so.
Short version: it’s really fun, it has interesting mechanics and great art and it is fair and generous. Sounds like a winning formula to me!
Continue reading Girls’ Frontline: A Closer Look
One of the key ways many people like to distinguish the stereotypically Eastern and Western approaches to role-playing games is via non-combat mechanics and progression.
It’s fair to say that, as we’ve already discussed, many role-playing games from Japan place a strong focus on combat both as a core aspect of gameplay and the central aspect of their overall progression. You can contrast this strongly with something like an Elder Scrolls game, which still involves combat at times, but, depending on how you choose to play it, can also place a strong focus on crafting, spellcraft, stealth, exploration and all manner of other aspects.
Xenoblade Chronicles has, since the first installment of the subseries, always been about something of a fusion between the linear, narrative-focused nature of Japanese games, and the more open, flexible, “emergent” gameplay of Western titles. And this tradition is well and truly intact in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Violence Doesn’t Solve Everything
One interesting thing about Granblue Fantasy when compared to a more traditional MMO on computer or console is the fact that what we’d typically regard as the “endgame grind” is actually spread out throughout the whole game.
This is partly due to the game’s overall structure and progression: you’re not levelling up a single character and thus there isn’t a “level cap” to reach because at any time, you can switch out your party members, your weapons and your summons to create a new experience for yourself.
Aside from this, however, it allows players to get into the multiplayer content — often restricted to high-level play in other mobile-social RPGs — almost right from the outset.
Continue reading Granblue Fantasy: The Grind Never Ends
Nier creator Taro Yoko has some strong opinions about how to keep games interesting.
Last time, we heard how he felt that modern triple-A games were often fun for the first twenty minutes, but that he often became concerned these initially impressive titles would become tiresome after twenty or more hours. It was this mindset that caused him to design the original Nier with so many unusual features to it, and many of these — and more — have carried across to Nier: Automata.
Today, then, we’ll take a look at Nier: Automata’s mechanical aspects — and how Yoko’s collaboration with Platinum Games has helped him to realise his vision better than ever before.
Continue reading Nier Automata: Creating a Game That is “Unexpected”, That “Keeps Changing Form”