It’s a bumper PlayTime this week, featuring a huge amount of new releases, including Bastion, Battlefield Hardline, Bloodborne, Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin, Mortal Kombat X and Resident Evil: Revelations 2, as well as a couple of exciting upcoming titles from Namco Bandai.
This week was a bit of a departure for me. Of course, I carried on playing a little Bloodborne and Battlefield Hardline, but I had some much more exciting titles to get to grips with, thanks to a Bandai Namco press event in London.
I played a wide variety of titles; some six months ahead of release, and some just around the corner. I can tell you about one or two of them now, but you’ll have to wait a few more days before I can reveal all the games I played, thanks to that ever present thing we call an ’embargo’. In addition to getting hands-on with fresh, new games, I also saw new trailers and exclusive announcements for a raft of titles coming this year. Today, I can tell you about two of these; Saint Seiya: Soldiers’ Soul – Knights of the Zodiac, and Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4.
The build of SSSS I played was a little incomplete, but the battle system seems better this time around, and everything looks slick. Take a look at this video to get a sense of what it looks like, and how it plays.
Naruto, on the other hand, was a revelation. I’m no big fan, as you’ll tell from my hands-on preview – I’m certain that real fans will be able to tell you all the names of everything I battled, along with their vital statistics and inside leg measurements – but that doesn’t matter. It would be foolish to say more here when I’ve written a few hundred words about it already, so check out the full preview right now.
Finally, back at home and away from the London city lights, I picked up Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) for a 45-minute intro session. What I love about it? Beautiful style, intuitive, great sound, and I particularly love that I’ll be unlocking a 24-part, real-life documentary detailing the lives and heritage of the Iñupiaq people. What I don’t like? The controls can be a little muddy from time to time. In particular, our little friend – the arctic fox – has issues jumping where you’d expect him to, especially during a ‘wall climb’. It hasn’t caused me too many issues in the early levels, but it could do with tightening up before I get to the difficult bits.
This week I dedicated all of my time to Bloodborne. Despite the many hours I sank into the game, I just killed the first boss on Sunday. The joy of finally seeing the ‘Prey Slaughtered’ message pop up – and receiving more Blood Echoes than I know what to do with – was deeply satisfying. Any progress you make in the game truly feels like an achievement, even if it is something as bland as making it to a new area.
Since that first kill my progress in the game has drastically picked up the pace. I’ve now taken down four monster behemoths and amassed a horde of Blood Echoes; if I lose them by dying, I might just throw my controller across the room. There’s such a fine line between retreating to the safe haven of the Hunter’s Dream and using your bloody currency, or continuing on with more difficult challenges, risking the chance of dying at any moment and losing it all. That’s one of the reasons why I’m enjoying Bloodborne so much.
My copy of Mortal Kombat X arrived a few days early so I’ve spent a crazy amount of time on that and have loved it. This year is shaping up to be amazing for fighting games and MKX and Under Night In-Birth are leading the charge.
Both the Hatsune Miku Project Diva F games have seen a lot of play time this week (I bought the second on Vita too!) and I’ve finally returned to Kingdom Hearts II HD – I stopped playing for months as I remembered how much I absolutely loathe the Gummi Ship missions. However, now I’ve gone back to it, I’m managing to grit my teeth and mindlessly complete them; thankfully, the rest of the game is much more thrilling. KH2 and Birth By Sleep are my favourites in the series, and I especially look forward to starting BBS.
I’ve still been playing Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sister’s Generation, as well as The Awakened Fate Ultimatum, as there are multiple bonus scenarios after the main game that I’ve yet to finish. Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin is still proving to be a pain, albeit a pretty enjoyable one. I’m going to wait on Bloodborne I think, although that looks more like my kind of game, with its focus on fast-paced combat.
You’re sure to see Mortal Kombat X pop up on a good few future PlayTimes. Also, Omega Quintet releases in a few weeks, which is one of my most anticipated games (a JRPG with idols!), so I’m really excited!
I’ve been waiting a long time for Bastion to release on PlayStation, so I’m very happy that one of the best indie games ever made has finally made it onto the PS4! I must have already completed it at least three times on other platforms, but it’s still just as amazing as I remember. It’s one of those rare games that perfectly blends its story, gameplay, visuals and audio together to create an utterly unique and frankly unmissable experience.
I also made some progress on Battlefield Hardline and Resident Evil: Revelations 2, and received Mortal Kombat X a day early. I obviously haven’t played the latter much yet, but so far it seems awesome. However, most of my free time was, once again, spent on Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, which is fast becoming one of my favourite games of all time.
Finally, and somewhat randomly, I bought Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 on Steam while it was on sale. I’ve always been curious about the franchise, but never played it, so I didn’t really know what to expect. After just a few short hours, I can definitely see why Mitch is such a big fan of the series. It’s a little cringeworthy at times, but it can also be extremely funny, and there are many aspects to the gameplay that I really like.