Operation Backlog Completion 2017
Mar 172017
 

I intended to skip Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

The third generation of Pokémon was my least favorite, and I didn’t enjoy the OR/AS demo, either.

Then, I heard people talking about the Delta Episode, a new post-game story segment added for the remakes. Many fans praised the Delta Episode as being some of the greatest writing in the Pokémon games so far, next to Black/White and Looker’s side quest in X/Y.

Pokémon Black and White are among my favorites for their storytelling, and I enjoyed the Looker quest more than the entire main game of X and Y. Plus the Delta Episode has an oddly Kingdom Hearts-like battle theme, which I love.

So I made up my mind: I would get Pokémon Omega Ruby, rush through the main game (as much as I ever rush), and play the Delta Episode.

I also decided to give my entire Pokémon team Kingdom Hearts names, and since I thought I might do that for Sun/Moon, I’d restrict myself to only prequel names!

After about 20 hours, I made it to the end of the main game with Lea, Isa, Eraqus, Vinewinder (I was trying for the Unversed “Glidewinder”), Bll (my hand slipped), and Groudon (I never name Legendaries).

Pokémon Omega Ruby still isn’t one of my favorites. I liked some of the changes, like the additional character development for Wally and Maxie, but the story still felt bland to me overall.

Then it was time for the Delta Episode!

The Delta Episode was interesting. I’m happy I played it. It’s much more story-driven than Pokémon usually is, which I like, and I hope Pokémon continues to go in a more plot-focused direction.

It wasn’t perfect. There was a lot of running back and forth between locations, without the pacing to make it feel better. I swear at one point they had me go from Point A to Point B only to immediately send me back to Point A.

Nevertheless, it was enjoyable, and it even had a bit more moral complexity than the series usually has.

Click for Delta Episode spoilers

It also introduced the possibility of a Pokémon multiverse, with the suggestion that the original games still exist in an alternate universe.

The Delta Episode’s connections to Kalos even made me realize I didn’t dislike all of Pokémon X/Y’s story. I actually enjoyed its backstory. It was the main story, and especially Team Flare, that disappointed me.

In short, while the Hoenn games will never be my favorites, I’m happy I played Pokémon Omega Ruby and the Delta Episode, and I look forward to seeing where Pokémon’s storytelling goes from here.

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Mar 152017
 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been out for almost two weeks now, and I still can’t decide if I want to get it or not.

On one hand, it’s a Legend of Zelda game. While I never got into the older Zelda games (except for Link’s Awakening), I’ve enjoyed the newer ones.

On the other hand, it’s an open world game. Open world games are not my preferred type. I like a more structured approach, with separate areas to unlock and progress through.

And yet, I loved Xenoblade Chronicles X. Monolith Soft, the Xenoblade developer, helped with Breath of the Wild’s open world. If XCX won my heart despite its open style, maybe Breath of the Wild will, too.

But at the same time, when I hear praise for Breath of the Wild, it’s usually focused on how much freedom there is and how many different things there are to do. Those aren’t bad things, but the emphasis on those parts makes it sound again like the sorts of open world RPGs I usually avoid.

Still, other people have said Breath of the Wild has enough structure that I could play it like a semi-linear game if I wanted to, while still haven’t the option to explore.

As you can see, I’m conflicted about this game. (It’s not the only one. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to give Paper Mario: Color Splash a chance.) I don’t have a Nintendo Switch, but if Breath of the Wild was structured more like the past few Zelda games, I’d have probably picked it up for my Wii U by now.

Maybe I should finally get around to playing Majora’s Mask instead.

What do you think? Do you recommend The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild even to someone who doesn’t often enjoy open world games?

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Mar 132017
 

Final Fantasy XV is set to receive three pieces of DLC that each focus on one of your three party members, Gladiolus, Ignis, and Prompto.

Episode Gladiolus is due out in a little over two weeks, on March 28. According to reports, it’s approximately 2-3 hours long.

I’m conflicted about this DLC. On one hand, I enjoyed Final Fantasy XV and want to see its storytelling gaps filled in. On the other hand, I’m not sure if Episode Gladiolus will give me the sort of story details I’m interested in.

Gladio has his own gameplay style, and the DLC follows him as he goes on a quest to gain the power to better protect Noctis. Anyone who played Final Fantasy XV should have a pretty good guess as to where this story arc fits, and it sounds like it should be focused on Gladio’s personal character development.

More character development is great, but how story-driven will it be? Will it be enjoyable and worth playing to fill in that hole in the story?

(I have the highest hopes for Prompto’s DLC filling in story details.)

Over the weekend, Square Enix released a trailer for Gladio’s DLC. It includes scenes that could be spoilers for the DLC, so maybe you don’t want to watch it… but you should at least listen to it to enjoy the fantastic music.

Maybe reviews will help me make up my mind.

What are your plans? Will you get Final Fantasy XV’s DLC?

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