Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Year 2: August Update

With a month of summer remaining the big holiday game releases are about to start hitting. Sega released Shenmue I & II today and I'm very interested in it but the timing is terrible. This would have been a much better June/July release and I might just have to wait until next summer to play it ahead of Shenmue III which now has a tentative release date of August 27, 2019. The games I may or may not be playing over the next few months:

  • Shenmue I & II (8/21)
  • Yakuza Kiwami 2 (8/28)
  • Marvel's Spider-Man (9/7)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider (9/14)
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 (9/25)
  • Forza Horizon 4 (9/28 - Ultimate Edition; 10/2 - Standard Edition)
  • Assassin's Creed Odyssey (10/2)
  • Soul Calibur VI (10/16)
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (10/26)
  • Hitman 2 (11/9)
  • Fallout 76 (11/14)
  • Battlefield V (11/20)

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
I really doubt I'll have time to play them all or at least not all to completion right away. For Battlefield I'll stick to the single-player stories and Soul Calibur is mostly something I just mess around with as I'm not generally into fighting games. Soul Calibur is usually worth viewing for the graphics and this one has The Witcher's Geralt as a guest character. Spider-Man and Forza Horizon 4 will likely be the best exclusives for all audiences this holiday season, though keep in mind Spider-Man is rated "T" by the ESRB for blood, violence, language, and drug reference; therefore it's not really for the young kids despite starring one of the more kid-friendly superheroes. Since I don't have a Switch I won't be playing Nintendo games but Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be its biggest holiday release on December 7th.

Marvel's Spider-Man
Forza Horizon 4

The past couple weeks I played through The Banner Saga 1, 2, and 3 twice each on the PlayStation 4. Although there are three games, it really feels like three chapters of a single game. It's a strategy role-playing series where you manage a caravan (actually two in each game) on a journey to find sanctuary while keeping ahead of an approaching darkness that is overtaking the fictional world inspired by Viking lore. You view the caravan as it automatically moves across a side-scrolling screen and random events occur where you make selections in dialog boxes and sometimes enter turn-based combat from an isometric perspective. One aspect of the game that could be tough to swallow is how characters can die in an instant from what seem like harmless choices. It's especially painful if the character is one that was promoted as you have a minimal amount of renown (experience) to use on leveling up and purchasing supplies. Characters actually cannot die in combat, they simply become injured when defeated.

The Banner Saga
The Banner Saga

Balancing my game time with my blog time is a challenge, especially with YouTube which I'm sure I mention every month. Of course, I always bring up the broken Commodore 64 too that I still don't know how to fix. I ordered a part because I physically damaged something while poking around inside and it's one of the most common causes of the black screen so maybe, just maybe it will solve my problem (9/1/18 update: it did not fix my problem). As far as upcoming blog articles I should have some magazine reviews of early Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest) games the first week of September. Well, that's not a lot so I'll have to come up with more in between playing as many of the aforementioned games as I can!

Over on the toy side I also need to come up with something to cover. It's been a few weeks since I posted about the LEGO Castle sets and while I have an idea of my next toy post, I don't want to make any promises until I check to see if it still works. Speaking of LEGO, a new Star Wars set called Betrayal at Cloud City was unveiled this week. The 18 minifigures and Boba Fett's ship look great, too bad it is $349.99...that is not a typo. If you regularly buy LEGO products then the price might not be a shock or perhaps the price of a LEGO set is always a shock regardless. It's part of the Master Builder series, has 2,812 pieces, and is scheduled for an October 1st release.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions about the blog!


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