And so 2015 has begun! After several months of celebrating Christmas and New Years, the Non-Fiction Gaming crew has many exciting tales to tell. By that, I mean we have built up an impressive back catalogue of games we have been playing that WEREN’T Smash Brothers.
Join us as we share our holiday gaming experiences.
Far Cry 4
I’ve been ringing in the new year plodding through the vast lands of Kyrat in Far Cry 4. When I say vast, I mean it. It might not take me as long to get from one side to the other as it would in Skyrim but it’s a hearty trek.
Having re-played Far Cry 3 somewhat recently, it is pretty obvious that the two games share a striking amount of features. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The Far Cry 3 campaign was addictive and so too is that of its successor. Kyrat’s size does make finding the animal you need to craft upgrades more difficult. This somewhat alleviates the issue of your character’s linear scaling.
Despite a few minor complaints, I’m really loving Far Cry 4. Kyrat itself is beautiful and the writing is superb. Losing split-screen co-op, however, has really hurt my experience. I enjoyed playing through the side story with a friend almost as much as I did the solo campaign. To be perfectly honest, I have no interest in playing online co-op and so I’m being pushed more and more towards Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Final Mix HD
Most of us probably received a game or two for Christmas and the second Kingdom Hearts compilation turned out to be my very awesome gift. I just wrapped up Kingdom Hearts 2 and having recently played number 1, I have to admit number 2 is a bit more boring than the first.
I enjoy the story more in Kingdom Hearts 2 (especially all the stuff with Roxas), but the gameplay is kind of dull. They improved the combat system but all the worlds are much more tedious to explore. There are few puzzles and no platforming. It basically boils down to moving between 4-6 rooms in each world and killing enemies till you can move onto the next room. I admit the platforming in the first Kingdom Hearts wasn’t perfect (perhaps even bad) but I would have liked them to give it another try. Boss fights are still pretty awesome in Kingdom Hearts 2 and I love all the new challenges in the Final Mix version.
Fire Emblem: Awakening
Having been interstate for the last few weeks, my console and PC have been sitting neglected. As a gamer, keeping occupied through the many hours flying across the country doesn’t present too many problems. So long as my girlfriend and I remember to pack all the different types of charger we’ll need.
My Nintendo 3DS has seen a lot of play during these travels sessions. Particularly Super Smash Bros and Fire Emblem: Awakening. Super Smash is great in small bursts, without friends to play with I can only get destroyed by crazy hand once or twice before tedium sets in. There isn’t any real story progression that interests me with Smash. I love the game, but ultimately it’s a game that needs to be played with friends and rivals. Airlines look down on activating wireless co-op just about as much as they look down on climbing onto the cramped economy seats to crotch thrust at your opponent after an intense victory.
So that left me with Fire Emblem: Awakening.
Fire Emblem has been a go-to series for me on the handheld devices since the first few made it over to Australia. Similar to Final Fantasy Tactics and Advance Wars, the Gameboy Advance and later the DS/3DS works well with this type of isometric turn based strategy.
The latest game in the Fire Emblem series received some flak for having the option to take away permadeath for your companions and an easier game mode. I’m currently working through a Normal-Classic play through after getting frustrated on Hard in one of the early levels. I still get frustrated and reset often whenever a unit dies (I leave no one behind) but it’s certainly less frequent.
I was enjoying the story, powering through for hours at a time whilst on holidays. The only problem is now that I’m back home, can I put down the Wii U or step away from the PC long enough to finish the tale of Chrom and his pals.