Big surprise: Beck is back! After the less than welcome reception of Mighty No.9, remembering that Inti Creates didn't even dare to sell MN9 merch at cons, I really didn't see this coming.
This game got a lot of press. Having the assumption that there's not only a bazillion of reviews out there explaining every technical detail of it, but also that everyone has either read up on or played it already, I'm going to skip the minute descriptions of BOTW's gameplay and get right to my opinions on its various aspects. I won't talk much about the story, there isn't very much to it anyways, but there's a mention that can be considered a spoiler. FYI.
This review comes really late. I acquired this game in late 2013, already years after its release in 2009 (2010 in North America). Back then I played it a bit and had a lot fun, but stopped playing because my japanese wasn't quite at the level required to comfortably play the game in its entirety. That's changed years ago, but I kept putting it off because there's been lots of sequels to big JRPG franchises coming out lately. I played Star Ocean 5, Persona 5 and Final Fantasy XV back to back with bits of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final in between, and then I had to consciously hold off on Nier: Automata to make time for this gem. Anyways, to say this much in advance: Out of all the games I've played in the past 2 years, this is the one I like most.
By now it seems like this little game has already been forgotten. Released in the US and europe in late june / early july, there's been talk about the game for roughly 2 or 3 weeks until people apparently grew tired of repeating the same few arguments and watching webms of one of the game's character's ass. The yet uninitiated may perform an internet image search for "Star Ocean 5 Fiore" to see what I'm talking about, but I doubt that's a lot of people. Now regrettably it seems that Fiore's body & outfit was the only element of SO5 that drew people new to the Series in, although the developers had intended to reach for a wider audience with this iteration of the series. However with multiple early reviews shunning the game with scores below 6.0 this isn't very surprising.
So I borrowed Dragon Ball Xenoverse and played it a bit with a friend last night. We enjoyed playing the PS2 Budokai Tenkaichi games in versus mode and wanted to see if Xenoverse is anything like those games. Turned out we couldn't just go and check out the multiplayer right off the bat, because local versus mode is locked behind a good hour of solo content. And the game doesn't notify you when you're able to use the mode. Who thought that would be a good idea? Oh well.
Sadly we were quickly disappointed when we finally got to experience this game's local versus mode. It felt like the devs cheaply tacked it on in the last week of their development schedule. A real bummer. The game is a step back towards the PS2 era of 3D versus Dragon Ball games, which is good because the games on the PS3 weren't as fun, but it's still not quite there. The controls don't feel so good because they mapped some functions awkwardly to the shoulder buttons. You have to press the left stick to descend, press L1 to guard and hold L2 if you want to dodge. The combat itself is otherwise ok. It's Budokai Tenkaichi somewhat simplified, as you apparently can no longer choose the direction of your attacks and guards. As for the single player mode, I can't say that I'm a fan. The combat is a bit too repetitive for that. It might get better later on when you get more items and skills though. But the game doesn't excite me enough to bother playing much further.
However the part where you create and customize your own character is dope. We made a pink Frieza with a long nose and Cell-like chin, and then gave him sunglasses. The guy looks hilarious (considering he was summoned to play the role of a hero), so we had quite a blast with the game despite its flaws thanks to this feature