This post is about two weeks late. I finished Mass Effect 3 just before leaving for PAX East earlier this month, and I meant to write this review when I got back, but I wanted to let my “gamer anger” regarding the ending die down a bit before passing a final judgement on the game, because overall, the experience is well worth it.
Let’s get one thing out of the way out the gate: the game’s ending sucks. A lot. It’s really fucking bad, and to make matters worse, it feels lazy and forced. Bioware spent an entire trilogy of games building up how powerful the Reapers were, to the point of making them sound legitimately unbeatable. I’m going to try and keep this review largely spoiler free, so I’ll just say this: I think Bioware might have written themselves into a corner here, and didn’t really know how to get out of it.
Now that we have all that negativity behind us, Mass Effect 3 does a lot of things really well. Coming into the game, I was worried about pacing issues. Mass Effect 1 and 2 felt slow in some parts, especially the bits where you’re encouraged to make your rounds after every mission and talk to everyone on the ship. Thankfully, Bioware seems to understand that, with the Reapers tearing the galaxy apart in front of you, it was important to emphasize urgency, cutting down the conversation bits considerably. Some might decry this as making ME3 less of an RPG, but for story pacing I think it was necessary.
As far as the shooting, ME3 continues to fix problems I had with 1 and 2. Your spring is infinite now and, taking a few more notes from Gears of War, you can quickly and easily move from one cover to another seamlessly. They also buffed up my class of choice (Vanguard), making it considerably more melee oriented. I’m not sure if they buffed up other classes in a similar way, but I’d be surprised if they hadn’t.
Since the entire plot centers around recruiting races to help fight the Reapers, ME3 introduces a way to quantify the people that have signed up in a menu called War Assets. The number of War Assets you have is directly related to which ending you get. Obviously it’s best to get as many as possible before heading off to the last missions, so make sure you don’t leave any loose ends. On the same menu is the Combat Readiness statistic, which starts at 50%. This basically means that any asset you get is only worth half of its value unless you raise your Readiness. The only way to raise it is the game’s hoard-mode like multiplayer mode.
I’m not the biggest fan of that decision. For most games, especially RPGs with a focus on story, I think the multiplayer and single player experiences should be mostly separate. It doesn’t detract from the experience, but for those who don’t care for multiplayer games I can imagine it’s frustrating.
Overall, ME3 did really well at tying up most of the loose ends left in the first two games. There are a few bugs and weird graphical glitches, but my only big point of contention is the ending. Bioware has announced that they are releasing free DLC that expands the ending, but it isn’t know if it’ll be a band-aid fix, or a legitimate reworking of the ending to make it more satisfactory. I guess we’ll see when it drops next month.
In a trilogy, the middle story always has the hard task of telling a self contained story, with a strong beginning and strong climax, while still being relevant to the entire story. The real exposition happened in the first story, and the strong climax is obviously coming in the final one.
So how did Mass Effect 2 do? Honestly, it came off as being one really long side quest. A well crafted, extremely fun to play side quest, but a side quest nonetheless.
The game opens with Shepard dying, then being brought back to life by Cerberus, a group of humans that operates outside the influence of the Human Alliance. It felt like a lame excuse to allow the player to re-customize Shepard, if they wished, but it also gives Shepard a fairly compelling reason to trust Cerberus, despite most of his friends telling him otherwise.
Cerberus is run by the mysterious Illusive Man, who is only communicated with through hologram transmissions, and is never met face to face. I was a bit worried that Bioware was going to take a page out of JJ Abram’s book and pull a LOST on me with some magical smoke monster bullshit, but thankfully they keep the Illusive Man as mysterious as he needs to be, without any awkward explanations.
The story is centered around the Collectors, a bizarre alien race that are kidnapping entire human colonies. The Illusive Man thinks they’re working with the Reapers, and that’s enough to get Shepard into hunting them down and figuring out the truth. The Collectors as enemies are a welcome change from Mass Effect’s geth. Shepard spends the majority of the game recruiting old friends and new allies for his mission against the Collectors, and ultimately, against the Reapers.
The people of the universe are as unhelpful as ever, though. Despite a fucking Reaper attacking at the end of Mass Effect, everyone is still in denial, claiming it was a geth warship and that there is no impending invasion to worry about. It’s easy to connect with Shepard, and feel his frustration as no one listens to him as he states the goddamn obvious.
As a game, Mass Effect 2 is so much more fun to play than the first. Every complaint I had with the original is fixed here. Overheating has been replaced with bullets, which was a welcome change, despite overheating not being that big of a deal in the original. The biggest complaint I have is Use, Sprint, and go into cover are all mapped to the same button. I play on the PC. I have, basically, an unlimited number of keys to bind actions to. It’s silly to have all three of those things stuck to the same key.
Another minor complaint is, while the RPG elements were too invasive in the first, they’re practically useless in the sequel. You have few choices for talents, and nothing feels particularly necessary. Bioware can’t seem to find the perfect medium, but lucky for them Mass Effect 2 is more fun as a shooter than Mass Effect was an RPG.
Moving onward to 3 I expect great things.
Mass Effect was not a game that impressed me when I first experienced it five years ago. I watched a friend playing one of the vehicle missions and the experience seemed cringeworthy. He swore the game was good, though, so I gave it a shot.
I got about thirty minutes in and stopped. The controls on the 360 controller just didn’t feel right to me, and I ended up setting the game aside for half a decade. Fast forward to last December. Steam had the first game on sale for something like $2.50. I knew Mass Effect 3 was on the horizon at that point, so I decided to pick it up and give it a second chance, with mouse and keyboard controls.
I’m sitting here now as the credits roll, still largely unimpressed. The game is very much an experiment. It’s Bioware’s attempt at meshing a fast paced shooter with a slower paced RPG, and to be frank, the RPG elements are holding the shooter elements back.
I can only assume that some of the perplexing design choices were made to accomadate the “RPG” label. For example, you can’t aim down sights when you’re low on health. What the fuck is the point of that? Frustration? Because it was damn well frustrating. Power ups that restore health are picked up and used by the player as needed, but have a cooldown. I don’t mind that health isn’t regenerating, like most other shooters. In fact, I prefer it isn’t, but a cooldown? Entirely unnecessary, and again, mostly frustrating.
There’s also the inexplicably bad cover mechanic, where your character automatically sticks to walls when you’re near them, but that’s not the fault of RPG mechanics, that’s just an out right bad decision on the developer’s part. Speaking of bad decisions, the vehicle segments that served as my introduction to the series? God awful. I’d like to meet the testers who played those bits and said “This is good, yes, no more work needs to be done on these,” because that guy is an asshole.
The game culminates with an extremely boring penultimate boss battle and slightly less boring final boss battle that feel tacked on, existing only because it’s expected from a video game.
So now that all that negative shit is out of the way, let’s talk about what Mass Effect does right. Bioware’s writers created a very believable world here. Humans are the new race in town, and the feelings of xenophobia from aliens and humans alike is apparent. Every character you encounter, even the ones that join your party, have their own motivations and feelings. It’s very easy to get lost in the story that’s being told, and the story is in the player’s hands.
My last post was about how video games are being wasted as vehicles for story telling. I honestly think Mass Effect does a decent job delivering a story that would be impossible in other mediums, due to the choices presented to the player during the game. Every dialogue option feels like it has weight, and the big decisions left up to the player are important to how the story plays out. A pre-scripted event where a major character dies is tragic. When you make a choice that ultimately ends in the death of a major character, well, that’s a whole different ball game, and something movies or books can’t pull off.
Mass Effect is obviously a stepping stone to great things. From what I understand all of my big issues with the first game (and more!) are fixed in the sequels, but when something is as story driven as this series is, with your game save carrying over to subsequent games, playing the first is a necessity.
I finished Bastion last night and it had me thinking about the nature of story telling in video games. As an interactive medium I’ve always thought games had the ability to tell stories in unique ways, but the majority of developers don’t utilize the tools available to them, opting instead to tell the story through elaborate, pre-rendered non-interactive cut scenes.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love big, stupid, over produced cut scenes as much as the next guy. They’re neat to look at every once in a while, but how are they different from watching a CGI movie? They aren’t, really, except they’re taking the player’s attention away from the game itself.
So what does this have to do with Bastion? Everything. Bastion’s story is delivered to the player in a unique way: dynamic narration. Rucks is constantly providing commentary on the events on screen, providing insight on the world and its denizens before and after the Calamity. Not once does the game stop the action abruptly to shove its narrative down your throat. It found a perfect medium between story telling and gameplay, and other developers would do well to take note.
There are other titles that have managed to tell a great story without sacrificing gameplay. Valve is fucking excellent at it. Half Life 2 especially is one of the pinnacles of video game narrative. The first few parts of the game, where the player is walking through City 17, could have easily been made into a cutscene, but Valve made it interactive, so when you walked into a couple’s apartment and they were holding each other crying on the couch it felt much more powerful, because you are in control. You walked into their room. You heard the crying and looked over at them. The game didn’t force you to watch it in a pre-rendered cut scene.
The Metroid Prime series, another great example of well done game narrative, takes a different approach. One could play the game completely ignoring the story and come out satisfied. For those that are curious, a rich narrative is only a few scans away, telling the origin story of Metroids and the Chozo. It’s a damn shame Team Ninja threw this minimalistic technique out the window in favor of flash cut scenes and whiny, anime tropes for Other M.
The big point here is that video games need to be video games first, and vehicles for story second. A great game can succeed with a shitty story, but it’s hard to play a really awful game just because the story is good. There is certainly a balance, as has been seen in the games mentioned above, but developers as a whole don’t seem keen on finding it. Games have the potential to be a unique way to deliver an interesting story, and the over use of non interactive cut scenes is a serious waste of that potential.
Rumors have been buzzing for the past week or so that Valve is working on a “console” of sorts. More specifically, it’s a PC box with a TV friendly interface. Supposedly it won’t be locked to just Steam games, allowing users to install other games, services (such as EA’s Origin), and emulators.
It really seems like a fantastic way for the console oriented gamer to experience some of the perks a PC gamer has, including a wider selection of games, the PC enhanced versions of console favorites (such as 64 player matches in Battlefield 3), and and access to all the weird and (sometimes) wonderful independent titles that would never see the light of day on a console.
I don’t think that this is a traditional entry into the console wars, though. I think Valve is looking for ways to expand the Steam platform, and releasing an affordable PC alternative for people who prefer gaming on their TV is a great way to do so.
The term “post apocalypse” is so overused in media these days it has almost become a buzzword, especially in the gaming community. Zombie outbreaks and nuclear wastelands are a dime a dozen these days, and developers aren’t doing a whole lot to stand out from the crowd.
I’ve read that Naughty Dog is touting their upcoming release “The Last of Us” as a “new kind of apocalypse,” but, while it looks cool, it doesn’t really look different.
Then there’s Bastion, an indie title from Supergiant Games. Bastion’s character, know only to the player as “The Kid” is living in a very different kind of apocalyptic world. The game’s city Caeladonia was torn into small, floating islands by the Calamity, turning all the humans, save for the Kid and the game’s narrator Rucks, into stone.
I realize I’m pretty late to this party. Bastion’s been on XBLA since last July and Steam since last August, but I finally had time to sink into it and goddamn it’s amazing.
The game starts out very simple. You only have access to one or two weapons, but The Kid’s arsenal quickly grows to include swords, guns and bows. You can only carry two at a time along a special attack, all of which are customizable by the player. The upgrade system is also customizable, with each tier offering a choice between two different upgrades.
It plays primarily like a normal action RPG, with a lot of hacking an slashing. The dodge roll is a welcome addition to the formula, and helps makes things more fast paced. During the first part of the game, The Kid is tasked with collecting crystals to help build the Bastion, a floating island that acts as a safe haven from the monsters brought to Caelondia by the apocalypse.
The art direction and animations are superb. The game uses a cel shading style to wonderful effect. The world is bright and colorful, in stark contrast to most post apocalyptic games, and manages to feel whimsical and foreboding at the same time.
Bastion’s sound design is without a doubt my favorite part of the experience. The music is some of the best I’ve heard in a game, but the real draw is the narrator. Holy shit, the narrator. His weathered voice provides dynamic information through the entire game. He even has lines for each weapon combination the player equips. It’s honestly some of the best voice work I’ve ever heard in a game.
I’ve only had the chance to play about five hours of Bastion, completing the first set of levels, and getting first place in all the weapon challenges so far, but it’s already shaping up to be a personal favorite. Don’t let this one slip under your radar, guys.
Over the past couple of days the story Giant Bomb broke about a leading voice in the fighting game community, Aris Bakhtanians, openly advocating sexual harassment has been a pretty big deal on the internet. Gamers on every site reporting on the issue have been flocking to comments sections to express their shock and horror that he could come out say such things.
But really, let’s stop and think about what this guy is saying, because I think it runs deeper than just “sexual harassment is okay.” Let’s be blunt here: Gamers are assholes to each other on a regular basis. The competitive culture is almost entirely built around being a dick, at least in the amateur level. Go on Xbox Live or PSN and count the number of racial slurs you hear. Hell, hop into a match of any popular MOBA as a new player and watch how mad the veterans get.
This is something I originally chalked up to anonymity. People on the internet will likely never see your face or know your real name, so you can be as much of an asshole as you want with no reprecussions. However, situations like the one advocated by Bakhtanians, aren’t happening online. Some dude yelled “Yeah, rape that bitch!” at a match he was watching in person.
I’m not one for censorship, nor am I one for taking things too seriously, but is that really how we want the gamer culture perceived? I’ll admit to making some fairly lewd comments when I’m playing games in person with my friends, but that’s just that. They’re my friends. We joke around about shit and no one is taking offense to it. Should it be okay to be in a public place, full of people of all kinds that want to enjoy an event, and have someone yell something like that? Is it okay that the person who that comment was directed at has to put up with comments like that while they’re trying to compete?
Honestly, I don’t think it is, and I think it runs deeper than just “the fighting game community is a cut throat arena of assholes.” I think gamer culture in general is full of people like this, and we could do well to move on from it.
I’m going to be upfront here: I love Pokemon. Something about the minimalistic RPG design hooks me every single time. It probably has a lot to do with nostalgia. In the late 90’s Pokemon was our generation’s Ninja Turtles or Transformers. Cartoons, books, video games, collectible toys, you name it, there was Pokemon merchandise for it, and if you wanted to be a bad ass you had all of it.
I’ll readily admit that Pokemon games haven’t changed much since its inception, but for me that’s fine. The formula is fun, it works, and it gets small tweaks and upgrades with each new installment that make the core game more enjoyable each time.
Now, onto these sequels. Game Freak kind of dropped a bomb here with this announcement. Pokemon fans have all been anticipating an enhanced third game in the Black/White series, a la Pokemon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, or Platinum. Instead, series director Junichi Masuda, announced direct sequels to the fifth generation games, set to appear on the DS later this year, on the Japanese TV show Pokemon Smash.
This is a pretty crazy deviation for a series that has always had two games, then an enhanced third version a couple years down the line. A direct story sequel is an entirely new concept for Pokemon. I’m personally hoping it includes the major characters from the first games, and shows some real growth. The story in Black and White, while juvenile and silly in parts, was undeniably a step up from the typical Pokemon story formula, and it will be interesting to see how Game Freak handle writing a sequel.
Of course, this being a fandom that largely exists on the internet, not everyone is excited to see where Game Freak is headed with these sequels. There’s the group that hated Generation 5 for whatever reason and don’t want direct sequels, but the biggest detractors seem to be the people mad that it’s on the DS instead of the 3DS.
While I find it a little odd that Nintendo isn’t use this opportunity to push 3DS sales with a new Pokemon game, it’s not really that surprising. These sequels have probably been in development for quite some time, as they’re likely running on Black and White’s engine. I don’t personally give a shit what console a game is on as long as I can play it, so this is pretty much a non issue for me. I wouldn’t worry too much, 3DS owners, I’m sure we’ll be getting a full on Generation 6 game before too long. Until then I’m really hyped for Black/White 2.
So you’re a little kid and you’re hanging out at home. You’re playing with your toys and your mother is watching fundie christian TV shows. You don’t know what the hell they’re talking about, but mom’s happy so you’re happy.
Then all of a sudden your mother starts hearing voices that she believes are from God. Those voices tell her that she has to murder you to prove her love for the most High. So she picks up a knife and starts coming at your bedroom door, like Jack Nicholson in the Shining. With no where else to turn, you follow a trap door down into your monster filled basement.
Like it or not, WoW is a pretty big deal. It’s seven years old and still has around twelve million active subscribers. Hardcore guilds race for world first kills in new instances, hardcore PVP players play huge tournaments for money and prestige, and casual players log hours upon hours running dungeons, farming materials, and leveling characters.
Patch 4.3 is shaping up to be a fitting ending to the current expansion pack, Cataclysm, tying up the story of Deathwing.The new raid instance will offer 8 bosses, the last two will be two separate encounters with the black dragonflight’s master himself. The patch also brings three new heroic five man dungeons that lead up to the raid, story wise. It’s all very story driven, and Blizzard is really good at making its story driven content compelling.
Something that players have been clamoring for for years is finally coming in 4.3 as well: Gear customization. It’s called “Transmogrification” and will allow players to take the skin from one piece of gear and apply it to the stats of their current gear. It will finally allow players wearing the same level of gear to not look the same as everyone else playing their class.
Out of all the things coming in 4.3 I’m looking most forward to the new raid. I raid with a small group of nine friends. Having raided with internet strangers in larger guilds in past expansions, I’m finding this way far more fun, and the final encounter of the next raid sounds incredible:
‘In fight seven, you parachute off of a gunship onto Deathwing’s back as he’s flying from Dragonblight towards the Maelstrom. You have pry these armor plates off of his back and fight off the corrupted blood that comes out. All the while, Deathwing himself is trying to shake you off his back and he’s going to do barrel rolls and things like that to try to dislodge you like the little parasite you are because he is so big.
The final Deathwing fight is really amazing. He crashes into the Maelstrom and then he kind of emerges out of it again. And he’s so big; he’s taking up this whole area. The players hop around from the little islands in the Maelstrom. So on the first little island they might be fighting one of his tentacles, and then they have to fly to the next island and now they’re fighting a leg and then they fly to the next island and they’re fighting another big tentacle. All the while the dragon aspects, Alexstrasza and Ysera and Nozdormu, are flying around and they’re also helping the raid in this fight. So Alexstrasza might breathe fire at an important moment or Nozdormu might stop time. They’re not helping you at random. There is a little bit of strategy as to how you use their abilities too, so they’re not just background, it’s actually a pretty critical mechanic of beating the fight” -Ghostcrawler
Oh god, yes. Let me fight that now.
During the Tokyo Game Show yesterday Nintendo showed off what the coming months have in store for 3DS owners.
First up, that atrocious looking slide pad add on is a real deal, and is slated to come out December 10th and is priced at ¥1,500, which is about $20 US, and it requires a AA battery to run. Not only is this thing ugly and clunky looking, but it’s overpriced and a possible money sink in batteries. Three titles so far have been confirmed to use the extra slide pad: Monster Hunter 4, Kingdom Hearts, and Metal Gear Solid.
Despite not being announced yesterday, speculation still points to Nintendo releasing a revised 3DS with a second slide pad built in. If this is the case, as an early adopter of the 3DS, I feel like I paid Nintendo to beta test this handheld.
On the bright side 3DS software is finally starting to look up. With Mario Kart 3D and Super Mario 3D Land both due out before the end of the year, and a plethora of games scheduled for 2012 including Paper Mario, Animal Crossing, a new Fire Emblem and an entirely new property from Square Enix, bewilderingly named Bravely Default: Flying Fairy, we’ll finally have something to play that isn’t a prettied up Nintendo 64 port.
All in all the 3DS is shaping up to be a good handheld, but Nintendo really needs to address the dual slide pad issue. Sadly, since this is hardware problem, the only good solution there is, other than abandoning dual analog control, is to release a revised model.
I bad mouth the Sonic series a lot, but I do have many fond memories of the Genesis games. I also really enjoyed last years Sonic 4 Episode 1 (speaking of this where the hell is episode 2? It seems Sega is taking a page out of Valve’s book when it comes to episodic gaming).
What it comes down to is 3D Sonic games aren’t all that good, but I really like 2D iterations. So I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t looking forward to Sonic Generations. Even the 3D parts look like they play out like a 2D Sonic game, just from a different perspective. And to top everything off the trailer was devoid of any of the vapid co-stars from the Sonic series, but that’s not the case anymore.
Tails and Knuckles would get a pass. If it were them it would be all right. I could live with it, but Sega is announcing that this “classic villain” will appear in Generations.
Listen, Sega, I thought Shadow was pretty cool when I was ten. Hell, I used Shadow in one of my first instant messenger screen names, but he’s not cool anymore. Especially after travesties like this.
Just stick with Robotnik, Sega. Please.
Yesterday Minecraft developers Mojang “leaked” the upcoming Adventure Update. Notch said it’s cool to use it as long as users report bugs and feel slightly bad about using it. Sounds suspiciously like helping Mojang test the patch, but that’s fine with me. I pre-purchased the game to play through the alpha and beta testing process and 1.8 seems like it will be packed with more interesting content than the past patches, so I have no problem diving into a potentially bug ridden Adventure if it means getting to see things a few days early.
I toyed with the idea of starting up the game on creative so I could explore without monsters, but where’s the adventure in that? Plus, I wouldn’t be able to catch a glimpse at the new monster, The Enderman. Survival it is.
The first thing I noticed when my new world loaded was the new swamp biome. It’s not a huge update, but more biomes make the world feel more varied and interesting, especially when the theme of this update is adventure. The new swamp biome includes vines on trees, a lot of mushrooms, and trees growing in one block deep water.
I’m not sure if it’s faulty code, or if it was just the world I generated, but 1.8 seems to love that swamp biome. As I was trekking through the world it seemed like every other biome was swamp. Forests were more prominent than usual as well.
The adventure update also brings the hunger meter. One simple rule applies to the hunger meter: Don’t let it get to zero. If it’s depleted your characters rapidly loses health. It won’t out right kill you, but it will take you down to half a heart’s worth of health. Hunger can be satiated by eating any type of food. Including raw chicken. Which seems like a bad idea.
This isn’t a position you want to be in.
One of my favorite additions in 1.8 is sprinting. Moving faster is almost universally a good thing in any game, especially a game like Minecraft where there’s a lot of walking around. Double tap W and you can sprint forever, though it has an adverse effect on your hunger meter, depleting it faster.
I didn’t notice too many bugs in this pre-release patch. I had one random crash to desktop. It does seem like it could use some more optimization, though. Minecraft normally runs at over 100fps on my PC. 1.8 was dipping to 15fps in some areas.
After about an hour and a half of exploring I didn’t come across any monster towns, abandoned mine shafts, or even any Endermen. I hope these things aren’t too terribly rare. I know it would diminish the excitement of discovery if towns and mines were around every corner, but it would be lame if they were too rare. As for Endermen I think I’m going to count my lack of an encounter with one as a blessing.
Back in February we saw a trailer for a game called Dead Island. It stands as one of the best video game trailers I’ve ever seen. It set my expectations for the game, that before then I had never heard of, sky high. It’s probably one of the most glaring examples of really good marketing being a final product’s worst enemy.
When I saw the first gameplay trailer of Dead Island was admittedly disappointed that it seemed a lot more “generic zombie game” than the announcement trailer let on. It was, however, taking the zombie genre in a slightly different direction, making it more RPG than Left 4 Dead, and after the first couple hours of gameplay I’m pleasantly surprised these RPG elements mesh well with the zombie killing.
First thing to do is to pick a character. Scrolling through the first three, I didn’t care for any of them. Then I found Sam B. A one hit wonder rapper from “Nawrleans” who specializes in blunt weapons. Right up my alley. Let’s go knock off some zombie heads.
The story is pretty standard zombie stuff. There are a few survivors and a horde of hungry undead. For some, unexplained reason, the character you control is immune to the outbreak. At this point, it’s really nothing special, but Dead Island isn’t trying to reinvent the zombie. There is a mysterious character that communicates to you via radios. It’s reminiscent of Atlas from Bioshock. He tells you where to go and offers the group of survivors salvation. They just have to find him first.
What does set this game apart from other zombie titles is, at its core, it’s a classic RPG. Your character levels up, uses weapons that break (and can be repaired and upgraded), and has talent point trees that allow you to specialize in different combat styles. As I’ve only played Sam B, I don’t know for sure if the other characters have different talent trees, but I imagine they do as they have different specialties.
Dead Island looks pretty damn good for its relatively low system requirements. Up close some of the textures are muddy, but overall the island the game takes place on looks really good. There’s a decent amount of variation among the zombies and NPCs.
Some minor complaints I have:
Looting all of the bags and cabinets is a bit tedious, due to the sheer number of them. I probably not necessary to get every dollar and item available to you, but I usually play it safe and get everything I can.
The mouse seems a little sluggish in menus.
The combat seems repetitive now, but that’s the nature of an RPG. Once I’ve leveled up more and acquired more skills and abilities the combat will feel more varied and interesting.
I’m looking forward to continuing my adventures on the Isle of Banoi.