Tag Archives: Horizon: Zero Dawn

The Forgotten Ones

Uh-oh… The dunce is back.

This household is now living a quiet era of post-excellence. After Persona 5 left such a wholesome, indelible impression, it will probably take a bit more time for any other game to inspire again. The best I’ve managed is to return to Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, even if back in March it wasn’t particularly inspiring either. Still, I totally forgot that I had also bought its separate DLC episode, which provided closer to six hours of at least distant echoes of the series’ better early days.

It’s another murder case, of course, charging a fresh bride who also claims to be able to travel through time. Despite such a wild premise, this turns out to be an ordinary case in which logical thinking debunks the impossible. It’s a delightful change of pace in comparison to the supernatural gimmicks of the main game. It’s also a nice blast to the past as the case is being prosecuted by good old Miles Edgeworth. Even Larry Butz, the lively childhood friend of our attorneys who was last seen in the original game trilogy makes a comeback, confounding the case in his typical fashion.

Even if this sixth Spirit of Justice case is a minor step towards the better, it’s still only semi-entertaining fan service at best. The humor suffers from many characters acting a bit too unrestrained for their own good, and the asinine “…………” lines that were seriously overused in the main game make an unwelcome return. Also, those paying attention will probably figure out some of the surprises way too early, which makes addressing the wrong assumptions a bit monotonous to follow. Especially after such a long break from the main game, the episode was still decent enough to play through but it failed to leave any kind of lasting impression. A solid case but also one that manages to emphasize just how stale this once glorious series has gotten.

Meh… Meh… Meh…

While trying to find that next game that would steal my heart, I’ve sampled a bunch without bumping into anything remarkable. There was a couple month’s worth of PlayStation Plus freebies but none (of the ones that were new to me) managed to engage. As for physical releases, Little Nightmares turned out to be a gloomy Limbo clone in which a mute girl dressed in a yellow raincoat 2D-leaps her way through distressing areas while dying in many gruesome ways. I managed to stay interested for about 15 minutes, after which she plummeted into a pit of gigantic leeches that devoured her over and over again. Too macabre and depressing to be enjoyed right now, so it shall return to the backlog.

The indie darling Stardew Valley, in turn, is all about colorful and jolly everyday life in a tiny rural town. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing, it provides plenty of activities from farming and fishing to slaying monsters in mines and befriending other townsfolk. After 11 hours, however, I realized that it’s one of those incredibly repetitious games that make use of pathetically small incentives to lengthen the overall experience into a marathon of hundreds of meaningless hours. It is ambitious, sure, but I’ve played enough similar games to know that everything will eventually lead to just growing tired of it all. Could be fun but not right now.

My foray into AAA didn’t go much better. Horizon: Zero Dawn is a hauntingly beautiful third-person post-apocalyptic sandbox full of robotic animals and humans, who have regressed into spear and bow wielding hunter-gatherers. Even if the science fiction overtones work wondrously and the game skillfully combines Witcher, Uncharted, and Tomb Raider, it somehow failed to captivate. I guess the first five hours just had too many similarly looking NPCs spouting mythical nonsense or something. There’s plenty of potential, though, so this one (too) certainly deserves another go when the time is right.

Space!

Has space. Is happy.

Ha! Yesterday, PlayStation 4 firmware upgraded itself to version 4.50. I usually couldn’t care less of any such release on any device, but 4.50 added support for external hard drives. The timing couldn’t have been better, as just last month I finally ran out of storage space. I got my PS4 two and a half years ago and the very first thing I did was to replace its 500GB hard drive with a 2TB one. It has served me well for all this time but just like with every console that supports upgradeable storage space, no amount is ever enough. Sure, I could just delete games of the past but as anyone belonging to the species Gamius Sapiens, that’s something you do only to subconsciously regret it five minutes later. Since storage space is cheap, I preferred to spend less than a hundred bucks on a cute little Seagate 2TB USB3 drive. The new firmware instantly recognized it, formatted it as extended storage for PS4, and it now looks like I can spend another 2-3 years without storage woes. Yay!

Either in this life or the next one…

It’s a pity that acquiring more time isn’t as straightforward as acquiring more space. While I’m still head over heels in Yakuza 0, backlog just keeps on growing. I picked up the highly acclaimed Horizon: Zero Dawn mostly to support a totally new big budget IP but as for everything else, I’m just being an annoying trash panda going through bargain bins for my kicks. The Evil Within, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Watch Dogs 2, Darksiders: Warmastered Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, and Dragon Quest Builders are all games that struck me as semi-interesting but way too expensive to grab at full price. Thankfully we live in such a hectic world that by the time the mainstream rushes off to devour the next Big Thing, the prices of past such experiences plummet. So, those are games that might be covered in this blog. Eventually.