Weekplay 202222

I've been low-key obsessed with Dungeon Encounters for some time now, but last week it truly sank its hooks into me now that Elden Ring is out of the way. There's something liberating about throwing away all the pretence of the common JRPG and fall back on pure stats. Even graphics don't go much further beyond a grid layout and some hexadecimal codes. There's art and models for the various player characters, but it's the one flourish the game allows itself. The rest is very dry.

And yet, the combat flow is so good, that I can't really stop playing. Each new floor brings the potential of new enemies and new enemy pairings. Sometimes necessitating a rethink of your equipment, your approach, or both. Also, because combat is fast and simple, this is one JRPG where the auto-battle function is unneeded and unwanted. Quite the spectacle really.

Eiyuden Chronicle Rising hasn't made much of an impact in comparison. It's a fully functional action-RPG that wants to rub shoulders with the likes of Odin Sphere and Muramasa, but its combat simply isn't there.

Likewise, its questing and Suikoden-inspired village-building are both fun, but it is exceptionally bland. Everything is an MMO-filler quest and nothing has any impact. The result is just something that plays OK, but doesn't leave a mark.

Lastly, I ventured into Cyberpunk 2077 for the first time over the weekend. Apart from a few genuinely good conversations and scenes in the main story, I am very afraid this game will simply end up as an Elder Scrolls game with retro-futurism trappings.

The cyberpunk window dressing is present, but all your actions are as run-of-the-mill as it can get for an open world game. I think even Watch Dogs managed a more futuristic ideal. And, as a cyberpunk piece of media, it also seems weirdly un-obsessed with the online nature of it all. There are notions of the Net being there, but nobody seems to engage with it. Kind of deflates the entire premise, but maybe that's fully in line with the tabletop RPG rather than Gibson's material.

Wondering if this will keep my attention for long.