Weekplay 202233

I went and completed Axiom Verge 2 (PS5, SD) within 5 hours and apparently that's an accomplishment of sorts. Didn't expect a second set of trophies as well, but here we are.

There’s a distinct section of the game that feels longer than it actually is, which comes down to finding a couple of drone abilities in quick succession. It's also where the game basically limits your abilities and then requires the new abilities to break out of the cordon sanitaire the game has erected.

It's kind of telling that the game has more free-form exploring in this section, than other metroidvanias have in their entirety. Regaining access to the previous areas is also a double joy because of it.

And yeah, my mind is still reeling from the franchise implications of this instalment.

I like off-beat games, but man, MOON (PS4) is OFF. BEAT.

The premise is nice enough a twist: you are thrown into a JRPG and you find the "hero" killing off the local residents as they are "monsters". Your job is to rekindle the love in this world by rejoining the lost souls of the residents with their dead bodies.

This involves a lot of stuff that's off-kilter, confusing, and charming all at once. The game itself isn't difficult but like stable-mate Chibi Robo, MOON limits your activities per day by letting your stamina slowly tick down. Levelling up and finding food to sustain yourself allows you to eke out some more time in a day and potentially save a couple more souls.

Regardless, you'll soon be optimizing your routes as you steadily explore this world and find new obstacle to try and fix within a day. I normally hate time limits in games, but somehow MOON makes it charming.

Would you look at the time? Owing to an off-hand mention of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition (NSW) on Twitter by BrandoSP, I realised I still haven't completed this monster. I started it on Wii and bowed out. Then I started it anew on Nintendo 3DS and bowed out at twice the time I put into the Wii-version. So now the Switch version is installed and... third time's the charm?

It's not that I don't like the game, but the MMO-inspired combat system is much more enticing on paper than it is in action. It - of course - features its own interpretation of Square Enix' Stagger Battle System, but the weight behind combat and moves is still incredibly flimsy as the MMO-sauce does not allow for combat flow to be disrupted.

You've got a ton of skills, but all act out the same way: tiny animation on the spot, numbers pop-up, and maybe a status is applied. We've come a long way in the wrong direction from letting skills and special moves partially define a character like in Chrono Trigger.

Still, like an MMO this does hit the RPG grinding spot quite well, so it's a good time waster in the same way that replaying Final Fantasy XII felt like a nice soak in a warm bath.

The updated character models are odd though. Or rather, Shulk's is odd. He feels like a completely new character got rid of the old Shulk, stole his voice, replaced him within the world, and acts like nothing even remotely weird has happened.

Good thing I'm here to notice it. No? Anyone?