Weekend Gaming Playlist
The last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster for me, but after a little bit of struggle I’ve finally seemed to lift myself out of a gaming dry spell. My Switch has sat under a thin layer of dust for too long, and I’ve picked it back up again without feeling guilty. With my day job being more and more demanding, gaming had felt like a chore for a while, and luckily now I can look upon it with favor again. With that said, I wanted to make sure to enjoy myself to the fullest! My choices for this weekend involve the following:
Final Fantasy XII
After hating this game when it first came out, I decided to take another crack at it. Teenage me had a tendency to overlevel my favorite characters and completely ignore the others — something that definitely works to your detriment in this title. While my level spread is much more even, I’m also really enjoying the changes to the license board as well as having a better understanding of the Gambit system in my older years. I can see that XI had a huge impact on XII’s overworld, with the designs of the zones not unlike what I saw in the online game. As a huge fan of the world of Ivalice, seeing it alive and more engrossing than ever before has been quite a treat. Exploring every nook and cranny is always rewarding, and though I tend to stumble into places I shouldn’t be, I do enjoy the challenge of a perilous adventure.
After clearing Dokapon Kingdom on the Wii with my husband and our friend, I was really happy to see that Dokapon would be getting an entry on Switch in Japan. While there’s no real word on a Western release just yet, Dokapon UP! has been quite challenging to tackle due to its lack of Furigana in text (the little Hiragana and Katakana written above Kanji to help those who don’t know a lot of Kanji.) This particular game is a crossover with Utawarerumono, a game/anime series that has seen a boom in popularity over the last few years, and the story in this title is a spin off for the characters. While the core game mechanics are the same as in Dokapon Kingdom, it can be frustrating to struggle with the names of items and abilities. That said, I’m still pushing through, and while this type of party game is best played with friends, a solo adventure or two to gain my bearings will help me to help my friends when we ultimately try to play together.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
There’s something cathartic about pulling up weeds and collecting shells on my little island paradise. The kind of work I’d hate in the real world becomes a bit of mindless solace in Animal Crossing. With the 1.7.0 update out now, there are Valentine’s Day and Festival items to collect and new clothes to add to my wardrobe. I always enjoy booting up the game after a few weeks away to check in on my villagers and make sure that there aren’t any creepy crawlies in my house. After selling hella tarantulas back at launch, I was able to pay off most of my housing additions pretty early on, but I still have a lot of empty space and will need to fill it with “something.” I’m just not sure what that something is yet.
While Animal Crossing is a title that can be handled in bite-sized bursts, the real blackhole for me this weekend will be Final Fantasy XII. I’m already 20 hours in with my characters sitting around level 40. I tend to binge massive adventures like this one, so I have no doubts that I’ll be able to put a huge chunk of time in while I grind for more levels, bang out the story, and complete those glorious sidequests. While Dokapon UP! is still something I want to work on, the fantastical world of Ivalice has its claws into me pretty hard, and I doubt I’ll be able to rip myself away for more than a few hours at a time. If only we could get another Tactics game…