Playing & Rambling #1: First Print Edition

I’ve always intended to blog about video games but I’ve kept neglecting to do so. Part of that was college taking a lot of time away from my hobbies but a lot of video games these days also huge time sinks.

However, I do have more free time for the time being so I thought that now would be a good time to finally get things going. I’d like to do more analytical pieces in the near future but for fun and frequency, I want to do a more casual weekly thing where I talk about what games I’ve been playing lately. Here’s my “first print edition”…

Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

I was feeling a bit nostalgic for Halo, specifically Bungie’s run with the franchise, so I replayed Halo 3 on Legendary Difficulty. The campaign was slightly easier since I now have years of experience with Halo but some parts were still as hard as I remember. That penultimate mission where you rescue Cortana from the Flood is still a nightmare to sit through.

I’m particularly nostalgic and fond for Halo 3. It was the game that really made me want to get an Xbox 360 and I had a terrific time playing multiplayer with my friends. It would’ve made for a more nostalgic trip to go through multiplayer again but sadly the community has declined significantly over a decade and I’m not really in the mood to renew my Xbox Live Gold subscription. Still, the campaign was a joy to beat again.

Xenoblade Chronicles X (WiiU)

I 100% this game a while ago and by all means, I should just stop playing the game (especially because 100% the game took me 326 hours to begin with). Still, I like coming back to this game every once in a while, either to experiment with builds or to finish any additional content the game included but did not count towards its 100% progression. The fact that the game still suckers me in is impressive. Xenoblade X is a remarkably dense JRPG, filled with a ton of stuff to accomplish or tinker around with. It doesn’t surprise me at all that diehards kept playing this game even after beating all the story missions or Tyrants.

That said, I should probably beat Xenoblade Chronicles 2…

Fire Emblem Heroes (Mobile)

I play Fire Emblem Heroes whenever I have a few minutes to kill and when I remember that I have games installed on my phone. There’s a special bride-themed event going on (because you know, this is Waifu Emblem after all) and I admit that I really wanted to get the bride version of Ninian, the Dancer character from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade (aka the best Fire Emblem). Sadly, this game hates me and gave me a bunch of three start units instead….

Persona 4 (PS2)

I sunk a lot of time into this one. Persona 4 is my favorite game of all time. I love everything about it – the story, the characters, the art direction, the tone, the music. Everything. I’d go in more detail but this post would end up becoming an essay if I did so it’s probably best to save the passionate talk for another day. But long story short, it’s a game that I get completely absorbed in and could play for hours if my schedule was that free, as is the case with this past week.

My current playthrough of the game is a Max Social Link run on Expert difficulty where I have Yu only use Izanagi, his default Persona. It’s been a really fun ride, especially as I reach the end with almost of all the Social Links in the game. Dungeon crawling with just one Persona has an interesting limitation too since I lack access to a lot of spell elements that can exploit enemy weaknesses. Izanagi does have a good Strength growth so with a solid physical skill, he can kill the vast majority of enemies in the game. It’s still a bit tricky though since physical skills cost HP in Persona so on Expert Difficulty, I have to pay really close attention to Yu’s HP bar (it’s game over if he dies).

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