Tag Archives: Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy XV – First Impressions

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So I’m now 15 hours into the game, been playing at a slow and steady pace so far. Because I’m about this far, I figured I’d give my first impressions on the game as it stands after 15 hours of gameplay.

The Story

I’m only at Chapter 3, I haven’t gotten through much of the story as of yet. But given what I’ve played through so far, there’s not really anything that’s happened that’s turned me off of it. Granted as of right now, it’s a very basic evil invades your land, kills people, now go fight them kind of story, but in the little bits of story I’ve played so far, it’s progressed very naturally and hasn’t felt like elements and plot twists have been thrown in for the sake of throwing them in.

The World

While I haven’t reached a major city yet, the open world so far between Chapters 1 and 3 that I’ve seen has been nothing short of absolutely breathtaking. The idea of the initial areas being more open land with a few outposts here and there, like you’re travelling in those desolate areas between major cities. There’s enough variety so far as well, a desert, a beach, a forest, a crazy meteor-destroyed land that actually may just be one of the most beautiful sights I’ve seen in terms of world design. There’s a lot to love here and I can’t wait to get into the big city landscapes.

The Design

I’ve already talked about the world design, so let’s talk about the other pretty things in the game. The character designs are top-notch, which is a shame because at times it feels like the lip-syncing is not that up to par. But every character looks fantastic, their clothes are well-detailed, especially when in the elements, seeing their clothes get drenched from the rain really brings the realism to the whole package. Another little thing I like is when you use magic spells, the land will frost up a bit, or the foliage will char and burn when a Fire or Thunder spell is cast. It’s to be expected that a Final Fantasy game is downright gorgeous, but hey, that won’t stop me from gushing about it!

The Combat

I’m still not 100% sold on the system yet, a major reason being that I haven’t really had a unique battle yet and I’ve got a lot of skills left to unlock, so I’m not experiencing the game’s combat system at full capacity. I’m getting better and better as time goes on, being faster with warp strikes, getting myself into position for blindside attacks, all that jazz. However it’s very weird not having someone who can cast Cure spells during battle, your main source of healing is either warping to safety where HP heals faster or by the use of items. Also, in the early going here, it’s been way too easy for me and the party to get overwhelmed, especially when the Magitek forces come out, which I’ll get to later.

The Music

As of right now, the music is for the most part decent. It’s certainly not bad, but when you don’t really notice it some of the time, it’s hard to say whether that’s a good or a bad thing. Not to mention with the addition of various soundtracks in the Final Fantasy library added to your car’s playlist, it’s hard to really get a good sense of the new game’s music when you want to go on a nostalgia trip with the older music.

The Sidequests

There is a ton to do outside of the game’s story, to the point that I’m pretty sure I’ve spent far more time sidequesting than working on the actual story. How do I know this? Because the current story quest is Level 10…and I’m Level 22. There’s a lot to do, sidequests, hunts, finding food ingredients, treasures, fishing, there’s so much to do that you don’t really need to grind, you’ll do it naturally if you do all the sidequests. The one thing I have an issue with is the game opening up sidequests in areas you don’t have access to. I don’t know why they don’t unlock the quest until after you’ve done a main story quest that opens up the area where the sidequest lies. It’s weird getting a Level 26 quest when you’re only Level 15 and it’s in an area you can’t reach yet.

The Voice Acting

As of this moment, I have nothing bad to say about this game’s voice acting. The four main guys are gelling very well together, which is a relief as I was worried an all-male cast would drone on, but no these four mesh together so well, a collection of unique personalities. The addition of different accents too are fantastic, notables being Cindy (aka Cidney, I don’t care what the game says her name is, it’s Cidney to me!) with her southern belle accent, Sania with her Louisiana accent and Dino with his New York/Italian accent. It’s fantastic to have that kind of diversity in a game’s voice acting when we’re so used to just plain old American voices or if you’re lucky, an English accent.

The Little Negatives

  • Thankfully there’s fast travel, but it takes way too long to get to certain places by car in the game, especially when I haven’t even unlocked a good chunk of the map yet.
  • I do not like how you’re fighting other enemies and the game will just drop Magitek soldiers on top of you, it becomes really unfair and overwhelming at times.
  • I feel like there’s too much of an emphasis on either eating or having Ignis cook for you to increase your party members stats, whether it’s HP, attack power, resistances, experience bonus and more, especially when the best food is either really expensive or takes a lot of hard to find ingredients. I spend way too much time with low-stat bonus food in my stomach, my usual are the french fries just for the larger HP bonus.
  • The sudden cutscene at the end of Chapter 1 really comes out of nowhere and without any dialogue it carries zero weight when in actuality, it should mean a lot more.
  • I know they’re powerful spells, but to only craft as many as three casts per spell max is a little ridiculous.

So with all that being said, at this point in time I’ve gotta tell ya, it’s breaks my heart to say that after 15 long years of waiting for a good Final Fantasy game, I just don’t know if–

Ah, I’m just kidding, this game as of 15 hours in is fantastic and a huge relief for me given how sour I’ve been towards the series all the way from FFX to now. There’s a few rough patches in the game and I’m still not 100% sold on the combat, but this game is leaps and bounds better than FFXII and all three FFXIII games, it’s not even close. While I don’t feel the series has gone back to what made it great in the first place, it’s at least finally taking some steps to become a better game again.

First Impressions Rating: 8.5/10

Maxim’s ‘Top 10 Sexiest Final Fantasy Ladies’ List

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So Maxim, likely due to Final Fantasy XV’s release, put out an article ranking the 10 sexiest girls in Final Fantasy…

And what a joke it was! (you can view it here)

For those who don’t want to bother with the list, here’s the actual list they gave:

  1. Aranea Highwind (FFXV)
  2. Iris (FFXV)
  3. Cindy (FFXV)
  4. Lunafreya (FFXV)
  5. Gentiana (FFXV) — Notice a trend yet?
  6. Ashe (FFXII) — Oh? So you do know of other Final Fantasy games?
  7. Terra (FFVI)
  8. Lightning (FFXIII)
  9. Serah (FFXIII)
  10. Fang (FFXIII) — Notice the other trend too?

So there are two blatantly obvious things here. One, the writer who Maxim put onto this clearly doesn’t play games in the series and if John Sciarrino does, he’s clearly only played the most recent ones and then added Terra to make it seem like he had gamer cred because she’s from an SNES game. The second is that Maxim has clearly made this article solely because of Final Fantasy XV’s launch and are just click-baiting anyone unsuspecting. I didn’t find this on my own by the way, I was sent this.

Now I won’t do my own list right now, that’s something I can do on Sunday when my Top 10s are. But the fact that Tifa of all people isn’t on this list is the biggest fucking joke possible with anything having to do with Final Fantasy. Even though I don’t like her that much, she is THE SEX IDOL of the series! Who gives a fuck that XV has the best graphics, who cares that Lightning is a Louis Vuitton model, Tifa is the original sexy Final Fantasy girl. That’s worth something.

So yeah, it’s sooooooooo shocking that Maxim half-assed an article. So I’ll leave with a rundown of the various little things that annoyed me with the list:

  • 80% of the list is two games.
  • 20% of the list I immediately agree with, being Cindy and Fang, though to be fair, I have not seen Iris before…and wow!
  • If new graphics are the benchmark, how in the blue hell did nothing from FFXIV came into play here?
  • No offense to Terra, but she’s not even the prettiest girl in FFVI.
  • I honestly think Lunafreya and especially Gentiana are nothing to look at, Iris and Cindy are damn attractive and Aranea is pretty good, but Lunafreya and Gentiana are meh at best.
  • Of all the pictures of Serah they could’ve chose from, they picked the dumb looking swimsuit costume, she looks hotter in the Mass Effect N7 crossover.
  • Speaking of bad picture choices, THEY PICKED THE ONE PICTURE LIGHTNING LOOKS LIKE A WHORE!!! AND NOT EVEN ONE OF THE LOUIS VUITTON PICTURES WHERE SHE’S ACTUALLY A FUCKING FASHION MODEL!!!
  • This is the quote on Gentiana: “We like Gentiana for a few reasons: She’s badass enough to look after the future-queen, she’s got two great dogs and, most importantly, she doesn’t seem to age. All signs point to wife-material here.”. Wow, that is fucking retarded.

And lastly, let’s finish with those who were forgotten by Maxim and John Sciarrino’s stupidity and lack of knowledge:

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And hell, I’m even gonna reach a little further…

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And lastly, cause why the fuck not…

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Final Fantasy XV Will Decide The Fate Of The Series

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The last time I fully enjoyed a “numbered” Final Fantasy game was Final Fantasy X. Let that sink in for a second, the last numbered Final Fantasy game I enjoyed was released 15 years ago. How many series can you think of where something like this happens AND you’ve stuck with the series regardless? I can’t think of any others, that’s for damn sure!

I played a little bit of Final Fantasy XI, but I didn’t know anyone who played it, so it became extremely difficult to keep interested with the game. I was indifferent to Final Fantasy XII, I never really fully enjoyed the game, it was more a game where I played it just because I was already so into the series, I just accepted a mediocre game. I’ve still yet to finish it too, I’m pretty sure when I stopped I was 80-90% the way through, I just turned it on one day and thought “Wait…what am I fighting for? Who am I fighting? Why am I fighting?” and without an answer, that was it, I put it down. I think my thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII have been echoed over and over again as well, I absolutely despise that series of three games (well, XIII-2 was passable) and they nearly killed my love for Final Fantasy completely. Lastly, even though I said I wouldn’t until it was free-to-play, I have played Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn. I got a copy cheap in a Humble Bundle with a 30-day free trial, so I tried it out and it’s actually pretty fun, but I’m still not paying monthly for it.

All in all, since 2001, minus the odd side game here and there, Final Fantasy has been a thorn in my side, one that I wish every single day would get off its ass and be what it used to be.

Final Fantasy XV in my eyes might just be the last chance the series has to prove to me that it’s still got it.

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After a stretch of games where I was uninterested in the worlds, Final Fantasy XV at the very least at first glance more than intrigues me. It’s like the game is in the present day but it’s a Final Fantasy version of real life, monsters and boys with weird haircuts a’plenty! The idea of walking around in a world that looks so much like the present day, driving around in a badass car and then in the meantime stopping to fight giant monsters like I’m Nightcrawler with a sword? I’m in!

The battle system also has my full attention. I remember seeing the first official trailer for the game at E3, I believe in 2013? Regardless, seeing the battle system, looking like what would happen if you took the Kingdom Hearts battle system and made it even crazier with teleports and shit, I was beyond amazed and wanting to see more. After XII and XIII’s terribly boring battle systems, I wanted one of two systems in the next non-online Final Fantasy game. I wanted either Square Enix to revert back to the good ol’ days of the ATB system a la Final Fantasy X, or hell, let’s go back to Final Fantasy VI’s system, it’s still perfect today! The other system was what we look to be getting with the new game, a Kingdom Hearts-like battle system. I felt that XII and XIII’s battles were more like you were watching a game, rather than playing it and I was sick and tired of that. When games like Mass Effect can be these crazy deep RPGs and yet still have a very rewarding and engaging combat system, Final Fantasy has been struggling to have any semblance of fun in them.

But I did play the first demo of Final Fantasy XV and experienced the battle system. It’ll take some getting used to, but after that demo, I saw promise. Which is more than I can say about the last 15 years of Final Fantasy games.

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The one thing that does worry me is the main characters in the game. The main four are all male and the demo while short and light on actual story content, none of the four guys really grabbed me. In fact, the one character who had my full attention was Cidney (pictured above) and no, it’s not because of her outfit, so shut the fuck up, feminists. Cidney actually had a personality different than what I’m used to seeing in JRPGs, a more Southern-like personality. While the guys have the usual “I’m tough”, “I’m smart”, “I’m funny” and “I’m bored” cliche personalities, Cidney isn’t a cliched character. So my worry lies in the four men I’ll be spending the majority of my time with, worried that I will get tired of them before the game reaches its end. Because regardless how good a story is, how fun a game is, it’s really hard to keep playing something when you’re not attached to any of the main cast.

I also don’t feel like I can trust Square Enix when it comes to writing a story in a Final Fantasy game, after all it’s been 15 years since the last game that I felt had a good story. When games like Persona 3 & 4, Trails of Cold Steel, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt are RPGs with fantastic stories, Final Fantasy just isn’t anywhere near the quality that the best in the genre are at, and Final Fantasy is supposed to be the series at the top, yet as far as I’m concerned, they’re not even Top 5 today.

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So when November 29th rolls around, I have it pre-ordered, I will be playing it regardless of what people say, though from what I’ve heard by early reviewers, it hasn’t been bad. But this game my just decide whether I continue to play games in the series after this, at least in terms of the main franchise, games like World of Final Fantasy can still work with me, but if Final Fantasy XV is terrible to me, the chances of me playing Final Fantasy XVI will be next to none. I’ve been burned enough times, that my love of the series is now in question and if Square Enix decides to fuck with me one more time, that might just be it. I’m not the archetypical hardcore fan, I won’t stay through thick and thin, I’m not above outright leaving a series alone.

So Square Enix, the ball’s in your court now. Let’s see what you got!

Saturday Morning Rant: Release Delay Reactions

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…REALLY GUYS?!

A couple weeks ago I talked about No Man’s Sky and one of the things I talked about was the extremely toxic community that ended up becoming white knights for the game and the developer, willing to make every threat under the sun to those who said anything slightly considered negative towards the game. This week however, we’re going to focus on the people that are even dumber, the people who after hearing a game that they don’t know how good it’s going to be, is getting delayed, they freak the fuck out.

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I really…REAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLY hope this was a troll and not a real person. Even if it is a troll, it’s still absolutely ridiculous that someone thought this’d be a fun thing to write a person, but if this truly was a real person sending this message to a journalist doing his job by reporting games news, such as in this particular case a major game getting delayed for two months, there is seriously something very wrong with this person and they needed counseling years ago.

To take the news of a game you think you might like being delayed for a couple months, to take it that far, it’s absolutely fucking crazy. There’s no nice way to put it, you are fucking crazy if that’s your reaction to a fucking video game being delayed for two months. Oh no, two whole months, what ever will I do?! I don’t know…maybe play some other games until then? Maybe watch some stuff until then? I don’t know…maybe go make some friends outside of my own little world? There’s a few good ideas, those are things that can keep you busy for another two months until the next game in question comes out. There’s always ways to keep you busy, so the time is no excuse, even if it’s a year or longer away.

But let’s take the extreme folks out of the equation here and just ask the simple question: Is the general reaction to game delays fair enough? Maybe 10 years or so ago the answer could be yes. But with the Internet in full swing now, absolutely fucking not. A game could be delayed one more day and the game’s subreddit would explode like the developers kidnapped an entire class of children and killed them one by one through torturous methods. No Man’s Sky is a big example of when people take a release delay way too hard, Final Fantasy XV’s recent delay until the end of November also elicited a very negative reaction from fans, death threats also being sent.

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I’m not the most patient person in the world, but holy shit people! Do you not own any other games on your respective systems?! Do you not have TV or apps like Netflix, Hulu, or Crunchyroll?! Like seriously…do you not have anything else to do except wait for a single game? It’s really not that difficult to keep yourself amused. Like for example, I was getting set for the Final Fantasy XV release in September, but when it got pushed to November it didn’t affect me. Why? Because I have other things I can do, such as:

  • Trails of Cold Steel 2 (Vita) on September 6th
  • Destiny: Rise of Iron (PS4) expansion on September 20th
  • Many games to finish such as Tokyo Mirage Sessions (WiiU), Fire Emblem Birthright (3DS) and Persona Q (3DS), just to name a few
  • A ton of games I can go back into and spend a few hours here and there such as No Man’s Sky, Minecraft, Hawken, GTA V Online (the Super Stunts races are so much fun!), Rocket League and so much more and that’s on my PS4 alone!
  • Weekly anime on Crunchyroll

So it’s safe to say I’m in a pretty good place to keep myself busy until November 29th when Final Fantasy XV is currently slated to come out. The same will go for games like Persona 5 and Mass Effect: Andromeda which are both set to tentatively com out in February and March next year respectively. There’s so much I can do to keep myself busy and I’m not even counting older games on older consoles I can go back to, like my Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2, there’s also the tons of super old games that I admittedly can play on emulators through my laptop, I have around 200 games on Steam that I’ve gotten through Humble Bundles and other promotions that I’ve yet to even touch and I also listen to a ton of podcasts as well. I have so many different options to go through and keep myself busy and I’m not exactly a big spender per se.

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I think it’s very harmful for people to be putting all their eggs in one basket or in this case, all their attention on one single game. You’re taking a massive risk on just automatically assuming the game in question is going to be the best thing ever. I mean granted, I have Trails of Cold Steel 2, Destiny: Rise of Iron, Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5 and even Kingdom Hearts 3 (which may never come out) pre-ordered. But the difference between me pre-ordering games and the average gamer pre-ordering games is that when I do pre-order a game, it’s a game that I will play even if it ends up being a 1/10, the shittiest game in existence. I don’t pre-order anything unless I am absolutely confident that not only will I enjoy the game, but I will keep the game and not trade it in. In the past few years, only one game has not fallen into that category and that was Tom Clancy’s The Division, a game I admittedly put too much hope into, wanting a secondary-Destiny to play when Bungie’s MMO is in a slow period. But you know that there are people that will pre-order a ton of games, just for those silly extra rewards and because they’re told to pre-order.

By doing so, you’ve now bound yourself into a contract with this game. I mean how many times have you pre-ordered a game and then suddenly pulled it back, very rarely does something come into play that’ll make you change your mind, game companies have gotten really good at not showing their hands to expose their game, but show just enough to keep you interested and financially invested. But it’s still your own fault for falling victim to a lot of these companies that manage to get your money early for a game that you actually aren’t 100% behind. But because you’ve put your money forward, you still feel a sense of attachment, that you have to defend the money you’ve spent on the game, ESPECIALLY after it’s come out. But going back to when these games get pushed back from the “promised” release date, you also freak out because you put the money forward and you were told that this would be the date, you put your money forward expecting to have this game in your hands on that specific day.

Here’s the thing most of these people seem to forget. These are estimations made months in advance based on the projections of how the teams are moving along at their current pace. These estimations don’t account for things such as game-breaking bugs that need to get fixed, employees getting fired or getting sick and being missing for a while, having to create a demo or an alpha/beta version of the game, hell even some places have had to deal with major disasters, such as equipment being stolen, suddenly going bankrupt or even having your studio getting flooded. Shit happens and for the average game, you almost have to assume that the first release date listed will probably be changed.

There’s also the dangers of getting a game too soon. Take Street Fighter V for example, how fucking stripped and clearly not ready at launch was that game? The risks companies run at sticking to a release date are very high, games being released in a super buggy state, major features being missing, the game overall just being shit. There is never a bad reason for delaying a game’s release date because what that means is the game is getting extra time to be polished, for more to be added in. How is that a bad thing?! How is a game being released with more content and in a more stable state possibly a bad thing? Sometimes, good things are worth waiting for, y’know?

So relax, folks. If a game gets delayed, it’s not that big a deal. There’s other games to play out there, you can wait. Just try.

Top 10 Games I’m Looking Forward to in 2016

2015 was a pretty good year for gaming, a lot of great stuff came out. But who gives a fuck, it’s 2016! So with that, let’s do the Top 10 games I’m looking forward to in 2016!

 

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When I initially saw the concept of No Man’s Sky, I was blown away. Now those parts of me that were lost have returned and haven’t felt much wind since. Because the game is getting closer and closer to launch and I still have not much of a clue what the game will actually be like in full, I’m becoming more and more skeptical as time goes on. Granted, the game looks fucking gorgeous, the art style is fantastic. But the game itself is still a bit dodgy, considering we don’t know much about it other than you explore and name things. If it’s more than that, awesome, if it’s not much more, that’s worrisome.

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IT’S SO FUCKING CUTE!!! Seriously though, it’s really freaking cute! I would’ve actually been okay with just this announcement at Sony’s E3 conference, but I guess the Final Fantasy VII remake reveal was pretty good too. I’m not 100% sure what to expect from World of Final Fantasy yet, but at least in terms of its design, it looks like a fun little game to play. I just hope there’s at least some sort of cohesive story to it and not just chibi Lightning still being a bitch in it.

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Another game I would put so much higher on this list, but over time its value has decreased based on what I’ve seen. Ubisoft alone based on their track record the past couple years is part of it, but the constant pushing back of the game’s release date is also a little worrisome. Though I’m still very excited about the potential this game has to keeping my attention much like Destiny has been doing, just instead as a realistic 3rd-person shooter. Though to be more addictive than Destiny is a feat I’m not sure anything can do to me right now.

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This is a game that continues to interest me the more I see of it. The idea of being alone in the beautiful, yet slightly unnerving environment is really interesting. The fact you have someone talking with you the whole time counterbalances that alone feeling too, so you’re not stuck experiencing one side of the emotional spectrum. The “story” that we’ve seen so far is very interesting and I cannot wait to play this game when it releases, it sounds and looks like a nice, short experience.

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My brain still continually tells me this game will likely be okay at best, but I cannot help myself for being as excited as I am for this game to come out. The initial trailer at E3 this year had me hooked, I love the world, I love the concept, I love the battle mechanics and I love the main character. Everything about this game so far spells awesome to me, but only a matter of time will tell. It’s also been very quiet since about this game, so that could be taken as a bit of a bad sign. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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I’ve liked Fire Emblem games since they started coming out on the GBA in North America, but when Awakening came out on the 3DS, that was it, the series had me hooked. And yes, it was partially because of the more casual mode where permadeath isn’t a thing (I’m really bad at these games, I kinda need it!). Fates is really exciting for me, though I’m still a bit miffed about the two separate copies. But if the games are good enough to be worth the asking price, I’m all for it.

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I had almost zero intentions of playing the game at first, mainly because ever since Final Fantasy XII, Square has shown me that they’ve forgotten how to make a good Final Fantasy game. But then the demo for XV came out and I shut the hell up, it was fantastic, I love the new battle system, it’s far more intensified now. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the main cast, I really didn’t get a good idea as to what they’re all about. But I did get Cidney (Cindy). And I’m pretty happy about that.

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So you’re telling me that my favourite series of the past decade in Shin Megami Tensei is getting mixed together with one of my other favourite series of this past decade in Fire Emblem?! Nintendo didn’t ever have to show me any game footage, I already had pre-order plans for this game. And I don’t pre-order shit anymore.

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Like I just said, my favourite series of the past decade and the Persona games are the reason for it. Persona 3 was fantastic and Persona 4 was fucking phenomenal. By that logic, Persona 5 is going to blow me away. The music already is as great as it has ever been, the art design is beautiful and weird as fuck at the same time, the characters look awesome and interesting and of course the gameplay looks solid, somehow even better than Persona 4. I’m ready, Atlus. Take me.

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This game is slotted for Q4 of 2016. I don’t believe for a second that date will last, my best case scenario is March of 2017 to be honest. But that won’t stop me from listing this as the easy #1 pick for the game I’m looking forward to the most in 2016. The Mass Effect trilogy was an incredible (albeit a little weak on the ending) journey that introduced me to a ton of characters I’m in love with still to this day, tons of memorable moments and an entire universe I can’t wait to go back to. Here’s hoping when this game is released, it’s everything we ever dreamed of and more.

 

And that’s the list everyone! Hope you enjoyed it. As always if you have a different opinion, don’t hesitate to list your top 10s in the comments below!