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A Look Back at Gaming in 2017 – Part 1

Howdy Space Cowboy. As we approach the end of our first month together in 2018 (is January seriously almost over?!), I want to give credit where credit is due to the games that got me through 2017. I’m going to list them in order by which games I spent the most time on and go from there:

Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood

I couldn’t tell you the last time I played a Final Fantasy game, outside of the countless hours I poured into FFXIV: Stormblood in 2017. When the Final Fantasy XI mania came on, I was a pleb who didn’t have a PC (or PS2) strong enough to run it. My time back then was mostly dedicated to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction anyways. I do remember wanting to play the game very badly though and when FFXIV came out, I had my chance.

Unfortunately, it left a lot to be desired on release and so I dropped it for Guild Wars and WoW. Fast forward some years and I stumble across the trailer for FFXIV: Stormblood… I had to play and play I did. The Monk and Samurai classes will always hold a special place in my heart. @SquareEnix

What FFXIV: Stormblood did right: Beautifully detailed world, extremely friendly community, interesting story line and a lot to do including: raising your first Chocobo, leveling your crafting (I love that anyone can craft anything), saving up for your own home or even… getting married?

The FFXIV: Stormblood could have done better: The game did little to guide you outside of the main story line. Follow the well worn path and you will level cap with your class of choice. Decide to level multiple classes and the how-to becomes a bit less clear. A lot of grinding, if memory serves.

As a new player in FFXIV: Stormblood, I took a lot of time googling guides and how-to’s. The resources are there, but I feel that I shouldn’t have had to look so hard.

World of Warcraft: Legion

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Not only am I blogging about WoW, but it’s #2 on my list of games for 2017! The team at Blizzard has managed to dominate the MMO scene for over a decade and they’ve managed to tempt me into re-subbing for Every. Single. Expansion. Now I’m not saying that every single ex-pac has been worth re-subbing for, but I am saying that Legion deserves special notice as it was the expansion that held my attention (and my wallet) for the longest period of time since Arthas decided to stir the pot.

World of Warcraft: Legion brought the Artifact Weapon system and with it, in my humble opinion, a much needed face lift to the game as a whole. Classes were all revamped and felt new and invigorating to play (except Survival Hunters, because… why?). So much so that I gave my Orc Warrior a much needed break for the first half of the expansion to play (drum roll) an Orc Warlock! I eventually made my way back to tanking, but damn it if I didn’t have a blast also leveling a druid, hunter, rogue, mage, death knight and shaman in between. The zones were exciting and didn’t feel tired after my third or fourth run through and thanks to fantastic catch up mechanics at 110, my alts were mostly relevant in the raiding scene. I can go on, but I need to show some love to a few other games and so I’ll end my WoW rant by saying that I will absolutely, most-definitely… probably not give Battle for Azeroth a try this year. *I think I can, I think I can* @Blizz_Ent

What Legion did right: There wasn’t a “bad zone” when it came to the new content. Leveling was a blast and the artifact weapon system was also really engaging. It made me want to collect every weapon for every class, just to experience each classes’ small corner of the greater lore. Class halls were also a great community addition after the lonely grind of Warlord’s of Draenor garrisons.

What Legion could have done better: I lied. There was a bad zone: Suramar. It’s actually the worst zone in the history of the game and that’s saying something, considering how much I disliked Cataclysm’s under water zone: Vashj’ir.

Suramar is a zone that players unlock in pieces and unfortunately, it serves a few vital functions to the end game content. Most notably, you had to complete the entire zone worth of quests and achievements to unlock the ability to fly in Legion’s zones. The achievement actually called for you to do the same for all of the other zones, but Suramar made it especially difficult: it’s a big zone with inconvenient flight paths and hoards of elite mobs that, on their own could easily be burned down but together (as they often were) made progressing through the zone a rage inducing grind session.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

BotW

Breath of the Wild was and continues to be an A.D.D. wonderland. I’ve finished the main story line and most of the DLC on normal and have gone onto Master Mode mainly to torture myself as I re-discover this beautifully crafted world of exploration and failed attempts at climbing things.

What BotW did right: Everything! Seriously though. The Nintendo Switch was a game changer and so too was their first major console release. They took one of the most loved worlds in all of nerdom and gave players the opportunity to discover it, however they saw fit. The environment was interactive, the NPCs were fun, the monsters were tough and even the limited durability of the weapons was an exciting twist.

What BotW could have done better: Post game. I found and conquered the sacred beasts, crushed Ganon, collected armor, puzzled out shrines, gave up on the Korok seeds and explored every inch of the map I could reasonably explore in under 200 hours and yet… I felt like there should have been more. A huge piece of me really wanted to interact with post-Ganon Hyrule and unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be. @NintendoAmerica

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

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I’ll reserve my review for when I finally finish Middle-earth: Shadow of War.

What I regret not buying:

Nioh

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Because who doesn’t want to play Dark Souls as a crazy strong Samurai?

What I regret not finishing: 

Divinity Original Sin II

Horizon Zero Dawn

 

There’s still time! Right… right?!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think in the comments!

 

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