Something I used to do over at Chocolate Lemon was list my backlog that I planned on tackling over the summer of that particular year. Last year I did not really accomplish many of the goals I had set for my backlog, but it’s always fun to put together these kinds of lists.
Here we are at the beginning of summertime in 2018, and I should be putting up this years list. This time there will be a bit of a mix of content; it’s not just a backlog of titles I hope to complete during the summer, but also a new release or two that’s piqued my interest over the last several months.
This years list is much smaller than previous years, as 3/4 of the titles here are RPG’s, and ain’t nobody got time for all that!
Final Fantasy XV Windows Edition (PC)
Percentage completed: 25-30%
I picked this up on the PlayStation 4 on launch day, but towards the second half, I stopped playing. Don’t remember exactly why, but it was more based upon other games coming out than any waning interest in continuing my playthrough.
I’ve found that the most enjoyable Final Fantasy titles end in a multiple of 3. the Final Fantasy III remake on the Nintendo DS was quite entertaining; what hasn’t already been said about Final Fantasy VI; Final Fantasy IX feels like it’s the most underappreciated of the franchise; the radical shift in Final Fantasy XII‘s gameplay lent its self to the continued evolution of the franchise and its gameplay. When it comes to Final Fantasy XV, it felt as if Square Enix took powerful storytelling the franchise has seen throughout the years, amplified it, introduced a group of friends that are some of the most likable I’ve encountered in any RPG, and a combat system that, though it starts out cumbersome, quickly becomes a proper evolution from III to VI to IX to XII to now.
The PC version is a beauty at max settings, 60 frames per second. While the PS4 incarnation was no slouch, the extra power from being on a PC shows, in spades. The only real annoyance comes in the absurdly long load times when loading your save, as well as the much lessened, though still detracting load times that come from quick traveling.
Final Fantasy XV definitely isn’t a quick title, so I’m a bit apprehensive to putting a higher chance of me completing it this summer. However, it’s sucking me back in hard, and I’m enjoying the banter between Noctis and his party just as much as I did the first time around. It’s especially more difficult when you take a look at what I have coming up next on my Summer of 2018 games list.
Probability of completing it this summer: 60%
Octopath Traveler (Switch)
Percentage completed: 0%
There have been a small handful of games that I have all but abstained from any coverage and demos, mostly because I want to be either pleasantly surprised, or completely mocked for not knowing more about it before purchasing it. While this has worked in a positive way recently (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), it’s also been a detriment (Vampyr). For Octopath Traveler, I have the utmost confidence that I will fall head over heels in love with it.
I did catch a bit of a peek of some Octopath Traveler demo gameplay recently on a stream, and it looked and sounded like like what a pixel art Final Fantasy mainline title would look and sound like on more powerful hardware. Eight characters to start with and can apparently be chosen at anytime after a certain point is unlocked during one playthrough, each with a different feel/style to them. This is all in one self-contained package, which vaguely reminds me of El Dorado Gate on the Sega Dreamcast, though that was split into seven releases with sets of protagonists. It may not be the most proper comparison, but it just brings back memories of this oft-forgotten Capcom RPG.
I have no idea who long the game will take to fully complete, but I plan on going through it in its entirety this summer. Unless the apocalypse happens, or something takes my attention away from it, I see myself completing Octopath Traveler for sure this summer. I cannot wait to get my hands on the full version, and still refuse to give the demo a run.
Probability of completing it this summer: 100%
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Switch)
Percentage completed: 40%
What was a bonus for a stretch goal for a Kickstarter game Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, Curse of the Moon is an 8-bit prequel that, much like Ritual of the Night, is a noticeable nod to the Castlevania franchise.
This bite-sized 8-bit title plays almost like a more refined 8-bit Castlevania title, complete with character unlocking and mid-game switching between them. Each of the playable protagonists have their strengths and weaknesses. Sub weapons, health replenishment, diverging pathways, everything you’d expect from the 8-bit Castlevania titles, is present in Curse of the Moon.
It’s a short game with an increasing difficulty level. I’ve never been particularly good at the early Castlevania titles (outsider the first) before they became all Metroidvania on gamers, so even though I’m already 40% into this one, I still might suck too much to get this one completed. I will damn sure try my best, especially since the gameplay is brutal, but feels a bit more fair than the traditional titles. Best of all, I only spent like $5.50 on this, thanks to some credit I had on my eShop account for the Switch.
Probability of completing it this summer: 90%
Golf Story (Switch)
Percentage completed: ?%
One of the first games I bought on my Nintendo Switch, Golf Story is a quirky mash up between golf and the RPG genre. I’ve admittedly haven’t played much of this one due in part to constant error messages that would crash the game within seconds of starting (has been happening to a number of Switch games I own, though I figured out that totally powering down the unit, and then powering it back on after a minute or two, helped alleviate this nuisance). Even still, I have not touched Golf Story much, and I think it’s time that I should.
I wouldn’t have thought that the two would blend together into what’s so far been an enjoyable experience. I mean, there was Mario Golf on the Game Boy Color that mixed these two up, but how many people have played that one, or even remembered it? Golf Story‘s golfing mechanics aren’t overly simplistic, but there isn’t as much nuance to worry about as say, Hot Shots Golf.
Between Golf Story, Octopath Traveler and Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, my Nintendo Switch is going to get a work out this summer. I’m not entirely sure how long of a game Golf Story will turn out to be, but if it’s over twenty hours, there’s less of a chance I’ll see it through to the end. I will, however, do my best to keep up with it in-between the other three titles on this list. Loving how my Switch is slowly becoming my go-to unit for gaming.
Probability of completing it this summer: 50%