Author Archives: Samantha Davis

About Samantha Davis

Hello! Writing and music are my passions. When I realized I couldn’t find what I was looking for in college, I dropped out and started a blog instead. I will be posting my reviews, opinions, guides, and anything I might find interesting in the gaming world. Feel free to suggest post ideas to me, and I’ll see if I can make them happen! Picture made with Picrew.

Splatoon 3 Review

Yeah, I know, I’m about two months late. Better late than never, right?

Splatoon 3 was a game I was very excited about ever since watching the gameplay trailer back in April. The fast-paced combat and improved specials made me think Splatoon finally achieved its highest form. Did it? Well, that depends.

Splatoon 3 and Splatoon 2 are very similar in a lot of ways. Granted, you could argue that all Splatoon games are similar to each other, and you wouldn’t be wrong. It’s the addition of weapons, new stages, and overall balancing that makes each Splatoon unique. Of course, the single-player campaign is different in each game as well, but let’s face it, that’s not the reason you buy a Splatoon game.

This game also introduces lockers, a customizable locker that adds nothing to the gameplay, but it sure is fun to decorate. In fact, I found myself addicted to this game partially for the locker system alone. It was fun spending money at the general store to buy stickers, items, and colors for my locker. At levels 15 and 30, your locker size will increase, giving you even more room to decorate, fueling your addiction. Pls help.

My locker in Splatoon 3

It is also unique in that you can test out weapons while waiting for a match to start. While I do miss the minigames from the original Splatoon, it is a step up from Splatoon 2’s nothing. No, pressing buttons to alter music doesn’t count.

Splatoon 3’s single campaign is also very addicting. This was the first single-player campaign where I felt encouraged and excited to try out new weapons. The way the stages were designed made me have a blast playing with weapons I normally would never touch. The stages were also very well thought out, and none of them were particularly boring or so difficult that I found myself rage-quitting. The story was also a breath of fresh air, finally focusing on something that wasn’t the Great Zap Fish or the Octarians. While I didn’t particularly enjoy the final boss, I had a blast with this mode.

But by far, the biggest improvements of this game are the quality of life improvements. Battling with friends has never been easier. Gone are the days when one person would join a lobby and the other three or four would be sitting there, waiting for a slot to open just to be disconnected the moment the match started. No, now you can create a lobby that your friends can join and search from there. My only question is… Why can you switch gear in Turf Wars but not League Battles? This is especially infuriating when playing with a group of friends. If one person wants to switch out gear, everyone has to leave the lobby, wait for the host to recreate it, and rejoin, just so that one person can change their weapon. Seriously, fix this.

Disconnecting has also been fixed. Somewhat. If a player disconnects within the first minute of the game, the match immediately ends in a draw. Okay? Part of me finds this more annoying than having one less player on my team. Why couldn’t they add an AI player instead? Not to mention if you’re playing League Battles and a player disconnects three minutes in, you’re either severely disadvantaged or have a huge advantage. Overall, I think this could have been handled better.

League Battles have mostly remained the same as they were in Splatoon 2, with Clam Blitz receiving a slight update, from what I’m told. The only thing different now is that you have one shared rank between the modes. This change actually confused me. I imagine the ranks were separate in previous games to avoid a wonky balancing system. Say one person was extremely good at Splat Zones but terrible in Clam Blitz. They could play Splat Zones all day and get to A+, and then decide they want to do a match of Clam Blitz, which subsequently is now A+. Levels are hidden in Turf War, and so are ranks in League, so I’m not entirely sure if players are still being matched with other players their same rank.

Finally, it all comes down to the gameplay. I think the specials have been balanced far more than any previous Splatoon game. Bomb Rush being removed was a big improvement, especially with how common it was in Splatoon 2. None of these specials make me feel like I’m screwed with no way out. Except for Reef Lux. Please, nerf this thing. It kills me every time.

The biggest change to the gameplay, however, is the speed. EVERYTHING is so much faster now! This is the Smash Melee of Splatoon. And it is for this sole reason that Splatoon 3 has become my least favorite in the series. Everything is way too fast and I no longer have time to think or react. All of the weapons I used to play in the previous two games I now hate, because I can’t play them the same way. I’ve been forced into playing weapons I don’t usually play because I essentially have to relearn the game to find what does and doesn’t work.

I know this is more so a personal problem (even if a couple people have told me they have the same problem), and I don’t by any means think this game is bad. This game is amazing in a lot of ways, as previously stated. Me, personally? I have a love-hate relationship with it. I love so many of the features that were tweaked or added, but because of this one change, I find myself playing it less and less. In fact, I have been playing the first two games a lot more recently, and I’m finding the first game to potentially be my favorite. It doesn’t have a lot of Splatoon 2’s spammy specials, but it also has fewer weapons and fewer techniques. That’s okay. I don’t think Splatoon necessarily needs to be a flashy game with precision perfect moves.

Splatoon 3 is a fantastic game, but it’s not for me. I hope this review helps shed light for anyone who is currently struggling with the newest entry on why this game feels so different than the last two, or why you’re finding certain weapons don’t work for you like they used to. For anyone who hasn’t played it, I would still highly recommend this game, especially if you do prefer faster games!

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Final Fantasy 14’s Housing Crisis – A Brief History

Final Fantasy 14, the MMORPG that owes its success to Blizzard- no, okay. Final Fantasy 14 debuted in 2010 as an utter failure. But that’s a story for another time and completely unrelated! It more-or-less relaunched in 2013 as A Realm Reborn and also as Patch 2.0, and without housing. A few months later. Patch 2.1 was released, and housing was added! …For free companies, at least. Players seeking a personal house would have to wait until Patch 2.38. This was in July of 2014, and I didn’t start playing until 2017. How is this relevant? I don’t know, but just know I wasn’t there for this!

At the launch of housing, three residential districts were available. The Goblet in Uldah, Lavender Beds in Gridania, and Mist in Limsa Lominsa. In 2017, Shirogane was added as a fourth residential district during the launch of Stormblood, Patch 4.0. Housing wouldn’t be available for purchase until 4.1, however.

4.1 was released, and within a matter of minutes, all Shirogane plots had been bought up. There were no available plots in any of the residential districts, leaving players “homeless.” …I’m not saying that again. At this point in time, players were able to buy multiple houses, and some players would resort to scalping other players by buying plots of land and selling them for ridiculously high prices. In my previous FC, my ex and I (who were together at the time) were looking for a house. Our FC leader just so happened to be friends with one such player, and we ended up getting the house for free, outside of the standard fee.

You might be wondering why it was possible to buy multiple houses, to begin with. Back when housing was first introduced, the game had nowhere near as many players as it does now. There was also the fact that some servers were more populated than others. In fact, there is a Kotaku article about two players who bought 28 houses on one server. I’m not posting this article to hate on these players, and I certainly don’t want any readers to harass them either. This is just an example of the large availability of housing early in the game.

Housing launched with 12 wards, 60 plots each. Patch 4.2 increased this amount by adding wards 13 through 18. Unlike Patch 4.1 where all plots were immediately taken, 4.2’s expanded plot availability lasted weeks! Most likely due to the fact that housing was now reduced to one house per account. I remember the additional plots being released at this time, and I spent days trying to make enough gil to afford a medium. I probably bought my medium house a week after the patch, showing just how slowly these plots were sold. Sure, I bought it in Goblet, the least popular residential district, but players were desperate for housing.

More wards were added, with wards 19-21 being added in Patch 5.1, and wards 22-24 being added in Patch 5.35. Despite the extra wards, plots were being sold left and right, and there just weren’t enough to meet the demand. Players were at the mercy of other players relinquishing their houses (which not many do) and the automatic housing demolition system. If a player does not enter their personal house within 30 days, their house will automatically demolish, and their plot goes back out into the wild. For free companies, this is increased to all players, meaning if nobody in the FC enters the house within 30 days, the FC house will be demolished.

Even with this in place, housing was far from easy. I present to you, something all potential homeowners feared. Something we should all fear.

Credit to Reddit user TheOnlyRen for this screenshot.

That’s right. When a plot is no longer occupied, it becomes unavailable for purchase for anywhere between 30 minutes and 30 hours. Players would have to stand at the placard for HOURS, spam-clicking over and over and over until the plot was available. There would usually be a group of people competing for the house as well, meaning you could easily spend half a day clicking away just to not get the plot. What was even worse is that existing owners could relocate to another location whether the house was available for purchase or not! This was because the only reason this system was implemented was to prevent players from buying and reselling plots to scalp other players. When I originally got my plot for my FC house, my best friend and boyfriend must have spent 7-15 hours helping me click away at a placard. Made a few friends along the way. What better way to make friends? “What do you two have in common?” “We spent 20 hours clicking a mouse trying to buy a virtual house.”

With the launch of Endwalker in Patch 6.0, a fifth residential area was added in Ishgard, Empyreum. These plots were available for purchase in Patch 6.1. This time, there would be no spam-clicking, no racing online the millisecond the patch finished downloading, no more wasting hours upon hours just for someone to relocate! The lottery system was added.

With many flaws.

The lottery system was good in theory. Players would have five days to enter for the plot of their choice, then an additional four days to finalize their purchase if they won, or 90 days to reclaim their gil.

Or just be told that the winning number was 0. Or told that nobody had entered the lottery despite it saying 12 entrants.

Yep, the lottery system launched with a huge glitch that would occasionally not pick a winner. And it took a month to fix. Players were already angry about the lack of housing over the years and the plots of land not being ready to purchase, this was just the cherry on top. After exactly one month, the lottery system was back up and running, and winners were picked for the glitched plots.

On top of the lottery system, wards were changed so that there were more available for free company houses than personal housing. Just how many wards were available for free companies? Try 18. Yep, 18 wards are available to free companies in EACH residential district, and 6 wards are available for personal housing. Of course, existing personal homes in wards 1-18 weren’t demolished, but if you ever relocate from that ward, you ain’t going back. This has caused even more anger throughout the player base, with the lack of personal housing.

This is the last available mansion available in the entire server of Ultros. There are already 91 participants, and the lottery isn’t even halfway over.

Another problem with the lottery system is actually in regards to how free company lotteries work. Instead of having it to where only the free company master may enter the lottery, anyone with permission to buy a plot of land in their FC may enter. This means that a lot of times, it’s the FC with the most money that wins, because they can have as many entries as they want, so long as they have the people and the money.

As the days go on, another issue has been made blatantly clear. Players, especially those looking to buy a free company home, are only interested in medium and large plots. There are only six mansions available per ward, and 14 medium plots per ward. That isn’t a lot. A lot of small houses end up just sitting there, vacant.

There are plenty of small homes available, yet the people who actually want them, the personal housing people, are unable to buy them, because they’re locked to FCs. For a while, I had always thought it would be better to lock small houses to personal housing, and mediums and larges to free companies. But as we can see from the picture above, there are plenty of people who want a personal large.

Not only are there not enough houses to make even half the player-base happy, but there are staggeringly few of the type of houses players actually want. The only way this could be fixed is if wards were entirely redesigned to include more medium and large houses, which isn’t going to happen. Alas, Final Fantasy 14 may never truly solve its housing conundrum.

What Breath of the Wild 2 Needs To Fix

Breath of the Wild. Great game. Why do I feel like I’m the only one not excited over the idea of a sequel? Breath of the Wild was released in 2017 and is one of, if not the best-selling Zelda games of all time. It’s also one of the Switch’s bestsellers. It received amazing reviews from critics, almost all of them giving the game a 10/10 review. But that doesn’t mean the game has its flaws. Most of the game’s flaws can be overlooked by how well the rest of the game is, but they still tend to bug me. They were so close to getting this game perfect! What went wrong? 

Items

One of the things that peeve me about this game is the items. Or lack thereof. Items such as the bow and boomerang have become generic weapons you can find from defeating enemies. Anything else has been replaced by runes. What are runes? Well, they serve as special items or abilities that you can’t get elsewhere, such as magnesis, stasis, crynosis, and… bombs. Should’ve gone with bombsis. 

Magnesis was kind of a pain to use, having to move your switch around every which way to get the exact angle needed. Crynosis was also annoying to deal with, but that’s probably just a me thing. Stasis is fun for glitches but ended up creating a bunch of momentum-based puzzles that got repetitive. Bombs are bombs, what else do you want me to say? 

One of the biggest problems I have is that you get runes at the beginning of the game. Like, ALL of the runes. Sure, it’s this way so that the rest of the world can open up, and you can tackle things in any order you want without fear of not having the right items. But couldn’t they add more optional content requiring items that could be attained later in the game? That way you’re not locked out of the story, but it feels more rewarding obtaining an item that allows you to do so many cool things, instead of having it handed to you at the beginning of the game.

Speaking of story…

The Story

Obviously, the story in Breath of the Wild 2 is going to be much more different than the original. And while the original’s story worked, I don’t want to see anything like it again in the future. The story felt very dead to me, which I guess is how it’s supposed to feel. Everyone you knew died decades ago. Except for a few points, it never felt like the story was really progressing. It was like you were stuck in a never-ending history lesson. I think it “worked” but it’s not something I’m a fan of. Not to mention the characters have been done to death with all of the DLC and spinoffs. Please, just let Breath of the Wild die in peace. 

The Dungeons

THIS. This is by far the biggest problem in the game. Something that has bugged me since first playing. 

Why are all the dungeons exactly the same?

Hyrule Castle is the ONLY dungeon that looks different. The other four look exactly the same. They have the same dull beige interior with the same mechanic of altering the rooms and the same boss at the end. Why. Why is it like this? Why couldn’t each dungeon have its own thing? Its own mechanic? Its own color!

Vah Rudania, courtesy of IGN.

Vah Ruta, courtesy of Zelda Dungeon.

And you know what’s even worse? After you beat these dungeons, you can’t reenter! Without the DLC it will tell you it’s too dangerous to approach any closer. With the DLC you can only reenter to face the boss, and nothing else. Seriously, who designed these dungeons?

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the game, I was not excited when the sequel was first announced. In fact, I was filled with a little dread. Breath of the Wild was great on its own. It doesn’t need a sequel, especially after all of the milking Nintendo has done. I was hoping we could move away from this cow onto an entirely new Zelda game (maybe one with a different artstyle). Despite this, I do have high hopes for the sequel, and hopefully it will fix problems from the original.

Everything

Everything is a PC game available on Steam, PS4, and Switch. Dang, I thought it was just Steam. This is a game that I had gotten through a bundle, so I only paid $1 for it. Typically it goes for $14. …And 99 cents, of course.

You start the game as what I’m assuming is a star. You have a few thoughts, pondering your existence, possibly pondering why you even bought this game (provided you didn’t receive it for free) and next thing you know, you’re a somersaulting donkey. Or whatever other unfortunate mammal you spawned as.

Shortly after, you are told that the apocalypse will happen in 541251 seconds. Which I’m sure is meaningless. Would be cool if the game just stopped after 541251 seconds though!

So, you wander around for a bit. The game spouts some cryptic crap about how wherever you’re going is the right path, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Which I’m sure is the game’s way of saying you’ll progress no matter what direction you choose. You travel around, listen to some thought bubbles, and as you progress, you gain new abilities. Like singing. Ever heard a donkey sing before? Trust me, you don’t want to. Then you get the ability to call other animals to join you. Next thing you know, you’re a herd of singing, somersaulting donkeys. Or whatever other unfortunate mammal you spawned as.

As you progress even further, you unlock the ability to descend and ascend, because let’s face it: We’ve all wanted to see life’s perspective from something other than a donkey. Like… Grass!

Basically, you can become just about any object in the game. Just about. Y NO MOON?!

I was honestly impressed by how many types of grass you can become. Seriously, there’s a lot of grass. You can also become a tree!

As you switch between objects, plants, and mammals, the game keeps track of what percentage of that group you have become. And oh boy are there a lot! I only played a half-hour of this game, but from watching the trailer, there seem to be many different biomes you can visit and objects you can capture. There’s also this audio clip of some guy talking about how we see someone and identify them as people because they look like people to us. Basically cryptic crap like that. And a lot of it. Seriously, he does not shut up.

Personally, I don’t think it’s worth the $14. There’s some clever dialogue, a few humorous quips, but overall, it’s not very entertaining. But if this is something that appeals to you, go ahead. Become a herd of dancing trees, sing with the grass, experience I the way others experience I, because there are other Is being born as we speak. At the end of the day:

My Experience Replaying OG Splatoon

About a month ago, I decided I wanted to try replaying Splatoon on the Wii U. There was just one problem. My Wii U wouldn’t recognize the disc. Okay, try another disc. Mario Kart 8? Fine. Xenoblade Chronicles X? Fine. Star Fox Zero? Fine. Mario Maker? That thing hasn’t worked in ages. Why is every disc except Splatoon (and Mario Maker) working?! Maybe there’s some invisible scratch? A smudge somewhere? There’s this tiny little smudge that can barely be classified as a smudge. Maybe that’s it? Is it safe to clean a disc with a baby wipe? If it safe for glasses it’s safe for a disc! Or so I was told by Google! Nope. Nada. Maybe actually give the disc a chance to dry.

A month later, a new trailer for Splatoon 3 was shown. Huh, this looks closer to the original than 2. If only Splatoon for the Wii U worked! What’s that? The eshop will stop accepting credit cards after next month? Time to wishlist Donkey Kong 64!

Then I noticed it. Something… beautiful. Something I had been craving the entire month to see.

THIS WAS IT! DJ OCTOROK REVIVED HIMSELF FROM THE DEAD TO BRING MY COPY OF SPLATOON BACK TO LIFE!

Or the disc dried. Either or.

This was it! My chance to play Splatoon again! Man… Was the game always this blurry? Or this loud for that matter? I’m (really not) positive my Wii U won’t implode!

All right. Time to select a weapon and try out a match-

Welp. No biggie! Just try again! Got my weapon, the lobby filled up instantly. Wait, why isn’t there any music? The sound effects work just fine. This is getting creepy-

Really funny. Okay, just try it again. My Wii U sounds like it will combust at any moment, but I’ve gotta at least get through one match!

Maybe one more time? This time, starting up the game made my Wii U crash entirely. The next time also made it crash. Maybe I should stop- Nahhh, this is too fun.

I did eventually make it into another match. I didn’t even get to play for a minute by the time the dreaded error showed up again. Before anyone asks why I don’t just buy another disc, the thing is… The problem isn’t the disc. It’s the disc drive. Several Wii U owners have complained about random discs not being read. These users have gone through multiple discs, even going so far as to buy a brand new copy of the game. The most frequent games to have this problem are Mario Maker (well that explains that!) and New Super Mario Bros. U. It can happen with any Wii U game as we can see with my copy of Splatoon.

So the moral of the story is…

I GOT TO SEE KILLER WAIL BEFORE MY WII U CRASHED!

Update: I decided to try it again after making this post. I don’t know why, but suddenly the game works. I was able to make it through an entire match. The music occasionally cuts out, but otherwise runs fine. New moral of the story: If something doesn’t work, complain.

Why Did Final Fantasy XV Fail? The Unfortunate Truth of Versus XIII

Final Fantasy XV. The game that was in development for 10 years and went through three directors. How could it be anything short of success? While this game wasn’t a complete failure, it most certainly did not live up to its hype for most, and the series’ fanbase is split on whether this was a good game or not. Many people try to blame certain aspects of the game for its… less than favorable reviews, but I believe there is no one answer for why this game failed at what it was trying to achieve. Rather, it comes down to many not-so-small reasons that spelled a recipe for disaster.

THE OPEN-WORLD ENVIRONMENT

This seems to be one of the smaller reasons why this game failed. …At least compared to the other reasonings. The overworld is very, very, vast. Not quite as vast as Breath of the Wild, but vast nonetheless. When you have an overworld this expansive, it’s important to fill it. Which the developers did not. You have your main towns, some dungeons, a few outposts… But most of it is empty wastelands with the occasional mob or boss walking around. Most of the time you find yourself driving for a good five to ten minutes before hitting anything remotely interesting. Quite frankly, there’s not much to do…

RELEASING THE GAME BEFORE IT WAS FINISHED

This is another minor reason. Plenty of story scenes and even an entire story PATH were added in a future update. But the biggest update was the addition of playable characters. With this update, you could now play as Gladius, Ignis, and Prompto, something that had been teased years before the game’s release. While I recently made a post about games milking DLC as a way to “finish” their games, I do not believe that was the case here. I believe that this functionality simply wasn’t ready at the time of release. This game was delayed to oblivion, it didn’t make sense to delay it again. But it did feel rather odd that this wasn’t included in the base game.

THE STORY

The story is often the aspect that gets slammed the most. Most players will agree that the story feels rushed. After ten years of developing this game, THIS is what they come up with? Final Fantasy XV’s story is by no means a bad story. It’s just not necessarily what you would think of when you think of the next main series game. Or a game that you’ve been waiting 10 years for. When the game starts out, it sounds like it’s going to be this big adventure. That gets squashed within the first couple of hours. The first half of the story is shallow, focusing on Noctis’ relationships with his three friends Gladius, Ignis, and Prompto, as well as their journey to Altissia for Noctis’ wedding. It’s a very lighthearted journey despite the fact that Noctis is essentially a wanted man. There’s no sense of dread, no sense of urgency… The only sense of dread is in the music.

That all changes when you get to the second half of the game. All of the lighthearted feelings are gone. Suddenly everyone’s world is turned upside down, and there’s not much time left. Oh yeah, and the open-world overworld is gone! Yep, the empty overworld is replaced with linear passageways designed to take you from story point to story point. Without spoiling too much, the only way to get back to the open world is by this gimmick of talking to someone who will take you back in time to before this… dreadful event happened.

Then there’s the matter of Luna. Noctis’ betrothed. Throughout trailers, she looked like she would be an integral part of the story. I mean, come on! She’s Noctis’ betrothed! Some had even theorized she might be a party member.

Nope. Couldn’t be further from the truth. She shows up in short cutscenes throughout your journey to Altissia. Cutscenes that add nothing to her character other than she’s a kind person seeking to help others. When you meet her in Altissia, she’s not much different. This is the most barebones main characters in the Final Fantasy series. Even in the movie where she has a central role, her dialogue is incredibly bland. Speaking of…

THE MOVIE

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest things that hurt the game. Square Enix invested SO much money and time on this movie. The movie took three years to produce, and only the best actors were chosen to voice the three main characters. The movie itself was mixed.

But WHY did this movie hurt the game? Well, up until the movie was announced, Insomnia was to be a playable area. I mean before the end of the game. There was even talk that halfway through the game you would meet up with Luna in Insomnia where she would become one of your party members as you played through her story. This was from articles well before the game was released, and are now lost.

The point is: The movie is drawn out WAY longer than necessary. Obviously, it had to be done in order to give the movie length, otherwise it would have been a very short film. But that’s the point! This could have been included in the main game and could have fleshed out characters such as Luna, Ravus, and even Noctis.

It feels like they spent more time creating as much media as possible to advertise this game. Movies, anime, food promotions, collaborations, real-life cars… All of this time could have been dedicated to making Final Fantasy XV the best game it could be. Not milking a game that wasn’t even out at the time.

VERSUS XIII

This is by far the biggest reason Final Fantasy XV failed. Because Square Enix somehow managed to piss off their existing fans.

Okay, this wasn’t really Square Enix’s fault. They just have a really bad habit of showcasing games WAY before they’re ready to be released. Ten years, to be exact. I’m looking at you, Kingdom Hearts 3.

Final Fantasy XV was originally announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII, a game set in the same universe as Final Fantasy XIII. It was supposed to be a sort of side game to go along with XIII, and even Type 0. While Type 0 retained a lot of its connections to XIII’s world, XV did not.

The game was first shown in 2006 at E3, as a PlayStation 3 exclusive. You know, exclusive for a console that hadn’t even been released at the time. Another trailer was shown in 2008, then the game went relatively silent for a couple of years. Then we got this impressive trailer in 2011.

I think we can all agree that Square Enix was a little in over their heads when it came to Versus XIII. The game was originally going to be developed under the same engine as Final Fantasy XIII, Crystal Tools. Yeah, no. Around 2011 they realized that engine wasn’t going to be powerful enough and created another engine, which is what we presumably see here.

In 2012, there were many rumors that the game had been canceled. ….We literally just saw it the year before. What the heck? Anyway, in 2013 the game resurfaced at E3 and was revealed to be Final Fantasy XV.

As you can see, this game was supposedly much darker than the Final Fantasy XV we got. It also replaced Luna with a girl known as Stella.

Stella is just Luna with a different hairstyle and name. No idea why they decided to make that change.

The developers have stated time and time again that most of what we see in Versus XIII is what we got in XV. The story only had minor differences, such as the removal of the Goddess Etro. Because… That was a XIII thing and this game is no longer connected to that universe. Though that story point was quite interesting. Those who had near-death experiences were granted the power to see Etro’s life when another person dies. While they did keep the fact that Noctis had a near-death experience, they oddly removed this bit entirely. Originally it was going to be the reason why Noctis was able to teleport and use certain weapons, but this eventually got changed to just being a quirk of Lucian royalty.

Fans often make the complaint that Stella was so much more interesting than Luna. We got a five-minute trailer of her explaining to Noctis who Etro is, and that’s it. How can you argue she’s more interesting than Luna? How? The developers have also assured fans that Luna and Stella are essentially no different from each other. Though I do prefer Stella’s design…

Many fans shrugged off the developers’ responses, insisting that there was more to Versus XIII that was scrapped as if Versus XIII had an entirely different story than what we got. However, after doing some digging, I’m inclined to believe the developers.

Versus XIII was a game VERY early in development that was shown off to the public way too soon. There was nothing concrete about this game. Just ideas floating around in the developers’ minds, given form through trailers. Even the gameplay might not be real gameplay, but something that was created to assure fans that this game was in development. Everything about this game seemed to be a lie, something constructed to keep fans interested until they could find a way to make this ridiculous project work.

However, if this game wasn’t shown when it was, I’m almost certain that we never would have gotten Final Fantasy XV. They NEEDED the pressure from fans to keep them working on the game. If that pressure wasn’t there, I’m sure they would have scrapped the project before anything concrete came of it.

It’s unfortunate that so many fans point to Versus XIII and say “We want that! Where did that go? Why didn’t we get that?” When that never truly existed, to begin with. What we got was Square Enix’s best attempt at making that happen. It might not be as dark as the original trailer portrayed it to be, but the story we got isn’t a bad one. It might be dragging at times, rushed at times, but it should be judged for what it is. Not what it never was.

I’ll see you guys when Kingdom Hearts 4 releases and inevitably fails for not being Versus XIII.

Does DLC Ruin Games?

I’ve previously mentioned how New Horizons felt like an unfinished game that relied on DLC to truly feel finished. Or half-finished according to some. Mario Kart 8 recently got a DLC update that added (and will be adding) 48 tracks. But would it have been better to just release Mario Kart 9?

Does DLC ruin games? 

DLC has been around for quite a while now. There were several games on PS3 and Xbox 360 that utilized DLC. Most of the time it was free, but there were a few exceptions. Around 2014, Nintendo jumped on the DLC bandwagon and has proceeded to release DLC for almost every game since then.

Splatoon was released as a relatively barebones game. A lot of the weapons you see now only arrived as DLC. The Ranked modes weren’t even added until several players got to level 10. Then it was added in the form of Splat Zones. The game would update regularly, adding weapons, modes, Splat Fests, and of course general bug fixes and balancing. The thing is… These updates never felt like DLC. It just felt like regular updates dishing out new content.

The same thing occurred with Splatoon 2, except this time, paid DLC was announced. The paid DLC added the Octo Expansion, featuring a lengthy single-player campaign, as well as the ability to play as an Octoling. Even though it was paid, it never felt intrusive. The amount of content included made the DLC well worth the price. I must have poured 20 hours into the DLC campaign, and I still have yet to 100% it. On top of cosmetic glory? Heck yeah!

Taken from Nintendo’s website.

I know nobody talks about this game, but Fantasy Life had amazing DLC! Never mind the fact that players without DLC couldn’t play with players with DLC. The paid DLC included an entirely new story, along with an entirely new area, and a raised level cap. More hairstyles were included, more items, more abilities, and so on and so forth. It essentially added another 50+ hours to the game. That is good DLC.

The original Mario Kart 8 DLC on the Wii U didn’t even feel out of place. It was the first time DLC had been added to a Mario Kart game, but it was so well handled that it was a complete success. Something I still find weird to this day is that you can play these DLC courses online, even if you don’t own them. This includes the new DLC for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. If you’re someone who primarily plays online (like me) is it even worth buying the DLC?

Then we have DLC that’s so out there it may as well be its own game. I’m talking about the Xenoblade 2 DLC: Torna The Golden Country, of course. This… DLC game has so much content that you can’t help but feel like you’re playing a stand-alone game. As a prequel to Xenoblade 2, new players can dive straight into it without even playing Xenoblade 2. In fact, it was released as a stand-alone… game because of this. But it’s still considered DLC.

Then there’s the more intrusive DLC that it’s practically just a sales pitch at this point. Hyrule Warriors, Fire Emblem, and even Breath of the Wild to an extent. “If you pay this small fee of one kidney, you get all of these characters, weapons, and more! Maybe we’ll give you an additional story too!” It just feels like overkill at this point. Sure, the Breath of the Wild DLC was a nice bonus, but was it really necessary? Especially when we ended up getting Age of Calamity a couple of years later. Hyrule Warriors got remade TWICE, with each new edition including all of the past editions’ DLC, on top of new DLC. Can you tell they’re really trying to milk this game? 

Then there’s Fire Emblem. Fates added an entirely new path through DLC. This path mostly reused old assets from the other two routes, but included a new story and allowed you to play as BOTH the Nohrians and Hoshidans. All three routes were originally going to release on one cartridge much like Three Houses, but Nintendo got greedy and decided to release each path for its own separate fee. Speaking of Three Houses, an additional house was added as paid DLC. There’s a small side story, but they don’t even get their own paths! It’s just the characters that you can bring with you to any path you choose to play. What was even the point?

There’s the Final Fantasy 7 Remake. That got DLC. Never mind that they chose to have an episodic release for this game, and we STILL haven’t gotten the second part. Here! Have this paid DLC to tide you over for the next two years! No thanks. I already invested 40 hours into this. I don’t want DLC, let alone PAID DLC. I want the second part. I want a completed game.

And that brings us to my last point. Games that don’t feel complete without DLC. You can argue that no game feels complete without DLC. Why bother playing a game unless you have the full experience? But then there are games where without the DLC, it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. I’ve already gone over New Horizons, so I won’t restate my point again. But another game that does this is Kingdom Hearts 3. 

Fans waited TEN years for Kingdom Hearts 3. I much preferred the Disney worlds included this time, but they all felt like filler… In the past two (numbered) games, there were always important plot points included in these worlds. Maybe to a less extent 2, but even the not numbered games did a good job of carrying the plot along through these Disney worlds. Kingdom Hearts 3 just has the same boring loop. Go to a world. Beat that world. Get 5-10 minutes of new story information. Go to the next world. Beat that world. Get another tidbit of story information. So on and so forth. This continues all the way until the very last Disney world. What was even the POINT of these Disney worlds? Were they just there to add content to the game? Filler? 

The story itself is played VERY safe. Square Enix gave the fans exactly what they wanted, and nothing more. The game feels like fanservice. It’s understandable, 10 years is a lot of pressure. But I can’t help feeling disappointed. Kingdom Hearts is known for its crazy contrived storylines. Kingdom Hearts 3 doesn’t do that.

Until almost the very end.

And in DLC.

The end of Kingdom Hearts 3 teases the next game. ALL of the suspense is at the end. It’s just dumped on you. It wasn’t ever built up, except for in the games that were released before 3. Kingdom Hearts 3 feels like this giant obstacle we had to hurdle over, to continue the overarching story. This is weird when you consider this was the ending to one story arc. The DLC however, fixes much of this. It adds new story content, it explains everything that the base game should have explained. It doesn’t feature filler Disney worlds. It moves the plot forward, something the game should have been doing this whole time.

And then you remember that it’s paid DLC. What the heck? 

In conclusion, DLC can be done right. There are plenty of instances of this. The problem is, most of the time companies are too focused on milking their games for more money or releasing half-finished games with the promise of more in the form of DLC. Sometimes paid. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this sort of trend is going to be ending any time soon. And we as consumers are buying into it.

PS5 Console Review

I got my PS5 a while back in January 2021. I was one of the lucky few who managed to snag one pretty early on, thanks to having Twitter notifications on full blast, waking me up for a chance at adding one to the cart. Not even purchasing! I managed to get one after staring at the Best Buy page for a good fifteen minutes, contemplating why I was even doing this. Just then, my self-pity paid off! It came back in stock, and I lost my Best Buy password! To this day, I still don’t know how I had time to reset my password and buy the stupid console. I ended up getting the console bundled with Spider-Man because I had heard that you have a better chance at a bundle since most people only wanted the console, which was expensive enough as it was.

I hadn’t even planned on getting the PS5 for another year or two. A friend had messaged me that Walmart’s preorders went up earlier than they were supposed to, and I passed thinking I would get it once games I was actually interested released. Cough, Final Fantasy 16 cough. But then I had this idea of giving my PS4 to my PS4-less boyfriend. Thus started my PS5 journey that I honestly can’t complain about considering many people had it worse than me.

So, I spent two weeks desperately trying to get a PS5. Yeah, only two weeks compared to people who spent several MONTHS trying to get one. As I said, I’m not going to complain. But this just shows how much hype the PS5 had. But how did the PS5 stack up to these expectations?

No console launch goes perfect, but on top of the overwhelmingly short supply, the PS5 is… quite fragile. And I don’t mean physically. That did get me wondering though: How far can you drop a PS5? Unfortunately, the only video I found on this was dropping it down a spiral staircase and my question was more so would it survive a four-foot drop. I did find an article about someone who dropped it from 15 feet though!

Bottom line, guys, don’t drop your PS5.

But no. The PS5 launched and there was this sort of… error that a lot of people had reported. A lot. It made headlines. What was this error? Well, it would brick the entire system making games literally unplayable. At the time, people thought it was Spider-Man causing the brick. Great, the one game I bought with it. Then it seemed to be more specifically, putting the PS5 in rest mode WHILE playing Spider-Man. And then eventually putting the PS5 in rest mode during any game. From what I can tell, this has since been patched in a system update, but out of fear, I never put my PS5 in rest mode while playing games, which makes the rest mode feature for me, useless.

Even though the PS5 launched like this, it was still a good console. You just had to know ahead of time not to do this one very specific thing or you would have wasted several hundred dollars and a lot of time. I have to say, the biggest thing about the PS5 for me is the controller. This definitely feels like the PlayStation’s most durable controller. It has a nice weight to it and a nice size. A HUGE difference from the PS3’s controller that feels like a toy, and even quite a big difference from the PS4 controller. I love the new rumble feature and the adaptive triggers. Pulling back the trigger when readying a bow will now feel more realistic, as there’s an actual struggle when pressing the trigger.

The speed of the console is another huge improvement. Games will only take an hour, maybe two to download as opposed to four or eight. Updates that would take an hour or two on the PS4 now only take five to ten minutes. Loading in games is also much shorter. Final Fantasy 14 is a great example of this, as teleports are almost instantaneous.

That being said, there’s a lot about the PS5 that I DON’T like. I don’t like this new home screen menu layout. Everything is controlled by either the circle stick or D-Pad, which I guess is supposed to mean the transition is more seamless because it’s buttonless? But it actually feels a lot more clunky to me. Navigating to and through the PS Store is a pain. You navigate to the left to get to the store, then you have to press (or tilt) down to enter the store, just to immediately go back up to get to the store menu. And if you’re like me, you end up clicking up twice and now you’re back out of the store! I also don’t understand why there’s a whole separate tab for Media. I guess in reality it doesn’t look much more different than the PS4, but something about it feels more overwhelming.

Another issue I have is that the game doesn’t confirm that you want to quit the current game you’re playing to play another when another game is selected. This is especially infuriating when you misclick on the menu and your MMO with a one thousand player queue gets closed suddenly.

There’s also like this sub-menu that pops up whenever you press the home button. This is the only way you can turn off or put your PS5 in rest mode! Nope, not on the home screen but through this sub-menu. Also, for whatever reason, the PS5’s default setting is to have the microphone on whenever you turn on your PS5. This can be turned off in the settings, but it’s kind of weird to have this setting as a default… Nothing like turning on Fortnite or Call of Duty and forgetting your mic is unmuted as you crunch on those cheese puffs. Or when your neighbors are yelling.

But those are just minor complaints. The PS5 runs really well. For the most part.

Weeks and months after initially getting the console, I started coming across more errors. For whatever reason, Whenever I unplug my PS5 (when it’s off, thank you very much) it starts having a ton of internet connectivity problems, Sometimes it won’t connect at all, or other times the lag will make online games unplayable. There was a time when for nearly two weeks I couldn’t play online games because the connection was just that bad. While I’m sure I’m probably one of the only people to have this very specific problem of unplugging the system and it not connecting, I know for a fact that I’m not the only one who has connection issues with this console. Plenty of Reddit posts complain about poor connection or no connection at all, and plenty of YouTube videos out there explain potential fixes for these problems.

But the internet isn’t the only thing that doesn’t always connect. For whatever reason, the Dual Sense controller randomly decides to drop connection with the console. It glows a weird blue, but not much else. The only way to fix this is by getting up and turning the console off manually, and turning it back on. I’ve had this issue several times now, each time more annoying than the last. And once again, I’m not the only person with this issue.

While the connection issues can get aggravating, they typically don’t happen often enough to make the console unplayable. All of the other little flaws can be overlooked as well, considering how smooth this console runs MOST of the time. I do think these issues will be fixed in later revisions of the console, such as the inevitable Pro and Slim models. Overall, this console might be a bit bumpy in places, but I do think it’s a great console that will get better in time.

Play has no limits. Except for console availability and stable connections. 

Wrongworld: Better Than Minecraft?

IT’S TIME TO MEET YOUR MATCH, MINECRAFT!

For so long, Minecraft has sat pretty, dominating all other crafting survival games. It was king. Is now the time that Minecraft FINALLY meets its match?!

Yes. Yes it is.

No, not Terraria! Nobody cares about that! I’m talking about something… bigger. Something bigger than all of us. More importantly, something bigger than Minecraft.

Wrongworld.

Wrongworld takes survival games to the next level. It takes the very WORD survival to the next level.

You don’t see Minecraft showing up in the dictionary.

But what makes this game better than Minecraft? Is it the furry texture that Minecraft could only DREAM of having without mods? Is it its captivating plot? The beloved story of a hero stranded on the wrong world? Is it the friggin’ moon?!

Man, look at that moon.

Yes, yes, and yes. Wrongworld’s furry hero braves the unknown world, the wrong world, fighting… whatever the heck these enemies are supposed to be that make noises that surely won’t send a shiver down your spine!

Taken from the Steam store page.

Does Wrongworld have biomes? Heck yeah it has biomes! Grassland, deserts, snowfields, whatever this dead looking area is supposed to be! It’s got them all! Who cares that Minecraft has more when Wrongworld does it BETTER?

Not to mention you can build an actual house. No more stacking random blocks together to make it LOOK like a house. This game’s got walls!

And I gotta tell you. The minigames? Ingenious. You can fight enemies in a boxing ring to win prizes! There’s also that one area where you have to move letters around to make the Wrongworld sign! I think! I mean, I totally know the answer. I’m just not going to TELL you because you should play it for yourself. I totally wouldn’t forget. That would be irresponsible of me.

You can craft houses, weapons, farming tools, even a greenhouse! What other games let you craft a greenhouse? Wrongworld clearly goes above and beyond the call of duty. SOMEONE GIVE THIS GAME AN OSCAR!

Anyway, that’s Wrongworld. You should check it out.

How To Make Gil in Final Fantasy 14

With expanded housing coming next month, players are probably eager to learn how they can make more gil to afford the luxury known as Final Fantasy 14’s houses (you know, when that plot of land is finally ready for purchase). Or maybe you just want extra gil. Who doesn’t?

I searched for several guides before writing this post, mostly to avoid restating what has already been said. Most guides give sound advice (except for the ones that encourage breaking ToS. Please, don’t do that. There are plenty of ways to make lots of gil without investing too much time), but there are even more strategies that don’t really (if ever) get touched on.

STRATEGIES THAT INVOLVE SOME EFFORT 

Crafting and Gathering (to save gil)

A lot of guides mention crafting and gathering will both make you a lot of gil. Some say gathering is a complete waste of time. I’m going to go somewhere in the middle of this: Gathering is more of a money saver than a money maker. The more money you save, the more money you make. Easy. Gathering can however provide a small amount of income when you gather the correct things, such as hidden or unspoiled items. Some seeds and materials can go for a decent amount on the market board. Most of the materials you need can be purchased for pretty cheap off the market board. Usually around 200 or less.

Crafting is going to be one of, if not the biggest way to make gil. Some guides say that only certain crafters make a lot of money, or that one class makes more money than the other.

This is not true.

No one class necessarily makes more than another. It’s all about the items you craft. For instance, weavers, leatherworkers and armorers can benefit from crafting HQ gear. Blacksmiths, goldsmiths and carpenters can benefit from crafting HQ weapons. Weavers and leatherworkers can ALSO benefit from crafting glam gear. And carpenters and alchemists can benefit from crafting materials that other crafters can use. This is where having crafters at, at LEAST level 80 comes in handy, as that’s when you learn the skill Trained Eye. Trained Eye raises the quality to 100% if the recipe is 10 levels lower than your level. Culinary is kind of a beast at times. Check what foods are selling well in your server and you can make a lot of gil off of this, as much as a couple hundred thousand per sale. Don’t forget you can also sell furniture too.

Something a lot of people forget about are mannequins. Mannequins are only useful for selling gear and weapons, and they’re a pain to change the price on. But mannequins allows you to commit tax evasion, further increasing the amount of profit you make. You can also force people to buy gear as part of a set, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Fetes

The crafting and gathering version of FATEs! This isn’t something I see come up often in guides. It definitely is one of the more time consuming methods, but it will make you gil. Fetes happen every two days, at two hour intervals lasting a half hour each. Yeah, you’re going to be spending a half hour MULTIPLE times per day for this one. For each Fete you complete you get 100 Skybuilders’ Scrips, for a total of 500 for each half hour you do Fetes. These Scrips can be turned in for gear, dye, mounts, emotes, hairstyles, etc, which go for several hundred thousand on the market board. Fetes also drop presents that sometimes contain Fete Tokens, which can be exchanged for dyes among other things. I wouldn’t recommend selling the mounts (even though they do sell for close to if not over 1mil) just because of how many Scrips they take. You could sell multiple of any of the other things listed above and make more gil that way. If you have some extra time, Fetes aren’t a bad way of making gil.

Treasure Maps

Okay, I can understand people not mentioning Fetes because of how long they take, but why isn’t anyone mentioning maps? You will need extra people for this, though. You need to have at least four people but no more than eight, which is where being in an FC can help. You will also need to be at least level 60. Nope, you don’t even need to be super high leveled for these. There are level 60, 70, 80, and 90 maps. Each of these maps has a chance to spawn a portal that takes you to a special dungeon. The dungeon will either have two doors that you can choose from, one allowing you to proceed and the other kicking you out. Or in later maps, there’s a roulette wheel that will pick an enemy at random to fight, or kick you out entirely. Making it to the end of these dungeons will award each player with 100k gil. That’s a lot of gil. Not only that, but each room gives you at LEAST 10k gil for completing it.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL!

Rare materials and items can drop from these chests. Both in the dungeon, and the chest that spawns before the dungeon. These materials and items can sell for over 1mil depending on the item. A lot of items sell for several hundred thousand. Some FC members and myself did some maps for a couple hours and made close to 1mil. That was before selling any of the rare items we had obtained, meaning some of us made an additional 1mil.

PASSIVE WAYS OF MAKING GIL

Roulettes

So you want gil, but you don’t need THAT much gil. Roulettes are the perfect solution. Roulettes can not only make you more gil, but they give you a ton of experience as many players know. I run a few roulettes per day (three or four usually) and typically make close to 50k. That’s 50k passive. Some people will also recommend the Challenge Log. It’s definitely worth unlocking since it can occasionally give you extra EXP and gil, but it’s by no means worth going out of your way to complete.

Gardening

This requires minimal effort, but does require a house. RIP. Selling crops or even seeds that can only be acquired by crossbreeding is probably the BEST passive way to make gil. Just remember to tend your plants every day. These crops and seeds can make you a profit of several hundred thousand gil. It always makes me sad to see homeowners who don’t take advantage of gardening.

You can use either this site https://www.ffxivgardening.com/ or Gamer Escape to see what cross breeds into what. I’m not going to list specific crops to avoid crashing the economy. More specifically, MY economy. The most important one. It’s best to just look things up yourself – and especially see what’s selling high in your server.

My Recommendation For Beginners 

If you’re someone who JUST started playing the critically acclaimed MMORPG, my recommendation would be to gather items and sell them. This is an okay method to use when you’re just starting out. I would also recommending leveling all of the crafters together if you don’t have a lot of gil. You won’t be locked out of recipes because you can’t afford that one material that another class makes. A common misconception is that you can’t make gil if your level is low. This isn’t true. You won’t make AS MUCH gil, but you can definitely still make 10-30k per item, which is great for a beginner. Obviously run your roulettes as the passive gil you earn from them helps a lot in the long run.

Other Ways To Make Gil

These aren’t as guaranteed as other methods (or even as productive) but maybe you want to do something out of the blue. Leves can give you a few extra gil each time you complete them, but they can also give gear as a reward that you can sell for a decent profit. Especially if it’s from that one crafter you don’t have leveled. Running extreme trials and selling the materials you get from it is another way. I would only recommend this if you’re trying to get the mounts. My best friend made several million gil by doing this, and she was just trying to get mounts. The Bahamut coils can drop materials that sell for a lot, or can otherwise be used in crafting and sold for a lot.

Desynthing can give you materials that sell for a bit. Company seals, poetics, and even beast tribe currency can be traded for materials and items that can be sold for a small profit. If you can grind out every region to the max level for Shared Fates, and then grind for more Bicolor Gemstones, those items can be sold for quite a profit. It takes a really long time, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless you’re someone who enjoys FATEs, or are trying for an achievement. Custom Deliveries also gives a small amount of gil, and the scrips can be turned in for items that sell for a decent profit on the market board. Sending your retainers on ventures such as the 18 hour or even quick ventures can sometimes lead to them bringing back high priced items. This is fairly rare, so it might be better to have the retainer grind out a random material that’s going for a fair bit on the market board.

General Money Making Tips

Try to sell items that sell frequently, instead of high priced items that sell once every month or two. While it may be tempting, you’ll be waiting a long time. Try to keep your retainers maxed out when it comes to selling items. Even if you don’t have time to sell that high priced item, sell a cheap item. It adds up. If you’re REALLY desperate for gil, try buying another retainer and maxing that one out as well.

Don’t go for this.

BONUS (INSANE, DO NOT TRY)

This is just here for fun. While it is entirely possibly, it’s incredibly difficult to pull off with the current housing problem.

Step 1. Start an FC. Step 2. Find willing randos to join. Step 3. Raise your FC Rank to 6 (This is where Grand Company deliveries come in handy). Step 4. Buy a house (the hardest part). Step 5. Build a company Workshop. Step  6 (Optional). Kick your willing randos out of your FC. It’s YOUR FC now! Step 7. Profit off of FC crafts and voyages.

Happy money making!