Reviews by koztah

90

A worthy expansion

koztah | Dec. 4, 2013 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Within (NA)

When Firaxis' take on X-COM originally was released, I was tickled to finally have a new turn-based strategy game to play and while fun, it was disappointing that it didn't evoke the same tension during combat as the original, and the lack of complexity in the base management/research sections. I was hoping that an expansion would remedy this, and that never happened. Not even with Enemy Within.

But Enemy Within does make the game better, and takes Firaxis' reboot in its own direction. It isn't quite the X-COM we knew and loved, but it's an excellent game in its own right if a bit on the easy side. The expansion adds new maps (which was sorely, sorely needed), new ways to modify your soldiers, new gear, new facilities, and a continuation of the campaign. It does everything expansions were expected to before they started being called "DLC." There is no nickle and diming here, this is a proper release and well worth the investment.

80

Still needs a bit of work, otherwise quite fun.

koztah | Nov. 29, 2013 | Review of Battlefield 4 (NA)

Extremely similar to Battlefield 3, this is more of an incremental release with added features than a game worthy of its own number - at least by Battlefield standards.

The return of Commander mode (previously absent since its original appearances in Battlefield 2/2142) is welcome, although more control would be appreciated. Even when you play it on your PC, it's obvious Commander mode was an addition made specifically to play casually, on tablets whereas in BF2/2142 it was significantly more fast-paced and critical.

The addition of more weapon mods is extremely welcome, but I still miss the anti-vehicle rocket effectivness of Bad Company 2. Hit direction scarcely seems to matter - whereas in BFBC2, a couple of strikes to the underside, rear or top of an armoured vehicle would wreck it. It's a severe annoyance to say the least and removes a fair bit of strategy to individual tank battles.

The game is fairly buggy and crash prone - there was even a recently corrected bug that was prone to crashing entire servers due to players entering vehicles. Ouch. It's been patched a fair bit and runs a lot better now but nonetheless.

The Battlepack mechanic is both fun and a bit annoying - some items are available exclusively through battlepacks so while it makes it exciting to get them, when you're waiting for a particular mod you really need it kind of grates to not be able to unlock it by your own volition. I would like to see the ability to obtain/stockpile 'duplicate' mods and trade them with other players.

80

Nostalgic Final Fantasy MMO, with a bit too much grind.

koztah | Nov. 29, 2013 | Review of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn (NA)

With the release of Guild Wars 2, it was assumed that that would mark the end of the subscription-based MMO. After all, GW2 offers all the bells and whistles of a sub-based MMO, without the sub.

But Final Fantasy XIV is another beast entirely. If you enjoy Final Fantasy in general, particularly if you enjoyed it during the SNES and PS1 days, you will adore FFXIV:ARR. The music is composed by Nobuo Uematsu, the main story is classic Final Fantasy, all the iconic monsters are there and it plays really quite well.

The dungeons are well-designed

What is it missing? Well, quests for secondary classes. If you want an advanced job, you need to level other classes from scratch. For your first advanced job? Not a problem. Even playing casually, raising your secondary class to 15 will take under a week. But if you decide you don't like your advanced class? Well, now you have to raise another class up to 50 without the benefit of the story quests. You do FATES (open-group world quests), you repeat dungeons. Separate questlines for each class (besides the ones you get at 5-level increments) would do a lot to alleviate this.

So, in essence, very worth playing. Fantastic art design (by Yoshitaka Amano!), amazing music (by Nobuo Uematsu!) but the grindiness can get to you. Particularly if you have a lot of things to do with your free time besides play FFXIV.