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What We’re Playing: November 11, 2016

As the weather outside grows colder and the daylight dwindles, we at Power Up Gaming are not lamenting the loss of summer. The winter months provide us with the perfect excuse to sit inside and play more video games! Here are some of the games that have graced our gaming devices this week.

Adam Lloyd – Fallout 4

I’m only a year out of date on this one, but this week I have been spending most of my time in the irradiated wonderland of The Commonwealth.

Fallout 4 caught a lot of stick when it first came out, mainly over performance problems and bugs. I’ve been playing on the PS4 and, while I have seen my fair share of bugs, I’ve only had one full crash in around 60 hours worth of play. I’ve seen people spawn underneath tables, push me away from characters that I’m talking to and interrupting the conversation, and I’ve seen plenty of companions randomly pop in and out of lifts. Even so, these are all minor gripes in what is overall a very enjoyable experience.

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I’ve been pleased to see that Bethesda have made some welcome inroads with their storytelling techniques. In the likes of Skyrim and Oblivion, it was possible to join all the guilds and factions with a single character, eventually becoming the king of everything. In Fallout 4, you can’t reach the top of the Railroad, Institute or Brotherhood Of Steel questlines without eliminating the others, which ties into the ending. It’s a better, more interesting direction from a storytelling perspective, and has kept me playing to see how the various permutations play out. Just a couple more trophies, and then I’ll get my life back.

Paul Conningham – The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition

Well, Bethesda is milking The Elder Scrolls series for everything its worth with this latest release, and I happily played into their hands. This was by far the most counterproductive choice I have made this week, but I do not regret it in the slightest. My first ever save in Skyrim was of a white, buff Khajiit with blue eyes and black stripes. He was named Hunter, and he was by far my favorite character that I have ever created in a game. I spent 700 hours refining his skills, screwing around with different aspects in-game including riding around on the back of a dragon, targeting small woodland animals, and smiting them – I’m sane, I swear. Granted, a chunk of that 700 hours are times that I fell asleep late into the night, woke up the next morning, and continued playing night after night. That’s basically what my weekends and summers consisted of in high school, and I know, it was a problem.

Now, with the release of this special edition of Skyrim, I fell back into old habits and recreated Hunter in all of his snow-white, ripped, cat-like glory. My GPA and social life and sleep schedule will surly take a hit as yet again, I fell asleep, woke up, and continued playing until I had to head to work in the morning. It’s an absolutely stunning game that can become so much more with mod support.

I have already spent so much time with The Companions yet again and became the werewolf Hunter was born to be, all while learning shouts and trying to kill everyone evil that got in my way. I probably won’t finish every single quest in Skyrim until sometime in 2020, taking into account that even today when I boot up the 360 version, I still run into a quest or two while I’m exploring new places and walking around in giant circles, and that is absolutely magical to me. Hell, I haven’t even collected all the shouts yet in my first save even though I’ve slain enough dragons for all of them. I wont have myself falling into the same unhealthy routine that I did in high school, but surely, just one more cave exploration can’t possibly hurt, can it?

Caleb Mina – Battlefield 1

Even though every release seems riddled with server crashes and such, it’s hard to fault DICE this time around with their latest Battlefield entry, Battlefield 1.

Being a long-time fan of the Battlefield series, I was ecstatic when DICE announced the time shift back to WWI with their newest game. So far, my time with it has been nothing but pure fun, which is what a game should always be about.

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Battlefield 1 gives players a fresh new campaign that has been thoroughly enjoyable, as well as interesting and challenging. The last truly meaningful Battlefield campaign to me was in Bad Company 2, so it’s nice to see DICE putting more effort into the narrative this time around. Of course, the big star in any Battlefield game is the multiplayer, and Battlefield 1 is so damn refreshing in this regard. Gone are the modified weapons that could exploit players, or the stupid-powerful shotguns; now we have guns that one can only change the zoom capability on their scope, provided the weapon has one. I’m glad that DICE also swapped the class system, as certain classes seemed to be unbalanced, and now the playing field is level. The graphics are also gorgeous, which is always a plus.

However, the biggest reason that I’m playing Battlefield 1 hours on end though is the fact that it now really takes some skill and practice to master. In previous entries, one could spam maps and areas with grenade launchers or powerful shotguns, or modify weapons as stated above. But now, the player really is the determining factor in how good their match is, and that’s something I’m all about, as it’s very rewarding to know that you’re doing well. Let’s keep it this way, DICE.

JD Schmidt – World of Final Fantasy

Chibi characters, hilarious sibling dynamics, and a tour through my all-time favourite games. This is what my week has consisted of while I’ve been enjoying the hell out of World of Final Fantasy.

The game’s purpose is, apparently, to introduce a generation of younger gamers to characters, locations, and events from every main game in the Final Fantasy series, including the MMO games. But in reality, World of Final Fantasy seems less tailored to the uninitiated than it is to the die-hard Final Fantasy fan. There are constant references to Final Fantasy moments that someone new to the series just won’t appreciate. Whether the game begs the world to stop using the term “chocobros” or talks about Spoony Bards, the game is an amazing trip down memory lane.

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It’s basically a Pokémon game built around Final Fantasy characters and monsters. Personally, I think it’s entirely realistic to say that World of Final Fantasy is the best game in the series since Final Fantasy X. But what’s most exciting is the classic, menu-style, turn-based combat. People say that turn-based combat is dead and that it doesn’t have a place in today’s gaming environment. Well, screw those people, because this game is amazing.

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