Final Fantasy XV is one of the few games that has been continuously coming out with post-game content since its release back in 2016. Episodes Gladiolus, Prompto, and Ignis gave players dedicated backstories into Noctis’ friends and provided some additional insight into key plot points that happen during the main story of the game. To firmly mark the end of Final Fantasy XV and the DLC content it added over the last few years is the recent release of Episode Ardyn.
The most difficult part about playing a video game is the ending. When starting a game for the very first time, we’re still figuring out what kind of experience we’re going to get. What is the story about? Will I like these characters I’m about to spend my time with? Does this game play smoothly enough for me to exert the effort to continue? All these questions and more might be running through your head, and the furthest thing from your mind is getting to the end. But when the end finally arrives, especially when you spend a considerable amount of time sticking with an ongoing series for a number of years, you struggle with saying goodbye.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season concludes the story of beloved character Clementine, watching her grow from the sweet and innocent little girl who needed protecting in Telltale Games The Walking Dead: Season One to the tough young teen who knows how to survive and be a protector in her own right in subsequent seasons that followed. Although The Final Season is truly the end of Clementine’s story and is the last remnant of a series that once elevated Telltale Games as a leader in narrative and choice based games, it’s a fitting end to an unforgettable video game series and the characters we’ve grown to care about. Warning: Some spoilers ahead for all four of the main Walking Dead seasons.
There are two conventions I always look forward to attending once a year—New York Comic Con and PAX East. Spring is always PAX East season, and I closed out the month of March with a weekend trip to Boston to go to the convention for the fourth time. My impression of this year’s PAX is…well…a bit disappointing.
One of the biggest reasons I got into gaming are the well-crafted stories behind the cool graphics and fun gameplay. Stories with an emotional heartbeat and memorable moments that will remain with you even after the last credits have rolled. It’s a connection I seek out in much of the video games I play. So what do you do when you encounter a game that has a potentially mind blowing story, but to get there, you have to slog through gameplay that’s less than what you expected?
In the land of sequels, reboots, and remakes it’s beginning to be difficult to see anything having a definitive and decisive ending. We stretch out experiences for as long as we can. At times it can enhance a story to build upon what’s already there. Or it can be at the detriment of an already solid experience. Video games are the perfect entertainment medium to keep coming back to for new missions and boss fights to face at any time. Games like Destiny, Overwatch, and Fortnite are wildly successful because they’re games that don’t have an “ending” in any traditional sense of the word. Instead, they’re video games that are great for short bursts of gaming with the occasional new maps, characters, or events to participate in every few months or so. But as huge and popular these games are, does this mean we’re beginning to move away from video games that are mostly singular and conclusive experiences?
Concluding a video game can come with an array of emotions. There’s a sense of completion and satisfaction when you finally get to the point of seeing how the journey ends. You can be filled with a pang of longing and a bit of sorrow that there’s nothing more to do, except say goodbye. Or you can feel shock and anger over a conclusion you did not expect, a pay off that can feel like a colossal waste of time. Endings, especially in video games, can provoke a strong reaction from players. Far Cry 5’s two endings have made such an impression that I’m still unsure how I’m supposed to feel.
Making the jump to buy a Nintendo Switch last year has been one of the best decisions I ever made. The console is worth the hype and praise it has been getting since the time of its release, and I’m pleased with everything this light and small device is capable of. While I still have a ways to go before my collection of Switch games become an impressive display of the best titles to play on the console, I’m already in good company with the few I have. Among those cherished few is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Thanksgiving weekend has been the perfect time to catch up on video games or shop for new ones during the Black Friday sales. While the goal for most shoppers is to use the massive deals and markdowns to get a head start on those holiday shopping lists you have for family and friends, it can also be an irresistible excuse to use those discounts to purchase big money items you have been wanting for yourself. As I slowly recover from my turkey coma, I’ve had a mildly games related long weekend.
Thanksgiving is just a few days away for many Americans who celebrate it. It’s a time for family (or friends) to gather together once more to give thanks for what we have and to eat ourselves into a turkey induced coma. While I look forward to piling my plate high with turkey, stuffing, mash potatoes, and all the traditional foods you would see at a Thanksgiving table, what I really enjoy the most is the quality time I get to spend with my family. Food and great company are a perfect pairing, and it makes me think about a scenario in which I’d be able to celebrate Thanksgiving, or Friendsgiving, with some of my favorite video game characters. In honor of Thanksgiving week, I have created a shortlist of a cast of video game characters I would most want to spend Friendsgiving with.
Video games are often a form of escapist entertainment. We play to have fun, lead lives that are different from our own, and forget our real world problems for a little while. But what happens when you combine fictional stories with today’s commentary about current events? Can we still view these games as pure fun and escapism when these messages, subtle or overt, become unabashed in their intention to drive a point home?