The Wolf Among Us 2 Is Finally Happening

Glamouring for more

After a cheeky denial, Telltale Games finally spilled the beans this past week and dropped the exciting news that they are developing season 2 of The Wolf Among Us, and it’s due in 2018 (link).

The first season is a real stand out piece from the veteran studio; given the wonderful universe of the Fables graphic novels to work with, the game shines as a dark, gritty whodunnit-style mystery story, with some great character cameos and some genuine, edge-of-the-seat thrills that keep it fresh and engaging from start to finish. Honestly, I couldn’t put it down when I played it last year; for those who haven’t yet, it can be picked up for an absolute song regularly and is more than worthy of the 8 or so hours it takes to complete it.

Also announced; season 4 of The Walking Dead, what Telltale are calling The Walking Dead: The Final Season. That this is the final game is surprising to me; despite the lacklustre third season (see my review here), it seemed there were areas the game could have further explored through creative uses of the license, and as Season 1 and 2 have shown, when Telltale are on with The Walking Dead they are fucking onIt’s exciting to think we’ll be returning to see out Clementine’s story though, especially knowing she’ll once again be the playable character. Her story is the glue that holds the series together; her parts in A New Frontier were the strongest aspects, and the game sings when it hones in on Clem and her struggles. Looking forward to seeing if this one can recapture my imagination once again.

Oh, and something about a new Batman game, but I must admit to not being overly fussed about that series. If it’s great and I need to play it, let me know!

Lamenting The Modern Final Fantasy I Never Played

Fancy a gambit

I hear good things about the new, updated port of Final Fantasy XII.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, as the remaster is known, has released on Playstation 4 to glowing reviews and a bucketload of positive hype. Forums, subreddits and comment threads are abuzz with nostalgia for what is, by many accounts, a very strong FF; one all JRPG fans should play.

Sadly, I never did get around to the original.

Sometime before the original release of FF XII, I was convinced the franchise was the greatest in all of gaming. From FF VII, right through to and X-2, by way of VI, I devoured them all; multiple times in most cases. Everything in the games appealed to teenage me: The stunning music, the stat-based gameplay, the characters, the stories, the length, the substanceFinal Fantasy was a big part of my gaming diet from the Playstation era onward; I played them over and over until my time to ascend to a Playstation 2 arrived, then I moved on to my beloved X. Great memories, all.

I remember reading a preview of FF XII circa 2004, and feeling just as hyped for it as the others. The world of Ivalice looked like just the kind of place I’d love to spend a few hundred hours; the characters looked superb and I even loved the revamp of the random battle system. I was all set to absorb every pixel of the game and continue my FF love affair for many more years.

Then; Halo 2 happened.

I’d owned an original Xbox for a little while, but having grown bored of the first Halo game it had sat, stagnant, for some time, whilst I continued to play my much-preferred PS2. However, as the hype for Halo 2 grew and grew amongst my friend group (we were avid LAN-partiers when Halo: Combat Evolved had first released), I found myself swept away; from that first time I connected to Xbox Live and played a game of Halo 2, against other people, I was utterly hooked. The next two years of my life were spent either playing H2 over Xbox Live, or having a breather with whatever else Xbox game my friends were playing at the time. Final Fantasy XII was completely forgotten, and by the time it had released and I’d heard about it, my PS2 was long gone; sold to fund my blossoming Xbox addiction. The passion had gone, and I moved on with my gaming life, having never played what may potentially have been one of my favourite games ever.

Now, the opportunity presents itself again, and my adolescent nostalgia has awoken; straining to be heard. I have designs on purchasing a PS4 in the very near future for its huge catalogue of exclusives; now there is one more exclusive to add to the list that I am determined not to let slip away again.

Final Fantasy XII. My beloved Master Chief may have stolen you from me once, but this is one fight he isn’t finishing.

Adventures in Clash Royal: Part 3

Ladder anxiety blues

Good news: since the last update, I’ve absolutely smashed my targets; I’ve reached over 2500 trophies, I’m in Arena 8 and I’ve also leveled up to 8.

Bad news: Nobody warned me about the CRIPPLING LADDER ANXIETY.

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It’s becoming a problem. As the caliber of opponent improves, things are starting to get dicier in ladder matches. It’s very hard to predict a battle at this stage, and people are generally making fewer mistakes; for my humble little deck this means a swing of anywhere up to 200 trophies once the dreaded tilt kicks in. Then, when I get back on track and start making gains, the ladder anxiety is compounded. Oh, strategy games.

My trusty deck has evolved once more, with the subtraction of the 1-elixir Skeletons, and the addition of the 3-elixir Skeleton Army. My rationale for the choice was to provide more cover for the legions of Hog Riders coming my way, whilst also increasing survivability a bit against AoE. Initially, the extra elixir cost was difficult to play with – I found myself down to 1800 trophies at one stage early on in my climb – but once I’d gotten used to it, I was able to offset the elixir cost with more strategic split pushing that could occur with leftover Skeletons. Chucking a cheeky Knight on the opposite lane to the Skellies can sometimes work wonders. Along with level-ups for most of my other cards, the trajectory has, until recently, been pretty much consistently upwards.

I’ve been lucky enough to get my first two Legendary cards in the past week or so; Graveyard and Miner. I haven’t been able to slot them into my deck, but I feel like Graveyard is just begging to be tinkered with soon. Opening it up gave those serotonin receptors a nice little treat; I’m looking forward to more of this now I can start entering Tournaments and the like.

Still, getting over that ladder anxiety is proving to be tough. I reached my lifetime-best 2509 trophies, then spent two days not playing at all. What did I do, my first three games after? Lost.

Next goal is to conquer the ladder fear and kick on to 3000 trophies. Hoping to get some card levels in the double figures sometime soon, too.

What a game, though. The beauty is in its speed; a game takes just two minutes, but in that time is distilled all the strategic planning, mini-maxing, resource management and bad manners deflecting that you could ever want. The gotta-catch-em-all monetization factor with the Chests doesn’t hurt its appeal, either.

The quest continues.