The first time I played this game was at GDC and I was blown away. Finally, a game that allowed me to "experience" the "experience" of being a space fighter pilot (as in, an X-Wing pilot). I was really looking forward to playing the game when it came out and...I was so disappointed.
I got off on a wrong foot when I had trouble navigating the UI and understanding the basics of the game - I felt that I was thrown into the deep side of a pool with no idea of what to do, what to select, where to go. It seemed like all the missions involved playing with/against other people online, I had no idea why I would/should pick one ship over another and so on. I guess I was hoping/expecting a campaign style game with a fun narrative and interesting and exciting missions. What I ended up playing was "ok". It didn't really activate my imagination with the thrill and awe I experience that first time I played the game.
Maybe I played a pre-release demo that was different and heavily curated? Maybe I was never able to find the "campaign missions"? I'm not sure to be honest, I think I was mostly confused. I played enough to try out some missions, but I always felt unsure of how to play the game well. How to tell that I was getting better? Or, how to tell that I was doing things poorly.
I usually enjoy racing games. But, not really the sim ones. I'm too careless and usually don't have any interest in learning how to drive in games that are more...demanding of player's patience and skill. I'm generally the "press the accelerator and never let it go" kind of player.
So, I REALLY struggled with this game. Spinning out all the time, crashing into things, and more. This on the early (easy?) races and levels. I eventually did get the hand of it some more and was able to make a little bit of progress. But, I always felt that I wasn't going to get THAT good at the game. I was still struggling too much.
And the VR? It was definitely interesting to experiment with the different camera views and such, trying to find one that felt comfortable but also allowed me to play the game "right" (as in, not always come in last).
For now though, it goes back on the shelf. Glad I played it, but I'm not really willing to put in the time and effort to get good enough to REALLY enjoy it.
We played some more, a fair amount more...and enjoyed the challenge/difficulty of combat. We found we really had to be careful and thoughtful of how we approached different situations (realizing that waltzing around carelessly was usually a terrible idea).
I can't say at this point which quests/stories we completed or learned - they all tend to muddle in my mind at this point since we haven't played in a while. Overall, I definitely have a positive feeling in my mind, lamenting only the fact that my co-op partner lost a bit of interest and wanted to move on.
Things I thought were interesting that I don't think I've commented on before:
a. I played co-op and it was interesting to see how we could distribute the characters between us. If I wanted to control character X we just had to swap them around. I don't think I know of a game with such flexibility, though to be fair I don't think I know of a co-op RPG game where you control a party...rather than one character per player. I think it's a pretty interesting innovation (assuming it's new) - because it can really change how you relate to and feel about the characters. And it gives you room to play co-op with other people, since you can pass "easier to play" characters back and forth and such.
b. The co-op system for making decisions/resolving situations was REALLY cool. I enjoyed the fact that we didn't have to agree with each other and that we then had to resolve it (rock paper scissors) in a way that loosely reflected our characters too! (bonuses when you win etc.)
c. I really felt overwhelmed by all the different quest lines that exist - and it was hard to tell which ones were "out of reach" for our current power level. I guess this could be more realistic, but given that the game's map isn't THAT huge it did feel a bit claustrophobic for a while - since there were lots of enticing locations it would take us a while to be able to visit.
d. I'm not sure the crafting system is all that interesting - and, it seems hard to disengage with it completely because, if anything, you end up wandering around with a metric ton of "raw materials" you're not entirely sure are useful for anything - but they might be, so you never get rid of them.
e. Combat was really enjoyable, and I appreciate the mix of turn-based precision with not quite as precise range (as in, no real grid). It made everything feel more organic and also anxious - since it wasn't always super clear if an enemy was in range (or vice versa) in a positive way.
Played this on the plane as well as during a trip I was on. I might be getting old, but I had a hard time reading some of the text on the Vita screen and...well, it wasn't that interesting to play. I clocked maybe 5 hrs or so, enough I think to get a feeling of the general progression in the game but I rankled a bit at the "action" aspects of the game - basically getting a crew of villagers to follow you around and then launch them at a boss to fight him. I had a hard time aiming them correctly, and in my experience they spent more time dying and being useless than actually helping. I ended up having to take out all of the bosses myself which was a chore and I don't think this is the point of the game.
I guess I was hoping for more "management" and less wandering around digging holes and fighting turnips.