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    Mar 30th, 2018 at 00:17:35     -    Yakuza 0 (PS4)

    So this chapter I started the second chapter, which seemed to have more open ended objectives, with the first sidequests opening up. I've been having a real difficult time trying to do the dodging minigame that Kamoji introduces, and so far it's been very frustrating trying to get past it. I also started another quest helping a high school-age boy find out what is happening with his girlfriend, but haven't made any progress as I'm not yet familiar with the layout of Kamurocho. The thing that stuck me most during this play session is the freedom with which Kiryu can act now that he isn't a Yakuza. His overall goal at this point is still protecting Kamaza from Yakuza reprisal, but the way he just jumps in to help others even though he has no obligation to "protect his turf" or "show off" as a Yakuza member is striking. It sort of feeds into the idea that it doesn't necessarily matter what kind of position someone is in or what their status is, just what they are willing to act on and what they are willing to do to help others, which I find kinda endearing.

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    Mar 29th, 2018 at 01:31:44     -    Yakuza 0 (PS4)

    APOLOGIES FOR THE LATE ENTRY, FORGOT TO HIT ENTER

    Today I beat the first chapter of the game, after dying twice during the long enemy gauntlet because I was still trying to learn how to switch controls and forgot that upgrading abilities was a thing I could do. I did take down Kuze on my first try without healing though, so I am proud of that. Over the course of my play session I grew very fond of Kiryu and his devotion to Kazama, willing to sacrifice his position in the Yakuza and potentially his life just to protect him. It's perhaps a cliche of the genre for the protagonist of a crime drama to be the gangster with a heart of gold, but here it feels authentic. Something about his youth coupled with his eagerness and cluelessness at the deception and manipulation surrounding him makes it easy to sympathize with him. Looking forward to continuing with the story and finding out more about this mysterious Empty Plot, but also in getting better at the game and seeing what else it has to offer. I have a feeling that the side quests are gonna offer a ton in terms of interesting dilemmas to sink one's teeth into.

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    Mar 28th, 2018 at 00:01:36     -    Yakuza 0 (PS4)

    So I decided to do my next gamelog on Yakuza 0, a franchise that I've heard a ton about but am personally very unfamiliar with. Starting the game in the glitzy streets of 80's Japan gave me a real solid feel for the kind of tone this game would be going for, and I wasn't disappointed. Kiryu's demeanor struck me as oddly noble for someone supposed to be Yakuza, but I was already familiar enough with the series to know that this is a feature not a bug. Getting into the combat, it was really fun, even though this kind of beat-em-up style was unfamiliar to me and it took some getting used to. The language barrier was also not an issue, not just because of the presence of subtitles, but because the characters are animated enough and posses such distinct designs that they are all their own recognizable characters regardless of language. Oddly enough, despite the hilarious amount of over-the-top violence being inflicted, with people being beaten with bicycles and other random objects, it didn't feel as gratuitous or problematic as it did in Shadow of Mordor. Perhaps this is just because this game is upfront about the moral duplicity of its criminal protagonist, or maybe it's because it has a more lighthearted tone, but either way it doesn't get in the way as much as murdering your faithful followers on a whim like in Shadow of Mordor, despite that game's attempts at framing the protagonist as a hero and all Orcs as irredeemably evil.

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    Feb 16th, 2018 at 00:57:36     -    Firewatch (PS4)

    So, today I ran into my first issue of cognitive dissonance with the game, and that was when my character decided to go along with Delilah in her plan to scare off the teenage girls suspected of vandalism and cutting the wire. Just...no. I thought it was a contrived course of action that I didn't want to go along with, but that I ended up having to go along with for the sake of the story. It's funny, because my casual interactions with Delilah outside of that encounter felt really natural and casual, like they were both real people who had their own issues and baggage to deal with. I felt like I was able to make the choices that I would make if I were in that exact scenario. Anyways, my main objectives outside of the story were the cache boxes left by the other lookouts and rangers. I find them fascinating, because they completely subvert expectations as to what a "loot drop" in a video game is supposed to be. Most of the time you don't get anything useful, they aren't much of a challenge to find, and the code for all of them is the same so there isn't really any point to looking for them all, and yet, in the words of Edmund Hillary, they were there. Perhaps that speaks to my own obsessive playstyle or the ingrained, or it's the learned nature of dozens of past gaming experiences wreaking havoc on me, but nevertheless it's an appreciated subversion in a game unlike many others I have played, including other story based games and "walking simulators". Definitely something I'm glad to have picked up.

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    jchansen's GameLogs
    jchansen has been with GameLog for 2 years, 4 months, and 11 days
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    Entries written to date: 9
      Game Status / Read GameLog
    1Firewatch (PS4)Finished playing
    2Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)Finished playing
    3Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)Stopped playing - Technical problems
    4Yakuza 0 (PS4)Playing

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