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RA:D 7.12.18 My Current Gaming Interests

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Its been a while since the last entry in Run Around:Diaries, which is one of my ways to include all of you into my world and show you some of what I've been into or doing lately- sometimes related to my work in the pop culture industry, and sometimes a window into my hobbies. Tonight is the latter.

A while back I made this post, which talked about a list of mostly multiplayer games I have been into. 
One game I've been playing over the past few months that I felt I never gave a proper go at, is Dragon's Crown, and I just realized I left it out of these photos. >.>;

There were a lot of games here to remember! (See above photo) 
Dollfie Dream Sinon from Sword Art Online is sitting comfortably atop the pile of games in the above photo. All of those games are ones that I've been working on in my spare time lately, or at least ranging within the past 6 months to present. 
In this post I'll be talking about them while listing some favorite parts or feelings about them. 
I play a lot of modern games, but I'll play anything released within the last 25 or so years, so you'll see there's a few older games too. Specifically, there's a lot of PSP, PS1, PS2, and PS3 games I still have on my backlog. Trust me, I'd go even older school, but I don't have consoles older than PS2 anymore.

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Another shot of this tower of awesome, this time it is vertical so you can get another view of the lineup I've been working through.

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Recently I spent a few final months with a childhood friend of mine that I've known for 22 years before he had to move away out of state at the start of this month. 
We decided to play through whatever interested him out of my library, whether co-op or not, and the Crysis trilogy (including watching through Crysis: Warhead on YouTube) was one of the series that was chosen. 
My friend and I have bonded mostly through video games throughout our lives, and it was Star Wars and video games together that brought us together when I was only 6 years old. 
As we played through the Crysis trilogy, we discovered what we had both missed experiencing the entire time the series has existed, as I myself had only played a little bit of Crysis 2 back in 2011, Crysis 1 when it was first released digitally for PS3, and have owned the main trilogy but never got around to them. 
I don't have a box for Crysis 1 because it is digital only on PS3. 

Honestly there's parts where the story is a little simple or lacking, and the gameplay of Crysis 1 and Warhead kind of trumps the others- but the scale of crazy the story goes to dramatically increases in 2 and 3, and overall it is entertaining. It keeps you wondering how it will all end until the final moments of Crysis 3. 

Crysis is about soldiers who use powerful nanosuits to combat special threats, beginning with North Koreans, then leading to aliens called the Ceph who want to destroy all life. The story focuses on a couple special soldiers who survive through the games, while a private military company gains global power and hunts you along with the aliens while you're trying to set things straight.

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Since the end of last year I've played through the stunning Square Enix handheld rpg, "Bravely Default", and now I'm playing through Bravely Second. I've been playing off and on, usually taking a break after long grinding sessions, but I am absolutely in love with the story and universe of the Bravely series. 
It has been a long time coming, but I hadn't taken the time to truly sit down with the games until now. 
I'm at the very end of Bravely Second, have leveled up all jobs in the game, hunted down ultimate weapons, and am ready to fight some secret bosses and finish up. 

You can also see the Final Fantasy 3DS Rhythm game, Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call which I haven't been too serious about, but enjoy playing in short spurts. 
Those who know me know I'm incredibly passionate about Final Fantasy, and I adore the music from the franchise which are practically the soundtracks of my life growing up and even today.

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I've always been a big Mass Effect fan and when Andromeda came out I began playing immediately. 
While there's been a lot of hubbub over the series, especially with Andromeda, I've enjoyed playing Mass Effect: Andromeda over the past year. 
I've taken a few breaks on this one too, and my total playtime at the end of my journey was about 130 hours. 
This game is actually humongous (in my opinion) and I had a blast using the official guide to try and do everything in the game. And I did! (Well besides only 1 glitched quest! grr!) 
I got really attached to my character and her team of loyal squad-mates who I spent the extra time to get to know and hear every conversation and learn every fact about as possible. 
I also cleared all worlds of all quests, items, etc, and got 100% viability everywhere (not that hard honestly) and more. 
Sure there were some bits that could have used a little more work, but I think the end result is nowhere near as bad as some people make the game sound. 
It was a different Mass Effect experience than the original trilogy for sure, but it is one I'll never forget. 

Finished the game officially back in June, but still open to popping it back into my PS4 now and then to enjoy the multiplayer, which is a decent 4-man PVE experience that is based on the military forces from the Andromeda Initiative who're always doing missions and clearing out enemies for the advancement of society, as well as the creation of progression and harmony for the people in the Heleus Cluster of Andromeda. 

Included some of my Andromeda merch in the photo above. 
The Nomad from the collector's edition really lights up on the inside and outside too, photos below from my Instagram:






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Haruhi is here to showcase games and help cheer me on as I write this.

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For Honor was a game I was extremely excited for when it first showed at E3 a couple years ago. 
I love the idea of fighting medieval battles in third person while in the midst of sieges or huge battles, and I also love Vikings, Samurai, and Knights, so this game is right up my alley. 
For Honor's story is somewhat vague but its not terrible. I still don't really know what's going on though. So far I've finished the Knight's story and am working on the Viking's story now. My close friend and RA:N Editor Onyx Goggles is working through the game's story modes in co-op which is fun. 

The general premise of For Honor is that at one point the world had a huge quake and natural disaster and the Vikings, Samurai, and Knights fight each other for dominance and there's a few special heroes among them. That's about it. 
Multiplayer has fun duels and control point modes, and there's a decent variety of classes to play as. There's also a cool DLC coming soon called Marching Fire which introduces a Chinese themed group of new units and content.

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Despite the general consensus and bad taste many have for Star Wars Battlefront II, I am really enjoying the game. 
I started playing a week or so after launch at the end of 2017, and despite even the pay-to-win fiasco that existed in the beginning, I still love the game. 
The story feels like you're playing through a Star Wars movie, and the multiplayer is much more on target than the first EA/DICE produced Star Wars Battlefront. 
The development team is still improving the game and there's quite a bit of plans they have outlined to keep supporting it and creating content for a while, and all DLC is free. 
They've also long done away with the out of control Loot Boxes, which have been a very controversial subject over the past year or so. 
I grew up loving the original Battlefront games on PS2, playing them religiously offline even, and Battlefront II is what I feel is the closest thing we have today. 

The progression system of this game has been completely overhauled since launch and is way more fair and stable now. I've been working on getting a max level set of my favorite Star Cards for each of the game's infantry and vehicle classes, and there's still so much more I want to do in the MP and Story.

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I'm a pretty big Tolkein/LOTR fan and these are two of the best Lord of the Rings games ever made, hands down. 
I grew up playing Return of the King on GameCube with the childhood friend of mine I mentioned earlier in this post. 
I never owned my own copy of the game (for no reason really), and for my birthday in 2015 my mom got me one for my PS2. 

Not long ago I got Onyx Goggles to team up with me in Return of the King's excellent co-op and we played through the entire thing. You can actually beat it in a day if you want. 

I just got Two Towers and got set up last weekend with snacks, a pillow fort (yes, I mean it, I made one here in the office on the floor in front of the tv and it was comfortable as heck), and had Onyx Goggles next to me, dusted off the PS2 controllers (since they aren't used every day) and was totally set to smash the forces of Sauron and save Helm's Deep with my buddy in the same co-op style we enjoyed from the other game- and lo and behold, found out that EA's Two Towers wasn't co-op. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised, it did come before Return of the King, but the games were developed back-to-back and have nearly identical graphics, mechanics, and playstyles that barely make it feel like its a separate game at all. Still, I plan to play through it and finish it regardless. 

What's nice about both games, is that there is full voice acting from all the movie's actors, and scenes from the movie that fade into the game's graphics. Also, there is the epic music from the movies, and a whole bunch of behind-the-scenes footage is in the games as well!

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Killzone was one of the final series I started with my childhood friend before he had to move out of state. 
I have been a Killzone fan since Killzone 3 came out, but only played some of the first game, Mercenary on Vita, and parts of Killzone 2, and Killzone: Shadow Fall. 

I bought the collection for PS3 you can see above, some time ago to enjoy the trilogy in order, as well as Killzone Liberation on the PSP which takes place between the first and second games. 

Killzone is about a human civil war in the future a while after humanity discovered 2 new planets, one garden world and one near-inhospitable mining planet to which the rest of humanity abandoned people on. 
The abandoned humans survived and mutated themselves and created an army and an invasion force, renaming themselves to the Helghasts/Helgans (since they're beings from the planet Helgan) and invaded the good human garden world of Vekta. The story mostly follows one specific squad of heroes as they fight through the war. Presently I'm playing Liberation on the PSP and boy is it challenging in some spots due to cheap enemy mechanics. I'm powering through it though and still having fun regardless. If you couldn't tell, I like to play things in order if I can.

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Big Battlefield fan here, and have recently returned to playing Battlefield 4. 
I've been into the series since Battlefield 2, but began taking it a lot more seriously when Battlefield 3 released in 2011. 
I played plenty of Battlefield 4 from 2014-2015, and actually retired from it, moving on to Battlefield 1 in 2016. 
Battlefield 1 overall hasn't held my interest enough for some reason despite the stories being mildly enjoyable, the MP is okay, and I've even tried out a couple of the DLC's too. 
I have had an itch lately to return to modern combat as opposed to Battlefield 1's WWI setting, so BF4 has been my main Battlefield series destination very recently.

A friend and I are hardcore 'knifers' when we play, and we pride ourselves on taking as many tags as possible. One 'takes tags' during Battlefield's famous player takedowns, which involves a knife stabbing animation and the ripping of another player's dogtags, which is taken pretty personally among players of the series no matter which Battlefield game. Add in some t-bagging and you've got some pretty high potential to make a nemesis and/or receive hate mail- our coveted treasure. ^^ 

Keep an eye out for what we call The Tea Party, as we get to doing what we call "Taggin' & Baggin'" on my Twitch stream.

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As a big Final Fantasy fan I couldn't pass up the new Dissidia. 
A lot of people are disappointed in the game for being less interesting than the PSP Dissidia games, or for being...kind of boring. 
Honestly I enjoyed playing hours and hours of games like Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 where I'd set up teams of fighters and just go all night playing lots of different characters, enjoying them and the fights- and that was offline. 
I also like games like Tenkaichi 3 (best DBZ game ever in my opinion) because of the free roaming as opposed to traditional fighters. 
Dissidia has always been the Tenkaichi 3 of Final Fantasy to me, and honestly if you've played the PSP Dissidia games you'd know there really wasn't supposed to be another Dissidia story. One thing that was never dealt with in the previous Dissidia games' story is Shinryu, who is a problem that needed taking care of. You also find out how another tournament is possible and there's two more deities besides Chaos and Cosmos who're now long gone, who have been able to pit the heroes and villains of Harmony and Discord against each other, again. 
This game was also designed for arcades in Japan, so it is a wonder they were able to make a story at all and eventually bring it to PS4. (Called it years ago, I knew they couldn't just make a Dissidia and not bring it to the west or put it on console in some form- but then again we have things like Fate Grand Order Arcade...hmmm.) 

This is technically Dissidia 3 (Universal Tuning doesn't count) and it should be the final assault of both the Final Fantasy heroes and villains being summoned for a Dissidia tournament (latin for Disagreement, sort of) to decide if Harmony or Discord will rule the universe. 

There's a nice roster, and they keep adding new characters and free updates. 
Not to mention tons of nostalgic battle arena locations, tons of epic music from the franchise, and more.

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Tidus up above is helping me display the real nice steelbook case that came as part of the launch edition I was able to snag when the game launched. 
I heard there's a few different steelbooks out there, luckily the one I got came with a bunch of my favorite characters on it!

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This edition also came with 3 nice Final Fantasy TCG cards, which I've actually been collecting a lot of lately. So far I've got a Final Fantasy VII and XIII deck and a ton of extra cards I need to sort. I love how the cards feel in your hand, the texture on the back of them also feels really nice.

Any one of you also play the Final Fantasy TCG?

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Love the inside of the steelbook which has a nice shot of some iconic weapons and Warrior of Light himself.

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In the past few years I've become a Warhammer 40k fan and while I am sure I'll never actually play the expensive real tabletop game I do enjoy the novels, video games, and other tabletop games in the franchise. 

Warhammer 40k mostly takes place in the 41st Millenium after humanity has achieved becoming a galaxy-wide empire lead by an immortal emperor who has an insane number of armies filled with super soldiers called Space Marines, all of which are sorted by their specialties and purposes. 

This game is part of the Space Hulk series within Warhammer 40k, and follows some Space Marines tasked with killing Tyranids (a type of alien) aboard a large ship. 
Deathwing is mostly played co-op and plays through a series of missions where up to 4 players play classes of Terminator-class Space Marines and kill lots of aliens together. 

I followed the development of this game pretty closely for the initial release on PC and never expected it to make it to PS4. There is a few annoyances and the difficulty is somewhat high but overall it is very fun when you have 3-4 players and at least 1 competent player playing the healer role called Apothecary.

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Over on Steam I've taken to playing Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, another game set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Its basically 40k in space and is an RTS where you control big ships. This one is a lot of fun and recommended for RTS fans. 

I've also been into the Dawn of War games (1 and 3) but have taken a small break since my Dawn of War file got corrupted. ><
You can kind of see the Battlefleet Gothic icon there, along with a few other titles in my library. 
See anything that tickles your fancy?

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Figured I might as well point out some others I've been into on Steam lately. 
Reigns is pretty fun, and I got into the Early Access for Quake Champions and its quite a rush I must say. Really brings back the old Quake/Unreal Tournament vibe from long ago. 
Also catching up on my Wolfenstein since Onyx Goggles just got me Wolfenstein: The New Order on PS4 for my birthday. :)

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Recently discovered the Wargame series as well. Kind of mixed feelings but overall it isn't bad. Started out with European Escalation which feels like a simple and nice little RTS. 
For some reason the game keeps saying my product key has already been registered so I can't log in to the game's services and feel like I'm missing out. Anyone know how to solve that? 
You can see my Dawn of War games, and The Witcher series which is another series on my back-burner as well. Started the first Witcher game ages ago and have been meaning to finish up since. 
Warshift is an interesting RTS where you can swap between normal RTS camera view and go straight into the battle to control vehicles in 3rd person, pretty neat stuff there and a good price too.

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View of my battlestation with lowish lighting. 
My tablet and Vita went to sleep. 
You can see my Steam profile with my excellent background from Nekopara on my main monitor there. 
Feel free to add me! 
Steam: Hikaru Kazushime

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Gundam Versus! No, it wasn't in the initial stack but I remembered it at the end. 
I also forgot to include Senran Kagura Peach Beach Splash along with Dragon's Crown, but forgot until writing this. ^^;; 

Gundam Versus is a decent game, almost like the Tenkaichi 3 (yes that's the standard I compare any open field fighting game to lol) of Gundam games. 
Sure, there's a plethora of Gundam games that have been made, and no, I don't know them all, so this game could be likened to many others. 
Gundam Versus has a nice charm to it, a lot of Gundams and mobile suits from many series are found in it (and I mean a lot), and its not too hard to progress through them and unlock what you want. 
The game is also got decent support and keeps releasing new Gundams. 

One thing I have to say drives me nuts, is how bad the servers can be some moments- and I mean they're very glitchy/choppy sometimes when it comes to multiplayer connections. 
Its also kind of hard to find any opponents in the middle of the night, and the game is strictly multiplayer. :/ 
Other than those things, if you have some friends to play with and can find matches at the right times of day it can be a blast! 
I have been maining Gundam Exia, and Gundam Barbatos as a second.

You can see on the cover is the original RX-78-2 Gundam and the Barbatos standing side by side, totally badass cover in my opinion! 
I have it as my current PC wallpaper at the moment which you can see in the background back in the first couple images in this post.

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Gundam Barbatos Lupus Rex which I built myself a few months back. 
Lupus Rex ended up being one of my favorites and is the Barbatos' ultimate form.

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Here's a close up of my new mini Gundam Barbatos Onyx Goggles gifted me. :D 
So tiny its almost cute! lol

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There's also a little Gundam Unicorn, and Vincent Valentine nearby at my battlestation too!

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Nendoroid Kureha is waaay off to the side and didn't get to help much today or get any spotlight at all. 
Still need to fix her bow. ;3; 
She is actually my very first Nendoroid, purchased in 2009! Its crazy to imagine that she's almost 10 years old now!

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Other figures presently at my workstation (besides my Miku collection up top, and the Yokos and Taigas), is Figma Lucina, Figma Commander, Figma Shimokaze, Nendoroid Yagyu Jubei, Figma Haruhi Cheerleader ver., and my Hyperdimension Neptunia Black Heart Goddess figurine phone stand! :) 

Besides my Yokos and Mikus up top, my battlestation is always evolving. 
I like to mix things up and rotate figurines now and then. Sometimes there's some I just can't part with having on the desk, like Shimokaze and Lucina who've been by my monitor for a long time now. XD 

Thanks for reading! Please add me on PSN and/or Steam anytime if you'd like to play something or want to be friends! ^.^ 
As always I like to include my readers and followers in what I've been into or up to lately. 
Feel free to comment below if you'd like to discuss anything I've mentioned here, or have any game suggestions!! 

PSN: Hikaru_Kazushime 
Steam: Hikaru Kazushime

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