What We Are Playing: Star Ocean 4, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Final Fantasy XII, Castlevania: SOTN

If you missed our first entry in our first collab column, then be sure to read what we were playing last month. Below is what we’ve been playing for the month of May. What were you playing this past month? Let us know in the comments!


During the month of May, I’ve really not branched out from what I was playing before. I’m still playing copious amounts of Out of the Park Baseball 21 to the point where Steam says I’ve logged just about 400 hours into the game. I have however revisited Star Ocean 4: The Last Hope, which is a prequel to the Star Ocean series starring Edge Maverick as he goes searching for new planets for post-nuclear holocaust Earth to colonize. I’ve not played much of it though and am not sure how much time I’ll really be putting into it. I’ve unfortunately lost much of my available time to play anything else due to work becoming more intensive and the loss of my second monitor.

Star Ocean: The Last Hope Review (PS4) | Push Square

In June I expect I’ll likely continue with mostly playing OOTP, and diving headfirst into all the gaming news that’s getting ready to drop this summer. September 4th 2020 is looking like one of my favorite days this year though. Looking forward to returning to the world of ridiculously unrealistic skateboarding in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remaster.


Today, 5/29/20, was the day I finally beat Final Fantasy 7 Remake. Currently, it’s my favorite game of the year and I hope it wins that award (if the award show happens). It was a wonderful story, beautiful graphics, exceptional voice acting (despite some nasty hate to the VAs of Tifa and Aerith online, I really liked their talent!), a solid remastered soundtrack, and a journey that leaves you wanting more. I need part 2 to be released, ASAP, as there’s so much more to be explored. I am still going to go back and get some of things I missed, face some new bosses and challenges that I can do now using the Chapter Select option after beating the game. There’s still some juice left I can squeeze out so in the month of June, I can see myself playing a few more hours.

After asking our wonderful audience what game I should play next, NieR: Automata won and that will be the next title I tackle. I have only heard good things of this one, and I have had it sitting in my backlog for quite some time so that’s what I will be playing next. The action and anime/post-apocalyptic feel it has looks interesting, and I know absolutely nothing about the game except artists make a lot of fanart from the game. I will report back next month to let you know how it is so far, and I would like to know if you’ve played this one and what were your thoughts on it!


This past weekend, I recently completed Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age for the PS4, after several false starts of trying to play the game in years’ past. Out of the entire Final Fantasy franchise, this is only the fourth entry that I’ve played through to its completion. I have to say, though, that I grew to enjoy it much more than I had initially expected to. This is especially because this is a game that I know has often been overlooked by even other fans, and I wasn’t sure just what to expect. My initial thoughts are that this probably has to be the most grounded game in the franchise, and it shows – from the gameplay, to character designs, to storytelling and dialogue, it has a very Western feel to it despite its Japanese roots.


I appreciated the fact that it is so different from other Final Fantasy games, though. It did feel slow at times, which caused me to forget some of the plot elements as I progressed further in the story and discovered new locations. That con aside, the locations were vast and varied, and I especially loved how I could see the locations morph and change as I approached a new area nearby.

Although I admit the plot and characters could have used a little more polishing to be even stronger, I found myself quickly attached to all of them, and wanted to see more of their personal stories unfold. I do know that the game is growing in popularity, with this latest port being released on the Nintendo Switch this past year. It’s my hope that one day Square Enix may return to this story once more and create a continuation of some sort so that we may be see these characters further grow and develop in a new adventure. Until then, I am greatly satisfied with my experience, and can definitely recommend it for others to play. I know for myself, I can’t wait to revisit the world of Ivalice again through this game.


After wrapping up Oceanhorn 2, I went on to the App Store and saw Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (SOTN) on the main page. This is a game I wasn’t aware of being a ported app, but had played years ago. Can’t remember if I ever completed it. I’ve played a few other Castlevania games, most of which fit into the Metroidvania style; starting all buff and burly but then getting cheated by Death (literally, in this game), only to lead into a bunch of exploration, backtracking, and secret uncovering. It felt nice to start running through a game I had some experience with in the past, but not having that know how of what beating it entails, looks like, or will involve.

Let us go out the ebening? for pleasure. The might? is still young. Ahh, l’amour...

I’d love to say that my shining memories of this style of game cover over some of the extremely pixelated scenes, but I am still not 100% sure what that sentence says at the bottom of the ‘Game Over’ screen, and I see it a lot. Don’t judge!

I also have a 6 and 7 year old son that love playing Roblox. So, I also invest a fair amount of time completing obbys (obstacle courses), playing mini game style games (racing to a safe spot, playing tag style games, etc), and my most recent secret shh! obsession: Mining Simulator. It’s a fun and mindless game that can really let you sink some hours in. It has enough strategy in it to keep me engaged, and it does a good job to help pass the time with family. Definitely a simple but special time spent with my boys.

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When not conquering digital worlds in video games, he can be found reading, watching anime, listening to music writing, and just enjoying life as a geek in the city.

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