Every week on The Free Cheese Podcast, we begin with a segment called Now Playing where we talk about the games that we’ve been spending time with. In this article, we’re bringing a bit of that conversation to the written word because it isn’t dead yet.

We’ll share what we’ve been playing and we encourage you to ask questions or share your own thoughts on what you’ve been playing in the comments.

Destiny 2. I’ve been playing Destiny 2. Nope. That’s not an error in editing. That is my name to the left of this paragraph. I’ve been playing Destiny 2 all week long and I don’t want to stop.

This article was almost not written because I was playing Destiny 2. It’s been that much fun. What’s most surprising to me is how easily I reversed my stance. I had no interest in the original game after playing through both the alpha and beta tests. Comments echoing about the original launch of the game, its lack of story, and the heavy grind that followed just reinforced my already negative opinion. Yet, in recent years my curiosity for the Halo franchise has really picked up. I nearly bought an Xbox One a while back, and I occasionally consider it still – just to play through the Master Chief Collection. When Destiny 2 came to be and offered a similar experience, it was intriguing. As more and more buzz started to generate about this game and how much everyone playing it seems to be enjoying it, my middle finger attitude to it had to take the backseat.

In just a few nights, I reached the level cap and completed the story. I’ve started to collect some higher level gear and weapons, and I’m working myself toward becoming raid-ready. I’ve done things in games that I haven’t done in years. The simple idea of partying up with my friends suddenly reentered my life this week. I really love what I’ve experienced so far and I’m really excited to continue exploring the world. I’ve become more confident in PvP, something that I always avoid in any game like this. It feels really good to get lost in something so heavily.

 My week has been consisted of the Nonary Games. I completed 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors and now I’m currently on the next game in the Zero Escape trilogy. I’m happy to be this obsessed with this series. I wish I played them sooner. I don’t know where to begin with describing these games without spoiling anything. I will say that 999 has a lot going on yet you never feel overwhelmed when playing it. Seeing every ending was necessary in order to understand and advance the story. These aren’t just there to be “what if” scenarios. Most games have alternate endings that end up being non canon for the most part while every ending in this game is plays a big part overall. Virtue’s Last Reward takes this idea and further advances it. The cast of characters in these games are written with intelligence. No cookie cutter personalities here. Playing the HD version of 999 is hands the definitive version in comparison to it’s original DS version. The hand drawn animations and full voice acting definitely add to the experience. While VLR has voice acting too, part of me wishes they stayed with the hand drawn art as to 3D models, but that’s a microscopic complaint if anything. Completing 999 gives me a greater appreciation for VLR and I hope the same happens with the third game, Zero Time Dilemma. I’m looking forward to completing this trilogy. I’ve always been a fan of escape rooms, puzzles, and athrilling story that goes outside of the box so I’m glad to welcome this series into my personal hall of fame. They’re that good.

This week I went from 0 to 100 with Nier: Automata. I actually managed to complete the main quest line in about four play sessions totaling about nine hours. As Joe has expressed many times before, the first play through is only the tip of the iceberg. However, without his advice, I would have kept playing through this game.

I haven’t quite started the second play through but I’m excited to jump back into it when I have the chance. Despite the combat being really repetitive, I find myself enjoying it. Changes of pace happen at the right moment to keep it somewhat fresh. One moment I’m fighting in third- person and the next I’m playing top down. It’s just enough to bring variety and to camouflage the fact I’m pressing square repeatedly.

What kept me coming back was the world building. It’s not so much the narrative though. There was never a moment I said “Oh shit” out loud at a plot point or twist. I did however find myself in some of the most bizarre situations including but not limited to a robot orgy. Essentially, I’m glad I finally found the time to enjoy this game and look forward to continuing it.

Posted by Joe Dix

Joe is the creator of The Free Cheese. He eats a lot of pizza and takes thousands of pictures of his pugs Oswald and Earl every day.

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