I've been really busy and tired this week, so it's the same two games as last week. That aside, I've made decent progress in both so that's good. Not to spoil anything, but I will say that the Episode Gladiolus DLC was much more enjoyable than the Dark Souls III DLC I played afterward.
If you want to catch up on my prior pieces, here's a link to last week's Issue 12.
Final Fantasy XV (Episode Gladiolus, PS4)
This DLC ended up being pretty straightforward, to the point where they could and did easily add a nifty time attack mode. I worked my way through a linear dungeon with Gladio and Cor, getting bits of backstory between the two as I went. It might not have been a super deep dive, but I really enjoyed these story bits. Gladio's combat actions feel similar enough to Noctis's from the main game, yet has a different enough weight to it to be unique.
I ended up playing through this twice, once on easy mode and again on normal doing a time trial. This offers just enough for those seeking more Final Fantasy XV content, especially for the cost. It should only take most people about an hour or two to get through one time, but that didn't feel too bad for the cost. What I would love to see happen is for this episode and the other DLCs to be integrated more directly into the main game and eventually allow for all party members to be controllable. I think that would add much more replayability to the main game and make the most of the work that went into developing the new combat styles. We shall see what happens over the next few months.
Final Fantasy IX (PSP, PS1 Classic)
Last week, I was just working my way through the lower areas of Cleyra, but finally made my way into the Cleyra Settlement. It was a fun twisty area to walk around, but I wasn't really able to relax here for long because things got down to business pretty quickly. Beatrix and her soldiers stormed the castle and took the jewel of Cleyra, but there were some non-interactive scenes that really stood out during this run. First was the dance scene were Freya and the Cleyra people performed to try to strengthen the storm around the village. While nothing fancy to look at, it really highlights how fantastic this game's sound design is. Along with that scene was the one where Queen Brahne summons Odin. It's just beautiful. So much loveliness happened within this short amount of time, and I love the density Final Fantasy IX offers, at least this early on.