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Lanah Tyra's avatar

All these cool bounties you guys just want me to talk about Final Fantasy 24/7 right? 😂

Rich's avatar

I'd legit be interested in your take on FF16, especially if it's your GOTY so far! I used to love the series myself but have fallen off it a bit, was wondering if 16 would pull me back in, but reviews seem a bit mixed?

Lanah Tyra's avatar

I'll get to the review when I get home. I loved FF16 but I get it why it might be different from what some people expected from an FF game.

Damien Mason's avatar

Baldur's Gate 3

At this point, we all know why Baldur's Gate 3 is a great game: it has deep characters, an inconceivable amount of branching narrative pathways, and it genuinely feels like a labour of love from Larian. Still, there's one personal reason that makes it stand out for me more than Tears of the Kingdom, and keep in mind that I'm a huge Legend of Zelda fan.

2023 is the first year I've ever played Dungeons and Dragons, and Baldur's Gate 3 has helped me get to grips with the otherwise overwhelming amount of races, classes, spells, and mechanics. Knowing the game better helps me make the most of my maraca-wielding Bard Tiefling (pictured below) away from the keyboard, letting me tap into my imagination rather than breaking our immersion to ask questions.

Baldur's Gate 3 is the perfect digital representation of DnD, even with a few changes to the 5e ruleset in its translation to videogame format. It's accessible, replayable, and guides players well without holding your hand. There's a well of secrets and easter eggs for those familiar with the lore, but they're rewards, not obstacles to newcomers.

We've been spoiled this year, but for a game to enrich your life outside of the world it creates is a feat very few can claim.

Alex Sinclair's avatar

I'm a bit late to the party, but I just wanted to share some love for your Hero Forge model. I went for the same pose with my last character: an overly excitable paladin named Maximilian Montgomery III

Lanah Tyra's avatar

FINAL FANTASY XVI review (spoiler-free)

What is Final Fantasy? For me it has always been the story, and the story of FF16 is definitely captivating. What first seems like a typical middle-ages kings and castles story will make you think about problems our own society is facing too, regarding how we are treating those who are different from us.

The game has a lot of Game of Thrones vibes, there is swearing and lots of blood and nude people. Producer Naoki Yoshida said in one of his interviews that he made the development team watch the Game of Thrones box set to get into the right mood for the game he imagined.

There is no modern technology which you might be familiar with from previous Final Fantasy games, instead you will wield the power of Eikons. Pretty cool if you ask me, there are many games out there where you can shoot laser beams, but show me another game where you can turn into Ifrit and unleash Hellfire.

If Final Fantasy for you is a turn-based RPG, then this game might not be your cup of tea as the battle system is real-time action.

And if you don't like if a game leaves the ending up to your interpretations, then probably this is not a game for you either. I personally love it when even weeks after playing a game I still get the "but what if..." ideas.

Battle System

Apart from your basic sword combo your main abilities will be of Eikons such as Ifrit and Garuda to name a few (these creatures are returning elements of Final Fantasy games, so fans of the franchise will be familiar with their names and elements at least.) As you progress in the story and unlock more Eikons you will be able to reroll your Ability Points any time, which makes it very easy to try out new setups and experiment with all the new abilities. There are some combos capable of devastating damage and there are other less powerful but fun ones, so hopefully everyone can find a style they enjoy playing.

As I've mentioned FF16 is not turn-based, you can't switch between party members, you will play as Clive, the main protagonist. This is something I missed from the game at the beginning, as the other characters are very fun and well written as well, but maybe one of the 2 announced DLCs will give us an episode for a comrade like FF15 did.

This guy for example, Cid (because what is Final Fantasy without a Cid?) absolutely steals the show early on.


You can start the game in either Story or Action mode. For those who have some experience playing such games on console even Action mode will feel easy, probably one of the reasons why the game has received mix reviews, as many people were complaining it was too easy. But what is too easy? There are so many players with different skills and experience out there, it's really hard to make a game which will please everyone.

You can further adjust the difficulty of the game with accessories which will assist you with dodging, auto-executing combos or controlling Clive's faithful companion, Torgal. I have read some reviews where people who complained about the game being too easy where playing with these support accessories on. As someone who has a slight visual impairment and thus having trouble with taking in everything what is happening on the screen, I found the accessory which gives you more time to dodge very helpful.

There is harder mode available for those who like a challenge even before you would hit +NG (New game plus, for those who are not familiar with Final Fantasy) There is a function called Arcade mode where you can replay battles with increased enemy difficulty, without using the assist accessories and you get scores.

+NG is called Final Fantasy mode where you keep your previous level and skills and can replay the game with more difficult enemies and additional monsters added to certain locations. This difficulty also has a feature like the Arcade mode, it's called Ultimaniac. Maybe letting people start the game with Final Fantasy mode would have helped with some of the complains around the game being too easy, but then what do you have left to give for +NG?

Yes, you can pet the doggo.


The main story quest is very straightforward, takes your through the realm, opens up new maps, gives you new equipment. If you are not bothered too much about side-quests, you can just follow the main story.

Side quests are another part of the game which got some negative reviews and I can understand why. At the beginning you get 2-3 quests at certain points and it's pretty easy to do them as they are fairly short and give you some money or crafting materials. Surprisingly most of the side quests are towards the end of the game and people who want to do these but also want to progress through the main story at a good pace might find this frustrating.

I still suggest if you want to learn more about the main characters and the world, do the side quests. Some of them should have been part of the main story, they add so much extra meaning to everything what is happening. The first quest which made me swear and cry was a side quest...


I could go on for hours about every aspect of the game I loved, but I'm pretty sure you had enough of me already so I better keep this (fairly) short.

The music composed by Masayoshi Soken absolutely blew my mind away. The tracks he wrote for this game make the eikonic battles even more epic.

The voice acting is phenomenal, and the game's original localisation is actually English, translations were made into Japanese. If you have played FFXIV, you are familiar with Michael-Christopher Koji Fox's pop-culture references in quest names. Well in FF16 you get even more of those.

Turn-based or not, as someone who usually plays summoner whenever is possible, this battle style with the various Eikonic abilities was a dream for me. Can I have some of these skills for my summoner in FFXIV... please Yoshi-P.... at least let me turn into Bahamut...?

Okay, I'll stop before anyone regrets saying Final Fantasy in my presence ever again...

Are you ready to accept the truth that FINAL FANTASY XVI is the GOTY?

Kane Carnifex's avatar

Baldur’s Gate 3

It has love, passion and stunning playtime. And you can reply it plenty of time due the different outcomes.

Most AAA games are kind of made for the money.

Remember Call of Duty how the story got from Interactive Action to trash?  Press W to avoid the knife…. Follow up game again and again and again.... story got bad and jeah i stopped playing it.

I am not a Goldfish, thank you.

Dave's avatar

Not a bounty entry because you are probably after 2023 releases rather than what WE played in 2023 but I want to write this anyway.

My game of the year 2023 is Final Fantasy XIV. I picked this game up for this first time in August after seeing on here @lanah_tyra posting about it so passionately and "WOW" is it good! Last night I finished the post A Realm Reborn patch content and moved into Heavensward. The world and character building that is most of ARR paid off big time with some amazing story twists and developments. I cannot wait to see where the story goes now and keep playing this game.

I don't play MMO's really, tried them out back in their heyday when WOW was booming and LOTRO and others were coming out but never really played anything for more than a few weeks and dropped them. This game has me totally hooked, I haven't enjoyed a game as much as this for probably 20 years or more. I never thought I would find a game ever again that has me so hooked like used to be the case for games in my younger years.

While it is an MMO I would describe it more of a serene paced (apart from when it isn't!) single player RPG set in the trappings of an MMO world.Granted some of the ARR MSQ was a real slog to get through and they could do with trimming quite a bit of it down, but there is so much to learn and world/character building that needs to take place to get you there. The first game pretty much acts as a tutorial to the rest of it I would say as everything (and there is a lot!) slowly gets introduced.

Lanah Tyra's avatar

It makes me so happy to read this. I'll definitely save this post to show Square Enix if they ever decide to invite me for a Community Manager interview :D

For players starting now getting through ARR is the biggest challenge as even though they have trimmed some of the quests already it's still too long and can be slow at pace. Heavensward is still one of the best expansions and I really love it's story and the further character developments.

Indeed the game story can be enjoyed alone, I know a few people who only play it for the story because they love RPGs. And I can confirm the early-on world building is very important. After finishing Endwalker there was so much to take in, I replayed the story from the beginning and was shocked how many little hints there were already in ARR.

I'll keep posting FFXIV news and maybe some more discussions now that we got a wider topic to talk about in Just About Video Games, and if you ever need help ingame, let me know (I should be easy to find on Twitter or Discord)

Ross's avatar

Baldur's Gate 3

It should really come as no surprise to most that BG3 is the top of the list for me. The game boasts a rich array of characters with branching storylines, well-thought-out and engaging voice acting and above all else, unending replayability. - Seemingly a rarity in todays gaming landscape.

I've been a fan of D&D for a long time, having played multiple campaigns in my life with varying groups of friends. A lot of those friendship groups have fallen by the wayside either through lack of communication on my part or losing touch due to distance. However, BG3 really helped rekindle a lot of these friendships for me and let me really reconnect with people i'd thought lost to me for a long time. It's given us a platform to do what we love, together again, without distance being a factor. This reason alone would be enough for it to have won game of the year in my eyes, however there's still so much more to it.

The emersion and replayability offered by BG3 is, in my humble opinion, unparalleled. I really feel, for the first time in a long time, that i've got my moneys worth with BG3. (So much so that I've purchased 4 copies. One for myself, one for my partner and a couple for friends so that I can enjoy it with them!)

I'm currently on my 4th playthrough as a Tiefling Monk and loving every second of it. The game gives you the conventional 'hit things and enjoy as they perish' gameplay, but also allows you to come up with unique solutions to almost every scenario presented. It's very rare that you come across a game that allows such a variety of outcomes with each being more absurd than the last and it's honestly incredibly refreshing to see a studio invest so much time into making even the most basic of decision making feel like it really has an impact. This for me is what really cinched it and put it top of my list, even against some tough competition. (I'm looking at you Tears of the Kingdom)

So from myself, my party and the little owlbear in camp, thank you Larian for producing not only the game of the year, but potentially the game of the decade.


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