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Archive for January, 2013

Backlog Review: Atelier Totori

January 30, 2013 4 comments

  GQAzX

Playing new games is overrated. Here’s a review of something I played semi-recently instead. Check it out. Or don’t. Read on to find out.

As much as I want to, I can’t play every game series. That’s the harsh reality of my life. So it goes. Every so often I’ll see internet-goers talking about a series I’ve never played and take notice, make a mental note to look into it, and go about my business. Certain niches of the internet are quite fond of the Atelier games, a series I was completely unfamiliar with. So next time I browsed a game store and saw Atelier Rorona (and later Totori) for $20, I figured “what the hell?” and went for it. After sitting in my pile of “Games to Play Next” for a few months, I finally dove into the Atelier series.

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Games to look out for: Skulls of the Shogun

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Recently I put up my thoughts about how too many fantasy based games, from both the east and west, center around traditional European troupes. While I was looking for a serious RPG that was built around another culture’s mythology, in some way a small downloadable title from the new developer 17-Bit Studios may fill that void. Skulls of The Shogun may not be an RPG or serious in any way, but it does draw its inspiration from Japanese lore and looks like it’s hella fun.

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Ryan’s Rammblings: Euro-centrism in fantasy RPGs

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Lately I have noticed what I perceive to be a troubling trend in the design of WRPGs and JRPGs set in fantasy worlds. Think about the major titles from both of these genres: Dragon Age, Final Fantasy, the Tales series, The Elder Scrolls, The Witcher, Dragon Quest, all have one major design element in common. They all draw inspiration from European medieval folklore to create their fantastical worlds. Castles, knights, trolls, dwarves, elves, and medieval weapons are staples in these games and it’s starting to get a bit tiring.

I feel like WRPGs developers can receive a bit of a past for the continual use of these troupes. After all, in all likelihood a good amount of the people work

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Best Series of this Generation: Bioshock

Welcome To Rapture

Welcome To Rapture

 

When you start up Bioshock, you’ll know in the first 10 minutes of the game how you’ll feel about it. The plane crash and subsequent discovery of Rapture is one of the most impressive opening minutes of any game out there today. If the underwater ride through the Any Rand inspired city gone wrong doesn’t captivate you and urge to want to explore all of what the game has, you may not hold Bioshock in the same esteem as the throngs of people, like myself, who do.

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Hopes and Fears: Dead Space 3

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The Dead Space series has been one of my favorite new IPs this generation. Dead Space 1 was one of the first games I purchased with my PS3, picked up on a whim due to its low price tag, and ended up being a great surprise (that and Valkyria Chronicles, great way to start out). The second came out a year or so later and was among my favorites of 2011. I worried a bit about the shift to a more action-y presentation with a more vocal Isaac, but after I had played it through I was more than satisfied. While not exactly “scary” in a traditional survival-horror game sense, the Dead Space series creates a superbly tense atmosphere, keeping you on edge and alert as you progress.

And now we have Dead Space 3. I know EA has always been involved with the series as the publisher, but many of the games they’ve been involved with recently have rubbed fans (including myself) the wrong way. I have some concerns for the series I’ve become so attached to, but there’s always still an optimistic (or naïve) glimmer of hope lurking in my mind. Here’s how I’m feeling about the next entry to the Dead Space series.

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Backlog Review: Ys Origin

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Playing new games is overrated. Here’s a review of something I played semi-recently instead. Check it out. Or don’t. Read on to find out.

I buy a lot of stuff during the Steam sales. Actually getting around to playing those purchases? That’s a different story. So the PC backlog grows ever longer each sale. Ys Origin had been there for a while, sitting on my hard drive collecting dust (??). I had tried playing it using the mouse and keyboard and wasn’t feeling it. So after procrastinating more and hooking up a PS3 controller (I’m sure any controller you have around is fine) I finally took some time to play through this, and I am so glad I did.

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The God of War: Ascension multiplayer is……. exactly what I expected it to be.

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I tend to be one to not jump down the throats of developers that put multiplayer in the sequels of games that traditionally single-player affair. I didn’t mind when Dead Space, Mass Effect, or Bioshock got online modes as long as we got a great single-player game (and I think that we for the most part all of these were excellent.) Hell, I even liked some of the multiplayer modes that many gamers complained were “shoehorned in to just to please the COD people.”

Yet when I heard about the upcoming God of War game was introducing a new competitive multiplayer mode, I was exceptionally skeptical. How were they going to make an action hack-and-slash game into a multiplayer game? When I think of the hack-and-slash game, I think of different A.I. type enemies with different abilities that are set that the player needs to adapt to, not players battling each other with similar avatars with similar abilities. How the hell would the guys at Sony Santa Monica make this work?

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