Hey again! We’re entering day 7 of Obligatory Ice Level Day! Man, it’s only been a week and already we’ve gotten some sweet music and awesome guest content! You all are the best. We’re counting down to the Mario marathon on December 14th, when we’ll be raising money for the Make A Wish Foundation! Tune in for some awesome games and sweet prizes, like handmade wooden item blocks and a Wii U Deluxe! You know what RPGs need more of? Talking frogs with dog ears! And 40-year-old warrior women! And giant fish! And four-armed cats! And a ruler who joins in on battles! And a goofy kid hero who actually has a reason to act like a hero despite being a goofy kid! That’s why today’s ice level is Mount Vackel, from The Last Remnant!
30 hour-long tutorial, linear gameplay – it’s safe to say Final Fantasy XIII isn’t going to be fondly remembered by most. Square Enix took the criticism it was force-fed and hid until they produced a sequel. Did they listen to the harsh criticisms, or will they stand stubborn in the face of adversity? Let’s find out.. Continue reading Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review
The PlayStation era was arguably when Square Enix were at their creative peak. After the release of Final Fantasy VII, Squaresoft received a large amount of profit from the game and decided to use the money to finance a series of innovative projects unlike any other video game released at the time. This involved the company dabbling in genres that they had never been a part of before, and in most cases, redefining the genre. To list a few example; Bushido Blade is one of the rare fighting games to change the Tekken/Virtua Fighter engine through limb targeted attacks that adds a layer of strategy that is not present in any other fighting game (other than it’s sequel, Bushido Blade 2), Einhander took the R-Type model and transformed it into one of only two SHmups that incorporate a well told story into in gameplay to give an added incentive to see how the plot unfolds (the other being Radiant Silvergun). Despite other experiments such as Brave Fencer Musashi, Tobal 1&2, Front Mission and so on, Squaresoft were still contributing to the RPG genre through continuations to their ongoing series like Final Fantasy VIII and IX, Legend of Mana and Chrono Cross, Square will also willing to release new IP’s that later went on to become cult classics (Xenogears anyone?). It is also during this period that Squaresoft provided the Final Fantasy Tactics director Yasumi Matsuno enough money to create his dream project: Vagrant Story: One of the greatest RPGs ever made. Continue reading Vagrant Story Retrospective
One of the most hated Final Fantasy games in quite a long time also happens to be my favorite one. Recently I was thinking about Final Fantasy games and which one I would say that I liked the most, and I kept coming back to Final Fantasy XIII for some reason. Keep in mind I have only ever played the original, II and VII through XIII, but still, in my experience, Final Fantasy XIII is my favorite. I wanted to take this chance to really dig into the aspects that make me enjoy the game so much.
Getting ever closer to the marathon! Today’s ice level is a whole ice ERA, and it’s from one of the best games of all time! It’s 12,000 BC, from Chrono Trigger!
In my Panzer Dragoon Saga retrospective, I described the battle system as “cinematic”. This seems like a very vague term but its message is simple: to demonstrate exciting action in a way to excite the player. Video games have been trying to accomplish this for decades through general absurdity of the situation (Bionic Commando), interjecting huge exposition dumps to make the game more atmospheric (Metal Gear Solid) or even going as far as to creating levels which replicate those found in adventure movies (the Uncharted series). Even though this trend has been omnipresent ever since the original Donkey Kong, Squaresoft has long been considered the pioneers of this tend with Final Fantasy 7 being described as the first video game that make this type of narrative choice into a possible reality (whether this is true or not is debatable). The biggest advocate of this trend were Squaresoft themselves, who used the Playstation’s processing power to tell narratives ranging from love stories (FFVIII), light-hearted escapades (FFIX) to bizarre FanFiction! (Kingdom Hearts). While some claim that Squaresoft has sold out their company from making beloved heart warming games back in the SNES era to cut scene heavy boredom simulators (FFXIII), they shall forever be remembered as creating the most cinematic video game of all time: Einhander: Or how I learnt to stop worrying and have more tracking shots than an Antonioni film. Continue reading Einhander Retrospective
Not much is known about the PSP title Final Fantasy Type-0, but maybe this trailer will answer a few questions.
Final Fantasy XIII-2 is on the way, but there’s been talk of download content in the works. The items will be on sale in Japan sometime after the games launch. In North America, they come as pre-order bonuses from different stores. Amazon, Best Buy and Gamestop all have some delectable DLC for fans to choose from.
Amazon – Boss Monster Omega
Best Buy – Collectible Hardcover Novella
Gamestop – Serah Costume
So depending on where you choose to shop, you can pick up some if this pretty awesome stuff.
It was announced that Chrono Trigger would be hitting PSN a couple weeks ago, but apparently the PR guy tweeted something wrong because later that day it was shot down. Square Enix will be releasing it this Tuesday. There is no word of which version it will be or the cost, but I assume that it’s going to be the PS1 version and it will be sold in the Play Station Classic section of the store. Square Enix has a tendency to sell their bigger name RPG’s for about ten dollars instead of the average six. Check it out if you love Chrono Trigger or perhaps if you just never got around to playing it and want to check it out. While I don’t put Chrono Trigger on the pedestal that most do, I still recognize that it is one of the finest 16-bit RPG’s you can choose to play.
Nier was an Action RPG game released by Cavia last year. Despite having a high level of critical acclaim from the people who played it (Unless you were a games reviewer who didn’t know what they were talking about (I’m talking to you Joystiq)), it was greeted my moderately poor sales and ended up being Cavia’s swan song as the company merged into AQ interactive later that year. After directing his under-appreciated classic, Yosuke Saito remained under the radar while working at Square Enix up until he was allowed to direct Dragon Quest X. Despite being able to direct the latest game in the best selling RPG series in Japan, he is still teasing news regarding his cult classic. He left a message on his twitter account saying “Will there be an amazing announcement on Friday? Perhaps,” With #nier tags on all his related posts. After the games release various CD’s have been released remixing the games OST (Which is already pretty amazing) and while another CD would be welcome, considering how much the Saito has been talking about this here’s hoping for Nier 2 (Because if Drakengard can get a sequel then why not this?)