Many of the summer months throughout my middle and high school years were spent fully immersed in the stories of various SNES, Genesis, and PSone role-playing games, like Chrono Trigger and the Final Fantasy series. Without the stress of school, I could stay up late, remove myself from the worries and struggles of teenage life, and get lost in world-spanning adventures for a while.
Anima: Gate of Memories
Developer: Anima Project
Publisher: BadLand Games
Available on: Beyond Fantasy Edition exclusive to PS4 (reviewed)
When a team of overly ambitious developers doesn’t have the necessary resources to bring their ideas to fruition, it usually becomes clear to the player rather quickly. Such is the case with Anima Project’s action RPG based on their table-top gaming series, Anima: Gate of Memories. Continue reading
When the king put his faith in two aging heroes and a scrappy rogue to escort his twin daughters to school, he must have known he was sending them off to their deaths, right? In Frozenbyte’s new roguelike Has-Been Heroes, defeat seems like the only probable outcome. This genre typically thrives on the holy trinity of difficulty, permadeath, and randomization, but Has-Been Heroes’ use of these features is both unrewarding and erratic.
The experience isn’t entirely bad, mind you. Has-Been Heroes is, in some ways, unlike anything I’ve ever played. That alone is an impressive feat. Continue reading
Until now, Mass Effect exclusively consisted of my favorite trilogy in modern gaming. BioWare’s space opera popularized choice-with-consequence gameplay, building romantic relationships, and the ability to create and import a hero you’ve spent considerable time with into future installments. Continue reading
Yoko Taro’s Drakengard on PS2 was a bit of a mess, but underneath the mounting frustration was a sign of something brilliant. The way the creative director formulates dark tales and digs into the human psyche is unlike any other on the planet. NieR, Yoko Taro’s 2010 action RPG based on the 5th ending of the original Drakengard, suffered from similar issues, like repetition and unsatisfying combat, yet it’s a game that touched a lot of people and amassed quite a cult following along the way.
It’s been nearly seven years since NieR graced the PS3 and Xbox 360. In what seems to be a continuing theme, NieR: Automata isn’t the prettiest game on the market (sometimes resembling a late-generation PS3 release) and can be a little insane at times, but there’s no denying how incredibly special it is to me. It’s a rare gem that comes along every so often and turns everything we know about video games, storytelling, genre definitions, and the emotional engagement of its players upside down.
In short, NieR: Automata is not only a worthy sequel for a game many thought would never receive one, but one of the strangest, most compelling, thought-provoking, and beautifully heart wrenching games I’ve had the pleasure of playing. Continue reading
Nintendo’s Fire Emblem Direct presentation lasted just shy of 20 minutes, but what it managed to detail in such a small amount of time was pretty astounding. It’s clear that Nintendo now sees the once unheard of strategy role-playing series as a mainstay, and as long as you own a smart device, a 3DS, a New 3DS, or plan to purchase the Nintendo Switch, there will be new Fire Emblem content for you to enjoy in 2017 (and beyond).
Oh, and that asterisk in the title? That’s if you solely on a Wii U. Sorry doods.
I stayed up late last night watching the Nintendo Switch presentation, but that’s another post for another day. Later today, perhaps. I will say it’s been a happy Switchmas, and with March 3rd looming in the distance, I’m more motivated than ever to tackle this backlog.
What are your gaming plans this weekend?