L’Art pour l’Art
Japanese game developer Nippon Ichi has a storied history, stemming from their early games, the Marl Kingdom series on the Sony PlayStation, its first installment localized in North America by Atlus as Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure, although its sequels would remain in Japan. When the series moved to the PlayStation 2 with Angel’s Present, N1 wouldn’t fully take advantage of the hardware and retain two-dimensional character sprites alongside three-dimensional environments, which they would do with their first outing in the tactical roleplaying game subgenre, La Pucelle, this game remaining in Japan du
You depict politics in black/white terms
With no gray area ‘cross the spectrum,
Focusing more on the politick worms
With an attitude that’s overall dumb.
It’s not a matter about left or right,
And should more be a case of up or down;
Through political darkness shines no light
And on my face a perpetual frown.
You obsess over public opinion
Just as Pilate polled to crucify Christ
With mob mentality; random minion
Shouldn’t get loud voices in the zeitgeist.
I have completely ceased giving a damn;
Journalism can be fallible sham.
The Final Odyssey
Known as Sekaiju no MeiQ in Japan (“World Tree Labyrinth,” MeiQ a stylized form of Meikyuu), Atlus’s Etrian Odyssey series, beginning with its inaugural installment on the Nintendo DS in 2006, combined first-person dungeon navigation with cartography taking advantage of the system’s touchscreen capability. The franchise would continue on the 3DS, which would see its lifespan end due to the Big N’s move to games for its home console/portable system hybrid Switch. Thus, since making a main installment without touchscreen mapping would in the developer’s eyes be pointless, they made an entry
More Ecologically-Distressed Than Earth
Those well-versed in roleplaying games likely know developer Game Arts for its Lunar and Grandia series, the combat systems of the latter in particular extolled by many mainstream critics. While the first two Grandias debuted on Sega systems, they would see ports to Sony’s PlayStation consoles, albeit with technical issues. The year 2002 saw the release of a side-story focused mostly on the gameplay, Grandia Xtreme, on the PlayStation 2, with Enix, still separate from Square, publishing it. The gaiden game builds upon the gameplay of its predecessors, but is that a good thing?
Xtreme follows a G
If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It
Square-Enix’s Seiken Densetsu (“Holy Sword Legend”) franchise, known as Mana outside Japan, began as a spinoff, albeit loosely-connected story-wise, of the Final Fantasy series, indicated by the first game’s Japanese subtitle Final Fantasy Gaiden (“side-story”) and its English name Final Fantasy Adventure. Though it would receive an enhanced remake called Sword of Mana in North America, one of the main criticisms of it was its vast deviation from the original game, given significant variations in the gameplay and plot. However, 2016 saw the worldwide release of a
A Prequel without Heart
Two entire console generations would elapse between the release of the second and third mainline Kingdom Hearts game, during which developer Square-Enix put out many rereleases, the latest compilation entitled The Story So Far. This collection encompassed the HD PlayStation 4 releases, HD 1.5 + 2.5 ReMIX and HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, along with animated synopses of a few of the gaiden games. The chronologically-earliest and playable installment of the rereleases is Kingdom Hearts Birth By Sleep Final Mix, more or less on par with other series entries.
BBS occurs a decade before the original KH, focusing on three
In today’s gaming world, top-notch graphics are perpetually the trend, although there occasionally releases a game attempting to recapture the spirit of classical titles, the case with Capcom’s ninth and tenth main entries of its Rockman/Mega Man franchise. In 2015 came the release of the throwback title Axiom Verge for the PlayStation 4, its chief inspiration the 2-D sidescrolling Metroid games developed by Nintendo. The game would see a port to computers and other platforms such as the Nintendo Switch, and I managed to snag a digital PC copy for free when it was advertised as such. It’s definitely a great homage to classic
The Devil’s Game
Growing up, I’ve always had an affinity for classic cartoons produced by various studios such as Disney, Warner Brothers, and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Thus, when the independent game Cuphead was released, I definitely took notice at its retro animation style, with a 1930s-inspired jazz soundtrack thrown into the mix. However, since my PC is incapable of playing contemporary computer games without technical issues and I had no intention to buy an Xbox One just for the game, I felt I could live without it. In 2019, though, a port to the Nintendo Switch released, and given the attractive nature of the game and positive
The Body Koopa
One of the last roleplaying games for the Nintendo DS was the AlphaDream-developed Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story, the chronologically third entry of the Mario & Luigi subseries of RPGs. Years later on the 3DS the very first game in the subfranchise, Superstar Saga, would receive a remake with added content, the second game in the series, Partners in Time, originally for the DS, overlooked. However, the third would receive its own rerelease entitled Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.’s Journey, which is essentially two games in one akin to the enhanced port of Superstar Saga.
The main qu