Ah, Halloween, a time of candy, costumes, and scares. Kids running around at night seeking to fill up goody bags with treats that would give grown ups major tooth problems. Adults scrambling to buy goodies for the mob of kids that will show up at their doors. It’s hard to imagine what modern society would be like without Halloween, almost like an empty wasteland! In fact, the Ukrainian development studio 4A Games must have thought of this scenario, as they surely created Metro 2033 to showcase a world where Halloween doesn’t exist anymore (among other things, like civilization in general, I suppose).
[Note: as you may know, I have no photo-taking equipment, so don't expect any pictures.]
Hey everyone, Laevatein here, with another exciting con blog. This time, it’s NYCC 2012. I should start off by saying that I was only able to go on Saturday. Also, I barely saw anything anime related. Surprisingly, I wasn’t able to see much gaming stuff, either. I got to try out the Wii U. While the controller felt a little awkward at first, it starts feeling quite natural. To be honest, I was worried I’d snap it in half, but the controller feels quite sturdy. Still, I’m not too keen on the face buttons, but I guess that’s something to get used to. The two Wii U games I played were Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and Tank! Tank! Tank! I’ve never played a Monster Hunter game before, but I thought it’d be similar to Dark Souls. Boy, was I mistaken. While I never quite grasped what I was doing, in an intense action game like Monster Hunter, I never found myself really fighting the controls or anything. I thought the controller felt like a natural fit, which is a pretty good testament to the actual viability of the Wii U controller. T!T!T! felt more like an older arcade game rather than something that could be released today. It was pretty fun, but I’m not sure if it’s worth the full purchase.
I’m sure you may be wondering why I’m reviewing Jade Empire. ”This game’s pretty old, so what’s the deal, Laevatein?” Truth be told, I suppose there’s neither rhyme nor reason behind my choice this week. I recently finished it for the first time, so I guess now’s as good a time as any. Anyway, Jade Empire is Bioware’s fifth game, and is probably their most unique one of all, at least in terms of setting. It’s also important as Bioware’s first original IP. In many ways, it’s pretty unique, insofar as Western RPGs go. I often like to think individual RPGs need to be more unique, too. However, I think Jade Empire is a pretty good example of why uniqueness alone doesn’t cut it.
Hello everyone! It’s now October, a month that’ll prove to be rather eventful for the site. To kick the month off, we here at Moar Powah! are going to change our review system a little bit. Instead of doing the score breakdown, we will be replacing it with pro/con columns near the very end. Fear not though, as we will still leave in the overall score. Personally, I’ve come to appreciate the pro/con system a lot more these days over review breakdowns. Let’s get started.
Anyway, this week I’m reviewing the very special indie hit, To The Moon. Now, if you’ve been following me for a while, you can probably imagine that I value stories, characters, and storytelling in my games quite a bit. I’m always up for a game with great gameplay, sure, but I find myself almost constantly searching for games that have some sort of strong narrative, or at least attempt one. I heard about To The Moon, and its particularly strong story. Often described as a visual novel/RPG-styled game, I figured To The Moon would fit the story bill, so I gave it a shot. When I completed it, I discovered that it was impossible for me to do anything but praise the very aspects I was looking for.
Welcome everyone to another Falcom game review! You may already know my opinion of Nihon Falcom, so you may have a general idea of what I think of their products. However, compared to Falcom’s Ys series, this game is a different sort of breed. Where Ys was about very tight, awesome action, Trails in the Sky is more concerned with story, characters, and world-building. Ys is a highly competent series, and shows Falcom is perfectly capable of developing very challenging, rewarding action RPGs. At the same time, Trails in the Sky shows off Falcom’s more literary prowess.
So FTL was very recently released. Unfortunately, it took considerably longer than the speed of light to release, but it doesn’t hurt to have some ambition. FTL happens to be very special for its Kickstarter origins. While there was much jubilation over the thought of games reaching their audiences more directly, there was some trepidation, owing to why traditional project funding worked in the first place.
As the first of the Kickstarter batch, it fell on FTL’s shoulders to prove that actual, good games can be produced under the Kickstarter model. And FTL, in my opinion, does a very admirable job of proving that crowd-sourced videogame development can produce quality games.
If there’s one thing I dread, it’s my backlog. My backlog is like the unbeatable secret boss of my hobby. I’m never forced to fight it, but if I do, it’s not something that I will easily fell. Most prominent on the massive conglomerate is Tales of Vesperia, a game that I regrettably abandoned when I migrated to PS3 land. Though I was only about halfway through, it was probably the one game I still wanted to play and finish on the 360. With firm resolve, however, I finally managed to take my 360 out from storage, with the intent of finishing up Vesperia. Well, I did actually manage to finish it. After a great deal of thinking, I’m not so sure I should have taken it out of storage…
Last week, I reviewed Baldur’s Gate. I explained that, while the game was very light on actual roleplaying and plot (and characterization was practically nonexistent), there’s some pretty good gameplay in spite of the pathfinding issues (and my general dislike of low level D&D combat). However, it was a very important title when it came out, as it’s often credited for resuscitating the cRPG genre (even though Fallout technically did come out a year before).
Tales of the Sword Coast, Baldur’s Gate’s only expansion, is not as big as some other expansions are. Rather than continuing the story in some way, Tales of the Sword Coast introduces four new areas (and opens up one area previously inaccessible in the original), with a few side stories here and there. I went in to Tales of the Sword Coast expecting some throwaway stories and some more general mid-level combat (not that I would’ve complained, of course). However, what I did get took me by surprise.
WARNING: SPOILERS PRESENT
Laevatein: Greetings everyone, today Kaushik and I will be discussing 5 Centimeters Per Second.
Kaushik: 5 Centimeters Per Second is an anime film by Makoto Shinkai, and came out in January of 2007. It deals with the life of one boy, Takaki Tohno, through three segments of his life. One for his middle school days, one for his high school days, and a final segment as he’s an adult working member of society. Primarily the movie is about the themes of love and loss that the main character goes through while he goes on with his life.
Laevatein: Sounds like you enjoyed the film a considerable amount.
Kaushik: Yeah, I enjoyed it. I think at first it left an unpleasant feeling because it feels like it didn’t quite resolve in the way you think it would have, but I think all of that was on purpose.
Laevatein: Well, I didn’t really enjoy the movie. I don’t think the intentionally unsatisfying conclusion was the reason, either.
Disgruntled by recent RPG releases, and amidst the recommendations of your peers, you find yourself looking back to an earlier era, an era of grand adventures and excellent roleplaying. Tracing the ancient Bioware clan’s lineage back to its origins, you stumble upon the very beginnings of Bioware’s rise to power: Baldur’s Gate. Ever the curious individual, you set out on a journey of your own, journeying to discover the secrets of Baldur’s Gate’s success. Eventually, you find a fellow traveler who calls himself only “Laevatein”, who is willing to recount to you the secrets of Baldur’s Gate’s strengths.
Greetings traveler! Seems like you’re interested about Baldur’s Gate! Well, I’ve got a few opinions about it myself. Just to warn ya, I’m not the most knowledgeable sort of individual, having grown up without Baldur’s Gate’s influence, but I figure my opinion’s worth telling. So, with that, grab a seat, get close to the fire, and have a swig or two of this great mead, for my tale’s a long one.