While I have a soft spot for them, I just don’t have the time to devote to lengthy RPGs like I used to. So before I started Xenoblade Chronicles, I was fearful it’d take me months to complete. Instead, I was immediately hooked on Monolith Soft’s seminal Wii RPG and saw credits within a month, having found a couple hours for it each night. Originally published by Nintendo of Japan on June 10, 2010, it took the grassroots Operation Rainfall movement for it to see the light of day in the United States. Half a year after it was localized for the European market, and with British voice-acting still intact, it released here on April 6, 2012. Featuring an enthralling storyline, active combat reminiscent of MMORPGs, a robust collection of interlocking gameplay systems, and expansive areas chock full of enemies and distractions, it was a supremely enjoyable, highly addictive experience that has me seriously contemplating jumping into Xenoblade Chronicles X. Continue reading Xenoblade Chronicles [Wii] – Review→
Without getting into the long history of Final Fantasy XV and the middling decade the series has weathered since the game’s announcement as Final Fantasy Versus XIII back in 2006, I’ll succinctly say I kept my expectations in check. Square Enix finally released it last November and it immediately supplanted Pokémon Sun, which released the week prior, as the game I was focused on playing. It took a few sessions for me to grasp the combat and character progression but once I did, I couldn’t wait to get home from work, ignore my responsibilities, and spend inordinate amounts of time with it. On the flip side, I was letdown by the barebones narrative and practical absence of exposition. After eighty hours and a platinum trophy to show for my time, I’m certain I’ve never had such mixed emotions regarding a game. Continue reading Final Fantasy XV [PlayStation 4] – Review→
This past Thursday, Square Enix hosted a one-off fan event to “uncover” information regarding Final Fantasy XV, the developmentally challenged flagship title of the company’s premier series. Previously announced as Final Fantasy Versus XIII at E3 2006, fans have long pinned their hopes for the series on this title since Final Fantasy XIII so thoroughly disappointed them. Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV, the event held in Los Angeles on Thursday, was a bombastic opportunity for the company to generate press coverage and curry goodwill with fans. One of the cooler modern trends coming from events like this is the immediate release of playable content, in this case Platinum Demo: Final Fantasy XV.
Perhaps the greatest love letter to the Final Fantasy series came from within the walls of Square Enix itself. Featuring the protagonists and antagonists of the first ten games, this title brought them together in a universe-melding fashion. Two warring gods summon these individuals to do their bidding, which plays out in a cross between the fighting and RPG genres. I’ve yet to play it myself, but I’ve heard tell of Tridrakious spending upwards of 100 hours with it, so the game has to have considerable depth. Another game I’ve got to get around to. Too bad it lacks much content from Final Fantasy XII though.
Dissidia Final Fantasy was originally released for the PlayStation Portable in Japan on December 18, 2008, in North America nearly a full year later on August 25, 2009, and another month later in Europe – September 4, 2009. It was developed and published by Square Enix. I picked it up from All Your Base in Broken Arrow, not too long after the shop had moved into PJ Gamers.
In the aftermath of Double Fine’s outrageous success on Kickstarter, the service has received a lot of attention from smaller developers and the press. Since their achievement, other companies have turned to Kickstarter as a means of funding their projects and Wasteland 2 is the latest success story.
The original Wasteland was a post-apocalyptic role-playing game released for computers in 1988. Prior to reading about the similarly stupendous success of the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter, I had never even heard of the game. In the related marketing for Wasteland 2, Wasteland is billed as the original post-apocalyptic RPG, a precursor to the Fallout series of games. In fact, Wasteland served as an inspiration for Fallout.
It’s not necessarily the success of Wasteland 2’s Kickstarter that prompted me to write; although how Kickstarter, direct funding from consumers, and video games can interplay (catch the reference?) piques my interest, especially considering I’m studying business. No, instead it’s the following image.
There are multiple things about this image that I find enthralling. I think the setting is the biggest facet of my adoration. The post-apocalypse is theoretically an ugly place, especially in the wake of an atomic holocaust if that’s the cause. What I see in this image though is the overgrowth of plants; being in a city setting makes it all the more unusual and appealing to me. When I begin to think about exploring this place, I can’t stop imagining what I’d find, and what the rest of this city, and world for that matter, are like.
The lush, plant-ridden settings is a key factor in why I love Final Fantasy XIIso much, and a big reason why I’m enjoying my time with Xenoblade Chronicles. Those games featured very open environments inducing exploration, and I wonder if Wasteland 2 will be the same.
I really like the scorpion mech too. Styling it after a scorpion, gives it such a menacing look. I wouldn’t want to come upon it as an enemy, that’s for sure. It’s easy to go down a rabbit hole thinking of the scorpion mech’s construction and what mechs are like in this time, and really, what the world is like too.
A colorful, vibrant, but not overly so, setting is something that immediately turns me onto a game and it’s why I might try Wasteland 2 simply upon seeing this image. I just wish I had helped fund it now.
In remembrance of 2011, I thought I’d compile a list of what I thought were the ten best games I played this year. Considering that I don’t play a ton of recent releases, a lot of this list will be older games. As anyone who reads this blog will note, that’s in line with what I actually play. Rather than ranking these games, I’ll simply alphabetize the list.
Animal Crossing: City Folk – This game is up there with Skyrim in the amount of time I devote to it. It’s awfully familiar to previous games in the series but I still find it as addictive as ever. I also had fun getting my friend into it and playing with him.
Batman: Arkham City– What a game! I loved Arkham Asylum and this game upped the ante in so many ways. Such a large environment with so much to do!
Mass Effect 2 – I had so much fun discussing this game with others, more importantly though, I had so much fun playing this. The gameplay was much improved over the first game and even though there were a lot of things taken out, the options I had were still astounding.
Mansion of Hidden Souls – An unusual pick for sure but this game turned my friend and I onto an unfamiliar genre and we’ve had a lot of fun solving puzzles in similar games since playing this.
Vanquish– Platinum Games took the usually slow moving military third-person shooter and blended it with Japanese quirks. A fantastical futuristic setting, a story with some ridiculous moments, a lot of great set pieces, and super fun and fast-paced gameplay.
You Don’t Know Jack – A stellar mulitplayer game that received a ton of rotation at my house. A great value.
Besides the standard version of Final Fantasy XII, Square Enix released a collector’s edition of the game, exclusively to GameStop and EB Games in the United States. This version included the game and the same manual, of course, but it also came in a SteelBook package, along with a DVD containing a few special features.
Many games have since been released in these SteelBook packages, but I think Final Fantasy XII has one of the best ones. The front cover is simple, while the art on the inside of the case is intricate and detailed. It looks nice as a display piece on a shelf; otherwise it slips nicely in with the rest of a video game library being the typical DVD size case.
Included on the DVD are developer interviews, a history of Final Fantasy featurette, an art gallery, and trailers for the game.
There are quite a few developer interviews, twelve exactly, and they offer insights into different aspects of the game, from the director and what he was in charge of to what went into the translation. They’re all under five minutes, but there’s actually a lot of content to take in, and I always like hearing about what went into making a game.
The history of Final Fantasy featurette is a great way for people unfamiliar with the mainline Final Fantasy catalogue to get up to speed. The narrator discusses similar concepts with each game, and it would’ve been nice if he delved a little deeper into each game, but at thirty minutes, it’s a great primer to the series.
Viewing an art gallery on a DVD is about the last thing I want to do, but to its credit, there is a bunch of art included and it’s all tucked away in categories to aid in finding something specific. I feel the same way about the trailers. They’re put together very nicely, but I’m not learning anything new from them.
The collector’s edition of Final Fantasy XII is a nice package. The developer interviews were insightful, the history of Final Fantasy featurette was informative, but the art gallery and the trailers didn’t interest me too much. At this point it appears to sell complete for about ten dollars, comparable to the standard edition so if you’re in the market for the game, I’d recommend the collector’s edition.