Category Archives: RPGs

Arcadian Atlas Q&A, with Taylor Bair

Update: Arcadian Atlas‘ Kickstarter campaign is now live and can be accessed here. Arcadian Atlas is an upcoming indie tactical RPG inspired by two of the greats – Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. Read on for a Q&A with … Continue reading

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Kim Q&A, with Jeremy Hogan

Rudyard Kipling’s Kim is one of my favourite classic novels, a picaresque set in nineteenth-century India. When the Secret Games Company launched a Kickstarter for a video game adaptation, I was keen to find out more. Read on for my … Continue reading

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Fallout 4: Early impressions

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallout 4

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallout 4The deal was done. The merchant would trade me a stimpak; I would trade junk and a handful of cash. We agreed. The goods changed hands. And moments later, … Continue reading

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From the archives: Tactics X-COM: Jagged Ogre Chronicles, or a guide to squad-level strategy/tactics/RPGs

I originally wrote this post in 2012 during the lead-up to Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, proposing a classification system for squad-based games and tactical RPGs across PC and consoles. Since then, to my delight, the genre has gone from strength … Continue reading

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A random battle draws near! Command?

In theory, JRPG random battles are an attrition mechanism. The resulting drain on resources (usually consumables and MP) should, and very occasionally does, produce tension. In practice, JRPG (and Western RPG) designers are usually generous with resources, and few battles … Continue reading

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Child of Light: concluding thoughts

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Child of Light

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Child of LightChild of Light is many things. It is a mechanical and aesthetic triumph – “beautiful and challenging”, with nail-biting boss battles and a gorgeous fantasy world. It is … Continue reading

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Child of Light: Beautiful and challenging

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Child of Light

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Child of LightMy decision to buy was right; I very much like Child of Light.   I think much of the consensus about CoL is correct: the game is good, … Continue reading

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From the archives: Storytelling in Star Control II: Playing space detective

Star Control 2 is a classic of the early 1990s, with a great sense of humour, robust gameplay, and unique, non-linear story progression — the player had to gather clues and do his or her own footwork in order to … Continue reading

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I choose you! Combat in Final Fantasy X

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Final Fantasy X

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Final Fantasy X In my last piece about Final Fantasy X, I wrote about its biggest draw: its world, its story, and the way the two interact. What makes FFX … Continue reading

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Final Fantasy X HD: The magic returns

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Final Fantasy X

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Final Fantasy X Imagine being flung into an alien world, a thousand years hence. Imagine navigating a new society, with nothing left of your home but a few hauntingly familiar … Continue reading

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Reminiscence: Suikoden II to come to PSN?

Suikoden is a classic RPG franchise that I remember very fondly. At its best, its worldbuilding combined mythic power with believable societies, while Suikoden III (PS2) still stands out as one of the few video games to make interesting use … Continue reading

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Music for Matchsticks: The piano sheet music of Final Fantasy VI

Happy Easter, everyone!   This month marks the 20th anniversary of Final Fantasy VI‘s Japanese release, and despite the game’s age (and the technical limitations of its platform, the SNES), I still think its soundtrack is one of the best … Continue reading

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Ni no Kuni: a tale of Mite and magic

    Ostensibly, PS3 RPG Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is about the adventures of Oliver (pictured, right), an ordinary boy who becomes the wizard-saviour of another world. But it’s not, not really. Meet one of Ni … Continue reading

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The Banner Saga: Concluding thoughts

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series The Banner SagaAfter finishing The Banner Saga, I thought I’d expand on the conclusions I reached last week. I’m still happy with the game and its tactical battles, which become … Continue reading

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The Banner Saga: Turn-based tactics with a twist

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series The Banner Saga“The gods are dead.”   So opens Stoic Studio’s The Banner Saga, a low-fantasy tactical RPG with a cool and unique combat system. It’s so different as to … Continue reading

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Paradox’s Latest Games

Paradox has announced two new games and two new expansions, all of which will come from Paradox Development Studio, its first-party arm. The games are Hearts of Iron IV and a new IP — Runemaster, an RPG set in a … Continue reading

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The Vita-stic Persona: 4 Golden

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4   Above is my new PlayStation Vita, running Persona 4: Golden! After a bit over a week, I think the hardware and the software were made … Continue reading

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Occult Chronicles Q&A, with Vic Davis

  I am very pleased to publish an email interview with Vic Davis, the indie game designer behind Armageddon Empires (one of my favourite strategy games), Solium Infernum, and Six-Gun Saga. Read on for our conversation about Vic’s latest title, … Continue reading

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Expeditions: Conquistador & Occult Chronicles impressions

I’m long overdue to post my impressions of two recent, interesting games, Occult Chronicles (still officially in “buy-in beta”) and Expeditions Conquistador. While they are very different, they have enough in common to be worth discussing in the same post, … Continue reading

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Does a good game make a good anime? Persona 4: The Animation – eps 1 to 9

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4I’m nine episodes into Persona 4: The Animation, the anime adaptation of the excellent PS2/Vita RPG; as I would like to eventually finish the game (I am … Continue reading

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Suikoden Tactics: a reunion with an old friend

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Suikoden Tactics

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Suikoden Tactics   Oops.   When I made my last move, I thought I’d seized an opening. The pirate had his back turned; and when I saw I could take … Continue reading

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Quick impressions: Talisman: Prologue

  Talisman: Prologue is a recently released Android/iOS adaptation of an old board game (which I have not played), Games Workshop’s Talisman. TP is a solitaire game in which the player controls a single high fantasy adventurer (a warrior, troll, … Continue reading

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Xenoblade Chronicles impressions: The Force is strong in this game

  Of all the magic woven by storytellers, immersion has to be one of the most precious threads. How wonderful it is that we can pick up a book, or play a game, or sit in a cinema, and be … Continue reading

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Fallout: New Vegas: a post-nuclear Western (?)

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallout: New Vegas

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Fallout: New Vegas  (With apologies to every writer, director, and star of the Wild West)   EXT. THE MOJAVE DESERT   The one-horse town of Goodsprings bakes, silent, in the … Continue reading

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Drox Operative: my impressions

Drox Operative is the latest title from Soldak Entertainment, an indie developer of action-RPGs (Depths of Peril, Din’s Curse) renowned for their dynamic worlds. Drox transports that concept from fantasy into space opera – its galaxy is filled with alien … Continue reading

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Highlights from the EB Games Expo Sydney 2012: The Last of Us, Tomb Raider, Wii U, Australian indies and more!

For the last three days the Sydney Showground has played host to the EB Games Expo, and that was where I spent yesterday. There I met some folks from the industry, both publishers and indie developers; watched trailers and gameplay  … Continue reading

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Banner Saga’s single-player sounds promising

Banner Saga, a Norse-themed tactical RPG trilogy from indie studio Stoic Games, was one of the early titles to ride to prominence on Kickstarter this year. Now Nathan Grayson of Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted a monster three-part interview/preview, and … Continue reading

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FTL: Faster than Light — The Verdict

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series FTL: Faster than Light

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series FTL: Faster than Light  The best way I can describe FTL: Faster than Light, the new indie title from Subset Games, is to say it lives up to the very … Continue reading

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Play an RPG in 30 seconds – Half-Minute Hero comes to Steam

Half-Minute Hero, a remarkably clever and fun Japanese indie indie-esque (correction: its imaginative concept, general feel, and price tag are all incredibly indie-ish, but I don’t think it meets the technical definition)  game, has now landed on Steam!   I … Continue reading

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