Category Archives: RPGs

The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: The Verdict

  After a heyday spanning the Playstation and Playstation 2 eras, Japanese RPGs (at least, those translated into English) have retreated from home consoles: the Playstation 3 offers nowhere near the riches that its predecessors did. To some extent, portable … Continue reading

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Guest post: Writing and Worldbuilding in Final Fantasy XII: Story Isn’t Enough, by Matt Bowyer

A key part of a story’s appeal — whether it be a book, a game, or a movie — is its ability to transport me to a world of wonder, and almost as fascinating is peering behind the curtain to … Continue reading

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A history of heroes: storytelling in Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Storytelling in Games

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Storytelling in GamesNote: Storytelling in Dominions 3, part of this feature series, is available off-site. You can read it at Flash of Steel.     (Note: this article contains moderate … Continue reading

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Dark Souls impressions: The eloquence of the blade

This is part 4 in my series on Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.   1. Co-op: misery loves company 2. Progress, progress, progress 3. What difficulty in Demon’s Souls has to do with behavioural finance 4. Impressions of Dark Souls … Continue reading

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Difficulty in Demon’s Souls: what we can learn from… behavioural finance?!

This is part 3 of my series on Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.   1. Co-op: misery loves company 2. Progress, progress, progress 3. What difficulty in Demon’s Souls has to do with behavioural finance 4. Impressions of Dark Souls … Continue reading

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Demon’s Souls: Progress, progress, progress

This is part 2 of my series on Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.   1. Co-op: misery loves company 2. Progress, progress, progress 3. What difficulty in Demon’s Souls has to do with behavioural finance 4. Impressions of Dark Souls … Continue reading

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Demon’s Souls: Misery loves company

  This is part 1 of my series on Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.   1. Co-op: misery loves company 2. Progress, progress, progress 3. What difficulty in Demon’s Souls has to do with behavioural finance 4. Impressions of Dark … Continue reading

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First impressions: Demon’s Souls, Bastion, Half-Minute Hero

Here are some of the games I started recently in lieu of pressing on with The Witcher 2…   Demon’s Souls (PS3) – The infamously difficult action-RPG. As at the end of the first level, it’s actually much less difficult … Continue reading

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The Witcher 2: Strengths and weaknesses, so far

This is my second post on The Witcher 2.   1.  First impressions 2. Strengths and weaknesses (as of early Act 2)   I’ve now played a bit more of The Witcher 2 – I’m now up to early Act … Continue reading

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Persona 3 Portable: Finished! Initial (spoileriffic) thoughts on the ending

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4Over the weekend, I finally finished Persona 3 Portable (not long after I finished my Conan the Barbarian post, in fact). In the coming weeks, watch this … Continue reading

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Combat in Persona 3 Portable: The quick and the dead

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

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4As you can see above, most of my previous discussion of Persona 3: Portable has focused on one half of the gameplay: the social/high school life simulation. … Continue reading

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Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together – The Verdict

  This is the fifth post in my series on Tactics Ogre. Check out my earlier impressions of the game’s character profiles; four things it does better than FFT (and one it doesn’t); how I used different character classes in … Continue reading

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Persona 3 Portable’s setting: A pop-cultural window onto the world

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

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4Compared to other RPGs, Persona 3’s modern-day world may seem mundane. The main character buys healing items not from armourers and apothecaries, but from the pharmacist at … Continue reading

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Roleplaying and time management in Persona 3 Portable: Who says there’s no roleplaying in JRPGs?

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4As far as I can tell, the core of Persona 3 (refer to my initial post for the premise of the game) is its dungeon-crawling RPG combat. … Continue reading

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Persona 3 Portable: A promising start

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4Plan for the day Morning – Go to school. Afternoon – Hit the books. Evening – Fight monsters?!   The average high schooler who thinks his/her life … Continue reading

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Tactics Ogre: A tragic misunderstanding

This is the fourth post in my series on Tactics Ogre. Check out my earlier impressions of the game’s (1) character profiles; (2) four things it does better than FFT (and one it doesn’t); (3) how I used different character … Continue reading

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How a (now-defunct) gold-farming business actually worked

Here’s a bit of fascinating reading for anyone interested in the MMO phenomenon of gold farming – ICTs for Development profiles an actual World of Warcraft gold farming business, complete with a brief profit and loss statement. How many people … Continue reading

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Tactics Ogre: the building blocks of an unstoppable army

This is the third post in my series on Tactics Ogre. Check out my impressions of the game’s (1) character profiles; (2) four things it does better than FFT (and one it doesn’t); (4) an unfortunate mishap later in the … Continue reading

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Four things Tactics Ogre does better than FFT (and one it doesn’t)

This is the second post in my series on Tactics Ogre. Check out my impressions of the game’s (1) character profiles; (5) how I used different character classes in battle; (4) an unfortunate mishap later in the game, and (5) … Continue reading

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Tactics Ogre: the heroes of their own truncated stories

This is the first post in my series on Tactics Ogre. Check out: (2) four things it does better than FFT (and one it doesn’t); (3) how I used different character classes in battle; (4) an unfortunate mishap later in … Continue reading

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Skyrim: now THIS is how to do music in a trailer

Not long after I talked about Bethesda’s unorthodox “promotion” for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim yesterday, I watched the game’s trailer, and I have to highlight one thing I absolutely loved — its music.   The trailer itself begins as … Continue reading

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The funniest, most outrageous “promotion” I have ever seen*

Would you like all of Bethesda’s (and parent Zenimax’s) games, past, present and future, for the rest of your life?   Yeah?   There’s just one little catch – you must have a child born on 11 November 2011, and … Continue reading

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All roads lead to where you want: I want an open-world Roman game

Odds are you’ve heard of the Grand Theft Auto series (modern-day, urban crime action-adventures), even if you’re not a gamer. It was Grand Theft Auto III (2001) that propelled open-world games to prominence in the industry, but open-world games have … Continue reading

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Mass Effect: Thoughts on the Paragon/Renegade system

Right now, I’m about halfway through the original Mass Effect, an RPG whose morality system was one of its signature innovations. Traditionally, RPGs have a good/evil scale; your decisions push you up or down that scale; and those decisions, all … Continue reading

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The appeal of common sense: Intuitive gameplay

I’ve played video games for 21 years. Adventure, rhythm, role-playing, platformer, first-person shooter, and of course strategy – I’ve played virtually every genre, with the notable exception of sports games, at one time or another. But for all that, there … Continue reading

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Tactics Ogre – European release only a month away

To my pleasant surprise, Square Enix has announced that Tactics Ogre for PSP will come out in Europe on 25 February, a little over a month away and only ten days after its US release. (press release courtesy of Gamershell). … Continue reading

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Mass Effect: That guy looks familiar…

I’ve played a little bit more Mass Effect, enough to start growing fond of some of the game’s characters, dialogue and alien species but nowhere near enough to give a definitive verdict on the game. But one thing has already … Continue reading

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What I’ve been playing over the 2010 holidays; impressions of King Arthur & Far Cry 2

Over the last couple of weeks, while I’ve played a fair bit of Civilization V, on the whole I’ve taken the scattergun approach and spent a little bit of time on a lot of games instead of focusing on a … Continue reading

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