Category Archives: RPGs

Let’s Play FTL: Faster than Light! Part 4 (FINAL): Return of the Kestrel or, the Federation Strikes Back

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series FTL: Faster than Light

Captain’s log, starship Kestrel Stardate 2012.09.22   Sector Seven: Zoltan Homeworlds, Continued   When we left off, I was debating which piece of equipment to leave behind in order to pick up a shiny new hull-smasher laser. In the end, … Continue reading

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Let’s Play FTL: Faster than Light! Part 3: A New Hope

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series FTL: Faster than Light

Captain’s log, starship Kestrel Stardate 2012.09.22   Sector Four: Engi Homeworlds, Continued   The Kestrel’s exploration of Sector Four continues, with mixed results.   The good news: beefing up my weapons, and being willing to fire off a missile at … Continue reading

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Let’s Play FTL: Faster than Light! Part 2: Things Get Real

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series FTL: Faster than Light

Captain’s log, starship Kestrel Stardate 2012.09.22   Sector Two: Pirate Space, Continued   When we left off, the Kestrel was in good form: decently armed and shielded, with enough fuel and supplies and scrap to last a while. I decide … Continue reading

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Let’s Play FTL: Faster than Light! Part 1: The Voyage Begins

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series FTL: Faster than Light

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships have overrun most of the Galactic Federation.  During the battle, Federation spies managed to steal secret plans to the Rebel’s ultimate weapon, the REBEL FLAGSHIP, an armoured behemoth with enough power … Continue reading

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Jeanne d’Arc – The Very Quick Verdict

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Jeanne d'Arc

Now that I’ve finished Jeanne d’Arc (PSP, 2007), I can give my verdict!   This post is really an addendum to Monday’s discussion of Jeanne’s gameplay. There’s not much more I can say on that subject! It’s “lighter” – easier, … Continue reading

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Speed smiting: the tactical combat of Jeanne d’Arc

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Jeanne d'Arc

  I often praise the PSP as a mecca for turn-based tactical RPGs – Disgaea! Final Fantasy Tactics! Tactics Ogre! – and over the past few months, I’ve pencilled another name onto that list: Jeanne d’Arc, a 2007 title from … Continue reading

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A story worth telling: Game of Thrones the RPG

What can you do when you desperately want to talk about a game, yet cannot do so without spoiling most of what made it such a memorable experience? I have been attempting to find an answer to that question for … Continue reading

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Bleak, clever cyberpunk: the world of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

This entry is part 1 of 1 in the series Deus Ex: Human Revolution

A society consists of:   A handful of ultra-powerful ultra-rich; Criminal lords who control everything not controlled by the ultra-rich; Police whose only principle of operation is maintenance of the status quo; Hordes of poor people starving in the streets; … Continue reading

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

  This is a good time to be a fan – as I am – of games that mix squad-level strategy and RPG mechanics. Last year saw the PSP release of the excellent Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together, a … Continue reading

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Persona 3 Portable: The Retrospective Verdict

This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series Persona 3 & 4

    2006 was a big year for video games. That year, two of the current generation of consoles launched: the Playstation 3 and the Wii. The rival Xbox 360 launched the previous year, but 2006 saw the debut of … Continue reading

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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

Note: 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 spoilers for the game.)   Elaborate backstories are part and parcel of … 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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The Witcher 2: first impressions

This is my first post on The Witcher 2.   1.  First impressions 2. Strengths and weaknesses (as of early Act 2)   I picked up The Witcher 2 when it went on sale a couple of weekends ago, and … 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

Over 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 space for a spoiler-free review, and possibly a “Storytelling in Games” analysis piece. … 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

As 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. But what about the other half of the game, the dungeon crawl?   … 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

Compared 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 the shopping mall. He/she traipses through school hallways rather than half-sunken temples or … 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

As 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. From a min-maxing perspective, the other, social aspects of the game ultimately seem … 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

Plan for the day Morning – Go to school. Afternoon – Hit the books. Evening – Fight monsters?!   The average high schooler who thinks his/her life is in turmoil has nothing on Arthur, my name for the hero of … 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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