When making a game, you want to make sure your game has every chance of succeeding. The videogame market is a competitive one, so you’d better ensure you’ve got the bases covered. And a not insignificant part of covering your bases is having a good name. Unfortunately I don’t think the publishers, NISA, got the memo. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA might be one of, if not the, worst named games of all time. Continue reading
Panzer Dragoon Saga and Final Fantasy had a child and its name is Skies of Arcadia. (Actually, technically, Phantasy Star should replace Final Fantasy here since the Skies of Arcadia studio was made up of ex-Phantasy Star and ex-Panzer Dragoon staff. Without having played any Phantasy Star though, I feel more comfortable comparing this with Final Fantasy.) Nevertheless, this child of two franchises peddles more child-friendly content than either of its parents. The exploits of a few teenage Robin Hood-like pirates facing a cartoonishly evil empire covers most of the plot. As you might expect, there are definitely aspects of Skies of Arcadia Legends that are a bit formulaic and a little bland, especially in the story and characters. Continue reading
We are back and it is 2016! We revive the final episode of our Operation Rainfall trilogy – first recorded in early 2016 – for your listening pleasure. Better late than never, right? Right…? Let’s hope so. In this episode, we discuss the epic Wii-exclusive Japanese RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles. First off, Adrian confronts Maya’s unhealthy fangirl obsession with the evils of the game’s romance plot. You too will learn what the Twilight series and Xenoblade Chronicles share in common. We go on to discuss (and imitate) the game’s English voice acting, and compare the various Operation Rainfall titles before returning once more to Shelia.
Please be warned that, while we don’t go deeply into Xenoblade’s plot proper, there are (romance-related) spoilers discussed. What a bunch of jokers!
Episode 15: Operation Rainfall, Xenoblade Chronicles
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I’ve had a long history from Final Fantasy VIII. I played it when it first came out on PC only to get stuck somewhere on the third disc (in all fairness I was only 10 years old at the time). A few years later with a better grasp of VIII’s systems I started over and made it to the final boss. Here however I was defeated – beating the final boss’s various forms proved impossible. I was forced to download a save file from the internet with every characters’ stats maxed out just to see the ending. Over the years since I’ve played chunks of Final Fantasy VIII a couple of times, never to the end and more often than not just to enjoy Triple Triad. If only younger me had known that the game can essentially be played as an interactive novel – seriously! No random encounters, comfortably easy bosses and over-powered characters, and with little to no grinding at all! It’s the special, broken magic of FFVIII. Continue reading
Context is important to video game music, but what happens when you switch off the system and the music continues playing? I have been listening to a lot of game music recently, independently of gaming. It’s the first time I’ve seriously dabbled in music from games, much of it from games I’ve known for many years. Other game soundtracks are recent discoveries, while some soundtracks are from games I’ve never even heard of, let alone played. This has made me reflect on the role of music in games and the impact of listening to videogame music independently of games. Continue reading