Five improvements I’d like to see in Ni No Kuni 2

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I love Ni No Kuni. It’s a fantastic game, a fairytale story animated by Studio Ghibli that never fails to enchant from start to finish. It’s a game that I can spend tens of hours playing without really noticing the passage of time, and one that never fails to delight – all of which means I’m very much looking forward to Ni No Kuni 2. That being said, Ni No Kuni wasn’t without its flaws. If the sequel really wants to wow and amaze me, without having those same little niggles, these are the areas where it will really need to get its act together. Continue reading “Five improvements I’d like to see in Ni No Kuni 2”

Sibling Rivalry: Nohr vs Hoshido

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In Fire Emblem Fates, you can choose to ally yourself with either side: Hoshido, your birth family, and seemingly the obvious good guys; or Nohr, the family you grew up, and who aren’t as evil as their dark aesthetic would seem to suggest. Either way, you end up with four siblings – but which is better? There’s only one way to find out. Continue reading “Sibling Rivalry: Nohr vs Hoshido”

Dark Side Gaming Rant: Nier

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Nier and his pals – a talking book, a foul-mouthed warrior and Jack Skellington Jr.

I think I’m supposed to like Nier. Back when it was released, all the reviews seemed favourable, and in the intervening years, people still spoke positively about it. And when a sequel was announced, I thought I’d better finally take my copy off the shelf and give it a whirl.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. Continue reading “Dark Side Gaming Rant: Nier”

Final Fantasy VII: so they're remaking it at last

FF7 and I have a complex relationship. Back in my teens, I adored the game and played it endlessly, unlocking everything I could find, setting myself challenges such as beating Sephiroth without any materia equipped, and even scribbling in my Brady Games strategy guide in an attempt to make it more accurate and complete. Then in my twenties, I became bitter and cynical, and could only focus on all the frustrating and imperfect aspects of the game that made the reality fall short of the rose-tinted memories. Now, in my thirties, I have forgiven FF7 somewhat, because whilst it is far from perfect, it still brought me a lot of fun over the years.

It’s with both excitement and trepidation that I, like many others, await the remake that Square-Enix always claimed they wouldn’t make, even when it was inevitable that one day they would cave in and do just that. Earlier games in the series have benefited from remakes that brought them back into circulation and introduced them to a new generation. And certainly FF7 has always been a bit lacking in some areas, what with its simplistic 3D graphics and error-ridden English translation. But can a remake do the game justice? Will all the parts we love, or at least love to hate, be as we remember them? Can this game really be remade without turning it into a pile of trash not unlike the painfully bad FF13? All of these things remain to be seen, but rather than focussing on the major aspects of the game here, in this article, I’ll be looking at the little things that gave FF7 its distinct personality. They’re random, obscure, and wouldn’t be missed by casual players, but for good or ill, FF7 wouldn’t be the same game without them.

Continue reading “Final Fantasy VII: so they're remaking it at last”

Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Revisited

Part One: Anton’s Final Letter

At the end of Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life, the hard-working farmer Anton tragically lost his life. As the residents of Forget-Me-Not Valley sorted through his effects, they found this letter, written shortly before his death.

Dear Celia,

If you are reading this, then it means the worst has happened, and I have passed away. Continue reading “Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life Revisited”

Bayonetta

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Since time immemorial, the balance of light and dark has been protected by the Lumen Sages and the Umbra Witches. But in the modern era, all the witches have been hunted down and killed – all, that is, except the beautiful and enigmatic Bayonetta. Lacking her memories, all Bayonetta can do is search for answers whilst fighting off the servants of Heaven sent to hunt her down.

In a deliberate reversal to the demon hunting action of the Devil May Cry series, director Hideki Kamiya brings us an action game in which angels are the enemy, and the protagonist is a sexy, curvaceous witch. From combat to cut scenes, the game is ludicrously over the top at every turn, but just how much entertainment does it provide? Continue reading “Bayonetta”

Persona 4 fanfic: At the Stroke of Midnight

Inspired by Persona 4, with a little artistic licence taken. Were the main characters the only people to encounter the Midnight Channel?

“Hey, have you heard about the Midnight Channel?”

I put down my book and sighed. School hadn’t even started yet and already Mizuki was babbling on about another of her stupid rumours.

“Of course I’ve heard about it, Mizuki. You were talking about it just last week. A magical TV channel that broadcasts every time it’s raining at midnight. Honestly, of all the stupid rumours you’ve come up with, this one is the worst.” Continue reading “Persona 4 fanfic: At the Stroke of Midnight”