Shin Megami Tensei: The dodgiest looking demons

The Shin Megami Tensei series and its spin-offs are often packed with various demons from numerous mythologies. It’s a lot of work for any designer, and so it’s no wonder that the finished products often vary in aesthetic quality. For every majestic, awe inspiring beast, there’s something that looks, well, downright disturbing. In this article, we pick out eleven of the dodgiest looking demons. Continue reading “Shin Megami Tensei: The dodgiest looking demons”

Shadow of the Colossus: art or pain?

Last winter, I finally got around the playing Shadow of the Colossus. In the time it took me to finally play the game, I had already upgraded my original PS2 copy to the PS3 HD remaster – and now there’s a PS4 remake on the way. The trailers for the remake soon attracted comments from people eager to buy yet another copy of the game, or even a PS4 upon which to play it. Clearly, Shadow of the Colossus has a keen fan following – but is it really such an amazing masterpiece? Continue reading “Shadow of the Colossus: art or pain?”

Why Tales of Zestiria was a disappointment

Nothing improves a game quite like having all the characters wear cats on their heads.

As we count down towards the release of Tales of Berseria, I’ve been spending time with the previous game in the series – Tales of Zestiria. I had put Zestiria aside in 2015 after being underwhelmed with it, and upon returning to the game, it did little to acquit itself.

Continue reading “Why Tales of Zestiria was a disappointment”

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

siblings

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”