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Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Review: Pokemon Black Version (DS)

Note: While this review is based on Black Version, it is by extent also a review of Pokémon White Version. Outside of a few version-specific Pokémon, a different mascot Legendary, and a couple minor location differences, they are the same game.

I’m always going to have a soft spot in my heart for the Pokémon series.  Granted, having skipped the entire last generation of the games (Diamond, Pearl, Platinum), I haven’t really been keeping up with them, but it’s hard not to look fondly on the series that introduced me to RPGs, and was probably the first video game series I ever got really in to as a kid. It doesn’t hurt that the Pokémon series is one of the most long-running in the history of gaming. The games have been incredibly successful ever since their 1998 debut for the original Game Boy, and over the years have introduced millions of children to the wonders of monster collecting and battling, and to gaming in general. With Pokémon Black (and White), Nintendo begins the fifth generation of Pokémon with a customary new region to explore and a bevy of new collectable critters; but is it enough to make a lapsed fan such as myself want to catch them all again?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Deadline Approaching

Alright, so I'm approaching the last weeks of this semester, and the end of my senior year. It's getting kind of hectic, what with projects, papers, studying, and college searching. It also means something that effects this blog, too. As several of my friends will know, I started this blog as part of my senior project, and soon I'm going to be presenting it. I think I've done a good amount of work with this project, and I have a lot of material to present. However, as my time grows more and more pressed and I no longer have the project looming over me, I'm free to take a more liesurely approach to writing for this blog.

Don't get me wrong. I've had a lot of fun doing this, and I don't plan on stopping. What this means for you, if you're reading this, is just that I won't be keeping a schedule for new posts here. I'll just be writing whenever I have time. I'll still be doing game reviews, of course, and if I have a good idea for an article, we'll see what we can do. Obviously I'll still be on Twitter, so there'll be plenty of updates from there. There may be a slight dropoff in activity for the next couple of weeks, as I'm gearing up for a spring break trip to DC, but after that I hope to have my review of Pokemon Black Version up, and I'll get my copy of Xenoblade in the mail by then.

A very heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported me in my first attempt at putting my writing on the Internet. I'll see you all in April!

~reteP out.

                                                  Thank You!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My Review: Ico HD (PS3)

In conversations regarding the artistic merit of video games, Ico is bound to be brought up eventually. This action-adventure game was originally released in 2001 for the Playstation 2 by the same team that would later go on to make Shadow of the Colossus, and was recently rereleased with said game in a collection for the Playstation 3. With a new sheen of high definition polish, Ico is ready to make sure that gamers get a chance to experience the unique and emotional journey it has to offer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Choice VS Narrative: Why Didn’t I Ever Get Into WRPGs?

One question I’ve asked myself a lot, and that some of my fellow gamers have been simply incredulous about, is why I don’t enjoy playing the Western Role Playing Games that have become increasingly popular over the years. And, honestly, I really didn’t have an answer for a while. It’s true that I do enjoy the gameplay style of the Japanese variety, but that’s largely because I grew up playing games like Pokemon and Final Fantasy, and that’s no real reason as to why I couldn’t enjoy this particular type of game. It was while reading about the recent fan backlash against Mass Effect 3 that I started to put together what it is about WRPGs that just doesn’t appeal to me. It got me thinking, and in order to figure it out, I looked back to the first WRPG I ever played: Knights of the Old Republic 2.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Review: Radiant Historia (DS)

One of the sad truths of the current generation of gaming is that there has been a noticeable lack of truly great traditional roleplaying games. That’s not to say there haven’t been good ones, but as good as Lost Odyssey, Dark Souls, and Tales of Vesperia are, this generation has been marked by disappointment. Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t what everyone hoped it would be, Eternal Sonata was kind of preachy, and Hyperdimension Neptunia is absolute shite and I’m sorry for anyone who spent money on that travesty (I kid, I kid). While the blame for this may or may not be placed on these games developers, or on shifting perceptions among the gaming community, and the situation actually seems to be looking up as of late with great titles such as Xenoblade Chronicles just around the corner, there just doesn’t seem to be many modern RPGs that live up to their predecessors. Enter Radiant Historia, a game released in 2011 by Atlus, which clearly draws inspiration from the classics of old, such as Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. Does it succeed as a great RPG experience, or is Radiant Historia a doomed pretender? Well, let it be known here and now- Radiant Historia is one of the best games to be released in a long time.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

My Review: The Legend of Zelda- Phantom Hourglass (DS)

For me, the defining moment (and often moment of purchase) of a new system is when a game in one of my favorite franchises gets an installment on it. In fact, you can probably track all of my console purchases to the proximity of available Kingdom Hearts games, but that’s a story for another time. In the case of Nintendo, the arrival of a new Zelda game pretty much cements my purchase of their latest gadget. Usually, it’s worth it. Phantom Hourglass, the first Zelda game for the Nintendo DS, uses many of the DS’ unique features, while also providing one of the best portable adventure gaming experiences I’ve ever had.


Phantom Hourglass is a rare direct sequel to a prior game in the Zelda series; in this case, The Wind Waker for the Gamecube. Zelda games do tend to be self-contained, however, and the main story of Phantom Hourglass doesn’t really have too much to do with The Wind Waker, outside of a few references at the beginning and the presence of some minor comic relief from Tetra’s pirate crew. For all intents and purposes, Phantom Hourglass is a similar game to The Wind Waker, but it’s not necessary to have any experience with the prior title.