Hey everybody, apologies for the break, but vacations happen from time to time. I’m back, so let’s get started. While on holiday, I blazed through Shin Megami Tensei IV. I had a few things in mind to write about it, but when I read Dyl’s post last week I knew it was a good opportunity to follow up on theme.
While discussing the post last week with my brother, I hit upon the argument multiple times that some of his comments reflect something about him personally, but are also signs that the mechanic as a whole is a bit broken. By ‘the mechanic’ I mean money acquisition and purchasing of resources in most RPGs, and by ‘broken’ I mean that it ultimately just wasn’t accomplishing much in the game to justify its use as a mechanic. I don’t think I’m alone in this assessment, but instead of dwelling on the reasons for this, I would rather spend my words here focusing on how I think Shin Megami Tensei IV quietly improved on the standard.
What did I like about Xenoblade Chronicles? Nearly everything. The sheer scope of the world is deserving of the description ‘epic’, approaching the scale set by games such as Skyrim (and by ‘such as’, I mean ‘the one and only’). If you’ve just come from my WIHILA Xenoblade post, then I can confirm for you that this is a JRPG through and through, but one that shows the genre can keep with the times, evolve and innovate.
But you know what’s really great? I sat and played for upwards of 130 hours and loved every minute of it. I didn’t just explore the nooks and crannies of the world, I wanted to. So let’s talk about what I’m going to call the ‘good pacing’ in Xenoblade Chronicles, which is to say the spread of engaging gameplay throughout the game. Continue reading →
A quick glance at a few reviews of Xenoblade Chronicles will tell you at least one resounding thing: this is a great game. Very helpful, I know. While the title is an homage to the sometimes-revered Xeno series of games, I’m setting that aside for now on the basis that it may or may not have anything to do with the series besides sporting a similar title (also, minor detail, I’ve not played the Xeno series, so it would be difficult to draw conclusions anyways). In addition, nearly everything I’ve seen about the game references the fact that it is a JRPG (never mind that I managed to make the exceptional cognitive leap in determining that it is a role-playing game from Japan without the internet’s help), which has almost become a genre unto itself. This is as good a time as any to talk about what this means to me and what it might mean to you, since I can’t help but feel I was partially raised on the likes of Final Fantasy (at around the age of 6 or 7 I had three copies of the original NES game because it could store only one save file per cartridge… and, embarrassingly enough, I lost one copy under my bed). Continue reading →