Costume Quest Review

At its core, Costume Quest is a lighthearted (and at times, weirdly insightful) Halloween-themed jRPG-lite. In it, you play as either Wren or Reynold as they embark on a quest to save the other from candy-stealing monsters who have mistaken their sibling for a large piece of candy, and as you can probably imagine, the journey to do so is weird. In fact, Costume Quest’s emphasis on general weirdness and humor that revolves around precocious children is reminiscent of Super Nintendo classic Earthbound in the best of ways, and while it ultimately ends up being the shorter and more shallow game of the two, it’s nevertheless worth the price for those who can see past its shortcomings. Read more →

Costume Quest Screenshots

There are two kinds of games: the games that you begin playing immediately after picking them up, and the ones that sit around taunting you until something happens to coerce you into trying them. Costume Quest was very much the latter for me, a game that looked charming enough, but that I knew little about and felt no real urgency to play. However, its sequel is less than a month away from release as of the time of this writing, so it seemed as good a time as any to jump in and see what I’d been putting off for so long. As it turns out, the game is kind of like what you’d get if you threw Earthbound and a physical manifestation of the Simon Says game in a blender together, with all the good and bad that brings. Read more →

Two quick and easy ways to better “gaming journalism”

Change is hard. That’s one of two reasons why I believe that publishing this is going to make me some serious enemies, but lately I’ve been thinking a lot about what plagues gaming journalism outside of the partisan, cookie-cutter culprits of “social activism” and “misogynist neckbeards” that so often get the finger pointed at them. I think that the problem lies deeper than any of that, honestly, and after doing some digging, I’ve come up with two ways gaming journalism can better itself as a whole today. First, a reminder that I’m apolitical: I don’t vote in national or local elections, I don’t blindly take sides, and my default position is that everyone is wrong in their own special little way. It makes me bad at parties, but good at this. Read more →

Sorcery! Review

“Shaping the story around your choices” is how Sorcery’s store page describes it. This may be true to a certain extent, but any changes ultimately prove to be meaningless because of the way this game is designed. Not only is this a game that lasts 1-2 hours at most, but I played through it twice and was amazed by how many identical/similar events occurred regardless of my choices. When you add the mediocre, tedious combat and woefully underutilized spell system into that, you realize that there’s really nothing left to recommend. This is doubly true because everything Sorcery does has already been done better by other games. Read more →

Sorcery! Screenshots

Sorcery could have been so much more. Yes, the reviews for it tend to be glowing, but I was plagued by a nagging thought while playing—I’ve played a better version of this before. I’m not talking about the Sorcery series of books that this game is based off of, either, so much as games like Tales of Illyria. Compared to the Illyria games, Sorcery just doesn’t stack up. It’s too short, its combat is tedious, and it has an incomplete (not to mention generic) story. That’s not even mentioning how it railroads you into a similar kinds of events no matter what you do, making later playthroughs less rewarding than they probably should be. It’s just not enough. Read more →

#Gamergate

I don’t usually cover gaming news on this site for fear of being confused as a “gaming journalist,” but hashtag-gamergate is quickly becoming more than just a gaming story. In fact, it’s reaching the point where it’s a proxy battle between the extremist factions of tolerance and freedom. Those two things are both honorable goals to strive for, of course, but we all know that the road to hell is paved with good intentions; both sides have members who have radicalized and twisted the message into a self-serving ideology that they whisper to themselves about in the mirror as they slowly comb their hair. That being said, one side is clearly in the right here, and it’s not the one most game websites seem to be backing. Read more →

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