I haven’t exactly made it a secret that Fire Emblem is my absolute favorite game series of all time, but despite my zeal for it, I had some fairly serious issues with the last game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon. That game represented a move to appeal to a wider audience by making everything pitifully easy, and I couldn’t help but feel that the gameplay suffered for it. Naturally, this made me a bit nervous going into Awakening—while I had heard that the game was challenging like older Fire Emblem entries, I wasn’t so convinced that would actually be the case. My first playthrough of Awakening was on the “hard” difficulty, which is actually Fire Emblem code for the “normal” difficulty, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t love it; the new elements add a lot to the series’ tried-and-true formula, the new characters are all surprisingly interesting, and the jump from sprites to polygons (a first for a handheld Fire Emblem) is surprisingly problem-free. Read more →
Several months ago, I stumbled onto Tales of Illyria while looking for something sRPG-ish on the Android platform. While it’s more of a choose-your-own-adventure/RPG/Oregon Trail hybrid, I was nevertheless hooked, so I couldn’t help but be extremely excited when the sequel was announced. Amazon’s app store evidently updates slower that Google Play’s store, however, and I checked for Beyond the Iron Wall’s release there every day for almost a month to no avail. Just when I was starting to feel ridiculous for holding out hope, it finally appeared, and I wound up snatching it up for even less than the 7-dollar price I was expecting. Despite being a bit rough around the edges (as newer releases tend to be; I played the original Illyria some time after its release, so a lot of the bugginess had been fixed by then), it proved to be every bit as enjoyable as I had hoped, and that’s saying a lot after a month of built-up expectations. Read more →
The original Tales of Illyria was one of the biggest surprises I’ve had in quite some time, coming out of nowhere with a detailed, well-written Android game full of choices and consequences and combat reminiscent of classic jRPGs. Naturally, I was hugely excited for the sequel to arrive. What I didn’t anticipate was having to wait almost an entire month after its launch for it to show up on Amazon’s store (owning a Kindle Fire means having no access to the Google Play store), which was frustrating and indicative of a serious problem with how Amazon releases Android games. At this rate, they’ll never be serious competition to the Play store.
As for the game itself, I ended up loving it every bit as much as the original Illyria despite two or three blemishes. That’s to say that it’s every bit as worthwhile as the first game, and while not much has changed in terms of the overall gameplay, much of the new content is simply magical in every sense of the word. Read more →
Game of Thrones is one of my favorite series; I’ve never read the books (sue me), but I find the television show to be wonderfully addictive. The only flaw I could really single out is its tendency to stretch out the “conflict” parts of the story too long without commensurate resolution. Enter the Game of Thrones video game, which not only builds up a bunch of disparate story threads in order to fold them together into a series of emotional gut-punches exactly like the show does, but actually offers real resolution to the story it crafts. Read more →
Check out my review of the game here: Game of Thrones (RPG) review
Before I tried to play Cyanide’s Game of Thrones RPG, I read a lot of negative reviews that all lamented the fact that the game wasn’t worth playing. Playing it for myself, however, I was soon drawn into its amazing story, and the outdated graphics and repetitive combat system (though it’s honestly no more repetitive than the combat in Dragon Age: Origins) did little to ruin my enjoyment of the game as a whole. This is pretty much the whole reason I started this site—a lot of huge-budget games were getting free passes while significantly better games were getting thrown under the bus for shallow reasons. In the end, it all comes down to this: Game of Thrones isn’t the best game ever made, but it definitely has one of the best stories you’ll find in a video game. Read more →
Ever since Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2 proved to be a less polished experience than Bioware’s original, Obsidian Entertainment has been known for producing brilliant games that don’t quite live up to their promise. Fallout: New Vegas, for example, was an amazing entry in the series that released with an incredible number of bugs, and even the brilliant Alpha Protocol has been heavily criticized (though unjustly). Because of this history, many assumed that South Park: The Stick of Truth would prove to be an equally unpolished experience. Instead, it’s proven to be both surprisingly stable and polished, every bit the South Park game fans of the series have been hoping for. Read more →