Breath of Fire 3 Review

Not so long ago, it dawned on me that it had been awhile since I had played through a Playstation 1 game. It being one of my all-time favorite consoles in addition to sporting a library full of all kinds of absolute classics (many of which I’ve only played relatively recently, meaning they hold up without nostalgia), I took a look at previous reviews and was blown away to discover that my last review of a PS1 game was almost two years ago. Deciding to finally rectify this terrible injustice, I went through the games I own that remained unplayed and quickly settled on Breath of Fire 3, assuming that it would be an enjoyable stroll through familiar jRPG territory. After all, Breath of Fire 1 and 2 have many similarities despite being very different games, and an online review I ended up watching made it sound like the high point of the entire series. It’s not, though. In fact, it’s one of the most arduous, painful RPGs I’ve ever had to fight my way through, and I accuse the nostalgia-fueled apologists whose glowing reviews led to me playing it of looking through rose-tinted glasses rather than attempting to judge the game from a more objective viewpoint. Point being, Breath of Fire 3 doesn’t hold up, and I fail to see how it was ever fun in an age when games like Chrono Trigger had long since discovered ways to avoid the tedium of the genre. Read more →

Spider-Man Review

Superhero games used to have a proud (slash-shameful) tradition of badness, from the notoriously atrocious Superman 64 to a whole slew of Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man side-scrollers that were nothing short of disastrous. By the turn of the millennium, it was considered common knowledge that an enjoyable superhero game would never be produced. However, Neversoft (of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater fame) somehow managed to cobble together an enjoyable mixture of elements in 2000’s Spider-Man, succeeding where so many others had failed and paving the way for other excellent superhero games. Read more →

Vanguard Bandits Review

Imagine that some people made a game and a bunch of insane people escaped from an asylum to do the translation for it, subsequently transforming the original vision of that game into something bordering on self-parody. That’s pretty much Vanguard Bandits in a nutshell. What would otherwise be a boring, formulaic story is transformed into a springboard for pervy humor and colorful dialogue, and all of this is held together by a turn-based system that’s far more creative and clever than it first appears. Read more →

Front Mission 3 Review

Front Mission 3 seemed like the perfect game to kick off my sRPG-focused October with. After all, I remembered playing through part of it years ago and liking it, so why not? Picking up a copy on Amazon for 5 bucks (shipping included) seemed like fate telling me that it should be the first game on my list. What fate neglected to mention at the time was just how ridiculously long this game is; my playthrough of the game’s short path lasted well over 30 hours, and the other path is apparently so long that it could easily take 50 hours to finish. All together, there are something like 120-130 missions in the game. Read more →

Wild Arms Review

After greatly enjoying several of Media.Vision’s iOS offerings, I began to grow more interested in their earlier games—especially the Wild Arms series that they’re apparently (according to wikipedia) primarily known for. Wild Arms was said to be a western-themed jRPG, and the whole thing sounded unique enough that I put other games on hold and tracked down a copy of the first game. After all, it’s a game for my beloved Playstation 1. What could possibly go wrong? Read more →

MegaMan Legends Review

MegaMan Legends (and the nearly identical N64 port, MegaMan 64) is hilariously unappreciated, and there’s really no realistic reason for it to have gotten any less attention or respect than many modern games get. Maybe it was a failure of marketing, or a problem of unmet expectations arising from the many differences between Legends and other Mega Man games. Maybe those who dislike the game are part of a worldwide conspiracy to smother genuinely good games with a pillow of bad reviews in order to reduce all of gaming to cheap Call of Duty knockoffs. Given the amount of unmitigated garbage that’s praised these days by paid-off reviewers and fans whose tongues are stained by shamelessly drinking the Kool-Aid, it’s amazing that a truly unique game like Legends has more or less slipped through the cracks and been lost to history. It deserves better. Read more →

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