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#RPG

EarthBound Review Rewind

The RPG that wasn’t afraid to get weird.

Remember that silly old trope in teen movies where the nerdy “plain Jane” character magically becomes super attractive just by removing her glasses? It was a bit like that with EarthBound- an RPG that was largely ignored when released on the Super NES in its twilight years. Nintendo’s ill-conceived ad campaign telling the player that “this game stinks” didn’t do it any favors either. The game’s overtly humorous kid-friendly facade was unusual for its time and quickly written off as ugly and boring by all but the most accepting of RPG fans. But thanks to the positive praise in gaming forums years later, it picked up steam and eventually became lauded as one of the best on the Super NES. Much like the bespectacled character in every 90s teen comedy, it was as if EarthBound removed its glasses. Nothing was different about it- just our perception of what was already there.

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Disgaea 1 Complete Review

Fifteen years old but still fresh for newcomers.

As much as I love games, I dread the hours it takes to get over the hump of one that’s new and unfamiliar. When I finally get over it, I hope that I didn’t waste those hours on a game I won’t keep playing. So when I fired up Disgaea 1 Complete for the Nintendo Switch I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even though it’s been fifteen years since the game’s initial release, it was still a new and unfamiliar title for me. Thankfully, I’m glad to say that the hours spent getting over that initial hump were worth it.

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Valkyria Chronicles 4 Review

Squad E, retreat!

One of my favorite things about playing strategy/role playing games is the sense of satisfaction that comes from executing on a well-laid plan. The thrill of deftly maneuvering units into place for a swift and deadly strike after multiple turns of meticulous consideration is something that few games deliver. I love strategy/RPGs, and I was excited to tear into Valkyria Chronicles 4; a return to form of sorts for a series held in high regard by a rabid fanbase, and a franchise I have little experience with. Sadly, instead of tearing into this game because I couldn’t get enough, I will now need to tear into this bizarre title that not only doesn’t reward sound strategy but does everything in its power to undermine player agency.

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Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana Review

By the end, the island of Seiren is one you won't want to escape.

At some point in everyone’s life, they’ve wondered what it would be like to find themselves on a deserted island, removed from the comforts that make civilized life so easy. I’d also wager that many have also dreamed of what it would be like to uncover ancient ruins and be the first to gain a glimpse into the past. Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA capitalizes on both of these contemplations through the lens of Adol Christin. While serving as crew on the Lombardia, Adol is treated to tales of the mythical and uninhabited isle of Seiren, which is thought to be cursed. Upon passing, in classic fashion, a Kraken attacks the ship and despite Adol’s best efforts, destroys it, thrusting him and the ship’s passengers into an unexpected adventure on Seiren. These circumstances setup the experience, pitting the castaways against the harsh nature of the island, as they struggle to escape back to the life they’ve known. As the adventure kicks off, players are quickly treated to solid action RPG combat, an intriguing story, and an addicting gameplay loop that will keep them coming back for more.

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South Park: The Fractured but Whole Review

My god, New Kid, what a tragic backstory!

South Park: The Stick of Truth triumphed over adversity to become a critical and commercial success. It was a gamble on a franchise that had never had a great game, went through a protracted development cycle, and survived the closing of its original publisher. Three years later South Park: The Fractured but Whole may not have had as many roadblocks, but it is a sequel to a surprise hit being developed by a different team and attempting to be just as successful as its predecessor. While it may not reach the heights that The Stick of Truth hit, this is a worthy sequel.

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Nerds Without Pants Special: Leaving Las Vana'diel

Random and Yamika talk about the final days of Final Fantasy XI.

Hey, all. Julian here with a short special to tide you over until our next big show. I'm joined by my best friend Shanna (who you may have heard in the special episode Love and the MMORPG) to talk about the last days of the Final Fantasy XI console servers. I've already written a piece about it which you can find here, but I still wanted to do some sort of special recording about this very important topic of mine.

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A Fond Farewell to Final Fantasy XI

With the console servers shutting down, Julian says goodbye to his first MMORPG.

Now that we are firmly entrenched in the 8th console generation and PC gaming is back on the rise, you would be forgiven for not hearing about the server shut down of the final game from the 6th generation: Final Fantasy XI. Even though the PC version released first and remains active to this day, the game began as an ambitious project for the PlayStation 2, and finally closed its PS2 and Xbox 360 doors on March 31, 2016. While it wasn’t the first massively multiplayer online role playing game to make its way to consoles (Everquest Adventures on the PS2 has that distinction), it was the entry point for many gamers into the world of the MMORPG. I was there for the final days of Final Fantasy XI on the console (I had been playing it on the Xbox 360 in recent years), and it was a bittersweet farewell, indeed.

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Final Fantasy IX Review Rewind

The greatest JRPG of all time?

In today's daily ephemera of new releases and dazzling technologies and breakthroughs, it's easy to forget about the Golden Age of the PSONE -- or, as we knew it at the time, the PlayStation. This is especially true of the JRPG's of the system, which today still have no parallel. While many consider the SNES as the glory days of the JRPG, to me, that has always been just a prologue to what we saw on the PlayStation. It is true that many of us cut our teeth on Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger, but the explosion of the genre catalyzed by Final Fantasy VII is a whole different matter. Not only were we treated to Square's trilogy of FF VII, VIII, and IX, but we also had Xenogears, Grandia, Wild Arms, Chrono Cross, Suikoden, among others. This was when the JRPG truly matured into an art form, and while we have had great games since, the depth and variety of them has never eclipsed what we saw on the PSONE. 

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RPG Maker MV - Features Trailer #2

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RPG Maker MV - Features Trailer

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