Valkyria Revolution: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

Valkyria Revolution is not well-liked. I’ve seen few who think this attempt to re-invent the brand as an Action RPG amounted to anything. By the nature of its design, it’s a repetitive game that almost completely destroys any preconceived notions of Valkyria as a strategy franchise. It seems like it has no business holding the name. But deeper within Valkyria Revolution, one particular aspect of the series remains – managing morale. This overtakes the entirety of the story as well as the gameplay, building the whole experience on the back of this singular element. Though from the beginning, it’s not clear that this is the case.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Five Good and Bad Feelings About Games in 2017

I, alone, will likely never play enough games released in one year to do any sort of Game of the Year list. I’m spread pretty thin across a variety of generations. Nothing I have to say about 2017 is all encompassing.

However, I do have a mix of thoughts from throughout the year that might be nice to sort of bundle into a weird list thing.

Continue reading

Strange Telephone: Cold Calling New Worlds

Procedurally generated content is not my favorite solution to level design. But when dealing with concepts that extend well beyond the usual scope, it’s unavoidable. No Man Sky is a good example, which essentially promises the infinite universe as a playground. Strange Telephone doesn’t attempt anything so extreme, though asks a similarly ambitious question – What if dialing a phone number would transport you to another world?

Continue reading

Feel the Grind and the Burn

Note: I’m the opposite of an exercising expert. Don’t be a dumbass like me and say “This is fine and OK until I get hurt.” Probably actually ask someone who knows what they’re talking about.

(Image Source: PopGeek)

Exercising is hard. It takes a lot of time and dedication. Without the right mindset, it can be almost impossible to keep up with. The same can be said of some older RPGs. While they have their time and place in video game history, a straight forward turn-based combat system can feel like a slog. There’s often limited story telling and more of a focus on wandering aimlessly in a world while grinding.

I am far from the first person, but in recent years I made a commitment to tackle these kind of games and exercising at the same time.

Continue reading

Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash – Hot, Wet and Lonely

(Image Source: Amazon)

Over the course of my 27 years, I’ve put a lot of time into competitive shooters with probably over 200 hours each in Quake 2, Tribes, Battlefield 1942, the original Call of Duty, S4 League, Splatoon and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Whenever I stumble across something that feels new and fresh is generally when I’ll invest at least a couple of months of time into it.

So I am a little disappointed that it seems like even if I wanted to dump loads of time into Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash, it seems the playerbase won’t be around long enough to do so. It’s a game that surprisingly has great mechanics and pacing that I haven’t seen in other shooters, but, even a month after launch, it can be difficult to find a match.

Continue reading

Drawing a New Card for Bloodstained

This article is a reworking of my Video Gaming Bits Tumblr Post for Circle of the Moon

(Image Source: Level Up Video Games) 

About a year ago I wrote an impressions piece on Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night’s E3 2016 demo. The ultimate point was that it’s a title that dares only to find how close it can get to Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow without receiving legal action from Konami. Unfortunately, what has been shown since has done little to sway my position. I stand by that original article in full, outside of Inti Creates no longer being involved in development.

In presenting this argument, I’m often asked “well, what do you want from Bloodstained, then?” It’s a hard question to give a direct answer to. Nevertheless, just looking at Castlevania’s history shows that there’s definitely room to wiggle around within the pre-existing formula. However, the example I’ll be using is from a game Koji Igarashi had little to no involvement with –  Circle of the Moon.

Continue reading

Crimson Tears: Big Arsenal, Tiny Rooms

(Image Source: MobyGames)

Seeing a random title with a big publisher’s name on it is always sort of a surprise. I found Crimson Tears for the PlayStation 2 in a game store’s bargin bin, complete with Capcom’s logo on it. Released in 2004, this title completely passed under my radar… Probably because I was deep in a  Final Fantasy XI obsession. Little did I know it actually shares some blood with The Bouncer. DreamFactory is a common developer between the two.  Unsurprisingly, given their previous PS2 release’s middling reception, Crimson Tears is not quite a hidden gem.

Continue reading