One Controller Port Podcast – Episode 23: Final Rantasy XIV Version 1.23b

This week I just rant about the 1.0 and 1.23b version of FFXIV.

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Final Fantasy XI: How the East Transformed Vana’diel

Like any live game, Final Fantasy XI has changed significantly over its fifteen year life. In my five years –  plus some – with the game, I can’t think of a single bigger turning point than the release of the expansion Treasures of Aht Urhgan. The shift in design re-invigorated the game, as well as lightened the oppressive reputation the MMO had built.

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NieR: Automata – Not Quite NieR or Far Enough

This article contains significant spoilers regarding NieR and NieR: Automata.

When I played the original NieR more than half a decade ago, I don’t think I could have ever have foreseen how much it’d resonate with me or that it would be one of many titles essential in changing how I view games today. While flawed, the variety in level design, off-kilter writing, fantastic music, and its surprisingly vulgar yet compassionate cast made a huge impact on me.

I hardly expected NieR to get a proper sequel, nor could I have imagined how disappointing the final result would be.

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A Fear of NieR: Automata

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Aside from the initial reveal, I’ve largely ignored of NieR: Automata. I’ve got nothing against it, I just don’t get much out of preview coverage. Demos, trailers, etc. all present an image of a game, yet the lack of information leaves me more uncertain than confident. It’s up to the consumer to fill in the blanks, whether they be positive or negative. Nonetheless, I succumbed to temptation and played Automata’s Demo 120161128. So, I guess we’ll go down this rabbit hole of speculation and assumptions, because I can’t stop thinking about it and probably not for the reasons others can’t.

NieR: Automata is developed by PlatinumGames. That’s a simple and well-known fact that brings joy to many. There are few developers that could contest with their pedigree when it comes to third-person melee-focused action games. Mixing their high intensity combat with the world of NieR is a promising combination and likely the reason why so much hype is building around Automata.

However, PlatinumGames’ involvement and Square Enix’s expectations of the title mostly cause me distress.

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Drowning in Puzzles with Aqua Cube

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Most Japanese indie games haven’t been prevalent in the industry over the last decade. A growing Steam presence is starting to bring many of these games to light, but plenty have yet to make the transition. Until recently, they were almost exclusively created for low-print runs at Japanese conventions or, in the cases of digital distribution, shoved in the obscure corners of the internet. This includes Aqua Cube, a cute puzzle platformer released for PC back in 2008.

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