Backlog Redux 2014 #16 – The World Ends With You

The World Ends With You

Culture Shock

I haven’t played a ton of Japanese games. I mean, I have played a lot of games that were made in Japan, and I have played plenty of JRPGs. But I haven’t played that many Japanese games, if you catch my drift. I think one of the few was Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, and I guess I’d probably put Catherine and the Phoenix Wright games in that camp too, simply because these are games that are based in Japanese culture, and – even translated into English – carry that vibe with them still. Having never known any viewpoint other than a Western perspective, there’s something decidedly mystifying and different about that Eastern feeling that some games exude. The World Ends With You is precisely one of those types of games. Continue reading

2013 Gaming Archive #13: Mass Effect 3

Mass Effect 3

The End of an Era

I didn’t know quite what to expect from the third installment in BioWare’s space epic. I got into it well after much of the hype surrounding its now-notorious ending had already started to die down. Back when it first released, it was almost impossible to hear anything about the game itself, in terms of gameplay or storyline. Everything was “ending this” and “ending that”. The little bit I gleaned in passing while recording a podcast was information I would just as soon not have known – relating to the death of one of my companions, Thane. So it was with a skeptical mindset that I got into Mass Effect 3. Continue reading

Review: Risen 2: Dark Waters (360/PS3)

Risen 2 Logo

Dead Man’s Chest

One might think that the general Pirates fever of recent years might have died away a bit since the release of the fourth movie last year, especially since films five and six are still in talks for back-to-back shooting (must be the new “in” thing). However, German developer Piranha Bytes and publisher Deep Silver have hedged their bets that this isn’t the case…with regrettable results. What they’ve delivered sounds like an RPG player’s dream-come-true on paper (and, indeed, showcases many praiseworthy elements), but is ultimately brought to sink upon the jagged and treacherous reef of some questionable design decisions like an unlucky schooner out at sea. Continue reading

Preview: Dragon’s Dogma (360/PS3)

Dragon's Dogma Preview

There Be Dragons Here (But Not in This Demo)

Today, Capcom at long last treated international audiences to a taste of their coming-soon action RPG, Dragon’s Dogma. Xbox Live and PlayStation Network users were able to download the free demo as of today, which granted a sneak peek at two of the game’s missions, played with two different character classes, as well as get a jump on creating an avatar and a pawn – your main NPC party member – that will transfer into the game proper upon purchase next month. Continue reading