There was a moment sometime in 1997 when I played my first JRPG, Final Fantasy VII. Being a Sega Genesis kid followed by N64, I missed out on all the “great” JRPG’s of the Super Nintendo years. The adventures of Cloud and company forever changed the type of gamer I was and I have not missed many SquareEnix adventures since.
There was always one game that I was told was the pinnacle of Square’s success, Chrono Trigger. Much to the annoyance of the Trigger fans, I had played through Chrono Cross, the “sequel” on PS1, and yet had never touched the original. Finally now, I decided to sit down, do some time traveling, and take part in the adventures of Crono and company.
Released in 1995 on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, Chrono Trigger was one of the last games released by Square on the SNES. One of the most notable things about this game is its style. The art work for the game is done by Akira Toriyama, the lead artist for the Dragon Ball manga, and his art direction is fantastic. The character sprites look great even by todays standards and the character portraits are some of the best. Seeing the world change and develop while you explore it from the beginning of time to the end of time is amazing.
The world is really brought to life with a great cast and story. Watching these characters grow as the story progresses was my favorite part. I really liked the emphasis on developing different key characters in each time period. A lot of the development does come with spending extra time on side quests, but the story also introduces you to these characters in key ways. I thoroughly enjoyed the Frog and Robo characters along …
“How have you not played that?” I hear that question too often. I have played hundreds of games, yet somehow I have missed some of the “greatest games of all time”. I will be going back and exploring these worlds for the first time to see if these games hold up, and for my first game I donned the orange armor and morphed into a ball to explore Metroid Prime on the Nintendo GameCube.
I had a GameCube when it came out. I played tons of great games on it, yet somehow, without any reason I never played the Metroid Prime series. To be fair, I had never played a Metroid game, so I had no real investment in the franchise. So I finally played it, on a GameCube (not the remade Wii version) and here are my thoughts:
The first thing that caught my attention was the audio. The music and ambient noises really captured the whole “you’re all alone” vibe the game was going for. I felt powerless when I was meant to, powerful when I was, and alone when I wanted some help. Even after experiencing sound direction from games like The Last of Us and BioShock I was still surprised by the depth and quality of the audio. Every enemy noise or change in music had me quickly scanning my environment for danger.
Obviously, FPS controls have continually been refined and improved and it was jarring at first to play one with a single analog joystick. Although I felt hindered at first, the game does well in its lock on mechanic, reminding me of the Ocarina of Time lock on system. Playing the game also reminded me how great the GameCube controllers actually were. I loved the shoulder buttons and the overall feel for the controller was …
NES Remix 2 recently launched on the Wii U eShop, and with it came an exciting new mode for fans of the 1990’s Nintendo World Championship. Nintendo announced that in addition to the many different “Remix” stages, they have also included “Championship Mode”.
In Championship Mode, Nintendo hopes to emulate the fan-favorite, Nintendo World Championships, from the 1990’s by pitting your scores against players from around the world. Players will take part in three challenges from Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario, before having their scores tallied and posted to a leader board.
It’s a great addition to an already great looking game, and should hopefully rekindle the love of your favorite moments from The Wizard.
This was an amazing year for gamers. With follow-ups to some of the biggest franchises in gaming, like BioShock, GTA, and Zelda, we were all spoiled with great games to play. With next generation consoles arriving we have now begun to see just what the future of gaming is going to bring, but this year was all about the current generation consoles and their final farewell. When writing this list of my games of the year, I tried to not to look at just what brought the biggest impact to gaming but also the ones that kept me playing. With a large majority of people trading-in or selling their old consoles to make way for the next generation, it is games like these that will keep my retro consoles plugged in for years to come.
Game of the Year – Animal Crossing: New Leaf
It was hard for me to go a few days without picking up my 3ds this year. When I look through my play history on the 3DS I see a ton of great titles, but there was one that kept bringing me back. I loved how Animal Crossing always had something for me to do, I never felt like I was wasting time. It had that great balance of time spent playing and reward. Coming back to my town after a couple days and seeing what had happened was always exciting. It was the things that happened behind the scenes of my town that I loved the most though. Getting a new neighbor that was from a friends town, or when my neighbors would start wearing clothes I designed and adopting catch phrases from other neighbors all kept me interested. No it wasn’t the most emotionally moving or best gameplay I have seen this year, but …
Earlier today, SquareEnix announced that coming in 2014, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMix will launch; compiling HD remakes of Kingdom Hearts 2, Birth by Sleep & Re:Coded. The first two will be the Final Mix versions of the games (previously only available in Japan) and the later a compilation of the cinematics in HD, a la the 365/2 Days remix that was in the previous HD release.
When they first announced the 1.5 edition, I was heartbroken that they weren’t releasing Kingdom Hearts 2 in HD, as that is easily the best of the series. Not only are we now getting that, but we are also getting access to easily one of the best of the spinoff games, Birth by Sleep, and probably also the most underplayed being as it was only available on PSP.
Here is to hoping we don’t have to wait too long to get our hands on these games, but if there is one thing I am used to doing when it comes to Kingdom Hearts games, it’s waiting to play them.
I felt like writing a review for Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS would be difficult. The main problem is this game is experienced throughout an entire year with different events and seasons changing the way the game is played and enjoyed. After a couple months with the game, lots of repaid loans, tons of public work projects, a few hundred bee stings, and a knack for having my villagers say awkward things I feel confident I know what this game is all about.
It is easy to look at this game and just point out that its just another Sims/Farmville/Animal Crossing game, but I don’t think thats the point. In something like the Sims your main priority is keeping your Sim from losing their job, losing their relationships, or peeing their pants. In Animal Crossing their is no real forced timeline. You are never stressed about having to get something done in a certain time (unless you are playing one of the mini-games on the island) and you certainly have no bodily function issues to focus on. There are no crops to plant or harvest, although you could do that if you wanted (I got rid of most of my fruit trees after realizing you could plant non-fruit bearing trees). The way I am explaining it sounds like their is no real point, but bear with me as I will try my best to explain its hooks.
One of the easiest way to describe life in Animal Crossing is to relate it to World of Warcraft. I know that sounds crazy but if you look at secondary professions in WoW like fishing, cooking, etc. that is exactly what Animal Crossing feels like. Although you don’t gain skill points in your fishing, bug catchings, balloon popping, flower watering, you …
As someone who has never played a Pikmin game, I was way too excited to play the latest release from Miyamoto. I assume part of it is because of the lack of games to play on my WiiU but I think it mostly has to do with the amount of media/marketing Nintendo has put into this game. I honestly believe that the “Nintendo Directs” have been one of the best things Nintendo has been doing the last couple years.
On to the game! Story is: a group of space adventurers crash on a planet, ship breaks up, they need to recover a blah blah blah I’m already bored. Listen, if you are playing a Miyamoto game for its story you are going to be disappointed. Yes, the narrative drives the game but the fun you will have comes from the gameplay and the world.
One of my favorite things about the WiiU games so far have been the sheer amount of control options at your disposal. For Pikmin you can use gamepad with TV, gamepad alone, wiimote + nunchuck, pro controller, pro controller w/ gamepad, & wiimote + nunchuck w/ gamepad. My choice is the last. You use the nunchuck to control your space dude and pointing at the screen with the Wiimote controls your aiming reticule. With MotionPlus the accuracy is amazing. The game pad acts as a map with some random messaging stuff built in for some cool second screen features, but most of its use comes from the map feature. On the map you can assign your space dudes to move to a location so you don’t have to control them, which is great considering you are multitasking between three characters.
Pikmin 3 is a game that combines RTS with an action/adventure/puzzle game …
With LucasArts shutting their doors after 30 plus years, I began to think about my relationship and feelings of ownership towards video games and their developers. When I heard that LucasArts had shut down, I immediately felt like something precious had been taken away from me. I have not played or invested much time/money into a LucasArts game in years yet I still felt distraught. I was more upset because of my feeling that I “owned” a piece of LucasArts because they are such a strong part of my childhood and my memories.
I was born in 1985 and growing up I spent a lot of time playing early PC games with my Father. Him and I spent time blasting dudes in Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, and Wolfenstein, but more then anything else, we spent time playing the many LucasArts games on the PC like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
I haven’t played these games in 20 plus years, but I still feel a strong connection to them and they stick in my head. I know that right now I could log in to Steam and buy any LucasArts adventure game, but I still feel like I have lost them now that LucasArts has closed their doors. I can still hear the sound effects, remember the really awkward fighting system, and most of all the feeling of accomplishment when we beat the game, using a really thick strategy guide. I remember playing those games just as much, or more, as I remember playing any of the recent games I have completed in the last couple of years
It is not that the experience has been taken from me, but I still feel like I have lost something. I think this is something that all of us …