Tag Archives: square enix

Final Fantasy XV and Modern Japanese RPGs

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I was able to take a bit of time out to play the first few hours of Final Fantasy XV, and I’m a bit surprised at how much tries to feel like modern big-budget role playing games while preserving many of the common tenets of traditional Japanese RPGs. I don’t know if this game has had a polarized reception, but overall I like the direction of what I’ve seen so far. I just don’t really know how it lands the execution of its ideas compared to similar games. Continue reading

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Deus Ex Mankind Divided vs Dishonored 2 (Part One?)

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I wanted to finish both Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Dishonored 2 before I wrote this post, but I didn’t have nearly enough time before I had to start thinking about 2016 end-of-year recaps. I managed to get through a healthy chunk of Mankind Divided but only part of the first real mission of Dishonored 2 as of this writing. Still, even from that much I can sense some subtle but important differences between the games.

Dishonored 2 and Mankind Divided are worth comparing because they come from the same roots. The level designer for the first Dishonored was the level designer for the original Deus Ex (I don’t know if he also did the sequel). All these games are about letting players solve problems in tightly designed but open-ended levels by choosing from a variety of methods and playing around with a multitude of tools and systems. In Deux Ex it’s cybernetic augmentations, in Dishonored it’s supernatural powers. Continue reading

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Something Peculiar About Deus Ex Mankind Divided

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I’m pretty far behind on the big games of 2016. I let go of always having to stay on top of the latest thing, so I only started Deus Ex Mankind Divided around the end of September I believe. As I take my time through the game though I’m noticing an odd oversight Eidos Montreal made that some of the reviews don’t mention.

I imagine the reviews don’t mention this because the critics had to run straight through the game’s critical path to get it done in time. For the same reason I don’t have to play all the big games right as they come out I, like most normal consumers, have been able to just mess around in the sole hub area in Mankind Divided. As of this writing after about 15 hours of gameplay I haven’t even started the first mission of the main story. Continue reading

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Dragon Quest Builders Demo, Japanese RPGs, And Free-Form Gameplay

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I am one of those people who still hasn’t played Minecraft. When I realized Dragon Quest Builders was getting a demo for PS4 I saw this as a chance to see what one of these survival crafting games was all about. Plus this is supposed to be a somewhat unique take on the genre from a Japanese developer. Continue reading

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Deus Ex And Today’s Game Design

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is out this week and I’ve already got the pre-load on my SSD. I decided to also finally install the director’s cut version of Human Revolution to remind myself why I liked that game so much five years ago.

Depending on who you ask Deus Ex has a pretty big pedigree in video games. The 2000 original is one of the tentpole immersive simulation games. It helped set a standard for reactive game worlds filled with gameplay options and all kinds of details that made them feel functional and real, along with System Shock or Thief. Arguably games today haven’t even hit that same standard that was established in the 90’s, but Human Revolution came closer than anyone dared believe was possible. Continue reading

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[E3 2016] How Does Deus Ex Stand Out In Today’s Market?

I just got done watching Square Enix’s Deus Ex pre-E3 demonstration, and everything the publisher is announcing during E3 seems to be the culmination of how it’s reconciling the nature of Deux Ex with the realities of today’s blockbuster game market. An article from Zam news criticizing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided as being a completely unoriginal amalgamation of everything popular in today’s console game market is pretty relevant in my opinion, even if I don’t completely agree with it and am still excited to play the game. Continue reading

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How Much Can Final Fantasy XV Really Rebuild The Franchise?

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So Square Enix is finally confident enough about Final Fantasy XV to go big with the marketing. Everyone’s talking about the recovery of the franchise. With all the progress we’ve seen so far on the game and the legitimate hype surrounding it, to me this still feels like only the first step on the road to recovery, a recovery that could still be a fragile one. Continue reading

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10 Years Later: Final Fantasy XII Should Have Been The Future Of Console RPGs

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So Final Fantasy XII is 10 years old (in Japan). I usually don’t say a lot about the anniversaries of individual entries in game franchises, but this one stands out for me. FFXII is easily my favorite main Final Fantasy game, and the first point where I made a legitimate effort to get into the series. More than that though, I look back on it as a critical turning point for where console role-playing games could have gone in contrast to where they actually went. Continue reading

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Backlog Chronicles: Sword of Mana

Sword of Mana-2 One night this past week when I didn’t have anything else to do and couldn’t get to sleep, I happened to have a charged-up Game Boy Advance next to my bed, so I went ahead and finished off Sword of Mana. My backlog of handheld Japanese RPGs is pretty ridiculous, and this was one of the ones where I had simply stopped at the final boss. Finishing it out of the blue like this has illustrated in multiple ways how typical it is of the strengths and other aspects of JRPGs.

Why this is concerning to me is because I’ve actually never played Secret of Mana, a game many people seem to hold as a highlight of the Super Nintendo’s library and the game to which Sword of Mana is a prequel. I still plan to get Secret of Mana on Virtual Console or something but I have no idea how how I’ll receive the game. Continue reading

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Just How Can You Predict Which Games Will Get PC Versions Today?

The announcement of a PC version of Azure Striker Gunvolt has me surprised and a little bit mad when it really shouldn’t have. The increasing publisher support of the PC, mostly through Steam, hasn’t quite reached the point where it’s ubiquitous and you can expect every third party game to end up on Steam. It is however reaching a point where you have to seriously think about the possibility with each individual game. The only discernible pattern of probability I can see is the publisher of each game. Continue reading

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