Today we celebrate the arrival of the game that defined cooperative dungeon crawling for the better part of a decade.
To say it's been 14 years since Battle Chasers has been part of the conversation wouldn't entirely be accurate. While the comic itself hasn't been around for nearly a decade and a half, devoted fans of the book and its creator Joe Madureira have always wondered when and if Battle Chasers would return. Last year, we finally got our answer. Not only is Joe Mad planning on bringing back the gang for a comic book reunion, but his development studio, Airship Syndicate, has been hard at work on a Battle Chasers game as well.
Though there are a few wrinkles in the fabric of Blood and Wine, it delivers a final chapter unlike any you’ve seen before.
Not only did Vanillaware and Atlus give Odin Sphere a visual retuning, but they practically rebuilt the whole system. The result is a streamlined, flashy and refined retread that outdoes the original in ways that make this remake seem like an entirely different and better game by comparison.
Today we celebrate the release of the game that not only established the renowned Dragon Quest series, but also the JRPG as a beloved genre.
I usually take very thorough notes when reviewing a game. I keep my notebook next to me at all times, pen ready, and will often take a break between rounds to jot down my thoughts. That didn’t happen with Valkyria Chronicles Remastered. Maybe it’s because I already played it back in 2008, when it originally launched on the PS3, but I found myself without words as I made my way through its early battles and story set-up. When I did finally pause to write something down, it was simply this: “This game is still so good.”
Many years ago today, Morrowind hit the shelves, giving us much more than a sequel. It gave us a content-packed living and open world that was set a standard even above those set before it and become the new bar by which all other games like it would be judged.
Square Enix fans often complain about seemingly contradictory things when it comes to their favorite RPG company. "Square Enix experiments too much," say some fans, "they redesign each Final Fantasy game so much that each one barely resembles the last." Other fans complain that Square Enix's other big RPG series, Dragon Warrior, doesn't experiment enough, and that its latest entries are still far too similar to the NES games of decades past. When Bravely Default arrived in 2012, it satisfied both camps thanks to its bold, yet familiar, RPG framework. Bravely Second continues in the footsteps of its predecessor, trying again to find that magic oasis of fun which balances out the old and the new.
It seems like only yesterday that Bloodborne came out. Indeed, it’s actually only been a little bit over a year since its initial launch and its last DLC came in late November 2015. Nonetheless, here we are at Dark Souls III, and despite that alarmingly short timeframe, this game doesn’t feel rushed in the least. In fact, it feels like a culmination of all of From Software’s experience brought in at the highest level. However, where Dark Souls II felt like a continuation and natural evolution of the original Dark Souls, Dark Souls III feels more like an extension of Dark Souls II mixed with a few fresh lessons learned from Bloodborne to create a richer and more powerful overall experience.
When we talk about brand crossovers in any sort of media, it’s always a sketchy question of licensing issues, getting the material correct, and presenting it in a way that’s new and enjoyable. Disney hadn’t been any stranger to video games for better and for worse, but when Square-Enix Final Fantasy character Tetsuya Nomura and producer Shinji Hashimoto reached out to Disney to create an action RPG themed around Disney characters and worlds, Kingdom Hearts was born and it became a match made in heaven. The game came out to critical acclaim and had a great spinoff follow it with Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories, but for the next core entry in the series, they needed to once again turn heads in a way that never had. Lucky for all of the series’ fans, they were up to the task. In 2006, the United States was about to fall in love all over again with Kingdom Hearts 2.