Monday, July 20, 2015

Top 10 Final Battles: #7: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Like Final Fantasy, one of these final battles had to be from the Legend of Zelda series.  The franchise consistently cranks out the best bosses in gaming, almost always requiring problem-solving and good old-fashioned skill with a variety of weapons.  Every final battle in each Zelda game is memorable in its own way, with multiple phases and ever-creative transformations that make the climax to each story an epic one, barring the ones, in the words of Chris Hoffman, "in which Link looks like he chugged a gallon of drain cleaner."


The final battle of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is a classic for the generations, and its ending is critical in the overall Zelda timeline, but technology has moved on and I find that the battle of Twilight Princess, arguably the second most acclaimed game in the franchise, is even more satisfying.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

J-Stars Victory Versus + Review

J-Stars Victory Versus and Senran Kagura 2 have been my two most anticipated games of 2015.  Both are centered around extreme power-clashing speedline-using shonen badasses on powerful handheld systems, but since J-Stars came out far sooner I counted the days for its release first.  That is, until Bandai Namco told me it wouldn’t be released physically on the Playstation Vita.

Apparently Bandai Namco hasn’t learned what XSEED did after the first Senran Kagura: that forcing customers to download a multi-gigabyte full-retail game on their expensive (especially on the Vita) memory cards through a digital distribution service that may not keep it forever is a really fucking stupid idea!  I wouldn't even be that offended if they didn't release it physically on two other systems and showed that they're perfectly capable of doing so!  Fuck you Bandai Namco!

At that point I should have stopped counting the days and not given in to their stupid fucking digital-only fucking didn’t-learn-anything fucking run-by-lobotomized-chimps fucking bullshit, but if I didn’t review a game synonymous with the word “shonen” I might have this blog’s title called out for being a lie.  So I got the damn thing, with only a Vita theme based on the game that plays its (admittedly awesome) theme song as the background music as compensation for the lack of a physical release’s pre-order bonus.  Fuck you Bandai Namco.

If you can get over J-Stars Victory Versus’ slap in the face for Vita owners and focus on the game as it is, then it’s an amazing action game and for some will likely beat out Super Smash Brothers 4.  The big question is whether or not you can honestly do that.


Monday, June 1, 2015

Dragon's Crown Review

Vanillaware is an example of an auteur game company that more companies should aspire to be.  A company whose games are filled with love, care and everything that the developers like that, by extension, a good portion of players like them should like as well.  Indeed, I have liked Vanillaware's games in the past.  Odin's Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade were both excellently-presented fantasy action games with substantial stories and simplistic head-on combat that only needed a few buttons at their core.


With Vanillaware's latest title, Dragon's Crown, I don't think me and the developers share the same tastes as well as in the past.  Everything in its core is the company's enjoyable signature, but the smaller aspects around it keep Dragon's Crown from reaching greatness.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Top 10 Final Battles: #8: Final Fantasy 6

A Final Fantasy finale on this list was inevitable.  It was never a question of "if", it was a question of "which one."  The Final Fantasy franchise has built itself a reputation for a number of different traditions, one of which is ending with an intimidating and difficult final battle with a villain invoking a freakish transformation using godlike power.  Just like the games themselves, everyone has a favorite, and this one is mine: the final battle of Final Fantasy 6.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Top 10 Final Battles: #9: Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga

My favorite brand of RPG is the Mario RPG (that doesn't have the word "sticker" in it).  They're self-aware, imaginative and hit the right balance of simplicity and complexity by rewarding both strategy and reflexes.  The imagination and challenge is shown through the many bosses that rarely appear outside of the RPGs, with big baddies like the Lava Piranah, Rawk Hawk, Midbus and Sunnycide.


But Mario RPGs have always stumbled when it comes to their final bosses.  There's usually something about them that makes them unmemorable.  Paper Mario's is just Bowser, the first Mario RPG's on the Super Nintendo and Bowser's Inside Story's weren't established well and the final boss of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door comes right the hell out of nowhere even with foreshadowing and drags on for far too long.

Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, even though it's one of the earlier RPGs, does it right.